Arian Orland, Count of Hornfels, is an ambiguous character. Well, he’s actually pretty bad, but working in service of the good at least some of the time. Since he’s loosely based on Christian of Brunswick, he wasn’t even going to figure in the first book. But then I thought he was just too fun a character to leave out, and he might as well start stirring up some trouble early.
Like Christian, Arian represents a type that figured prominently in the Thirty Years War. These types thrive on chaos and tend to rise to the top in just about any protracted violent conflict. If there’s no conflict available locally, they start something, hire themselves out in other countries, or end up being put away for life. I would hesitate to call them complete sociopaths, but only because I’m not qualified. And since I am Arian’s creator, I believe I shall give him a heart, but bury it pretty deeply. So deeply in fact that we may never know it exists. *cue evil laughter*
Arian is the younger child of the Duke of Kaltental, one of the most powerful men in Terragand, right under Prince Kendryk in rank. Arian’s older sister will inherit the duchy, so he has to find a vocation. He takes to the military rather naturally, and spends most of his twenties fighting in a neighboring country that’s been at war for decades. He’s good at fighting, and enjoys the military enough that he’d like to make it a career. He’s not fond of taking orders, though, so his plan is to eventually lead his own mercenary force.
Unfortunately, that requires a lot of cash, and his father isn’t willing to subsidize him. He had hopes of inheriting a fairly lucrative estate from an uncle, but the old fellow was uncooperative and managed to father a child shortly before he died, leaving Arian in the cold. Poor guy! Fortunately, he’s a resourceful chap with no scruples whatsoever, so he’ll figure something out.
My first draft included Arian as one of six point-of-view characters, but he got the ax when I decided to decrease that to a mere four. He might still get a point of view, but he just won’t figure as prominently. Which is a shame, because he looks so good! Still, he’ll be around enough for his looks and his rather deficient conscience to cause all kinds of mayhem. I’m looking forward to getting him into the action!