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Ambrai VII
Rihani
Prince of Ossetia
Full Name Rihani Atreyu Nohansen Lonarai Ambrai VII
Royal Title HG Prince Rihani Ambrai VII of Ossetia
Spouse HG Princess Alexia Gorenn-Ambrai
Issue Princess Arien, Princess Rislyn, Ambrai VIII
Reign 593 - 625
Preceeded By Ambrai VI
Succeeded By Ambrai VIII
Allegiance Ossetia
Born YD 572
Political Affiliation Royalist

Prince Rihani Ambrai VII was born in the year 572 to Prince Atreyu VI and Princess Valera. Born the first of two children, he was followed by Prince Kierun a year later. When the family was visiting Feruche several years later, an outbreak of smallpox occurred and Kierun was infected with a confluent strain. To ensure that the rest of the royal family did not catch it, they were forbidden to see the child as he lay dying, and they were moved to quarters further away from him in Athlante Castle. Despite this, Valera insisted on staying with Kierun, and in this way she too became infected, and was too weak to attend his funeral when he died a week after catching it. She died after him two days later. Atreyu was Rihani's only living family member (barring the extended family) left, however his grief over the death of the princess hit him hard, and for the rest of his life he remained relatively estranged to his only surviving child.


As Rihani grew up he was pretty much left alone to his own devices. He had very few friends and was constantly spotted by visitors riding around the palace grounds alone. His education suffered because of this until he reached the age of twelve, when after inquiring and learning about his son's education, Atreyu was shocked by how much it had been neglected. The young crown prince could barely read and had great difficulty with writing, and he remained largely ignorant of the world outside the secluded grounds of Reiza Palace. Atreyu immediately assigned a number of tutors to Rihani to rectify the situation, severely cutting down on his free time. After a year all agreed that he had made good progress, and he was sent off to the nearby private school that was the traditional school of the children of the royal family. He stayed there until he was seventeen, making up for lost time, when he joined the prestigious 26th Royal Cavalry, one of the branch of the Jihan'Rei. He remained in active service with them until the age of twenty when Atreyu officially handed him Wentyn Castle to be his main residence.


At Wentyn, Rihani came into his own, out from under his father's shadow. He ran the castle and the nearby village with enthusiasm and vigour, and was known by the locals as a fair and just ruler. When he turned twenty three, he met the eighteen year-old Lady Alexia, of the ancient house of Gorenn, and was reportedly "instantly entranced" with her, as an observer noted at the time. They married that very year, and were apparently very happy with their new life together. Rihani ordered the construction of a garden at the rear of the castle, with exotic plants imported from as far as Ossetian trade ships could reach. He dedicated the garden to her and they still bear her name today. While she underwent training as the Neva'Reia, Rihani spent most of the following years at Reiza, as relations with the nearby Vermunn Empire were rapidly deteriorating. Both he and his father were determined not to back down and concede, however the Empire was a formidable opponent and the prospects of war were daunting. Nevertheless, war eventually broke out and the two princes dedicated themselves to working on every aspect of government that could help with the war. While Atreyu re-organised the country's finances so that they would be prepared for a long conflict (and introduced, for the first time, a tax on the nobility), Rihani worked long hour meeting many generals and military officials, trying to gain some advantage over their much stronger opponent.


Among the innovations introduced by Rihani was the use of military ships of the line in the first few military campaigns. While the Ossetian fleet was nowhere near the strength of the Empire's, it was capable of taking the fight to them if they could only thin the numbers down a little. Rihani, with Atreyu's approval, had several hundred trees cut down from the nearby Kirik Forest. The logs were pasted with tar and towed out to the harbour entrance by civilian ships which the army commandeered. They stayed hidden among the capital ships until the enemy fleet, supplied with troop ships, began to appear on the horizon. It was a near thing, but just as the Vermunn fleet came on together in a show of strength, the tide turned and the logs were set aflame, and left to drift out with the tide. The enemy commanders saw too late what was happening, and the massive gouts of flames that erupted from the first lines spread quickly among the tightly packed, evenly spaced ships. While the enemy was in sudden disarray, the Ossetian fleet, accompanied by the two princes, took the advantage and attacked. It was an utter disaster for the Empire, with close to three hundred enemy ships destroyed either by fire or Ossetian vessels. Only fifty eight made it back to Vermunn, while back in Ossetia the army prepared for the defense of the country.


