Character Name: Galtar Kaan
Place of Birth/Raising: Tear
(Please note: He will be 18 when the RPing begins. Over time and with him growing older he will realise he can channel. I think with 22 I want him to discover he was born with the spark. Of course until he has been taught some, his ability to weave Saidin will be very limited and really a joke.)
Hair the colour of ebony, skin tanned from the merciless sun over Tear, Galtar is the very image of a Tairen noble. His shirts are usually adorned with enough ruffles and lace to mirror a whipped up sea at the height of a storm. Using dark vests and pants as a contrast, the spilling out white lace becomes even more dominant and is delicate enough to make most noble women jealous. Dark brown eyes seem to sometimes glow like charcoal but mostly his features remind of his cultivated past. If his voice was any higher one might get the idea it was too high for a man, and his way of speech quenches the last bit of doubt, he is a man of the mind, and not of the sword.
Galtar was ten.
The woods were bathed with light. They played as often in the woods as they could. Galtar was of noble birth, as was his best friend Lahan. But Galtar was even closer to Zahlia. She too was the daughter of a noble, and as often as they could the three of them would be together.
"What will we play today?" Zahlia's frail voice enquired.
"I want to be your guard, milady. I want to protect you from these bandits. Let me slay a bear for you!" Lahan shouted, his voice uncommonly deep for a boy his young age.
"And I'll be your bard. Milady!" Galtar eagerly replied. "I can also dance, and sing. Anything your highness wishes."
Usually they played being adults and Lahan always wanted to be a proud soldier, or the head of Zahlia's guards. He himself preferred to mimic something more intelligent like a bard to entertain the very girl the other boy protected, but really, one word from Zahlia, and he'd be anything she wished. Zahlia usually acted some princess.
The girl's brow climbed mischievously. "Anything I wish, Galtar? Could I wish you were my prince, my betrothed?"
Galtar was too young to realise the implications. Zahlia was too young to realise what she was theoretically proposing. Still, Galtar was close to tears with joy.
"I'd be gladly that."
It was a happy time. It was an untroubled time. It was the time Galtar considered the best time of his life. Galtar whished it would never end.
Galtar was fourteen.
Dust filled his mouth. His vision was blurred and a red tinge veiled his sight. Blood had trickled into his eyes. His blood he realised. His head hurt.
"Oh come on, Galtar!" Lahan yelled. "It was not that hard a blow. Training with you is like training with a girl! How am I supposed to improve when you wriggle in the dirt like that?"
It took the youngster a moment to realise what had happened. They were training. Sparring. And Lahan had somehow hit his head with the latches. The pain made tears come to his eyes, tears he was ashamed off. A different voice suddenly called: "Come on, boy, get up. Fight." Orpan was his mentor. And from the sound of his voice you could hear the man was not pleased with his charge lying in the dust.
"Come on, boy, you are far more skilled than Lahan. You can best him!" Could he? Galtar kept hearing that he was better, but he kept feeling that he was not. The truth was, he was afraid. He did not want to be hurt. He was afraid to feel pain. He would rather loose, than be injured. Why could he not continue to read? He liked history, he excelled in strategy, had talent with the old tongue and even strategy, but why did they keep on forcing him to fight? He had men that could fight for him once he stepped in his father's footsteps.
Struggling to his feet his eyes fell on Zahlia. She often watched them train. Unfortunately that meant, she often watched him loose. No, often was a lie, she always watched him loose. Sometimes his mentor claimed the only reason Lahan was able to best him was because he was so afraid to get hurt. Lahan never feared pain. Lahan was also not very reluctant to spar or get into fights. Lahan was the born warrior.
But seeing the expression Zahlia bore on her beautiful face, he rose. Recently Zahlia had changed somewhat. She no longer was just a young girl. She was developing into a young, desirable woman. And with her maturing, his feelings for her had transformed. Only recently had Galtar realised he loved this girl. Recently he had begun to dream about her. For her he could be brave. For her, he would defeat his friend Lahan. For her, he would do anything.
He rose. Lathes slammed against each other. A moment later he was back on the ground. The game repeated half a dozen time before the torture was finally over. Of course, he had lost yet again.
