Shane Lawrence Character in Vazdimet | World Anvil

Shane Lawrence

Grand Navarch Shane Lawrence

Lance struggled to pull himself up into a sitting position, applying pressure to his leg to stop the bleeding. Their covert mission against the Mordena had been disrupted by Grand Navarch Shane Lawrence himself, and judging by what he could see of the remains of his team, they never stood a chance.   "You hold my life in your hands." Everything Lance knew about the necromancer claimed he valued directness over subterfuge. Time to find out just how much, and whether or not it applied to someone who had just spent all their magic trying to kill him. "What are you going to do with it?"   "I haven't decided yet." The Grand Navarch looked down, orange eyes boring directly into Lance's soul. His mouth shifted into a menacing smirk. "But don't worry. When I do? You'll be the first to know."
  Not much is known of Shane Lawrence prior to the Battle for Baden and subsequent founding of the Mordena, but his meteoric rise to become one of the most powerful people in Vazdimet implies it, too, was more notable than the quiet school janitor he claimed to be.   Domineering and calculating, everything Shane does is to further his goals. He has cultivated a well deserved reputation as a powerful and merciless necromancer, but at the heart of his actions lies a fierce protectiveness for his son Jake and the members of the Mordena, coupled with a burning drive to right his past wrongs against the universe.

Physical Description

Physical quirks

Shane's stance personifies both a controlled strength and an unassuming grace, often assumed to be the product of some form of military combat training in his past. He is well aware of his own power and uses that confidence to his advantage when dealing with others. He also avoids entering enclosed spaces around people he does not trust, when possible.

Special abilities

Shane is a powerful Void Mage, Cosmically Attuned and able to channel the power of the stars to augment the strength of his own spells. He has received a comprehensive and full-breadth training in Necromancy, including spells ranging from the Afterlife-manipulating Hyperjump to the soul destroying Shatter. He is also well versed in Shielding Magic, skills which he passed on to his son Jake Cartwright Lawrence. He can see better in the dark than the average human, although not as well as a canid or katanoj.  
They never do think / (Their first mistake.)
They don't understand / (A big mistake.)
Wherever he goes / (Into the Void?)
There too we stand. / (The Afterlife!)
  Defy if you must but know that we march
United and one with the Grand Navarch
— Mordena drinking song, typically reserved for when Shane is not within earshot
  His true strength, however, lies in his tactical and people skills. He surrounds himself with competence, finding ways to best utilize the strengths of others. His personal attention to the needs of the members of the Mordena without any expectations in return has also earned him their unwavering devotion. He is therefore able to call upon the skills of others to augment his own expertise whenever necessary.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Not much is known of Shane Lawrence prior to his emergence on Baden as a refugee. He enrolled his son Jake Cartwright Lawrence at a renowned private school after obtaining an unassuming job as a janitor, and was known for his thorough efforts and intimidating presence.  

Bastard of Baden

“Yes!” Jeb’s words were slightly slurred but unfortunately still understandable, projecting across the restaurant and only serving to attract a larger crowd. “That’s the Bastard of Baden! That’s his fleet in orbit now, protecting us! He defeated an entire Sparnell Confederation armada… No, two armadas! Single-handed!”
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MORDENA

Military Archives

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> Mordena Dawn 1: In Spite of the Inevitable

Discover the origin of the Mordena mercenaries, and the secret history of their founder, Shane Lawrence.
Available Now.

How far would you go to run from your past?

Hiding from his violent history as a revered Void necromancer within the Sparnell Confederation, single father Shane Lawrence has finally built a quiet life. On the freehold planet of Baden he can pour his energy into the only thing that now matters: the safety and upbringing of his precocious son, Jake.

All too soon, the Confederation targets Baden for annexation, confronting Shane once more with his treasonous past. Worse, the invading force is led by none other than Shane's manipulative former mentor, Admiral Kydell.

Shane's every instinct screams to run, to hide Jake even further from Sparnell – but Baden is home. This time he could choose to make a stand and defend the entire planet, not just his son. But that means turning to the very skills he swore he'd leave behind…
  After his efforts during the Battle for Baden, he retained his janitorial position, assisting with cleanup and leading the efforts to found the Mordena in his remaining time. There was a noticeable change in him upon his return from assaulting the attacking armada. Whereas before he had been quiet and brooding, attempting to hide from the troubles of the universe, he emerged focused and driven to confront those challenges head on.   The quiet, introverted janitor eventually developed an outgoing exterior and a reputation as one of the most frightening and powerful individuals in the universe, first as the Bastard of Baden but eventually under the title Grand Navarch of the Mordena. His intense and aggressive personality earned him the unquestioning devotion of the Mordena mercenaries, and many political experts from across Vazdimet speculated he was destined to personally challenge their own governments.

