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Parius

"I'd rather be remembered as a beggar than as a king. After all, I've known a lot of good folk and though some of them have been beggars, almost none of them have been kings."
— Parius o Daelys
  Parius o Daelys was the 31st Dynasty King of Thripia who began his life homeless. After saving the High Consort of Dynasty King Orocles from a band of assassins, he was made her Honor Guardian and later Captain of the Orcarous Guard. He later married the widowed High Consort and became Dynasty King. He was politically active and worked to improve the lives of the poorer residents of the city. His reign was met with indignation from the Merchant Lords of the Guilds of Coin and from noble families, the power of whom he tried to restrict, and would come to an end when he was assassinated by agents of the Serpentine. His legacy as the Beggar King outlived him, however, and he is often regarded as one of the inciting causes of the People's Uprising that came 68 years after his untimely death.  

Appearance

Parius was often regarded as handsome. He was relatively short, though athletic, and had light brown skin, thought to stem from Aradin heritage. His hair was dark brown and somewhat messy. It was often styled short at the sides, long at the top and tied into a pony tail. His eyes were famously striking and said to be a pale silvery blue. At times he had a short beard, but was most typically clean shaven. Parius was also well known for never wearing the expensive fashion of the high class, even upon becoming Dynasty King, and would always wear simple, relatively cheap items of clothing. He never donned the Imperial Diadem.  

History

Parius was orphaned after his birth in 612AL. Such occurrences were not uncommon at the time; many families in the northern half of Thripia could not afford children and so would orphan them. A group of street dwelling homeless found him and cared for him until they determined he was old enough to fend for himself and steal. Throughout his teenage years, he became a capable thief and was known among street circles for his quick hands, quiet footsteps and speedy escapes. One story supposes that, after Parius stole a batch of ichor, he had his first and some say only vision where he saw himself at the top of the Old Palace.   Parius' fortunes would indeed change significantly in 637AL. High Consort Pyrocia had visited the Central Market and Parius witnessed the arrival of a group of killers who aimed to rob her procession. While the Orcarous Guard appeared to be quickly overwhelming the robbers, two other men, disguised as commoners, made for the High Consort in attempt to hold her random. Parius, seeing this, intervened and successfully fended off both attackers with only his knife. Though he was initially accused of being one of their comrades by the Orcarous upon their arrival, Pyrocia vouched for his heroism and requested that he accompany them back to the palace so that she might feel safer. Dynasty King Orocles was prepared to offer him a sum of money, but Pyrocia instead proposed he become her new Honor Guardian. This was opposed by some members of Orocles' Wise Council, but he ultimately acquiesced to her.  

The Orcarous Guard

As Pyrocia's Honor Guardian, Parius went wherever she did. He proved to be a valuable companion, able to judge situations quickly, and was especially useful when it came to navigating the poorer regions of the city. He was well versed in the ways of the streets, knew how to avoid dangerous spots and had a myriad of useful contacts. While it was frequently objected to that not only a commoner but a homeless thief should be the one to protect the High Consort, Pyrocia ignored such complaints and maintained that he was more capable than any other guard she'd had.   In time, Parius would continue to prove his worth as not just Honor Guardian, but as one of the Orcarous Guard. He famously fought with a sword in one hand and a dagger in the other and used his unique expertise to aid the city guard in dismantling criminal gangs. This lead to his swift promotion to Captain of the Orcarous in 639AL. His rise through the ranks was not based on merit alone, however, and he was known to have bribed many dissenting members of the Orcarous into supporting him. He did so with promises of power, facilitated by his close relationship with Pyrocia, and would blackmail those who resisted by threatening them with the exposure of secrets he obtained with his skills as a thief. Parius' relationship with Pyrocia, too, was often suspected of being more intimate than was proper.  

