Derek Hawthorne, otherwise known as Estel, is a paladin who was made king over Valencia. He was the first of the students of Petyr Jackson, and his most balanced one yet, ability-wise. He has completed the training and is a full-fledged paladin. He trained with Kalebran Tumblestone II, developing a close friendship, and helped train Drake Brissom, Bertram Darasson, Auren Luminex, and Osmond Cordae Locke.
His human father was stuck raising him when his elven mother turned him out, but he had problems of his own, and his son became a target for his frustrations. So, when he was fourteen, he ran away. He managed, in fifteen years, to go from southern Aison, to Remon, to Maar Sul, and thence to western Libaterra without ever attaching himself to anyone or anything, or getting into any conflicts. He was apathetic in the extreme, caring only about his own survival.
He stopped to stay in Ridgefort for one night, as he was wont, and wound up getting into an animated conversation with an older fellow, fully human it looked, on the nature of Order and Chaos. He expounded his own beliefs, but all the man did was listen, commenting only when necessary.
He unburdened himself to that man, who in one night had proven to be a better father than his own. There were tears as he acknowledged the hurt, and the man comforted him, let him know that it was not weakness to cry over being hurt by the father he had run from. They talked into the deep of the night, and Derek decided to stay in this town, and learn from this man.
Training as a Paladin
That man turned out to be Sir Petyr Jackson, a paladin arrived twelve years ago. Since that point in time, Ridgefort has grown in size as Derek learned from Petyr. They slayed or befriended bandits, whenever that became a problem, and served as healers and watchmen when they weren't training.
Seven years later, another wanderer came to the town. A dwarf. Kalebran Tumblestone II. Similar things happened with him as happened with Derek, and he, too, decided to make the humble town his home. The dwarf and the half-elf bonded through their shared experiences on the road alone, and continued to bond through their training. The dwarf was a good swordsman, but found the mace even more to his liking.
After another five years, while Kalebran was still in training, Derek was declared a fully fledged paladin, and Petyr ordered a new sword for him. Auren was taken under Petyr's wing next, and following him, Drake and Bertram. After that came the Cataclysm. And three years following, Osmond.
During this time, until shortly before Osmond's arrival and training, Derek fell for an elven bard, who came to Ridgefort plying her trade. She decided to remain a travelling bard, but, she did always seem to wander back into town every few years to see him. She stopped coming back, however, for whatever reason. Some say she died, some say she lied to him, some say she was imprisoned. Whatever the case may be, she's gone.
After the Third Age
Twenty years after Osmond's return from Trinity Gask has seen great change follow.
Six months afterward, the paladins of Ridgefort had a meeting to lay out a basic plan for the future, which included the formation of the Kingdom of Valencia and the Holy Inquisition of Cardia, otherwise respectively acknowledged as Valencia and the Inquisition. Petyr Jackson died shortly afterwards.
Six years afterward, Valencia had grown more powerful as a nation-state in Libaterra, being led by the wise rule of King Derek I. The Inquisition was fully put into the capable hands of Nordstrom Weiss, and acknowledged by the King of Valencia and his primary retainers. The city itself had been reconstructed and expanded, accommodating fifty times its original number of occupants, and was beginning to expand again.
Three years after that, the Great Trade Charter was signed. Demon merchants were allowed to sell their goods in trade centers in Valencia. Derek, who was wont to immerse himself among the populace, watches as they begin to see demons as people, too. The city had expanded enough to double the number of residents at least, going from 25,000 to 50,000. A second, outer wall was raised to protect them, too.
About three years later, the Inquisition found evidence of a conspiracy against King Derek and with his permission cracked down on the suspects, uncovering deep webs of Horde activity and their network of contacts, in addition to nabbing remnants of the Totenkopfs and thwarting an assassination attempt on Derek's life. Relations between the demonic hordes and Valencia began to fray, though war was not immediately imminent.
Three years after that incident, great fires broke out in the older districts of Valencia (they were either accidental or done on purpose, per the fireman), and were put out with a combination of mages and demons working in concert. This helped shore up the public's opinion of demons in general.
About three years after that, Derek was summoned, along with Valencia and and the Inquisition's other leaders, to the deathbed of Oscar Locke, who gave them a warning. Eighteen and a half years prior, he had had a vision of the possible future that awaited this nation, which according to him was unlike any other he had ever seen. He said, "Beware of the Red Rider, bearing the Sword of Fire, and beware of the Dark Warrior, who fights at the sides of the Hordes. They will be the sources of much blood, and great darkness. Beware also of the Losstarot that now rises, for he may yet eclipse both of them. I can say no more, for I know nothing else."
Since then, nothing of great note has happened, and the day-to-day continues on.
Derek is very tall, towering over his peers at six feet, six inches. He wears his dark hair long, though typically held back by a leather thong or more recently, his circlet/crown. His ears are only slightly pointed. His green eyes look out from under a strong brow. His aquiline nose and strong jaw frame his rather unremarkable mouth. His goatee has grown in very thick. A scar from his hairline to his left eyebrow runs across his forehead.
Generally wears clothes with dark blue, dark green, and/or dark brown shades. Now that he's king, a dark, regal purple has entered that array of color, but nothing much else has changed. Beneath the clothes his body is very fit, and adorned here and there are scars from the battles he fought against bandits and deserters.
When attired for war, his purple cloak mantles his white armor, which encases him in a shell of enameled steel (Think 15th-16th century full plate mail, enamled for that extra fantasy flair. When this guy goes to war, it's srs bsns. Put another way, rather than carry a shield in his off hand, his shield is his armor). Beneath that plate is a chain shirt, and beneath that is a gambeson that reaches his knees. All-in-all, a very hot ensemble. He had to learn to bear it, though, as a part of Petyr's training.
His weapon, and the sword of his House, is called Wardnos. The name is derived from a very ancient form of the common tongue and means 'Bold Guardian.' This is the sword that Derek bore after his training was over, and has for the last 58 years. Petyr purchased it, right after he declared the paladin fully trained, and Derek watched as the blade was forged, enchanting the metal with white magic as the smith shaped and hammered and heated and cooled the blade over a period of two weeks. That magic steeps the blade, making its touch burn anything unholy. Derek did not request any decorations to adorn the blade, as he wanted it to cut very well, but even so, it bears a regal elegance in its simplicity.
Outwardly, and generally inwardly, as a matter of fact, Derek is an earnest and straightforward man, who wishes nothing but peace and prosperity for those around him. He was taught by Petyr, however, to think before acting. He broods, and though he wishes he could be honest and forthright, or completely so, his duties as king require him to be more reserved and secretive of certain... sensitive things.
Occasionally the king slips into a melancholy mood, which according to rumor is because the elven woman he loved left him.
As a paladin, Derek knows white magic and the use of weapons. His best weapons are two-handed longswords, but he knows his way around many weapons. He has honed his magic through thirty-eight years of use and abuse of it. His illusions are convincing, his shields are strong, and his healing prowess is higher than an average paladin.
Will update at a later time.