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Rand
Fictional Character
"The Summer Garden"
Fantasy
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: Empire of Kar V'Shem

Rand was a knight of the Empire of Kar V'Shem. He resided in the town of Sennar. Despite his extensive history as a fighter, Rand was nonetheless a romantic and a dreamer. He'd fallen in love with Dianora, the wife of the merchant Ansovald. Despite having multiple suitors, Dianora was completely devoted to her husband. While all these would-be paramours finally accepted that she'd never hurt her husband, the stubborn Rand persisted in his attempts. Too kind to completely break Rand's heart, Dianora made what she thought was an impossible offer: she agreed to be Rand's if Rand could produce a garden full of summer fruits and flowers during the dead of winter.

Rand accepted this offer, and approached Portolis, a mage who'd just happened to arrive in Sennar, to create such a garden. Portolis acknowledged he could, but wondered whether Rand was prepared to pay the price. Rand quickly agreed, and Portolis demanded seven thousand seven hundred seven and seventy kraybecks of gold. Although this price would be enough to impoverish Rand, he readily agreed. He immediately mortgaged his land and mansion, and dismissed all of his servants, save a fellow named Fant. They lived in a single room of the mansion, since Rand could no longer afford to heat the entire structure.

Portolis set about creating the spell, leaving Sennar for days at a time to gather materials. By Midwinter's Day Portolis was ready. He again asked Rand if he wanted this spell, and Rand affirmed. With that, Portolis conjured the garden into existence. Rand was ecstatic, and sent Fant to Ansovald's home with a basket of fruit as proof.

Dianora understood what the basket meant. She consulted Ansovald, who commanded that she go to Rand and ask to be released from her promise. He also concluded that if Rand would not release her, so be it.

Dianora did as Ansovald commanded. While Rand was initially thrilled to see her, when she affirmed that she did not love him, and that her pledge was an attempt to dissuade him from further courting, he understood why Portolis had repeatedly questioned him about the price. Rand released her from her pledge and sent her home.

Portolis appeared almost immediately. Impressed by Rand's selflessness, he decided to return the gold to Rand, who attempted to decline, but ultimately agreed. Portolis also correctly predicted that Rand would be a prosperous man for the rest of his life. Rand's wealth increased, and he developed a reputation as a philanthropist in Sennar. He married, but spent every Midwinter's Day in the garden, which continued to bloom out of season.

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