Aldrith Shutaq (Character)
|Name||Aldrith Ter'neth Shutaq|
|Book of Records||Aldrith Ter'neth Shutaq Newelle|
|Date of Birth||YC 82.02.15 (41)|
|Place of Birth||Ny'Stetoh, Mishi IV, Aridia, Amarr Empire|
|Height||1.81 m (5'11")|
|Weight||71 kg (157 lbs)|
|Eye Color||Olive Green|
|Licensed||YC 110.06.067 (28)|
|Occupation||Captain of the Praetoria Imperialis Excubitoris|
|Affiliation||Amarr Empire |
Kador Family (formerly)
Aldrith Ter'neth Shutaq Newelle is a prominent Amarr loyalist capsuleer, currently in service to the famous Praetoria Imperialis Excubitoris. He is renowned for having the single highest kill count in the Praetoria's history, as well as for being personally charismatic and affluent, making him popular among capsuleer fandoms across the cluster. He was selected as one of Aritcio Kor-Azor's four potential champions during the Amarr Succession Trials, though his bid failed when he lost to the now disgraced Lysus. Still, he has recently become ennobled to the Sarum Family alongside his wife, Mitara Newelle, Champion of House Sarum, further increasing his fame and prominence, if only by proxy. He has recently become highly politically active following the rise of the Deathglow attacks and the increased Minmatar capsuleer activity in Amarr space, most notably in resisting the rising influence of the Khanid Kingdom and supporting his wife's standing within the Sarum Court.
Aldrith was born on Mishi IV, the Ni-Kunni homeworld, to Tosonit and Chalna Shutaq, who together made a secure and established middle-class family in the wealthy and climatically comfortable southern city of Ny'Stetoh. As a result, Aldrith enjoyed a privileged life compared to many Ni-Kunni in the cluster.
His father, an independent trader who had just bought his own Sigil-class hauler two years prior to Aldrith's birth, made a living by making trade runs between Amarr Prime and Mishi. Despite the dangers of navigating the low-security space lanes of Aridia and the difficulties of dealing with the Amarr Trade Registry, Tosonit proved to be a canny captain and provided well for his new family. Nevertheless, the majority of his profits went towards the payments for his ship and crew, keeping them from breaking into real wealth. This also meant that he was often absent from the household for months at a time, minimizing his role in Aldrith's early upbringing.
Chalna was a professional wind dancer of promising talent with Ny'Stetoh's prominent Karhikez Sandstorm troupe, but dropped out for several years after Aldrith was born to care for him. Though most of the parenting duties fell to her while Tosonit was away, she did resolve to return to her art when Aldrith was of a certain age and her husband could spend less time with his business.
The couple decided early that they would not expand their family due to the burdens on time both parents experienced from their professional lives. While unorthodox for Ni-Kunni, it was not unheard of, and they left the possibility of having more children to a time when they could be more comfortable. This never ended up to be the case, leaving Aldrith an only child.
Aldrith was most influenced by his mother during this time, who imparted upon him her love of Imperial cultures and fine arts. At the age of three he began lessons with the leteth, a traditional Amarr stringed instrument that the Ni-Kunni took a special liking to after their incorporation into the Empire. His father also encouraged a burgeoning interest in starships, though this did not fully manifest until later in his life.
By the age of five his talent for the arts was apparent as he mastered several basic songs before he was to begin formal schooling. He only spent a single year in primary school when scouts for House Etranhi, Kador vassals and Holders of Ny'Stetoh, took notice and offered to take him into their patronage. Chalna and Tosonit jumped at the chance for such a prestigious and promising position for their son, and he entered their service as a page while he was to be educated as a musician.
House Etranhi's chief export has historically been the talent and artisanal products of the Ni-Kunni slaves (and later freedmen) it fostered since the family's arrival on Mishi IV. They host a number of schools to teach their subjects varying high and low arts, in return for their continued employment in the family's workshops, or for a portion of their future revenue if independent. As such, Aldrith received a high-quality education, being trained in a variety of subjects by the House's tutors, though it was initially narrowed to music and performance. The heavy emphasis on the arts revealed an even greater affinity for the written word from the quality of lyrics written by him. Steadily he tended to gravitate more towards literature as he began to find more advanced musical training tedious and frustrating. By eleven he was dedicated to this path, though he kept playing the leteth as a hobby and for entertainment to the Holder's court.
In the meantime, Aldrith's father began falling behind on his loan payments, but this was remedied when he shifted to more lucrative trade routes to the State and Federation. Chalna also returned to wind dancing professionally, further aiding the family from falling into debt, but the specter of financial troubles would later return.
