Arnza Character in Terrarum | World Anvil


King of Ilia Arnza Arikiades (Son of Arikises) Ilianes (a.k.a. Metis (The Cunning)

The legendary King of the city of Ilia, hero of the Mykran Sacred War, and the father of the twins Fasus and Cassus as well as the grandfather of Rascus, founder of Rasca. Arnza is well known for his "Nostos" or Homecoming after the conclusion of the Sacred War where he was cursed by the gods for failing to uphold a sworn oath and would need to redeem himself in order to return home.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Hailing from the northwestern Mykran city of Ilia, Arnza was born to the ruling king of the city and a demigod mother named Deione. As a child, Arnza's father Arikises, disappeared one day into the wilds and never returned. This event would lead to Arnza's young crowning as King of Ilia and launch him into the upper echelon of Mykran monarchs during this period. Arnza is said to have been a skilled orator and diplomat who broadened his kingdom's allegiances and allies further south into the Rhaesessos and greater Mykra. Among Arnza's closest friends and his mentor was Tyrminas, the king of Rhaesia and the father of Gordian the Red. A famous story is told of a meeting between Arnza and a teenage Gordian where they talk to one another, the room of courtiers shift their eyes to Arnza's mother Deione who acclaims both men, saying that they each will rule the world, Arnza the west and Gordian the east. This is generally seen to be a story added to by the Rasenna into the cycle of stories about the key figures of the Sacred War after their conquest of Mykra.

Arnza accompanied Tyrminas to the famed wedding of Skiron and Roana, the prince of Akragus and princess of Mascyria. Skiron came from the house of Rhaeses, and Roana from Mykros, and as such the affair was seen as a reuniting of the warring families of the two brothers. However, the warring would continue as Kaneas, king of Mascyra, raided the chamber of Skiron and slew the prince in the night. This traumatic breach of conduct would result in the forming of a coalition against the Mascyrians, led by Attalos, the older brother of Skiron and King of Akragus. Arnza was honor-bound to join with the brother of the slain Skiron and so joined the Akragan League. Riding out from the walls of Akragus after the rousing funerary oration by Attalos, many of the kings rode their majestic steeds while the lowly Arnza walked among the men of his city in the march to war.

Arnza proved an effective and knowledgeable leader during the initial phases of the war with the Mascyrians. Arnza and his men were famed for their archers and slingers who are claimed to have been able to route entire armies. The Ilians however, are not among the same echelon of soldiers that the Rhaesians and the soldiers of Tiridatus on the Mascyrian side. During the raid at Fotia, Arnza was at the side of King Attalos when he was felled by forty arrows. Arnza would be tasked with bringing the ashes of Attalos to the central complex of the city of Mascyra after the League won the war. Arnza's accompanying mother, upon learning of this task, told her son that Attalos' ashes would empower the house of Akragus to supremacy over all of Mykra and that if he did what he was asked to, their family would fall by the wayside.

As the Akragai set camp at the walls of Mascyra, Arnza hid his task from the other kings in the war tent. During the siege of Mascyra, the Mascyrians would launch famous sorties, trying to burn the Akragai camp and throw them from the walls. Numerous times, Arnza and Gordian, the son of Tyrminas, would lead the defense of the camp, with Gordian protecting Arnza behind his famously large shield while Arnza shot arrow after arrow into the attacking Mascryians. Eventually, King Kaneas would call for duels to be held to decide the fate of the war. In the Akragai camp, the kings would choose lots to see who would face more dangerous opponents. Arnza chose first and would have to fight the youthful Panices, son of Kaneas. In their duel, Panices was stronger, faster, and in all things the better warrior than Arnza. However, Arnza's age made him wise, and so when Panices made mistakes, Arnza capitalized and beat him back. Arnza would trick the prideful prince into attacking him via a feint, a mistake that cost the prince his life as Arnza shot him in the neck with an arrow. Arnza would witness the other duels, duels that all the Akragi kings would win. Arnza would particularly be disturbed by the display of viciousness by Aleus, King of Mellia, who had slain Prince Nicias the older brother of Panices.

