THE VOLDARIAN COUNCIL MEMBER NIKOS LOTHARI

(?-1648) Voldarian Council member at the time of Maengolth and the famous Lady Jenefra, the later Erpheronian Queen Katya the Just.

Though he carried the name of Lothari, Nikos was actually not part of the House but took the name only when he married Karliss, the only daughter of Lord Santwin - then current Head of House Lothari and Ruling Council member. In the tenth year since the birth of his grandson, Lord Santwin passed away peacefully in his sleep due to a constriction of his heart, an effect of old age... or so Nikos declared to the entire city. He also cited that Lord Santwin had complained to him previously of chest pains. Several of Santwin's friends including Lady Amalthea and Lord Kel raised their suspicions on the circumstances of Santwin's death as, though aged, the latter had been in good health and did not seem to be of an ill disposition lately. It was no secret that the old Lord despised his son-in-law whom he regarded as useless and incompetent and that Karliss, a pale gentle mouse of a woman, was deathly afraid of her husband. However, before Amalthea could call for the wizard Cale Perrim to begin an in-depth examination of the body for the cause of death, Nikos exercised his rights as the next-of-kin and buried Lord Santwin and announced that any efforts to exhume the body would be a grevious insult to the House of Lothari.

Though angry at his audacity, Amalthea acceded to Lady Karliss's pleas of non-intervention. She then proposed that as according to the rules, Karliss should succeed her father's position within the Council, knowing very well that Nikos would try to make a bid for the late Lord Santwin's seat and that this was the only way to thwart his plan. Moreover, Amalthea had the upper hand in this matter as Nikos was not of Lothari blood, therefore he should not be eligible.

Nikos was livid with rage but bidded his time. In Karliss's second year as Council member, she mysteriously drowned in the deep waters of Aerelian Lakes while visiting some friends in the nearby town of Salsair. Her son, Jarat, then twelve years old, who had been with his mother at the moment of her death, reported that she had been seized with an inexplicable desire to visit the Lake, famed for its sapphire-blue colours. When standing on a cliff, jutting out from the shoreline, she missed her footing and fell in. Karliss could not swim and drowned as the strong currents pulled her relentlessly down. The boy was sobbing frantically when he was recounting the events that happened and when asked why he did not jumped in to save his mother, the boy said that he could not swim. Present at the inquiry was Lysander Dain, son of Vaelaron Dain, who recalled that a summer past, he had overheard Jarat boasting to his cronies that he could swim like a fish. The young boy related this to his father a few days later, not thinking anything of it and was stunned when he noticed the sudden rage that passed over Vaelaron's face.

Amalthea and Vaelaron now had the truth of it, that the son was a poisonous viper like his father and most likely guilty of matricide, but as no-one else but Jarat had been present then when Karliss drowned, and the evidence of Lysander was circumstantial at best, there could be no revelation of the truth.

With the support of Aerlicht of House Hruth, Preya of House Arkaisa and Terylyn of House Cloriae, Nikos took over the seat of House Lothari, stating that he would merely be holding the seat until Jarat came of age. Unable to refute the claim as it was legal according to Erpheronian laws that the father can be acting Council member for the son, Amalthea and those who knew the truth behind Santwin and Karliss's deaths, had no choice but to agree. Still, Amalthea kept a close eye upon Nikos's doings, knowing what he was capable of and resolved never to let his son, Jarat, take over the Council seat.

However, as fate would have it, in b.S. 1648, the hand of Queprur touched upon the murderous father and son as they succumbed to the Vardýnnian Soul Robbery where the souls of the dead dragons were resurrected in mortals who were dark of heart and mind. Nikos and Jarat gained the immediate ability to shapeshift into beasts that were likened to the serpentine forms of dragons and both were destroyed by Katya Ileri before they could escape and do further harm upon the innocent.

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