Marquis Fairen Leary
Knowledge must be preserved and fought for. There is no greater legacy than memory.
Description: Tall and stocky, there is much about Fairen that suggests hidden strength behind his spectacles. Perhaps the strong bones of his face and jaw cannot entirely be obscured by the general shyness he presents. His eyes are pale and clear, gray-blue behind the round frames of the glasses that almost never leave his face. His lips are thin, edged with the shade of lines at the corners of his mouth, beneath the bold nose. His hair is short and thick, prickling in dark spikes with just the earliest seeds of gray to glint amidst the brown strands. The hairline is just barely beginning to recede.
Personality: Fairen has a powerful weight of intelligence behind a dry reserve that occasionally goes past crisp into sharp and spiky. Though basically caring and decent and warm, when his patience snaps he wields snark and sarcasm like bitter daggers. He has an intuitive knack for people, which also means his social intelligence is good at helping him find weaknesses. Study and knowledge are his primary pursuits and the goal and love of his whole life, which in a universe that contains massive quantities of information lost to time and memory primes him for a life occasionally colored by staggering disappointments. He can be shy socially and also has a tendency to dither and to use a few too many words to say what could otherwise be simple.
Background: Fairen's older sister Hianara was the March. Throughout their childhood, she was an active, aggressive child, with ambitions to leadership, cavalryship, generalship. Fairen studied quietly a lot, and although he enjoyed walking outdoors amidst the trees and occasionally growing things in little garden plots on his own, he was disinterested in most of the rougher games the other children played, finding more solace in books and in the teachings of the priests and in the quiet of the stone passageways beneath the fort.
As an adult, the military pursuits that had always intrigued his sister drew Fairen hardly at all. The human drama behind the history of warfare drew his attention far more than anything related to strategy or tactics. Hianara married a young Malvici cousin and began right away on the task of making new heirs only to lose her first two children still in the womb.
Fairen was almost married out into the Oathlands due to an arrangement with the Laurents, but it didn't work out for a couple of reasons; the first was that shortly before the treaty signing, Hianara died in a brutal and bloody battle with some Shav'Arvani. So instead the Laurent cousin in question married in instead, tying herself firmly to the new March and essentially proving essential in teaching him to rule and lead. For the first few years of their marriage, their relationship has been one of crisp, competent tolerance, cut with occasional furors of rage-fueled drama and what Fairen testily refers to as "hullaballoo". With the Grayson banners called and war and disaster brewing on the horizon, though, even a kind-of mismatch like Fairen and Iliana must learn to set aside their differences and work together.