During the final assault on Mascyra, Arnza was duty-bound to take center stage in the violence of the fall of the city. With his task before him, Arnza did not fulfill his pact with Attalos and did not take his ashes to the center of the city. Instead, Arnza scattered Attalos' ashes from atop a temple with the winds blowing outside the city. Rasennan authors, those descended directly from Arnza, saw this as a conniving and honorless gesture by their forebearer, though it is thought that by not scattering the king's ashes, he allowed the Rasenna to usurp the Mykrans in power. Nevertheless, for his honorless actions, Arnza was cursed by the gods to suffer during his return to Ilia. After the sacking of Mascyra, Arnza was among the tribunal that accused Aleus of killing Pemenion and witnessed the duel between Aleus and Gordian. Upon setting off for home, Arnza and Gordian bid each other farewell, Gordian rode south for Rhaesia and Arnza north for Ilia.

It is during his voyage around the cape of Dytikéria that Arnza's ship is nearly devoured by a sea monster but is fought off by Arnza and his men who remain silent aboard the deck of the ship to trick the beast into thinking the ship is unmanned. After their departure from Dytikéria, Arnza's ship runs aground at Ankyrovóli and cannot be unbeached as a result. Arnza arranges some of his men to stay with the ship while he and the others travel inland to search for the divine cause of their unmoveable ship. Finding an old sage at a temple near the ruins of Theiaori, the sage tells Arnza and his men that the gods have trapped them here and that the cause of their entrapment now falls upon the godly champion Penueles who Arnza is tasked with wrestling. Penueles is often called "Penueles Láthos" or Penueles the Mistake, a very literal representation of Arnza's mistake that has doomed him and his men to never return home unless he atones for his failure in scattering Attalos' ashes. As his men witness him, the aged Arnza squares off with the youthful Penueles. Arnza at his age is no match for the strong Penueles and manhandles him thoroughly. In the fight, the old and ragged Arnza pleads for the ability of his men to return home, surrendering himself to Penueles but assuring him that if he refuses to agree, he will fight the young man to the death. With his head low, Arnza sees a hand extending to him that beckons him up from the ground, Penueles surrenders to Arnza and bids him to go to the realm of the dead to atone to Attalos directly. Arnza and his men return to the ship and set off from Ankyrovóli to their destination.

Arnza's voyage would take him to the depths of Skiá, the shadowed seas where he would reunite with many of his slain comrades from the Sacred War. In Skiá, Arnza reunited with Aleus, who apologized for his betrayal, he once more met his friend Tyrminas who acclaimed him for helping his son Gordian and he reunited with Pemenion, who still bore a grudge against Aleus for killing him. However, Arnza was tasked with finding Attalos in Skiá and reconciling with the king. Upon finding the King of Akragus, Arnza found him beneath a dead olive tree, speaking happily reunited with his brother Skiron. Arnza apologized to the king for failing to uphold his end of their agreement. Attalos forgave him and the three men spoke of their lives and the things they had witnessed and seen, with Attalos warning Arnza of the still long road ahead of him on his journey home.

