- "Peace is a fine thing, but war is the crucible of crowns."
- ―Queen Elizabeth Alban of Callow
Elizabeth Alban, also known as Queen of Blades, is one of the most renowned Callowan monarchs. She reigned as part of the Alban Dynasty and expanded the borders of Callow by three Principalities. She was assassinated by the Watch during her invasion of the Kingdom of Daoine.
Despite of her nickname, Elizabeth’s Name was Queen of Callow. It’s likely her Name was of a martial bent as she was best known for her prowess as a general. Indeed, Catherine Foundling has compared herself to the ancient queen a couple of times.
The exact time of her reign is unknown however she was a contemporary of Dread Empress Regalia I, as part of the Alban dynasty. From this, we can conclude she ruled sometime in between 1300 and 800 years before the story started. The length of her rule has not been explicitly stated.
The Queen of Blades holds many accolades to her name. So many, in fact, that it’s chronologically impossible for her to have lived through them all. She’s widely considered as the greatest general Callow has produced and has never been defeated in battle.
Her victories in battle and war are numerous. They include defeating a Liessen rebellion, repelling two Praesi invasions - one involving Regalia’s flying fortress - and conquering three principalities of what later became Procer - two of which were Bayeux and Orne.
Elizabeth has also had a significant impact on the military development of Callow. She's established on order called the Forlorn Hope, which would take criminals, traitors and deserters to use them as the first line in in the most brutal engagements. This would later inspire Catherine Foundling to raise her own order known as the Gallowborne. The flying fortress used by Regalia fell down on Laure and its remains have been used to rebuild the royal palace. She's also established a tradition known as the steel avenue, when Callowan knights salute the reigning monarch by baring their blades and creating an avenue of swords under which the monarch can pass.
Arguably, her only failure has been her invasion of Daoine. The Deoraithe had made great use of guerrilla tactics, ambushes and night attacks to prolong the war to two years and generally avoided engaging in open battles. When Praes attacked Callow for the second time during her reign, she retreated and planned to invade for the second time. The Watch assassinated her in Laure before this could take place. Many historians believe that in another year she might have won anyway by forcing a decisive battle at the capital of Daoine.
- “Do not ever speak of victory before the last foe is dead.”
- “Oh, give me a bloodthirsty, fire-and-brimstone conquering villain any day. It’s the schemers you have to watch out for.”
- “Peace is a fine thing, but war is the crucible of crowns."
- “Fear is the mother of character. Without it we remain children until death.”
- “No one ever won a war by being shy.”
- "War separates the wheat from the chaff."
- “Everything happens for a reason, and this time the reason is that I godsdamned said so.”
- WOG: https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/chapter-47-and-justice-for-all/comment-page-1/