Because it was right, because they could, because no one else would.
Because We Must.
Gods Above, let that be enough.
Cordelia Hasenbach is the First Prince of the Principate of Procer and the main driving force behind starting the Tenth Crusade. She has been opposing Dread Empress Malicia since age 13, and serves as Malicia's main non-Praesi opponent from Book 1.
Her Most Serene Highness Cordelia Hasenbach, First Prince of Procer, Prince of Rhenia and Princess of Salia, Warden of the West and Protector of the Realms of Man, was born the heir of Rhenia before taking the title of First Prince.
Cordelia is Lycaonese and comes from a long line of warriors that have dedicated their lives to defending their borders against the Ratlings and the Kingdom of the Dead with sword and shield. Cordelia wields different weapons. Her chosen weapon is diplomacy and the most devastating parts of her arsenal are her intelligence and charisma, matched with her encyclopedic knowledge of parliamentary procedure.
Cordelia has dedicated her life to Procer, and deeply believes in its principles and ideals. While extremely aware of its many flaws, Cordelia believes that Procer can be more.
Procer Civil War (The Great War)
At age 13, Cordelia realised that the Civil War in Procer was unnatural. She spent several years searching for the cause and discovered, with the help of her cousin the Augur, that Dread Empress Malicia had initiated and was prolonging her country's civil war.
Cordelia obtained proof that Malicia had been extending Procer's Civil War - known as The Great War by Procerans - by funding different Proceran rulers (through intermediaries) in order to deepen sectional hatreds between the provinces and destroy Procer as a nation. Cordelia warned the rest of the Principiate about the fact that the Dread Empress was funding their causes. The other rulers refused to listen and continued to take the gold of the Dread Empire.
In order to end the civil war and preserve Procer as a nation, Cordelia went to war for the crown of First Prince. After a little over a year of fighting, Cordelia's uncle and General, Klaus Papenheim, helped Cordelia win the Civil War. At age 19, Cordelia Hasenbach became First Prince of Procer.
First Prince (Book 1-3)
Cordelia spent her first years trying to rebuild Procer from the Civil War, and prepare to strike back at Praes - Freeing Good-aligned Callow in the process. To her dismay, she learned that Procer over the years had alienated every other Good-aligned nation on the continent. This made gaining much needed allies extremely difficult.
During Book 2 and 3, Cordelia managed to establish enough diplomatic ties with Ashur and Levant to gain support for the Tenth Crusade against The Empire Praes and the newly re-emerging Kingdom of Callow. By doing so they also form the Grand Alliance between those three nations.
Book 4 - Tenth Crusade
Book 4 sees the Tenth Crusade start off by trying to invade Callow. This was done using only Proceran troops attacking from two fronts. Notably, Cordelia gathered her most ardent political supporters in one of said fronts, undoubtedly hoping to at least curb some of them in the process, while the other front was lead by her uncle Klaus Papenheim.
Cordelia's hope of weakening her most powerful noble opponents takes a sharp decline after the Battle of the Camps, where Amadis Milanan's new status of hostage makes him untouchable, while Rozala Malanza emerges as one of the most promising new generals of her generation.
The other front at the Red Flower Vales has things go less than ideal for the Grand Alliance, in a battle that ends with a duel between Warlock and the Witch of the Woods ruining most the area and trapping the Black Knight and a number of his troops on the wrong side of the pass.
With short warning from Catherine Foundling, the second part of Book 4 sees a sharp refocus of the tenth crusade, to defend man against the Dead King.
Things start to go really bad for Cordelia with the Black Knight ravaging Procer, and not being brought to justice - despite being in the hand of the Grand Alliance's named heroes. Add to that the Proceran Holies making a power grab, other royals working to undermine her power, as well as Cordelia accepting temporary truce with the Black Queen, and things eventually implodes for Cordelia in Salia.
Book 5 - Salia
Cordelia survives a direct rebellion and assassination attempt against her during the Salian Rebellion, that takes place over just a day. During this Cordelia turns down the offer of a Name for herself. Twice.
The Names believed to be turned down was Warden of the West (Above) and First Prince (below), with the first being much harder to deny for her than the second.
Book 6 - Arsenal
After the Salia peace talks, Cordelia become the reformed Grand Alliance's main diplomatic pull. Working from behind the lines to secure war funding, get provisions and gear to the front lines and make sure non-affected Principalities of Procer also supports the war efforts.
Cordelia is a tall, blond and blue-eyed woman in her twenties (26 as of Book 4). She has a warrior's frame with broad shoulders, but usually tries to appear more dainty (as is fashionable in Procer) by wearing flattering dresses. Cordelia takes great care to project an impeccable appearance and will always present herself with perfect hair, makeup and clothing. She has a fondness for blue dresses, and her blond hair is usually set in curls or ringlets.
Catherine describes Cordelia's looks as average and states that the most striking parts of Cordelia have been created through careful artifice. However, Catherine notes that although Cordelia is not a great beauty she is incredibly compelling, and her charisma and presence are such that she pulls people into her orbit.
Cordelia has a permanent burn of the symbol of laurels on her palm. She acquired this burn after preventing the White Knight from rendering judgement, by snatching his coin out of the air, mid-flip. It was during this instance that Cordelia refused the grant of a Name from both Above and Below.
Klaus Papenheim: Cordelia's uncle, Prince of Hannoven and her foremost general. The most experienced living general on Calernia. He was vital in securing Cordelia's title as First Prince during the Civil War in Procer. He is her closest advisor and staunch loyalist, though Cordelia frequently finds petty ways to annoy him when he displeases her.
As of recent books, a slight split has grown between them as Klaus was unwilling to chase the Legions-in-exile through the Proceran heartlands, writing them off in exchange for a better strategic position. A split that further widened when Cordelia threatened to charge him with treason should he march his army to defend his home of Hannoven instead of the more strategically inclined Hainaut.
Agnes Hasenbach: Cordelia's cousin and Oracle. An odd, lonely girl who was shunned by others but whom Cordelia took care to spend time with even before Agnes acquired the Name of the Augur. Cordelia is shown to both care for and trust Agnes, ensuring that her cousin is happy and that her needs for solitude and isolated gardens are met. Agnes is Cordelia's most valuable asset and continues to provide Cordelia guidance, even though Agnes acknowledges that she is slowly losing her grip on sanity, as is the curse of most oracles.
It's hinted by Agnes in "Interlude: And Yet We Stand" that Agnes lost her parents, after which Cordelia took Agnes into her household as family. Interestingly, Cordelia herself never thinks about this in her POV chapters, implying that while Agnes was greatly impacted by this act of kindness, Cordelia's personality is such that she assumed the responsibility without any expectation of repayment.
Friedrich Papenheim: Cordelia's relative. He would have been Klaus's heir and the Prince of Hannoven had Klaus not declared Cordelia to be his heir. Cordelia is incredibly grateful that Friedrich never seemed to resent her for the usurpation of his birthright. At Cordelia's coronation as First Prince, she wore a leather and ratling teeth bracelet that Friedrich gave her, for luck, after Klaus declared her his heir.
After Friedrich's death, Cordelia hides his final letter to her under her dress, in order to carry it with her.