When Arnza returned from Skiá, he found nearly a decade had passed by. To Arnza's own astonishment, his crew had not abandoned him and upon seeing their king, the men acclaimed him as deathless. As the crew sets sail once again, they are stopped by another ship coming upon them and asking for the aid of the hero Arnza. This ship is manned by Antéches, the last member of the cursed family of Strophes. The family was cursed twice, firstly by the betrayal and murder of Peras, brother of Strophes by the figure himself. The gods cursed Strophes' entire line then after. Strophes' son Aeroes, a lustful man, was tricked into fathering a child by his own daughter Desitira who gave birth to Antéches. Antéches now wishes to end his family's curse and as such begs Arnza for help. Arnza departs from his men to aid Antéches, who wishes to return to his home and slay his father for his crime. Antéches leads and he and Arnza arrive at the court of Aeroes who does not recognize his incestuous son but does recognize the hero Arnza. During the banquet, Arnza is honored and sits Antéches at the table with him, claiming him to be his son, fathered during the war with the Mascyrians. Aeroes' guard is down when Antéches, in a rage upon learning that Aeroes executed his mother, lunges at him and stabs him firstly in the groin and then in the chest. Arnza and Antéches flee the palace and Antéches takes refuge in a temple and begs, on his knees in prayer to the gods to forgive him for avenging his mother's death. Taking pity on the last son of the Strophids, they release Antéches of his family's curse and bid Arnza to finally return home after doing such a deed.
Finally, Arnza returns to his crew and sets sail for Ilia. Rounding the cape of Spithi, Arnza spots the city and rejoices,

"O moíra, se ántexa"
"Oh fate, I have endured thee"

Returning home after nearly twenty years, Arnza slowly walks the steps and grounds of his home as his men rush to find their own families in the town below. After so many years away, none rush to greet Arnza, none but his faithful dog Phestus, who he birthed not long before leaving for the Sacred War. Phestus, now an old and ragged dog, rising quickly and playfully lunges at his returning master and Arnza weeps upon seeing him. Arnza is led by Phestus to his home, where he finds his wife Nasikka attending to her daily duties. Upon seeing the dog Phestus at the side of a ragged and weary traveler, Nakissa immediately recognizes Arnza, and the two reunite. Upon reuniting the pair, the old Phestus rests at the entry of the palace and finally dies. After rejoicing with his wife, Arnza kneels before his dog and calls all the palace's attendants to witness the burial of the faithful hound. After washing, Arnza is introduced to his two sons, Fasus and Cassus who were born before he departed to Akragus. Upon meeting his sons, Arnza embraces them and wishes them lives of peace, quiet, and love.

Arnza and his beloved Nasikka would rule Ilias for a long while and watch as their sons would live a life of adventure as they traveled west and founded cities in the tough and rugged lands of Lakia. According to Rasennan tradition, the old and weary war hero finally passed upon hearing news of the birth of his first grandson, a boy named Rascus.

Personality Characteristics


Return home and be with his family

Virtues & Personality perks


Vices & Personality flaws



Contacts & Relations

Friend and mentor of Gordian the Red
Friend of King Pemenion
Contact of King Aleus of Mellia

Family Ties

Father of Fasus and Cassus
Husband of Nasikka
Grandfather of Rascus

Hobbies & Pets

Upon his return to Ilia after his adventures around Mykra, the first to recognize the king of Ilia would be his old dog Phestus (Faithful). Phestus, despite being old and ragged by this time, rose quickly to greet his master and joyously accompanied Arnza as he returned to his home and to his wife Nasikka. After returning Arnza home, Phestus quietly passed away on the grounds of the palace and was given a somber burial by Arnza that night.


In tales of Arnza's Nostos, Arnza speaks and behaves in a way that reflects his humbled status, specifically after being beaten by Penueles. In some interpretations, Arnza was more ready to die there and let his men return home than to return home himself. In dialogues with his crew, Arnza often speaks with hesitation and worries about if his own wife will recognize him, if the sons he left behind will be frightened of his appearance or if he will ever put the war behind him.




Towards Nasikka



Towards Arnza

Circumstances of Birth
Son of the Ilian bandit king Arikises
Circumstances of Death
Died of old age upon hearing news of the birth of his grandson Rascus
Ilia, northwestern Mykra
Place of Death
Ilia, northwestern Mykra
Nasikka (spouse)
Dark Green
Ragged Dark Brown hair and beard
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
180 lbs
Quotes & Catchphrases
"I have more regretted my speech than appreciated my silence."
Character Prototype
(Arnza wrestling Penueles)
(Arnza reunites with his loyal dog Phestus)


Please Login in order to comment!