Lord Harold Arching
Bluff and hearty, but with a sharp streak running through him
Born in the reign of Aegon V, during a time of peace and prosperity, to a minor branch of the Arching family (3rd cousins to the main branch). Much too young to fight in the war of the Ninepenny kings, his older brother Haesten Arching (the second son) fought bravely, but died on the Stepstones.
When his father died (171 AL), he followed in his footsteps, lending his sword and leal service to Aenys Arching, head of the family. Honest and loyal service to Aenys went mostly unrewarded, and lesser men, members of the family closer to Aenys, were promoted in his stead. Still, Harold knew his place, and did not ask for more than he was given.
When Lord Rickard Stark went south to answer for Brandon Stark’s crimes, and Aerys burned him alive, and Eddard Stark called his banners, Aenys called up the martial might of House Arching, publicly declaring his intention to obey his liege-lord. Harold Arching, however, was privy to the secret discussions in which it was agreed that instead they should defect and march south to join with the Targaryens. It was then, with the help of his eldest son, Dorian, and several of his most trusted retainers that Harold did the necessary deeds, killing Aenys and a dozen other prominent Archings.
Eddard Stark made Harold head of the family for his good service, and after the war was finished granted the family several important boons, even if Harold and the Arching troops never actually engaged in direct battle (being tasked with defending the baggage trains).
Come the Greyjoy Rebellion, Harold raised the banners once more and this time, with Dorian at his side, joined actual battle with the Ironmen on Great Wyk, under the command of Ser Helman Tallhart, Harold’s liege-lord.
Age: 53 (born 144 AL)
Relationship with Liege: Ser Helman Tallhart is of an age with Harold, and whilst not a frequent guest at the Archings, nor often a host to them, nonetheless the two were known to have worked well together during the Greyjoy Rebellion.
Extended Family: No. All murdered.
Relationship with Father: Obedient and in awe of.
Rivals: House Stawerth have many lands that border those of House Arching, and when the King in the North brought ruin upon the Archings, it was the Stawerth’s who took many of their lands; rich lands, fertile lands, and this has remained a sticking point between the two houses ever since.
Bastards: Not that he has ever acknowledged.
Failure/Shame: Never public.
Glory: Killing Aenys Arching and the other traitors.
How is he Perceived: Some of the smallfolk have little love for Harold, because of the murder of the other Archings. There are whispers of treachery and betrayal. But more see him as the protector of the House and its lands from being on the losing side of Robert’s War, and saviour of its honour.
Appearance: A large man, not fat, but no longer the toned and powerful man of his youth. A russet beard, now flecked liberally with grey, he nonetheless has an appreciation of fine clothing, and wears velvets and silks often.