Curogana (527 b.S.-457 b.S.) is remembered as the last Centoraurian Anactara and the first Tharanian Queen. She retired from the throne after her husband’s death in 459 b.S. paving the road for her son prince Tharagane. Curogana is remembered for her firm leadership in times of danger, for her class when in court and her courage when in battle. She is considered to be the last of the Menegulan rulers of the Centoraurians.
Picture description. The warrior-anactara and later Tharian Queen Curogana, spouse of King Thar the Great. Picture drawn by Koldar.
Curogana was a very beautiful woman. She was tall for a
Helcrani and emitted a feminine aura.
She had long brown hair and dark brown eyes. Her skin was white, but from the
continuous campaigns she had all year long a copper colour. Curogana’s thick
lips underlined her beauty and gave her an aura of promising sexuality. This
characteristic combined with her wits and intellect made her irresistible to
men. Curogana had an athletic body that she took good care of. As every
Helcrani woman she was fond of nice
perfumes and even in the midst of a campaign, without a bath for days, she was
to be found perfumed and always with a taken care of hairstyle. During the
second Sarvonian War she got many scars; one on her right shoulder from an
arrow, one on the left side of her torso from an
axe, one on her right thigh and one just bellow her right knee. After the
end of the war she tried to hide the many scars she got, because she thought
that spoiled her looks, despite the fact that her family and her subjects were
most proud of them.
Personality. Curogana was characterised as a human chameleon. When she was wearing a dress, she was a magnificent and elegant queen. People often called her “elvenborn” (Styragana) in order to denote her grace and her affection for elves by playing with her name. However, when she was leading the army she became an excellent general who displayed great tactical skills, courage in battle and could outwit her troops in vulgar jokes, without losing her stature though. This antithesis made her extremely popular. As a person Curogana was described as sensitive, witty and caring. However, the years of power and warfare made her also tough, manipulative and decisive. She was not an ambitious character nor did she want to be a queen. Her dream until the age of twelve was to become a good wife and mother. And indeed she was. However, as soon as she understood the struggle that unfolded around her she decided to take active part in it. She always tried to increase Centoraurian power as a means to ensure the welfare of her people. Curogana knew how to seize an unexpected opportunity and make the best out of it, without second thoughts. Curogana was loved by her subjects and feared by her enemies.
Biography. Childhood. Curogana was the only daughter of Anactar Ascandir of Centorauria and Samarilis the daughter of admiral Mestor of the Sostrian Fratra. From her father’s bloodline, she belonged to the Menegulan dynasty, while her mother’s bloodline claimed ancestry from Anactar Curogane II. of the Sostrian dynasty. Curogana had three brothers, one elder, Curocrane, who was a natural born leader and two younger twins, Curganil and Helronil, who had all the qualifications to become excellent scholars, not warriors, and they were dragged in a war they weren’t made to fight. From a very early age Curogana revealed an exceptional intimacy with the elven ways. Styrfidel, the Fratrageta of the Styrani, was assigned to overlook her education according to the elven ways. And indeed Curogana was raised as an elven maiden. She was pleasant, witty and graceful.
At the age of twelve she witnessed a sight that changed her forever; an elven fleet managed to land troops to Esperoth Island and then to the low northwestern shores of Efirhal island avoiding or crushing all Centoraurian defences in its path. The enemy was at the gates of Milkengrad. From the shelter of the Curonesta Curogana witnessed the bloody battle to repel the invaders. Every Helcrani, human elf or dwarf, fought vigorously and after three days of battle the elven army retired from combat. This time Curogana felt intense fear for her life for the very first time and decided to learn the arts of war so that never again would she be idle and helpless. Although she did not go to war until the age of 19 she was trained in arms. Curogana preferred and used elven weapons, armour and techniques.
