|Date of Birth||Unknown|
|Date of Death||Unknown|
|Claim to Fame||Empress of the Essa Empire, High Mage of the Cult of Deep-Domination|
Mananya-Manya has left a mark on the world, as everyone now knows this Slizzar monarch’s name. From mysterious origins, Mananya rose to a prominent position at the court of one of the many Chrysant Kingdoms that populated Hadar following the Cataclysm. With the ruler dead which willed the nation to this Slizzar Mage, Mananya-Manya took charge and immediately began work to spread their message of unity. This ultimately came to pass and they came to rule the Essa Empire as Empress for a little over two decades, before the Regalian Empire brought an end to the up-and-coming superpower. Mananya-Manya vanished and is officially considered dead by the Regalian Empire, with whispers suggesting they may still live, but nothing concrete has been found since the war ended all those years ago.
Origins and Early Life
Information on the birth, rise and even personal life of Manaya-Manya is hard to come by without bias within and outside of Hadar. Soon after their rise to power as Empress, they sought to do what all monarchs have since time immemorial: exaggerate. However, not all records were destroyed by the Chrysant War or buried in archives once the Essa Empire arose. It is believed that Mananya-Manya was born sometime in 300 BC, outside of Hadar somewhere in Daen. Their twin sibling is not known, but later siblings are, because several of them took prominent roles in the Essa Empire. What they did, where they studied and more before the Cataclysm are unknown before that period, but it is certain that they were back in Hadar and survived the disaster that struck the world by being within the holy city of their Race.
Following the Cataclysm, more information became known about Mananya-Manya by the benefit of their role as an advisor to the Kingdom of Bajaekor, under the leadership of the Digmaan lineage of Matahari-Kopling. They were commended for their effectiveness in this role and aided the nation in expanding its borders for decades, becoming one of the largest Chrysant Kingdoms prior to 250 AC. This was primarily due to the warrior culture of the Matahari lineage, who favored aggression and expansion in conflict rather than through the use of champions. There were whispers of a hint of Sendrassian sympathies and ways of thinking within the family, but after Mananya-Manya took their position, these whispers died out. They were both spymaster and general policy advisor to the Digmaan leader of the noble family, and it is rumored they were also a lover to more than a few members of the Digmaan’s family. Still, such whispers are commonly believed both then and now to be falsehoods spread by their enemies, for like any good political operative, Mananya-Manya had many such naysayers. However, death never came to those who spoke against them, no assassins, or poisonings, or anything of the sort, unlike what the Regalians would later claim was the Empress’ choice of weaponry. Their real armament, ultimately, was Magic.
Mananya-Manya, in addition to the role of advisor and spymaster, was a Mage of great power, but they rarely used this power to duel or directly fight fellow Mages. Their skills were also not in common, quick spells, but in complex rituals with origins lost to the Slizzar Race. It is commonly believed that Mananya-Manya recovered many of these rituals from travels across Daen during the final centuries of the Allorn Empire, but others believe they recovered a trove of such knowledge within Hadar, or even Sassrakkand, itself. In the end, the origin of their knowledge matters little, only that it was a very real power which they exercised extensively after 200 AC. Younger and older Slizzar alike flocked to their cult, the Cult of Deep-Domination, for these rituals focused on the binding and enslavement of the Deep Sea Serpents, originating with the enemies that were the Teal Deep Dragons. While some Allar and other Slizzar grew nervous, especially with how open a formerly stealthy Slizzar was being, there were seemingly no ill effects from their openactions. Finally, in 240 AC came what many see as the culmination of decades of work on the part of the soon-to-be Empress. The last Digmaan of the Matahari-Kopling lineage, Endah, chose the Slizzar to follow them as leader of the Kingdom of Bajaekor. There was immediate outcry from the Allar, and other Digmaan began to vie for power, wrongly assuming this move would be impossible to enforce. When Endah passed, Mananya-Manya was challenged by three different Digmaan, all related to the now former line. The Slizzar Mage obliged them, producing a champion of enormous power at the eleventh hour, who crushed the champions of the three Digmaan. Mananya-Manya took power quietly after that, and got to work.
