Prince Ettore Mydas Velenosa
Rumours of my death were greatly exaggerated.
Obituary: The Velenosa prince was found dead in a room in the Hundred Cities Inn, but no signs of struggle or blood were found at the scene. He appears to have simply gone to sleep and never woke up.
Description: Tall, regal and composed, Mydas exhibits the quiet yet undeniable confidence of high nobility. From his bearing to even the way he walks, the way he speaks to the way he looks upon the world with his eyes of pure gold, he is Velenosa. With his olive skin and the darkness of his hair to complete the tableau, one could hardly be blamed if they were to forget his years spent in the North. Does the curl of his lips, wryly amused or so cuttingly mocking, not invoke the Lyceum? Do his clothes, so often favouring the darker fabrics of Lenosia, not point to his true heritage? Yes... and no. Unlike many of his compatriots, Mydas prefers to remain fully clothed, exposing little of his skin to the eyes of others. And to see nothing of the icy winds of the North in his dagger-like words is to risk the blow of the brutal hammer, the prince wielding one or the other with distressing ability. Lycene, then, but one whose gold eyes herald as much the fox as the wolf.
Personality: Calm and in control, Mydas rarely shows something he doesn't want to. Few things ever seem to rattle him, with the prince each time meeting them with a steady gaze and sure hand. He's also very difficult to read, though it is not, however, simply due to composure. Smirks and wry smiles are common, his humour as sarcastic and sharp as his mockery. Whether one is being insulted or not is difficult to tell, and does make liking the man a more complex matter. Thankfully, Mydas is also just as likely to choose to be more blunt, and make his thoughts, or displeasure, clear in unmistakable terms. His concern for the egos and petty feelings of others is rather lacking. Yet, known only to close family and friends, there is a kinder, more loving side. Family, those held closest in his heart, is all. Devoted father, husband and even brother, those the prince loves are cherished, and his wrath invoked never more swiftly than when they are threatened. In that, Mydas' more volcanic temper is revealed. Most times, it takes much to see the fire rise. Steadily, it builds, so often unseen, straining against the calm patience and ironclad control the man enforces upon himself. Yet when it breaks free, the fury is unmatched, and few can soothe that storm.
Background: Mydas was not born as such. Though for many years, he and everyone around him thought his story began in Stonedeep within House Nightgold, it was not so. Prince Ettore Velenosa was his first name, given to him by his father, Prince Marik Velenosa, and his mother, Princess Helena Velenosa, born Helena Nightgold. Few details of his earliest years survive, and the man himself has not spoken of them often. Moved by events and reasons that remain yet unclear, the young prince was sent away in secret, and officially declared dead.
Yet the boy arrived safely to Stonedeep, adopted, and officially made the firstborn son of Lord Osmond Nightgold and his wife, Lady Marji Nightgold, sister of Helena. Named Mydas, he was raised as a Nightgold Lord, a Northerner, and would believe himself to be for many years yet. He had no reason to doubt it, after all. He was, at that point, and for many years yet, their only child, with the attention of both parents to see him thrive. Osmond was never a warm man, cold like the mountains that they called home, yet his wife spoiled their son. She loved him as only a mother could, and he spent much of his time with her. While he was educated as a proper noble should, his learning was also supplemented with the shamanistic traditions still held by Nightgold, notably through his mother, a shaman in her own right. Though he would not pursue the same path as Marji, her teachings, and the memories he would later cherish, would lay the foundations for his great respect of Shamans.
Mydas never questioned his place among his family. Even as he grew older and physical differences became manifest. It wasn't so much as his skin or hair, the Gods knew the bloodlines of nobility had intermixed over the passing of time. It was his eyes. The startling gold did not come from any ancestor within living memory, and none could puzzle out its source. Yet the mystery eventually faded, no answer being offered by either Osmond or Marji. If they recalled anyone with their son's features, they certainly didn't say.