Arrival of Thar in Helcrani court. In 513 b.S. prince Curocrane presented to the court a talented young Erpheronian with the name of Thar. The prince proposed that they should keep the man there rather than helping him on his way to Kyrania. The Fratric council, with the exception of Styrfidel, disagreed with the proposal. Axelclaus of the Sostrian Fratra was more intense than the rest and insulted the prince with the following words “Since when do the sons of Sinrann think that an Erpheronian pig is better than their own kin? If you do not feel shame for yourself, feel shame for our city they burned, the blood they spilled upon the Efirhal and the anactar they slaughtered. You hold Helron’s sword because it was your forefather that honoured the blood of the Sostrian kings, before you decide to disgrace it.” Finally, Curocrane and Styrfidel managed to persuade Ascandir, who had already distinguished Thar’s value. He justified his offering Thar the position of the commander of the Royal Comrades, the elite Helcrani cavalry, with these words “Let the Erpheronians see that even their traitors become heroes under the banner of the burning sword. Let the redheads see that the Helcrani know better than them that this man cannot be a traitor. He was not in the past and will not be one in the future. We shall display their folly by giving him a sword and glory to harvest serving our crown” (Both excerpts from the Anactarian Archives of Milkengrad).
Thar, who had been offended listening to this conversation, would have left Milkengrad, if it hasn’t been for princess Curogana, who immediately had captured his heart. Curogana at first did not like Thar, because he was an Erpheronian and she thought that he was actually worthless for the Helcrani.
Death of Prince Curocrane. The Battle of the Shattered Shields (510 b.S.) was the cause that led Curogana both into lament and rejoice. In this battle the elves, led by Iythill Goldleaf, used hidden siege machines and annihilated the Centoraurian army that engaged their troops in an open field battle. Prince Curocrane died that day and the Centoraurians suffered heavy casualties. The Centoraurians were saved thanks to Thar who assumed command after Curocrane’s death. Thar, blinded by his own blood because of a head injury, not only disengaged the army but he also retrieved Curocrane’s body and carried him on his horse back to Milkengrad.
This defeat shocked the whole nation and Curogana personally. It was not only the loss of so many men. Curocrane had been a brilliant strategist, an excellent political leader and was adored by the Centoraurians. King Ascandir fell into depression after his loss. Death came as a salvation for him three years later in the Battle of Salazar.
The only positive from this catastrophe was the fact that Thar rose as the new military leader for the Centoraurians, a leader that enjoyed unanimous acceptance, even by those who did not like him at first because of his Erpheronian origin. After these events Curogana developed a gradually increasing esteem and admiration for Thar.
Independence of Ximax. In 509 b.S. Ximaxian authorities revolt against Centorauria demanding its independence in order to continue participating in the Second Sarvonian War. The reason for this uprising are petty political ambitions of certain Ximaxian leaders. Anactar Ascandir is decided to crush Ximax and decapitate the traitors. Thar in a memorable speech in the royal council proposes that the Ximaxians should be granted their independence in order not to weaken the human effort. Otherwise, he offers to eliminate the rebels in three months in order to prove his intentions. Eventually, Thar manages to persuade the anactar for peace gaining Curogana’s admiration and recognition among all human tribes as one of the most important bulwarks against the elven tide.
Curogana falls in Love. In the next year after Ximax’ revolt (508 b.S.) Curogana led an embassy to Kyrania in order to prepare a major joint human expedition against the elves. She was escorted by Thar and 100 horsemen from Thyslan. However, at the foothills of the Lower Fores they were attacked by a larger force of Sanhorrhim raiders. This was the first time Curogana used her fighting skills in battle. Thar risked his life for Curogana and took an arrow that was meant for her. From this battle on Curogana would go to war in her dead brother’s place and she would realize her love for Thar. Some days later upon the Efirhal, Curogana expresses her feelings to the thunderstruck Thar, who would eagerly take dozens of arrows just for a smile of her. After a long discussion the two lovers decide to keep their relationship secret until the time is right.
The Battle of Salazar. In 507 b.S. Ascandir decided to launch a massive offensive against the Jhehellrhim (since he could not defeat the Sanhorrhim yet). He forced the Kyranians and Caltharians to provide troops, who were the backbone of his force. Even the Erpheronians provided troops for Ascandir.
It was rumoured that with this act Ascandir wanted to crush the elves with a non-Centoraurian force and thus bring shame to the members of the Fratric Council, who did not approve this campaign as too risky. However, according to a theory of later historians, Ascandir wanted to die after the loss of Curocrane and deliberately chose to lead non-Centoraurian troops in order not to take them with him to certain death in his suicide mission. The 18 year old princes Curganil and Helronil followed their father leading the Helcrani and Centoraurian cavalry respectively. An intense reaction of the anactar is recorded against this fact, but under the demand of the army he was forced to accept it.