Despite that victory, and several others both on sea and land, the war dragged on for twelve years. The neighbouring Hylian kingdom joined the war on Ossetia's side, despite the feeling of enmity on behalf of the Hylian people, in a mutual defense pact of the island against the Empire. Four years into the war, Atreyu died just before the birth of his grandchildren, the twin princesses Arien and Rislyn. Rihani was crowned ruling prince at Reiza, though mere weeks after this event the family had to move to Athlante Castle, a more secure location. Reiza Palace was never attacked during the war, but it did come close, and so the royal family's caution was wise. In the closing years of the war, Vermunn had only conquered a small portion of Ossetia and Hyrule, and despite several large-scale attempts, could move no further. The expense incurred by the war on all sides was enormous, and the new Emperor decided that the end didn't justify the means, and so he eventually pulled out of the war entirely. All of the land the Empire had captured was handed back, but only to Ossetia - Hyrule was ignored altogether. While Rihani did hand back much of this territory, he did not hand back a small, mountainous region close to the Ossetian border as it was during the war. It was a region renowned for it's large quantity of precious gems in the hillsides, and when it was not handed back, but instead suddenly protected by the Ossetian army, the Hylian people were furious. This would prove to be Rihani's biggest mistake.


Despite the common people of Ossetia and Hyrule banding together to defend each other during the war, once it ended and it was discovered that Ossetia had claimed the region for it's own, the old enmity came forth once more. Hylian nobles, unable to persuade the monarchy into a military solution, formed sectarian groups to discuss the problem. These groups, although non-violent at first, grew exponentially from small organisations dedicated to finding a solution to the problem, became a haven for anti-monarchists who used the reason to group together to level all the blame for Hyrule's ills on Ossetia, and what they saw as the weak, ineffective Hylian monarchy. The groups grew in number according to location, but three in particular in Satura were very large and determined on some form of action. One of these, the HLA, or Hylian Liberation Army, decided that Ossetia was too strong and the old balance of the two princedoms could never return. They decided that if the Ossetian royal family was killed, the entire military and social structure of the country would collapse, and Hyrule could take advantage of the situation. A plan was formulated, a message to the people of Ossetia and the royal family itself. Former members of the Hylian army, veterans of the war who had fought alongside Ossetians, were drafted into the group and given the task of assassinating the ruling prince, Rihani. At the time, the Crown Prince Edrel was known to be capable, but it was believed his strength would disappear when his father was killed. And so, the plan was put into action.


A mere two miles from Reiza Palace, the men given the task camped on either side of the road, hidden behind trees. Rihani made several visits to Feruche a year, and his next visit was scheduled for that day. When he indeed came riding out of the palace with a small escort of twelve knights of the Jihan'Rei, the Hylian men leapt into action, firing the primitive muskets of the day. The prince was immediately injured, though not fatally, in his left arm. Four knights collapsed in the initial firing and two were injured, while the others jumped from their horses and formed a protective circle around Rihani, swords and pistols drawn. While the Hylians charged from their hiding places, one of the knights, who was present for only one reason, fired two flaming arrows as high into the sky as he could. He was killed before he could fire the third, the traditional call for help, yet the two had been seen from Reiza Palace and two patrols, which were meeting one another on the grounds at the time, galloped immediately on the road out. Meanwhile, the battle between the surviving knights and the Hylians was fierce, with Rihani himself duelling with his sword held in his uninjured arm. Before the patrols could arrive to help, the prince was struck in his gut, and he collapsed against the back of the knight behind him. At first none of the knights believed that he had been hit, but he eventually slid to the ground, just as the patrols came galloping around the corner. The surviving Hylians fled and were cut down to a man. None survived, much to the chagrin of the Ossetian commanders.


Rihani was buried in the Dragon Crypt below Athlante Castle, in the spot preserved for him near his father. He was relatively liked by the people at the time of his death, as was his son Edrel, who would follow him to death a mere eight months later, by yet another ambush from the HLA.

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