A Lyorn noble, trained in the warrior arts of his house.
"Aerich" is in fact a nom de guerre. His real name is Temma, Duke of Arylle.
His appearance is given as being very tall for a Lyorn, with a dark complexion, short, straight brown hair, a high forehead, thin faced, and with a hooked nose, and a small chin and mouth.
His character is noted as being reserved, stoic, and taciturn. The last especially so, in that he often preferred to gesture rather than speak, and his most common gesture being a shrug.
As a Lyorn warrior, his traditional dress is described as a plain red blouse, brown ankle-length skirt, soft leather boots, and copper or bronze vambraces on his arms.
- See also Meta:Aerich.
Note: This first section is somewhat tentative since it was first related by Aerich as an anecdote that occurred to "someone else". However, we may be confident that this anecdote was almost certainly autobiographical.
Temma was born and raised in the duchy of Arylle. He was the only child of his parents, and taught all of the things that a young Lyorn ought to know: history, poetics, philosophy, sorcery, sword-fighting, penmanship, and so on.
When he was about eighty years old, during the Athyra Reign, his father, the Duke of Arylle, was requested by the Empire to aid in negotiations with the King of Elde Island. Arylle was successful in these negotiations, but unfortunately incurred the jealous wrath of another Imperial advisor, a Lyorn named Shaltre.
Shaltre was unscrupulous and deceitful, and used various stratagems to discredit his rival. The duke tried to fight back, but failed. He lost his position and status, and to add injury to insult, Shaltre was granted permission by the Empire to seize the lands of Arylle with a mercenary force of Dragonlords. This assault was also intended to do away with Temma, but his father, realizing what would happen, arranged with some of his vassals, the Baron and Baroness of Daavya, to get Temma to safety.
The Duke of Arylle, broken and impoverished, killed himself by blowing off his own head with a flashstone. While Temma lost his family and his inheritance, he was at least alive and able to consider a course which would restore his family's honor and avenge himself against the treacherous Shaltre.
After this disastrous reversal, Temma was raised by his nurse until, presumably, he reached his majority. She made sure that he knew the details of what had happened to his family, and that he was in debt to his father's foresight and the loyalty of his father's vassals.
We know little of what happened at this time, but we may assume that he maintained his studies and training in the martial arts (including the use of the bronze vambraces peculiar to the Lyorn), general knowledge, and etiquette, so that he became an exemplary Lyorn warrior with a thorough knowledge of the structure and hierarchy of the Empire.
At some point in this time period, he changed his name to Aerich so as to disguise his origins until he felt ready to act.
Aerich wandered for a while, presumably pondering what his course of action should be. As we learn in The Phoenix Guards, a few days after the end of the Athyra Reign and the beginning of the Phoenix Reign, Aerich's wanderings took him to the town of Newmarket, where he stopped at the inn there. On the thirteenth day after the ascension of Tortaalik, the festivities were still ongoing, and he fell to playing three-copper-mud with a Dzur and two Hawks. The Dzur accused one of the Hawks of cheating sorcerously, and Aerich agreed to be the judge for their duel. He asked a young Tiassa standing nearby to draw the circle for the duel.
The Dzur handily won the duel, and introduced herself as Tazendra, and the Tiassa introduced himself as Khaavren. Khaavren explained that he was traveling to Dragaera City to join the Imperial Guard. Tazendra thought that this was a good idea, and decided to join up as well, and Aerich realized that it would suit him as well, and joined the two in their journey.
In Dragaera City, the three of them met up with a Phoenix Guardsman named Pel, whom Aerich and Tazendra had previously met in Newmarket. Pel agreed to introduce the three to the Captain of his brigade, G'aereth, who was indeed looking for recruits for the Red Boot Company.
Just before they went in, though, Shaltre himself came to discuss some matter with G'aereth, and naturally, the Imperial advisor took precedence. Aerich managed to suppress most of his reaction to Shaltre, although Khaavren did note a certain brief tension when Aerich first saw the man who had ruined his family.
G'aereth accepted all three of the recruits, offering them their hiring fee and an allowance to buy uniforms. Noting that Aerich had no sword, G'aereth gave him some additional gold so that he could buy one, which he did, from a particular Vallista swordsmith who was able to provide a sword to Aerich's exact specifications. They then all went to a Chreotha tailor to buy their uniforms, and to secure lodgings.
