Sir Rainier Ashford
Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.
Social Rank: 7
Concept: Returning King's Own
Hair Color: dark
Eye Color: blue
Description: This man is taller than most at around six feet one of height and seems pretty fit at a first glance; broad shouldered and athletic, he's wearing an olive mottled grey-green overcoat that clasps at the top of his chest with a deep cowl which can be pulled over the head to cast his features in shadows; it's thicker just past the neck but lighter, looser around the arms and legs, with ribbons sewn together at the top to allow it to be pulled tightly by the mantle. A fine set of custom-made leather armor can be seen beneath it, form-fitting from the neck down and well oiled, covering him all the way down to the light-weight soft-soled old boots at at his feet. A deerskin scabbard is strapped over his back allowing for a long, slight curved and slender blade's hilt to protrude behind his left shoulder whose pommel bears an inscribed silver crest of a crown above a sword pointing downward.
Rainier is good looking with his deep-set eyes and a bold nose that emits a certain distinguished demeanor. Strong jawed, thick browed, wide mouthed, this one's hair is in kept just short enough to require minimal tending to, yet he's also grown a beard he keeps neatly trimmed and clean. He is athletic with a broad shouldered, solid build and has no obvious tattoos or personal jewellery on him other than a thin, dull wire necklace whose visible parts are unadorned and fairly unremarkable hangs from his neck only to disappear under the padded layers of clothing worn beneath the coat.
Personality: Introspective, thoughtful, doubt-filled
Background: Growing up all Rainier Ashford ever wanted was to become a soldier; his father, Benedict saw it in him, and noticed the boy had the early signs of athleticism and single-mindedness to perhaps be a good one at it so he encouraged the notion. Many of his young years were spent with a wooden blade in hand swinging at trees imagining battle-borne glory and honor untold.
Benedict was no wealthy man but he cared for his family a great deal, so what coin he had to spare went to hiring mercenaries to teach his son first the rudimentary and then increasingly advanced lessons - trees don't fight back, he reasoned, and his loss would have been greater than any sum of money.
One of those tutors, a strange, wiry looking fellow few would have picked as a sword instructor was a great influence in the teenager's life, combining blade forms with words of poetry and introspection, a binding of the philosophical and the martial; if life is to be taken, he reasoned, must we not examine why?
Rainier joined the army when he came of age and he was both advanced and disciplined enough to advance up the ranks; he made a name of himself and was chosen to be one of the elite who took up arms in the King's Own, where he had long dreamt of belonging - but also where he first started losing track of why, exactly, he was there to begin with.
The spilling of blood never came easily to the young man but raids and duty both made demands of him, sometimes against his judgment or conscience; but soldiers obey, and he rode where he was told to ride. It wasn't long though before his life was bound to change again.
King Alaric Grayson IV was pretty young, though not particularly trained as a soldier, he wanted to join Grayson forces doing sweeps against raiding shavs at the reaches of Crownlands territory, even though the King's Own was a little horrified at him being placed in danger. During that time Rainier, as a senior member at that point, saw action after action in fights against Abandoned forces that weren't merely barbarians with the lust of battle in their eyes but really just tribes that often were merely territorial. Many unnecessary battles were fought and the sheer waste of combat that just more careful negotiations could have taken care of.
Perhaps the needless bloodshed was too much for Rainier whose father's influence combined with the man's own achievements were enough for the rare event of someone taking a leave of absence from the elite band, putting their banners aside in order to return once more to a family he had left behind. He rejoined House Ashford for a time, then just as he seemed to be settling back into civilian life he suddenly vanished, reportedly without given an explanation to his own kin.
When he returned, months later, the only explanation he provided was 'being north' for that period. Whatever happened in the interim must have had some kind of impact on the man, however, since he immediately reached out to the Hundred and rejoined the King's Own as a Knight once more.