Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia Character in Istralar | World Anvil

Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia

Emperor Aneirin Cynos Elyan of Aletheia, Champion of Asmodeus (a.k.a. Cyne)

At first glance, I didn't think much of this supposed Emperor. Too young by half! He swiftly disabused me of that notion: firstly in court, and secondly on the battlefield.
— disgruntled military commander
  Aneirin of Aletheia -- better known as Cyne to his friends -- is the recently-ascended Emperor of Aletheia, the Champion of Asmodeus, a Starseeker of the Eagle's Shadows, the true ruler of Ordan, and a thousand other titles besides these. Until the death of his grandfather, Emperor Asterion, he was better known as the Crown Prince and the Lord of Serendel Forest and its surrounds.   He is generally known for his sarcastic wit and odd shadow-magics, being that he is one of the few nightblades to publicly utilise his arcane abilities. These have saved him a number of times - particularly on the battlefield of the War of Empires, where his standout combat ability protected countless Aletheian soldiers from the devils summoned by the Medimian Empire.   Prior to the death of Alysia Undria and the disappearance of the Lost Ones, Aneirin was known to have a compassionate and protective side for his loved ones. Despite the return of the latter group, however, his sister's death and the stress of the War of Empires seems to largely have eroded such sympathy -- members of the Aletheian courts have noticed a marked difference in his willingness to forgive after he returned to court after her funeral, and the Aletheian military strategy has turned somewhat more bloodthirsty.   As a tiefling, he stood as a stark contrast to the other members of the Aletheian royal family. The Empire's ruling line is conditional on the blood of the outer planes remaining true, thus preventing humans and other non-planestouched races from taking the throne. However, despite the Empire reportedly maintaining full aasimar rule (according to their own records, at least), there is no clause prohibiting a tiefling's ascension. His infernal blood was not known at the time of his conception, else he may well not have existed. Lady Ceridwen Undria had not thought to reveal her ancestry to Lord Andron Undria until Aneirin was born - much to his father's horror.   If Crown-Prince Albion hadn't been intending on a large family, with his wife already pregnant with Prince Taerien, Andron would have ordered the tiefling executed -- and perhaps carried out the execution himself. Emperor Asterion personally intervened on the child's behalf to ensure Andron didn't attempt to bypass the request, despite his own disappointment in a tiefling grandchild. Cynos -- as he was named then -- was allowed to live, and those early threats would set the stage for much of his early life.   Prior to his ascension to the throne in 5625, Cyne's formal name - and name to much of the world - was Cynos Aneirin Elyan Undria. Upon ascension, he changed it according to the country's rules for inheritance. He did, however, retain his nickname of 'Cyne'. The name was given to him by an amusing mispronunciation made by a childhood sparring partner after he read the young lord's name out from a list. He greatly preferred it to his own name, finding the puns his tutors made preferable to their jabs at his heritage. The name stuck -- particularly as he introduced himself with it until his ascension to Emperor, much to his parents' frustration.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Cyne is a little underweight, but very much in-shape. What few scars he's kept are always hidden by a layer of illusion or by physical coverings. His tiefling aspects - his horns, desaturated and too-cold skin, pointed ears, slight fangs, and his glowing golden eyes - do not have any affect on his wellbeing aside from being points of prejudice.   Underneath the gauntlets of his armour, his left arm is heavily scarred with the former mark of the Lost Prince, and the current mark of Asmodeus. He also wears the scars of war across his body, with the deepest marks being a series of pointed slashes at his neck and chest, where he was grabbed by the throat and impaled during his encounter with heavensfall poison.

Identifying Characteristics

The glowing red pentagram symbol of Asmodeus can be found on Cyne's wrist, though is almost always hidden by layers of illusion and leather to prevent its knowledge from leaking. A set of piercing red scars run down his throat, marking a near-mortal injury from his time on the battlefield where he first encountered Hopesbane. He hides them, too, but is well aware of the affect they can have on his tiefling physique.

Special abilities

Is a nightblade - heavily stealth-based and skilled with shadow magic, magical crafting, and various arcane spells. Has his own personal demiplane in the Plane of Shadow.

Apparel & Accessories

Wears finely-tailored outfits of black or grey, accented with silver, gold, and either blue or red depending on his business that day. Tends to keep his true appearance concealed with slight illusions that mask his magical accessories.

