Prince Lenard Valardin
My blade is sworn to the Oathlands. My words are bound to truth, my arms defend the helpless, my heart knows only virtue. These are not just vows: this is our legacy.
Description: Lenard is a strong, blond young man who is just now fully coming into his own as a warrior even though the makings of someone great are there. Beautiful by any standards, it is the passion that is in his green eyes that calls those to his side, be it at a ball or to fight with him in the battlefield. When in peace, Lenard is serene and quiet, spending his time daydreaming about what things might be in the future, but when fighting the foes of the Oathlands the young man is a fury, leaving nothing to be desired even if compared to the most powerful Northlander.
Personality: The Oathlands are more than just geography, they are an ideal that, if lost, would cost more than just some cultural shift in the Compact: it would mean its complete deterioration. Most other territories have their worth, but the lands of the Valardin are unique in that they protect that what is virtuous and good among the fealties, and Lenard will go to the grave before he allows the flame of hope and faith to extinguish in the hearts of the people. This is the responsibility of every Valardin, but instead of arguing the point, Lenard tries to embody it, and wherever he goes the young man tries to inspire those around him into embracing their better selves. To Lenard, no matter one's origins, they can be helped to see the values of virtue, reason why he is known to knight even commoners who show enough bravery and strength of character. Knights are guardians of virtue, not of the nobility. On the issue of his sister, his thoughts are complex on the subject, but it marks one of the few he is silent about, though he seems to have found mercy in his heart, somewhat, to forgive her.
Background: The tale is well-known by those in the Oathlands: Princess Marianne Valardin was an infectiously charismatic daughter of Sanctum, someone different from other White Dragons. Unafraid of pushing social boundaries to the extremes, Marianne mingled with the commonfolk and defied her family whenever she felt was right. Compared to her the Valardin were seen as stuffy, and so wild was the Princess that she clashed against expectations and challenged tradition by marrying out of love, her husband a Lycene merchant named Marcello. The crowds erupted in jubilation at wedding and the chaos in the White City that day was legendary. It was to this legacy that Lenard, the third of four children, was born.
Stories about young Lenard have always been few and far between, telling the tale of a young boy in love with the idea of being a knight and a hero of the Oathlands but who spent most of his time reading on such heroes and stories instead of preparing to become one of them. That is not to say the young Valardin did not train, he very much did, but mostly when pressed by his father, a man who believed in the strength of will and action, as opposed to his son's empty aspirations. Thanks to Marcello Lenard learned how to wield a blade with expertise, and became a squire at an early age. The careful discipline instilled in Lenard would pay dividends in the following years, but not in the way predicted by any of them.
The Tragedy at Sanctum was a mortifying event where the majority of the Valardin leadership was assassinated, a cowardly blow that demoralized the Oathlands. Lenard's family would be further disgraced weeks later, when his older sister, Audrey, became a kinslayer by taking their mother's life. Those dark days were thought to be the last of his bloodline, but instead of being brought to his knees, Lenard earned his spurs soon after, becoming a knight and in his first act as such proceeding to visit every House of the Oathlands, from Telmar to Laurent, Farshaw to Lyonesse, anywhere notice of the Tragedy had reached and where the people needed to see with their own eyes that the White Dragons still roared in Sanctum.
Over his years as a knight the young man has been known to duel many evils that plague the Oathlands, joining the Knights of Solace to protect the roads and fighting shav tribes that cavort with the forces of darkness in the pursuit of the wicked who would harm his people. All the warring has led Lenard to hone his skills with a blade and renewed his commitment to honor and duty in the face of the barbarism he has witnessed, something that will serve the the Valardin well as the young man is summoned to Arx to be at the heart of the Compact. Never afforded so much responsibility, Lenard is now poised to show how on the grand stage how far he has come from the dreamer he was before the Tragedy, and how strong the Valardin have become since.