At the center of gossip at High King David's court at Tara-Nar one can usually find the name of Sir Lleu Ardwyad. Since his arrival from the Kingdom of Grass, this bold young sidhe has distinguished himself as the finest warrior at the court. Courteous and brimming with valor, as well as dynamically resplendent in his house finery, Lleu has attracted the romantic attention of many a noble and commoner. Yet, he politely rebuffs all advances in such a manner that none can take offense; gossip is that he must be pledged to a woman of exceptional qualities and that his Gwydion-esque pride forbids him from naming names.
Interestingly, none can cay where Lleu learned his unparalleled fighting skills and courtly grace. He admits to growing up in a Michigan shore town, one far from any freehold of note. If the young paragon has a secret mentor of unsurpassed skill, he keeps such a name close to his chest as that of his lady fair. This infuriates many rivals, naturally, who dare not challenge Lleu as long as his mastery of blade and firearms far surpasses their own.
The Disappearance of the High King Edit
Often called the perfect knight, Lleu certainly fits the Gwydion ideal. Originally from the Kingdom of Grass, he opted for service in the freehold of his cousin, the High King. His pride is gravely wounded when Caliburn chooses a mere commoner as its bearer and the one chosen to undertake the quest for the missing king. Nevertheless, he is happy to stay by Faerilyth's side and protect her from those who would try to depose or harm her. Such a position leaves him all too close to her, however, with the temptation to declare his love or at least slake his passion. Again, his honor and good name prevent such from happening, but he feels soiled nonetheless, for he hopes in his most secret of hearts that David is dead and that he may pursue Faerilyth's love with honor. And by that betrayal of oath to David, he finds himself forsworn without ever acting wrongly.
War in Concordia Edit
A member of the Red Branch, Lleu dedicated himself to the protection of the High King, receiving the privileged and well-deserved title of King's Champion. Sharp-eyed courtiers of Tara-Nar, however, noted the looks and glances that passed between Lleu and Faerilyth since their meeting in David's court. Gossip and rumor led to speculation that the High Queen and the King's Champion had gone beyond the boundaries of courtly love into the uncharted country of infidelity.
While no facts give substance to the rumor, the beliefs of others weigh heavily on Gwydion's "perfect knight." Lleu does, in fact, love Faerilyth and, had David not claimed her heart, he certainly would have sought permission from her guardian, King Meilge, to court her.
Lleu blame himself for the High King's disappearance, firmly believing that if he had watched his cousin more closely and had not allowed his emotions for Faerilyth to distract him, disaster would not have befallen David. He feels that the Dreaming punished him for his failure by placing Caliburn into the hands of a mere storyteller, whose recent elevation to knighthood does not erase his commoner birth. Designated as Queen's Champion, Lleu has the agonizingly sweet task of protecting his cousin's wife (and his own unrequited love) as Faerilyth completed the grand tour of Concordia.
Touted by many as the "perfect" knight, Lleu stands tall and proud, with dark brown hair, green eyes, and a trim yet muscular build. He dresses in fine clothing, usually with some mark of his house prominently displayed, yet never appears overdressed or inappropriately attired. He moves with the gracefulness of a trained fighter; each action studied and economical, with no wasted motion.
Anyone who wants to get to Faerilyth, for any reason whatsoever, has to go through Lleu Ardawyd first. Protective to a fault, arrogant, and rude as only a Gwydion lord can be while still retaining the high standards of courtesy and chivalry of a knight without peer, he treats everyone around him with extreme propriety and a good dose of suspicion. After all, his cousin the High King disappeared from the midst of loyal subjects.
Every day he wishes fervently for the reappearance of David Ardry; every evening, he admits his relief that another day has passed without his wish's fulfillment. His life has become a continual struggle between heart and head, love and duty, honor and passion. Faerilyth confides in him, sharing with him in private her heartaches and the unspoken torment she endures as she waits in vain for word that her lord has returned. If anything, his devotion to her has grown stronger and purer, even as her own love for her husband has deepened in David's absence.
Lleu keeps track of the swiftly deteriorating politics of Concordia, and he knows that it is only a matter of time before the war already raging in the Kingdom of Apples spreads to the more remote regions of the realm. Here in the southernmost part of the Kingdom of Willows, he has received a reprieve from the strife, but the storm clouds already crest the horizon. He has made secret preparations to flee across the ocean with Faerilyth, if necessary, to keep her out of the hans of those who might harm her, and that group seems, on some days, to encompass most of Concordia's nobility.