Specialized Equipment

Uses a sword made of umbrite gifted to him by the drow of Yuethin'tar, aptly named Heirsbane for reasons he keeps to himself. Decked out in magical items from various sources - elf-woven cloaks, a belt forged by the southern states, and the list only goes on.

Mental characteristics

Gender Identity

Male (he/him)


Fluid / pansexual

Accomplishments & Achievements

Emperor of the Aletheian Empire and a war hero of the same. Kingslayer, for his refusal to allow the King of Ordan to murder him. Invented the Books of Communication - a series of books enchanted to pass messages instantaneously. Liese Celadrion has since improved upon the enchantments to allow limited transmission of items and liquids.

Failures & Embarrassments

Couldn't protect his sister, or the others that he cared about.

Mental Trauma

Severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Heavily blames himself for what happened to Alysia and for other past losses, and has not yet had a chance to process the loss of his abusive father. The likely loss of his mother is the deeper wound in ongoing matters, and the weight of Licia Galewen's admission of her lack of suitability for the position of fiancĂ©e has stung far greater than the loss of Kraia Woodslough did.  
...can't help but think this would be fixed by trading places with Albion. I somehow doubt my patron'll allow that.
— excerpt from Cyne's personal notes, date unknown

Personality Characteristics


Aneirin's drive is largely from his desire to live up to the responsibilities he feels he's earnt. It is his fault that he was forced to take up the role of Crown Prince -- thus in his mind, he owes it to his uncle and cousin to live up to their expectations. When his sister still lived, a secondary part of that motivation derived from his need to protect her from the world. Her death shook his faith to the core, and stole the light from his life. Despite this, his primary motivation is that his people should have the best lives he can provide, no matter the cost to himself.   If he could live without his titles -- and have his sister back -- then he would wish for a politics-free life of adventure and learning. He has always wished to throw himself fully into his duties with the Shadows, but this has become steadily less feasible.

Savvies & Ineptitudes

Talented blademaster, illusionist and shadowcaster. Useless at completing less-important paperwork in a timely manner and being where he's expected to be. Surprisingly prone to enchantments, and more trusting than he should be.

Likes & Dislikes


  • Isolation / staying alone
  • Shadow & illusion magics
  • Sneaking around & adventuring
  • Bothering the Lost Ones in person
  • Making his friends deal with paperwork
  • Various colours - green, silver, black, gold
  • Expensive red wine and fine cuisine
  • Esoteric knowledge & magical crafting
  • Flirting
  • Dislikes

  • Paperwork
  • Being forced through diplomatic processes
  • Challenges to his reign
  • Organised religion
  • Staying in one place
  • Beer
  • Wearing the colour white
  • Racism
  • Being left out
  • Virtues & Personality perks

    Dextrous, quick to act, and incredibly sarcastic. Stays relatively neutral in conflicts to mediate, unless they involve him or threaten the Empire. Deadly if he perceives a threat to those he protects.

    Vices & Personality flaws

    Somewhat reckless, though he's largely gotten better at controlling that. Often hides or suppresses emotions instead of dealing with them, particularly in stressful situations. Suffering from severe clinical depression and insomnia -- though he is now receiving help from High Priestess Aetha Tinuval for these issues. Vaguely addicted to wine.


    He stays immaculately clean and has perfect manners, but tends to get lost in readings and research. This results in a terrifyingly messy study until he comes to his senses and restores it to normal - or has a servant or family member interrupt him.


    Religious Views

    Hides his religious beliefs, but is a follower of the Lost Prince due to their similar views.

    Social Aptitude

    Wears refined manners and smooth, diplomatic behaviour in political situations, but uses a sarcastic and more casual around those he doesn't feel the need to stay fully noble around.