With his newfound direction Aldrith's education shifted to include a wider array of subjects in the humanities so he could take influence from each. He excelled in literary, cultural and historical studies, but took little interest in theology, finding it tedious, rigid and at times contradictory. He was also extensively trained in court etiquette to prepare him for life as a courtier. He took to this especially well, as his already pleasant personality meshed easily with the instruction, further refining his social skills.
As Aldrith aged his physical attractiveness also began to develop, and combined with his genteel mannerisms, artistic talent, and youthful idealism, he became a favored gem within the Etranhi court. Several courtiers and members of the family began to dote upon him, mostly women. He enjoyed a healthy social life growing up, with several close friends among the other youths being trained by the House, as well as other relations outside the confines of the estates.
Early on he became close with one of the young daughters of Vandeh Etranhi, son and heir of the primary Holder Bladest Etranhi. An innocent and playful prepubescent romance developed between them, and was allowed to persist for a time despite it being observed by others. This was gently cut short, however, as the differences in race and social class made the relationship quaint but untenable. Aldrith's works from this time reflect despair and some rebellious angst at the development, but he soon came to accept this reality of Amarr life. The two were eventually allowed to interact again years later when each were more mature and her marriage was arranged.
Chaste courtly romance with noblewomen and commoner courtiers would become a recurring theme through his teens and young adulthood, with quiet rumors persisting that it became more than that with some. The few confirmed dalliances he had was with fellow servants of appropriate age and standing.
Aldrith continued to develop as a writer, focusing on love, nature and pastoral poetry to entertain the court while he explored prose for other themes he took personal interest in. These included history, speculative fiction, and Amarr social commentary; an often dangerous path for members of newer Imperial races. Nevertheless, the generally permissive and liberal atmosphere in the Etranhi household encouraged him while trimming back his more foolish ideas.
When he reached the age of fourteen Tosonit Shutaq thought it time his son explore other aspects of life, and requested that Aldrith be released from tutelage for a year so that he might accompany him on a lengthy trade mission. The Etranhi, pleased with his service thus far and believing a bit of adventure would help him develop creatively, granted the request.
Year Aboard the Oceanbearer
The year-long trip across New Eden aboard his father's free trade ship, the Oceanbearer (a reference to Amarr water haulers that helped the Ni-Kunni homeworld become more hospitable), proved to be an important formative time for Aldrith.
Tosonit Shutaq, having missed out on many important moments in his son's childhood, saw it as a time to build his relationship with Aldrith. When he was younger Tosonit quietly held hope that the child would follow his own footsteps and eventually take over the Oceanbearer, but he regretfully let this ambition go when he saw Aldrith take to the arts so quickly. Still, Tosonit yearned to indulge this dream for a time, even if only temporarily. Aldrith himself welcomed the time to be spent with his father, but showed little interest in the business side of his profession.
The first leg of the journey involved loading the Oceanbearer with high-quality luxury goods made by the Ni-Kunni artisans in the Etranhi workshops and taking them to Amarr Prime where more goods destined for the Federation would be bought. Despite his lack of enthusiasm and confidence with the subject, Aldrith learned the basic principles of trade and economics first-hand in the weeks spent securing the goods, with more lessons to reinforce this knowledge still to come.
When it was finally time to depart, Aldrith was eager for the trip to the Imperial capital world, though his father warned it was to be the most dangerous part of the trip. Arida's size and sparse population makes it a difficult region to police, and its trade lanes are to this day notoriously insecure. The seven jumps through low-security space between Mishi's constellation and the Kor-Azor region was where the Oceanbearer had one previous close-call with Blood Raiders, and this trip would prove to be a second. The ship encountered a Raider destroyer in the Kamih system, narrowly escaping capture after a series of evasive warps and a hasty retreat to the local Imperial Navy station. Though safe, the trip was delayed and incurred extra docking fees from the incident.
The rest of the trip was eventful, though far less dangerous. They spent a month on Amarr Prime, touring religious, historical and cultural sites between trading goods and maintaining the ship. While he found the cities and sites inspiring, Aldrith showed a marked discomfort with his first exposure to large-scale slavery; Mishi has almost no slaves comparatively speaking with most of the Empire, and Aldrith had been exposed to few up until this point in his life. While on the whole positive, he was marked by the introduction to the decay and abuses evident in the wider Empire.
