Wards of Orinach
A noble and world-weary soldier, third son of his family line
Holden has dark brown hair and light grey eyes, similar to many of the Marrowfel noble family. He dresses plainly most of the time, and carries a bastard sword as his primary weapon. When he dresses for the road, he tends to wear heavy leather armor, plated in specific places to allow for freedom of movement. He is a little over six feet tall, and his hair is cut short. He tends to have stubble almost constantly, unless specifically dressed for court.
His courtly attire holds the sigil of his family on the chest, and he wears a black tabard with a pair of black leather pants. He’s usually always wearing his fur-lined black boots, and some sort of cloak. There are two, and they’re equally worn. One bears the symbol of his family line, which is what he most often wears to court. The other is simple and road-stained.
The duty of rulership falls to the firstborn. All sons born after the first know that their eldest brother will trump them in matters of inheritance and state. Some rail against this; some see it as a blessing. Holden Marrowfel, of the minor House Marrowfel, lords of the marshy, oft-maligned province of Barisi, believes the latter. He is the third son of Lord Jurgen and Lady Eloine Marrowfel (neé Volle).
From an early age, Holden was taught by his House’s blademaster to fight. He learned the other skills that royals often bring to bear against their peers: literacy, some degree of rudimentary science of the day, understanding of religions, and so on. His primary motivation has always been the sword. He was taught his family’s somewhat antiquated martial skills that prized speed over direct strength.
Holden’s first military commission was a pitched skirmish along his family’s duchy borders. He was serving his older brother as a lieutenant to his forces. Coming up against incredible odds, he managed to overcome them through playing fast and loose with tactics. His reputation was as such that he grew to become more and more respected by his own men, much to the chagrin of his older brothers (and his younger siblings who wanted power for power’s sake). After a much more hectic campaign was fought against people attempting to take his family’s lands following the death of Queen Lucia Caesarra, he was told to relinquish his command. Holden, however, knew that his actual purpose was to protect his family’s lands, the Kingdom of Caeleth as a whole — wherever that may lead him, and to defer to the judgment of his betters. He agreed to give up his command after five years of leading his men, at the age of twenty-one. It was better that than to cause a potential rift in his own family, which would be unthinkable.
This nearly caused a riot on the hot, miserable streets of Verdis, the capital of his province. The last anyone saw of him in his home province was Holden addressing his men and reminding them of their duty, the oaths they had all taken to uphold the sanctity of the realm, and for what they had fought for years. Though not an impassioned speaker, it was impressive enough that it dispersed his men. Following that, he disappeared from his family’s ancestral home. Perhaps he was called away.
Holden is known for being honorable and just. While his homeland is relatively small, it has a much-maligned reputation for producing schemers and is often made fun of behind closed doors. They have their heroes, and while Holden doesn’t expect to become one — nor is that his primary motivation — he believes in what those heroes stood for: honor, vigilance, and the protection of the weak. While he does not follow the code of chivalry per se, he will do what he can to protect those weaker than him, defend the honor of others, and ensure the stability of law over chaos. He will do this through the sword or even flexing his reputation, which has spread even to the Queen’s Court. He is trusted, and known to be incorruptible (and somewhat incorrigible when someone attempts it); however, he is also a noble. He does not have the naivete of the commoner, and understands the horrors of the world in a way that only a soldier can.
He will do anything to protect his family and those he declares as his charge. He understands his lot, but it doesn’t mean he particularly likes his position. He enjoys being a soldier; he knows how to fight, and that’s an important skill in Caeleth. Holden kept hope that one day he would serve the Queen as one of her knights. He hopes to serve in that capacity again, but will fight to ensure that the right person gets on the throne: someone who can lead with duty and honor.
Some of his exploits, aside from those mentioned above, are minor in the grand scheme. He took several wounds from brigands while protecting a merchant wagon from assault as it entered Barisi Province. He happened to be in the area, and carries the wounds to this day. He was engaged to be married to a noble woman named Mairwen, from House Oakfall, who died of consumption before they could wed. Rumor has it that he actually fell in love with his betrothed during the times that they were introduced to one another. It’s rare for Holden to speak of this topic.
Holden Marrowfel (22), third son of Jurgen Marrowfel (58) and Eloine Marrowfel (40); his brothers are Korvan (25), Sigurd (24), and Ewald (13); his sisters are Corina (20, married away), Sibylle (16, married away), and Elke (14, at home, notably his favorite sibling).