Today we come to my last planned character bio for Rage of the Old Gods, at least for now. There are other major characters, but there’s nothing I could say about them that wouldn’t be a spoiler. I may do bios for them after the books launch, but I haven’t decided yet. There are also some characters from Children of the Gods that will get bios, but that, too, will probably wait until after launch.
Yarnig Tor Lannis (yahr-nig tor lan-niss):
“I cannot lead our people into the future.”
Tor Som is a proud nation. They escaped conquest at the hands of the Jansian Empire, have repelled countless attempted invasions by the Northern Clans, and have held their borders against near-constant conflicts with the people of Eastenhold. They honor the accomplishments of their past with their three royal houses, each line founded by heroes who proved crucial in building Tor Som into the powerful nation it is today.
One of these houses is the Tor Lannis, the Tor Defenders, who helped cast down the Jansian Empire in centuries past. The newest scion of this family is Yarnig Tor Lannis, sole heir of his family’s name and tradition.
Yarnig’s father was emperor of Tor Som for many years, and he ruled with wisdom and strength, ushering in an era of prosperity for the northern nation. But now the cycle of Tor politics has turned. It is now the time for the Tor Vargis to rule, and the Tor Lannis will not see the throne again for two generations. Thus, Yarnig is wealthy, well-respected, and an important name in the Tor political landscape, but he is also completely powerless, and keenly aware of the fact.
Yarnig has only one responsibility in life: to produce an heir who will one day produce an heir who will one day rule Tor Som.
Some might welcome this lack of obligation, but Yarnig feels only emptiness. He wishes for a purpose in life, but his role was planned out long before he was born. He has all the restrictions that comes with being a royal, and he lives under public scrutiny as would any prince or king, but he has no power to affect changes in his nation or to aid his people. He knows nothing of leadership, and his education included nothing of the ways of power.
His has been a lonely life. Despite his lack of true power, his position is prestigious enough to prevent any kind of normal relationships from forming. Half the people he meets see him as above them, and the others seem him as a tool to advance their own political cause.
Many a crafty noble has sought to marry off their daughter to him, seeking the prestige that comes with a royal name. Yarnig has rebuffed them all, though not before suffering his share of heartache. He learned that beautiful faces and kind hearts do not match much earlier and more painfully than most do.
Similarly, Yarnig has had few, if any, true friends, though he has recently come to achieve a certain camaraderie with Erik, a battle wizard who was given the “honor” of being assigned to Yarnig’s bodyguards after speaking out against the warmongering policies of Empress Tor Vargis.
There are upsides to Yarnig’s lot in life, though. He has been able to afford the finest tutors in the nation, and he was able to study whatever subjects he chose. He chose to learn the intricacies of art, and he found he had a natural talent for it. With an eye for detail and a steady hand, he has rapidly become an expert with paintbrush and pencil. He prefers to spend his time wandering the streets of Retgard and sketching the buildings, or else painting the beautiful forests surrounding the Tor Lannis country estate.
Physically, Yarnig is an unimpressive man. He has the look of the original Tors: thin, short, and with curly brown hair. But like most Tors, he also has some blood of the Northern Clans in him, giving him brilliant blue eyes. He dresses fashionably and is impeccably groomed, but an eternally awkward demeanor ruins much of the dignity this gives him.
Yarnig is a man with no true place in life. He is neither a commoner nor a ruler, and he is equally out of place in the halls of power and among the common folk. He yearns for purpose, but his destiny is to be merely a small link in a long chain.
Or so he has always believed.