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Jarandros Monikar

by Giampaolo Agosta

Ambassador to Alfheim, AC 973-1007 929-1007


Jarandros Monikar was a short but sturdy man, showing clearly is Kerendan origin in his olive complexion and dark hair and his training as a simple legionnaire in his large, powerful shoulders and in his strong limbs. Despite the Kerendan tradition of cavalry, Monikar was trained in the legionnaire heavy infantry, and he is only a fair horseman. In his late years in Alfheim, he used to wear Darokinian style clothes, since the elves don't care to distinguish between the humans' formal and informal dressing.


Jarandros Monikar was born in Machetos in year 929, to a poor family. At the age of 17, he joined the army, and his first assignment was on the Isle of Dawn. In five years, he reached the rank of Ducinator thanks to his outstanding behaviour on the field. At the eve of the Spike Assault, Jarandros had nearly reached the peak of his career as a non-commissioned officer in the Thyatian Army. He was nearly 30 years old now, and was supposed to remain in the army with the rank of Mandator for the next five or six years, and then to retire from the active service, either taking a job as trainer for the recruits or leaving the army, receiving some free land in the Isle of Dawn, to work his way as a small landowner in the colonies. But in 959, the Alphatian Spike Assault forced Jarandros' Legion, which was quartered on the frontier at the neck of the Isle of Dawn, to withdraw west, trying to reach Redstone Castle. The legionnaires, overrun by the numbers of the Alphatian armies, were massacred.
Jarandros' company was one of the few units who managed to reach Redstone, where they helped the garrison to keep the castle until Emperor Thincol came to the rescue, a year later. Forced to rebuild entire legions from one or two veteran companies and lots of new recruits, and understanding that enrolling young nobles and giving them officer ranks would not be of any help, Thincol promoted a number of petty officers, men of great valour but little wealth or name, to command companies or entire legions. To Jarandros, this was the start of a new career. Now, he was the Princeps Centrarch of his Legion. In the following years, a number of high officers who claimed to be loyal to the deceased Emperor Gabrionus V and considered Thincol an usurper, tried to stage a coup against the new Emperor. Spurius Civilis, the commander of Monikar's Legion, was one of the conspirators. He ordered his legionnaires to march on Redstone, trying to secure that fortress from the loyalist forces. Jarandros and most of the other Captains, however, refused to obey, and Civilis was killed while he and his followers tried to escape from the castrum.
As a consequence of the failed coup, the ranks of the high officers were decimated, and Jarandros was chosen by Thincol to replace Spurius as General. By 963, Jarandros was one of the most prominent Generals on the Isle of Dawn, and one of Thincol's most trusted men there.
By 965, the Emperor was able to arrange Jarandros' adoption into a lesser family of the Zendrolian faction, the YYYYY family. In the following years, Monikar married Beatrice Morrow, a mercenary captain from Akorros, and the couple had two sons, Corvinus (b. 970), and Ruggero (b. 973). In 972, a new military governor was appointed in Septentriona, Quintus Murco, a nobleman from a Optimas family in Thyatis City. Monikar had always been on bad terms with Murco from their times as officers - Murco was higher ranked at first, but Jarandros had been preferred for the position of General, which he had only recently achieved. Therefore, he asked the Emperor to allow him to leave the army by appointing him to a diplomatic position in the Known World, saying that the imminent birth of his second son had pushed him to move nearer to his wife's homeland. Thincol did actually need a good ambassador to send to Glantri, but he didn't consider Jarandros up to the task. Instead, he assigned the ambassador to Alfheim, whom he considered wasted in that rather uneventful land, to the position of Ambassador to Glantri, and replaced him with Jarandros.
When Monikar left the army, he took with him his best officer and old friend Decimus Ordekis, who got the position of first aide at the Embassy. Jarandros was never suited for the diplomatic work. While he was passable as a bureaucrat, he was less than an expert in elvish etiquette and language, he wasn't a socialite, and his knowledge of espionage was limited to military reconnaissance operations. However, Decimus kept the business running well, until he was chosen to take the place of the retiring Ambassador to the Minrothad Guilds in 991. To replace Ordekis, a new first aide was sent from Thyatis City, a certain Varos Dominikon, an aristocrat whose corrupt behaviour had caused his "promotion" to that politically irrelevant position. Varos, immediately started to forge a network of contacts in Alfheim. Had he used it for his job, it would have been good, but Varos was extremely inefficient, being interested only in getting the monopoly of commerce between Alfheim and the Empire.
As Monikar grew older, Dominikon obtained more power, and in 996 he was named Factor, controlling much of Thyatian trade in Alfheim. The quality of the Embassy reports dwindled dangerously, as Jarandros health started failing. In 1005, he suffered from a first heart attack during a party at the Embassy. Luckily, Patriarch Dominicus Greybeard was present, and was able to administer curative spells and save Jarandros. By next year, Dominikon had assumed the control of most of the day-to-day activity of the Embassy, and started withholding a number of important clues gathered by Thyatian agents in Alfheim which pointed to the increasing shadow elven activities, in order to continue his high profit business. When the Shadow Elves invaded Alfheim Town, Jarandros suffered from a second heart attack. This time, however, the priests of the Thyatian Church of Alfheim weren't readily available, and Monikar died, leaving the Empire without a direct representative in the area, and preventing any diplomatic action for a few but crucial days. Dominikon, left alone, was able to eliminate all remaining proof of his corruption.


