|Name The Steward|
|Appearance The Steward is tall, overly formal, with a rigid bearing and a stick so far up his ass it is a wonder he can perform his duties. Almost always dressed in a very formal, black three piece suite with his gray hair neatly parted and slicked away from his face, the Steward is almost always stoic, with a very rare smile having been recorded on occasion. |
He is a calm and quiet shadow that has been by the Empress’ side since Pern. He has no opinions on the diverse and somewhat chaotic flow of the Nexus, and although sometimes he does get a little bit wistful thinking of the past, the Steward is very good at taking things in stride, and managing a household that has grown from a Weyr to an entire City.
|Personality He is an upright and very proper man, following traditions and formality. Good aligned more than chaotic or evil, the Steward has a very strong sense of propriety; preferring to stick to what he is expected to do than to color outside the lines.|
|Ability The Steward is human.|
- The Steward was once a man from a very traditional family on Pern; we think. There are stories and whispers and rumours about his beginnings, none which he has confirmed or denied. The most prevalent story is that he was the Steward of a minor Holder, who ended up at the Weyr before it was Istabitha’s, fell in love with a young Queen candidate, and decided to spend the rest of his life by her side.
- That story particularly, has the Empress laugh and the Steward grimace.
- “They give me too much credit” the Empress would say, laughing. “I was hardly the heartbreaker.”
- The Steward would give one of his small half smiles. “You underestimate yourself.” he would chide, and they would not speak any more of it.
- However the case, the Steward has been a silent presence at the Vella Crean since its inception; before there was a council and before the Courts existed, he was the man who was always by her side, just a step behind, making sure that all the events were in order and the household moving smoothly.
- The household might have blossomed from a single Weyr to an entire city, but the Steward has taken it in stride.
- “The funniest story.” the Empress likes to tease the Steward often. “Are the ones when they thought my scientist was your son.”
- That statement would always be able to generate a look of absolute shock and horror. Every time.
- Two tall and slender raven haired men, one who seemed to ageless as the years went by, with feline green eyes. The Steward has no strong opinions on the Scientist; he is favored by the Empress, and quietly, he is also impressed by how much a single man has managed to accomplish.
- The World they live in, the Court dragons, the strong and graceful Projects that live amongst the dragon riders; the Steward has no strong opinions on the Scientist, and he did not disapprove of the man who seems to have won the ire of many.
- The Steward has his own family on the Vella Crean; a woman who is as bold and vivacious as the queen candidate he had followed had been, a hurricane who claims the Light Court as her home.
- Sometimes he wonders why she does not serve the Empress with him, and when he voices his thoughts, the woman would laugh and say it is because the Light Court needs her more; and truly, by serving the daughter of the Empress, she is inadvertently doing her part.
- The first daughter was a blessing, a quiet and somber little child who would trail after the Steward, one chubby hand clenched around the bottom of his jacket. She called the Council home, and it became second nature for the Steward to train her. One day, when the stairs would grow to be too much of a daunting task, when the hours on his feet too long, she would seamlessly take over as the Steward. (And he, he would need to reclaim his old name).
- The second child was, and continues to be a puzzle. The boy with the sly eyes and a slyer smile, always aware of the latest talk and readily able to charm the men and women of the other courts. He had hoped that the son would show interest in his work, and to some extent he has; but the Steward finds the son’s quest for power disconcerting.
- He does not understand the drive to pursue power.
- The youngest is a boy who is as bold and vivacious as his mother, and who calls the Light Court home. The odd spark who grew up in the shadow of the Light Court leader’s grief, who seemed to think of pain and anguish and just a natural part of life.
The Death Court Wars
- The Steward has a little secret: one that he admitted only in hushed tones to the Empress when she was asleep. He had grown complacent in his role, and he had forgotten how to lead.
- The closure of the Vella Crean had not surprised him; his eldest boy with the sly eyes had brought the news to him like treasured pieces of gold; delighted at the thought of using it for the family’s advantage. ‘Let us store the rare wines and sweets, the herbs and spices that the people adore’ he whispered in excited tones.
- ‘And let us monopolize the market’.
- (The mother laughed it off, finding the boy’s antics amusement. The Steward had been more concerned, because he did not know where the boy got this streak from).
- The eldest son took his secrets to the matriarch of a dominant traders family, the Vella Crean had closed to the world, and the Steward had found himself at peace; until the Death Court attacked.
- The Empress fell, and he found himself without the bright eyed queen candidate he had followed off Pern, without the Weyrwoman who had become an Empress, and he had… flailed.
- The Steward had not known where to turn.
- His eldest son was by his side again, with sly whispers. “The Leader of the Light Court is the true heir” he would say, and the Steward would admit that the Leader of the Light Court was growing stronger, pulling out of her grief.
- “The Leader of the Dark Court understands war, she is holding the tide at bay.” he would say, and the Steward agreed; it was the Dark Court that held the Death Court at bay.
- He stood in the dark, unable to make a choice, with questions and demands from the courts, his eldest son watching him with amusement and condescension; and it was his eldest child who came to the rescue.
- Smoothly, efficiently, taking on the task of a Steward. She kept the households running as efficiently as she could, allocated resources towards the war, and allowed her father to stay by the bedside of a woman who was just a whisper away from death.
The Return to the Nexus
- The Vella Crean reconnected with the Nexus and the Scientist returned, golden eyed Projects by his side who turned the tide of war. Changing life of death battles of skirmishes and annoyance. He bred dragons; the Guard, silent powerful winged beasts practicing a new brand of magic.
- The Empress woke, and the Steward found himself with purpose again. He had plans to make, events to watch over. The Empress was back, and she was hungry to make up for lost time.
“”The Checkerboard Ball?”
The Steward stared at the ornate invitation in his hand and frowned. “It sounds dangerous.” he answered.
Naeodin laughed. “Between you and Onesto, you would keep me coddled in the tower, aware from all the adventure and excitement.”
“The dangers and threats.” he translated for her.
She waved a hand, let out a harrumph; a very dignified, grandmotherly harrumph. “We’ll be fine. Think of it as a vacation. Bring as many people as you need, so that you feel safe.” she snickered a little bit. “But I want to meet some old friends.”
“The Mistress of the Healing Den?” the Steward remembered her.
Naeodin smirked. A childish expression full of zeal that was surprisingly not at odds with her silvered hair and smooth but elderly features. “I wonder if she will recognize me.” she murmured to herself.
“You underestimate yourself.” he answered, not quite thinking as the answer slid easily past his lips.
“A lot has happened.” he countered.
“I am not the young woman I was, traipsing through the Healing Den on Sasi’s back.”
The Steward’s eyes twinkled a little bit as he remembered. “Sneaking in Shy’s project behind Baeris’ back.”
Naeodin laughed. “I’m sure she was just being polite, pretending not to notice.” she sighed. “Let’s go, we will meet some old friends, make some new ones. Who knows? Maybe we’ll come back with a few souvenirs.”
The Steward frowned. “Things never end well when you look forward to an event.” he muttered.