Their takeover of a formerly Allar kingdom was met with shock by some other Chrysant Kingdoms, and soon, others felt the new ruler’s audacity was too much: they desired to unify all of Hadar, openly speaking of this many times. Many scoffed at this notion, but over the following decade, opinions changed. While the Slizzar leadership remained quiet on the intentions of this unusual Slizzar Mage, Mananya’s ability to enslave the Deep Sea Serpents both awed and scared more with each passing year. In 247 AC, a demonstration of this enslavement was brought to force when aquatic-based Allar pirates attacked the Kingdom of Bajaekor and three neighboring kingdoms. Mananya-Manya invited the other three regions to join them in a defensive pact to hunt down these rogue forces, which was agreed to, but with Mananya’s nation at the head. Within a month, they had been tracked back to their home island, and that is when the Slizzar Mage unleashed their power. All pirate ships, and much of the pirate forces, were destroyed and killed in the resulting attack by just two Deep Sea Serpents. In 250 AC, the Essa Empire was officially declared, as the four former Kingdoms all joined together under Mananya-Manya’s leadership. For over a decade after this, they conducted trip after trip across Hadar, seeking to convince all to join their union peacefully, for the benefit of the Allar and the Slizzar both. They were helped by many Slizzar advisors to the various Chrysant courts encouraging this unity, often swept up in the growing belief that Mananya was a prophet, a bringer of a new age of victory over the Teal Deep Dragons, and communication with their missing deity.
By 264 AC, all of Hadar was united under the Essa Empire, and its beloved “Missa” as the Allar knew them, came to rule. However, they were not a tyrant, and openly sought council with the Digmaan they had subsumed under their control. Their cult remained tightly in control of their unique magical rites, and the Deep Sea Serpents became the vanguard in a growing military power. Compared to even neighboring fractured Altalar territory, Allar military technology was limited, which under Slizzar guidance began to slowly advance. Simple battle rafts and unassuming jong were upgraded and remade, new designs turned out reflecting the ancient ships the Allar had used to travel to Hadar many decades before. It is this particular innovation that has led many to believe in the modern age that Mananya-Manya intended to turn their war machine on Sendras, and no other target. Many gruff Regalian military analysts will insist this is short-term thinking about what was then a critical threat, but the truth of that point remains hotly debated. What is certain is that Mananya-Manya was a competent statesperson, cooling rapidly heating tensions with the Minoor, who were now surrounded by a Slizzar-run empire capable of controlling Deep Sea Serpents, some of their worst fears wrapped together. The Empress even opened trade with the Songaskian Masaya and a cluster of nations in surrounding continents.
Yet all of this was for naught when, after a little over twenty years of leadership, the Regalian Empire sent its fleets without warning against the Essa Empire. Initial conflicts were bloody and punitive in nature, the Iron Bulwark of the Regalian Senate eager for bloodshed against “lesser” Races, but also the bounty of plunder from what was a wealthy nation. The improvements made to the Allar military arsenal proved fruitless in the face of these attacks, and the Cult of Deep-Domination kept the Sea Serpents back while their leader sought, repeatedly, a diplomatic solution. For much of the war, Mananya-Manya remained cloistered from her people, in her newly risen capital of Huallo. The Chrysant War as it would become known dragged on for five years, as the Essa Empire did not surrender despite being outclassed by the rapidly rising Regalian military apparatus, and the growing discontent within the Digmaan of Hadar. Groups of Slizzar also grew discontent or concerned, yet the Slizzar leadership of Sassrakkand remained silent. Ultimately, diplomacy failed Mananya-Manya, as the Regalians broke into the southern reaches of Hadar in a final push closing in on their capital city. The Battle of Huallo ended in an Essan defeat with thousands of innocent civilians seeking evacuation dead and all Sea Serpents summoned into the fight similarly deceased. Despite their high profile, when the Regalian troops swarmed the city, they found no sign of the Empress. They remain missing to this day, though a thousand whispers fill Slizzar circles across Aloria as to their fate.
