Prince Aiden Grayson
You are going to lose some of your feathers along the way, but it doesn't have to stop you from soaring.
Description: While this man boasts a rangy build that stands him to 6'1" tall, it's the incredibly light gray eyes creating a dynamic contrast against his light mocha complexion which steals the show. These gray eyes are tucked underneath thick brows and set above prominent cheek bones that soften downward into leveled cheeks and an angular jawline, face being tipped at the end with a jutting round chin. Aiden's expression is often intense and focused. When he smiles it lights up his face and makes him appear boyish that a lack of facial hair adds to. As for hair, it is black with spiraled tips turning a shade of chestnut as it hangs around in a riot of springy curls that are often home to feathers or bits of down. He doesn't have a particularly muscular build but neither is he overtly skinny. He has the build of one who spends time outdoors, but does not devote his life to physical training. His hands and arms are home to a lattice work of scars from avian talons.
Personality: Aiden is an extroverted introvert, to put it simply. There will be situations that he'll be a man of few words; words that when they come out, are laconic in fashion. It isn't that he hates people, rather, social situations can grow to be too complex and he loses interest or focus easily - or simply put, he finds them emotionally exhausting. People have far more subtle cues that he doesn't fully grasp, and in large crowds, this is entirely overwhelming for him. Certainly he will turn into a wallflower or simply leave when at his limit.
Instances where he becomes a focal point of a social function are often inherently linked with a passion for the subject matter, drawing on his own expertise and beliefs that tend to showcase his intellect. And let it be known, when he's determined, he tends to follow through with his actions. When Aiden is 'on' socially he has the energy to enjoy conversation, to be bubbly, to be amiable, which surprisingly means he manages to be a sufficient public speaker, as long as he's prepared. He can also exude a quiet confidence that is strikingly commanding when presented.
Furtherto, he's grown up enjoying the company of his birds, finding them and other animals to be more unconditional and simple to be with. Birds are easy; look at how their feathers move to gauge their moods. If he gets pecked at, it was his fault! Sometimes with people, nuances of subtle emotions go over his head and he spends days trying to riddle them out. Respectively, he's at peace and contented in the company of his feathered friends or his fur-bearing buddies.
In sum, Aiden is genuinely kind, has a big heart, and is gentle in nature. He abhors conflict although objectively tolerates what must be part of the world.
Background: Born the middle child of Prince Rodric Grayson and the Lady Daniela Bisland, Aiden Grayson was raised alongside siblings Ainsley and Ailys in Bastion. From the start Aiden was a quiet child and often considered the 'odd duck' by the others, adult and child alike. Friendship wasn't easy for a child who would barely manage to speak a word under pressure; a problem which often escalated into him becoming a target to be pushed around.
Ainsley would take exception to that and eventually ensured that most would leave his brother alone, which tightened their bond at an early age. For in return, while young, Aiden became the unofficial squire for his brother and would care take after Ainsley on days when his brother would push himself too far. Or there were other times that Aiden would find ways to get Ainsley out of trouble with their parents if his brother did something rash, usually at his own expense. His loyalty to Ainsley was unquestionable.
Aloof and introverted as Aiden was from early on, he was a relatively good child, save for those instances that Ainsley wasn’t around to protect him. That’s when he’d run off, hide,, and cause his parents and caretakers grief. It would be his sister Ailys that knew where his hiding holes were, either in the forest, the mews, or some safe place in the house. She’d spend hours at his side when he was anxious like this, offering him teas and sweets, until he was ready to come back out of hiding. But it was not unheard of that there were a few nights he slept where he hid, likely to teach him a lesson.
