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it is currently season 1, the year 1449 NE. The continent of Tnarem balances on a precarious edge between survival and destruction. Wars rage between nations, fractures open in the Mete. The world as the Tnaremi people know it is dying and they are left with a choice: act or perish with it.
All of the information you need to become better acquainted with the world of Sergonia and its inhabitants can be found here. Anyone wishing to join the Ericourt will be able to find the essentials here.
In the years since the rise of Beringar and the beginning of the Tnaremi Imperium, Alexius has found himself as a military commander, a prince, and now with Faustus’ demise, Imperator of Tnarem. Though the betterment of his House and his people will always be foremost in his mind, it has been a tumultuous few years for Alexius, and such drastic changes have partly fostered, partly forced a switch in his focus. Before, he saw little value in the power of diplomacy, preferring military action rather than well-placed words to further the aims of the Imperium. Life more closely spent under Faustus’ tutelage-by-example, as well as the manner of the first Imperator’s death have given Alexius good reason to consider other methods.
Some may fear (or hope) that Alexius will pick up precisely where Faustus Beringar left off, marching on the wishes of a man now beyond the grave. But although he does not intend any real upset in the balance of power nor severe structural changes to the government built by his father, Alexius is determined to be his own man. If that means going against the grain of what Faustus intended, so be it. Much as he revered his father, Alexius is Imperator now, and he will lead his empire forward through no one's vision but his own.
Much of this attitude stems from recent events. Whatever great things Faustus accomplished in the first six years of the Imperium, Alexius is more than aware of the dissent which led to his father's murder, and this is something he treats with grave seriousness. Influenced by years in the Legion, he knows all too well the cruciality of a cohesive fighting unit -- if one part of the line fractures, the whole army could be lost. Focusing on those fractures, ferreting out the vermin, and caulking the leaks will be one of Alexius' main priorities in creating a strong, unified Imperium. He seeks to further develop the Crown's pipelines of information, and will be looking to trusted advisers to assist him in doing so.
Alexius has long held a deep distrust (and fear) for the use of magic, a sentiment that doubled when his beloved sister Aurora was poisoned by source. Though he has taken a Caemire bride and certainly does not shy away from physical closeness with her, he will admit the collar around Larian’s neck gives him some secret comfort. The subject of magic plagues him in another way, too. Wary of further damaging his father’s fatal reputation for unwarranted leniency that Alexius now shoulders in Faustus’ stead, the new ruler is uncertain whether he wants to continue to allow the Auguries their freedoms of magical education, even within the confines of their prison.
Finally, sex and desire are powerful motivators for the Imperator, sometimes perhaps even when cooler heads ought to prevail. As in war, he believes seduction should be a strategized conquest, yet he has never taken a woman unwillingly and finds such a thing disgusting. Not that he won’t settle for a fast fuck -- he’s bedded plenty of whores and willing gentry women -- but he prefers the chase, the thrill of denial until he can convince his quarry to lie with him. In most cases, he then grows bored with them and shrugs them aside for the newest pursuit; sole few women, including his wife, have given him reason to continue coming back for more. Yet when they do their influence can be, in many respects, his own brand of kryptonite.
Never a truly devout follower of the gods, Alexius still maintains a deep respect and admiration for the ideas and principles outlined in the roles of each of their deities. He more reveres the concepts rather than the actual beings which embody them, acknowledging the worth of their teachings and the power that knowledge provides. He will of course participate in all of the religious rites required of him, and in a way he somewhat enjoys the ceremony of it all -- a source of order amid glorious chaos.
Handsome and tall, Alexius stands at a respectable six feet and three inches, but it is his build that gives an otherwise easy smile its imposing bent. Solid and muscled, Alexius is the product of a life spent in the Legion from the defined cut of his jaw to the strength of his grip. His gait is quick, determined, and as sure-footed as any good soldier with the high-born posture of a man brought up in the nobility.
Like his sister Aurora, he takes his coloring and bearing from Faustus but somehow managed to pick up a decidedly Northern trait from his mother -- a striking pair of Beckwyth blue eyes. While some of his fellow legionnaires dared tease him (once) about such obvious Argonnian heritage, Alexius is rather fond of them. Sharp and clear as a March winter sky, they are as threatening on the battlefield as they are attractive in the bedroom.
