Daughter of János Gosteli
“Green dresses, crimson, black or purple,
were never worn by ladies,
nor flowing hair tied in a fair braid,
as beautifully as she who robs me
of my will, and takes away the path
of my liberty, so I cannot even
tolerate a lighter yoke.”
- Adrian of Trietz, 1092, on Maria
“Maria… first appeared to my eyes in the year 1091, on the first day of January, near the church of St Clare in Denzegk, at Newyears matins; and secondly upon the eighth day of February, at the dock market around midday…needless to say, I spoke well of the Gosteli past that point, whilst not even having the courage to broach conversation with them.”
-Robert o’ Harrogate, Travel Logs from a Mistlander
Maria is quite clearly János’ favorite child, and generally the favorite child of János to most others. She is notable for her unusual education in the Zerollean citadel.
Ethnicity: Lowlander (Zhketan/Qalavrian) Svalek
Myranush Janoshvili Qozteluri (am: Maria Gosteli) was born at the family estate in Haslau in February 1073, the second and last child of Catalina Visconti and János Gosteli. She was educated at Haslau by her father, and subsequently at the Citadel, where in addition to the classical education, she was tutored in literature and history. She abandoned her studies due to the Marshlander Civil War.
During the war, she stayed in Petzchau, but the family was interred during a skirmish with dragonmen there, and she along with János, Anna and Bertrand Canossa were taken prisoner. It was decided to transport the Gosteli to the Riverlands for execution, but János managed to escape on his own. Anna, Canossa and Maria evaded capture by crossing the Pale Maiden, but Maria along with Canossa were captured eventually by Julio Hadrianos, and Maria was ransomed to a Gosteli ally, Duke Nepos, at the orders of Cristofano Lugus, who was later tried for treason for this action. His defense was that Magistros Julio planned to kill the prisoners. Canossa was executed, but it’s unclear if it was before or after Lugus’ ‘betrayal’.
Betrothed to Koba Laira at a young age, she spent the last years of the war in Tara, a city relatively untouched by the conflict. However, Koba died shortly before the marriage could be held. 17 years old at this point, Maria returned to the citadel for more than a year to finish her studies (on late Archonate trade languages in the Black Coast) before her next betrothal, namely to Marcus Anjora – heir to the House of Anjora. The marriage along with her two brothers’ marriages to the Vettin and her younger sister to the Teremara, would end years of feuds between the Anjora-Teremara-Vettin, and place the Gosteli as mediators.
However, a civil war in Blenth occurred, perhaps due to the Gosteli interference, and Felix Anjora took the throne after his brothers, uncle and father all died in the bloodshed. Felix, though friendly with Maria, was offered Clara instead; Maria was to go to Peter of Denzegk. Meanwhile, her younger brother was married to the Vettin, and she spent some time in the Protectorate to aid him in administering his new Barony there.
Hastening to Denzegk, she prepared for her marriage. However just weeks before the event, she was kidnapped by her brother Kallisto. Janosh was kept in Denzegk under suspicion of aiding his son, but was released eventually. However, the Teremara cut off their alliance with the Gosteli, and Maria fled to Moq for safety. She has stayed there – presumably the ongoing crusade makes traveling home near-impossible.
In Moq, she joined her childhood friend Raul (also there from the Citadel) and together they worked on a personal project of his which was now made an official team at the White Tower, namely understanding the arcano-geography of the Archonate’s magical networks. She has also written a rebuttal to Houran’s “Destiny: Part I”, collaborated with Corso Pontreas in ensuring the Citadel’s protection during the crusade, and won the bi-annual archery competition in the Avaspurk district of Moq.