| Darkness |
|Appearance(s):|| Into the Darkness|
Out of the Darkness
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Occupation:||Student, Accountant, Guerrilla, Soldier|
|Parents:||Hestan and Elfryth|
|Relatives:|| Leofsig (brother),|
Ealstan was a young Forthwegian from Gromheort. During the Derlavaian War he fell in love with Vanai, a Kaunian from Ongestun. They later ran away together to the capital Eoforwic. There Ealstan spent most of the Derlavaian War as a bookkeeper. He had a daughter, Saxburh, and another child on the way when the war ended.
Ealstan was born to Hestan and Elfryth in the years following the Six Years' War. He had two older siblings, his brother Leofsig and sister Conberge. Other relatives included his uncle Hengist and cousin Sidroc, the latter being the same age.
Ealstan spent his childhood and his early teen years in Gromheort, where he was an able but indifferent student at school. At the age of thirteen Ealstan greeted the outbreak of the Derlavaian War with confidence in Forthweg's victory and envy that Leofsig was old enough to serve in the army. Forthweg's defeat and the occupation of Gromheort by Algarve dampened Ealstan's optimism somewhat, as did a budding rivalry with Sidroc.
During this time Ealstan met Vanai while out gathering mushrooms and instantly fell in love with her. The two adolescents continued to meet, despite the racist taunts of Sidroc and opposition of Vanai's grandfather Brivibas. At fifteen Ealstan finally came to blows with Sidroc, knocking his cousin unconscious and being forced to flee his home. Vanai agreed to elope with him to Eoforwic and the couple set themselves up in the capital.
Life in EoforwicEdit
Ealstan put his education to use by working as a bookkeeper, first for the popular singer Ethelhelm and later for Pybba the pottery magnate. Ealstan helped keep Vanai safe from Algarvian persecution. While he in hiding, he received news that Leofsig had died at Sidro's ahnds. However his brother's death also gave Pybba reason to trust Ealstan and induct him into the Forthwegian resistance.
Vanai eventually gave birth to a daughter, Saxburh; as she was in hiding from the Algarvians, Ealstan had to assist with the birth himself. Later on he participated in Forthweg's failed attempt to liberate Eoforwic from the Algarvians before Unkerlant's armies could seize the capital. His greatest achievement during this affair was to use the disguise spell to make himself look like an Algarvian common soldier with a private message for the military governor, and assassinate that worthy with a stick. He survived the fighting, but was promptly conscripted into the revived Forthwegian army by the Unkerlanters.
Postwar return to GromheortEdit
Ealstan came through the war's final days in one piece and was mustered out of the army shortly after. As his cousin had vanished after joining Plegmund's Brigade (unknown to Ealstan, Sidroc had been killed in the final battle for Trapani) Ealstan and Vanai felt it safe to return to Gromheort. There they were welcomed by Ealstan's parents, and Ealstan learned that Vanai was pregnant with their second child.