Prince Calain Grayson
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Description: There is a quiet intensity to Calain that sets him apart from most other men. He is taller than average and well muscled, but he is not the largest of men, nor the broadest. Yet, somehow he seems to always take up more space than he should; his gaze always lingers a little too long, he studies everything just a little too hard, he moves with just a little bit too much purpose, too much control. He keeps his dark hair and beard neat and short, and his heavy brows - one bisected by a scar, sit above his dark green, watchful eyes. His severity seems to break when he laughs or grins however, which utterly transforms his expression into something boyish.
Personality: Calain possesses the sort of self-assuredness and confidence that is as comforting as it can be irritating. He always seems to know exactly what to do and exactly why you would be foolish to try and convince him otherwise. His wry sense of humor makes him a popular dinner companion for those who get his jokes, and his tendency to speak excitedly about philosophy or the natural sciences is considered either endearing or boorish depending on the person. He is also prone to black moods, however, where he generally seeks isolation. Those who disturb him during them or who antagonize him too much in other times see a different man, one with no patience for anyone and a scathing tongue.
Background: Calain Grayson was born a distant cousin of King Alaric IV and raised to become one of the proud knights of Grayson. Naturally strong and physically gifted, he seemed certain to make a fine addition to the champions of the House were it not for the small problem of his temper. As a child and then as a youth he never seemed able to restrain it and was prone to forgetting proper fighting form altogether in favor of raw rage when antagonized on the training grounds, leading several of his peers to dub him The Rageknight. His swordmaster thought he would eventually be able to harness that passion to be a greater warrior, should he learn to control it and most thought he would grow out of it as he matured into a man. Unfortunately, however, Calain never got that opportunity.
When he was sixteen, he was engaged to the youngest daughter of a Grayson vassal house, a beautiful and impetuous girl named Talisa. A year into their betrothal, the two had a vicious fight when Calain, incorrectly, suspected her of being unfaithful. He raged at the poor girl who fled his room in tears, only for her to take a tumble down the staircase in the great hall; a tumble which was to be the tragic end of her young life.
Blaming himself for the accident, Calain fled Bastion the next day, his self-imposed exile serving half as punishment and half as a self-appointed quest to find the cure to his black moods. Of course, the boy was to find there is no magical cure to a temper, only maturity and self-control, but this quest was to be fruitful all the same. It led Calain to realise that he enjoyed traveling, and that he relished learning. He roamed from place to place getting to know the local people, studying their customs and stories and lore. As he grew to know more, he offered services as he went, teaching people medicine or language or history. In those towns where they needed no scholar, he often worked as a simple farmhand for a season before moving on, always with an interested ear and a free ale for those willing to share the local stories and legends, or to show him that strange fungus that only grew behind the Windmill that Aunt Florice absolutely swears is the best cure for a fever, or the bones of the creature Farmer Harris swears was eating all his sheep.
The angry warrior of his youth atrophied and died out on the road as the man matured and Calain became calm and collected. His body remained strong from the rigors of travel, but his skill with a blade diminished almost entirely. After all, almost everything that a sole traveler really needs to fear in the wilds of Arvum, not even the best swordsman in the land could defeat alone. Prudence and care were his shield against danger, aided by the odd and desperate flight.
Fifteen years passed in this manner, with the wanderer traveling almost everywhere there was to travel, although he never returned to Bastion and never set foot in the great city of Arx during his wandering. That changed when news of the unnatural sleep that had befallen his King reached his ears, and he turned his horse East, heading back into civilization at long last to see if he could put the craft he had acquired these past fifteen years to use to heal his king, or at least aid his family.