Just then a messenger entered the courtyard. Dismounting the man headed straight for him. "Master, Galtar? I fear I have terrible news. Your father... the battle was glorious and in the heat of battle Lord Harron was separated from his men. Still he fought bravely against the Illian nemesis. It took a fade to best him. He died a heroic death. You can be proud to be his son."
Galtar stumbled backwards. He had just managed to overcome his mother's death a few years ago. With his father now gone too he found himself an orphan. But the day was still to get worse. His closest relative alive was his aunt, and that woman had always given him the creeps. That same afternoon the cursed woman arrived to take up residence his castle. Taken by grief Galtar had retired early that day, but soon found he could not rest, and when the night had fallen he rose again and wandered aimlessly though the deserted hallways. Barefoot he hardly made a sound and before he realised he heard hushed voices.
He knew both. One was his aunt. The other the voice of the messenger. Frozen, he unintentionally witnessed their conversation.
"Milady, I fear it is not the entire truth." The man said. "I did not want to trouble the young lord with it."
"What happened really?"
"I fear Lord Harron... he turned his back in the middle of the battle and ran. He fled."
"Coward!" his aunt hissed. "How did he die?"
"He stumbled and was then trampled by a horse."
"A death suitable for a coward."
Galtar heard no more. He stumbled away. Not only had his father died this day. Also his feeling of respect for the man had been killed.
Galtar was eighteen.
The ball for Zahlia's seventeenth birthday was grand. The celebrations had lasted for several hours already, when suddenly her father rose. "I have another announcement to make. I am sure some of you will be surprised, but the time has come to announce my beautiful daughter will get married. It was Zahlia's expressed wish and I as her father am pleased to give her my best wishes." Galtar eyes became bigger every moment. His eyes darted from the man to his aunt to Zahlia. There was no doubt in his mind. They had been close since their earliest days and were still. He had meant to ask her for her hand this very night. He loved her. He had not looked at any other woman. He had not even kissed another. A look from her and he did anything she wished. He was surprised by the turn or events. But he did not mind that she had taken mattes into her own hands. Her father continued.
"Therefore I am pleased to announce that my daughter Zahlia will be married in six month's time to Lahan."
Galtar felt as if all blows his old friend had ever delivered in their training fights crashed down on him at once. And seeing Zahlia smile at the other young man, it was as if his heart was ripped out of his chest. People rose to say a toast. But he rose to leave. He had to puke. He had been like Zahlia's lapdog. He had done anything for her. He would still do anything for her. He loved her more than his life. He desired her more than anything else. To his shame he cried then. But he could not stop. Some time later when his aunt found him he was still sobbing.
For a long time she just stood there and observed him. Her cruel face showed her amusement.
"If you were a real man, you'd take what is yours."
"Shut up, aunt!" he snapped, for once not caring to be polite.
"Zahlia knows what is good for her. This Lahan is all you could have been. But you are nothing, just like your father."
"But I loved her. I still love her."
"Then make her yours."
"You say you love her?"
"More then life?"
"More then your hope of salvation and rebirth?"
"More then you love the light?"
"I know a way to make her yours. But unfortunately you are not man enough to go that road."
He blinked the tears away. He hated his aunt. She used every occasion to taunt him. But he knew she would not claim such a thing if there really was no way.
"For Zahlia I will do anything."
"Even kneel to the dark one?"
He was prepared to do anything. But that did make him shudder. Kind of unbelieving he mumbled: "The dark one?"
"I thought you said no price was too high? I thought you said you loved her?"
His face took on a hint of strength.
"I love her. I want nothing but her to be happy!"
"We both know, she is about to make the biggest mistake of her life. We both know she will only be happy with you."
"But why... but why did she choose him? Why?"
His aunt was a cruel woman. And she took pleasure in humiliating him even now. "Because you acted like a girl around her. She loves you, but she wants a man in her bed. I can help you to make her give you a second chance. I can make her welcome you with willing arms and eager lips. But you will have to make her your woman yourself. Sweep her off her feet, make her feel she is your woman, and you are her man and she will love you forever."
