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Princess Laris was the only daughter of the (unnamed-in-the-books) emperor ruling Cedonia during most of the time period that the Penric books take place in, and thus the half-sister of Prince (later Emperor) Mikal.

Laris was about the same age as Lady Tanar, so about 10 years younger than Penric.

She was the daughter of her father's first wife. Mikal's mother, Laris' father's third wife, was concerned that Laris or her potential husband might become her son's rival for the throne. Mikal's mother tried to prevent this by arranging for Laris to marry Lord Nao, who was 15 years older than her and had no support in the military. Despite the political nature of the marriage, Nao and Laris seemed happy with each other and worked well together. They had one child, a daughter.

Politically, Laris and Nao were opposed to Minister Methani, who considered them rivals for power. After the death of her uncle, Prince Ragat Lafoni, Laris and Nao feared that Methani planned to assume complete control of the country, probably killing them in the process. Lacking the military support they would need for a coup, they dispatched General Gria to recruit General Arisaydia onto their side.


Laris was described as having regular but not particularly beautiful features. She had the dark hair common to most Cedonians and the same strong nose as her father.