Previous ruler Edit
The previous rightful king of Rubia was the late King Eckbert, Queen Merilda's father. He was considered a just ruler, and was well-liked among Rubians, partially due to his many military campaigns. King Eckbert is most famous for his war with the Cleaver orcs. Many historians say his thirst for battle was what sealed his fate, as shortly before his death he was waging war on two fronts: trying to annex the Land of Cleavers, as well as laying siege to the free city Gormouth. While the latter endeavour resulted in success and lead to a boom of trade with the islands of Two Sisters, it left too few men on the Eastern front, and King Eckbert lost the war and his life there.
King Eckbert only had a sole heir: his daugther, Merilda. However, the king never meant her to succeed him, he wanted her to be married to one of the Cascadian princes or one of the rulers of the Free Cities thus forging a strong alliance and that is the role she was being prepared for. Meanwhile Eckbert was planning to marry the sister of the future Emperor Marius who could provide him with a male heir with a claim to the Imperial Throne (his previous wife died a few years before). In the end he could not realize his plans, and Queen Merilda III succeeded him to the throne.
Transition of power Edit
After King Eckbert's death, Rubia was still in war with the Cleaver orcs. As several high ranking officials also died in the ambush that lead to the king's death, while Rubia just annexed the prosperous and rebellious city Gormouth, the young and inexperienced Queen needed advice. She promoted her close friend Vilgefortz to the position of Archmage and leader of the Council of Mages, to replace the late Archmage Asdore, who died on the side of King Eckbert. The new Archmage, Vilgefortz advised the queen to give up the war in the Land of Cleavers, and concentrate on consolidating the region of Gormouth instead. His sound advice in all matters of the country quickly earned him the unofficial title "The Queen's Most Trusted Advisor".
Orc Slavery Edit
Queen Merilda III let herself be convinced to abandon the campaign against the Cleaver Orcs, but she could never forget nor forgive them taking her father's life. Her deep hatred against the orcs led her to legalize orc slavery, the center of which was the new-founded colony near Gormouth: the islands of Two Sisters. There was never any love towards orcs amongst Rubians anyway, and the colonies needed the workforce, so most Rubians welcomed the new rule and in fact, many trade routes were established from the Eastern borders to South Sister, transporting orc slaves.
Orc slavery in Rubia was shortlived, however, as the danger of imperial occupation forced the queen to seek peace with the orcs. Most Rubians were relieved to see the orc slaves leave. They were less happy to live near them after the orc rebellion on South Sister, that lead to the painful death of all humans living on the colony. Most freed orcs moved to the Northern Mountains or to the Imperium to join their kin. The few freed orcs still living in Rubia are met with suspicion and fear from common folk.