The true nature of Mananya-Manya will likely forever be unknown unless they reveal themselves or appear again with a frank assessment of themselves. Slizzar propaganda, Allar propaganda and Regalian propaganda are so intense about them that any truth has been lost to the personal sentiment of others. To the Slizzar, they were an ingenious politician, with a grand vision for the future and an active drive to see it come to pass. Their faith was deep and significant to them, leading the Slizzar to the cusp of greater power, but the method to reach that power was ultimately flawed, and the enterprise ramped up too fast to carefully keep it in check. Among the Allar, Mananya-Manya is equally beloved as they are reviled, a Slizzar of great ability and leadership capable of stupendous things who never got in the way of Allar traditions or the system of Digmaan. However, they were stubborn to fanaticism, believing that the Allar alone could somehow stem the tides that carried Regalian ships against their shores. Finally, the Regalian perspective is the most flawed. In the era before and after the war, Slizzar and Allar were depicted as one in the same, a treacherous reptilian species intent on conquest of all territory held by Ailor, who consorted with enemies of the Regalian Empire. As the leader of the Essa Empire, Mananya was vilified as a poisoner, seducer, trickster and murderer, all stereotypes of both the Slizzar, and women in power, though they remained genderless for much of their life, only accepting the Empress title due to political necessity and a feminine bend to many of their characteristics. Following the Chrysant War and with the rise of Allar importance to the Regalian Empire, Mananya-Manya’s name has seen great rehabilitation. They are still blamed for the war, for “poor communication” with the Regalian state, but are respected for what they built in Hadar, however briefly, and for how they dealt with Regalian efforts at a settlement which permeated the early years of the war.
Mananya-Manya left a mark that will likely take decades to centuries to fade, both from the conscience of the citizens of Hadar, and lands abroad. For the Slizzar, it was highly instructive in the pitfalls of possessing power publicly, as one’s true self. Their rise and fall was also a harsh blow to the Slizzar Race, seeing many Allar turn against the Slizzar, while Slizzar across Aloria and especially in the Regalian Empire had to burn their identities or otherwise vanish from the scrutiny that came with the Essa Empire’s rise, and the corresponding rise in hostility against Slizzar. Another blow to the Slizzar was the loss of the Magic that Mananya-Manya possessed to command the Deep Sea Serpents, this power dying with the culling of the Cult of Deep-Domination brought about by the Regalian Empire, but also the destruction of their own records during the Battle of Huallo. Among the Allar, Mananya’s rise and fall saw hundreds of thousands die and power vacuums open, which allowed for the rapid rise of the largely new Digmaan leadership of Hadar, with few personal ties to the events of a mere couple of decades ago. The Allar will also never allow a Slizzar to grow to such prominence as Manaya again, even if they were a competent statesperson.
Mananya-Manya’s family is commonly held up as a mystery, and it is true that an easy tracing of family ties is difficult among the Slizzar. However, some information is known. They had Slizzar parents, with at least one named Chandra. Their twin sibling is unknown, with Mananya not speaking of them. It is broadly believed, however, that their sibling remained in Daen when the rest of the family went to Sassrakkand close to the Cataclysm, and thus likely died in the Wildering. Other siblings of Mananya-Manya emerged following 100 AC, from the True Twins, sisters who made every effort to look identical, and served as high-ranked members of their older sibling’s cult, to the Champion, though some believe today this warrior was not a younger, male-inclined sibling to Mananya as was the popular thought at the time and since. Mananya-Manya is not known to have birthed any children of their own, while their romantic life is filled with saucy, salacious stories of dubious origin. There were noted to be a group of some five “Attendants” who held nebulous positions around and in service to Mananya different from her normal servants, yet who did not specifically serve the role of advisor. While some believe these Slizzar were simply proteges, others suspect they were Mananya’s children, as all but one vanished alongside their possible sire. The one who died, Parth, was of a militaristic bent and perished fighting back against the Regalian looting of Huallo.
- Due to the precise timing of Mananya-Manya’s disappearance, followed by the assassination of a number of the Regalian Empire’s leading nobles, some believe the action was commanded by the now deposed, in-hiding ruler. But, as none of the assassins were ever taken alive, let alone captured, this fact can never be ascertained.
- Whispers persist of recent knowledge recovered by the Slizzar of the City of Regalia on how to summon a Deep Sea Serpent. Some suspect it was provided by Mananya-Manya as some sort of reward or test.
- Initial Regalian propaganda prominently discussed the beheading of the Essa Empress, though when the Regalian Military could not locate the Slizzar monarch after the sacking of the Essan capital, they quickly shifted to the position that the statement had always been metaphorical, referring to the widespread death of her cult, and the destruction of her capital.