Duke Arn Telmar
Honor makes a man's soul strong. A mace to the jaw makes him unable to eat solid food any longer.
Description: He is not tall, perhaps close to half a head shorter than most of his contemporary knights. There is a stiffness in how he moves that betrays that youthful grace has left him and is usually replaced with pain and discomfort, but his build is thick and powerful and his big, knobby hands look like they can pack a painful wallop. His face is weathered, and scarred and painted in stern lines. He wears a full beard that is pepper grey and his eyes glint like steel.
Personality: To call Arn a curmudgeon would be kind. He is gruff, mean and painfully blunt. Basically, he does not have time for your shit. All of this might make a person miss how unswervingly loyal he is to the High Lord of the Valardin. He never fit the image of the handsome heroic knight, so he has ever been the unrelenting asshole that his liege needs him to be. He is surprisingly deft and using his seemingly complete lack of social grace to put people on the defense and make them react in what are often predictable ways. He's also perfectly willing take the black eye, and the social disgrace to do the things his Prince can not. It's a persona he's crafted so meticulously over four decades that he doesn't remember being the more mild mannered youth he once was.
Background: There are many stories about Duke Arn. It is said he is a usurper just like his father Laegan. That he is a duplicitous, conniving bastard only out for his ends. Many have said that that is he is but the enemy you keep closer than a friend. A few know the truth though. His Honor has ever been to pay that price his Prince cannot.
His father, Duke Laegan, was every folk story villain you ever heard about by the firelight. He was the kind of man to whom Honor was just a word, a means to an end. Vicious in battle and graceful in court they called him the Titan of Telmarch. His son turned out to be his short, ill tempered and socially curt. They called Arn the Troll of Telmarch to mock him, but it is a moniker he eventually wore with pride. Prince Radley, the father of Prince Edain saw something in him that others did not. When Arn learned his father had ambitions to conquer another Duchy to gain more power and a bigger army, he went to Radley. They both feared, rightly, that with that much power, Laegan might one day try and challenge the High Lord.
Though Radley could not personally intercede until Laegan made a direct move agains the crown he secretly supported Arn deposing his father, and taking his place as Duke. Not long after that Prince Radley succeeded his mother as the next High Lord of Valardin, and Duke Arn became one of his most trusted generals. Everyone told him he could not trust the usurper, that he would one day turn on him. But Radley knew the value of general and advisor that could do the nasty things he couldn't for the good of the crown and of his people. Arn became what he beheld, but while many say his honor is stained, the few that know him well, or simply who are able to piece together what really happened, realize he has forgotten more about honor than most will ever know.
Decades later, the choices he has made have left him bitter, and caustic, having been widowed, and disappointed in his children. A daughter insisted on marrying into the new Greenmarch family for reasons he still doesn't quite agree with, and his oldest son tries to always have his nose in a book. Now he has lost the only man that ever truly called him friend, and he intends to honor his oaths and keep that Valardin line strong, come hell or high water.
|Cristoph||I find it unlikely that he doesn't know my first name by now. But maybe it's just easier to call me 'Laurent' than to try to remember different first names. More economic at least. Anyway, good, solid, sensible insight outside of the intentional needling he's prone to.|
|Edain||It's been a long road with Duke Arn and I. I sometimes worry I can't live up to the man my father was, but thankfully Arn is there to kick my ass back into doing what needs to be done. I have learned from him that a good plan right now, is better than a perfect plan at some indeterminent point in the future. And while I feel like I am ever in the shadow of my father and my old siblings, Arn was the only one that ever took time to train me for the burden I would find myself carrying one day. I owe him much.|
|Jacque||Duke Telmar is famous for his skill at arms, war, and also for his incredible bouts of ill-mood.|
|Margerie||First impression, long ago: One of the most terrifying entities to ever stride the earth oh gods why am I even in this meeting with these people I want to hide. Maybe I can be sick tomorrow... First impression, today: Still intimidating, but having a backbone makes encountering frightening things easier.|
|Marian||He's a crusty old bastard but I'm fond of him. I know it's wrong of me but I am tickled that Arn is back in the city. He keeps like interesting.|
|Reese||He seems to know war and battles quite a bit. I could probably learn from listening to him.|