The first one was a noblewoman who held the title of First Adviser to the Empress for much of the early part of the Empire. She was, for a large part of that time, the power behind the throne. She engineered the restoration of the various Kasshi monarchies and their reunification into the Kasshi Empire, with the former Queen of Ivets as the new Empress.
Anyways, I now have a full name for her: Dzesa Tsalenekh of Kithel in Heart-of-Darvet. For most purposes, that can be shortened to Dzesa Tsalenekh of Kithel.
Explanation of the name:
Dzesa is her given name
Tsalenekh is a matronymic, the suffix -kh (-ka after consonants) means "child of", thus her mother's name was Tsalene (it can also be added to the father's name, and children frequently use both, connected by the conjunction ku (or qu' before vowels) meaning "and", but in adulthood one is chosen.
Kithel is her House, a sort of extended family, generally consisting of all descendants of a common living ancestor/ancestress, who is Head of the House, or a group of siblings (one of whom is Head of the House) whose parents are dead and their descendants. Rarely any more distant relatives. When the Head dies, generally one of their children becomes the new Head, and the new Head's siblings break off to form new Houses (thus, a person's House name can change over their life time)
Heart-of-Darvet indicates her Branch and Clan. Everyone belongs to a Clan divided into various Branches. Commoners usually leave out this last part, and even nobles leave it out in informal contexts. "Heart of" indicates that she is of the core of the clan, the leading Branch. The head of that Branch is also the head of the Clan (although in modern times, that's a largely honorary position, Clan and Branch leaders don't really have any power over the members of those Clans or Branches)
I'm still working out what her noble titles were.
Dzesa was a historian who, in her youth, had fought in a war that I'm still a bit hazy on. In this war, she was severely injured and came close to death. She survived, but was left paralyzed from the waist down, and had a large scar on her face, and possibly some other scars.
While in the hospital, she became obsessed with the idea of Kasshi Reunification and anti-democracy/anti-capitalism. She believed in a doctrine called Popular Monarchism which is something similar to constitutional monarchy, but with a powerful monarch and a parliament reduced to an advisory role.
She became convinced that she had been chosen by divine providence to reunite the Kasshi peoples and wrote numerous books and pamphlets agitating for this, organizing pro-unification groups, which eventually became the Yatta ("Heritage") Party.
Her major book, The History of the Kasshi Peoples, came to the attention of Tarana Maretska, heir to the defunct Throne of Ivets, who met with her. They joined forces and rallied their followers to vote in pro-monarchist politicians in their various nations or, where that didn't work, to organize monarchist revolutions. In rapid succession, one after another republic fell, and Tarana became Queen of Ivets.
Dzesa had fallen in love with Tarana. I'm not sure yet if the feelings were mutual, but Dzesa definitely loved Tarana. She also arranged for her son to be married to Tarana's daughter, Chara. Eventually their dream came true and the various Kasshi states began negotiating a treaty of unification. But shortly before the treaty was finalized, Tarana died in a tragic car accident. Her daughter succeeded her as Queen of Ivets and, once the treaty was ratified, Empress. Chara was still in adolescence and Dzesa, as her First Adviser, reigned from behind the throne. Some conspiracy theorists claim that Dzesa had Tarana killed, but this is false. Dzesa loved Tarana deeply. Though Tarana never actually reigned as Empress, she is sometimes considered the first Empress of the modern Empire. Chara Taranakh had a long reign before abdicating in her daughter (Chara Charakh)'s favor at the age of 100 (in their years, around 71 in Earth years), establishing a tradition of abdicating at 100.
She was strongly nationalistic, and sought to strengthen the Kasshi Empire, once formed, and expand it. She was, however, nominally anti-colonialist, and used language of "enlightening" and "protecting", claiming to be temporarily administrating other cultures "for their own good" (of course, in practice it was simple colonialism with no intent to grant independence)