Aiden of Mar has reached that time in his life when the walls which had towered around him have fallen. He is the only son and heir of Earl Eoghan of Mar. The earldom constitutes the ancient province Mar, extending north past the River Don and southerly over the River Dee on into the hills of the Mounth. Eoghan was revered both provincally and throughout Scotland as a favorable and compassionate man. His strategy and leadership shone themselves brilliantly in battle; his wisdom and devotion to family, friends, peers, and the commoner were renown. The stature of Mar increased by his allegiance to the campaign to remove the usurper Macbeth and ensure Malcolm the throne, producing conflicts in which Eoghan and young Aiden fought together. The successful completion of these objectives saw Eoghan regarded as a favorite to new king. Additionally, the campaign strengthened the relations between the Earl and one of Malcolm's most streadfast allies, the Earl of Fife. Their subsequent friendship generated the political union of Scotland's foremost houses. It was then, as Eoghan achieved what his peers considered to be his pinnacle, that he was abruptly killed.
As his father's successor, Aiden has found himself facing significant and undesirable expectations. The animals of Malcolm's court regard him as a mystery; his preference for the private life and infrequent speech have been perceived as weaknesses in character. Murmurs have been heard of the son drastically differing from his great father. Though Aiden attempts to give his critics little heed, he silently agrees. A great mistrust has developed within and the new Earl's distaste for political manuvers have permitted his opponents to gain momentum. The ambitions of his father are not his own, yet there are those who would gladly accept, or take, the wealth and potential Mar holds. Aiden lies in wait for the wolves and bides his time sorting the tangled affairs of his inheritance. His only comfort is the solidarity he shares with his two sisters, Caitriana and Allasan
. Yet even this bond may be tested and, he fears, broken.
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