|Parents||Laveer Riven, Beatrice Riven|
|Uncles/Aunts||Mihaly Riven, Lilah Riven|
|Authored By / Featured In|
Narrow eyes with a slight curve shine black beneath the stark lines of his eyebrows, which often have a pinch between them. The fullness of his lips is occasionally brought into sharp relief by just how much Nigel worries at the curve of his lower lip with his teeth. His hair is kept clipped neat and short, glossy and thickly black. There's a soft youthfulness that has yet to be banished from the curves of his cheeks, a warmed gold in tone, but there's little excess flesh anywhere on him; thin and slight, the measure of his height is as a reed or a wand rather than anything thicker. He has long-fingered, elegant hands with very neat, obsessively clean fingernails.
Nervy energy often filters through Nigel: he can seem frenetic or manic when high energy, or anxious and depressed when low energy. His mind is quick and sharp, and he has a remarkable capacity for absorbing information. He also has a tendency to dither and worry. Warm, modest, and a little socially shy, he has a hard time putting himself forward or putting himself first; he's likely to submerge his own desires into what others want for him, particularly his sister, to whom he is passionately loyal. He has a motherhennish tendency to want to follow people about and make sure they are eating enough/sleeping enough/remembering to drink water/answering their mail/have taken their shoes off, which is better suited to a fine butler or an administrative servant than to a Count's Voice.
Nigel was ten years old when his parents died and his sister inherited the countship. By the time he was 12, she was marrying a TATTOOED SAVAGE and bringing a bunch more of them into the house and into the county. At 12, he was too young to really "get" what she was doing, and nowhere was Countess Mia plagued with more reactionary, unthinking racism than in her own parlor. "THEY LOOK WEIRD AND THEY DO WEIRD THINGS" was basically the battlecry with which young Nigel rabbleroused for about the first ... month.
Here's the thing, though: fear does not often outlast familiarity. Thesarin took time with Nigel. He taught him to hunt. He taught him to ride. He taught him about his tribe's way of doing things. He asked him to teach everything he could about the Compact way of doing things. It is hard for a young boy of a certain age to accept a new father figure without reservations, but the steady strength of Thesarin and his quiet intensity and his growly voice made it impossible, at length, for Nigel to wholly resist. By the time he was 16, he was a passionate defender of his sister, her husband, and all their choices.
A devotee of Limerance from the age of 18, Nigel studied law and music, poetry and art. He rode in the woods and hunted with his brother-in-law, but primarily what he learned were related to statecraft, just in case anything happened to the Count and Countess while their prospective other heirs were too young to do anything. Mia made him the Voice before he was really ready for it because they were desperate for more help with a noble house so small that had so many unique difficulties, and Nigel had to grow into the role, which he slowly did, not without a lot of suffering and occasional fits of wild panic. Still, grow he did; it happens when you grow up. Now he is a staunch support and a keystone of their House.