Unfortunately, while they were happy years in Mydas' life, they were not to last. While he was, at eight, more than happy to be joined by his little brother Sigurd, something went wrong upon the birth of their little sister Signe, two years later. Marji died in childbirth, and though the baby survived, Mydas was heartbroken. With the combined bravery and foolishness only a child may possess, he left the castle to go to the mountains his mother had taken him so many times to commune with the Spirits she loved so. There, surrounded by the cold mountains of his home, he pleaded, demanded, and screamed at the Spirits to return her. To return the mother he loved, so cruelly taken from him and her family.
None answered, of course. Mydas grew angry, his voice echoing upon the snow-filled mountainsides, as his anger turned to insults and curses. It may be the Spirits grew offended at such display. Or it may simply be that nature ran its course, the weather of recent days having made the surrounding snows unstable, prone to avalanche. Either way, anger turned to terror as the mountain fell upon him, and Mydas was buried.
It took some time to find him, though he had managed to crawl out from beneath the snow when rescue did come. The following days saw him recuperating, from the wounds both of body and soul. Much of the happiness and warmth that had ever been present with him faded, and by the time he was declared recovered, he had become a distant and cold child. At first, he blamed the baby, and for many years shared with Osmond a loathing for Signe. It would abate, eventually, and the siblings would grow closer when Mydas entered his adult years. But that hardly changed his icy demeanour.
Years passed, and though his education did not take him on the path of the warrior, he instead became representative to House Nightgold's interests. At eighteen, he left on his first trip outside of the North, to the waters of the Lyceum where he was to negotiate a trade deal with House Pravus. Though met with initial setbacks, and potential sabotage, the young man was nonetheless able to see the deal come to pass, his mission ending with great success. Thus followed deals and interactions with the other Noble Houses, where the young man would be careful to maintain a charming facade to hide away the icy core of his being. The mask would slip every now and then, with his family spared the masquerade for they knew him well already. Yet it was as such that he made his way to Arx, and began his life there, joining his other siblings.
It did not go well at first. Called back to Stonedeep on business, he and his retinue were ambushed by marauding Shavs and made prisoners. Trapped in the darkness of his cell, left naked and without any tools at his disposal to escape, he was made to wait his turn, till the savage shamans would shed his heartsblood to fuel their unholy rituals. He heard their screams, the plea for mercy, for aid, stretched over days, and then weeks. And though time passed, still they died. One after the other. And while his family gathered their forces to save him, he remained, alone, save for the echoes of those he had failed to protect.
Nightgold forces tracked down the Shavs just as his turn had come. Imprisoned beneath the Shamans' hut with the rest of the human cattle ready for slaughter, he heard the Nightgold's war cries, just as he heard the chanting of the shamans up above, preparing for sacrifice and whatever atrocity they had planned against the attackers. With renewed strength and determination, he was able to free himself... yet he did not seek to escape. Why was never publicly shared, only his decision to set his surroundings aflame. He succeeded in burning the Shamans alive, and was himself saved from a fiery tomb just in time by the victorious Nightgold. He was brought back to Arx, and though he recovered, it did little to warm him. His heart became stone, and more than ever, he became distant from even the closest friends.
Time passed, and the charming mask was discarded more and more. His time was spent among the Mirrormasks, whom he joined as disciple soon after his second return, and though he continued to represent Nightgold, his duties began to increase. As war loomed against Brand and his forces, he became involved in the overarching logistics of the Northern armies called upon to defend the Compact. It would be his first, yet not his last, role in military matters, though it was not a particularly prestigious one.
The end of the Silent War saw Mydas become Voice of Nightgold, after Nadia's death and the ascension of his cousin Lydia to the title. It was during that time courtship between him and Lady Fiora Malvici began, but eventually fell through, the reasons kept outside of the public eye. It would take some time before news of romance involved Mydas' name, yet such a time eventually came, when courtship was announced between him, and Princess Freja Redrain.
