Prince Darren Redrain
The North respects strong and decisive warriors who stare unflinching at the costs of protecting all we hold dear. The South respects wise and eloquent diplomats who can unite and settle matters without bloodshed. For House Redrain, I must be both.
Description: Fair of face and temperament, Darren's youthful countenance is offset slightly by a well-groomed beard, grizzled enough to satisfy his Northern counterparts, but trimmed fine enough to rival the fashions of Southern courtiers. His bright blue eyes are often kind, but not overly encouraging of familiarity. His auburn hair tends toward the vibrant reds of the north, and curls softly, without becoming completely untamed. He boasts a strong, well-honed frame, built by hard martial training, while moving with an easy grace.
Personality: Since the loss of his father, Darren has tried to walk a line between two worlds. Among his people, the young high lord will drink, and fight, and hunt as well as any might expect from a lord of the North. Walking through the streets of Arx, he can conduct himself with the charm and subtlety of southern nobility, observing the courtly niceties as well as a Grayson prince. He may do it ably, but without any particular enthusiasm, being polite but withdrawn in his affairs, without the easy familiarity that some may expect from unrestrained Northerners. The young prince will often listen calmly and reasonably to two sides of a debate, making judgments without rancor, and often keeps his own counsel. Although his siblings may sometimes be called brash or wild, none have ever said that of Darren.
Background: Darren possesses a bone-deep love for the North and all it represents, rejoicing in the individualism and unrestrained love of freedom that is unmatched through the rest of Arvum. He knows full well that House Redrain of all the great houses has almost certainly the most contentious array of vassals and he wouldn't have it any other way. But ever since he was young, he watched his father very carefully, and learned that the Prince of Farhaven didn't just bully the submission out of each of the powerful houses that serve Redrain and watched how the wise strength of his father backed by strength constantly won the respect and love of his people. Unfortunately, Darren also saw the worst elements of fierce northern behavior when he was very young at his uncle Bjerarg's birthday.
A simple drinking contest that led to a drunken exchange of insults that grew steadily more ugly and led to a brawl that left four dead created, by almost any standards, one of the most stupid and wasteful wars Darren can think of. The Alespill War, as it was known, was as brief as it was idiotic. A few hundred dead over quite literally a spilled ale as one thing led to another and a prince of Redrain was killed, then vassals that refused to give up the murderer... idiocy. Darren loves his people dearly, but to this day he knows full well that there is merit to the Southern notions of decorum and courtly manners. The young prince of Redrain can sing drunkenly and revel with the best of them, but his enjoyment of Southern grace is not the least bit feigned. He'd never force it on the North, but his experiences with waste from the proud, drunk and foolish have made him determined to rule with wisdom that will never see needless carnage again.