Belisarius the Beast
An aspiring young commander of the Qarnill nobility with a sinister reputation.
Belisarius was born into the reputable Phokas family of Qarnill and showed an aptitude for command at an early age. He rose quickly through the leading ranks in the Qarnill armed forces and was widely believed to be inheriting his fathers command of several important divisions stationed in the Clockwork Pass.
Fate intervened however, when Belisarius was sent to quell a minor commoner revolt in one of the cities just north of the Range of Zardon the Sail. What was supposed to be a quiet diplomatic resolution rapidly devolved when the city barred it’s gates and refused to treat with Belisarius. In an attempt to force negotiations, Belisarius besieged the city hoping to achieve a rapid resolution to the embarrassing event. The city countered by slaughtering a party of Belisarius’ emissaries and hanging their mutilated bodies over the city wall. Incensed by the audacity of the rebels, Belisarius led a charge into the city in an attempt to retake it. The assault quickly turned into a bloodbath as Belisarius and his men put the entire city to the sword. Upon his return to the court at Qarnill, he was immediately demoted to the petty nobility and removed from the peninsula in disgrace.
He is now a minor lord and lower commandant in the city of Tarentum, where he has spent several years attempting to atone for his crimes. He seeks redemption in the eyes of his family and has begun his long journey on the road to regaining his honor…although he wouldn’t mind stopping in a brothel or two along the way.
Belisarius has recently been wed to Anna Leigheim, a charismatic lady of Forlong. The marriage was the result of a sudden, but true, love at first site. Captured by the charm and wit of Lady Anna, Belisarius was helplessly ensnared. The only solution was to throw one of the greatest wedding feasts Arem has ever seen. Calling in favors from any and all, a true gala was thrown together in record time. One and all contributed in whatever way they could; Jaque McFlern providing food supplies and probably illicit drugs, Kong Fuzi spiking literally all of the beverages with his own special concoctions, and of course who could forget Narses, who showed up with so many strippers and wine that he had to take two extra ships with him to the Leigheim estate. Speeches were given, drinks were spilled, everyone got laid. It was without a doubt the best wedding in Arem’s long history.
Fear: Anna stands in the window of a tower, looking out over the turbulent waves crashing against the island of Samos. A cold breeze blows through the window, pulling her loose-fitting gown tightly over her swollen belly. As she looks out across the ocean she gently strokes her stomach in a soothing motion to calm her unborn child. The small light thrown by the candle warps the room; shadows seem to haunt the walls while mundane objects appear grotesque and deranged. A door slowly opens. No light or sound alert Anna to what is about to happen as a beast stalks towards her. Blending perfectly with the horrifying shadows that dance across wall and floor, the monster, or maybe a man, slithers ever closer. Rising behind her, the phantom engulfs Anna holding her in a grip tight as death. Now that she realizes it is too late, Anna is paralyzed with fear as the creature tears off her robe with a sickening smile. But just as soon as the vision began, it begins to change…
Now a man and a boy are seen in a grand throne room. They look over a large map, their backs turned to the entrance. The man is listening as the boy details a map and advises the man on the best places to route sea traffic and placement of troops. The boy beams widely as he gives council, living only for the praise of the man. The man quietly looks on and praises the boy, full of pride and love for the boy he always wanted to have. The man clasps the boy’s shoulder cheerfully, so happy for a fresh start, but their faces are hidden as they turn to exit the chamber. The man has his arm around the boy as they briskly walk away, happily joking about some thing or another; as they pass through the door a single dim torch casts a pale light upon their faces. The cruel lines of the Lord Phokas cut through the light, a crooked smile playing across his lips as he leads the son of Belisarius away.
Hope: Belisarius stands on the prow of a small ship, it’s sails lazily pulling it through a dense fog. As the ship slowly moves across the calm waters of the sea, the fog swirls and shifts; phantoms and fears that have plagued him swirl into view only to be pushed aside by the strong cutter he rides. Slowly the fog begins to dissolve and the sun begins to cut through, spreading warm rays through the damp air; Belisarius feels the warmth of the sun and the smell of the salt in the water as he lifts his face towards the purifying warmth of the sun. As he lowers his head and opens his eye he sees Samos, a glimmering golden jewel set in the bright azure of the South Arem Sea. The sails of the ship begin to pick up wind and pull the cutter closer to the bright island. As the sails raise to the symphony of wind, Anna approaches Belisarius. Her radiance outshines the sun and there is no jewel in any ocean so glorious as her as she glides toward him; he takes her in his arms and she graces him with a single kiss. Lost in her eyes, Belisarius never sees the boy who leaps onto his back. Laughing, the boy covers his eyes as he and his wife join the child in his joy. As Belisarius peels the boy from his back and takes him into his arms he sees a face filled with love and happiness. The boat sails on to Samos as Belisarius wraps one arm around his wife and one cradles his son.