Name: Loriaith Erkandar
His dark violet eyes twinkle brightly from beneath neatly combed blond hair, the excess gathered and form a ponytail at the nape of his neck. A strong chin framed his angular handsome face complete with a straight nose, smiling lips and a perfectly trimmed Natural style moustache. Standing at 5.10 ft tall, Loriath has a slim body. He inherited his father’s cream colored skin that is not uncommon among Tylilrianeans.
Place of Birth: Lostorisia with family roots in Tylilrian
Occupation: Diplomat (official)
King’s Justice / Royal Assassin (unofficial)
Whenever Loriath is studying something intently or when he is on the edge of violence, he appears detached. Otherwise, he is always outwardly cheerful and kind. With the number of personal grooming lessons forced onto him by his mother, he walks with a confident and graceful air of a nobleman.
During negotiations, Loriath is empathetic and witty, charming his audience and bringing them to see his point of view. He gives people the impression that whatever problem is on the table can be solved. Moreover, he knows that when the occasion calls for it, he needs to be discrete and flexible. Loriath is unwaveringly loyal to the crown and the country, serving them faithfully to the best of his abilities.
Skills: Law, Diplomacy, Mind Magic, weapons training, horse riding, Mathematics, economy, politics
Languages: At the moment, he has learnt how to speak five different kinds of languages. Loriath is fluent in the Human, Silva’yiitar and Wardeen tongue. While he understands the Fallen and Nierid tongue, he has some control over these two languages.
Weapons: Kodachi (Short curved sword with a long handle)
Switchblade (concealed in the left trousers pocket)
Rapier (Disguised as a 32 inch cedar cane)
Kodachi - A short sword with a blade length of about twenty inches and an elaborate handle dotted with crystals of various shades of the rainbow spectrum. The weapon is sheathed in a gold embroidered leather sheath riding along the left hip. The kodachi appears to be ceremonial but its real function is anything but that.
Switchblade - Looking like an ordinary dark brown wooden comb, the switchblade releases a small wicked three inch blade coated with poison. Whenever Loriath takes out his comb from his left pocket, it is time to be wary.
Rapier - Noblemen carry canes as a symbol of nobility. Loriath carries a cedar cane with a murderous rapier concealed within. With a long and flexible blade, he makes short works out of unarmored enemies while the sheath is used like a club, making this cane seemed like two weapons.
Magic Type: Mind
Spells: Mind Blast, Levitate, Telekinesis, Mind Barrier
Technological gadgets: Looking glass, switchblade, rapier cane
Inventory: Long gold buttoned shirt and scarlet coat, long rust brown pants, pale brown leather gloves, silver and black hard leather boots. A wide brimmed dark brown hat with a dark gray cord wrapped around the base of the crown and a feather on the side. Long maroon cloak with a hood, plain wooden flute
Parents: Lord Rothand Erkandar and Lady Saranilyn Erkandar, Nobles of House Erkandar.
Sigil: Two charging gold lions on a field of dark green
Hobby: Reading, wine tasting, walking, listening to music (harp, flute or piano), chess
Alias: Silver Raven ( A pet name created by the King), Smiling Wolf
“Your Majesty, I have come as you bid.” The kneeling young man intoned formally, his head bowed and right fist pressed firmly against the viridian green and shimmering sapphire carpet spread across the entire private study of Haeldaran Sandaerin, King of Astorisia.
“You may rise.” The rich baritone voice of the king broke the silence, echoing throughout the chamber. The man rose, his movements smooth and seemingly unhurried. The expensive red coat he wore was tucked into finely tailored rust colored long pants and held by a brown belt with a gold and silver buckle of the head of a lion. In his left hand, he bore a cedar cane. King Haeldaran stroked his chin, studying his subject before him. The cane was a symbol of nobility. It was the fashion of every noble to hold one and this young, elegant aristocrat was no different.
Except that he ran two assassins through with the rapier hidden within and bashed another with the other end of the cane.
