Baron

Baron was always second fiddle to his elder brother Prentice, no matter what the situation, be it sport, knightship, studies (in all of which most onlookers would deem Baron superior), because of the bloodline. Leopold, father to Baron and king of the Calabrian realm, praised the crown prince Prentice despite his shortcomings whilst undercutting Baron despite his overachievement. It was to this end that Baron took charge of his father's militia at the tender age of fourteen, very quickly proving his quality as a man of both honor and of blade, though it would not ever be enough to please the only one Baron ever sought to gain approval from.

Very shortly thereafter, it was discovered that Prentice was developing a consumption, deemed untreatable by the finest doctors the world over. No expense had been spared in determining what ailed the elder son, so much so that the monarchs delved into funds that had been earmarked for Baron's further study, marriage, and personal fortune to ascertain what exactly ailed his older brother. Personally, he cared little about giving of himself to help his brother were he asked to dip into his personal cache, but that was a luxury not afforded Baron, and permission was never asked. Rather than protest, which would only have served to strain the relationship between Leopold and Baron further, he bit his tongue, knowing it was helping Prentice, and he clung to that fact to assuage his anger.

Over time, however, more instances came and went, and even the most patient man is liable to run out of fuse. While Prentice slowly deteriorated, Leopold was not about to admit defeat to a mere disability. A farce was put on, an act as though nothing was wrong, and even though Prentice was visibly weakening, some would say on death's very door, the king went about his normal routine, grooming the feeble elder brother for the throne, and exacting his every disappointment upon the lesser. Prentice, however, would prove his own quality by instructing Baron in the ways his father was teaching him, knowing full well any training Leopold imparted was wasted if not upon the younger prince. Nothing could prepare him for what would soon ensue, however.

Seventeen years of age, Baron frequented a favorite hiding spot of his, a solace only he knew of where he could toil away from public view. It was there that he saw the armies. Word had indeed spread of Prentice's impending death and Leopold's folly, as was mooted, and Baron was the only one who knew. Instantly he raced to alert his father and the men, only to be mocked and rushed away, apparently infringing upon a meeting or some such drivel. Seizing this final opportunity to prove himself, he forcefully tugged at his father's cloak, such strength as was common of a royal guardsman yielding Leopold no option but to follow Baron to see the masses at the ready for a strike.

Rather than fight their way out, however, Leopold demanded his family assemble in the great hall, to execute themselves lest any enemy capture one of the Conroys as a trophy piece. Baron would have none of it, pleading that he knew a way out which would take them into the dense forests where they would be safe. Lila, the queen, fell first, Leopold dismissing every word his son uttered as arrogance on Baron's part. Prentice was next in the king's deadly sights, both princes knew, and then it happened. Baron, after nearly two decades of shunnings and degradation at the hands of his own father, whom he wanted so dearly only to give him a pat on the back just once in his miserable existence, snapped.

Nothing remotely resembling logical thought passed through the younger prince's head, and action was little more than a blur to Baron's eyes. One moment he saw his father standing over his brother, the next he himself was standing over Leopold, bloodied sword in hand, his father's vitae staining the golden throne. Prentice too had been mortally wounded before Leopold was stopped, but Baron nonetheless placed his own sword in his brother's hand when he realised what had happened, begging for his life to be taken as a murderer, as he had now become, deserved. His brother's words resonated on his ears, the last he ever heard from Prentice, absolving him of the crime, and demanding he flee for his life; he urged Baron to live his days as strong as he'd become, not worrying about what would come of his homeland. It was in that moment that Prentice breathed his last, falling to join his parents in death upon the floor.

Baron indeed fled as instructed, gathering as much regalia and money as he could bear, and stepped through the gauntlet of escape passages he himself had devised, into the very forest he'd begged his family to follow him to earlier. Aimless wanderings carried his steps in every wayward direction imaginable, his loot quickly betraying him through both necessities and frivolous games of chance, his cherished sword and a ring of Prentice's his last remaining relics of home. Countless times he'd contemplated walking off a cliffside somewhere, falling on his sword, and a multitude of other undesirable ways to end one's own life, yet his mind always drifted to what Prentice had said, the words of his departed brother, confidant, and best friend seeing him through the hardest times.

His kingdom gone presumably forevermore, Baron's wanderings carried him to many a strange place, where he knew and trusted no one. The bewildered deposed prince eventually decided that the unknown was less desirable than the known, even were it more perilous. Simply put, he was more content in a place he knew, with people he knew, even if they didn't like him. Things were easier to read then. Thus, a return to the village of Ley'Shar suits him, as it's close to his homeland - where his heart still lies to this day - but far enough away that he isn't likely to be in as much danger as returning to the felled Calabria herself.

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