Vincent Apothik is the royal court minstrel at Castle Vallon.



A young Vincent.

Vincent was born a commoner in a remote village near Zemar. His parentage was uncertain, and his mother died in childbirth. Born blind, throughout his life he occasionally experienced seizure-like symptoms. Such attacks or fits are often preluded by a nosebleed.

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.

Vincent experiencing an attack.

Around his fourteenth birthday, his fits began to increase in intensity. 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, accusing her of witchcraft and insisting that he was possessed by evil spirits. Vincent managed to escape into the woods, falling unconscious after another particularly severe attack.

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. He allowed Vincent to follow him to Castle Vallon, but the boy 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, struck up a friendship with him. She would bribe the guards to let him inside on cold nights, and they would talk until daybreak.

Vincent, aged twelve.

Vincent lived unofficially at Castle Vallon under the protection of Laura, who eventually became queen after marrying Aldous. Laura provided support and care in the aftermath of his attacks. Unfortunately, their friendship drew the attention of Princess Helen Stirling, who suspected there was more going on between them.

Years later, Vincent fell ill with a fever and was tended by Laura. 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 for reasons unknown. Upon the king's death, he was left at the mercy of Helen, who continues to pester him regarding the true nature of his relationship with the queen.

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