The Royal Succession, Given In Order of Birth
-> Prince Ludwig
?? The Ashen Prince
! The Ashen Prince's name and bloodline have been stricken from the records of Avalon.
-> Tess ----> Horatio
! Marriage to Gywnaev is annulled
KEY: *Queen or Consort to the King Without A Name, -> Birth within wedlock, -< Birth out of wedlock, ! Event
On The Laws Of Royal Succession
There are a lot of them. Many of them are contradictory.
In theory, Avalon operates on a sort of modified primogeniture system; that is, the firstborn son, or his son if he dies, will inherit the throne. However, there are all sorts of rules and complications that add to this mess.
For example, the Book of Avalon clearly and explictly forbids any king from reigning who is not 'of whole mind'. This obviously rules out Ludwig, the firstborn, but does it rule out Tess as well? Or is being merely eccentric and scatterbrained not enough to bar you from the throne? All of the siblings are a bit cracked to some degree; how much is too much?
Another issue is that of gender. Can a woman take the throne? Theories can be offered either way.
Then there's legitimacy. Joan was born before Gywnaev married the King With No Name, which weakens her claim. Meredith was born in wedlock, but that marriage was later annulled - how does that affect his claim? Juri was born in wedlock, but concieved while the King was married to another woman - does this dilute her claim?
There's also bloodlines. Certain of the past Queens had nobler lineage than others, which makes the claims of their children stronger - or so claim the children...
The Royal Succession is nearly down to a fine art in Avalon, and like all Art is colored, biased, and varies dramatically in reading depending on who's looking at it.
The Queens Of Avalon, And Other Missing People
There have been several of them. It's entirely possible that the King Without A Name also simply married others that you don't know about and never got around to telling the family.
For the most part, they haven't wielded much power, real or imagined. Typically, they would show up in the castle one day bearing one of the usual rose-sealed letters from the King Without A Name, informing the family that the woman was his new wife. They then typically stayed in the castle, attended the occassional social gathering, raised their children until about the age of 14 or 15, and then abruptly vanished from the face of the earth.
While each of them has presumably met the King Without A Name (they would sort of have to, to have children by him), none of them has been given to discussing their mysterious husband. The few attempts to mentally probe a Queen for information have had unpleasant results for the prober.
Princess Tess seems to have taken it upon herself to act as the caretaker and protector of the various Queens, and is also the one who has overseen the births of most of the younger generation. Most of the Queens have relied on her as their support and shield in the often alarming and treacherous court of Avalon.
In order, the queens have been:
Ludwig's mother, the Queen of Nolava, was not actually a queen of Avalon. In fact, it's uncertain if the two were ever really married. Regardless, she has the highest pedigree of the many queens, making Ludwig's claim to the throne pretty solid were he sane enough to take it.
Nimue is a very powerful person in her own right. She has kept Nolava independent of Avalon for generations, is an accomplished sorceress and trump artist, and has displayed strange powers that baffle even the more scholarly princes. She also has no love for Avalon or the royal family, and is supposed to fly into a cold rage at the very mention of the King Without A Name. Few of the princes and princesses have dared venture into Nolava, and those who have have usually had to flee.
No-one knows who the Ashen Prince's mother was; his lineage has been erased from the records. It might be Nimue, Morgan, or a completely different queen. One of the more popular rumors holds that the Rose of Avalon is her ghost.
The mother of Tess and Angus was a powerful, mysterious sorceress, pale of skin and black of hair. Her picture can be found in various places around the castle, and is somewhat unnerving to look upon. While her origins are uncertain, rumor has it that she came from somewhere beyond the ends of Shadow.
She was deposed by Gywnaev, and has not been seen since. There is a quiet rumor that either Gywnaev or the King Without A Name killed her, either in open combat or by stealth.
The golden-haired Gywnaev was the daughter of a powerful noble house in Avalon. Supposedly she concieved a great desire to marry the King Without A Name, and went on a quest to find and seduce him. Morgan, who was Queen at the time, tried and failed to stop her. After the birth of Joan, Gywnaev was declared Queen.
Gywnaev was probably the most assertive and willful of the various Queens, and for a time seemed to actually rule in her husband's stead. She vanished when Meredith was around 14, and has not be seen since.
After her disappearance, her marriage was offically annulled by the King Without A Name. It is speculated that this was due to her stepping over the line and daring to actually rule Avalon.
Queen Ryoko was an accomplished warrior from a Japanese-like culture off in Shadow. She turned up in the Citadel Avalon one day, already pregnant with Juri, and produced a letter from the King declaring her his new wife.
Despite her martial skills, Ryoko was not a very assertive Queen. Shortly before the birth of Darako, there was some sort of incident; the details are unclear, but Ryoko underwent a forced, premature, and fatal labor as a result of it. Tess had her brought into her tower laboratory, and the tower remained sealed for weeks. Almost a month later, a very drained-looking Tess emerged with the newborn Darako. She had been unable to save Ryoko, who was buried in a vault under the castle with much ceremony.
Some time passed between the reigns of Ryoko and Cait. Like Ryoko, she appeared in the Citadel one day, claiming to be from out of Shadow and bearing a letter from the King Without A Name. She was a tall woman with black and red hair, possessed of a somewhat mystical bent and fond of dressing in little more than a cloak and various crude pigment dyes.
She had even less inclination to rule than Ryoko, and spent much of her time engaged in artistic or ritualistic pursuits that nobody really understood. She was obsessed with star movements and the planets; several of her maps and charts on the subject can be found in the Citadel library or in Gideon's private collection.
She bore three children, Gideon, Dante, and Venir. She vanished went Venir was around 15, and has not been seen since.
Loralle was a sturdy, blond-haired woman who claimed to be from a Shadow somewhat resembling late medieval France. She claimed and seemed to display the skills approriate to someone of noble origins, and appeared in the Citadel one day in the same way that Ryoko and Cait had.
As Queen, she was a pleasant, friendly woman who seemed to do nothing except do traditional queenly things - attend balls, judge tournaments, do needlework, be attended by ladies in waiting, and basically act decorative. She vanished when Walker was 14.