Loran

Loran, also referred to as the Barron, is the complex forebearer of Davis and his sister  Or maybe not so complex.  His biggest goal was to continue the heritage of his family as a successful, honorable and wealthy noble ancestry, ruling one of the most successful provinces of the kingdom.

Unfortunately, this not prove easy for him.  First, he fails to have a healthy male offspring, producing Davis, physically weak, with no hope of being a warrior, and little interest in the traditional roles of a male nobel.  Intelligent and magically inclined, he seems to have little chance to follow in his father's footsteps.  Davis is a lifelong dissapointment for him, and they have only started to build a functional relationship when Loran is killed by the invaders.  Loran feels dissapointment and anger towards Davis, Davis feels frustration with his father's conservative intolerant negative attitude.

With his Daughter, Loran's sexism is challenged; she shows the talent and hard edge of a warrior that he craved in a son, but challenges his concept of the role of women.  He gives her more approval than Davis, but even she is never sure of his affection.

In both, you see affects of a father who can never really show love or acceptance for his children.

Loran's key traits were passed in part to each of his children; an appreciation of power, a drive for success and accomplishment, intolerance of difference, distaste for other races, hatred of the elves, distrust of education and magic, conservative beliefs, a commitment to honor and "fairplay", a loyalty to the kingdom, a keen strategic mind, leadership skills and political skill.

He is not nice, but not excessively cruel.  He doesn't hesitate to crush opponents, and instinctively smashes whatever opposition he faces, but rarely goes looking for trouble.  If his control is unquestioned, he is a light hand, content to keep things orderly and efficient.  This makes him dangerous to directly confront, but easier to manipulate through praise/support; when Davis returns from his journeys, he finds pockets of corruption in Kyrene, where administrators/supporters are pandering to his father's power, paying lip service, but secretely scamming.  Davis earns his fathers respect by finding effective ways to deal with this, whithout publicly (or privately) undermining his father's authority.

He is not agressive on the national stage, happily to focus his energy on building Kyrene, but actively acts to insure the status and influence of Kyrene is maintained, and is cannily able to impact and influence the national politics.

He is most proud of his family heritage of warriors, their strength and power, and their untarnished history of honor.

He loves his wife, and she is his one soft spot, the one place he shows emotion.  He does things to make her happy that he would never do otherwise.

Kyrene has routinely had issues with Elves in a neigbhoring forest, and while he is only "passively" intolerant of other races, generally not thinking about them, he can't stand elves, and has a deep animosity to them, after growing up with years of skirmishes over control over the forrest.

He is sexist, only overcoming it after seeing Amara's success, and his daughter's potential.  His daughter is the first female warrior Kyrene puts forth, and he is proud of her accomplishments, though he can never give her the acknowledgement and respect he would give a man.

Under his control, Kyrene overcomes some shaky times, and because a profitable center of agriculture, natural resources and fishing.
By his death though, Kyrene is starting to lose status though, both in its economy and the national stage, and Loran is beginning to struggle to maintain the current level of success.  Davis makes steps to counter the decline, and to move it towards a center of culture and education.  These are not Loran's style, but he gives Davis some leeway when he sees successes.

Loran is generous, and though a strong believer in the oligarchy, and the superiority of the upper classes, he respects success and hard work, and is generally generous.  He respects commoners that work hard, and despises the "weak" and self indulgent of the upper classes, seeing them unworthy of their status.  By and large he does not revel in his wealth, and shares the success of the land with the people, although he always maintains strict control; think of him as the classic benevolent dictator.

Role:  Father, tormenter, teacher
Story Activities:  Loran's primary concern is the day to day running of Kyrene, a classic workaholic, pushing himself to do everything.  Between day to day operations, keeping up his warrior skills, and representing Kyrene's interests on the national stage, he has little time for anything else.

Over the course of Davis's life, Loran becomes slightly less conservative, a little more "mellow" largely thanks to the influence of his family, each of whom represent some progressive aspect to him.  His is always conservative.

In the context of the story, his relationship with Davis and his sister is key in their development, and setting the stage for the war and and the DH project.

