Johan Albaer

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Johan Albaer
Johan Albaer
YOO-ahn al-BER
Created by
Portrayed by Luke Pasqualino
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Gaidin
Affiliation The Grey Tower
Bondmate(s) Jaren Marle
Nationality Altaran
Attributes
Weapon Skills
  • Sword ✦✦✦
  • Spear ✦✦
  • Unarmed ✦✦
Masteries

Johan Albaer is an Altaran Ji'val of the Grey Tower.

Description

Too scrawny, too skinny, too small; however can he ever hope to be a Warder? A poor start to life has meant that Johan isn’t the tallest or the most outstanding of people. In fact, he probably the opposite. He’s more likely to blend into the background than stand out, to be passed by in the street and never to be given so much as a backwards glance. But that has its own uses, in its own way, and that’s just the way Johan likes it. People tend to underestimate you that way; they don’t remember you. Forgettable in looks means forgettable in personality, achievements, and ambition. If you’re already at the bottom then you can’t go down. You can’t lose. You can only rise. Go higher. He’s left more than one astonished Drin in the dust.

He’s friendly to most, all smiles and grins, always polite, deferential to those above him. He’s quiet, more likely to watch and learn. His smaller size has always meant that he’s had to be quick, that he’s think beyond throwing just his weight around. He relies more on his agility than his strength. He was thief when he was younger, and a thief who still has all his fingers and hands.

No one would ever fail to tell where he’s from. He’s very much an Altaran, what with his dark hair, his dark eyes, and olive skin, although he prefers not to wear the brightly coloured vests. They feel too lavish, too flamboyant, and far too wrong. He doesn’t want to stick out.

He’s never without his duelling knife. The gilt might be worn and peeling, made from copper rather pure silver or gold, but it says everything about him – he may be rough around the ages, may not be the best, but he shouldn’t be underestimated. He can still cause damage.

Biography

Johan was six-years-old the first time he saw someone die. She never even cried or made a sound. One moment she had been asleep, and the next she had simply drifted away. She had been six-months-old. Anali. His mother had been the one to shed tears instead. Oh, she had made sure to do it when they were all asleep, tucked up in their bed, but Johan had stayed awake and listened, staring up at the ceiling with its holes and cracked plaster, its damp, mould-covered patches where the water dripped through whenever it had rained, though it had been too cold that night for rain. He remembered, still, how he had shivered, how the old blankets had scratched against his skin. They hadn’t really been blankets, more like old sacking, but, as he had always be told, anything was better than nothing. Anything was better than nothing.

It had been early morning, still night, really, when he’d heard his father come stumbling in, cursing under his breath when his foot had hit the only chair in the one room that made up their home. From the way he had slurred his words, it had been easy to tell that he was drunk, and, from the way Johan remembered him nursing his arm, it had been even more clear that he had been in yet another duel. Johan didn't hear the exact words that his mother said to his father, but he remembered all too clearly the anguished groan that had been enough to catch the drift, even at the age of six.

His father had been gone by the next day, as usual, back to trying to find work in a place where hundreds of people were doing just the same. And his mother had been back to smiling, though her face had looked strained. He was sure there had been more lines, but she had simply told them all to cheer up, that it was another new day, as she doled out the food – stale bread and a watery stew full of vegetables that had clearly come from the streets. There hadn't been much. Johan still remembered the ache deep in his stomach. It was something that he would never forget, but his mother had always put it to the back of their minds as she told stories of princes and princesses, kings and queens, Aes Sedai and Warders. She helped them leave their house so that, for a moment, they were all princes and princesses. One day, she'd say, a man on a shining white horse would come to take them to the palace. They just had to wait…


The next time someone died, Johan was eleven. He spent most of his days out on the streets of the Rahad, running barefoot through the rabbit-warren, amongst the dirt and the grime. He and his friends would steal what they could, scattering into the side-alleys whenever anyone looked liked they might see or catch them. Their clothes were ragged and patched, the bright colours long since faded, making it easier for them to blend in with the almost constant twilight down in the streets. They were lucky when they managed to get some food, or something decent to sell.

He’d somehow got himself a chicken that day. He couldn’t remember how. He remembered only that he’d had a cut on his cheek, that the blood had dripped down, had dried, and that it had itched against his skin. The chicken had been rather pathetic looking, missing most of its feathers, but all chickens looked the same in the pot.

He’d bade farewell to his friends, raced back home, back up the rickety old stairs that had led to their apartment. He’d opened the door, ready to victoriously brandish his winnings, only to come face to face with his father. His father’s eyes had been redder than usual, the same colour as the broken veins that littered his nose. He’d looked old, so old, hunched over. It had been like scenes from a story unfolding before him, pieces trickling in bit by bit. He’d noticed his father’s eyes first, yes, and then and only then had he heard the quiet sobbing of his siblings.

His mother hadn’t even reached the age of forty.


The next person to die had been by his hands. He had been seventeen when it happened, now the main provider for his family. His father had given up the moment his mother had died, managed to get himself killed in some duel. But somehow Johan had managed. He’d worked at inns, helped out with the fishing boats, dragged in the nets, pulled carts… Done anything, everything, whatever he could. More often than not he’d found himself duelling. It was easy to fight when you had nothing to lose, and when you didn’t believe in rules.

They'd tried to stab him in the back. After. He had won far and square, picked up his winnings, taken pride in the fact that he had managed to beat some puffed up noble. It was his knife that had caught the noble in the neck instead as the man had tried to reach for him, not happy about being beaten by a peasant.

The rest was fuzzy. He remembered being grabbed, remembered hearing shouting. All duels were equal, they said, but not really, could never be; that was why so few challenged those higher than them. You weren't to win. The crowds had started moving, getting closer. The noise had risen even more.

There had been an inn, he remembered that much. A man, a woman… a woman who had claimed to be Aes Sedai. The man had had a broken nose certainly in keeping with the image of a Warder. He looked like a gnarled old tree. There had been something about going to the Grey Tower, about training. He had talent, Johan. Couldn't waste it, couldn't leave it behind in the gutter. Wouldn’t he like to help his family? The man had been in the same position once. Saw himself in Johan. That puffed up noble deserved everything he’d got…

The Aes Sedai had had enough coin to see that his brothers and sisters got a nice home to rent. Still basic, but there was no mould. Not on the ceiling, not on the walls, not on the food. The carrots had been fresh.

And Johan had found himself on the back of horse, off to the Grey Tower.

And no one else has yet to die. He’s not going to be a Warder. No way. But if he can fight like one-? Well, he won’t have to go back to the Rahad.

Why wait to be rescued? You make your own stories.

Career History

  • Soldier (2 November 2016)
  • Dedicated (11 January 2017)
  • Gaidin