Member Spotlight: Euriel Than
1 June 2011
I had a talk with Commander Euriel and some who know him best, to learn more about this august fellow. First, a little history: Euriel Than came to TarValon.Net in early 2008, and climbed the ranks to Recruit and then Soldier about as fast as one can. Then he seemed to pause, taking over a year to become Gaidin, and in that time flew over 13 hours to 8th Anni in Washington State. That piqued my curiosity; what was his experience as a solider here like?
When asked about that, he replied, “My experience as soldier was a good one. In that time I gained friends and lost them. I traveled the world and learnt a lot about others. I felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows but it taught me that before I could take on the title of Gaidin that I should ratify with myself where exactly I belonged in that world, what my role was and how I could live with it. It took me longer than many to become a Gaidin from a Soldier as to me it was a sign of personal achievement and not just a rank on the boards. I wanted to do the tower and my family here proud and I could only do that if I felt that I was ready for that so I asked for it to be delayed. Over that time I finished my journey of self-discovery and I felt I was ready... or.. at least Valorian did and so after constant prodding I relented and agreed to be raised.”
That prompted me to wonder if part of the time he decided to pause as a soldier had to do with guesting here.
He illuminated that quickly, “Most of my soldierhood was getting to know the company. There wasn't much to guesting for me. I token guested with DM as I had to guest somewhere else but my heart was always with VC. (It's worth noting that I hold DM in the highest regard but they just weren't me)”
Of course, once he became a Gaidin of VC he quickly grew into a notable force within the Company, to the point of being Company Commander in under a year and a half.
Being confronted with that led Euriel to recall, “At Anni 2009 I was a soldier and I was as proud as punch to be an aspirant of VC and at one point when I was trying to arrange VC drinks, Valorian declared, ‘This guy will be company commander one day’ and it was with great pride that I returned (at Tenth) Anni as Company Commander. In the time in between I held the position of honorguard and have welcomed many good friends into the company. Though the company is more active than it once was we have managed to stay relatively drama free and the bond of brotherhood has only gotten stronger.”
Despite that a warm triumph, Euriel only made it to 10th Anni in Charleston, South Carolina after having lived through two earthquakes in his hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand in the year prior, the most devastating one just two weeks prior to Anni itself! I had to find out more about a man strong enough to live through all that and still make the effort to be a part of this community. Though Gaidin are by no means solely defined by the Aes Sedai they are bonded to, I knew Magdalenna t’Zai would have some insight into who Euriel is.
When asked about her Warder’s strengths, Magdalenna Sedai said, “Euriel is one of the most giving people I know. He'd give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it, and he'd do it happily and ask if you needed anything else afterward. If he can't do anything physically to help another, he will sit and listen, give (very good) advice, and do his best to cheer you up. Euri is also one of the most resilient and determined people I know. In the past year, he's lived through two massive earthquakes, and he's come out of both of them putting his family's safety over his own, with a drive to rebuild, and with his sense of humor and his lighthearted nature intact.”
With these insights in mind, I turned to the man who helped welcome Euriel to Gaidinhood, Valorian Edoras. Given the recollections Euriel shared of Valorian Gaidin, I wondered what it was that Valorian saw in him, even right at first, that had him pegging Euriel as a great member of VC?
Valorian Gaidin replied, “Why am I glad to have him as a fellow VC? Because he puts his heart into everything he does, from traveling the world to long-distance friendships. And I wouldn't doubt those who see him every day in NZ would say similar things. Euriel stayed with Shannan and I for a week during his visit to NYC; we had a great time sightseeing and just hanging out. He's a brother in all the ways you'd want a bro to be and more, especially considering the relative distance from which we interact. There's the power of the internets, to be sure.”
Finally, I knew that I could round out my image of Euriel by talking to someone who works with him on a daily basis in our community: Braedan Fearghal, Honor Guard of Val'Cueran.
When I got Braedan Gaidin to tell me about Euriel, he quipped, “He's not a complete and total jerk...all of the time. I'm kidding!” Letting that pass, he continued, “Euriel's best quality is his heart. He has a heart as big as all outdoors and genuinely cares for people. He's not superficial and always goes out of his way to make everyone he comes into contact with feel comfortable, at ease and included.”
I figured if anyone could point out a shortcoming of Euriel’s, I was talking to the right guy for it, so I asked what Braedan Gaidin thought of Euriel as a fellow VC.
He jumped right into it, “With the exception of his stubborn refusal to get a proper VC haircut...he's the perfect embodiment of what VC is all about. He's a natural leader and each of us follow him without question and without reservations. We're damned lucky to have a guy like Euriel as our CC.”
Ah HAH! He’s not shaved bald. There you have it, then: Euriel Than: He’d be a Perfect Val’Cueran if He’d Just Shave His Head.