High Country Adventure!
Merrick Paxton Harland
Baron of Harland
Merrick Paxton Harland, a twenty-four year old human male, has a darky appealing look while often displaying a moody or arrogant disposition. He is the oldest son of the currently presiding Baron Harland, his father. However Merrick’s father has been unable to effectively manage the barony after a stroke he had last year and as a result, Merrick was pressed into service about a decade earlier than planned in order to act as his father’s regent thereby effectively holding and executing the powers of his father’s office.
The Harland family, while historically and locally respected for nearly a century except for this last decade, has always been a bit on the outside of the dukedom’s and kingdom’s political power struggles. The Harland’s often chose to ignore more capital city intrigues and chose instead to sit as watchers as other families tried to jockey and win favor with those of higher office and instead chose to wield their power locally and win the favor of those under their charge by ruling wisely and somewhat loosely as best befits a frontier barony.
However, during the past ten years, Merrick’s father (Elwin Gabriel Harland) ran the barony to near financial ruin trying to buy favor in higher courts so much so that he began to create local pockets of unrest if not rebellion. His actions trying to ingratiate himself and increase the prestige of his family were so severe that the duke was strongly considering charging Merrick’s father of treasons actions and also stripping the Harland family of their lands, titles, position and responsibilities and giving all these to another family with whom he has closer political ties and support. It is rumored that the baron heard of this and it was the cause of his stroke.
Merrick had to be pulled from his final year of studies and was quickly pressed into service as the baron where he instituted political, judicial, and organizational reforms almost immediately. He removed many of his father’s advisors and instead surrounded himself with people he was told he could trust by his mother (the Lady Laurel Kolleen Harland of the House Bennett) and the leader of the barony’s “Raven’s Guard,” Captain Gunther Atur (sometimes called “Girt” by his closest companions).
While Merrick’s reforms seemed heavy-handed and led him to be labeled haughty, egotistical, and in some cases, maniacal and tyrannical, they did bring financial stability back to the barony and has increased his family’s favor in court, more than his father’s effort to buy favors. While his seat is still far from secure in the eyes of the duke, Merrick has shown himself thus far to be a capable administrator of the barony, the true test is can he lead the barony through the trials and political intrigues likely to come with the barony’s new-found wealth and the greed of the other noble families hungrily eyeing a new prize to take for their own.
He has currently commissioned the building of a stone stronghold in the town of Trindam’s Pass to both help secure the newly-discovered silver ore deposits as well as bring more official barony presence to the town. It is rumored that he wants to eventually move his personal residence to Trindam’s Pass while maintaining his family’s political power seats in Aspenwood.