Ridylls of the King
Arcturus Aurelianus Draconis
Princips of Kernow, Last of the Pen Draigh, High King of Camelodnum, Lord of Tintagol and Legatus of the Belerions
Arcturus is now 32, a handsome and tall (6’0), favoring his mother’s Brythonic roots rather than his father’s Roman ones. He wears a beard and long hair in the Brythonic fashion though his aquiline nose and dark eyes are distinctly Italian.
Arcturus is in good shape and never suffered any serious injury during his wartime campaign. He has never been the best fighter in the Legion or the Rotundum though he is decently agile and strong. He fights with the bastard sword Chalyburnus in one hand and a pugia in the other, rather than traditional spear and shield favored by many of the Legio IX.
Arcturus’ dress and manner are consistent with his dual functions as Legate of the Legio IX and Dragonking of Brythony. He wears a Lorica Segmentata into battle but often adorns himself with a bearskin cloak adding the common misconception that he is a bear-sarker. The is actually two: a golden wreath of laurel leaves and a bronze circlet inscribed in runes and studded with rubies. Smiths affixed the one to the other with brass hooks and Arcturus wears both together.
Arcturus is calculating man above all else. He weighs his options carefully such that he does not second guess himself once he has launched into action. He is, unmitakeably, a natural leader: charismatic and deferential without ever sacrificing the dignity and noble countenance that make a king. He is beloved by his smallfolk and by the nobility alike and though he has made enemies in his time, none will say he did not offer them a more reasonable solution first. Arcturus is a man of easy smiles at feasts and icy, ruthless stares in battle.
Arcturus was born in 458 AD to then legate of the Ninth, and the Lady of Tintagol, Ygraine. Legends say that Utherydes used dark magic to glamour himself as Ygraine’s husband, the Cornish warlord, Gwrlais of Kernow, an act of rape that proved the Legate’s madness and brutality. Others say that Ygraine and Utherydes conspired together to murder Gwrlais (who did indeed perish at the hands of the Ninth during Utherydes war of Unification). Whatever the true story, Arcurus was born from their union. Utherydes continued his war of conquest and Ygraine and her daughters were stripped of Tintagol and fled into exile in Gor.The future Dragonking was taken at birth by Utherydes counselor, Myrdwinn, to live with the King’s brother and centurion of the Ninth, Ectorius. Knowing his brother’s growing instability and fear of usurpation, Ectorius kept Arcturus’ parentage a secret from his brother and raised him as his own bastard son alongside his real son .
Utherydes died when Arcturus was seven, ending Ectorius’ fear of the child’s murder and began to raise him to be a warrior of the Ninth legion. From a young age, he seemed to have inherited his father’s tactical prowess and lust for glory. Arcturus was commanding a century by fourteen at which time he was informed of his royal parentage and conceived of a plan to take back his father’s throne.
Arcturus set his sites on the old Roman fort known as Castra Lapis, the Stonefort located at the old pagan temple of Camelodnum. It had been taken by Gallic invaders some three centuries prior and still housed many of the relics of the original ninth legion. Considered to be an impregnable marvel of roman martial ingenuity, Arcturus and a small group of legionnairy scouts made a daring raid in the dead of night and took back the Blade of the Ninth bloodlessly. He then revealed himself to be Utherydes’ son and claimed the throne of Brittania in the name of Rome and the Emperor.
His tactical prowess was matched by his just stewardship and shrewd diplomacy (skills his father lacked) and in a mere six years, he had, through conquest, statecraft and personal charisma, united the west of Brittania under his banner. Taking the dragon iconography of the Ninth Legion for his personal heraldry, Arcturus regent of Brittania and Scotia at the age of twenty-one, promising to hold the Isles for the Rome should the Empire return. He established Tintagol as his personal castle, restoring his mother to her ancient seat and enfranchising his half-sisters by marrying them to Pictish and Brythonic bannerkings.
Arcturus married Gwnhwyfar, daughter of the Welsh bannerking Cywyrd of Gwynned expanding his personal demense to include both Wales and Kernow. Their failure to produce an heir in the first six years of his reign was a subject of much debate, leading many to believe that the regent was infertile or that the two had never much cared for one another.
More pressing matters came to light, however when word reached the Isles that the Goth warlord Odoacer had crowned himself emperor of Rome, effectively ending Roman rule on the continent. With no Rome to return Brittania to, Arcturus held a gathering of his vassals and conquered kings to best assess what should be done. A great round table for the hearthhall of Tintagol was comissioned to house them and the summit became known as the Rotundum. The summit quickly became a moot that was divided as to how to proceed. Though Arcturus was Legate of the Ninth, Rome effectively had no power in Brittania and many of the Kings, the Pictish lord of Lothian in particular believed they had better claims to the isles, Arcturus’ being bastard-born.
While the moot was held, Arcturus departed to seek counsel from his old advisor, Merdywnn, who, legends say, instructed him to seek out the Lake of Crowdhy and pray for the guidance of the Christjesus. At the lake he was visited by an ancient water hag who granted him Chalyburnus, an ancient sword, wielded by the ancient druid kings of Britannia. Arcturus returned to the moot, now legate of the Ninth and rightful King of Brittania. The moot voted almost unanimously to crown him and in 484 AD he was crowned Dragonking of the Isles.
Mindful that his reign was young and his people disparate, Arcturus kept the Rotundum in place, claiming that all his members of court and all the kings and lords he claimed dominion over would have a seat at it and be left to rule their own people. He used the term bannerking to cement the alliance, claiming that every king would have his sovreignty so long as they flocked to his banner when he called.