King Jor of Mâvarin

King Jor
Art by Sherlock

First Appearance: Heirs of Mâvarin, Chapter Thirteen

Trivia: King Jor enjoys alphabetizing his socks.

Quote: “You think I’m mad, don’t you?  Perhaps I am mad.  I probably am mad.  But I’m not wrong.”

King Jor of Mâvarin was always eccentric, but the personal disasters he has suffered over the past twenty years have contributed to a marked decline in his sanity.  When he married Lady Genva of Odamas, he made an enemy of her rival, the mage Lormarte. By the time Archmage Sunestri was forced to kill her, Lormarte had already engineered Genva's death.

That was just the beginning of Jors troubles.  Conspired against by some of his own councilors, King Jor was later kidnapped by tengremen and taken south. Fifteen years of confinement followed, with only a parrot named Skwok for companionship.

Having been lied to so often for many years, and having seen so many kinds of magic while living among mages and tengremen, King Jor has a too-generous view of what is real, or at least possible. Even so, he may not believe his eyes when his supposedly dead son arrives to take him home.

The otherworld King Jor (mentioned but not seen in Mages of Mâvarin) married Lormarte instead of Genva, thus avoiding many of his counterparts troubles.  He is effectively under his wifes control as the result of a love spell.

From The Memoirs of King Jor:
Chapter 12: My New Home

It wasn’t really a palace.  I knew that as soon as I saw it. I never quite forgot that bitter truth--almost, toward the end, but not quite.

The less-than-palatial building before me was made of wood, probably oak, not stone or brick. The single tower on top was short and boxy, and tilted a little to the left. Worst of all, Calezundi had ordered some tengremen to paint the whole thing an unnatural bright pink.  I could tell that tengremen had done the work, because several of them had left tufts of blond and brown and black fur in the paint.

To be honest, I didn’t really care that the fake castle in the middle of Gathmak was meant to mock me.  The important thing was that it was a building, with walls and a roof and not so much getting wet if it rained.  After many weeks on the back roads of Mâvarin, my hands tied together, the only full human in the company of tengremen, a roof and walls represented a definite improvement.

It was true that I would still be a prisoner, but what of it?  I had nowhere else to go, not any more. My wife was dead.  My children (so I thought) were dead. My cousin Richi had died of a fever three years before, and his sister, Bete, had married the king of Fãrnet at a time when Mâvarin’s order of succession had been less in doubt.  Now there was only me, and I no longer deserved to rule Mâvarin.  Why not stay here, I thought, and let Nishi Awer rule in my place?  He would do no worse than I at the job.

My captors laid a foot-wide wooden board across a sludgy green moat.  I started across it alone. Strange eyes peered up at me from the moat. The eyes lay atop the head of a twenty-foot-long green monster I later came to know as Monte the alligator.  I walked to the end of the board as steadily as possible, until I came to a wooden platform in front of an unpainted door with crooked hinges.  I stepped off the board, and the tengremen pulled it away.  (Years later, Canda and Cort built me a real drawbridge for my birthday.  It wasn’t terribly big or especially well-made, but it was better than the board.)

I opened the door. It was rather dark inside, but I saw an armchair and a bed, and a small bit of brown on the floor  that was probably a rug.  The chair was on a little platform, like my old throne in Thâlemar, nowhere near as nice-looking but, I hoped, more comfortable than the real seat of power.

Well, I guess I’m home, I thought, and went inside.

King Jor and the Flying Man

King Jor was up late, reading, when a shadow flew across his study wall.
For a moment he wasn’t sure what he’d seen—a man, a dragon, an eagle, or perhaps just the guttering of windblown candles.  Probably not a dragon, he thought; there’s supposed to be no such animal.  Then he saw the shadow again, clear and sharp, crossing his inner wall near the doorway.  It was the shape of a man, lying flat with arms outstretched.

“I sleep that way sometimes,” he murmured to himself.  But he wasn’t asleep now, he was almost certain.  Neither was the man whose shadow he had just seen.

Jor used the arms of his old Gathmak throne to push himself upright, and leaned forward for a moment to rub his creaky knees.  Then he crossed to the open window and looked out.  The moon, near full, shone on the garden and practice yard behind the Palace, and the royal stable that stood just inside the outer wall of the Palace grounds.  It was a clear, quiet night.  He could hear horses snuffling in the dark stable.  One of them whinnied softly.

Something large was flying through the air, a little beyond the outer wall.

“Skwok, come here,” the ex-king said quietly.  “Tell me what’s flying out there.”

The parrot flew from its perch to Jor’s shoulder and peered out.  “Man.”  Jor felt Skwok dancing back and forth on his shoulder, something the bird often did when he was agitated about something.  “Men don’t fly,” Skwok said disapprovingly.

“This one does,” Jor said.

“He does.  Fly with him?”

“I can’t fly,” Jor said regretfully.  “Can you get close without the flying man seeing you?”

“He won’t see,” Skwok promised.  The parrot launched himself from Jor’s shoulder—which Jor always found rather painful—and out into the night sky.  Skwok’s trajectory carried him twenty feet or so above the flying man’s flight path, well out of the man’s field of vision.  The parrot was also much faster than the human, Jor noticed, reaching the air above the man in a few seconds.  Maybe the flying man wasn’t in a hurry.  The parrot circled above the man three times and then flew back toward the Palace, just as the flying man turned back in the same direction.  As Skwok banked downward toward Jor’s window, Jor saw the man look up in surprise at the colorful tropical bird in front of him.  The flying man’s face was young and smooth and ruddy, framed by shortish red hair.  He flew straight toward Jor’s tower, just as Skwok flew in the window and landed on Jor’s shoulder.  The young man’s eyes met Jor’s, and Jor thought the man looked a little frightened.  Then the flying man banked right around the tower and was gone.

-- from Mages of Mâvarin, Chappter Seven

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Introduction and Sample Scene from Heirs of Mâvarin

Introduction and Sample Scene from Mages of Mâvarin

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