Prionnsa of Dubhion
Goals & MotivationHarlan's principle motivations are two, yet intertwined; family and The Four. Guided by a zealous interpretation of Templarism, he seeks to mimic its familial ideals to the fullest. This means holding the Ormonde cause higher than any personal one, and a single-minded focus on its betterment, both material and spiritual. The highest of his ambitions, and the most well-kept, is a desire to see the Ormondes, and by extension Dubhion, unite Tnarem under a single, divinely guided monarchy ruled by the teachings of The Four.
He is not completely without personal ambition, although those extend only as far as perfecting his academic work and becoming a valuable advisor to the one who ought to rule.
ReligiosityHarlan is a devout Templarist, with a religious fervor that borders on the extreme. Often keeping company of a Sacerdos and never missing a Matin, he takes great care to not only be pious, but to appear so as well. This devotion leads him to interpret all earthly events as the manifestation of The Four's will, and thus to ascribe victories and defeats to piety or lack thereof. He is extremely suspicious of those he deems lax in their faith, and even more so for outright non-templarists. Magic he views with extreme prejudice; those who are tainted by the touch of the Pale are - with very few exceptions found in the Augury or Carnifex - irrevocably lost to The Four's grace.
appearanceHarlan's appearance could hardly be described as that of an ideal prionnsa. Standing at just over 5'10'' and slender, it is immediately obvious that The Four did not bless him with a heroic physique. Although proper breeding has given him a perfect posture and a composed demeanour, his is not a figure that catches the eye. Dressed at all times in black, with only a rare dash of coloured embroidery on special occasions, Harlan's appearance is quite apparently not something he considers of paramount importance.
His face is long, gaunt and with a slightly hooked nose, with quite prominent bags under his dark, restless eyes. He keeps his hair parted in the middle and combed back, forgoing the more common Dubhionic fashion of curls, and his face is never unshaven. His thin lips and collection of wrinkles uncharacteristic for his age give off an apathetic, even sombre air, which his low, whispery voice does nothing to counter.
personalityHarlan's appearance is a worthy introduction to his character - shrewd, practical and grim. Although he possess little in the way of personal charisma, he does seem to engage in each conversation with the fullness of the vocabulary his royal upbringing provided for him and in a soft-spoken, sobering manner. Sensitivity to Dubhionic social norms makes him extremely reluctant to show any sort of emotion, regarding such displays as personal weaknesses to be mastered and overcome. The piety and duty that so drive him are negatively reflected, however, in his inclination to judge and deride those whom he perceives as inadequately adherent to either. He is fiercely studious, and precisely in discussion of his chosen academic fields does he begin to show the signs of human emotion - passion, namely. Outside religion and academics, Harlan seems to feel all emotions in their subdued forms: approval instead of affinity, disappointment instead of anger, melancholy rather than despair, satisfaction where joy would be merited.
strengths & weaknesses
As the son of the king, Harlan was given the best education that the Ormonde household could muster.From late childhood, he showed a great interest for the studies that he saw as key to the betterment of men and betterment of society. From the moment he learned how to read, books and treatises would become his most beloved and cherished companions, and he would often find himself thinking much more highly of long-dead thinkers and historical figures than the commonplace people he was surrounded by. As he grew older, he began to explore his own thoughts and ideas on these matters, which would become his chief occupation outside of religious and royal duties. Most of Harlan's original work explores the possible fusion of the most holy, most moral and most effective forms of governance - both of the self and of the state.
Although never particularly emotionally intelligent, Harlan did not shirk his courtly duties and could be described as being at the very least not incompetent in matters of personal intrigue. When it comes to artistic engagements, he could be described as more of an enthusiast than a successful creator, yet he retains an active interest in prose and dramatical works, partly due to a sense of duty due to the name he carries, and partly due to his belief that literature carries enormous potential to reveal and explain the key concepts and truths of his faith.
In martial matters, to describe Harlan as utterly incompetent would be an understatement. The extent of his expertise with weapons is the firm, yet not absolute certainty that the pointy end is to be pointed at the enemy. Physical prowess, as far as he is concerned, is best left to the soldier and the brute, who would risk their lives for personal glory, yet he clearly acknowledges the need of a state to have such people in large quantities. While he holds military strategists in high regard, he is himself not the least knowledgeable in the field, and his tendency to ascribe battle outcomes to divine favour would prove outright disasterous should a cruel trick of fate put him in charge of troops.
Magical AbilitiesNo Information
Consequences of Being AwakeNo Information
Relationship with HouseStemming from his piety, Harlan's sense of duty to his family is absolute. This does mean, however, that love is quite secondary to his feelings of obligation towards the idea of family. He has the capacity to be cold, even cruel, to his fellow family members, but never in public, and certainly not for cruelty's sake, but rather due to his high expectations of what an Ormonde should be. Seeming to prioritize the king and heir apparent over all other family members, he takes an active interest in their affairs and often offers his own counsel, while towards his own wife and children he seems disinterested at best.