After Amarr, the Oceanbearer headed to the Federation, touring three worlds over five months that had acquired a taste for Amarr goods. Each also had Ni-Kunni communities that Tosonit had established contacts with, including some distant family members. Here Aldrith was first exposed to a culture outside of the Empire, free from the restricted windows offered by the Empire. His father (already well familiar with the Federation and State) was careful to keep him away from the more pernicious elements of Gallente influence. Still, Aldrith gained an appreciation for certain aspects, most notably music, political satire and holo gaming, interests which his father shared.
The father and son team sold all of the Amarrian goods they were transporting, but seemingly refrained from purchasing anything from the Federation, ostensibly due to the heavy restrictions on Gallente imports within the Empire. Unbeknownst to Aldrith, his father had taken up the habit of buying small quantities of Gallente media software and hardware to supplement his usually meager profits by avoiding tarrifs and censorship restrictions. He smuggled these in hidden compartments in the Oceanbearer for sale on Mishi IV, careful to avoid more illicit products in case he was ever caught. Tosonit kept this a secret from his son until later trips.
After the Federation, the third leg through the State was embarked upon, where Caldari consumer goods were purchased for sale within the Empire. Aldrith found the State less to his liking than anywhere else on the trip, finding it a cold and rigid place where the decidedly aesthetically disinclined Caldari lived out shallow and difficult lives in the pursuit of wealth. It was here, however, that he learned the most about business and trade, and how truly profitable (and ruthless) it could be.
The fourth leg took the Oceanbearer back to the Empire to sell the Caldari goods (after some hefty tariffs) and purchasing essential water and food supplies for sale on Mishi itself. They returned home after a week on Amarr Prime, ending with only a small profit due to extra expenses incurred from avoiding the pirates early in the trip from taking time to teach Aldrith about the ship, business, and cultures they met. Still, Tosonit considered it a necessary part of the journey, and his relationship with his son was strengthened. Aldrith himself developed a cosmopolitan and pragmatic outlook towards the rest of the cluster, taking his father’s lessons about foreigners more to heart than the Empire’s general attitudes. With his horizons broadened, Aldrith took these new ideas with him back to the Etranhi court.
Upon his return Aldrith carried on with his normal duties and education, steadily being more involved with the established Etranhi court and their retinue. He was often taken along for the house’s social and diplomatic events, both to provide entertainment and be shown off as a rising star within the court. Aldrith also continued to accompany his father on trade mission intermittently through this period, though these trips lasted only one to three months.
It was during this time Neblaude Etranhi, youngest brother of Bladest Etranhi and Holder of a small rural estate on the outskirts of the family’s city, took Aldrith under his wing and became a moral mentor to him. Neblaude, his wife Efetz and young daughter Felethia, are said to have become a second family to him, though this relationship has been often downplayed due to the prevailing attitude it is uncouth for a member of the True Amarr household to have bestowed such favor upon a Ni-Kunni servant. It is believed Aldrith began growing his hair long in a True Amarr fashion during this time due to the influence of Neblaude’s family.
By the age of 17 Aldrith had begun work on his first work of prose fiction: a dramatic satirical comedy set a century after the initial conquest of Mishi. It follows the story of a cynical but savvy Ni-Kunni slave taken on an Empire-spanning adventure by his idealistic Holder. After saving his master from many humorous situations brought about by the Holder’s misplaced gusto for life and Scripture (often yanking him in wildly different moral and theological directions), both characters reach a compromise between their original beliefs, somewhat reconciling human passion, adherence to Scripture and the harsher realities of the world. The Holder frees the slave upon their return home, who opts to stay in his lord’s service as a free man and continue to help his work of improving the Empire.
The work, entitled A Grain of Sand (in reference to the Holder’s nickname for the slave, as well a recurring theme throughout the work) took two years to complete and a further year to edit. Though Aldrith received much help from his Etranhi tutors, the original drafts ended being much more satire-heavy to the point where concerns of the ridicule and criticisms of many aspects of the Empire, though light-hearted, could be taken as seditious or even heretical. Eventually the work was published in a much less controversial form, and enjoyed a mild popularity amongst Mishian audiences that bode well for Aldrith’s future.
Once court poet and author in the service of the Etranhi Holders on Mishi IV, he resigned from service after his second independent work under their patronage was refused publication rights by Amarrian censorship boards. He then begrudgingly scraped his way through Hedion University's business school on his father's behest.
Titles and Ranks
Lord Consort to Lady Mitara Newelle, Holder of Damnidios Para'Nashu upon Mekhios, Sarum Prime
Paladin Ordinary of the Excubitoris Chapter of the Sacred Throne Order
Divine Commodore of the 24th Imperial Crusade