Life in the Iron Kingdoms
Auraelius Severius Ignis
Paladin and Warcaster
Description: Tall and broad shouldered, Auraelius is a man in his late fifties. His bright dark red hair having turned to an iron grey, and his skin had become slightly tanned from years within the church of Menoth, and gained the texture of old leather. Typically in his armour – white plate and leather with black chain and crimson trim, with the black cross of Menoth emblazoned across the pauldrons, vambraces and chestplate. The armour looks more like metallic robes, the plate flaring into a long skirt of leather and chain with only the toes of his hobnailed boots and the steel greaves that cover them visible.
Across his back is one of the wicked Firebrands is slung across his back with a heavy white shield, similarly emblazoned with the cross of Menoth, over it.
Background: Not always a valiant paladin of the Order of the Wall, Auraelius had originally been a criminal, a thief who had stolen from the faithful – captured by Scrutators and initially to be sentenced to the wrack – it was a commander of the paladin order that came to the young man’s defense. She argued against the sacrifice of the young man, going into great detail how he could better serve the Creator with his unending allegiance in defending the faithful. It was only grudgingly that the scrutator inevitably complied, releasing the young man to the commander.
He had been spared terrible torture for hard labour and training, a day did not go by that Auraelius didn’t stumble into his cot, bruised and sometimes bleeding – completely exhausted from combat training, lessons of Menoth, and the day-to-day work of an initiate-squire. Commander Bellatrix, the commander who saved his life, never allowed him any slack – in many cases she pushed him harder than others. He finally snapped when he saw a clear example of his suspicions – an initiate-squire who had only done one chore for the day was lingering around and speaking with Auraelius, who was busy chopping wood for the next week, that Commander Bellatrix arrived and told Auraelius that after he had finished he was to begin work on scrubbing the flagstones of the western tower – starting at the base of the tower.
He’d had enough and demanded from the Commander why he was being worked half to death while others had one or two tasks a day. Bellatrix just responded, “You do not find this fair, young Auraelius?” The older woman had asked calmly, steely blue eyes looking into his burning green ones.
“No!” he snarled, knuckles turning white around the haft of the hatchet he’d been using for his chore. The other initiate-squire having fled by this point, “I’ve mucked out the stables and fed the horses, I finished polishing the armour of four paladins and have just cut down nearly half a forest for the fires alone – and now I have to scrub down an entire tower, by myself? Not only that, but the single largest Menoth-damned tower in the entire Bastion! How is any of that fair?”
Bellatrix took his outburst in stride, saying coolly, “As unfair as stealing from the faithful and leaving them wanting?” The soft tone, the tone a mother uses when a child has gone too far and she’s gone past the point of anger, drew all the fire out of Auraelius’ anger. She turned her back on him, “The others all voluntarily joined, they’ve wanted to serve Menoth and protect the faithful since they’ve been children. You were drafted into His service. I saved you from the wrack; I never promised your life would be easier for it. Now, I expect that tower to be spotless.”
Auraelius fell asleep as the sun was rising; the western tower had been scrubbed so rough granite gleamed like polished marble in the torch light. He was allowed to sleep the whole day through, awaking the next day to wordlessly get to the list of chores he had. Each day the chores lessened until he was working the same amount as the rest of the initiate-squires.
One day he awoke to no list for the day. Confused, he dressed in his squire’s outfit and began to hunt around for the veteran in charge of the duty roster. The old man eyed Auraelius for a moment before jerking the stump of a wrist toward the chamber doors of the main hall, the small gobber hunched next to the veteran listening to a series of wordless growls and clacks, along with the motions of the three remaining fingers of the knight’s left hand before bobbing its warty head. “Castellan Paramonus say Commander Bellatrix need speak with you in office, quick-quick.”
Auraelius frowned, nodding to the Castellan before heading through the chamber doors of the main hall, taking various hallways and a flight of stairs to the office of Commander Bellatrix, he knocked lightly before opening the stout oak door and stepping inside, shutting it behind him and looking at the woman who had saved his life two years ago, and made it hell for the majority of those days. Bellatrix glanced up from her work, eyes peering over the rim of sharp-edged glasses. “Those are hardly the garments befitting a Paladin of the Order of the Wall,” this was the only congratulation she offered, and the only one Auraelius truly received. But it was more than enough.
It wasn’t until his tenth year as a paladin that Auraelius realized the power he actually had. When defending a flock of pilgrims against Cryxian raiders, Auraelius managed to summon forth burning fire from his bare hands, engulfing a massive helljack in righteous golden flames. Thinking this a beneficence from Menoth, Auraelius hurled himself into the battle with renewed fervor, the flames rupturing the helljack before a blow from his Firebrand finished the blasphemous creature off.
The warcaster controlling it fled at the destruction of its ‘jack, leaving behind a poisonous fog that prevented Auraelius from giving chase. He saw the faithful to the safety of the fortress, reporting to Commander Bellatrix on the entirety of the battle. When he mentioned the power he called forth Bellatrix promised him she’d send to the church to find the truth of his power. Within two weeks Warcaster Jana arrived, the woman need only take one look at the proud Auraelius to let both he and Commander Bellatrix know that he was more than a paladin: he had the makings of a warcaster.
Jana took Auraelius from The Bastion to train him further, to hone his power so he did not accidentally set fire to a group of pilgrims he was set to guard. His training took five years of work beneath Jana – and was more grueling than the physical work he had endured under Bellatrix. When he had finished his training he had learned of Bellatrix’s death far afield of The Bastion – Paramonus, who had somehow survived all these years, had been installed as the new commander of The Bastion. Auraelius returned to pay his respects to the memory of Bellatrix before requesting from Paramonus to do the same damned insane thing as Bellatrix, the commander – through his gobber – granted Auraelius’ request – the now older man setting off from The Bastion to protect the faithful wherever they might be – and has been doing so for the past twenty years.
Attitude: Stoic, but caring. Auraelius will not hesitate to throw himself in harm’s way, even for those who are not of his faith – for all are truly children of Menoth. He’s less inclined to immediately launch himself against someone, instead preferring to try and speak with them before violence begins – but if it does begin he will be sure to end it in the holy flames of Menoth.
Personal goal: Protect the faithful, slay the heretics, and chew bubblegum – and he’s all out of bubblegum. (Since it probably doesn’t exist).
Relation to others:
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