"But what about Lahan?"
"What about him? Don't you think he has done enough to you? Don't you realise all these years he has made fun of you with the only purpose to steal the girl from you that is rightfully yours?"
"Yes... but he will be mad..."
"No..." the woman interrupted him. "No my little boy, you will kill him."
"Never! I can't best him."
A smile appeared on her features.
"You can. Once you have bowed to the shadow he will just be a maggot for you to trample."
Biting his lips, Galtar lowered his gaze as he contemplated. After a moment his aunt talked on.
"I am a woman. Trust me. Zahlia wants you. She is young and confused and made the wrong decision. One night, and she will realise it was you she wanted all these years. You and you only. Lahan blinded her with his muscles and flamboyant charm. But she is longing for your sense and wit and affection. Fight Lahan. This time you will win. This time you will pay him back for all the times he rubbed your face in the dirt. This time he will not laugh and ridicule you. And no one will know who you serve. So, what does it matter? Trust me, the great lord of the dark will value you."
He was so tempted. He knew, without Zahlia his life would end soon. He could not live without her. But he could not quite make himself kneel. He could not quite forsake the light. The truth was, he was too weak.
"No... I can't!"
He was crying again. The older woman stepped back, clearly disgusted.
"I should put you in dresses, you wimp. But I should have known. You are just like your father. A coward. A shame to the great name of our family. You will never succeed. You will never saviour the flavour of Zahlia's skin. You will die like him, fleeing with your back turned to your enemies!"
"No!" he whispered defiantly.
"I can just see the wedding. Zahlia will be such a lovely bride. And Lahan a stunning groom."
"No!" he mumbled.
"Imagine how he undresses her at night. Imagine them kissing. Imagine him touching her skin!"
"No! he said more firmly.
"And it could have been you. But it will be him that will part her thighs."
"Stop!" he yelled.
"You stop being a coward!" She yelled back. "Be a man this one time and do what needs to be done. But you can't right? You are just too weak. You are nothing! Zahlia was right to reject you. You would have never been able to please her. Wimp! Coward!"
"I am not!"
"You are. You said you'd do anything for her. But really you just lie. If you loved her, you'd do that to make her happy. But you clearly don't care about her. I can just see how it will go from here. In a year she will regret. In two she will grieve. In three Lahan will start to beat her. In four she will take her life. And all will be your fault.
He was sobbing. "I love her." He whispered weakly, and with that he fell to his knees. "I'd do anything for her. I will take whatever oath you require, as long as you promise she will be happy."
He did not see the vile smile on the other's face.
"Trust me, Zahlia will be in heaven."
Galtar was too nervous to realise Lahan had been drugged. He interpreted his old friend's slow motions to be a sign of the Great Lord of the Dark lending him strength. Before he realised what had happened, Lahan's slain shape lay on a head on the floor. There was no remorse in him. His aunt had been right. Their friendship had ended long ago. Just neither of them had been brave enough to say it out loud.
He did not wash. Blood still covered his features as he took a secret way to Zahlias rooms. The girl he desired was deeply asleep, her slender features only vaguely covered by a flimsy nightgown that hid little of her feminine shape. For once he felt mighty. For once he felt sure of himself. And he was too aroused to realise she too had been drugged.
It was Zahlia that woke first the next morning. Her head was still clouded, but she realised what had happed when she saw the man next to her sleeping. Stumbling outside she also heard that her betrothed was dead, killed by the one that had taken her innocence without asking. Her love for Galtar had died long ago. Her love for Lahan had grown for the same length of time. And now it was all over. In a single night. Her dreams had been destroyed. Her honour had been robbed. Her love was dead. "Not like this." She mumbled as she tied a cord to one of the timbers supporting her ceiling. "You had no right." She added as she climbed on a stool, accusing eyes fixed to the sleeping shape. "There is no hope. There is no honour. There is no life." Her feet kicked. A chair toppled. A frail neck snapped.
Galtar woke, certain the day would be the happiest in his life. The smile on his face only faded very, very slowly as he saw a slender, beautiful shape dangle lifeless on a rope.