Lady Phanca was the mother of Emperor Velenus IV, who reigned roughly 700 years ago. She was noted for having an unusual amount of influence over her son, directing many of his policies from behind the scenes. Her most enduring legacy is the Ardishapur Decree.
Born Phanca Matricus, the third daughter of a high-ranking noble family, Lady Phanca was not presented with much opportunity by her family. The young woman was far more ambitious than her birth order allowed her. She frequently chafed against the restrictions her family placed on her, including attempts to push her into joining the church, and looked for ways to advance her own station.
Her opportunity arose when her family decided to enter into a political marriage with the Kador Family. Originally, it was her elder brother who would marry a daughter of the Kador Family, but the brother balked at the proposed wife. Phanca stepped in, agreeing to marry a Kador son in exchange. Her proposal was accepted and she married into the Heir Family.
Lady Phanca's husband was reportedly untalented and unmotivated, and despite her efforts he remained unimportant in history. He did give her a son, however, whom she named Velenus after a former Kador Emperor. She immediately began to assert her dominance over Velenus.
According to all reports, Lady Phanca pushed her son to rise to great heights. Though the boy inherited his mother's talents, he also was cursed with his father's lack of ambition. It was only his mother's dominance that caused him to rise through the Family ranks. She worked in the shadows to advance his cause, while exerting her authority over him.
As the mother of the Emperor, Phanca began to use her influence over her son to affect Imperial policy. Velenus IV mostly acceded to his mother's demands. As she aged, she became far more strict and shrewish, leading to some rather capricious edicts.
The most notable, and lasting edict, is the Ardishapur Decree. Lady Phanca had a pet furrier that had been her companion for several years. She doted over it, lavishing it with gifts and attention. She allowed the creature to run free, which often caused distress to those around her, who said nothing in fear of risking the woman's wrath.
During a visit to the Ardishapur royal palace, Lady Phanca allowed the furrier to run amok across the dinner table. The animal began to harass Uri Ardishapur, the son of the Ardishapur Heir. The young man was impetuous and hot-headed and he struck the creature, knocking it from the table and breaking its neck.
Lady Phanca was furious. She persuaded her son to pass an edict that the young man, and all his descendants, would have the offending hand amputated. The Ardishapur Family, always conservative and loyal, accepted without complaint and Uri Ardishapur lost his right hand. However, the Family replaced it with a silver cybernetic prosthetic, as no such rule against it had been created. Since then, the Family has taken the silver prosthetic as a badge of honor.
Lady Phanca outlived her son by several decades. The next Emperor found her meddling bothersome, so he exiled her back to the Kador Family palaces, essentially cutting her off from the Emperor Family. She continued to exert what limited influence she had over her servants.
In her later years, she began to suffer from dementia. Her demands became increasingly erratic and troublesome and her family mostly humored the old woman as much as they could without revealing her troubles to the public. She reportedly died peacefully in her sleep.