Even beyond his physique, it is clear Alexius takes pride in his appearance. He wears trimmed stubble on his chin and his tight, nearly black curls are cropped close to his head. The man doesn’t mind a little grime but keeps himself presentably clean. His clothes are appropriate for an emperor but not ostentatious, usually dyed with darker colors and not gaudily adorned. He hates the stiffness of a doublet and when in appropriate company elects to wear simple yet fine leather trousers and linen shirts with or without an overcoat. Alexius will say, however, that armor will always be his most comfortable attire. His own harness of plate armor is of traditional Marcher make, adorned with the griffin of his House at the center of his breast. His spaulders too pay homage to the Beringars, the word “triumph” etched at the shoulder of each.
At the time when Faustus began his campaign to conquer Tnarem, Alexius was an iron-willed, fiery young man easily provoked into impassioned responses to both love and war. With time and more rigorous tutelage, that inferno of a personality has tempered; it has taken on a more refined, controlled quality over the last six years, the product of heightened responsibility and a greater sense of duty to the role he is set to play in the world. He is still as much an Ironheart as he ever was -- and still prone to passion when pushed too far -- but his abundant energy has found new purpose in matters of state. At once decisive, stubborn, and prideful, Alexius is perfectly comfortable with staunchly committing to his choices even if they lead somewhere he did not want or expect. Once a decision is made he will not undo it; it is not within his nature to go back on his word, even to himself. Ruling, to Alexius, is like commanding a battlefield -- there is no room for doubt and nothing to do but advance.
Whatever his actions, Alexius has never been one to mince words, finding the drivel of flattery and delicate speech to be an endless waste of everyone’s time. With his advisers he will speak plainly and expect them to reply with the same candor, taking little consideration of anyone’s ego -- a style which may earn him friends as well as lose some.
Alexius rewards the loyalty of his most trusted friends with loyalty of his own, and likewise brotherhood. He is affectionate in his own way with those he cares for personally, usually showing it with friendly insults. In general, when Alexius is able to temporarily put aside his Imperial duty, his is a far less stony veneer. And of course, he enjoys indulging in the March’s distinct brand of decadence -- women and battle. Especially when they’re one and the same.
Academic (2) - No Information Compared against scholarly lords and ladies Alexius would appear lacking in an understanding of advanced philosophical theories or mathematical arrays (nor does he have the patience for them). Though he is a fine, talented strategist and has proved himself thus in combat situations, most of Alexius' academic accomplishments outside of the Legion have shown he is capable, but not necessarily a master. In matters of state requiring a higher level of ability, Alexius knows enough to delegate.
Diplomatic (2) - No Information A diplomatic person might say that the Imperator tends to take a very direct approach in court. A less tactful biographer would say he is as blunt as a butter knife. Yet Alexius does not say or do anything he does not mean, and he takes his time to consider his actions. Conversationalists can expect his Majesty’s honesty and thoughtful consideration, even if they can’t always expect tact.
When it comes to revels, Alexius is more than happy to participate and “let loose” a bit. A sizable volume of drink brings out an even louder version of his already booming voice, not to mention hearty laughter. As a Marcher will, he has no qualms about speaking openly on the subjects of sex and violence, though he will tone that down some while court is in session. You know, for the squeamish Northerners.
Martial (3) - No Information Alexius is no stranger to hard, grueling physical training from his service in the Legion, and it shows when he bares his chest. He has done his best to remain in shape even as he steps into his father's shoes, finding exercise and sport to be excellent sources of relief from the burdens of rule. He is an exceptional jouster, rider, and swordsman and has been trained at a more advanced level in martial techniques due to his noble upbringing. Overall Alexius has always been robust and healthy, suffering only from an old sprain injury on his left wrist that acts up when the weather shifts. Not that anyone even knows -- he's never complained about it.
Relationship with House
To Alexius, his House and family is as important to him as all of Tnarem combined. He will always trust the promise of a Beringar before that of any other, and honor his own promises to them in return. Perhaps this is a blind faith, but it has so far served him well. Time will tell if that continues to hold true.
As the eldest child, his siblings are under his protection whether they like it or not, and he harbors great affection for them. His sister Aurora is by far his favorite, however, for they have always shared a close bond. Alexius deeply respects his sister for her tenacity and strength, and although he’s more than a little sexist, he regards her differently than any other woman. To Alexius, she is a warrior first, and female second.
