"It took us a thousand years to put Finubar on the throne. He was the first Phoenix King ever to come from Lothern. You have no idea how difficult it was to make him that. The work began long before Finubar was born. The princes of the Old Kingdoms objected to it, of course. They have had a monopoly on the throne since before the time of Caledor the Conqueror. Aenarion was the only one they never had a say in the choosing of. It's always been one of their own they made ruler."
Lord Emeraldsea, to Tyrion[1c]

Patriarch of his House, Lord Emeraldsea was a tall and thin asur, and quite the oldest elf Tyrion - his grandson - had ever met when he and Teclis arrived in Lothern, XI 10. Blue veins were visible in the ancient hands. His hair was the colour of spun silver, his eyes cold and grey as the northern sea before a storm. Despite his age, Lord Emeraldsea was found even taller than Tyrion, the patriarch walking with a straightness of back and air of command that one would find in a sea captain. Tyrion had found these traits all reminiscent of the sea, the first time the twins met him having been a cold reception. Indeed, their grandfather had scrutinized them with equally cold eyes, as though he were appraising them of their worth before placing them atop the scales in the back of his mind. Even his smile proved wintry when Teclis countered his mockery of frailty. Between the youth and the merchant lord, the air crackled as the gaze of two elves of extraordinarily strong will locked on each other. This earned Teclis a measure of respect, his grandfather pleased to know that Teclis was not feeble of wit, but when Emeraldsea warned the boy not to try his goodwill - Teclis reminded him that the nobleman was talking to a prince of Ulthuan.[1a]

In time, Lord Emeraldsea came to explain the significance of Finubar's ascension to the Phoenix Throne. Despite both Finubar's and Emeraldsea's Houses being both of ancient lineage, when Kingdoms were first founded, the princes of Ulthuan detested Finubar because he came from Lothern. When Tyrion pointed out that Lord Emeraldsea was not of princely blood - and when Emeraldsea found the youth statement clean of mockery and pride - the patriarch explained that while Tyrion's words were true, nowhere was it written, nowhere did the gods dictate, that Ulthuan's rulers must be of that blood. Indeed, in the past, some of them were not, some were simple scholars or warriors. All, however, were chosen by a council of princes, selected from candidates put forward by them, usually because the princes felt they could control them, or because they were in the debt of one prince or another.[1c]

Tyrion felt his faith being tampered with, the prince having always believed that the Phoenix Kings were chosen from the best asur available, with the best interests of Ulthuan at heart. When he told Lord Emeraldsea how sordid it all felt, the patriarch told him that all the workings of the machinery of power look sordid when viewed up close. And they are, but that didn't mean they were a bad thing. He went on to say that was why Malekith was not their ruler, like he was with the Dark Elves. At once, Tyrion understood, saying Malekith wanted to be the single absolute ruler like Aenarion had been, and because the princes wouldn't allow him to be. Instead, they chose one of their own to make the point.[1c]

Lord Emeraldsea expression became gratified at how quick Tyrion came to understand. The patriarch would continue on, explaining that, in a way, Malekith wanted more power than Aenarion ever really had. Aenarion was a war leader, accepted as such because in times of danger it is necessary to have a clear line of command. "Any ship's captain can tell you that." Malekith wanted the same power as Aenarion held in war in peacetime, or rather his mother wanted that for him, or so it seemed at first. The Asur system is as much about preventing that sort of tyranny as it is about the exercise of power. The Dark Elves have a different system, and one can see what that has brought them to.[1c]


  • According to Malene, Lord Emeraldsea does not like the harmony of his household to be disturbed, claiming he is not as tolerant as she is.[1a][1b]
  • Lord Emeraldsea likes to use a telescope on the balcony of his office to study the ships in Lothern's harbour.[1c]
  • After confronting Tyrion about the prince's duel with Larien, Lord Emeraldsea promised that if the noble killed Tyrion, his vengeance on the lordling would be one that elves would tell of for a thousand years. This was not only because the youth was his grandson, but also because the patriarch hoped to groom Tyrion into being Finubar's successor some day.[1c]
  • By the time of XI 110, Lord Emeraldsea is noted as having passed away, leaving Malene to take his place as head of the House.[2a]


  • 1: Blood of Aenarion (Novel), by William King
    • 1a: Chapter 10
    • 1b: Chapter 11
    • 1c: Chapter 21
  • 2: Sword of Caledor (Novel), by William King
    • 2a: Chapter 8

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