Public KnowledgeHarlan is the author of several philosophical treatises that focus on blending Templarist theology with political philosophy.
He is a close ally of the Temple and regularly considers its interests and teachings in making decisions.
A regular patron of literature, Harlan seems to enjoy rewarding pious poets, novelists and playwrights whenever his finances allow.
He takes an active interest in the work of nearly all the ministries of Dubhion.
His piety is a thing of public record, as he never misses a single Matin.
Even according to Dubhionic standards, he lives in austerity and temperance, only participating in royal splendour when to do otherwise would be an insult.
RumorsHe is a but a puppet of the Temple, serving the clergy's cause more diligently than that of his family.
His extreme piety is nothing but an act, devised to disguise a more grim and heretical nature.
The philosophical works he publishes are actually written by someone else and only signed with his name for personal prestige.
He has adopted his apathetic disposition in order to mask a great cowardice.
Harlan was born on the 23rd of June, 1410 NE as the second son and fourth child of the Ard Ri. His birth was not nearly as celebrated as that of his older brother, yet it bring into balance the number of sons and daughters for the royal household - two sons after two daughters was seen by some as an auspicious sign. The newborn Prionnsa was named after the Great Messenger Harlan, whose great works brought much joy to the hearts of the faithful, in hope that the name would attract blessings from The Four. From early infancy, he was given to experienced nannies and governesses who, having reared three Ormonde's of the generation already, did not approach him with as much solemn duty as was awarded to his older siblings, especially the heir apparent. It was thus that when he reached schooling age, he was already not accustomed to great displays of affection, nor did his already stony face attract much favour from his peers. Ever the frail and quiet child, he often found himself gazing wistfully at bookshelves filled with unknowable lore and sought the respect of the more erudite of his grooms who would become his sole partners in conversation.
The day Harlan was to begin his schooling was one of the most joyous of his entire life. Suddenly, a whole world of knowledge and opportunity opened up before him, with wise and learned men to lead the way through it. As soon as he could master reading, he set about exploring every tome he could get his hands on, despite not understanding many, or indeed, most of what he read. Fiercely studious and taking like a fish to water to notions of duty, respect and piety, he would spend many a night curled up with textbooks and histories, in which he wound find his life's passion. Crucial in his early development was the inclusion of a kindly Sacerdos among the retinue of teachers that were to shape the young man. It was this man who first introduced him to the basics, and quite soon the intricacies of Templarism, through both official teaching and lengthy informal conversations on the nature of the divine that would remain so imprinted in Harlan's memory. To this royal schoolboy, nothing could make more sense than the sheer perfection of thought and conduct that he seemed to find in every golden syllable of his own faith. One day, at the age of eleven, he would fall into a deep, three-day melancholy upon discovering that his royal blood disqualified him from the priesthood. As he recovered from the initial depression, however, he simply decided that he could endeavour to be the next best thing. A robe, after all, couldn't mean that much in the grand scheme of things.
The boy looked up at the bearded Sacerdos, furrowing his brow.
"But, what happens if someone prays too much? What if someone tells me that I spend too much time with The Four and too little time with other people?"
"Well, that is indeed unlikely, my lord Harlan!", chuckled the priest as he laid his knotted hand on the boy's shoulder, causing a brief flinch. "The people of Dubhion are pious and observant, and doubly so within these walls of Inshmor."
"But what if it does happen? The lives of the Messengers also mention that not everybody receives The Four so readily!", Harlan insisted, motioning between himself and the old man as he said the last word. "What if I meet...a witch!", he added with a most conspiratorial whisper.
The Sacerdos lowered himself, knees creaking as he did so, to face the boy and his ever-shifting, dark eyes. Harlan could smell the incense lingering on his robe as that bright, wise head was brought close. For a moment or two, they both tried to read something on each other's face, and then that great bristly bush under the priest's nose moved again.
"Should you, my lord Harlan, ever have the misfortune of being accused, by some great mistake, of being too fervent in your convictions, or praying too often, you will have to increase your prayers."
"Increase them?", the young Prionnsa's eyes widened.
"Indeed, for you will the one who accused you will most certainly have to be prayed for."