On their way they were informed that Veltin was besieged and they decided to assist the city. The elves escaped north and the humans pursued them. Ascandir made the mistake to leave most of his Erpheronian troops at Veltin in order to secure the river passing east of Doovens. At the Heath of Salazar the elves made their stand as they noticed the human army being of reduced size and the two armies clashed. Initially, the Erpheronians at the centre started pushing back the elves, but the Kyranian and Caltharian regiments were routed and fled in panic leaving the Centoraurians and Erpheronians alone. Ascandir ordered the infantry on his wings to spread and take over the space that was left empty, while he would hold the elven centre, but he was killed leading the Erpheronian cavalry. Then the Erpheronians started to retreat holding their lines though. However, Ascandir’s sons would not flee. They had the flanks and were cut off from the rest of the army and each other. They were in a desperate situation and the way of retreat was open, but they decided to stay and fight. They could not stand the disgrace of leaving with their king and returning without him. They charged the elves with fury and managed to stop their advance. The Erpheronians saw that they could fight without fear of being encircled and so they did, eventually breaking the elven lines.
The battle was won, but it was the end of the ambitious campaign. The victory came at a great expense. Many died, Curganil and Helronil were both killed in this battle just like their father, leaving Centorauria leaderless as they were the only living male descendants of the Menegulan Dynasty. Ascandir was buried to the Valley of the Kings along with his ancestors whom he had honoured living.
The Rise of Curogana. According to the Helcrani law, in case the royal family runs out of male heirs the next anactar should be elected with vote of the citizens. However, this time the Fratric Council was about to break this tradition. When Curogana called the Fratrae in order to hand them over Helronn’s sword and set the election time, the Fratragetae unanimously voted and declared the line of the Menegulan Kings not broken. Since Curogana was bearing arms and fought as a man she should have political rights and a claim to the Centoraurian throne. They also called the Great Assembly of Milkengrad and the Gathering of Helcrah in order to vote on Curogana’s ascension to the throne. Indeed, in the Third day of Burning Heaven’s Curogana was “walking in the Sea of Swords” in the King’s Plateau at her coronation ceremony.
Curogana’s Reign (507-492 b.S.). Curogana proved to be an excellent anactara. She had Thar on her side who, despite the fact that he lived in a male dominated society, continued to humbly serve, support and love his liege. Thar and Curogana achieved their military goal to gather the population to the major Centoraurian cities, secure them against elven attacks and supply them with food and provisions from the Efirhal Island, that was a region completely denied to the elves. The Ptoliedhra, the seven forts that protect Milkengrad, were officially established at that time. Curogana led personally the army many times and proved to be a more than capable general with many victories. After securing the Centoraurian cities, Curogana assisted the neighboring Kyrania and Caltharia. Her ambition was not only to conquer the Vontron Forest from the elves, but also to expand her influence (and maybe her territory) against the incompetent Kyranian king. And indeed her banner was the dread of the elves in western Sarvonia, despite the bad general outcome of the war. Modern historians underline her contribution to the end of the SW II, as her military achievements and her resistance at Milkengrad simultaneously with the last stand at Selidor Pass showed the elves that the humans had a long way to go until they would fail.
End of Sarvonian War II and Marriage of Curogana. In 501 b.S. SW II ended. Three months later, Curogana and Thar got married. According to the Centoraurian laws, Thar could not become a king. He should limit himself in being a prince. Curogana - loving her husband and convinced of his abilitie s- introduced to the Fratric Council and the Great Assembly the question whether Thar should be granted the title of the anactar, the Centoraurian king. Thar finally got the royal title after the unanimous vote of the Council and a remarkable consensus of the Assembly. The Council justified its decision by claiming that it was the completion of Ogygor’s promise to Ileor the Kind of Erpheronia, since the Centoraurians had nothing more precious than their anactara and their freedom.
Although all these years Thar had been a humble servant of Curogana, after his coronation Curogana did not keep a leading role. She willingly let Thar be in charge. She firmly believed that this was her duty not only as a sign of respect towards him but also because Thar was more capable than any man walking the earth. However, she kept pulling strings in the background and kept control of the intelligence.