    Alysia Undria

    Sister (Vital)

    Towards Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia



    Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia

    Brother (Vital)

    Towards Alysia Undria




    After a rough start, the two siblings bonded over Alysia's curse and became close friends. They trust each other above all, and Alysia sees him as her closest confidant. Whilst they didn't get to spend much time together, they wrote often, and Alysia often wished she could ease some of the burdens her brother held away from her.   Her wish would come true shortly before her brother's birthday in 5626. The fall of Iomedae shattered the shield of Tenaerul, and only her brother's waning lifeforce could sustain it due to his Championship. Knowing that it would claim his life to leave the barrier up, Alysia sought help from one of the most powerful gods - the Prince of Darkness, Asmodeus.   She offered herself as his Champion so that she could sacrifice herself for her brother's sake, laying out protections for her brother in their infernal contract so that Asmodeus would take over as Cyne's patron and protect him in the coming days of war and darkness. Cyne was shattered by her loss, relying heavily on his new patron and his mortal allies to prevent himself from losing everything to his grief.

    Relationship Reasoning

    Other than their blood relationship and general friendship, the pair were mutually good for one another. Alysia had helped Cyne recover from wounds many a time, putting her divine powers to use. In turn, he had handled diplomatic situations so that she needn't be involved, and used his shadow magic to prevent light from reaching her during her attacks. She watched out for the dangers ahead with her oracle Sight, and he defended her from would-be captors - or suitors, if necessary.   Her fall proved how necessary she had been for him. One of her last actions prior to her fall had been to allow Licia Galewen to step somewhat into her shoes - not that the Champion could hope to match his sister's value, in Cyne's eyes.

    Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia

    Opponent (Important)

    Towards Lirien




    Opponent (Vital)

    Towards Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia



    Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia

    Great-great-great... grand-nephew (Vital)

    Towards Ashlyn Alarian



    Ashlyn Alarian

    Great-great-great... great-aunt (Vital)

    Towards Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia



    Nicknames & Petnames

    He tends to call her 'grandmother' and similar family-based nicknames.

    Relationship Reasoning

    Ashlyn doesn't approve of his methods. But still loves him as family. Cyne doesn't care for her fervent religiousness, nor does he care so much about the law. And he finds her naive & paranoid nature to be endlessly amusing. However, he admires her might in battle and ability to uphold the law no matter what, and essentially views her as another sibling (given their similar mental ages).

    Legal Status


    Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia

    Ally (Important)

    Towards Cid La Flaga



    Cid La Flaga

    Ally (Trivial)

    Towards Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia



    Aniks Aliforn

    Ally (Vital)

    Towards Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia



    Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia

    Ally (Vital)

    Towards Aniks Aliforn




    Friend & Spymaster

    Towards Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia


    Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia

    Friend & Emperor

    Towards Amara


    13th Rova
    True Neutral
    Current Location
    Honorary & Occupational Titles
    Emperor of the Aletheian Empire. Starseeker of the Shadows. Champion of the Lost Prince. Kingslayer.
    Year of Birth
    5535 EA 91 Years old
    Alysia Undria (Sister)
    Current Residence
    Golden eyes that glow almost malevolently.
    Charcoal black, slightly wavy, and slicked back out of his face.
    Aligned Organization
    Other Affiliations