By the time he reached his teens, Harlan had aleady taken an active interest in his future areas of expertise. What he couldn't get in the royal libraries, he sought in those of The Temple, which would almost become a second home for the young bookworm. Newer, more complex questions surfaced in his mind with each passing day, and the drive to resolve them would often outweigh the drives of hunger, thirst, even comfort. In one episode just before his fifteenth birthday, he caused one of the royal maids to shout in shock, upon discovering that he had removed every ornament from the walls of his room and confined them to a corner, along with every piece of furniture that wasn't his bed, his desk, and his bookshelf. He then demanded that the unnecessary distractions be thrown away, and proceeded to quote one of the more obscure Templarist books on merits of an austere living space. This anti-luxury zeal was eventually soothed by a Sacerdos' intervention, although the sentiment would never truly die in Harlan's mind. As his teens came to a close, he found himself equipped with enough booksmarts to engage in conversation with people two or three times his seniors on matters of religion, morality, but increasingly also history and statecraft. At sixteen he saw the birth of the newest Ormonde, which would knock him out of the line of succession. Curiously enough, Harlan showed more interest for the birth of this nephew than he would later for his own children, even going so far as to remark that the Ormonde name was now free from danger.
Finishing his prayers, the young Prionnsa allowed his eyes to linger on the object of his recent devotions - the ornate, idyllic depiction of The Four in their familial harmony. It was particularly the countenance of Haras that gripped his attention, though he had already prayed before the very same figure countless times before. And then he realized why it was so entrancing.
With his angular features, stocky build and proud, heavy curls that graced his crown, the statue of Haras was the spitting image of a man of The Black - a true Ormonde. A similarity like this carried serious implications. In an instant, these implications filled Harlan's mind. A true, ideal king could be nothing less, he realized, than a father whose both duty and destiny it was to provide his subjects his paternal care. Oh, but how pliable tje metaphor was! Taken further, this likeness of an Ormonde could extend to all of Tnarem - the world, even. Truly, could not Dubhion itself rise to the call of bringing peace to the ever bickering family of nations? Harlan decided that these ideas could not have been revealed to him but by the will of The Four, and he was quick to thank them for it. From this idea, he would develop his strategies and instructions, under their watchful gaze, and help his brother fulfill what was immediately apparent as his destiny. The work of his life could, at last, begin.
The first years of adulthood would herald marriage for Harlan, and as expected, he submitted to more than he welcomed the nuptials. Loveless and clinical as the relationship was to be, he made sure not to let his new spouse want for anything, except perhaps the touch of a lover. The prospect of a child seemed imminent, and like any birth among the devout Ormondes, its result was anxiously awaited. At the age of twenty he witnessed the birth of his first child, and six years later, another. Despite his daily and nightly devotions and zealous adherence to Templarist principles, Harlan made full use of his royal privilege as a means to evade contact with his children, save for the odd daily or weekly encounters which he used to keep track of their growth. Instead of throwing himself into matters of family and fatherhood, he fled once again to his books and the halls of The Temple, spending more time with various officials, authors and priests than his own flesh and blood. Sure enough, he made sure to share at least a meal a day with his wife, but their conversations were from the start distant and routine, which would in another culture spark rumours about some hidden animosities, but was almost to be expected in Dubhion. In rare moments, usually around some great Templarist holiday or a child's name day, he would devote an entire day to one of the three, although always with extreme discretion towards the rest of the court. In the following years, he attempted to garner his father's attention with his initial writings, as well as to get access to the ministers' ears, though this relationship would never blossom into a warm one.
In 1442, Ardi Ri Percival passed away - a significant change for his youngest son. In the ensuing days Harlan followed tradition to a letter, allowing himself to spend some time with the closest members of the royal household. During the funeral itself, he kept himself dignified and detached. Sorrow, after all, was unwarranted, because the passing of one opened the way for another Ard Ri - his own brother. If up to that point Harlan was deeply interested in his academic pursuits, after it he embraced them fanatically. The time had come to supply his yet young brother with all the knowledge he spent the past two decades gathering. Rumours told of his secret desire to occupy quite a senior post in the royal government, though Harlan preferred the flexibility of an informal advisor.
The Mercian-Dubhionic conflict and subsequent magical catastrophe in Inshmor heralded a dark and treacherous time for the Kingdom. The latter hit something in Harlan particularly hard, and caused him to sequester himself in his room for two days upon hearing the news, leaving only to attend the morning Matins. After this brief isolation, however, he emerged grimmer and colder than before, but with a determination to devote his entire being to the stabilization and rebuilding of the state. If it was chance, it would require months, perhaps years of diligent work, and if it was by divine will, it would also require piety worthy of a Great Messenger, but it had to be done. Dubhion had a divine mission, after all, and every single subject would need to answer the call.
01.Last seen Today at 04:28 am 02.Created on January 9th, 2018 03.has made 15 posts 04.played by Yugoth
01.Last seen Today at 04:28 am 02.Joined on January 9th, 2018 03.has made 15 posts 04.plays