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Lady Shando Balut-Vernius is the former concubine of the 80th Padishah Emperor Elrood Corrino IX, the wife of Earl Dominic Vernius of Ix, and the mother of three biological children: Tyros Reffa, Prince Rhombur Vernius, and Princess Kailea Vernius-Atreides.
Small-boned and petite, she had a fragile porcelain-doll appearance. She had finely chiseled features, delicately pointed nose, and creamy skin with a regal beauty. She looked slight and delicate at first glance, but carried a toughness and resilience about her.
Former Imperial Concubine
Shando had been once the favorite Imperial concubine in the aging Padishah Emperor's Imperial harem on the planet Kaitain. Around 10130 AG, when the Earl Dominic Vernius and Duke Paulus Atreides fought together in the Ecaz Revolt as a former ally to Elrood, she bore him an illegitimate son named Tyros Reffa, who was secretly raised in adoption on Zanovar by House Taligari.
Dangerously, Dominic and Shando had fallen in love, but had kept their relationship secret for many months. It was clear that Elrood had lost interest in her after five years, and when she asked to be freed from service and to leave the Imperial Court, Elrood -- though perplexed -- had complied. He thought fondly of her, and saw no reason to deny her a simple request. They had enjoyed doing multilingual word puzzles together. Being a commoner, however, Shando simply wasn't suitable for him to marry.
The other concubines had thought Shando foolish to give up such riches and pampering, but she'd had enough of the lavish life and instead wanted a real marriage and children. Elrood, of course, would never take her as his wife.
As soon as she was freed from Imperial service, Dominic Vernius married her in 10138 AG, and they had completed their vows with minimal pomp and ceremony, but airtight legality.
Upon hearing that someone else wanted her, Elrood's male pride suddenly made him change his mind -- but it was too late. He had resented Dominic ever since, paranoid about what bedroom secrets Shando might be sharing with her husband.
The Landsraad, despite Elrood's petition to them, had refused to do anything about it since Dominic had married the girl and the Emperor never had any intention of doing so, being a commoner.
Shando and her family welcomed the young na-Duke Leto Atreides I, the only firstborn son of the Duke Paulus Atreides and Lady Helena Atreides, to their home planet Ix to study politics with their son, Prince Rhombur Vernius. They also hoped for a perfect match between him and their daughter, Princess Kailea Verius.
Her finely chiseled features, delicately pointed nose, and creamy skin suffused her appearance with a regal beauty that would have shone through even the most drab of garments. She looked slight and delicate at first glance, but carried a toughness and resilience about her.
House Vernius was later forced to go renegade, fleeing the Emperor's wrath. Before the beginning of the Great Spice War, the Lady Shando was hunted down by the Sardaukar and brutally executed on Bela Tegeuse right after her husband, Dominic went into hiding on the planet Arrakis and her other two children, Rhombur and Kailea took refuge on Caladan.