The Verden Realms
A hero's hero, father of the Taur'on princes and present Queen, beloved Uncle of Haven and brother of Cedric, missed by all.
“In the Great Gallery of Rose Keep, paintings and tapestries hang upon the walls depicting the heroes, queens, knights and ladies of the Taur’on Family. Because the Gallery rests to the left of the Grand Ballroom, it is common for men and women to wander among the artwork, telling tales of those that have now departed. In recent years, one painting tends to draw the most whispered conversations – the Mysterious Painting of the Lord Consort Adaron.
“The elf was left upon the doorstep of the Thorn Orphanage while still a babe and never knew the family that bore him. But it mattered little to Adaron. He called the orphans family, the priests that raised him fathers. When a young leonial cub’s parents were killed and he found his paws upon the orphanage step, it was Adaron that called him “Furry Brother” and loved him as if he was blood. He grew to be a strong man, good with a spear and gifted in the ways of warfare. He and his “Furry Brother,” Cedric, left the orphanage to be adventurers while still youths, making good names for themselves fighting bandits and mountain goblins with the Broken Order.
“To those that met him, he was a dashing man, quick to smile with a laugh that brought glee to those about him. So, it was no surprise that he caught the heart of the young princess Victoria Taur’on. The surprise was his utter devotion to the young woman. He left the adventuring life and joined the army with Cedric at his side, and the two quickly rose within the ranks; all the while sending letters and tokens of his affection to Victoria. Soon, they were married and after her ascension to the throne, he became the Captain of the Queen’s Rose Guard.
“The Lord Consort and his Queen were happy. Upon the birth of his three sons, it is said that Adaron held them all in his arms and exclaimed, “In these boys, there is the best of me.” At the birth of his twin son and daughter, it is said he kissed them and called them the perfection of his wife. He doted on his children, adored his wife and respected his soldiers. Frankly, if this was a fairy tale, there would be a “Happily Ever After” written next, but unfortunately it was not to be.
“In the late Fall of 825, Adaron and Cedric took a large contingent of soldiers to assist Carthin with a Formori invasion. Things looked grim as the third of the city’s four ring walls fell to the monstrous giants. Adaron’s soldiers were trapped outside of the fourth wall and cut off from all other forces, but in a perfect position to strike a deadly blow against the enemy. Opting to strike rather than try for safety, Adaron’s unit was able to fell one of the Formori generals and destroy an important weapon of the enemy. Battered and wounded, the troops retreated to the safety of the wall with the Formori army surging behind them. Adaron defended their retreat, his spear shining and his laughter in combat ringing across the battlefield.
“His last words were to his friend, “My Furry Brother, tell my wife I died with her on my mind.”
So Adaron fell protecting his men; every soldier in his unit reached safety, save him.
“Adaron’s death crushed the royal family. The Queen was not herself for many months, her usual smile replaced with a tight lipped sorrow. As is customary, painters from across the realms of Viori arrived with offers to paint the portrait of the Lord Consort- all were rebuked. But four months after his death, a stunning portrait appeared in the Gallery, Adaron in his favorite armor, his helm held in his hand. His eyes look into the distance as his mane of blond hair blows over his shoulders. And a smile is forming on his lips.
“A perfect depiction of the gallant elf, but no signature graces the painting. To this day, no artist has taken credit or claimed responsibility for its beauty. No soul seems to know how it came to be hanging upon the wall. Yet, at every great party held in the Grand Ballroom since his death, Queen Victoria will be seen to walk in the Gallery to his painting and blow her love one more kiss.