On returning to G'aereth from these errands, they were instructed to go on the evening patrol with an experienced partner. Aerich's partner was a Dragonlord who had strong opinions about various military matters; in expressing these opinions, she also happened to disparage the character of the Emperor. When Aerich quietly informed her it was unseemly to do this in public, the more so while on duty for the Emperor, she took offense and drew her sword. She defended her words with various excuses, and Aerich insisted that she was being improper. She demanded that Aerich draw his own sword, and proceeded to attack him, so quickly that he was forced to pierce her heart, and she died before a healer could arrive.
This death had coincided with Khaavren, Pel, and Tazendra also killing their own partners, in one way or another, from accident or duels. G'aereth, astonished and angry, insisted that he would investigate these deaths, but that in future, assuming their stories were confirmed, they should only go on patrol with each other, which suited them all very well.
They secured lodgings in the Street of the Glass Cutters; a fairly large house with enough rooms for all four of them, as well as quarters for a Teckla servant, Srahi. Aerich took an upstairs room between Khaavren's and Tazendra's rooms, and furnished it with comfortable chairs so that it served as a place where the friends could meet in addition to the downstairs living room.
Aerich settled into life as a guard. While he himself was not as adventurous as Pel or Tazendra, he enjoyed their exploits vicariously. He maintained a constant reserve, preferring quiet walks with Khaavren, and crocheting in his spare time. He found favor and respect with the other guardsmen of the Red Boot Company by providing information on history or advice on various aspects of etiquette.
Aerich also fought alongside his friends in various situations. They quarreled with some soldiers of the Army of the Thorny Rose, who had insulted them by calling them police. Later, they ended up in a four-way duel against some soldiers from Captain Lanmarea's White Sash Battalion. In this last, Aerich was paired against a soldier named Lord Rekov. Aerich used this opportunity to show off the Lyorn warrior fighting style, using his vambraces to deflect attacks until he perceived an opening which allowed him to strike simultaneously with sword and poniard. Fortunately for Rekov, the wounds were not immediately fatal, and Aerich even helped him to a healer.
However, Aerich was concerned about the aftermath of this duel, and after some discreet words with Captain G'aereth, informed his friends that their situation was somewhat precarious: the duels had not had all of the formalities required by the Empire, and worse, one of the duels' fatalities, Kurich, had been the brother of the Warlord, Lytra e'Tenith. Only the fact that the other opponent Guardsmen of the duel had spoken for the duels having all been carried out honorably had kept them from being arrested for murder.
Khaavren suggested that they might be able to return to the good graces of their superior officer by performing a worthy deed, such as finding and arresting Kathana e'Marish'Chala. He set out to find aid in researching her location, but returned late that night with a wounded head, explaining that while he had found where Kathana was, he had also been asked to protect her rather than arrest her, and had later been attacked and warned to stay away from her, then struck senseless from behind.
These sobering complications reminded Aerich that political intrigue could lead to death, and to complete disgrace as well. He took the opportunity to quietly, and somewhat obliquely, recount the events of his father's sorrowful history to his friends, while avoiding the fullest explanation of how personal the events were.
Yet Tazendra, Khaavren, and Pel all agreed that they preferred boldness to prudence, and Aerich gave in and accepted that they would all together disregard the danger and undertake the mission.
The events of The Phoenix Guards chronicle in part his revenge upon Count Shaltre, who had usurped his land and title. Having restored his honor by the end of The Phoenix Guards, he was also restored to his lands and title, and took back his original name as well. However, since his friends knew him as "Aerich", he continued to be called that by them.
In Five Hundred Years After, Aerich returned to Dragaera City, and joined with his friends Khaavren, Pel, and Tazendra in an ultimately fruitless attempt to stop the events that led to Adron's Disaster.
Aerich was a confidant of Adron e'Kieron during the last few days before the disaster that destroyed Dragaera City, and it was by Adron's efforts at the very last moment that Aerich and his friends were teleported out of the range of the Disaster's effects, and so survived it.
During the Interregnum, the Duchy of Arylle was a small area of sanity in the increasingly dangerous former empire. Aerich also played a small role in the restoration of the empire under Zerika the Fourth but was killed in a trap laid by Grita.
- Aerich was of a dark disposition that seemed to thrive on the pleasures of his friends, as if pleasure for its own sake was impossible for him; yet he could take a certain measure vicariously, as it were, so that when his friends were happy, he was happy, and when his friends were sad, he was sad.
"Our arrival appears, on this occasion, to have been rather less timely, but not so urgently required."
"I had never before realized the degree to which my conversation would be hindered by an inability to shrug."