“Understand this, Duke: I am not called the Shining Storm by my people because of my looks or because of my temper, as some would claim. I am called so because my people understand; for all within my house, I am the shelter. For those outside, I am the storm.”
Dorná Gertrude de Rosmund is the daughter of Margrave Ludgar von Kazlag and Olivia de Rosmund. With her Gift apparent from a very young age, she spent her youth studying in the Pool of Stillness as an Aelomancer. When by decree of the Conclave her father was executed as an unsanctioned aggressor against a neighboring Kingdom, Dorná left the Chapter and sought safety in exile. She attracted attention again years later, when her grandfather, Count Olivier de Rosmund in Galania-Trans-Sinia, passed away without an heir, while she was already widowed and heiress to Lutia, a barony in the County of Lerac in Galania. With one foot south of the Sinia, the other north and enemies on both sides, the young countess seemed to have her days counted for her. Still, she earned the formal recognition of Count Palatine Philippe de Lerac as a baroness of his county and his informal protection even beyond the Sinia. Soon, she became one of the Count’s closest allies, an alliance that became deeper still when, six years later, the Count’s middle son of three, René, announced his engagement to Dorná’s daughter, Verná.
Despite the tragedy that befell the young couple, being assassinated on the very night of their wedding, the two nobles retained their alliance until the recent fall of the de Lerac Household. During the troubled times of the Red Fever and the three-year drought in Lerac that followed the Enque Incident with the Spire of Haustellum, Dorná served as a strong, and often harsh, voice of order, keeping the nobles in check, while providing for her population as best she could. Yet tensions rose dangerously in the County of Lerac. In the end, the Count was proclaimed not only corrupted by the Spires but also a traitor to his people with heretical connections to the druids of Braeonia. In a violent revolt, the Count was killed, the de Leracs were stripped of their titles and any surviving members or connected family were branded outlaws. Dorná was the first to grieve and when asked to assume the County, based on her connection through her daughter’s short-lived marriage, she refused. Under the shadow of conflict among the baronies however, or, even worse, the looming threats of Elysses and Leona, as well as rulers north of the Sinia and even Braeons, Dorná took command of Lerac’s forces and ensured that none would threaten its lands. Her de facto rule was followed by the title of Countess of Lerac as well, she was not, however, anointed Countess Palatine like her predecessor had been. To face the rulers of Leona and Elysses as an equal, and now controlling lands on both sides of the Sinia, Dorná, as daughter to a Margrave, united the two counties of Lerac and Rosmund and declared herself Marquise of Feranque.
While her claim was eventually ratified gaining a marginal support in the Conclave, her rule has only obstacles to look forward to. The Fire Drought has receded but its effects still plague her coffers and her people. She has so far survived no less than four assassination attempts, including one from the fabled Braeon Hunters of Ourovoros, while rumors rise which name her instigator of the revolt that brought the downfall of Philippe de Lerac and the lynching of the druid Diagach. Elysses still grinds its teeth at her title, supported by many who view this as a future claim to the Hollow Throne itself, for higher titles in Galania were held by members of the Imperial House. Her stance during Fredrik’s trial, where she all but openly supported him, has turned on her the wrathful gaze of the Paeneticum, and the devout forces of Leona and its Herman connections along with it. At the same time, she suffers immense pressure to launch a pre-emptive strike against Haustellum in her lands, and who is to say such advice is not sound, considering Nepenthe?
Whether a shrewd politician or a caring ruler, Dorná protects her lands and people with zeal, equipped with a retinue of cunning financial advisors, the strong knightly tradition of Lerac and her own Gift in magic. She is seemingly not interested in expansion but has nevertheless risen from a self-exiled daughter of a fallen household to the first Marquise in Galania since the dissolution of the Empire. With every crisis she comes up against, the Shining Storm lives up to her name and raises questions as to what her next move will be.