Current ruler of Sussenia, Mikel resides in the manor at Castle Doune in Salusa. He belongs to a family line that has been unbroken since before the Lost Wars, and he is the first since the defiant Monty Pallin to also be a member of the legendary Pale Souls.
Mikel’s father Grahm, had twenty sons, and despite what other leaders would fashion as luck, he gained suspicion which became paranoia. Year after year, his wife, and then his successive wives — each dying in childbirth, but producing live and virile male heirs exclusively — proffered a new heir to the Pallin line. When adolescence began for his eldest, they began to fight, and bring to Grahms attention that he had an entitled lot. Each bemoaned his right to succeed Grahm as Pallin, rightful ruler of Sussenia. Each conflict brought Grahm’s own mortality in clearer and clearer view, and death was not a prospect he wanted to entertain. Nor did he want to splinter his kingdom, parceling what would be twenty successor kingdoms out to his progeny. And should he choose, it was clear that the others would fight and undermine the decision.
One day, Grahm was discussing a spike in mortality of the recent crop of recruits with his warmaster when the solution came to him: his sons would follow in the rightful tradition of Pallins. They would train, and they would show what strength the bloodline had, the very people who had invented and revealed the power of a Pale Soul. They would succeed, or die trying. Typically, adepts would ‘marsh out,’ and leave the training maimed in some irreparable way, but balk from the exit of death. That was not an option for his sons. He didn’t consider what would happen if multiple survived, which mathematically, he should have had five to seven deadly warriors to choose from at the end, rather than twenty insistent kids. Yet, maybe the bloodline had been watered down over the ages. Only one survived: Mikel.
The transition of power was seamless, though Grahm became introverted and suspicious that his hardened son would kill him in his sleep in his later and senile years, but there was no need and Mikel was not bent that way. Pale Souls do not bend. Mikel rules perfunctorily from the manor house, but only for dignitaries and envoys, and much prefers working in the yard and marshes. He has taken personal experience and made some minor changes to the training program and acts as warmaster-in-chief.
In the five years since Mikel’s ascension to the crown — a steel javelin which has been wrapped around ontop of itself four times — the product of Castle Doune has been noticeably harder, determined and with a razor-fine edge. Similarly, in those five years, there has not been a single fractious event in Sussenia, despite the history of pocket upheaval and break away families.