    Mental Characteristics


    Personal History

    Cyne Undria
    Cyne by Albert
    Cyne grew up facing the constant fear of assassination for simply being 'the royal fiend'. As such, he trained with skilled warriors and learnt how to avoid sight from an early age; as his magical ability showed itself, he sought out tutors in rare shadow-based magics to master this talent. This was how he first encountered the Shadows, though he didn't join until shortly after he reached adulthood.   When he reached the age of 12, his sister, Alysia, was born - and he began to express his first infernal characteristics. Whilst his blood had been known as infernal since birth, it was far harder to hide the glowing golden eyes that marked him as one of the Hells. Scared, his father forbade him from meeting Alysia until the girl was 6, and him 18. This first meeting was carefully watched for good reason - the annoyed 'teenager' acted rudely and dismissively towards his 'perfect' sister, exiting the meeting in a flash of shadow when Alysia demanded he join her for a tea party.   The two crossed paths on occasion, but didn't spend much time together until Alysia was struck with the curse that would forever mark her as an oracle - he was the first to find her lying on the floor, having heard the strange thud in the neighbouring room, and refused to leave her side until she awakened.
      Since that fateful day, shrouded in secrecy for the sake of Alysia's health, Cyne was his sister's closest friend, confidant and guard - even though his own skills lent themselves elsewhere. Whilst their roles drew them apart, they maintained regular correspondence and often sought each other's counsel until Alysia's sacrifice.   Aside from his familial relationships, Cyne's next years came with many lessons in appropriate etiquette, languages, magics, all sorts of history and politics... all alongside his continued nightblade training. He spent multiple years at the Aletheian High Courts with the other members of his family, learning the ways of their ruling in case the worst happened to Crown-Prince Albion of Aletheia.   Needless to say, it did.
    It was when he was in his 70s that the political education became relevant. An assignment from the Shadows had him infiltrating a dangerous cult that needed to be shut down. To prove himself loyal, he'd been forced to endure their contracts. Killing people for a price. His final contract was to slay a child and his father, leaving the mother alive. He did so mechanically, leaving no trace of his presence. It was a day later that he received word that his cousin and uncle were dead, that their souls had rejected attempts at resurrection. Being the only eligible outsider in the direct line of succession (as his father had been deemed ineligible, and his aunt refused to even be considered), he was now Crown Prince.   It was then that he realised his successful mission had only been so because his blood had prevented the protective wards from activating. That he'd caused their deaths and doomed his own fate. To this day, he has told none outside the Shadows about this... and hopes to take the secret to the grave.
      Over the years, Cyne had also endured many assassination and kidnapping attempts on himself, some of which were more successful than others, giving him much reason to keep his weaponry close and his scars covered by illusion. He had also taken numerous secret contracts for the Shadows, and led a team that contained Azyel Lathronon for a few years before requesting leave. His position in the Shadows is currently unknown due to his prior obligations to the Aletheian Empire.   He later allied himself with the adventuring group known as the Lost Ones, and aided them in many respects before their three-year disappearance. For a brief time, this granted him the position of Champion of the Lost Prince - a Fey Eldest. It was during this group's absence that Emperor Asterion passed away due to poisons developed by the evil Medimian Empire, and Cyne ascended to the throne as Emperor Aneirin.   After Iomedae's fall, his Championship became more of a burden as the shield of Tenaerul locked onto his magic and nearly killed him. The Prince of Hell, Asmodeus, learnt of this and offered to save him - but unbeknownst to Cyne, his sister was also involving herself with Asmodeus. Cyne accepted the deal - and Alysia became Asmodeus's Champion briefly before killing herself to permanently repair the Tenaerul shield and save her brother. Cyne then became the new Champion, unaware of his sister's death until he visited her to confirm.   In the brief time since Alysia's death, the Emperor has already been observed to have become more stoic and withdrawn. Whether this change is permanent or simply part of the grieving process is unknown, though the increased presence of the High Priestess suggests the latter. The events of his father's murder and his mother's kidnapping have shaken him further -- if the Lost Ones do not succeed in their mission, the Emperor's own response to the crisis will likely not hold any semblance of mercy.  



    Contacts & Relations

    That ass.
    Aniks Alas'thil, journal 62
      Cyne is very close to the Lost Ones. He has had intimate relationships with Kraia Woodslough and Licia Galewen, with the former ending things due to her non-outsider blood preventing her from having any long-term connection with the Empire's heir, and the latter only recently admitting that she couldn't manage the title of Empress. Ashlyn Alarian is his closest family member outside of his now-missing mother and dearly departed sister, and he's come to see the entire group as his closest friends.   Nivinle Alas'thil, matron of House Alas'thil, has recently come into Cyne's confidence thanks to introductions made by Aniks Alas'thil.   High Priestess Aetha Tinuval has been one of Cyne's most trusted advisors throughout the absence of the Lost Ones, helping both he and his sister with their respective afflictions. Liese Celadrion and Mery Eventide also found their way into his life during that time period, with all three women - and of course, one of his closest friends (and Liese's brother) Azyel Lathronon - assisting his personal magical crafting skill and therefore lending the war effort significant help.   He met Azyel in the Eagle's Shadows, and has long considered the mad elf one of his best and most insane friends and allies. His relations with the other Shadows are, well, shadowed. He has also reportedly been seen hanging out with Kazric Szithna, and the draconic drow makes a habit of helping the Emperor sneak out and camouflage among the commonfolk for a while to de-stress.  

    Family Ties

      Due to temporal shenanigans, Cyne is the great-great-great... etc. grandnephew of Ashlyn Alarian.

    Character Portrait image: Emperor Aneirin by Helena Nikulina (for Hanhula)
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