Mirdael Hanaestor is the ruler of the land of Hanaellan, in the shadow of the Thair Mountains. He formerly held the title of Duke of Semmarch, one of the ten duchies of the White Alliance, but withdrew his lands from that pact about three years ago.
The Pallianor family
Mirdael's family was instrumental in the founding of the alliance itself in the time leading up to the Wars of Arin. Mirdael's grandfather was Morley Pallianor, the first president of the White Council, and his father, Madricus Pallianor, was Morley's second son and a wizard of some repute. His cousin, Marcus Pallianor, is the current Duke of Morelenas.
Madricus had always been an adventurer, which gave his wife, Nelestra, no end of grief. On those occasions when he was home, things were quite happy, and the two had three children, Mirdael, Malzin and Mortimer. In an attempt to get him to settle down, he was officially given the title of Duke of Emmerdale by his father, but it had little effect. When Nelestra was pregnant with Mortimer, Madricus died while adventuring. Mirdael, who was three years old at the time, was the most affected.
The family moved to Morelenas to stay with Milvey, his father's younger brother. At the time, Lord Morley was seeking to strengthen the bonds between the southern Kellan and the region of Hanellan in the north. One of the chief diplomats was Leadro Hanaestor, son of Duke Lawrence Hanaestor and a powerful landholder from Byngh, the largest city in Hanaellan. He and Nelestra were married when Mirdael was six years old, and the family took his name and moved to Byngh, where Mirdael grew up. In honor of this, the land of Emmerdale was merged into Hanaellan, and the combined region was called the Duchy of Semmarch, giving Lawrence a seat on the White Council.
When Mirdael came of age, like many of his family members he joined the White Army. The Wars of Arin were coming to an end, so Mirdael never saw combat. Shortly thereafter, he left the army and became a fixture at court. As the heir to the Duchy of Semmarch, he often attended parties all across Kellan, and spent much of his time at Tremasset, which during that time was a haven for the disaffected nobility. It was there he met his future wife, Cliana, who he discovered also lived in Byngh.
Family vs. family
Husband and father
Over the next few years while continuing to live in Tremasset, Mirdael and Cliana had two sons, Ballion and Saraton. Sadly, however, Cliana died in childbirth along with his unborn third son. He never discusses the incident to this day, and has been known to become angered if his late wife's name is mentioned.
After Cliana's death, Mirdael returned to Byngh with his sons to live with his mother and stepfather. By now, Lawrence Hanaestor had passed away, and Leadro had the seat of the duchy moved to Byngh, although it was still called the Duchy of Semmarch. As time went on, Mirdael seemed to grow content with his life, but that was about to change.
When Leadro died six years ago, Mirdael officially became the Duke of Semmarch. As such, he kept as his livery the colors of the Hanaestor family rather than that of the Pallianors. His brother, Malzin, who had been a member of Leadro's court, had a major falling out over it. Malzin claimed that the title he had inherited was rightfully that of Madricus, not Leadro. Mirdael was angered, and had him banished from the duchy. Mortimer, now a prominent shopkeeper in Byngh, has attempted in the intervening years to soften his brother's feelings, but thus far to no avail.
Withdrawal from the Alliance
Something deeper seemed to have changed for Mirdael after that. While his sons Ballion and Saraton are both advisors to his court, he began keeping counsel with nobility from outside his family. Chief among these was Kaputo Smarmilor, a disgraced former officer in the White Army, upon whom he bestowed the title Earl of Salkis. Although he was not in good graces with the Alliance, Kaputo was beloved in his hometown of Wilkarren, the largest in the eastern part of the country, and his support for Mirdael meant that region would follow him as well.
After a short time, it became clear that he was maneuvering to leave the White Alliance for reasons that are even now not fully understood. This began when he chose to begin using Hanaellan as the name for the duchy rather than Semmarch, and even changed the official name of the land, which was still known as Emmerdale. Lukus the Blue sent emissaries to determine the issues, but they were turned away, and soon, with the support of the eastern region the split became official.
Since then, he has been recruiting other nobles, both from within the alliance as well as from the MidLands, to join him in a new confederation, arguing that the White Alliance has outlived its usefulness. Thus far, he has met with some success, mostly with petty nobles from the area around Semmarch. He would dearly love to bring Nazivonema into the fold, at least some other part of Idrellan, but that goal has proven elusive.