His parents undoubtedly then, were harder on their ‘odd duck’ for his father could ill afford to have a son that couldn’t live up to the Grayson name. Aiden was subjected to long days and nights of tutoring, in states-craft, politics, and history, and topics that would make him a capable mind if he wasn’t physically following his brother’s footsteps as a warrior. His parents were quite aware that he wasn’t ever going to pick up a sword, much to Rodric’s chagrin. Aiden’s Uncle, Gabriel, was the one who suggested the boy be given a bow instead, which appeased the situation for the most part. His parents did have him tutor under a proficient scout to make use of the bow.
Much to his parents' dismay he also did not become the politician they were hoping for. It isn't that he didn’t /try/. Aiden did try to be the statesmen they wanted, was even capable of it if he prepared for a particular debate or lecture. But by the age of ten he knew he just didn't understand people, which caught his tongue up into a mess when he couldn’t relate their reactions to what he said, or they said something that took him off guard. Sometimes his own mind would wander and he’d be very impersonal. Why do they frown like that when saying happy things? Why do they look angry when saying something nice? Why do faces do the things that they do? Faces are weird. People are hard. Aiden didn’t get it. Aiden wasn’t the best at thinking on his feet in conversation and was too honest and blunt to politic well.
At the age of eleven, when Ainsley was taken on to officially squire, he discovered The Mews at Bastion, and fell into falconry. It was something to distract him from the frustrations of his studies at the time. It helped with the gap of not having his brother there. The uncanny and natural way he had with the birds caught the attention of the Keeper of the Mews and he soon started teaching the Prince how to work with them, expanding Aiden’s knowledge and awareness of birds. Aiden took to it like a fish to water. Any free time would quickly be spent with the birds, often out in the forest and fields with them.
Over the years it became his passion. He expanded his interest to all birds, from song, to water, to raptor. He understood birds in a way that he did not understand people. It isn't that he didn’t like people-- he does. He simply prefers the company of his birds because words are frustrating, and people are frustrating. Birds are easy. At thirteen, Aiden came into the possession of the egg which hatched his very own gyrfalcon, which he later named Bulter (consequently six years later would rename Baron Archibald Chirpington). He was in his glory with this gyrfalcon. They were inseparable, like two peas in a pod. He’d talk endlessly about the desire to fly and wishing he could see through his falcon’s eyes. Ainsley was a good sport and would sit listening to Aiden talk about his birds without complaint, with a brotherly smile afforded.
It wasn’t long after having this gyrfalcon that Aiden stopped eating meat, yet again another thorn in his father’s side, which he made amends for by winning falconry competitions and going on hunts with important dignitaries. His parents eventually left him to his passion when fighting it would only create a scene. Despite being socially awkward and a reclusive, they educated him how they could.
Reality was, he would have to grow up at his own pace and find his own way in life. His adores his parents and is now making his own path, the first step was getting to Arx, ahead of Brand's army.
|Alaric||He's grown so much from the somewhat introverted lad I remember. The care and attention to detail with which he's transformed the Menagerie speaks well to his talents. He's greatly enhanced the prestige of the office of the Officiator of the Menagerie and I look forward to him continuing in the same vein for the Crown and House Grayson.|
|Alarissa||Cousin! IT's been a long time and he's just as passionate about things, as one might remember, though it's been some time. As good a Grayson as you can get.|
|Arcelia||I first met Aiden at the Whisper 'Social Tournament' where I danced briefly with him. He left seemingly a bit frustrated and I followed up with him later to see if he was alright and check to see if he might be interested in friendship. After that we had a date... I don't know how that really happened but it turned into a date. He was very sweet, I still wear the necklace he gave me every day.|
|Asher||First met Aiden at the fundraiser for the Menagerie. He's a good guy, if perhaps a bit odd. Who's not odd anymore, though? At least, which interesting ones.|
|Calarian||My young cousin Aiden is capable and enthusiastic to serve the House and the Crown. Now that I am here to help him, I have faith in him and in his future. I know bright things await for him, if he keeps a clear head.|
