The Lance of Marduk
King of Cadrin
Luther Yderig is best known as the King of Cadrin, but this is a relatively recent development. While his ascension to the throne was as much a surprise to him (at least outwardly) as it was to the rest of the city, it was hardly an unbelievable one. Born to a highborn statesman in the inner circle of the city, there was little doubt that he would make a name for himself.
Yderig’s career in politics began in his mid-twenties, when his father retired from the senatorial theatre and passed his seat to his apprentice and son, Luther. Realistically, Luther began years before that, when his father took him as an apprentice; but not until then had it been official. Luther, emboldened by his lineage, training, and youth; turned the interest with which others had watched him to his advantage. He quickly mastered the art of hearing without listening; rejecting people or simply filing their ideas away while making them believe that he was entirely invested in their thoughts and interests. His pageantry won over many of the commoners, and his conviction allowed him to make gains in the senate chambers. By the time his first and only daughter, Aryawwn Casalee (taking her mother’s surname, as per the Elven culture her mother came from), was born, he was already one of the foremost members of the city’s governing body.
From a young age, Luther was ambitious and confident to a fault, though his youthful energy and somewhat feigned interest in the welfare and ideas of others compensated for this in the eyes of many. He had a very black-and-white view of a very grey world; and to his mind all had their assigned duties, which, if done to the best ability of every individual, would ensure the smooth operation of the machine that is the world. It was only natural that a large portion of his job was to oversee that others were doing theirs, though he considered this to be a heavy responsibility rather than a privilege. He had difficulty (as many young and quixotic statesmen do) coming to terms with the idea that others could see the world as being less cut-and-dried than he did, and rejected the thought that it might actually be so entirely. As he aged, his ability to maneuver around this rigid idealism prevented him from opening his mind to other philosophies, which may have ultimately hurt his position in the senate as well as the well-being of Cadrin as a whole.
Luther’s narrow-mindedness was likely a result of his upbringing in the inner circle of the city, where propaganda depicting the inner circle’s residents as being innately above those in the outer rings – and therefore obligated to govern them, as they certainly knew what the commoners needed better than the commoners could – ran rampant. Yderig, raised as the perfect citizen of the inner ring, therefore took up the mantle of senator with more than a measure of reverence, believing himself to be serving the people of his city in a way only he could.
His devotion to duty and complete embracing of inner-circle propaganda permeated his family life as well as his work. As one of the leading diplomats between the governments of Cadrin and the nearby Elven tribe, he believed it was only natural that he should marry one of their highborn, an elf named Mirima Casalee. He was a faithful and caring husband, and loved his wife deeply; but it was never lost to either of them that their marriage was as much political as it was romantic, if not more. His relationship with their daughter Aryawwn was similar: he was a caring father, and had great expectations for her; but a large part of him saw her as part of his duty, a way to ensure that his highborn line would continue to guide the people of the city even after his own death. In short, Luther’s relationships with his family where far from loveless, but his perceived ‘duty’ always cast a shadow upon them.
Aryawwn’s surname and training both directly resulted from Mirima’s insistence, first that the child be named for her mother (as in the matriarchal tribe Mirima came from); and second that Aryawwn not be prepared for a career as a politician. Luther argued her on the latter point, but ultimately ceded to his wife’s wishes. While Aryawwn began training as a cleric of Pelor, Luther accepted Farren Sceither as his apprentice; and Farren and Aryawwn grew to become friends.
When war broke out between the inner city of Cadrin and the Elven tribe, Luther’s family was torn apart more than most. Despite this, his ambition and sense of duty prevailed above sentiment, as they always had. After early internal conflict, he turned his attention to advancing his station within the senate, and became one of the leading military commanders (although this was in no small part due to the battlefield successes of his daughter). As the historian Atreus mentions in his essays regarding Cadrin’s civil war;
It is interesting to take a moment and note the interaction between Aryawwn and Luther strictly in terms of station during this period: Aryawwn advanced quickly due in large part to her father’s position as a leading senator. As she rose, he was regarded ever more highly as the father of a high-ranking officer in Cadrin’s militia. Luther’s elevation turned still more attention to Aryawwn, accelerating her further through the ranks. This process repeated, both amplifying one another far more than would otherwise have been possible.
This (probably unintentional, though hardly unwelcome) power play was cut short when Aryawwn left the city at the height of the conflict. Though not the best officer Cadrin had, her absence was quickly felt by the military. Luther, sensing an opportunity, used the power vacuum to establish the Black Guard, and elite special operations/military police force. The senate, reeling from the recent chaos, granted Luther unilateral control of the force; which quickly proved its dominance on the battlefield, such that Luther began personally leading them into combat. By the time the war ended some weeks later, Yderig was widely believed to be the reason for Cadrin’s victory, and was hailed as the city’s greatest hero. From there, it was only a matter of time (specifically, days) until there were riots calling for his coronation. As the senate had still not recovered from the outbreak of war, Luther’s leap in status, and the final victory that he had brought; they had no chance to coordinate any opposition against him. Forced to yield, the senate arranged for Luther Yderig to be crowned the first King of Cadrin, although they ensured that the senate would continue to exist within the city (if somewhat reduced in authority).