Immortal King of the Realm
Alignment: Neutral Good.
Thoughts from the nobility.
Cardith truly was a remarkable monarch, Gilcrass reflected as he watched the Boy-King play a game of chess with one of his advisors. Granted, he had the outward appearance of a ten-year-old boy, but he had knowledge far beyond his years. In fact, he had knowledge far beyond the years of most rulers. And he wasn’t really ten years old. He’d looked like that since the day Gilcrass had joined the Guard, never reaching puberty, never experiencing his voice break, never growing hair on his chest, never finding an interest in the fairer sex or the temptations of marriage.
Gilcrass felt vaguely content about that. If one was to say that the king did have a love, it was the people of his empire, and his marriage was to his throne. Cardith Lorda devoted all his time to the running of the great city, the expansion of the settlements, the campaigns against barbarians and enemy states. He showed no nepotism, no corruption in favor of his family, no “personal favors” to people who had his ear. This had a simple explanation: Cardith was, as far as anyone could tell, an orphan. He had no family history and no-one recognized him as hailing from any famous noble families. The name meant nothing to anyone-Gilcrass half suspected he had made it up.
And still, through force of personality, determination, wisdom and a bit of cunning, Lorda had forged a union out of the fractured principalities and city-states in an amazingly short time. The period of fighting and bloodshed, long, long ago, had been brief and limited, and after it had followed a new age of power and prosperity from the surrounding darkness.
Gilcrass moved closer to the couple engaged in their battle of wits. Cardith was winning, as usual. He looked up at the sound of Gilcrass’ approach and gave him an affectionate smile. Then he turned back to the board and calmly made a killing move.
Despite all his care, all his calmness and all his good work for the Kingdom, this cold, calculating side of Lorda, which could seemingly be switched on and off at will, disturbed Gilcrass, although he would never tell the king that to his face. It wasn’t the only thing that worried him. When Lorda was called upon to pass a harsh judgment, fight a campaign or make a particularly unpleasant decision, his voice would subtly change, taking on a low, hissing undertone, and the hard glint in Cardith’s eyes, so out of place in his otherwise soft, boyish features, would become even more pronounced.
When that happened, Gilcrass was truly afraid.