His father remains a steady influence in Alexius’ life, even after his death. While Faustus was alive Alexius sought very hard to please him, to stand squarely in his father’s shadow. Even when his boyish idolatry faded, Faustus’ approval and respect was very important to him and in part Alexius’ determination for success was built on a foundation of serving the first Imperator’s vision.
Having spent the vast majority of his adolescent and young adult life serving in the Legion, Alexius has excellent rapport with his military. During his time as one of them, he distinguished himself as a well-trained warrior, a capable leader, and a trustworthy brother in arms -- despite the fact that his position in the Legion was suspiciously nepotic. His fellow legionnaires also of noble Marcher blood may have similar feelings about Alexius’ character as a result.
Those who approach Alexius need not fear their conversations will beat around the bush, for the Imperator is well known to be extremely blunt and brutally honest in many cases. If one enjoys Alexius’ favor, they will be aware of it; likewise if they suffer his ire.
The Imperator takes his Marcher identity quite seriously, meaning that both fucking and fighting are some of his favorite pastimes. In the past he has accepted duels with little or no cajoling (and won more often than not) and lives for the glory of combat, real or friendly spectacle. His subjects will see him ride and fight at the next Hastiludes -- and no Marius, that’s not up for discussion.
On the other side of Marcher nature, those at court will also be aware that the Imperator enjoys a good evening of carnal pleasure, monogamy optional. People close to him, however, may notice that he has taken fewer women to bed since ascending to the throne.
The Imperator has been cuckolded and deceived by his Caemire wife, who is passing off her bastard son Canus as Alexius’ own blood to have gained her position -- and Alexius laps up her lies with eagerness. Some even wonder if the Imperatrix enslaved his mind with magic to accomplish this deception, and they fear she may still.
Alexius makes no secret of his carnal desires, even those outside of his marriage. While any bastards (besides Canus) are unconfirmed or completely unknown, there are some who like to guess just how many children their Imperator has unwittingly fathered. Some wager two or three, others fancy dozens. Tnarem may never know.
Someone started a rumor that Alexius was enjoying the “company” of Evren Osbryn. Alexius has more than once refuted these claims, usually while laughing uproariously.
There’s also the question of whether or not Alexius actually wants to be Imperator. Is the burden of rule too much for him? Is he more concerned with the two Beringar Fs to be bothered with actually running the Imperium? Some say that Larian runs the show. Others claim his uncle Marius Beringar is the true power behind the throne. One person might have dropped Aurora Beringar’s name.
As a boy and young adolescent, Alexius Beringar excelled in martial techniques and advanced with ease. Indeed, from the moment he'd been old enough to hold a wooden weapon Alexius took to violence with a passion only a Marcher could possess. Often, that love of the fight got him into "friendly" rows with the boys he trained with. The Beringar heir might have come out of a few one-on-three scuffles with more than his fair share of bruises and nosebleeds, but he never conceded a fight and he never backed down from one if the opportunity arose. It didn't hurt his reputation much; if anything, it gave him a form of status. He might have been impulsive, brash, stubborn, and yes, a bit self-absorbed, but the confidence in his sword arm and his unrelenting courage in the face of "battle" did win over a large number of his peers. Besides, what was there to lose by being the comrade of the future Duke of Westmarch?
For Alexius' part, he enjoyed the attention and used it to his advantage with more than just his fellow young men. Even as young as thirteen he was trying his hand (rather unsuccessfully at first) at wooing whatever happened to waltz by in a skirt. His first love at fifteen was a gentry girl named Claudia, who spurned him to begin with. He spent the next nine months throwing roses at her feet and doing all manner of ridiculous things to persuade her to kiss him (and perhaps more, he was certainly no eunuch) until finally, she relented. They spent one evening together, after which Alexius moved on to another girl and quickly forgot about Claudia entirely. And so the cycle continued. He has retained that reputation as a womanizer even to the present.