A surprising, but beneficial development for the icy Lord. The princess, it seemed, was able to reach a heart that had not allowed many to approach, to a depth yet unmatched. He smiled, the affection and love he bore for Freja honest and true, growing with every day spent in her company. During that time, Mydas was also granted the March of Aviaron's Keep, a gift from his cousin Lydia after the previous family had been wiped out during the Silent War. The opportunity to build his own family with his wife, and see a land that had suffered much thrive under this new leadership.
Mydas and Freja wed, and from their union was created House Acheron. The plans they had for their new House and family were many, yet just as they were getting started, tragedy struck. His wife was blinded by a mysterious woman, causing Mydas to put aside whatever plans they had to instead focus on caring for his so suddenly crippled wife. Her condition did not improve, and worse, while the proud warrior was weakened, she was murdered.
Robbed of the new light of his life, Mydas became a recluse. Alone in the empty halls of Acheron, he ruled his land from afar, rarely stepping forth from his estate's underground halls. It was during such a time that his cousin Rhea became his Ward, though the girl would not see much of her older cousin. Ever occupied with something else, or just locked inside his quarters, Mydas could hardly be reached by even the closest of friends. Only one thing would eventually make him leave his isolation, and it was when the Gyre, a pirate lord that had plagued the Compact for so long, gathered a force strong enough to invade.
Answering the call to arms, Mydas took a more active role in the military preparations, now no longer as a logistics expert, but as a general. This war, it would seem, the Marquis intended to spend leading his troops personally. Supporting Princess Marian Redrain, he would stand by her side at the battle of Stormwall along with the other military leaders gathered to defend the Crovane city. He, with the others, oversaw the city's defence and, after the Gyre's troops managed to get inside, its complete destruction. Losses were great, Acheron paying the price in blood as with the others who participated. Yet they were victorious, and the Marquis, after staying for some time in Aviaron's Keep, returned to Arx.
It's unclear when Mydas became aware of his true heritage. Yet the news came like thunder upon a clear day. He was not only the long-lost brother of the Archduchess Eleyna Velenosa, but he was also setting aside his title of Marquis and returning to Velenosa and the Lyceum. The news blindsided many, and caused some measure of chaos within Acheron, once so full of promise, now empty halls haunted by the ghosts of what could have been. In the void that followed, Mydas' cousin Rhea took the opportunity to take over House Acheron and proclaim herself Marquessa, while Mydas left to become the Prince he had been born to be.
It did not take him long to adapt to his new surroundings, becoming Voice of Velenosa shortly after his return. Yet it took him longer to change. Still cold-hearted and distant, he remained difficult to approach. For most, at any rate. It took some time, yet the unlikely event happened. Mydas... married again, to none other than Princess Jaenelle Velenosa. It was an unlikely match, it was a surprising match. Yet, there it was, and little by little, day by day, light begun to filter through the dark clouds that had weighted upon his soul.
Though the change had been gradual, the birth of his son Vittore made it manifest. The cold emptiness had been filled, new direction and the will to walk on given. From the shattered remains of his past, the hardships and tragedies endured, a new dawn shed its light for the new man he has become.
