The Onyx Throne
Aiden Valentine was born into a family of new nobility based in the Taldor region. His father, Marcus, is an ex-adventurer who only adventured briefly and has since used his profits to buy his way into nobility. He maintains the family fortunes with trade via caravans from hard to reach regions. His mother, Elizabeth, was Marcus’s adventuring companion. She left shortly after Aiden’s birth and is presumed dead by any concerned.
Marcus remarried four years after Aiden’s birth and did so very strategically. A prominent family from a distant land effectively sold their eldest daughter, Kath’lien, to Marcus. Many considered the marriage a scandalous affair since his new bride was marrying far below what a family of their status normally would have expected from a suitor. Speculation varied from her being the victim of rape to her having a love affair with a lowly servant. The rumors proved somewhat founded when Kath’lien gave birth to a baby girl, Alexandria, only five months after her wedding; a fact Marcus went through great pains to cover up. Regardless, Marcus’s marriage to such a deep noble bloodline did wonders for his new status and connections.
Aiden’s childhood was filled with opportunity and wealth in things beyond what gold could buy. Kath’lien proved to be a loving mother and raised both Aiden and Alexandria with great care. The two children were inseparable throughout their youth until Aiden began training and drills that, despite Alex’s insistence that she should participate as well, were meant for men.
Knights, fair maidens, heroic adventures, and righteous quests—these are the legends of old Taldor and once Aiden came of age, he joined the local army. Partly to play the heroic knight that young men dream of and partly at his fathers urging (who was keen on the idea a knight in the family). But the once-powerful empire has fallen from its former glory. Now rival nobles battle each other with bitter knights and proxy armies for personal power rather than honor. A smoldering truce with Qadira again threatens to ignite into war, and Taldor’s daughter states look down upon her with contempt. All of the regional instability and infighting lead to him developing a strong clerical devotion to Desna, the ancient Goddess of freedom, luck, chaos, good, and travel. After a few years when he had completed his obligations to the army, he left Taldor all-together and struck out on his own despite his unusually strong devotion to his family.
Over a year passed before Aiden reappeared with a number of scars and a nine-year-old mute girl who he introduces as Summer Jomeran Valentine. If this wasn’t enough to get the rumor mill going again for the Valentine family then his absurd stories on drunken nights certainly were. “He tells these fantastic stories as if they really happened. Stuff about killing gods, saving whole islands, immortal companions and enemies. It’s all really entertaining if you can get him drunk enough to start”. Following this his sister became pregnant out of wedlock. “Like mother like daughter” they said. Shortly after Alexandria’s pregnancy became common knowledge around the town and courts, Aiden left home again. Rumors that drift back to Taldor say that he has managed to gain an audience with every royal seat north of the inner sea, even as far away as the Lands of the Linnoram Kings. For what purpose, no one knows.