Of course, Alexius' position as heir to the ducal seat of Westmarch required more of him than simply popularity and the ability to accurately swing a sword. His father, Faustus, made little secret that he wished his first born would pay more attention to his studies of diplomacy and leadership than to brawling and breasts. Tutors of all kinds were appointed to teach him these important skills, but Alexius found little use for them. He had developed his own idea of how a government should be run -- directly and through force. Diplomacy, in his opinion, was longwinded and took focus away from the actual issues at hand; for all his self-centered ways, Alexius still very much believed in his duty to Westmarch. Problems, he believed, were only solved through frank, unfiltered conversation, and if that didn't work, then by means of an army.
“Hold it up more,” Alexius barked from across the training ground, leaning against a tent pole with his arms crossed casually over his chest. He was shirtless to counteract the heat of the bright summer day, though there was a slight northern breeze catching the tails of the blue griffin pennant adorning the pinnacle of their break tent. Besides, he’d been catching looks from women all day and he wasn’t about to spoil their fun. “Keep it level with your shoulder or you’ll not have a shoulder to level it with!”
At the center of the stone courtyard two young children were facing off, holding shields and brandishing wooden swords, circling each other like two awkward goslings going for the same speck of grain. One was a boy with a ruddy complexion in a leather tunic, the other a girl with dark hair in a series of tight plaits and sporting a fierce scowl of determination. As she moved to strike the first blow, Alexius’ mouth twitched. His little sister was going wallop this poor gentry sod.
“That’s it, Rory! Shield up, wrists limber--”
“Is that not the job of the Lady’s tutor, Lord Alexius?” Beside the fifteen year old an older man lurked, his dark beard speckled with silver hairs, forced upon him no doubt by his pupils. He was Sextus Oelius, a scholar and cartographer whom Duke Faustus had given the unenviable task of tutoring the Beringar heir in the trading histories and practices of Tnarem. Sextus had tried twice today alone to get Alexius to comply with the lessons, but the young lord had other plans.
(Besides, he’d bet on this fight. Orentus had said a little girl couldn’t beat his brother and Alexius wanted to see his face when the gentry boy realized he had to pay up. Ten gold coins, where was Orentus Cladis going to be able to come up with that?)
“My lord, we were to continue an hour ago?” Sextus prodded again more insistently. “We’ve a great deal to cover today…”
“Yes yes, fine,” Alexius sighed, pushing off the tent pole with more than a little reluctance (and the makings of an excellent eye roll). Father would be… disappointed if he dallied any longer. “Lead on, Sextus.” With a last look at Aurora and her soon to be victim, he followed the scholar back through the tent flap. It was short enough that he had to stoop a bit to enter; he straightened once inside, then took a seat at the long table set in the center of the makeshift room. It was piled high with tomes of varying kinds, and although these were mostly geography references and histories Alexius was all too aware that Sextus’ collection far exceeded this veritable library. There was only a one foot by two feet space available for working, as nearly the remainder of the surface was littered with maps, ink bottles, quill pens, a few measuring devices, and a pair of protractors. Sextus himself sat across from Alexius, humming slightly while selecting a tome from the top of the pile.
“Where were we…” the bearded man muttered to himself, skimming through pages before swiftly turning the pages toward Alexius. “Here. Winter trading routes between Moorcastle and Luswan. I’ll open the map.” Deftly, he selected a scroll seemingly at random and unfurled it in the tight open space on the table, setting a few empty ink bottles on the corners to keep the document from curling up on itself.
There was a shout of pain outside -- not a little girl’s -- and Alexius craned his neck behind him to see if he could catch a glimpse of the match between the tent flap. “Sounds as if she’s giving the Cladis boy a difficult time,” he snickered.
“My lord,” Sextus rapped the edge of the table sharply. “Trade routes.”
“Between Luswan and Moorcastle, yes. I heard you, Sextus,” the Beringar grumbled, and this time the eyeroll was quite pronounced indeed. “Not that I see what’s so important about it.” He ran a hand through thick black curls. “At least give something relevant to learn, it’s torture enough without it being fucking useless.”
Sextus merely stared at him.
“That… that out there,” Alexius continued, jabbing behind him to indicate the training courtyard. “That is real. Demonstrations of strength, the glory we gain in battle -- that is what makes Beringar formidable, why our allies respect us and our enemies fear us. Not my knowledge of trade routes between two states I will never govern.”
“And what,” Sextus intoned mildly, “will your lordship do if one day you are required to invade Argonne? Theoretical, of course, but consider it.”
