|Janus Al Nieren|
King of the Unified Realm
King Janus Al Nieren is the brilliant but cold hearted King of the Unified Realm. Once he was the King of only Asrael, during his reign, he has ruthlessly conquered the neighbouring kingdoms of Cumbrael, Nilsael and Renfael. Now old, he schemes to pass on a stable and economically secure realm. He also wants his son to succeed him, but fears he will need support if he is to succeed him.
Appearance and Personality
King Janus is a tall man with red hair. He has red marks on his neck from a childhood illness. He was once a great warrior King, with a king's heart, hard and cold when he needed it to be. However, he is now a quite elderly man in his sixties, with copper grey, but he remains a dreadful old schemer.
King Janus was once the King of only Asrael. When he was a seven year old child he fell to the Red Hand plague, but survived, though he still has red marks on his neck from the illness. As King, he fought six great battles to ruthlessly conquer the neighbouring kingdoms of Cumbrael, Nilsael and Renfael into the Unified Realm. These battles are now commemorate in paintings by the famed artist Master Benril Lenial.
Meanwhile, the King schemes to marry the son of the Kralyk Al Sorna, Vaelin, to his daughter Lyrna. He sees his son Malcius as too weak to be King, and wants Vaelin by his side, since his father the Battle Lord was so popular with the commoners. However, his plans are ruined when Vaelin is given over to the Sixth Order.
Shortly before the start of the story, his wife the Queen had died; they said his heart was broken and he would never take another bride.
King Janus is now an old man. He recognises that his First Minister Artis Al Sendahl is getting above himself, and stealing power from the crown. He orders him executed at the Summertide Fair in Varinshold.
When Vaelin Al Sorna kills called Urlian Jurahl in the Test of the Sword, whose only crime was defending his wife from arrest, Vaelin goes to see King Janus. He asks for justice for the man's wife, in exchange for submitting to Janus's schemes to marry Princess Lyrna. The King agrees but instead wants Vaelin to participate in a campaign in the Martishe forest in Cumbrael, and while there murder an arrogant young noble called Linden Al Hestian. It is later reveal that the King's true reason for wanting him dead is because Linden aspired to marry Princess Lyrna.
King Janus invades the neighbouring Alpiran Empire in order to annex the ports on the northern coast into the Unified Realm. He wanted the trade routes through the Erinean Sea, in a desperate attempt to save the economy of the realm. He makes various deals with the nobles for soldiers, and with the Meldeneans for ships. Finally, he must secure the services of the Realm's most famous warrior, Vaelin. When Vaelin threatens to refuse, the King threatens to expose his father Kralyk as a denier.
By the end of the war in the Alpiran Empire, King Janus is gravely ill. When the Alpirans offer peace terms, and the return of his heir Malcius, in exchange for the Hope Killer, Janus tries to refuse the offer and doom his own son. However, Princess Lyrna accepts the peace offer on his behalf. Janus dies a few days later, and Malcius is raised to the King of the Unified Realm.