His death, specifically, will be a pivotal point.  Early on, his and Davis will both see the Invaders as a threat, and distrust their claims of good intentions towards humans.  Even though Loran has no love of other races, he knows conquerers when he sees them, and doesn't believe they will be happy to conquer the rest of Pangea and leave the humann kingdom alone.  While he can't bring himself to advocate for a real alliance with any of the other races, he urges the Emperor not to trust or support them in any way, and even arranges to offer some passive support for the Orcs, who he respects for their reputation as honorable warriors, supporting orders of supplies and even allowing orcish refugees in DH.

The fact of the Invaders use devious magic to win battles only confirms his distaste for them.

This instinctive resistance to the Invaders puts him at odds with members of the court that seek to support them, either out of hatred of the other races (invaders do look more human than most of the other races), or those that don't think the invaders are a threat to human lands.  Loran becomes more active on the national stage trying to rally support against the Invaders, earning him the enmity of them and their supporters.

This also has an unusual affect on his relationship with his children.  He and Davis become closer, as Davis not only agrees with Loran's distrust of the Invaders, he is horrified to see the other races conquered.  His sister, fundamentally and sgignificantly more racist and warmongering than her father sees only positives in having the Invaders eliminate the other races, and has no doubt the human army can defeat them if they dare attack, and would even enjoy a real war, for the glory and test of human mettle.  Loran, while intolerant, is never really racist, and definitely has no illusions about the "glory of war."

And so Davis find political common ground, and the sister feels isolated and insulted to be excluded.  Here, too, Loran learns to appreciate Davis's knowledge of and connections in the other races, seeing that Davis's knowledge from travelling and visiting other cultures comes in handy.  The one culture he loathes remains the elves.  

Loran is one of few influential voices against the Invaders.  Eventually the Invaders have overwhelmed all other races but the elves, and are preparing an offensive against them.  This would make the human kingdom the last unconquered group, and put the Invaders on the edge of human territory.  The emperor calls a special discussion of all the top nobles.  This puts Loran in a difficult position; he hates the elves, but opposes the Invaders.  But he goes planning to advocate for a declaration against the Invader Elvish offensive.

Loran heads to the capital, taking with him his top aids, his top soldiers (for a sign of strength, and safety on the road), and his wife, to visit friends in the capital (where she is from and rarely visits) and perform the necessary wifely social duties.  He leaves Davis in control of Kyrene, the first time he has trusted him with such responsibility; during his past rare times of leaving, he left his wife in charge.  This is a tremendous step in their relationship, and a sign that Loran thinks that Davis will someday be a good successor.

On the road, disaster strikes.  The entire party is slaughtered.  Basic evidence suggests that an Elvish raiding party struck them.  That seems believable, considering Loran's long conflict with the elves.  Supporters of the Invaders use this as evidence for that the Elves can't be trusted, and the Invader's will be doing humans a favor by eliminating them.  They also suggest that the elves killed Loran to keep him from arguing in support of the Invader offensive.  Davis knows this isn't true, but with his father's well known animosity towards the elves, it is hard to contradict.

Davis visits the site of the slaughter, and quickly sees evidence of a setup; no elvish bodies were found, the elvish weapons found are definitely elvish in design, but come from distant tribes (tribes already conquered by the invaders), rather than those closer to Kyrene, and whom Loran had frequently clashed with.  All of the local elves deny any knowledge or support for the raid.  The attach methods doesn't suggest elvish strategy.  There were reports of mysterious troops in the area before the attack (Elves don't travel in troops and are rarely seen before an attack).  This and other evidence leads Davis to believe that the slaughter was implimented by a noble enemy of his father, with support from the Invaders; the Invaders provided Elvish weapons, and the noble setup a trap approaching Loran pretending to seek travel together, and instead ambushing them.

This catapaults Davis into power in Kyrene and onto the national stage, and sets off the buildup to the war.  Davis will never convince his sister that the Invaders were responsible for their parents deaths, and sees Davis's support of the other races over the invaders a betrayal of their parents.  Davis sees her support of the invaders a betrayal of their parents, and this affects their decisions forever afterwards.  
Comments