Turmoil in Erpheronia. In the year 496 b.S. the Erpheronian sovereign, Karthach of Ishmarin, died unexpectedly, leaving no male heirs. Turmoil reigned over Erpheronia for four years. Curogana considered the situation a rare opportunity to avenge the Erpheronians for the ancient rivalry with her people and for all the sorrows they gave to her husband. She got involved in Erpheronian matters exploiting the situation on Centoraurian benefit, without Thar knowing though. She promised support to the rivaling parties and secretly sheltered the defeated in Helcrah.
In 493 b.S. Thar’s innocence was revealed and he was called to seize the throne as the last living male member of the royal family of Erpheronia.
Curogana considered this as a perfect chance to annex Erpheronia to the Centoraurian crown, and then Kyrania and Caltharia would surely follow. Thar however faced a dilemma. He had no intentions of expanding his kingdom over its neighbours. He was already king of Centorauria and had started a life in this country when he was rejected by his own folk. Everything he loved was in Centorauria. However, he was an Erpheronian and couldn’t abandon his people. So, he resigned from the throne and decided to leave alone from Centorauria just like he came. This outcome brought Curogana’s plans into ruins, since she was about to lose the most precious part of her life, her husband. They argued for hours and for the first time Curogana’s screams echoed over the Curonesta, while Thar remained calm almost whispering his words. Eventually, Curogana, as a woman accepted her husbands will. However, she did not give up. She informed the Helcrani Fratragetae, who finally persuaded Thar to keep his office. Their major arguments were - among others - the exploitation of his love for the Centoraurian people and pointing out to him that it was dishonest to abandon them in order to seize the crown of their enemies.
There is a legend about that Thar changing his mind. As he was wandering alone in the streets of Milkengrad, he overheard a conversation among some Helcrani where it was told that they would follow Thar even if he wanted to become king of the Underworld. In this case they would subdue the demons and put the crown on his head and - if he didn’t want to be their king any more - they would leave, ready to return when he called for them.
So, Thar in charge of a Centoraurian army entered Erpheronia and in 15 days was crowned king of Erpheronia (492 b.S.). The Centoraurians were welcomed by the people as liberators and friends. The ancient mutual hatred vanished as Thar advanced.
However, it was hard for Curogana to accept equal cooperation with the Erpheronians. She supported the annexation of the country and her only compromise was that every Erpheronian willing to bare arms for Centorauria should be granted the Centoraurian citizenship, according to their law.
Thar, on the other hand, wanted to create a common kingdom for both people, who would live in equity. After a long discussion Curogana saw her husband’s excellence and embraced his dream of unification. She fought with the Erpheronians side by side during the Great War and those men close to her father’s eyes in Salazar. After all only a kingdom founded in justice and equity would last.
Thar united the rivalling kingdoms under the name “United Crowns of Centoraurians and Erpheronians”. However, the people called the new kingdom “Tharania“, since Thar was the connecting link of these rivalling people. The United Crowns experienced an unseen era of prosperity the decade that followed.
Curogana’s last Days. Curogana gave Thar two sons Tharagane and Carbug. Tharagane was born in 500 b.S. and Carbug in 497 bS. Tharagane became the next Tharanian king and Carbug became the governor of Milkengrad. From this time on every Tharanian and - later - Santharian heir would be granted the title of the second anactar of Milkengrad, where he was trained for assuming the Throne, a smart appease to the Helcrani ego after the relocation of the capital in Voldar. Curogana supported her husband and sons from the background since Thar’s death in his sleep 459 b.S. Her last public action was to ensure the ascension of her son Tharagane and the continuation of Tharania. After Thar’s death Curogana faded away in melancholy. Death came and reunited her with Thar in the 26th of Falling Leaves 457 b.S. She was mourned for forty days and her grave in the Valley of the Kings up to this day is one of the most impressive. Envoys from all Sarvonian kingdoms and races were sent to pay tribute to her grave.
