Duke of Maree
Banion, Duke of Maree, is the brother of Brin, the Duchess of Hellas, and Bennett, who is the second husband of Lieke, Countess of Dis. Bennett has been disinherited (see Intrigue - Internal Affairs 60) but will inherit a title if either Brin or Banion dies during the game.
An ambitious man who may make a play for Elodie in the hopes of becoming King.
Together, Duke Banion and his sister Brin govern most of Southern Nova. Banion has been known to chase powerful heiresses for their hand in marriage.
Spoiler Warning: Plot details follow, read at your own risk
Weeks 9-10 Edit
Elodie first meets Duke Banion during Week 9, when he approaches her for aid in the war against Ixion. If she is wearing the necklace gifted to her by Talarist, he will confront her about it; otherwise, he will flirt with her.
- "If I might say so, you are looking particularly lovely this day. I hope you will think fondly of me."
―Banion to Elodie, Week 9
If Elodie chooses to aid Maree by retaliating, the battle will be won regardless of exactly which decisions are made, although some number of soldiers will be lost, depending on Strategy and Logistics (and if using Lumen powers, Wield Magic) skill checks.
If Elodie decides to negotiate with the Ixionites, the diplomat will arrive during Week 10. Banion will protest if Elodie surrenders or punishes Brin for her instigation of the war. (If Brin is commanded to marry an Ixionite, Banion will only protest if Elodie fails an Internal Affairs check.). If Elodie has Brin executed, Banion will be very, very angry...
If you either deposed or executed Brin, then Banion will send an assassin during the Procession of the Good Lady. Pass the required checks to survive (see page for details), if you do then the next week Joslyn will give you a coded letter found in the assassin's body detailing his contractor. If you decode the letter (Ciphering >60) then you'll find out who sent it, but if you don't then you can use it as circumstantial evidence against Banion or someone else...
Though, you can simply not go to the parade to stay safe, but doing so completely skips over the events and options unlocked by the confrontation and letter.
During the Grand Ball, Banion will call for the attention of the audience and offer his compliments to Elodie. However, if Elodie deterred the Ixionites in Week 10 by surrendering or by punishing Brin, these compliments will be phrased as veiled threats.
If Elodie chose to force Brin to marry an Ixionite, Banion will ask for a dance. If Elodie accepts the dance, Banion will remind her that she has now implied an affair in front of all of her guests. If Elodie passes a Court Manners check, she can respond with an intention to marry Banion, or an intention to abandon him when he gets boring. If she fails the check and is betrothed to the Duke of Sedna, she must make a decision between marriage to Banion or to Talarist; if she is not engaged, then Banion pressures her into agreeing to marriage.
- "I'm the Queen. I can have whatever favorites I like, then drop them when they bore me."
―Elodie to Banion, Week 17
If Elodie refuses the dance or mentions her engagement, the confrontation will dissipate without further action; if Elodie is not engaged to Talarist and passes a Public Speaking + Court Manners + Flattery check, she will also receive a boost in noble approval. Banion will retreat from the event after this.
If Elodie surrendered to the Ixionites, or alternately executed or deposed Brin, Banion's threats will be much more aggressive. Elodie may choose to challenge him to a duel (see A Matter of Honor). Elodie must pass one Athletics and two Swords skill checks in order to win, in which case Banion is killed; his titles pass to his brother Bennett or his nephew Anciet, depending on whether Brin still holds her titles. If Elodie loses, she dies upon Banion's sword (see Deaths Checklist).
If Elodie faced an assassin the week before (and, if the assassin is from Merva, didn't decode the letter) she can accuse Banion of sending the assassin. This action bypasses any checks and causes Banion's arrest and execution, but also ends all further events of the night.
If Elodie orders him executed, she can pass a Presence+Public Speaking check to push her orders, if she fails Banion will call for a vote of no-confidence, success or failure will depend on how well Elodie performed during the Grand Ball and how well she dealt with nobility the previous weeks; if she succeeds, she has Banion executed, if she fails she's deposed and forced to marry Banion, ending the game.
He's the subject of many epilogues, though all of them only if Elodie marries him or has a relationship with Brin. See below for the marriage epilogues.
Personality and Abilities Edit
He's a self-interested, manipulative, somewhat amoral man who will try to garner Elodie's favor for power, and go to lenghts to manipulate, humilliate or even kill her if she upsets him. He constantly puts a gentlemanly façade to hide his intentions. However, he's rather transparent in his behavior, the only thing that stops his actions from backfiring is courtly manners and his rank, and even that won't help him always.