|Calaudrin||I don't know Aiden Grayson that well. But from what I've seen, he's an exceptional young man with a bright future in this city. I appreciate all the efforts he's taken to working on the menagerie and how reaches out to others around him. He seems like a kind soul.|
|Cristoph||Aiden did a magnificent job hosting this party! I was very impressed with all of the work he put into it. I look forward to seeing what other things he comes up with in the future.|
|Dominic||Is not softness I see from him, rather a collected calmness. Like the familiar sea, miles and miles away from shore. Also, allot like my men, calm with their hounds at their side with a lack of aggression until one crosses the line. Failure is not in the stars for this man but should me and my men are the gauntlet that tests him, it would be my honor.|
|Esoka||Esoka was impressed with the kindness Aiden showed the shavs they met on patrol in the Gray Forest. And a little taken aback by his concern for the beasts, at the expense of his own safety, even, but his heart seemed in the right place.|
|Fiachra||A member of House Grayson who seems to share Oathlands ideals, understanding that it is the people we serve, and not the other way around. He impressed me with his courage, and it was a pleasure to help him on his way to becoming a protector of his people.|
|Harald||Some sort of scholar. The sort that wants to study a monster, so at least he doesn't seem a coward. Well, unless faced with a cut of steak.|
|Katarina||Officiator of the Menagerie, breeder of falcons, and now newly minted adventurer setting off on a dangerous expedition. Katarina cannot help but respect this courageous fellow, and hopes she might have the opportunity to finally become better acquainted.|
|Laric||He's made something of himself over the last year. We're not close, but I'm proud of him and curious to see where the future takes him. None Greater.|
|Leola||Well. It seems the Prince of Grayson is a kindred spirit in several ways. Birds, birds ... I wonder what else, or who else, shares this gift? The Lodge will benefit, and I am grateful for this|
|Malik||I was not taking him for a piano player, in truth. But I can see why Nisaa considers him a friend. He is nice and talented, and very good at the conversations.|
|Merek||%bMerek first met Aiden at the Hall of Heroes when Bringers came to assault it. While the man seemed flighty, he likes him well enough, and has since learned he has an adoration for birds, thinking him a wonderful man and worthy Prince.|
|Petal||Petal likes the prince and is glad he survived the siege battle. She is flattered that he purchased her tunics and thinks he looks very nice in them.|
|Samantha||My first impression of Prince Aiden came through reading his White Journals rather than meeting in the flesh. He seemed listless, uncertain of himself, and somewhat despairing. Finding causes that he is truly passionate about has allowed him to grow and change into a man of purpose, and he has revealed a highly organized mind and intuition for developing creative concepts. We will not always agree, but I respect his efforts.|
|Silas||Initially, Silas mistakened Aiden for Ainsley due to their near-identical appearance (at least at a glance!). He felt obligated to protect Aiden out respect for Ainsley, whom he believed was likely to be killed in the impending battle with Tolamar Brand, thus spent a hefty amount of silver on crafting the young man a fine set of leather armor. As they began to spend increasing amounts of time together, Silas bonded with Aiden and soon found himself attracted to the young prince in spite of being in a committed relationship. Over the course of roughly four months he struggled with his budding feelings for the Grayson until it finally culminated in a confession. Silas decided to break up with his current lover for a variety of reasons, this chief among them, and began to pursue a romance with Aiden. Silas fell for the man's big heart, sensitivity, intuition, and even his social fumblings.|
|Tarik||I am a lost for words. He has his own dog, and he bought me an outfit! Was it because sounded so desperate or pathetic? At the this moment, I care not. All I know that is a kind man, and even this small bit of kindness I shall remember. He had his own dog!|
|Tarrant||A pleasant gentleman, very relaxed in manner. Two ladies have spoken well of him to me, which is much to his credit.|
|Victus||Prince Grayson and Prince Hawk-man all in one. If I didn't know better I would say he had wings of his own. The menagerie was pretty alright and he did just fine as a host, wouldn't mind seeing him around the Thrax ward more often.|