Garston Susan (formerly "Garston Stanleigh") is a founding member of the Silver Fist and was one of the primary antagonists in the War of the Light. As the adopted younger brother of Marigold Susan, who died during the Cleansing of Myrwood, he greatly desired to see justice brought to those responsible for the death of his sister and her companions.
Known as a hopeful and idealistic young man, though he often finds himself lost to doubt he can turn that into something of great strength. In many ways he might be likened to General Turalyon, whose lack of faith became his greatest weapon in his time of need.
During the war he fought on the Eastern Front, where he was known for the heroic victory at the Battle of the Weeping Forest, defeating the cannibals at the Battle of Maneater Tower, and also soundly defeating the Royal Army at the Battle of the Broken Tower and eventually, aiding them at the Battle of the Raging Hollow. These victories he always attributes to his advisers, most often Harriet Clayton who acts as his confidant in most things.
Garston has been described as a handsome young man, though still holding a certain boyish charm to him. When he first appeared as an antagonist he was just shy of his eighteenth birthday, though with all that has occurred some steel has been added to his backbone and his face carries the true nature of war upon it. Likened to a puppy with how he seems to brighten when in the company of those he cares for, if left to his own devices he is often considered somewhat sullen and withdrawn. Nevertheless, he holds a particularly gentle nature and shies away from confrontation when possible.
Garston's parents were farmhands for the Dalsons, but when Lordaeron fell they were killed and he was taken in by the Scarlets. A bright lad though he may have been, he was valued more for manual labor and suffered often when he refused to act in accordance with the commands given to him. He was abused, quite regularly, and often not given food until he met Marigold Susan. Although his surname at the time was Stanleigh, his family was far removed from those of Blackmarsh and had not interacted with their noble relatives in generations. Despite this, Garston was often teased for appearing better than he was: something that, on many occassions, saw his abuse become all the harsher as it seemed fitting to humble a lad of such good blood.
In Marigold, Garston found as much of a protector a she could expect. Though she did not fight for him with tooth and claw, she saw that attentions were taken away from him at times and when the nights were harsh and she was freed occupation of purpose, often invited him to share the warmth of her bed. She sang to him on occassion, quietly and with much reservation, yet the soothing sensation of her arms about him and her voice in his ears kept him from being lost to despair. In more than one incident had the budding sense of family between them been tested, as jealousy found their captors and they sought to break them of their devotion. Despite this, Marigold would never betray him and though dejected, she often found a means by which to care for him once the ridicule had come to its end.
Garston blamed himself endlessly for being incapable of aiding his adopted sister in her struggles, but she quietly reminded him that she suffered so that they might live: it would have all been for nothing if he acted foolishly and was killed. That sentiment, in which suffering had a purpose, was something that he would never forget. So he endured, with his sister, until the day when the Argent Crusade arrived to free them.
Initially, Garston was greatly impressed by the Headhunters. They were large and imposing and seemed to be able to overcome whatever was placed before them. He had witnessed Calder Rothary bring to an end Oberyc Blithewick, whose reign of terror had nearly seen Marigold abandon all hope at life. But the Headhunters were a brutal lot and found him weak and of little interest. He remained in Hearthglen alongside Marigold and as she was trained to become a knight, he took up the work of a squire as well. There was no greater moment of pride for him than when he saw his sister become infused with the Light and when the time came, even his own vigil did not stir within him that sense of accomplishment.
The last time that Garston saw Marigold was before she deployed to Myrwood. Not yet knighted, he wished to accompany but knew he would hinder her. She promised to return to him with great stories of her success and the two hugged before the one left and the other remained. Garston was one of the first to see Marigold's returned body, which Highlord Fordring reminded him was the result of betrayal by the Royal Army. Overcome with grief, he was tasked to investigate the circumstances of her death along with Jonas Mitchell, Tessa Drake, Murdoch Hill, and Aeloria Sunblossom. Garston was sent to the Dawn to see if there might not be some information to be gained from the Lightly followers of the crown. As it happened, he met with Arval Lichter and the two became fast friends. Arval, himself dismayed by the incident at Gryphongate, safeguarded Garston as he went through with his investigation.
Eventually Garston questioned Kalvive Powers, who confessed to having been responsible for his sister's death. Although he thought to thtottle her there and demand she return Marigold to his arms, he instead found patience and had her arrested. Viktor Romel and the Queen's Gilnean Legion thought to stop him, but Arval had the Dawnguard escort him with Yorick Heartvale, Rolf Heartvale and Marjorie Galawain as the three to ensure his safety. He made it back to Hearthglen with Kalvive Powers in tow.
Rumor of what happened to Kalvive did not reach him until he found her attempting to escape from Hearthglen. Though part of him wished to let her go, for she seemed sad and broken, he could not help but remember that she was responsible for Marigold's death. Her torture at the hands of Braxton Hughes was something he disliked, as it reminded him too much of his own captivity, yet when Kalvive admitted she did not wish to be punsihed for her crimes he lost all sympathy and did not warn her of the trap that awaited. When she was captured he left her to her fate. To alleviate some of his pain, he informed Jonas Mitchell of what he knew and then, without further delay, left for Crusader's Reach, just outside of Myrwood.
Overcome with guilt for not having done more, he found himself a ready and willing participant in the discussions between Harriet Clayton and Brooke Presley. While the former was endlessly charismatic, he found Miss Presley's sharp wit and biting humor to be in poor taste, though he appreciated how she addressed matters of morality. The three of them formed a tight friendship that saw great things come of them.
During the War of the Light, Garston was one of the two primary military commanders in Myrwood. Alongside Calder Rothary, who had become First Headhunter in Commander Conrad's wake, he dealt with the Royal Army's forces. His every battle was a resounding victory, though when Brooke was killed he was nearly robbed the ability to think. Knowing Harriet's wounds were greater than his own, he vowed to bring Calder to justice and slowed him so that the Royal Army might catch him.
Severely wounded after the Battle of the Raging Hollow, he agreed to surrender his forces and shortly after, left the Crusade. In memory of Brooke, whose body he personally removed from the gate of Fort Queensbane, he vowed to see justice done to the system that had made men like Calder and left women like her as sheep to their power.
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