|Aerandir||A cordial man by the looks of it, though his brief outburst upon entering the establishment was telling of this aforementioned Aislin being someone of importance. Yet another of the gentry whose path intertwined with mine in the Ambassador Salon.|
|Agatha||Very calculating. They're going to send me to him if I need more math lessons, aren't they? I totally hope I don't need math lessons again.|
|Aleksei||A curious sort! He came around to ask some clarifying questions about the First Choice and his Reflection. He's clearly a thoughtful kind of brainy one.|
|Alessia||A very pleasant man, the prince. We had an amicable discussion in the Queensrest.|
|Amund||Seems sincere, if a little on the sarcastic side.|
|Ann||Glacial - a true Northerner. Cold. Cool. Calculated. Level headed. I don't want to see him angry. But then again, it'd be really interesting...|
|Berenice||Gods forbid he actually needs to earn public sentiment for himself someday.|
|Brigida||So many of these children are less interesting than their parents and grandparents. Not so Prince Mydas.|
|Cadenza||Easy on the eyes and nice to talk to. I should have washed up long time ago....they don't look like this in the places I was traveling.|
|Calaudrin||He should probably build a new house. But I don't blame him for wanting to track down and research every shred of information that he can find. We're better off being as prepared as possible for whatever we might face. Nice and pragmatic, I'm a fan.|
|Caspian||Quite the knowledgeable man. I hope to work with him more in the future.|
|Cybele||I am a little scared, for he is very stern. But he has been nice, when we have met.|
|Darren||I've not spent a lot of time with Lord Mydas, but when we do come together for drinks or for meetings, I always find him to be a good conversationalist with a keen mind.|
|Darren||Mydas is shrewed, there's no doubt about that, but he seems to genuinely want to improve his standing in the North and to carve out a name for himself. The North is about freedom, and Darren intends to give Mydas the freedom to stand on his own and make his mark. The fact he'll do it with Freja by his side is only an added bonus.|
|Darren||Cousin Mydas is as crafty and well-connected as ever. I might have known he'd be ahead of me on this one. But I think I had some new pieces for his puzzle. Perhaps in the future we'll learn to check our schemes against one another's more regularly.|
|Derovai||Clever and perceptive, but hides it under genial warmth and a very strong glass of vodka -- or three. At least he doesn't seem to stand on tradition terribly much for a Marquis.|
|Duarte||Freely helpful in giving advice on matters of state.|
|Echo||Marquis Mydas has got a sharp mind and is a wonderful person. Right now is a troubling time for Freja, and though I may have spilled a bit of emotion his way, he quickly reassured me that things would be fine.|
|Emilia||A well-learned man whom I came to respect from the first moment I met him. We share the same core principles, and his humility and nobility only affirm my belief that he is an honorable and just man, who leads his people well.|
|Freja||Cold and heartless, in all of the most pragmatic and beautifully, deliciously cruel ways possible. Gold leafing to encase the blackened alaricite beneath. I look forward to seeing what echoes we cast back on one another, what facets of reflection cut from the same gem.|
|Gareth||A man with a countenance I can respect. And doesn't seem to have any fear by my looking at him. If we work together, I believe we would have great success.|
|Giulio||Cold, cool and calculating -- and keeps things close to his chest. A pleasure to work with, and one with whom I hope to work with again, in the future.|
|Hadrian||A new best friend, perhaps? Our philosophies and opinions seem to mirror one another rather well. Careful manipulation or genuine similarity? Only time will tell! Regardless, we seem to understand one another in an uncanny way and it's rather refreshing to see that out of a Northerner. If he can chew with his mouth closed and bathes regularly, I may have to invite him to be my new best friend.|
|Harper||There's an awful lot that lurks behind those eyes I think. At least I hope there is or I'm in a helluva lot of trouble. But really, glad to be working with him and I'm even starting to respect him.|
|Isolde||A devoted mirrormask. One day he'll learn to not stick so rigidly to the rules of etiquette.|
|Jaenelle||A predator in the very best sense. A flame teasing around the fuel, knowing full well it would catch but only when the flame desired it so and the fuel had accepted. The quiet confidence of a man who could be charming if he wishes, while never threatening his own self respect to needlessly flatter another's. We shall see what happens next, hm?|
|Jordan||Insightful, businesslike and straight to the point. A blunt man, which I can appreciate better than most.|
|Joscelin||Shrewd. A depth to him that unsettles more than reassures. But he's astute.|