A knowing smile flashed briefly on the lips of the young diplomat, a chiding indication that the king let some of his thoughts showed even though he kept a straight face. A most perceptive young man. This was one of the traits vital for a person who wished to ascend to the position of a diplomat. Haeldaran had read the previous reports given by the man’s instructors, they spoke exceptionally well of him. A congenial young man who exuded an air of quiet confidence and possessed a witty but respectful tongue. They had earmarked him as one with potential for higher office. The same young man had displayed bravery in the face of danger, despatching several assassins and holding off the rest until the other king’s guards arrived to rescue the drugged king.
Haeldaran waited for the young man to hand over his cane and the ornate sheathed blade hanging by his side to one of the King’s wooden faced guards before commenting, “You appear refreshed, fast for someone who had just recently emerged from a battle.”
Smiling wryly, the diplomat answered liltingly, “It is polite to appear in a manner befitting the occasion and the person, especially if it is the king, as appropriately as decently possible. Fortunately, I carried a spare change of clothing and could do so after the doctors fixed my wounds.”
The king snorted. Diplomats. “I see that your teachers have taught you well on the saying ‘more is less’.”
“I am flattered by his Majesty’s words.” The young man bowed, his voice exhibiting no trace of sarcasm. In all appearance, it seemed that the king’s sarcasm was thoroughly wasted on the man’s ignorance. He had spirit, to dare such a thing. The young diplomat was indeed an interesting piece of work, he was both polite and audacious while managing keeping within the limits. Moreover, he had saved the king’s life and took wounds to defend him.
It was a pity that he had to be killed.
“Your Majesty, I would like to thank you for your trust in me not taking the first horse out of Astorisia. Forgive me for being presumptuous but I know what is going through your mind. First, the magic I wield. You wish to know what is it and where it originates from. Secondly, you are wondering which country I serve and that the answer to your first question will tell you. Thirdly, a decision has to be made on how to deal with this country in the future in an appropriate manner so as to neutralize any threats to the state. Only the fact that I had a direct hand in foiling the threat against your life stayed your hand from ordering an interrogation followed by an execution.”
“You have cleaved quite closely to the mark. Tell me the answers.” replied the king.
“The magic I wield is known as Mind Magic. It is widely taught in the country of Tylilrian.” King Haeldaran studied the man carefully, there seemed to be no motive for the young man to lie. There was little chance of him escaping unscathed unless…..he wished to keep the master he served hidden? But why target tylilrian? There was no reason for any other nations to make an enemy out of that country, one of the biggest trading partners in the region. To attack such a country was painful both physically and economically. Sure, the people were a pain in the neck with their restrictive rules and vague phrases but that was their culture.
The young man’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “Your Majesty is wondering whether I spoke the truth. There is no reason for me to lie, even if you put me to the question, there is only one answer.” He interjected rather sadly. “However, I will say this. Astorisia is the first and only nation I serve.”
“I will say that you helping me certainly does go against the view that you are an enemy of Astorisia but how is it that you come across this foreign source of magic when others in Astorisia do not?”
“Majesty, I will explain.”
It is true that I am born in Lostorisia. (Seek out the mother of the current nursemaid if you wish to verify the truth) However, my tale goes even further than that.
My father served faithfully as a guardian to the previous king. He fights as fiercely as a lion and is as loyal as any Astorisian. Ah, my king, yes, you have noticed how I phrase my words. Indeed, my father’s place of birth was Tylilrian. He married my mother, a young woman from Lostorisia who fell in love with him not only because of his status as a hero but more importantly, his person. He never say whether your predecessor knew of this but nevertheless, my father made a name for himself and eke out a place in Astorisia. Our House rose into prominence when my mother received the Blessings from the Great One.
What made my father the great man he is? Not his status, my lord for his prowess in his skills bought fame. Not his skills either for skill alone is but a knife that is enemy and ally to all. It is his loyalty, my king. That differentiated him from any common man and won my mother’s love and the respect of others. Even to this day, my father remaind faithful to her and his eyes for her and only her.
