First in-strip reference to reincarnation!
Remembering past lives is a rare but real phenomenon in-universe. The people who can do it are called “long-runners”, and their social and legal status is…complicated. You’ve met one of them already — anybody care to guess who?
Leif: Who’s this “Leachtric” person, anyway?
Thorn: A central figure in Ceannic history!
You already know about Rhódon, right? In Sønheic she’s known as Rózsa . . .
Leif: Semi-mythical hero of your national epic? Inventor of the heartsword?
Thorn: That’s her!
Rhódon (traditional artistic depiction)
Rhódon (probably more historically accurate)
Thorn: Ceannis was a monarchy until a few centuries ago. The throne was mostly hereditary . . . except we had this rule, if you were found to be the reincarnation of Rhódon, you got to take it over.
Leif: Wait, how could they be sure? Wouldn’t every con artist on the continent pretend to remember their past life as —
Thorn: It’s not based on memory! It’s based on heartswords. A soul that’s been reincarnated will draw the same sword as the last go-around — whether they remember that life or not.
Leachtric drew the heartsword forged by Rhódon’s soul . . . and didn’t want to be Queen. For years, she kept the whole thing a secret.
When she finally stepped up, it was because the king had made a series of disastrous decisions. The public was pretty desperate for a new ruler.
But instead of doing a straightforward takeover, Leachtric announced that it was high time for the nation to be run by elected representatives, and would anyone like to help her work out a Constitution?
So they did! And hammered out a lot of the rough bits while she served as our first President.
For more details, see the musical.
Leif: Cool! Have there been any incarnations of Rózsa since?
Thorn: Not as far as the public knows! I like to think that’s a good sign. If we needed her, she’d come back. Since she hasn’t, we must be doing okay.