Dynasty King

In 640AL, Orocles committed suicide, unable to deal with the pressures of rule. The widowed Pyrocia wedded Parius, confirming to many the existence of a romantic relationship between them, and he was made Dynasty King. This turn of events shocked the city as many believed that Orocles' cousin Astorius would take the throne. However, the rules of succession stated that the husband of the High Consort was Dynasty King and that the High Consort kept their title until the appointment of a new monarch which had not happened.   Parius wasted little time in distinguishing himself from the monarchs that had come before him. He was not crowned by the Imperial Diadem, he wore no fanciful robes and he did not take the Thraeo name. He remained Parius o Daelys, a name he had fashioned for himself that loosely meant 'downtrodden'. Parius had already been greatly beloved by many in Thripia who aspired to his successes; ascension to the throne bolstered his popularity beyond expectation. While the rich nobility and the Merchant Lords protested his rule in the strongest terms, the Guilds ultimately accepted him. They believed he was unintelligent and easily manipulated and could be ejected from power when he was no longer useful.   Yet, Parius defied expectations. The early period of his rule he spent familiarizing himself with his contemporaries in power and lead them to believe that he would serve their interests. He took regular strolls through the city, sometimes entirely unaccompanied. The people watched with fascination this strange king who dressed like a commoner and went where he pleased; many did not even realize he was their ruler, especially when he went without the Orcarous at his side. Occasionally, he could be found missing from the palace having climbed to one of its roofs to spend time alone.   In 643AL, however, Parius' reign began in earnest. He began purging dissident nobles from positions of power, replacing them with individuals who could be persuaded to cooperate with him, again making use of his expertise in scavenging damaging secrets. He also set about rearranging the Wise Council, keeping the loudest protesters in power to maintain the appearance of impartiality. With a more secure power-base, he began openly admonishing and criticizing the Guilds for the poverty they enforced throughout the city. He built up resentment towards them among the people and began attempting to improve the lives of the poor by building new housing, providing food and reducing taxes. Conversely, he heavily taxed the Guilds and nobles to provide for these expenditures.   The outraged Mechant Lords made every attempt to stop him. They labelled him the Beggar King, hoping to admonish him, but Parius embraced the title. Inevitably, he and the Orcarous fought off many assassins. His relationship with Pyrocia began to suffer as she herself was from among the nobility he prosecuted and she struggled to adapt to his extremism. The final year of Parius' reign, 645AL, was the most dramatic. Oracles employed both by the palace and by Guilds hoping to threaten Parius warned that their ichor visions foresaw his demise, but he refused to concede. He spent little of his time in the palace, fearing assassins, and much in the company of his citizens. Ultimately, the Serpentine were sent after him and were forced to kill him in view of many with an arrow to the neck, unable to find him alone and unable to catch him when he was.  

Personality

Even among the many eccentric Dynasty Kings of Thripia, Parius was unique. Never forgetting his street origins, he was described by most as quiet and reserved, though not afraid to speak boldly if the occasion called for it. He was also considered by many to be somewhat aloof, carefree despite the many threats he faced and playful to spite them. Quick thinking, he took great pleasure in games of wit, especially wordplay. He enjoyed nothing more than good and humor and fine company. Yet, it was not uncommon for him to disappear without a word and to be found in some impossible to reach place far from the crowds.   Parius' charisma, likability and intelligence did not over-contribute to his confidence. Though self-assured, he was rarely convinced of his own victories. Those who knew Parius closely ascribed to him great internal turmoil. He dreaded each day and feared it could be his last; he hid his true emotions beneath a veneer of carelessness. His greatest flaw was undoubtedly his understated arrogance. Though he thrived in the excellence of others, and did not think highly of himself, he was always hesitant to accept help. He believed that he was the only one capable of doing what needed to be done. To his perception, it was him against the world, which might explain why he delighted in companions he could trust. Though he believed he was bound to fail in the end, he would never dare accept complacency, especially from himself.  

Legacy

Parius sent a strong message to the people of Thripia in the short time that he was Dynasty King. The city had once aspired to values of ambition and equity, but these aspirations had been stifled, particularly among the lower class, by the overwhelming odds stacked against them by the wealthy and the over-privileged. Parius' rise to power signaled that even the lowliest men could ascend to greatness. The injustice of his death and the change he tried and failed to institute would stoke the fires that blazed into the People's Uprising of 713AL which saw the Dynasty Kings overthrown for good. The policies Parius implemented would not survive the reign of his successor Astorius, who returned Thripia to the status quo. The people of the city, however, would never forget their Beggar King. He was the only Thripian ruler to not be buried in the Necropolis.  

Quotes

"The greatest fortress in Thripia protects not men, but ichor; the greatest temple worships not gods, but gold. So you see, it is in these things that the city's true devotion lies."
— Parius speaking at the Tower Market about the Great Gold Bank
"The golden tide comes in and the rich of the city become drunk on greed."
— Parius on the Gold-Coming of 644AL
"Never will you see a city so drunk on gold."
— Parius on Thripia
"It's about time."
— Parius' supposed last words.
There is some debate about whether Parius' last words were intended to be a mockery of the Serpentine, more reflective in nature or whether he even said them at all.
Ethnicity
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Dynasty King, Captain of the Orcarous, Honor Guardian, the Beggar King
Previously Held Ranks & Titles
Life
612 AL 645 AL 33 years old
Birthplace
Thripia
Children
Biological Sex
Male
Eyes
Pale, silver-blue
Hair
Brown, short at the sides and long at the top, tied in a ponytail at the back, somewhat messy
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Light brown
Aligned Organization

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Comments

Author's Notes

This article was written for the Premier Politician challenge. To accommodate the 2000 word limit, I had to be less thorough than I would've liked; once the contest is over, I will expand on Parius with the detail he deserves as a significant historical figure.


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27 Sep, 2019 00:34

The quotes are honestly gold. I like them a lot, they show a lot of personality. Reading this I feel sad for his life. Kinda wish he just got to live with his wife happy, gods damn it. It's very... Powerful that the strongest impact came from his death.

Tjurit
Tjurit
27 Sep, 2019 01:04

Thank you. That's very much the sentiment I wanted to communicate and I'm glad that came across.