Rai Eskender Rashid Andelarion Avon-El, born 1524 in Andelarion, and died aged 28 in 1553 in the wilderness of Cape Farewell, was an Elwynnese nobleman. In the Year of Four Dukes (1551), he was briefly the reigning Duke of Elwynn. He is probably most famous for founding the People's Academy of Elwynn in 1551, before his own reign.
He grew up in Andelarion, and rarely travelled outside Cape Farewell as a child. Born the child of Naomi Arsalani-Andilaryûn and Joshua Avon-El, he grew up happy in a quiet environment. Though not meeting his maternal grandfather, Cashmaiel Andelarion, often, they had a deep and close relationship. Rai learnt fluent Hurmumol from the grandfather, but spoke Elw and Hurmu Norse as his two native languages. He never learnt to speak Babkhi.
Tragedy struck the happy family in 1540 when Naomi died while hiving birth to Rai's brother Shamil. Then aged 16, Rai left the home on a Roqpin pilgrimage, but stayed in the wilderness for a whole year. There he befriended Prince Isur-Ai, Prince of the Elw of the Northern Reaches. Isur-Ai's tribe of Northern Elw had, like most Elw tribes, never accepted the Shirerithian subjugation of Elwynn, and continued to dwell in the north, keeping their own business. Isur-Ai and Rai formed a tight bond which lead to a romantic relationship. The relationship abruptly ended in 1542, when Rai was taken to Shirekeep on the orders of Kaiser Ayreon (Rai's great grandfather). The purpose was to protect all members of the Imperial Bloodline and House of Ayreon-Kalirion from whatever threats were lurking. A great grandson of the Kaiser running around in the wild, having a relationship to a treacherous "prince" was nothing the Kaiser could accept and ordered the extraction of Rai to Shirekeep.
While in Shirekeep, Rai, with the help of his grandfather Cashmaiel, was able to develop a very good relationship with the Old Kaiser. By sharing the stories of the tribesmen of the North, the Kaiser found many similarities between the ways of the Elw of the Northern Reaches and the Hurmudans of his first wife's lands. The Kaiser fell once again in love with Elwynn and the rich history, especially the pre-Shirerithian history, of Elwynn. Isur-Ai was invited to Shirekeep, but to Rai's disappointment, Isur-Ai declined to come. "My place is among my people, not Raynor's" wrote Isur-Ai to Rai. However, Rai's brother Shamil joined in the Keep, giving some comfort to Rai, who began raising the younger brother as if he were a son.
When in 1544, Kaiser Ayreon died, and to the surprise of his children and grandchildren, Rai, aged 20, inherited all of Kaiser Ayreon's assets in Shireroth, including the County of Cape Farewell, becoming one of the richest and most powerful men in Elwynn. Later the same year, he was appointed Steward of Elwynn to govern Elwynn in the absence of the Duke, Wil Nider, to be succeeded in that position later by Scott of Alexander.
Rai established himself at Andelarion House, and lead his government in Cape Farewell. He often travelled to Shirekeep though, mainly to assist as Imperial Minister of Immigration and Naturalization a few times, but his heart was always in Elwynn. In 1547, he returned to the position of Steward of Elwynn, and held that position until the White Lily Revolt took root in early 1551, when Leo Dine took that position during the rebellion. The object of the rebellion was to rid the government of Iskander Mirkdale, and Leo had problems with usurping the powers of the well-respected Rai Avon-El. In an open speech to the people of Elwynn, Leo offered to give up the position to Rai. The act touched Rai, who had been rather quiet about the rebellion, and while declining the offer, he joined the White Lily Revolt as a vocal supporter.
Following the end of the Revolt, when Mirkdale had left the Elwynnese crown to Jacobus Kahunamea Loki, a new calm came over Elwynn. Inspired by the Elwynnese patriotic resurgence, Rai announced the founding of the People's Academy of Elwynn, funding it with a sizeable portion of the inheritance from Kaiser Ayreon.
Now, ever more popular in Elwynn, Jacobus abdicated in favour of Rai Avon-El. The rise to Dukedom surprised Rai, and even made him feel uncomfortable. He was busy organizing the Academy, and did not want the distraction of politics, and therefore abdicated less than two Elw months later, and he was succeeded by Andrew Allot.
Satisfied that the People's Academy was now running itself well, Rai returned to Cape Farewell to take on the comital government. In early 1553, however, Rai was visited by his former lover Isur-Ai. The reunion was emotional and painful for both of them, but when Isur-Ai insisted that he would remain present in Caligae to bring about political change in Elwynn and Cape Farewell, Rai felt that he could no longer contain himself. Awful rows ensued, which lead to Rai leaving his office as count in affect, and walked with only a cloak and a backpack into the wilderness in the early winter of 1553. The frozen body of Rai Avon-El was found a month later. Among Rai's belonging, cudgellers found a diary of poems in Farewellish outlining the relationship with Isur-Ai. It was published with a foreword by Shamil Avon-El in 1555 with the title Droymar om i gaar ("Dreams of Yesterday").
Droymar om i gaar sold well, becoming most popular among teenagers and young adults. In 1639, a live-action film with the same title was released based on the poems, funded largely by King Noah of Elwynn's private coffers.
- 1524–1553: Scion of the King of Kings, Knight of the Holy Lakes
- 1544–1545: Steward of Elwynn
- 1544–1553: Count of Cape Farewell
- 1546–1547: Baron of Iserdia
- 1547–1551: Steward of Elwynn
- 1551–1551: Duke of Elwynn
- 1551–1553: Steward of Elwynn
|Duke of Elwynn