The Shield of the Isles
Ship Lord Otheran (father)
The Shield, who's real name is Atheran Ell-Nestra, is the commander of the defence fleet of the Meldenean Islands.
Appearance and Personality
The Shield is a well built handsome man with a broad, lean torso, and long honey-blond hair. He is reputed to be the finest swordsman ever to wield a blade.
A few years before the start of the story, the Unified Realm was plague by Meldenean pirates, so King Janus sent the Battle Lord Kralyk Al Sorna and the fleet to burn the Meldenean’s biggest city. In the intervening years the Meldeneans have made strenuous efforts to rebuild their capital on a grander and more ornate scale. They have also established a fleet for the defence of the Isles, with every Ship-Lord contributing ships. The captain given the honour of commanding the fleet is known as the Shield of the Isles.
Five years after the end of the war between the Unified Realm and the Alpiran Empire, Lady Emeren, the wife of the Hope, conspires to be taken hostage by the Meldeneans. She will be returned if Vaelin Al Sorna fights a duel to the death against the Shield. Lady Emeren wants revenge for the death of her husband, while the Meldeneans want revenge for the burning of their capital by Vaelin's father.
Arriving in the Meldenean Islands for the duel with The Shield, Vaelin insists that the deadly fight proceed as soon as possible. The duel takes place the next day in an ancient amphitheatre, viewed by Lady Emeren, the ruling Ship-Lords including Carval Nurin, and a throng of Meldeneans. After so many years in solitary confinement, can Vaelin really win this duel? Yes, so blindingly fast that it's hard to count the seconds. However, he refuses to kill the Shield, and after a tense exchange Vaelin is allowed to go free.
In the intervening years, the Shield has kept himself in isolation on the Wensel Isle, due to being shunned by his people, and his own shame at losing the duel so easily. When Princess Lyrna brings news that the Volarian fleet are sailing on the Meldenean Islands, she is sent to the Wensel Isle to convince him to return. The Shield agrees to command the Meldenean defences in return for a stolen kiss from the now Queen of the Unified Realm.
The Shield devises a strategy to attack the Volarians at the stone reef near the Teeth of Moesis; this way the two halves of the fleet won't be able to aid the other. The Meldeneans prowess in sea warfare proves decisive, using their ship borne ballistas to hurl burning pitch onto the enemy ships, and hunting the remainders like wolves. They are aided by a mysterious red shark, that hurls itself onto Volarian ships and capsizes them. After destroying the first half of the Volarian fleet with heavy loses, and set said for the others. However, a terrible storm does most of the work for them, sinking over two hundred ships. The final victory is swift and merciless.
The Shield is convinced by Queen Lyrna, to sail the remnants of his fleet to Alltor to help lift the siege there, arguing that the Volarians are their common enemy. They arrive just as Vaelin's gathered host has crushed the Volarian force laying siege to the city. The Shield quickly captures the ship of General Reklar Tokrev, only to find the Alpiran chronicler. The General is already dead, but he takes captive his wife Lady Fornella.