Prince Nicholaus Grayson
The world is a dark and dangerous place that wants to destroy us, to eat us alive... But only if we let it.
Description: Possessed of startlingly bright, blue-green eyes, Nicholaus very much looks the part of nobility. A strong, angled jaw often sports a finely trimmed beard that leads into short cropped sides with longer, styled waves of dark brown hair on the top of his head. The angles don't stop at his jaw though, for he also possesses high cheekbones that accentuate the thin, sharp lines of his face. Broad shoulders and a trim frame suggest at an active lifestyle, a suggestion further enforced by the faded scars on his hands, fingers, and wrists -- at least when he's not wearing gloves.
Personality: Once, Nicholaus was called carefree by his friends and lazy by his enemies. That all changed when Nicholaus went on his little 'adventure.' Whatever happened while he was gone, changed him. Now, Nicholaus is possessed of a purposeful ambition and an idealist's outlook. He sees the Compact as good, as bringing safety and prosperity to many. A singular drive has possessed him to see it successful and strong, to guard it against threats both inside and out, and he will happily participate in any manner of social game to achieve that end. He presents a gentlemanly, if intense figure. He's never impolite if it can be helped, and there's a certain sense of focus to nearly everything he does or says. He's a staunch supporter of his friends and allies, quick to leap to their defense with a good word in the right ear if he can put it there.
Background: Though Nicholaus Grayson was born privileged, he was a young man distinctly aware of how far from rule he was. He lacked any sort of drive to rise in influence or political power, to dance about the social stage and pretend to be something he wasn't. Instead he delighted away in taverns and gambling halls, 'enjoying life' he would explain -- 'wasting it' many others would claim. This never seemed to bother him -- few things did, in fact. His friends often described him as a carefree soul, possessed of a distinct lack of ambition that made him safe to relax around. Few if any know where he got the idea for the 'adventure' that would take him out of Arx and into the lands beyond. One day he simply decided to go off and travel with a group of retired mercenaries who were intending on making the rounds of Arvum and visiting the various cities. His preperations were hasty, but many of his drinking companions figured he was in good hands.
Ultimately, Nicholaus didn't return when he was supposed to. A search went out, stories of spotting the group were traced for a time, but eventually it was discovered that they never made it to one of their intended stops. No evidence of their bodies or possessions were found, and they were assumed to have been waylaid by shavs and killed.
Then one day, Nicholaus returned. Bruised and a bit battered, his companions still missing, Nicholaus confirmed the suspicions that shavs had attacked them, but claimed he escaped and was lost for a time. He refused to speak of the intervening years, claiming they were hard and transformative, and ultimately difficult to relive. It took weeks for him to recover, but those who spoke with him recognized a change in his personality. Still friendly, he now possessed a sense of purpose and drive. An ambition to help the Compact and preserve it, an ambition born from the hardships he faced beyond its protection.