Lord Ansel Telmar
Given the choice between facing a deadly opponent in a duel or dealing with my father's disappointment, I'd have to take the former.
Description: Ansel is gifted with light blue eyes, and the dark, expressive brows to make good use of them. His scowls are as gloriously stern as his smile can be youthful and bright, and he has the endearing misfortune of wearing his every feeling on his attractively chiseled face. Tall, but not remarkably so, and strong and fine, if not remarkably so, Ansel is a study in the exceedingly pleasant average; a palate cleanser of a man.
Personality: Quiet. Diligent. Friendly. Brave. Ansel is used to hearing these words to describe him by individuals that barely know him at all, and it's a rare person that could claim to know him better than that. The young lord is a difficult man to get to know, but it's not as if he is unfriendly, really- the need for courtesy and amiable agreeability was drilled relentlessly into Ansel by his father, Duke Arn, even if the older man had no desire whatsoever to ever show those traits himself. Given a choice, the young man would be happiest alone and on his own, investing himself in studies and far away from other people and their games, but that possibility was denied to him as ever being an option. So he's the Sword of the Telmarch, striving hard to live up to the obligations of his name and position, even as he never has felt particularly drawn to it. What choice does he have?
Background: Ansel knows that many are extremely jealous of any noble that has the good fortune to be born the son of a powerful and influential duke, but all things the same he would have been much happier being raised a farmer's son. Duke Arn has a reputation as gruff, mean spirited, painfully blunt, callous, ruthless, often dishonorable, and unrelentingly unlikeable. And those are by his allies. Ansel, on the other hand, is the Duke's son who was born after a disappointing string of older siblings (who Arn never forgot to inform them of such) and then finally settling on his bookish, good natured, and gentle-hearted son. Those traits, of course, would simply not stand. Ansel's earliest memory was his first kindly tutor being put in stocks and publicly whipped before being exiled from the Telmarch for having the audacity to suggest that Ansel, with his love for book loving, would make a wonderful Scholar of Vellichor. It was a slight to suggest that any son of Arn's (and, still to date and much to Ansel's dismay, since his elder brother Tobias feld he receives most of this attention), would be anything but a ferocious warrior and ruthless knight to carry on the battle legacy of House Telmar and defend the Telmarch. Briefly, Ansel had the fond hope that his uncle Lord Everard would keep the position of Sword of the Telmarch and remain champion of the house, and allow Ansel to do anything but train relentlessly in the questionable art of killing people with sharp objects. Sadly, his father Duke Arn dashed those hopes, and made certain that Ansel knew (and repeatedly reminded him every day during brutal drills) that the sword was just in his uncle's keeping, and Ansel would be a great warrior and the new champion of the house when he came of age whether he liked it or not. And would of course represent the family in duels of honor and fights to the death if need be. And Ansel had better like it.
The thing that really disturbs Ansel the most is he might even like being a knight if it wasn't for his father. Training with swords is fun, even if he prefers books and could probably have done without his father graphically describing just the best way to end an opponent's life in the most unnecessarily vivid detail. But even though he didn't ask for it and didn't particularly want it, he still he feels he could be a better Duke of the Telmarch on that fateful day when Arn finally dies, if for some reason the Duke passes over his siblings. He hopes he can be a better man. Ansel is pretty sure he can't be much worse.