Ar Tanis


"Ar Tanis" (Artanis Phiarlan) was an Elven artist and painter, specializing in portraits. He was born in Fairhaven on 12 Dravago 612 YK, and was killed during the Last War on 27 Dravago 924 YK while traveling with a House Orien caravan in what is now Droaam.

Artanis studied painting at some of House Phiarlan's finest conservatories, developing a strong but realistic style perfect for portraits. Adopting the pseudonym "Ar Tanis," he is considered a leading member of the so-called "Heroic School" that influenced art styles in the century prior to the outbreak of the Last War. The Heroics tended to paint using brighter colors and bolder brushstrokes, and liked to depict subjects with somewhat idealized physiques in action poses. This style made painters such as Ar Tanis very popular, since subjects (especially those with gold to spend and egos to soothe) liked being depicted as larger than life figures. During his career he captured many of Galifar's most prominent citizens on canvas, including scions of the Dragonmarked Houses, nobles from all Five Kingdoms, and several members of the Royal Family spanning three generations.

When the Last War broke out in 894 YK, the Heroic School artists quickly fell out of favor, and Artanis spent several years in near-seclusion at a Phiarlan artists' colony in rural Breland before accepting a position at Morgrave University in Wroat as a professor of art history. During his time at Morgrave he limited his paintings to smaller portraits of his colleagues such as fellow professors, deans and provosts.

In early 924 YK the royal family of Aundair scheduled a large exhibition of Heroic School art, perhaps in an attempt to raise morale. As one of the few surviving Heroics, Artanis was invited, and the Brelish government (at the time still a nominal ally of Aundair) approved his travel. He left Wroat the day after celebrating his 312th birthday, with a selection of portraits borrowed from galleries and nobles' homes throughout Breland. His caravan was ambushed by monstrous humanoids as it traveled between Graywall and Sylbaran on a House Orien trade route. Artanis was slain in the attack, and most of the paintings were stolen. Several wound up on the black market, and one (a portrait of Dr. Hernan
Zuñiga, a Dwarf of the lost Clan Noldrun) simply reappeared one day at the headquarters of the firm he co-founded in Sharn.

Though a member of House Phiarlan by birth, Ar Tanis never manifested the Mark of Shadow, but is still remembered as one of Phiarlan's best and brightest talents in the late Empire period. His death was marked by a month of official mourning at Phiarlan enclaves throughout Khorvaire, and at Morgrave University. He never took a mate, and has no known heirs.