It is ironic that such a person should come from tylilrian, don’t you agree Majesty? Indeed, I could scarcely believe it myself from what I have read regarding that nation. My father was formerly a member of a noble family in that nation. Like all the scions of that country, he was forced to attend the National Institution. The trauma he endured in that inhumane machinery of doctrination left an indelible scar on his psyche for the rest of his life. Yet, my father persevered where many lost their lives within the hellish place or worse, killed their souls and became little more than zombies lusting for gold and power.
My father’s exceptional abilities in physical combat have become common tavern stories. Some were mere exaggeration while others are much closer to the truth. That came from the unyielding conditioning in the Institution where they practiced for long hours in all weathers. What most are not aware of was that he learnt the magical arts of manipulating the mind as well, reaching the level of a senior psionic before he found the courage and opportunity to escape for good.
I was a small boy when my father introduced me to weapons. He was forceful and there was an intense look in his eyes whenever he sparred with me. Initially, I thought that he disliked me for the soft noble he thought I was. However, I came to realize that this was a way that the taciturn man showed affection for his only son - to provide him the knowledge of martial arts to give me a way to protect myself physically. Later on, he taught me mind magic when he felt I was ready for it. More importantly, he imparted to me the philosophy of what it was to be a man to give me a purpose higher than the superficial needs of the world.
What, you ask, is this philosophy? And lest you should think that I am playing for time, I urge his Majesty to reserve your judgment first and let me continue.
“I don’t understand, father. Given the fact that you are such a capable person, why do you not remain in tylilrian?” a twelve year old Loritath asked his father, brushing a wild strand of blond hair from his eyes and leaned on his sheathed sword.
“Before I answer your question, answer mine first. What do you aspire to become?” cool and dark eyed, Rothand Erkandar wore an inscrutable expression in training sessions even during breaks.
“I would like to be a warrior and a hero of Astorisia of course, father. To gain recognition and glory on the battlefield like yourself and bring honor to our family.” Loriath answered proudly, his chest protruded and his sweat streaked face glowed with pride.
“You fool!” His father roared, much to the young man’s surprise. Rothand glowered at him, “You speak like those peacocks playing at being real fighters, waving their blades at anything and everything and causing chaos in their wake.
Loriath argued, “I disagree with you on this point, father. Isn’t achieving glory and defending the nation a noble task? Shouldn’t I strive to bring honor to the family instead of shame like you always claim I do?”
Rothand’s black bushy moustache twitched as he glared at his son sternly, “You twist my words and throw them back me, boy. You do not know what you truly said. Have you killed a man before? Have you seen the face of the man as you plunge your sword through his chest? Have you watched him die?”
“No, I have not. However, how is this relevant to my question?” asked Loriath. Father is going on to one of his infamous lectures again.
“Whatever I tell you is useless. Break is over, we resume training.”
“Here, drink this, it will help you to sleep.” a muscular hand thrust a mug smelling of brandy under Loriath’s nose. Without hesitation, he gulped down the liquor, feeling the liquid burning all the way to his stomach and choked. Yet, it left a warm, pleasantly dull buzz in his head, a temporary respite to the faces staring blankly into space. The image of blood flowing from wounds and across the face like a crimson spider web.
Have you seen the face of the man as you plunge your sword through his chest?
He ducked under the slash of a long sword like how his father taught him and hack the robber across the torso, slicing a bloody arc to warn off the man. When the man failed to heed the warning and come at him again, brandishing his sword, Loriath thrust his sword home. The bloodlist in the eyes of the robber faded out as he collapsed like a sack of mal on the scarlet slicked cobble. The other robbers scurried off, leaving Loriath alone with the dead man.
Have you watched him die?
Rothand Erkandar patted the shoulders of his son. “It is difficult to kill a man for this particular reason. The revulsion and the guilt of killing will be etched in your soul forever.”
Loriath closed his eyes and leaned back against his bed. “I understand what you mean back then father, three years ago, about killing. The glory, the fame is all superficial. To gain such things one has to pay a heavy price not once but constantly, carrying this burden until he dies.”
The young man raised his head and favored his father with an earnest stare. “Why, father? Why then, do you commit such atrocities if you already knew that the price would be so high?”