It was Alexius’ turn to stare. “I don’t follow.” The idea was a little absurd, invading Argonne -- they’d never had any great quarrel. His own mother was a Beckwyth, by the gods. He supposed it wasn’t out of the question, but still….
“Would it not be prudent to understand how Argonne trades with other provinces? Other countries? If only to keep them from supplying their people, their soldiers?” Sextus continued, and his dark eyes were framed by one eyebrow arched knowingly. “Or perhaps these well-traveled routes give you the ability to move an army. After all,” and the scholar tapped the map with a thin forefinger. “The routes I speak of pass directly through Westmarch.”
Alexius blinked, and looked. Oh.
There was a long silence between Beringar and scholar while Alexius’ adolescent pride struggled ferociously against his better judgment, eyes glued on the map and trying not to let Sextus see that he’d been bested in his logic. Outside there was another distinct thud, followed by a little girl’s bellow (war cry) and the shriek of a boy who had been soundly thrashed. For once, Alexius was empathizing with the loser.
“Fine,” he spat out, and his brows knit together in a petulant scowl. “Get on with it, then.” Fucking scholars.
He was just glad his father hadn’t been there to see this.
One year later, Alexius entered the Legion. He had appealed to Faustus for the opportunity, seeing service as his duty and also craving the promise of adventure and the idea of glory. It was perhaps not what his father wanted his son -- certainly not his heir -- to be focusing on in lieu of the finer points of governing a province, but no one could deny that it was where Alexius excelled. He was given accelerated training at the proving grounds due to his privileged years spent under private swordmasters, then assigned to be the armati, or assistant to his uncle Marcus Beringar, the Commander of the Legion. Under Marcus’ watchful (and critical) eye, Alexius was introduced to not only the harsh realities of a soldier’s responsibilities, he was required to attend important meetings with the Legion’s highest ranking officers. It was a case of learning through osmosis; eventually, through further education and yes, a bit of nepotism, Alexius received his own command as decurion of a turmae based in Raevenna.
As it turned out, Alexius was a natural. Charismatic and larger than life, the majority of his men quickly learned to respect him -- and enjoy his raucous company -- despite the obvious favoritism that had landed him the position. He was still well known in the Legion for never taking the “safe” option if a daring one presented itself, but often those bold tactics worked out for the best and he was rarely questioned. By the end of his ten years in service, even if the young Beringar never did memorize the genealogies of the four noble houses of Quora, Alexius did learn how to lead.
After his service had concluded he came home permanently and enjoyed the luxuries of the Aula, gaining more than a little reputation for his sexual appetite and penchant for drunken revelry. He did his duty as heir but generally acted as a layabout other than continuing to enjoy honing his skills on the proving grounds and at the various tourneys that came up. It was not until his beloved sister Aurora was poisoned at their own table that he truly felt a call to action. As Faustus began to lead his armies into Tnarem with the intention of conquering the provinces under a Marcher banner, Alexius stepped into his role as a military commander with vigor. Too long had the might of the March lain dormant and docile under the corruption and disdain of the Northern provinces; Faustus' vision of an Imperium was more than appealing. It was a new calling.
After the March was victorious, Alexius was faced with a great deal of reality. He was married now as well as a father (not necessarily in that order) and the weight of his new responsibilities far outstripped what he had expected to bear in his three decades of life. He was to be, not a duke, but an emperor -- the Imperator of Tnarem. For the first time, he began to pay closer attention to matters of diplomacy and tactful dealings with the nobility of their new Imperium, shadowing his father with the knowledge that one day he would have to do the same.
The day came sooner than he anticipated. Faustus' murder at the hands of their fellow Marchers was a rude awakening. Alexius grieved the loss of a man he had both revered and respected, enraged at the manner of his father's death. Yet it brought to the forefront the issues the Faustus' radical ideas had left behind, and the new Imperator made it a priority to solidify Beringar's dominance as well as their relations with the comital and gentry Houses. With his work cut out for him, Alexius vowed to ensure that their empire lived on, fostering the Beringar vision of a new world order and leading the Imperium into a new age.
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Last seen Dec 6 2017, 12:45 PMCreated on August 26th, 2016has made 68 postsplayed by Britt