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Vincent Apothik is the royal court minstrel at Castle Vallon. Born blind, he occasionally experiences prophetic visions. As a result of this unusual ability, he has attracted the attention of kings and information brokers.

Biography

Merlin

A young Vincent.

Vincent was born a commoner in a remote village near Zemar. His parentage was uncertain, and his mother died in childbirth. He was born blind.

A washerwoman called Marena took him in; he lived with her until he was fourteen years old. To help support them, he learned to play the lute and would perform in Zemar each week for money.

Shortly after his fourteenth birthday, however, Vincent had his first vision. It occurred while he was sleeping, similar to a normal dream, but Vincent, having never experienced sight before, knew immediately that something was wrong. The experience terrified him, and he awoke with blood dripping from his nose.

After having several more visions, all of which showed scenes of destruction and death, he told Marena about them. She took him to see the local physician, who prescribed a sleeping potion. To Vincent's horror, the potion failed to stop the visions, and he started to experience them while he was still awake.

Vincent2

Vincent experiencing a vision.

As Vincent began to lose his grip on reality, news of his strange dreams spread. The villagers grew afraid of him, and after he collapsed in the middle of the town square with blood pouring from his nose, they reacted with violence. A mob arrived at Marena's hut that night, claiming that Vincent was possessed by devils. Vincent managed to escape into the woods, where he collapsed from exhaustion.

He awoke not long after to find a traveler standing over him. The traveler, a minor Ioan lord, was returning home after having fought in the War of Succession. Vincent concluded that his visions were of the battles being fought. In particular, he recognized the image of Gavin Zosimus throwing himself in the way of Aldous' sword to protect Claudius, which the lord described to him in detail.

Vincent followed the traveler to Castle Vallon, but was denied entry. He remained outside in the courtyard, singing day and night. The young Laura Stirling, at the time being held captive by Aldous, would bribe the guards to let him inside on cold nights, and they would talk until daybreak.

Vincent

Vincent, aged twelve.

Vincent lived unofficially at Castle Vallon under the protection of Laura, who married Aldous not long after they met and became the new queen. The two spent so much time together that Laura witnessed nearly all of his visions and provided support and care in the aftermath. Unfortunately, Vincent's dreams also drew the attention of Princess Helen Stirling, who sought to use the knowledge of the future for her own ends.

Eventually Aldous ordered that he leave the castle. Vincent obeyed, traveling to the house of a lord he had befriended. Desperate to get him back, Laura revealed Vincent's visions to Aldous, who was immediately interested. He retrieved Vincent and installed him as the royal court minstrel, but it was obvious that he was only being kept around because of his prophesies.

Years later, Vincent fell ill with a fever and was tended by Laura. In his delirium he had a vision of Laura - the only time he ever saw her in a dream - wandering through a forest at night, eventually finding a hand reaching down from the sky. She took it and was carried up into the heavens, consumed by a white light, and finally was turned into a star. By the time he awoke, Laura had also fallen ill and died soon after.

Vincent remained a figure in the royal court, serving as minstrel. He wrote songs about Aldous' victories, Laura's beauty, and historical events. He converted to Vormundism, but was still tolerated by Aldous. Upon Aldous' death, he was left at the mercy of Helen, who continues to pester him for information on events to come, despite his increasingly cryptic answers and possible insanity.

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