10. Hernais Pyr Longus
Birthplace: Mons Falconis, Landis
When Hernais first enlisted in the legions, he shared the midland marshals' unfavorable impression of Lyon rem Helsos. The Beast King's tactics were unconventional and unpredictable, subject to sudden changes as he surveyed the shifting tides of battle─certainly no such rough-and-tumble strategy was taught at any officer academy. The man himself was uncouth in word and appearance, and apparently preferred the company of creature to man. They dismissed him as they would any borderland barbarian.
Hernais's opinion was flipped on its head, however, when he witnessed Lyon's handling of the insurrection in Dalmasca four years ago. While it was true the Beast King spoke brusquely, he knew each of his subordinates by name, and was well versed in their strengths and weaknesses. When battle was joined, he did not lead from the rear─indeed, he was often the first to leap into the fray. “Only the weak perish” was his constant refrain, and the young officer saw the truth of his words as the inept and the cowardly fell in droves before the strong.
Lyon's strategy sent his pets to the front lines to die in place of soldiers, and, while initially bemused, Hernais came to understand the man's fondness for the beasts. He doted upon them like children that might not wake to see the morrow, cherishing every moment they stalked the boundary ‘twixt life and death. Needing no more convincing of Lyon's savage greatness, Hernais requested placement with the War Beasts that he might serve as his new mentor's herald.
The following is an excerpt from Curious, the Mons Falconis town gazette.
Reporter: Your comrades in the IVth Legion have dubbed you the “Tenacious” and compare you to some well-trained cur. Do you take umbrage at being so described?
Hernais: I care not. They are simply envious.
Reporter: And what makes you think that?
Hernais: Most of these fools can scarce hide their ambition. They smile and scrape and follow orders, while inside they chafe at the indignity.
Reporter: A soldier must do as a superior commands, but is not a brief flicker of defiance only natural...?
Hernais: Not for me. Not anymore. With the whole of my heart, with the entirety of my soul, do I walk the trail of the Beast King. Let them mock my name! I accept it as a badge of honor, and may none question my loyalty!
Reporter: ...So spake pyr Longus. Have you any comments for your subordinate, sir?
Lyon: To be honest, I'd completely forgotten the boy until you shared that story just now. Ah, yes, he's an eager little bastard─like a terrier! All fury and gnashing teeth! Pity that type doesn't last long amongst the big dogs.
Reporter: I...er...thank you for your time.