Nahapet of Ostberk (Svalek: Vanak), notable for being the last independent Ovech ruler in Serelske. Her name derives from ‘mandan’ (‘to remain’). In her time, she was known as ‘Narig-Salar’ (lit. Flower of Leadership). Posthumously she was nicknamed ‘Braamak’ (tear-shedder) and ‘Xounig-Xaar’ (Bloody Thorn).
Coronated in a period of strife, her lordship brought an era of peace to southern Serelske. Unfortunately, her reign corresponded with the ascendancy of Eirik and Ivor, who continued the conquests of the Nylhus. After more than 2 decades of war, she was killed by her own generals when they fled to the Zerolean undercity.
Her poignant memoirs detail this conflict, as well as her family’s history.
Mandana was born the eldest of Nahapet Vardashak III and “Srubanak”, a presumably Xuragani woman. Her primogenitive line descends from the Qalavrian branch of the house of Ishxan Frevaymugh, daughter of Zarevant’s younger sister and a Churaluri man. This house, the Shoxrani, ruled in Ostberk (Vanak), but considered Paulto (Baldovt) as their ancestral seat.
The reign of her Grandfather, Nishahran of Vanak, marked the maximum extent of Shoxrani power – from Guran to Vanak, Treitz to Serelske – though the latter was co-ruled with the Basileos Zerelkos, Ghayron. However, his death marked a period of chaos – Vardashak spent the great majority of his life putting down rebellions in Guran, pacifying Utheli tribes, and managing his titles – the lords of Vanak demanded a separate Nahapet, but there were no elder Shoxrani willing or able.
Hence upon adulthood, his three children were given heirdom to the three divisions:
- Qalavria-Ostberk-Serelske, to Mandana
- Haslau-Ebona, to Arevak
- Gil-Guran, to Xushevaya.
The Succession Crisis
Upon death however, Gil revolted, installing the Xuragani as Naxarars. The 10-year-old Xushevaya was blinded, and sent to Guran. Mandana, 17 at the time, organized for him to live in house-arrest, in return for the independence of Guran.
Only 1 year later, the Astrovan lords rebelled against Shoxrani suzerainty, attempting to install Arevak as Naxarar, who they assumed would die to the typhoid fever he contracted that summer.
The Aznauri of Astrova were supported by Barghvash troops, intent on taking advantage of the current Archonate engagements in Oltec to oust the elderly Ghayron from his principate – an occupied Haslau or Rinti would allow an easy siege of the capital. To this end, Mandana wrote:
“The Barghvash married two women to the Oltec, in clandestine contract to the pirate-kings, for Tarsa could not uproot piracy at the time. Such was this increased harassment, that the warships in the Archon’s Serelskan fleet were called to lands far from their posts”
- The Shoxranameh