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Aldata of Tesso was born the first daughter of a prominent fishmonger in the Duchy of Tesso, a then prosperous port along the banks of the St Montaigne River that has since undergone a severe decline.  As the Hereditary Grand Master of the Guild of Fishmongers in that community, her father held the Second Seat on the Council of Twelve, the one always reserved for the Grand Master of the Guild of

Fishmongers, as his Aunt had before him
Hilda

Aldata of Tesso

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Due to the unique form of uterine primogeniture practioned in the Duchy, her father went through great lengths to protect her from the many eligible bachelors seeking her hand. To ensure the continuation of his vast fortunes and the hereditary character seat on the Council of the Twelve, he ensured she became an Oblate of the Order of St. Montaigne and underwent extensive classical training in the Seven Mystical Arts, with no expectation that she would show any aptitude for what was considered an antiquated education with little application for the modern world.

Yet she soon excelled at many of them, and in time, alongside her theological studies, she became not only learned Doctress of the Faith, able to hold rapt audience to capacity with her sermons, and lecturing priests, monks, viziers, and dukes from around the Experimental Duchies, she also had excelled in the musical arts as well as the magical, often times combining both into fluid performances where musical notes could be drawn out into flames of many colors enrapturing audiences with their audacity, their beauty, and their power. Her success initially inspired her father and made him quite proud. Yet, when the time would come for him to abdicate his position as Grand Master of the Guild of Fishmongers, she refused, putting his entire succession plan in jeopardy.

Rather than accept appointment as Grand Mistress of the Fishmongers, Aldata instead was successfully ordained as an Abbess of the Priory of the Order of St. Montaigne, a grand castle in the hillside on the outskirts of the Duchy, where she had been assigned by her father in the first place. She quickly took up the staff of the order, managed it competently, governed it by ordoist economic principles, and soon became as well known for her moral, ethical, and political orations, now backed up by her musical performances and divinely inspired flame casting abilities.

Her lectures against the ancient guild system, in favor of freedom of movement and choice in employment combined with communitarian ownership of the land, the commodities it generated, and the property controlled by the Guilds marked her as a threat to the order from whence she arose. Her father protected her and tried to assuage his many colleagues on the Council that she was just a misunderstood girl, enraptured by a fanatical fervor in her faith, and reluctantly agreed to confine her under house arrest to the order. He utilized a rarely invoked insanity clause to judicially strip her of inheritance which would now fall to her niece, the daughter of her younger brother.

When the order of her confinement was decreed, she reluctantly agreed to stay within her priory and it seemed like a period of peace was at hand. The priory, now full of devoted followers of the Abbess, soon became entirely self-sufficient, and soon retreated from contact with the outside world. These followers were schooled in orodoist economic principles, as well as the acts of musical flame conjuring that the Abbess had become renowned for. Additionally, they became entirely proficient in the arts of agriculture and their brewing techniques are still a subject of great legend. As the port of Tesso began to get overtaken in prominence by rival duchies, the decline in its trading and economic power soon created a famine, as their dependency on imported food soon created a surge in the price of once basic commodities. The Guild of Bakers was the first to disband, after several centuries of continuous operation, due to the lack of wheat and raw supplies. Many guilds would follow, once the Guild of Brewers collapsed into bankruptcy, the townsfolk became increasingly desperate and erratic .

Due to the generosity of her spirit of faith, Aldata came out of her court ordered sequestration, riding a horse and carrying a mitre, followed by what seemed like an army of nuns following her every command. They rode into town and distributed grain, beer, and food to the weary populace. While the people were gracious, her niece, and other members still sitting on the reduced Council representing the Guild’s left standing, were not so eager for this relief or to surrender power. The Abbess soon began resuming her preaching and lecturing, and demanded a free vote on what kind of system could save the town from its own destruction.

Accounts of what happened next have been recounted in ballads and songs centuries later.  It is difficult for scholars of this period to ascertain exactly what happened, as many of the contemporaneous accounts were surely consumed in the Great Fire. What is certain, is that the Guild Masters, fearing an uprising, ordered troops to put down the Abbess’ assembly in the middle of the square during the middle of her lecture. Seeing the forces of power arrayed against her valiant effort to free the people from starvation and self-imposed famine, she finally willed her followers with the right musical note alerting them to the threat.

Immediately, the nuns began burning everything in their path, conjuring the fire with their musical power, and destroying the vast mercenary armies that had been contracted to put them down. After defeating the armies, the Abbess and her forces then incinerated the fleeing Guild Masters in their path, and incinerated the boats they were fleeing to. As soon as the fires consumed her opponents, the Abbess than boldly proclaimed to the people that they were now free to do as they will. And with that, according to legend, she burst into a flaming dove and flew away.