Character concept by Joe Parish, all rights reserved.
Marquis of Thayer's Rock
“I don't have to know where my enemies sleep. I only have to know that they do sleep.”
Date of Birth: Trivor the 28th, 1291 Avard.
Current Status: Winter, 1331 Avard. Master Mhenace spends most of his time traveling, with extended periods at the capital of Rakore, Mount Basilisk; at the mage's academy, Lok Magius; at the headquarters of Gideon Enterprises, Thayer's Rock; and among the other large cities of Rakore.
Rial Mhenace is of moderate height, moderate build, and moderate description. He has the kind of face and clothing that are so nondescript that he is instantly forgotten. When he chooses, to, however, he can project almost any aura he chooses. The title he wears determines the clothing he wears, as well. At work in Thayer's Rock, he tends to wear comfortable leather breeches, boots, and a white cotton shirt. As court, he tends to wear the same – but can dress up in formal court clothes of such high-quality silks that they could finance a brigandine's construction. As the First Quarrel, he wears a tabard with the Rakoran flag emblazoned on it in gold thread, on a light green background – and a mithral brooch emblazoned with a rose-gold quarrel.
The Holy City of Karmen is reknowned for the power of its Chosen – but it's also known for its mercenaries. Rial's father was captain of a powerful mercenary company named for him: the Mhenaces. Rial was the third of three boys, born almost a generation after his two brothers. His two brothers had grown up to be big, fine, strapping young mercenaries of the first order, serving as lieutenants in the Mhenaces. Daren Mhenace had high hopes for his baby boy, and named him 'Rial', hoping he would follow in his brothers' footsteps.
Instead, Rial was a small, sickly boy that disappeared for days at a time. It wasn't until a bishop of the Church of Lul brought Rial home that his father found out he was running away to libraries. Daren was furious, but realized the youngest boy was more of a brain than a brawn. Young Rial was fostered off to the Church of Lul, and to the very bishop that had discovered the boy in the secret archives. Bishop Aldmar Fontaine of Lul, Quitzara, undertook to train the boy in the arts of spycraft, learning, and intelligence gathering.
Rial learned much about how the Inquisition works, and about the Avard Accords that held the churches together. He also learned about how brutally the mages had been repressed for four-hundred something years, and sympathized immensely with them. He came across the occasional spellbook or two in the libraries of Lul, but repressed the urge to read them with an iron will for fear the Inquisition would find him. When he learned about the organizing Fourth Crusades, he saw his opportunity, and fled south as a sailor, unable to deal any more with churches of the Avard Accords. He worked as a sailor, wandering slowly westward, until he arrived in the tiny village of Teras – and found there was nothing further west to go to.
There, he slowly blended in with the community, opening up a ship-repair yard for the annual migrations of the whaling vessels from Chandral. He had hoped to raise enough funds to build a light galleon, and then fate handed him more than he could have dreamed. A young dwarf by the name of Dwarfendale, together with a desert elf named Malkir, had money burning a hole in their pockets from the burgeoning War of the Undead. Rial was more than happy to take their money, and invest it in ways they could never have imagined. 'Mister Mhenace' had a secret: all the design schematics for Karmen's super-ships, as well the knowledge of where to find the resources, people, facilities, and equipment right there near Teras.
When Dwarfendale and Malkir returned to check on their investment, they discovered a ship-building facility in need of a name, and the two named it Gideon Enterprises. Rial had created a monster, of a kind that had never been seen before on Gaeleth. He had created the 'corporation'. By the time Rakore was founded, and the War of the Undead was over, Gideon Enterprises dominated commerce in all the west, built primarily around ships and transportation.
Best of all, Rial found time to study the forbidden books of his youth, and began studying magic at Lok Magius. In addition, King Graniteshoulders asked him to create an intelligence gathering network for the nation of Rakore, and so he created the King's Quarrels. The Quarrels acted in a visible capacity as messengers for the King, and in an invisible capacity as his spies. In return for all he'd done for Rakore, King Graniteshoulders granted Rial the titles of Knight, and Marquis.
At a glance, Rial can tell more about most people than they know about themselves. His general knowledge is considerable, but his ability to size up people gives him an advantage unlike any others. Rial is all about gathering information, and shamelessly uses his familiar – a nondescript tabby cat – to spy on others when he can't. Not a voyeur or pervert, he instead keeps an eye on possibilities of any sort. The only church vow Rial ever took was to keep the knowledge he gains from being used against others – except in service to the crown.