Jarandros was a typical Thyatian legionnaire, even after leaving the army: the military training marked forever his personality, making him a stern, silent man, with few close friends and little patience for the elves of Alfheim, whom he deemed too noisy and rigorous.
Monikar himself was absolutely honest and asked his aides to behave the same way. However, he wasn't smart enough to spot Dominkon's activities, worse he did never even suspect him of being less than a reliable employee. A perfect Stefan, as they say in Karameikos...

Allies & Enemies

Jarandros' best ally was always his old comrade Lord Ordekis, who was at the time of Monikar's death the Ambassador to the Minrothad Guilds. Besides his close family, Ordekis and Patriarch Greybeard, an old priest of the Church of Thyatis whom he had met in Alfheim, he had no real friends. While he did understand the advantages of joining an aristocratic gens, he had little personal interest in his adoptive family, which he saw more like a group of political allies than relatives. While Jarandros was loyal to Thincol, the Emperor's interest for him had dropped when he decided to leave the army, as he wasn't of use anymore.
The Ambassador had a strong enemy in Factor Dominikon, though he never discovered it. Had he lived longer, Dominikon's intrigues would have put Jarandros in trouble.
Politically, Jarandros was a staunch supporter of gens Zendrolian, and thought little of most other faction, especially the Philosophers, whose excessive caution was to him a sure sign of weak commitment to the Empire's glory, and the gens Aurelia, for their ideas of theocratic influence would have brought to puppet Emperors, if left unchecked. Surprisingly enough, he was rather lenient towards the Republicans, an uncommon disposition among the Optimates. Jarandros justified it considering that there cannot always be a Thincol to save the day, and when there will be no heroic would-be emperor, perhaps the Republicans' ideas could prove useful.


12th level Fighter, Myrmidon kit, All LN
Str 13, Int 14, Wis 12, Dex 12, Con 13, Cha 12
Languages: Thyatian (Kerendan and Thyatis dialects), Alphatian (Northern Isle of Dawn accent), Elven (with a strong accent).
Weapon Proficiencies: Short Sword (sp), Pilum (sp), Dagger, Armour
Specialisation, Sword and Shield Fighting Style, Wrestling specialisation.
Non-weapon proficiencies: Military Tactics, R/W Thyatian, Horse Riding, Firebuilding, Direction Sense.