|Khanne||It has been a long time since I met Mydas. My main memory of him from back then was the talk we had sitting together at the wrestling matches. His conversation was more entertaining and engaging than the event itself. Unfortunately, he left for quiet a long time after that, and since his return, it's been harder to enjoy those sort of conversations. Busy lives for busy people. Still, when I see him, I smile, recollecting that time - things were simpler then. I still always hold out hope that we can enjoy such deep but light hearted conversations again.|
|Laric||Sharper and a hair wiser than the average business man. Thank the Gods.|
|Lou||A voice who shows that he cares for his people, and asks the questions needed to see to their needs.|
|Lydia||Oh he is so literal. I expect his every shirt buttons all the way to the collar and he fastens each one religiously. But he's my bedrock right now. I don't know how I would do this without his advice and council. And while he's shepherding me, he has his own affairs to run. Maybe I'd be a little short with people, too, in his shoes.|
|Maddox||A noble in the highest sence. Attentive to his surroundings, and outgoing. He has a wonderful infant son.|
|Marcas||Beware. Responsible for the toxin known as Foolsbane, which made an appearance in the Spirits...and made fools of more than a few of us. One has to admire that.|
|Margerie||Never easy to meet someone at a funeral for their spouse. Not quite sure why people are wagering on whether he has gold or hunting trophies over his fireplace... He seems a decent enough man, moved by his wife's death but welcoming|
|Marian||Interesting...he's not like the Valardin scholars I know. Seems more at ease with these other rowdy Redrains whom I'm very fond of. The idea of him checking the size of his hardwood seems a little farfetched but the man takes a joke well.|
|Merek||He seems to trade in many goods as a nobleman. Merek thinks that he is a curious man, and seems to have an interesting view on Merchant services! At least from what he has seen.|
|Mirari||A fellow mirrormask; intelligent, keen, and philosophical. His knowledge of Tehom's teachings is impressive.|
|Mirari||He seems very unapproachable, until you bring up things that cost money and suddenly he gets happy. I think I can understand that, he also seems to have quite a soft spot for Jaenelle, but I'm not going to repeat that anywhere.|
|Pasquale||Former Northern marquis, now a Velenosa prince. It's probably not the most convoluted family story going on in the Lyceum right now, as Pasquale can well attest. He seems an interesting man and any friend of Lianne's has Pasquale's good opinion.|
|Quenia||I spoke to him regarding the Silver Consortium. He seemed well informed, and very affable. I am looking forward to doing business with him and being a part of the group.|
|Reese||I remember him the most strongly form Nadia's funeral. That feels like forever ago and yesterday at the very same time. Then I remember when he was directing our wresting contest. He did that well. Now I see him again. I messed up his title, but it is still nice to see him again.|
|Rhea||You know, the best thing about my cousin Mydas is that you can REALLY, TRULY, HONESTLY tell that he is always, *always* smiling on the inside. He's great!|
|Sasha||Bearer of vodka though seems much more fond of whiskey|
|Skapti||Some sort Redrain noble, from what I gather. Interested in trade, maybe of salt and fish. But trade agreements are Turo's problem, not mine, thank Mangata for that.|
|Stefano||Eleyna's newly returned to rediscovered brother. As I told him, we have been robbed of twenty or more years of friendship so we will have to make up for that time. I hope he does well here.|
|Tallius||Good gods, that man is really trying to murder all of the Redrains with liquor, what in the hells have I gotten myself into!? Seriously though, enabling -can- be taken to too great of extremes..and at least a few of these look like they're going to be suffering for it for a few days at least. On the other hand, it looks like a great party.|
|Theron||The Archduchess's brother, now returned to the embrace of House Velenosa. A resourceful, talented man, and a Voice in both Velenosa and the Silver Consortium. Naturally, given our associations in common, and the fact we seem to agree on a great deal of things, I'll look forward to working with him. A friendship is a definite possibility with him.|
|Tomwell||Very down to business. Direct. Hard to overvalue, in the leader of an economic organization!|
|Valery||He seems nice and wise. Val liked talking with him when she worked for his House.|
|Vanora||A fellow Mirrormask who was extremely supportive during my first attempt to lead worship in Tehom's temple. I think well of him and look forward to knowing him better.|
|Vayne||A valued member of the Shrine. His insights and energy is encouraging and I look forward to continuing to work with him to advance Tehom's precepts in Arx.|
|Veronica||Composed and thoughtful, the Marquis Acheron seems to me a dedicated man and devoted leader. We will bring justice to this scum who murdered his wife.|
|Victus||Met him when I played his game of war and diplomacy. Think I may have lost a few friends that night, but he seems like good company all the same.|