| Darkness |
|Appearance(s):|| Into the Darkness|
Rulers of the Darkness†
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Cause of Death:||Poisoned|
|Occupation:||Minor nobleman, leviathan rider, lumberjack|
Cornelu was a Sibian leviathan rider. He went out on various missions, riding on a huge reptile which could eat a human in two bites but which was capable of becoming very attached to its rider (and vice versa) - which was certainly the case between Cornelu and his personal leviathan Eforiel.
Sibians were famous for their skill in handling leviathans, which Lagoas and other seafaring nations could not duplicate. Cornelu was among the best of his kingdom's Leviathan Corps, successfully carrying out at great life risk various missions such as attaching explosive eggs to enemy ships to sink them; ferrying spies and saboteurs into enemy territory; and taking out VIP refugees such as the deposed King Penda of Forthweg. He was highly appreciated by his commanding officer, Commodore Delfinu, was happily married, fathered a small daughter (Brindza) and had every reason to feel satisfied with his life.
However, while Cornelu was on a mission, the Algarvians made a surprise invasion and swiftly conquered his homeland. There was absolutely nothing he could to stop it. Bitter but undaunted, he set his Leviathan to swim to Lagoas and offered his services to their navy.
Cornelu, like other Sibian refugees, never felt at home in Lagoas. Lagoan officers, while all too ready to make use of the Sibians, were often patronizing and overbearing, and used to them the insulting epithet "Sibs". Moreover, there were memories of a series of wars in past centuries in which Lagoas decisively defeated and marginalized Sibiu, seizing a leading position in world trade. Nevertheless, Cornelu put all this aside, giving precedence to his hatred of Alagarve and performing courageously and successfully the missions given by his new superiors.
When on a mission near the shore of occupied Sibiu, Cornelu was discovered by a patrolling Algarvian dragon, which dropped an explosive egg. Cornelu's beloved leviathan Eforiel was mortally wounded, but he himself managed to swim to shore.
Finding himself in his occupied homeland, Cornelu found work as a laborer at a logging camp in the mountains of the interior. He had two objectives - to find and join a resistance group, and to make contact with his wife. Both were frustrated. Sibians, shocked that their centuries-old sea power was so easily shoved aside by the Algarvians, were not inclined to actively resist them. While cynical about Algarvian propaganda about "Algarvic Brotherhood between Algarve and Sibiu", Sibians were mainly concerned with daily life and inclined to sit out the war.
Also Cornelu's attempts to contact his wife Costache were unsuccessful. She did not show up for a meeting he tried to set up, and coming at night to his former home, discovered to his shock that she was living with an Algarvian officer. As he later found out, Costache had been content to live with him as a successful officer in free Sibiu, but had no interest in "the wild refugee" he had become. Moreover, Cornelu soon discovered that his presence in Sibiu was known to the Algarvians, whose secret police was actively seeking him, and even the logging camp was no longer a safe refuge; it was, in fact, Costache who had betrayed him.
Cornelu than took a bold step, managing to steal an Algarvian leviathan and return to Lagoas, resuming his accustomed part in the war. He again carried out various missions, and found a new love with Janira, a Lagoan-born girl of Sibian parentage, whom he intended to marry after the war.
Eventually, Cornelu joined the successful armada which liberated Sibiu of Algarvian occupation. Triumphantly returning to his hometown, Cornelu set out to confront the unfaithful and treacherous Costache - whom he found pregnant by her Algarvian lover. However, she had anticipated his arrival and prepared in advance a large quantity of rat poison which she put in the drink she gave him. Thus Cornelu, having survived countless battle risks at sea, died in his own home at the hands of his own wife.
Costache's crime was discovered and she was arrested and beheaded, the story getting wide publicity in the newspapers of various countries.