Daric Caron, may his soul rest in peace, was the most recent King of Northpoint and the first High King of the North. At the time of his death, he also held the following titles in addition to the two previous: Master of the Northern Sea, Conqueror of the Wrothgarians, Sovereign of Shornhelm, Darguard, Thornvale and Eagle Brook, Protector of Thorkan, Wrothmark, Felway and White Haven, Son of the Sea and Lord General of the North. Though he would never have been considered a charming man, and in fact was disliked by many, he was an efficient and respected ruler and talented general. He died on the 12th of Frostfall, 4E28, of a sudden illness and was succeeded by his daughter Elissa.
Tall and lean, Daric always had a talent for being the most intimidating individual in a room, in presence if not appearance. He was always particular about his health, never giving into the excesses of food or laziness that others in his position might have; instead, Daric subjected himself to an intense daily exercise regimen to keep himself in the pinnacle of health (since that regimen involved swimming in the cold northern sea, it’s speculated that it directly contributed to the illness that killed him).
Daric’s face was hard, crisscrossed with stress-born wrinkles that made him look older than his 43 years. Similarly, his hair turned gray in his late twenties from the stress of leading the Unification of the North. Piercing gray eyes shone out from the insomnia-induced bags under Daric’s eyes, which, in combination with his seemingly ever present frown, only made his unflinching stare even more unnerving that it already could be. A political rival once said that, given the choice between meeting Daric’s stare and being stabbed by him, “I’d take the stabbing.” It’s worth noting that said rival was in the process of fleeing south when he said it. Daric kept his hair close cropped to his head and was usually clean shaven, though he did grow out his beard during the Unification of the North and during times of particular stress.
Daric was the sort of man who found fashion distasteful, and so he was rarely seen out of either his armor - plainly designed, if incredibly expensive, ebony plate, which bore countless scars from the Unification of the North - or similarly plain and dark military-style clothing. He was the type of man who always seemed underdressed for the cold weather of northern High Rock. He rarely wore cloaks or capes, as if he was making a statement to the cold: “I will not submit to you.” The few bits of finery he did wear were those he had to due to his station: the signet ring he wore on his right index finger and the heavy iron circlet that was his crown.
A brilliant soldier by most reckonings, Daric had a keen - if inflexible - mind for war strategy, as proved by the fact that, during the Unification of the North, no battle that he personally led was ever lost. As good a general as he was, though, he was an even better warrior. Ser Barron of White Haven once noted, “I have never seen another man fight with as much determination as His Majesty does. He fights in such a way that he gives an opponent no option other than submission of defeat.” Such skill in battle led to his active participation in several pivotal battles of the Unification of the North, including the penultimate siege of Shornhelm.
However, Daric was famously inept at social interaction, and disliked it greatly. He would rarely speak unless he had to (particularly in his childhood; he would sometimes go days at a time without speaking), and often alienated people when he did speak to them. He was intimidating and skilled enough to hold his kingdom together despite that handicap, if only just. He was, however, capable of liking and caring for people: he had a notable inner circle of confidants, and by all indications truly cared for his wife and child, though he had difficulty expressing that to either.
Born to King Alec Caron and his queen consort, Lady Annette of Solitude in 3E 418, Daric was the quintessential spare to the throne. His brother Aedan was his elder by four years, and Daric was often ignored in favor of his more genial and well-mannered brother - this only increased his natural tendencies as a loner and outsider and worsened his difficulty understand normal social interactions. He spent much of his childhood either isolated in his room, memorizing maps and studying battle theories, or practicing swordplay in the yard with the household knights, honing a strong mind for strategy and developing a stronger arm for fighting.
As he reached his teens, he was invited to occasionally sit in on Council sessions with his father when Aedan wasn't able to, where he showed more willingness to speak up, even in situations where it might not have been appropriate. When Aedan died in a tragic hunting accident in 4E 3 - which, despite the implications of that phrase, was genuinely an accident - Annette committed suicide in a fit of grief and Alec fell into a deep depression that led him to withdraw from the world and isolate himself in his chambers; Daric, then, found himself stepping up to lead the kingdom, keeping it from falling into chaos through pure force of will. Ruling as the king in all but name for five years, Daric was easily selected as king by the Council of Repute when his father finally passed away in 4E 8.
Now officially King Daric I, he was quickly married to Aedan's betrothed, Abelle Darein of Faith's Leap. Despite Daric's distaste for the activity, they consummated their marriage and had a daughter, Elissa. By the time Elissa was born, however, Daric had declared war on the Kingdom of Shornhelm and left to lead the war personally. He left Abelle as the de facto ruler of his kingdom while he was leading the war effort, expecting from his preparations a quick and decisive vassalization of Shornhelm.
Unfortunately for Daric, he learned that preparations are often a far cry from reality, and the invasion he initially expected to take less than two years turned into a decade of indecisive skirmishes. Traveling from front to front, leading as many battles as he could personally and never taking a break to return to his capital, took a noticeable toll on Daric, leaving him with a face full of wrinkles and graying hair despite being barely in his thirties. He signed the White Peace treaty and withdrew his forces reluctantly, and returned to Northpoint a bitter man.
He ignored his wife's indiscretions on behalf of her capable job ruling in his name, and retook active control of his kingdom, immediately handling the pirate fleet that had taken to raiding Northpoint while they were at war. He also immediately began preparations for a second invasion of Shornhelm, this time with full knowledge of the reality of war and the difficulties that came with invading the mountain kingdom. Despite personal distaste for the tactics, he brought in a new spymaster, Natalia Remes, engaged in subterfuge in order to better invade, and even reached out to the infamous Sea Witches of Northpoint. Therefore, his next attack in 4E 25 was prefaced by the Knights of the Tempest and other soldiers brutalizing the rangers that had caused so much trouble for Northpoint during the first invasion.
Daric then led the largest battle in the war, the Battle of White Haven. A meeting of the two largest armies either side would assemble, the battle was a massive victory for Daric and a rout for the Shornish. With the vast majority of Shornish forces dead or captured, Daric's following march to the capital faced little resistance, destroying the last bastion of resistance in Ridder Creek along the way. He sieged Shornhelm not long after, and found Allard Lariat weeping in his throne room. In an act of cruel mercy, Daric left the broken man in charge of his kingdom, now a Grand Duchy and vassal of Northpoint, and declared himself the first High King of the United Kingdom of the North.
However, with his great war now an undisputed victory, and with no enemies left to fight, Daric found ruling tedious. Though he was respected by most and feared by more, he was disliked by many of his non-soldier subjects, and disliked the day to day acts of being a king, having managed to successfully avoid them for much of his 20 year reign.
Having earned a reputation as a fierce warrior and general, Daric's death is representative of the cruel ironies of fate. For this man, fearsome as he may have been, was not brought down in a great battle, with his sword in hand, but by a common illness brought on, ironically, by his routine to stay healthy. He died, therefore, laying in bed in 4E 28.