Duke Harlan Ashford
What freedom the dutiful know is the freedom to choose to remain bound.
Description: His dark brown hair is worn swept back from his face, no doubt pushed out of place by impatient fingers, the likes of which are more calloused than those of many noblemen. Harlan is handsome, not ruggedly so but certainly rough around the edges, with sensual, dark green eyes and a strong jawline sporting a nigh-perpetual five o'clock shadow. Athleticism is written into his lean frame, the muscles of which are usually drawn taut save for when he is released into the great outdoors, at which point he seems to visibly relax.
Personality: Harlan embodies the spirit of the Ashford family; he is adventurous, brave, bold, and daring. An avid hunter, Harlan is in his element in the great outdoors, with leather armor, a bow, and a hunting falcon his only allies against the savagery of nature. Unfortunately for Harlan, he is not simply a representative of the Ashford family, but the heir, and as such, much of the time he could be spending under the open sky is instead allotted to the business of running Ashford Keep.
Background:     The firstborn of the Duke of Ashford, Harlan has never known a day when he was not slated to govern Ashford Keep after his father, just like his father before him. Also like his father, Harlan served a year in the Vista Glades when he came of age, the order of guards that man the ancient watch stations to the south of Grayson territory. Living high in the treetops, using rope swings and complex pulleys to traverse the distance between towers, lighting beacons using complex signals - it was quite an exciting time for Harlan, so much so that he signed up for a second year, hunting big game that threatened farmsteads on Ashford lands.
All good things come to an end however, and when Duke Barton fell ill, Harlan had his first taste of life as the leader of Ashford Keep. Trained in the ways of the courtier, he put aside his bow and learned to manage lands and coffers, all the while dreaming of the next hunt behind a mask of polite attention. Harlan wears his mask well however, for despite his preference for freedom and the open range, none could accuse him of not taking his duties seriously. He dances at balls, collects the best wines, and courts women his mother would find suitable, all in the hopes that when the work day is done, he'll be free once more.
|Agatha||Cousin with the arrows. He is willing to jump in and fight with or against me, and that speaks well of him. Maybe there's a little ferocity from the Ashford side as well.|
|Cadenza||A handsome duke....and he's great to talk to. Hopefully I get to talk to him again.|
|Delilah||I have difficulties looking Lord Ashford in the eyes. Lord Killian was such a wonderful person and Lady Aislin was both a friend and a mentor. He seems to be doing okay. He has to, as it's his job as the Duke of Ashford. May the gods give him some much needed respite.|
|Emily||The Duke seems a kind gentle man but somber due to current events. It would be nice to see him move beyond his grief and hopefully I can help.|
|Grazia||Duke Ashford is a somewhat reasonable man, if somewhat disinclined to think of women properly. I wish him well in his marriage search and I am glad that I am off of his list. For various reasons.|
|Ignacio||A young Duke with a good deal of wisdom behind his words. I expect to see good things come from this man.|
|Jeffeth||He's good at a shootin' targets. He takes pride in what he does, and as well he should, he has a good eye.|
|Jordan||My liege lord and someone who I can be frank with, I think. That's good, because I speak my mind more often than not, though I will, of course, try to keep my cursing to a minimum around the Duke. I do want to impress him, after all.|
|Lou||The Duke of Ashford. Aislin's brother. It was good to see him at dinner tonight, and I hope to see more of him around the Explorer's hall.|
|Malesh||Nice to meet another Duke under Grayson. A refreshing bit of youthful exerburance compared to my own Duke Gabriel.|
|Petal||So gracious and he looked great in my costume. A good Duke!|
|Reese||a pleasant Duke who is family with those who vanished. I think he will do his family proud and quite a family it is!|
|Sorrel||Despite the fiasco with the flowers, Duke Harlan really isn't half bad. He's actually really nice to talk to, and I think we get along pretty well. Perhaps we'll do business in the future.|
|Theron||For all the controversy surrounding this Duke, I don't see a man who's so offensive as the white journals say! Actually, he is pleasant to talk to, and is willing to lend his ear to the projects of enterprising people. Definitely someone to do business with.|
|Violet||The Duke is a very good archer. I think I was able to help him a bit in his own skills at our match. It was Agatha and I against him and Dame Felicia. It was one of the best bouts I've had in awhile. And he is a companionable man outside the field as well.|