Myth/Lore. As with many other celebrities, there are various tales told about Curogana and her famous husband, Thar the Great, some true, some for sure invented. Among these stories are the following, which appear to be comfirmed by different sources:
Helpheran and Curogana
Helpheran, the Tree of Fire of the Artapherana on the Efirhall Hill, is said to have shown an affection for Curogana and later Thar. Usually, the tree seems as if it is burning. He shows affection with an increase in his light. Every time Curogana approached him and he felt her sad he emanated a glow that blinded everybody in the vicinity except his beloved princess and later on anactara. Helpheran changed his fire according to Curogana’s mood and it was rumored that he could actually “conversate” with her. Helpheran also is said to have sheltered with his light Curogana’s confession of her feelings to Thar and always was happy to see the couple happy.
When Curogana died, Helpheran began to radiate so wildly that the citizens thought the city was on fire. This extraordinary event happened only once in the past when Anactar Helronn died.
Curogana’s first Campaign
About a week after Ascandir’s funeral, the Centoraurian army had to defend the besieged Salsair. The expedition force was ready to depart in Milkengrad. They were to be led by Jonahir son of Zarehim, Fratrageta of the Helerothi Fratra, a capable and valiant general. The men however were demoralized. “Where is the king?” they asked only to reply to themselves “No king will ever lead us to war again. The sons of Curogane have failed. Cursed we are and cursed we shall fall.” Curogana was informed of the situation and decided to go to the army assembly. She was wearing a long red cloak. As soon as she reached the Hypheralean Square, the army’s welcome was cold and without excitement. She addressed the army and among others she said the following, as it is recorded in “Curogana’s Deeds” by Meroh son of Ishoc the Ahai.
“You seek your anactar and you cry for his loss. But has any one of you mourned more than me? I have lost what remained of my family in one day. The rest of my kin was killed fighting for the common cause. You seek your anactar, as if you have none. Am I not bearing Helronn’s sword? You want your king to lead you to battle? Well, you have no king. You have a queen though and she will lead you!”
At this point she threw down her cloak and revealed the armour she was wearing. The army roared like thunder in her sight and the men clashed their weapons. - Thus begun Curogana’s first campaign that ended in victory.
The Meeting with Iythill Goldleaf
Iythill Goldleaf was not only a capable sovereign but also a very skilled general of the Vontron elves, the Sanhorrhim. He had a brilliant strategic thought, he was brave in battle and could inspire his men. He had fought the Helcrani for a very long time. During SW II Curogana met Iythill many times in the field of battle. He laid siege once upon Milkengrad and he was responsible for the death of her brother. Curogana met Iythill for the first time at the Oath of the Young. He approached her, introduced himself and gracefully kissed her hand complimenting on her beauty. Curogana returned the compliment commenting his clothing. The former enemies had developed a mutual esteem through years of battle. It was a revival of the Kroi’Kai, the High War among the Helcrani and the Sanhorrhim. Iythil gave a golden Shamshir to Curogana as an apology for the griefs he had given her, while she and Thar gave in return a decorated round shield, as a token of their sorrow for the war.
The most bizarre thing is that Iythill proved to be a relative of Agaran the notorious leader of the elven Fratra of the Helcrani, who was killed with Anactar Curgan, when Milkengrad was conquered by the Alliance of the Red. He and Styrfidel exchanged the gifts that the elves are accustomed to in such occasions and after the treaty Goldleaf was the first elven sovereign to visit the City of the Helcrani. - From this day forth Curogana and Thar shared a true friendship with Iythill Goldleaf that exceeded their death.
Importance. Curogana was the right person, in the right place and in the right time. She rose to the Centoraurian throne as the last living member of the Menegulan dynasty. Even before her rise to power, Curogana was an important war leader. However, after her father’s death her defensive strategy proved to be most effective. What is most important though about Curogana is the fact that she sheltered Thar and encouraged him to be the great king he became. When Thar was facing the dilemma, whether he should remain a Centoraurian king or seize the throne of Erpheronia, Curogana encouraged him to seize the Erpheronian throne and provided him with all the resources of her nation. When Thar decided to go alone and claim the Erpheronian throne, Curogana had secret contacts with the Fratric Council and ensured that the Fratragetae were informed of Thar's plans. This way she ensured that Thar would not go alone in Erpheronia, where he probably would have been killed. Nevertheless, Curogana’s initial scheme had been to subdue the Erpheronian crown to her own. This scheme she abandoned as soon as Thar explained his dream to form a united kingdom pursuing Artahir’s ideal and realised that a united kingdom would put an end to the long rivalry among the two kingdoms.
Information provided by Curgan