In The City Of Towers
Exiled from his people, this former nobleman must make his way in the city of Sharn through skullduggery and skill with a blade.
Born eighty-nine years ago to the Rhaegaliona, queen of the Eladrin of the City of Twilight, Gaius lived, for much of his life, a fairly idyllic existence. As a scion of the royal house, he was trained in the noble arts of swordplay, where he quickly mastered the rapier, employing a rapid-fire feint-strike style, always keeping his opponent guessing. He was a quick study, but he cared little for schooling, preferring to run wild in the palace, filching sweet-meats from the kitchens.
His upbringing being what it was, it is perhaps unsurprising that Gaius developed something of a superiority complex. He was to the manner born, and one day, he would rule his city, his people, by right of succession. He was first among a people known for their special and unique nature – the best of the best. Maybe it went to his head a little – but maybe he is just that good. Not to say that the prince wasn’t noble and chivalrous – he was a man of honour, after all – but he did think he was a bit … above.
Except when it came to the Lady Gloriana. The daughter of another noble house of the city, she and Gaius fell in love. They met in secret many a night – but it was not to be. Gloriana had been betrothed at birth to Jairon Thondannaof the City of Eternal Dawn. The match was crucial to maintaining diplomatic ties between the two cities, and not even the influence of the Rhaegalions could dissuade Gloriana’s family from the match. This amused Jairon to no end, and he could often be found taunting Gaius at court functions and dinners of state. He knew of his betrothed’s affair, but it made no matter. “After all,” he said, “A whore can be tamed as easily as any horse.”
In the end, Jairon’s jeers and slights got the better of Gaius’ temper. He rashly challenged the older man to a duel on the very day of the proposed wedding. The fight was fiercly fought, but Gaius landed a lucky blow, slicing open Jairon’s handsome visage from mouth to ear, leaving a horrible scar. Though the wound was not mortal, the duel almost provoked a war between the two cities. To avert disaster, the Rhaegaliona was forced to exile her eldest son forever from the Feywild. Gaius left his people in disgrace, knowing that despite all he had lost, he had still failed – for his beloved Gloriana and most hated foe were married the very next day.
Gaius journeyed to the world of men, the land of Khorvaire, with only his royal seal and his custom-made rapier to his name. Without the Rhaegalion family fortune, and in unfamiliar lands populated by ‘lower beings’, the former prince found himself in desperate straits. He stole a horse, and made his way to the city of Sharn. He soon found himself in the city’s Thieve’s Quarter, where he began to apply his childhood pie-snatching and exploration. Gaius became a moderately successful cat burglar and occasional cut-purse.
Gaius finds his whole current predicament humiliating in the extreme, and dreams of revenge against Jairon and return to his people – both, for the moment, impossible. Living as he does among the lowest of the low has only exarcerbated the princeling’s tendency towards arrogance and self-importance. He justifies his criminal activities by the fact that he is accustomed to a certain standard of living, and as a royal son of the Eladrin most people’s property is his by right anyway. For all that, though, he has retained his sense of honor, justice and propriety. More than one back-alley ruffian accosting a young lady has found himself skewered on the business end of a slender eladrin-forged rapier, seeing only a glimpse of silver eyes and white hair before his murderer blinks out of existence.
The War, and Afterwards
And then the War came to Khorvaire. The Brelish intelligencers known as the Dark Lanterns recognized Gaius’ not insubstantial skill, and hired him on as a spy and cutthroat. He accepted, mostly because he was low on coin and in trouble with the local gangster, Erastes Mak-Tar. He spent several years slitting throats and gathering valuable intelligence for the Brelish brass.
On one memorable occasion, he and a companion, sent to retrieve a Dwarvish merchant from a ruined tower where Brelish intelligence indicated he’d been imprisoned, Gaius encountered several other Brelish agents, all of whom had similar business in the tower. Among the strangers was a taciturn and grumpy Githzerai with whom Gaius had occasionally drowned his sorrows in the back-alleys of Sharn. The mismatched group encountered more trouble than they had bargained for, and were forced to band together or be destroyed by a mysterious sorceress and her undead-loving minions. Their foes defeated, and a grudging respect formed between them, the Brelish agents disbanded and returned the grateful Dwarf to Sharn.
Gaius spent the last few months of the war extracting valuable enemy defectors to the Brelish lines, and then returned to Sharn. He and Versifer have encountered each other again occasionally since then, swapping contemptuous opinions of the mongrel peoples with whom they must now, by necessity associate. Gaius’ experiences during the war have only convinced him that he’s fallen farther than he ever imagined since his exile from the Feywild. His sense of superiority is even greater now: the mortals are honorless butchers, and now he is, for better or worse, stuck among them.