Sexuality

Grim growled in frustration. “No, I mean… It has nothing to do with you. I keep saying I don’t care about that sort of thing, and I mean it, but you don’t accept it. You’re always so worried you’re letting me down or something, but you’re not. Certainly not with that.”   “Oh.”   “Now that that’s settled?” Nyr interrupted, voice pitched higher than normal. “Maybe you two can finish this conversation in private after we get out of here? Please?”
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MORDENA

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> Mordena Dawn 4: In Pursuit of Reckoning

Discover the origin of the Mordena mercenaries, and the secret history of their founder, Shane Lawrence.
Available 2025.

Some traps are worth springing. And sometimes... Sometimes the alternative is unthinkable.

Focused on building a life for those looking to him for command, Grand Navarch Shane Lawrence discovers betrayal from members of his own fleet - traitors still loyal to Admiral Kydell. Desperate to set things right, he knowingly jumps into a trap, focused on his most important mission yet: rescuing his son from Sparnell.
  Shane has zero interest in the physical sides of intimacy. Competent and imposing in most situations, he does not respond well to flirting at all, to the point of naming his fifteen year old son Jake Cartwright Lawrence as Navarch of Mordena Public Relations after a particularly awkward after hours meeting with Razalle Bosa, then-President of Libara.

Mental Trauma

Shane suffers from a mild case of claustrophobia. Despite this he does not shy away from enclosed spaces, and his joint office and sleeping quarters on Janikk are intentionally quite cramped to prevent others from attempting to hold meetings within his personal space. Instead he relies upon his Necromancy, keeping one part of his mind open to the infinite space of the Void at all times.   This does mean he feels enclosed whenever he is not in contact with the Void, and so he is very careful to avoid Antimagic fields whenever possible.

Morality & Philosophy

His personal moral compass rarely interprets the gray areas of right and wrong, instead sorting events, items, and people into "good" and "bad" based upon their alignment with his own goals and motivations. As a result individuals he considers as his responsibility and under his protection can be assured he will do everything within his power to look after their needs, in fulfillment of this perceived obligation. It also means that those who oppose him cannot accurately predict the severity of his response to that opposition.  
Left to my own devices I'd cause more problems than I fixed. Cause more people like me. I may not be good, but I am pragmatic.
— Shane
  He is aware of his failings in this regard, and the potential problems which may arise due to his overzealous actions. The Mordena quickly learned to never leave him unsupervised, forming The Inner Bastion, an informal order of trusted Mordena willing to help counter Shane's worst tendencies. Shane welcomed the oversight, surrounding himself with those unafraid to speak up to him with logical arguments to counteract his more brutal inclinations.  
Blind loyalty never did anyone any favors. If I wanted someone who did everything I demanded without question... At that point I might as well do it all myself. It would be closer to what I wanted in the first place. And it would be a bad idea.
— Shane

Personality Characteristics

Likes & Dislikes

Shane has an aversion to the color brown, particularly when it comes to clothing. He avoids wearing it himself whenever possible, preferring instead to dress in black, and those who deal with the Mordena have learned that wearing brown during negotiations with Shane tends to have a negative impact on agreements made with the mercenary organization.

Hygiene

It takes very little to break a person. People like to know what's going to happen. But give them uncertainty and they expect the worst, custom tailored to their own nightmares. Between my reputation and their imagination, I have everything I need.
— Shane
  Shane understands the power of appearances and will do whatever necessary to ensure his appearance will work in his favor. While alive he remained physically fit, more than required for an effective mage. Within MORTAC his default preset holographic projection portrays him at peak physical condition.

Social

Contacts & Relations

As Shane approaches everything in life with an intensely personal touch his relationships with the other factions largely mirror the Mordena's. Often the Mordena's affiliations are the result of Shane's strongly personal grudges or deep held admiration.  

Mordena

You value your family above everything else, Asul. Same as me. I'm offering to let your family join my family.
  The Mordena mercenary organization is Shane's legacy to his son, his extended family, his hope for redemption, his personal responsibility, and the universe's last chance of peace. Shane pours his whole self into everything he does, and nothing personifies this more than his relationship with each individual member of the Mordena.  
He leads by example, and so we'll follow him anywhere.
Mind Noira Pallika
  He has very little he considers his, instead pouring everything he has into his son, Jake, and the Mordena. He even transferred his original home on Baden to the mercenary organization, converting it into the Mordena Embassy of Baden until its targeted destruction by the Space Defense Legion.  

