Basilissa Apollonia Eosopoulou the Cruel Picture

Apollonia II Eosopoulou more commonly known as Apollonia the Cruel or less commonly as Apollonia the Dark to distinguish her from the earlier Apollonia I Eosopoulou commonly called Apollonia the Kind or Apollonia the Light. Apollonia II was the oldest daughter of Basilissa Helen III Eosopoulou also known as Helen the Incapible or Helen the Weak, from an early age she displayed signs of troubling mental instability in the form of a short and infamously vicious an volatile temper.

This temperament and early signs of a gradually eroding sanity prompted Helen to take steps to remove her daughter from the line of succession in favour of her favourite niece Hypatia Eosopoulou of Alexandria, a plan which the then thirteen year old Apollonia telepathically picked upon days before the plan could be finalised and she official stripped of her status as heir. Helen was killed shortly afterwards with the blame been pointed at two of her younger sisters who well known for bullying the Basilissa and undermining her rule, in truth the well meaning but ill-suited young women was killed by hands of her daughter and sons who had been wraped around their sisters finger since childhood.

Upon her ascension to the Golden Phoenix Throne as the next Basilissa of the Basileia Rhomaion the young Apollonia was forced to appoint her aunt Helena IV Eosopoulou of Alexandria as her regent and co-ruler, a situation which secretly infuriated the young women. During the early years of her reign Apollonia was kept from exercising power as her aunt was locked in a bitter power struggle with the daughters of Helen III's sisters Clytemnestra and Cassiopeia who she had mistakenly executed for her murder.

When she finally reached the age of eighteen and was thus older and powerful enough to rightfully rule in her own right, Apollonia unceremoniously stripped her aunt of the regency and her co-rulership and infamously ordered her to return the Alexandria and never again set foot in Constantinople. Following this young Basilissa put her highly capable brother's Apollodoros and Artemidoros in charge of the Imperial Legions and tasked them with swiftly bringing her rebellious cousins to heel "a task which Helena had failed to accomplish due to proceeding to cautiously", a task which they accomplished within the next six months.

In an unprecedented act of ruthlessness Apollonia personally executed both of her rebellious cousins, their husbands and their young children an act with utterly exterminated their lines and shocked the empires nobility and social elites, in the face of condemnation the Basilissa loudly silenced her critics and detractors arguing that she was well within her rights as ruler of the Basileia Rhomaion and the divinely appointed heir of Persephone. When this failed to fully silence the more vocal of her detractors who condemned the murder of innocent children she responded by stating that she had committed no crime but rather had increased Rhomaions future security and stability by crushing a potential future rebellion before it had begun be leaving no one who could possibly seek revenge, ending another Eosopoulou blood feud before it had even begun.

This silenced of intimidated the remainder of her critics with the exception of her aunt Helena who continued to argue that the murder of children would never be justified and that by doing so Apollonia has damned her reign in the eyes of the Celestials and irredeemably tainted her line "in this case referring to her own descendants". Her patience running out Apollonia personally travelled across the Mediterranean to Alexandria to meet Helena in person, the resulting discussion and what took place during it are lost to history and subject to intense speculative by scholars and historians but the results were immediate as Helena ceased her criticism of her niece and withdrew from imperial politics for good and never again took part in any business of the imperial court while her oldest daughter and heir Hypatia returned with the Basilissa to Constantinople to assume to position of Maiden of Dawn which had been vacant for several years due to disagreement among the High Matriarchs of Celestium over who should assume the position "a situation made worse by disunity among cadet branches of the Eosopoulou family a list of daughters for potential candiates".

The next six years of Apollonia's reign would pace mostly peacefully and without incident although beneath the surface discontentment was rising with her heavy handed rule and whispers spread that the Basilissa had threatened her aunt and may have even been responsible for the murder of Helen III, rumors which Apollonia did nothing to quash now that she felt secure in her reign. During these first six years of her own rule the only events of real importance were the highly scandalous triple marriage of Apollonia to all three of her brothers an act that was utterly without precident, while incest even among siblings was somewhat common among the Eosopoulou dynasty and it's cadet branches and thus somewhat tolerated polyandry "and by extension polygamy" was not and many of the nobility were uncomfortable with the decision, especially since it removed any change of marrying one of the crown princes and thus any potential claims to the throne for many families.

The second event took the form of a rumour of strange disappearances in the Constantinople and the outlying cities of the capital, it was eventually dismissed "although in truth is was actually happening" as malicious slander against the Basilissa but it none the less scared the empires elites who were already scared by the sudden and mysterious death of Helena IV of Alexandria only months beforehand. Little did the Rhomaion know that next nine years of Apollonia's rule would be some of if not the darkest years in the empires history as the Basilissa's sanity incressingly started to slip and was replaced by outright cruelty and paranoia resulting in an incressingly unstable and tyrannical reign.

The War of the Three Basilissa's or as it is unofficially known and the War of Truth and Justice was on the horizon and it would shake the Basileia Rhomaion to it's very core as it brought it closer then ever before to the brink of destruction. For more on Apollonia II and the War of the Three Basilissa's please see the more indepth codex dedicated to Apollonia the Cruel's Reign.

This is part of my Dawnverse alternate historical fantasy project which is itself part of a great multiverse I've created which also contains Solar Strife and Britannia Rules the Stars among others. All of my work is in constant flux and revision so updates are slow, few and far between.
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