Duke Aethan Kennex
Love is a lottery for which the prize is death. You're lucky to have lost, and if you're wise, you'll lose always.
Description: With an austere courage and a placid demeanor that almost never forsake him, Aethan has a noble countenance that is enhanced by a generally well-trimmed beard, and short brown hair that is neatly kept. His tanned face is lined by care, more frowns than smiles, and a profound melancholy has dimmed his blue eyes almost to gray.
Personality: Aethan is a man who lives always by a strict code of honor that he'd die before he broke, but he's also a man with demons. A moody, sometimes violent perfectionist who can only see his mistakes, he has a lot to feel guilty about, and a lot to regret. Like a good man of Thrax, he keeps all of these feelings bottled up, and the face he shows to the world is composed, with a noble bearing that inspires respect, if not love. He speaks with a scalpel, never wasting an extraneous word.
On the very rare occasions when the darkness within him break through, Aethan can turn into a cruel and dangerous man... which leaves him with even more to repent, when the spell passes.
Background: Aethan, the oldest of three brothers, has always felt the oldest child's weight of responsibility, and it only got heavier with time. He went to sea at sixteen, followed soon by his brother Porter, and then by nine year old Ian. Not yet twenty, he found himself wearing the hats of brother, of father, teacher, and guardian. He drove himself hard, taught his brothers to do the same, and by the time they'd graduated from escorting merchant ships to hunting pirates on a ship that Aethan himself captained, the brothers Kennex were a force to be reckoned with, a force forged from the strength of the oldest brother's will. Aethan got so much respect for how well he taught his brothers that he was the one tasked with teaching the ungovernable Washburn Grayson to sail, more responsibility that he bore without breaking.
These few years, riding high on the waves with his brothers by his side, were the happiest of Aethan's life, and they ended too soon when Ian, while trying to sail a prize ship through a storm, fell from the rigging and nearly died. The fall left Ian paralyzed -- and Aethan knew that it was his fault. He should have seen the signs that the storm was coming. He should have checked the prize ship's rigging. Unable to stomach the guilt, unable even to look at his broken little brother, Aethan lost himself in the bottle.
He also lost himself in the comfort of a woman. Invierna Winter, the daughter of a wealthy Thrax-sworn merchant, came to him in that darkest night and soothed him. Only weeks after meeting her, they were married. Aethan loved her ardently enough that, at least for a couple of years, he was able to drown out his own self-loathing. But this moment of peace was ephemeral. Aethan lost his father, his mother, and his wife all in quick succession -- his father died of a lingering illness that had plagued him for months, and then a few weeks later, his mother and wife died suddenly during the same night.
The Aethan who turned up in Arx weeks later was a shadow of the man he had once been, held together by copious amounts of alcohol and little else. He was reunited with his brothers, and as they gradually healed their relationship, he began to heal, as well. He became admiral of Stormward's fleet and served with distinction, spearheading the House's efforts to rebuild into something even stronger than it had been before the freeing of the thralls had driven it to the edge of ruin. Then he was needed for a greater and weightier calling -- Duke-Regent. It wasn't a responsibility that he was comfortable with shouldering, but he did it anyway, just like he always has done. If he's not equal to the task, he'll just have to force himself to rise to it.
|Angelica||Very different from his other brothers, with neither Ian's quiet or Porter's manner, they are all as different from each other in ways I'm not sure they'd recognize. Aethan is the leader of the three, through and through.|
|Caspian||Stalwart leader, wise advisor, and a good man! One could ask for no better leader for the mighty house kennex! i consider myself lucky each time i draw swords alongside him!|
|Catalana||I am so glad he's returned. Quiet but yet can draw a crowd and bring the family together.|
|Desiree||Intrigued by my need to be more empathetic, the Duke-Regent of Stormward offered lessons in command and leadership. I believe this was a ruse and excuse to get his hands on my Oathlander teas. I might still take him up on his offer to see just how commanding he can really be.|
|Emily||Duke Aethan...it seems he has cheered up some. His humor is greater than it had been the previous times we met to speak. I am glad to see there is joy returning to his life and that his burdens given to him by his house have not kept him from smiling. I would love to see this changed Duke join me again. What marvels we could see...though hopefully not involving water. Yet.|
|Esme||I have always seen him on the fringes of Kennex events. I am eager to get to know him better though, once I figure out how to do that. I'm sure we are going to be great friends.|
|Evander||He needs no help!|
|Grady||There's an interesting phenomenon where what might appear to be a bright light is cast into what looks like shadow when compared to something even brighter than itself. I had thought of the members of the Kennex family who I have met as an uncommonly dutiful and driven sort, but on meeting Duke Aethan, I see the phenomenon of a bright light eclipsed repeated to great effect.|
|Ian||We've always done better together than we have apart. The way things have been going, I'm damned glad he's back in town.|
|Keely||He is very friendly and talks a lot about nautical things, which is very Kennex of him. I look forward to hearing about his future hornswoggling attempts.|
|Lou||I've had the fortunate chance to meet with him briefly several times now. He's capable and has a good head on his shoulders and he would be welcomed on any Explorer expedition as far as I am concerned.|
|Lucita||Knowledgeable, interesting, good conversationist though his choice of tea instead of a stiff drink of rum or whiskey while coping with the drudgery of paperwork is a bit surprising.|
|Noah||Kennex. He seems like a Thrax, and all that it means.|
|Zoey||Elder brother and Liege, calm and wise. I do all I can to support him, and he does the same.|