Airun the Lost Princeling
Physical Description: short grey hair, red eyes, athletic body, wears his demon prince black armor when he is fighting, and actor disguises otherwise.
Abilities: fencing, dueling, debating, acting, philosophy
Magic: battle magic
Personality: Airun is a nimble fighter that is as quick with his wits as he is with his blade. Despite his noble blood, he fully supports the Aanin and is dedicated to the cause of freedom for Demoscus. He thinks of Kalyna as a younger sister, which she hates since she is supposed to be her boss.
Airun, the Lost Princeling, is the youngest son of Raktar, demonlord of the brass city of Suraj. As the youngest, he was never expected to take any prominent role in his father’s court, which gave him the freedom to pursue otherwise frivolous pursuits such as theater, fencing and philosophy.
He was a dedicated student, loved by his teachers, despite his penchant for drama and overstating his own merit.
More than once had Airun challenged a master to a debate, only to lose before the opening arguments ended…
Nonetheless, he learned from these experiences, becoming, still in his teen years, a skilled debater and respected student of the classics.
He improved to such a point that he became well known in the artistic and intellectual circles of Suraj. Not an extravagant little noble, but a charming young man with interesting ideas, especially considering his heritage. His father, on the other hand, was none too pleased. It was one thing to engage in childish hobbies, but to protest politics while a demon princeling? Raktar ended up severely restricting Airun’s freedom, ordering him to learn proper martial arts instead of florid fencing, and government skills instead of useless philosophy.
Disgruntled, but still conscious of his duty as a lord’s son, he learned these new subjects to his best capacity, but still longed for the open debates and the acrobatic duels… So, every once in a while, when his father was busy with matters of state, he would sneak into the night disguised as drunk, then for a few hours rejoin his beloved world, always coming back before dawn.
One of these nights, Airun was invited to a bawdy teahouse, where a wandering troupe, he learned, performed all sorts of outrageous plays. Once inside, unrecognizable in his disguised, he watched intently, curious about what could be so scandalous.
An actor wearing a red pig costume, with 2 sticks attached to his head like horns and several empty bottles attached to his belt, moved onto the stage. He is accompanied by a scantily dressed young lady wearing garish makeup: “My lord!” she exclaims with a high-pitched voice, “I know you are so strong and wise, but is it not too early to drink? You have a meeting with the ambassador of Agni soon.”
“I need my wine and need it sweet,” the pig-man growled. “I pay you to be pretty, not to talk, so go and fetch it before I get angry,” he snorted, huffing and puffing, then passing out on a rug on the floor. A cutout of the Tarnished Palace descended in front of him, and the young lady sang a little
“The nobles are robbing us blind!
The enemy attacks from behind!
Who will ever protect us this time?
The lord and his bottles of wine!
The crowd roared in laughter, while a sunken feeling took Airun’s heart. They were singing such lies about his father, the demonlord of Suraj! No matter how much Airun disagreed with his father sometimes, that was unacceptable. How could they flaunt their disregard of the law so openly? He started to mouth his vehement protest when he felt a hand covering his mouth forcefully.
“Shhh prince boy, if you reveal yourself now you will ruin not just their lives but yours too. Do you really want to show who you are in a place where everyone hates your family’s guts?” a woman’s voice whispered in his ears.
“I… what do you mean prince boy, I am just a… who the heavens are you?” Airun tried to reply, his voice still muffled by the girl’s hand covering his mouth.
“I am both your savior and your kidnapper, and we are getting the heaven out of here right now!” she whispered again, this time with an even more forceful tone, then tied down Airun’s hands with a flick of her wrist. “Follow me,
prince boy, and you might live.”
He could not identify anything about this woman, except that she sounded young, despite her strong tone. He followed in any case, giving up thinking too much in such strange circumstances. The woman led him to a cart, where he immediately recognized the objects of theater.
“Wait a second… You are a member of that scandalous troupe! Have you no shame, spreading slander about my father!”
“Calm down, prince boy, or we will have to gag you too… As for your father, you might be interested to learn a few things…”
Many years have passed, and to this day, Airun have not returned to the palace. That mysterious troupe has gained a new permanent member, however, although they do not perform in Suraj that much these days. Some even say they are not a real troupe, but a much more sinister society, the ones they call in whispers the Aanin, enemies of the nobles and the rich across Demoscus…