“Loyalty, my son. Loyalty and responsibility. A man without loyalty is nothing but a blade, an animal with reasoning and instinct that will turn on anyone. Fame an glory are but side products. Loyalty to the state compels me to raise my weapon against those who threaten its freedom to exist. I accept that what I do is not morally right but you have to understand, some have to sin to keep the country safe. As long as you fight for a higher purpose, your conscience will be clear. To me, there is no greater reward than to find a peaceful Astorisia where a child can walk with a sack of valuables unmolested. I am willingly to throw away all the honors I accumulated just to realize this dream.” Even to Loriath’s half dazed state, he could make out the sparks dancing in his father’s eyes and a hint of fervor at accomplishing this.
“I left tylilrian because they do not care about each other. Rather, the emperor is more interested in gathering more power than protecting the people. I am disgusted with their treacherous and self-centered behavior of the general lot. Astorisia is the place where I can identify, where I belong to.”
Here was a man, who was more than a man, who fought selflessly for both his King and country so that it would be a better place. Here was a true hero.
Loriath’s eyes shone with unshed tears as he beheld his father. “Father, I ask that you forgive me for my superficial thoughts and teach me to become a man.”
My father also taught me many other things. Beyond training, he taught me how to laugh, how to be cheerful. He helped me to accept what I have to become. When my love for books became apparent, I had to work a lot harder just to cope with my schedule.
“That was very interesting. I presume that you told it only to save your neck?” King Haeldaran arched his eyebrow, chuckling.
“No, your Majesty. Apart from my kin, you are the only one who now knows of this and your four guards of course. This is how I learn mind magic.” Loriath explained spreading his hands.
“However, you are correct that I would like to beg for a boon. It is not to save my skin, I would not wish to endanger the state and the monarchy because of a rumor of strange magic and foreign spy manipulation. I knew the consequences and will not shied away from it. However, please let my parents live or at least just send them away. Then, I can die knowing that my family is safe.”
“Very noble of you. Did you pick that up from a book?” King Haeldaran asked dryly.
“Your Majesty!” Loriath exclaimed in scandalized tones, his dark violet eyes widened. This was not the time for levity!
Haeldaran resumed his stern demeanor. “Here is my judgment.” He stated, rising from his throne and unsheathing a long sword next to him.
Here it comes. Loriath kept his emotions buried deep within the core of his being although his stomach continued churning. I wonder how it feels like to die. It is only a pity that the King did not promise anything. Still, I have tried and that is all I can do. Slowly, as the four guards pushed Loriath to his knees, the King walked over. Looming behind him was the long straight sword. Hopefully, it was sharp enough to make his end swift.
“Loriath Erkandar, Diplomat of Astorisia and Mind Mage,” The King’s voice boomed out, the blade reaching the zenith and arcing straight down. “I appoint you my personal representative and King’s Justice.” The tip of the long sword touched his right shoulder with barely a scratch, the king had good control over the swing of his blade.
Smiling, King Haeldaran helped an astonished Loriath up. “I need people who are faithful and loyal to the country. I need statesmen. Officially, you will take over Gredan Tlik as Assistant Chief Diplomat while he becomes Chief. Unofficially, there may be things for you to do to keep Astorisia safe.”
“This is an honor, my King. I will carry it out with my utmost devotion.” Loriath bowed, still trying to take control of the familiar exhilaration of facing death and escaping it.
“As to your magic, only these four and myself know of it. May your loyalty never waver.” The king placed a shoulder around him and motioned for his guards to return Loriath’s weapons.
“Be assured that it will remain as steady as ever, your Majesty.”
“Good, I will be watching, Silver Raven.” Haeldaran said pleasantly, the undercurrent of his voice carried a gentle warning as he bade Loriath to leave.
Loriath replaced his weapons and left after the usual courtesies. Silver Raven….….what kind of name was that? He half turned, wanting to argue about this but changed his mind at the amused smile of the monarch.
Well after all, he is the king. He sighed and strode off to his home. His parents were going to go berserk over this.