He's an habit of trying to court high-ranking noblewomen for political gain, the latest being a disastrous attempt to court Julianna. He can be considered a "gold digger" interested only in a relationship with powerful women, and in most instances of Elodie marrying him, he'll scheme behind her back to fullfill his own agenda.
He's very resentful and somewhat petty. While it's understandable that he may take issue if his sister is harmed, he will try to ruin Elodie's reputation and marriages if she shows her favor for other men or marries someone else.
He's very close to his sister Brin (though, not questionably so...), thus they will always support each other's choices in events. The quickest way to anger him is to harm or humilliate Brin in any way.
Despite his character, however, he's not completely bad. He'll be content if Elodie supports him or his sister, even if Elodie doesn't marry him, and unlike many of Elodie's political marriages he'll be supportive even if she marries him just to get close to Brin or is rendered sterile.
Interestingly, he had a son out of wedlock who he legally recognized as his own; a bold move considering how much the nobility resent such display of one's "dirty laundry". Depending on the epilogues, this son may become the heir of Hellas.
He's very skilled with a sword, probably a product of cultivating a gentlemanly image or simply a common hobby for nobility. For this reason, you'll need high Swords and Athletics skills if you decide to challenge him to a duel during the Grand Ball.
Marriage Conditions Edit
He's a marriage candidate, the only condition for marrying him is that he reaches the end of the game alive. There are multiple epilogues depending on conditions, some unhappy, and some happier:
||Elodie proposed marriage to Banion, the Duke of Maree, and was eagerly accepted. The marriage was a lavish affair, the groom showing himself off in the best possible romantic light.
After the wedding, matters were not always so rosy. The new king had his own political agenda, and maintaining her authority was a constant struggle for Elodie.
||The following year, Elodie and Banion were married in a ceremony she had designed carefully to leave no doubt that she was in charge. She wore an elaborate gown with diamonds and streamers like clouded wings. He wore a simple and tight-fitting garment that would have looked at home in the ballet corps.
Of course, Banion won a bit of payback when he revealed the parentage of the adorable flower boy in the wedding procession.
||The following year, Elodie and Banion were married. Attendees said that the ceremony was lovely, but the bride and the groom kept glaring at each other while taking their vows.|
||A few years later, Elodie and Banion were married. Attendees said that the ceremony was lovely, but the bride and the groom seemed very distant from each other. It had the look of a formal alliance, not a romantic union.
Staff in the palace noted the new King-Consort's tendency to defer to his wife when making even the simplest of decisions - at least, in public.
Time went by, and it became apparent that no official heir would be born. And yet, the marriage persisted, even prospered. Each declared a separate successor: for Banion, a natural son born before his wedding, for Elodie, her cousin Charlotte.
Whatever private arrangements they had come to, they appeared content with their choices.
||Their wedding is was lavish and romantic, and Elodie quickly conceives a child. But the Elodie becomes progressively sicker during pregnancy, then confined to a bed "for the good of the child", while she knew the reason for her sickness but was too weak to act against it; the baby is soon born, a girl, and Banion names her "Brin".|
||It's described how Banion spread rumors of Elodie's infidelity, and if she can't prove them then Thaddeus will quickly divorce her, and Elodie will be forced to marry Banion just for an heir. Though, if Arisse can reveal Banion as the source of the rumors, he will become a joke amongst nobility.|
One dead end is if Banion calls for a vote of no-confidence during Week 17 and Elodie loses, forcing her to rescind regency and marry Banion. Since this ends the game, no description of the relationship is given.
- Bennett has the same portrait as him, with only differences in eye color and clothes.
- He has an acknowledged bastard son of young age. This only comes up during one of Brin's romantic epilogues.
- The name "Banion" is a derivation of the Old Welsh given name "Enion", meaning either "anvil", "stability" or "fortitude". Rather unfitting, given how transparent and weak his ploys are, how overtly complicated these tend to be, not to mention how easily he can lose his cool.
- The game makes a joke of his past interest in Julianna. If Elodie has enough points in Internal Affairs, his profile will permanently display his failed courting of Julianna, and an option conversation with Brin reveals that he was completely unaware of his sister's relationship with Julianna. To add insult to injury, Elodie can completely rebuff his advances to end up with a woman, potentially his sister.