Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Marcus Vintner & Zandra Ems - Markan Sword Characters

Markan Sword is the third book of the Markan Empire Trilogy.  The centrepiece of the trilogy is winning the Markan Throne, vacant for more than two hundred years, and the events surrounding the various claimants as they vie for the ultimate prize.

Marcus Marcus Vintner and his wife Zandra Caralin Ems have the strongest claim to the throne.  Marcus's claim is through descent and by beating his nearest rival in battle (qv Markan Throne).  However, the murder of his rival led to his claim being suspended and the sylph Zenepha taking the throne as a caretaker.

Marcus took over the claim from his father, also named Marcus, and was ultimately successful in pursuing that claim.  However, many in Marka believe that the older Marcus should take the throne.

Marcus is now in Marka, living in the imperial palace, together with his wife and family.  More politically gifted than a warrior, Marcus and his wife are working hard to keep his claim alive.

Zandra has been married to Marcus for twelve years and she is also politically gifted.  Many see her as manipulative, but she merely uses the weapons available to her, namely tact and diplomacy.  She has a knack for connecting with other wives and building a powerful network that lets her know everything going on in Marka.

Zandra has given Marcus three daughters and one son, securing the succession for this branch of the Vintner family.  The children have a governess, a young lady named Kaira.

No discussion of Marcus Vintner can be complete without mentioning Jenn (careful, hesitant).  Many highborn children approaching maturity are granted their own sylph servant.  Marcus Vintner's family owns a small sylph breeding stud, and Marcus was granted his sylph servant quite young.  The runt of her litter, Jenn was not expected to live long.  But survive she did and formed an attachment to the young Marcus.  The determination that carried her through infancy has continued in what passes as adult life for infertile sylphs, and she has formed a deep bond with Marcus.

Marcus's marriage to Zandra caused no little jealousy on Jenn's part and she resents the time he spends with his wife.  She managed to persuade Marcus to let her come on campaign with him, thus grabbing all his attention.  Now the family is all in Marka, Jenn is again been forced into the background of Marcus's attention, behind Zandra and her children.

Note on Markan names.  Marcus Marcus Vintner is not a tautology.  There are three elements to the traditional Markan name.  The family name: Vintner is Marcus's family name, passed from father to son; and Ems is Zandra's family name, passed from mother to daughter.  Hence their son is a Vintner, but their daughters are Ems.

The given, or birth, name is said first, in these examples Marcus and Zandra.  The middle name is granted directly from the parent.  Zandra's middle name is Caralin, after her mother.  Marcus's father is also Marcus, hence Marcus Marcus Vintner.

Sylph names follow an altogether different pattern and will be discussed in a future posting.

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