The man who had been surrounded rode a long haired draft horse, built for neither speed nor battle. He dismounted and held his hands slowly skyward, acknowledging their presence. He could be a merchant, but for his lack of goods. He could be a messenger, but for his horse. He wore no armour and held no weapon.
The knights approached slowly. The crossbows remained levelled. The traveller did not move.
“You stand accused of killing his most noble majesty King Medreil of the Six Castles!”
The man could be seen slowly nodding. He could see the foremost of the knights shifting in his saddle and adjusting his grip on his weapon.
“Yes, I killed him.”
Time passed. It was clear the man would be killed now, but nobody moved.
“You are wise not to strike me. I know none of you. I therefore wish you no harm, but equally would not mourn your passing. You have no doubt heard what happened to the King, in his own court, surrounded by guards. And yet here I stand.”
The knights did not attack. At length one of the crossbows called out: “Are you the one they call The Cold?”
The traveller continued his journey. That day he did no harm and those who blocked his path stood aside and did not speak of their meeting again.
Perhaps the most mysterious of mortal heroes, Arilzean was a traveller, a scholar and the master of many secrets. If records are correct, he lived a remarkably long life, so may not have been entirely human. He was born somewhere in the farming villages North of the city of Catsebor. After briefly living in the city whilst studying as a healer, he fled East as the curse began to claim it. He made some of the earliest maps of the Six Castles and the wild lands between Llaewar the Gymondan Empire. He traded in rare antiquities and researched the fragments of knowledge surviving from the Mythic Epoch.
Arilzean seems already to have been widely known by the time he arrived in the court of King Medreil and assassinated him. He was thereafter feared in that part of the world and widely reviled, but in truth this act was instrumental in saving the kingdom from the Garun Dashi threat. The vast migration of the Dashi also served to draw the attention of the beast Jeknalamanen, which was Arilzean’s primary goal. He had for many years been planning to slay it, but on this occasion was warned by the Lethleinein not to attempt it.
Records from the early history of the Cartographer Adepts in Granmark record that Arilzean was for several years apprentice to the Grand Geometer Neddra Kallis. It was also their collaboration which led to his learning the secret of warp crafting. This was the weapon with which he was ultimately able to slay Jeknalamanen.
The last record of Arilzean tells of his planning a great journey South towards the ancestral lands of the Ronunskei. By this time he would have been well over two hundred years old, but still appeared only to be in early middle age.
The Images living at Eyestone Hill were once asked if he had Image blood and replied that he did not. Nonetheless, speculation along those lines remains a feature of many accounts, which is perhaps not surprising given his remarkable life. In 754EK an expedition was mounted to attempt to locate Arilzean’s final resting place, but it was unsuccessful.