Freehold Planets

Shane has built political and strategic alliances with the leadership of many planets of The Freeholds, both personally and as a representative of the Mordena, before eventually delegating that role to his then-teenage son Jake. His role in the Battle for Baden, a Freehold planet on the borders of Sparnelli space, secured him the recognition required to found the Mordena.  

Vardan Traders

He holds close ties with the Ferrik Clan of the Vardan, having personally trained the Cosmically Attuned Jann Ferrick the closely guarded Hyperjump spell in exchange for a trade agreement.  

Sparnell Confederation

Shane's relationship with the Sparnell Confederation can be described as adversarial at best, and antagonistic at worst. This opinion is clearly personal, although he entrusts very few with even hints as to its origin. His opinions on the Sparnelli people themselves vary more widely and largely depend upon how much or how little they support the Sparnell Armed Forces.  
Leadership? The SAF wouldn't recognize leadership if it bit them in the ass. Their chain of command is based on simple physics: hot air rises.
— Shane
 

Space Defense Legion

The Space Defense Legion enjoys a relatively neutral stance from Shane and hence the Mordena. While he has turned and recruited many from strategic positions throughout the SDL, most notably the engines expert Daoff Asul, the Mordena founder has always been cautious to remain covert in his dealings which might anger the Legion. Publicly he has even spoken highly of them on occasion, largely allowing the faction to dictate the state of their relations with the mercenaries, adjusting the Mordena's actions to match.  

Hydell Order

Shane's training as a necromancer has placed him at odds with the Hydell Order, who believe only their own sacred dead have the right to resurrection. While he does not set forth to intentionally antagonize them Shane will not hesitate to stand against them or their aims should the need arise. His thoughts are even less delicate in private.  
Fanatical idiotic zealots, the whole lot of them.
— Shane

Family Ties

Shane's first priority is always to his son, Jake. After the death of Jake's mother, Caroline Cartwright, Shane took sole responsibility for the boy, doing whatever he felt necessary to ensure Jake's safety and future. He also ensures his son retains a relationship with his mother through the use of Soul Call, and has been known to reach out to her on major coparenting decisions pertaining to Jake.   Shane also views the Mordena as his extended family, willingly assuming whatever familial role each member requires.

Social Aptitude

Shane is clever and skilled at reading people, particularly when it comes to determining what an individual or even a small group wants or needs. He has learned to use this to his advantage, winning the devotion of others merely by acknowledging them on a deeper level than most people recognize. He is a domineering and assertive personality, quick to switch behavior between threats of aggression to promises of safety dependent upon what he feels would be the most successful tactic in a present encounter. Shane will not harm or physically threaten those he considers friends, allies, or family, but still considers anything else fair game if he determines the action is needed.   He exudes self confidence, and yet privately he remains haunted by his past choices, carrying that guilt through every decision he makes. This is also the root of his protective nature, as he believes his penance is to protect the weak from those still following his former dark pathways. His personal morals tend to remain fluid as a result of his past, but he is aware of this fault and has worked to surround himself with people he knows will hold him accountable.  
The Universe doesn't need to love me. They don't want to. They choose fear, and hatred.   And the Mordena... They already know who I am. They already understand. They don't need anything else.   So why would I take the credit for others' accomplishments? Let them shine their starlight and save the Universe, while I take all the hatred and personally direct it at me. I probably did something to deserve it anyway.
— Shane
  Surprisingly Shane is rather generous with those he considers under his protection. He genuinely celebrates their victories and is always quick to give credit for successes to others, even undermining his own contributions in the process. It is his belief that celebration of those within his sphere of responsibility is reward enough for his efforts.

Mannerisms

With the exception of those he considers family, most notably Jake, Shane does not like to be touched unexpectedly by others. He will initiate physical contact if he considers the individual a close friend and determines either he or they require the interactions, or with others if he determines the interaction will further his goals, but he is uncomfortable unless this occurs on his terms. He has learned to tolerate unwelcome contact from young children as they tend to consider him safe and interesting, and don't understand his need for physical distance.   Additionally, Shane will not lie. This does not mean that he tells the entire truth when a partial one will better suit his needs, so those around him have learned to be careful when wording their questions as he wields the truth like a weapon. He remains a man of his word, always careful to keep his promises, and takes great pride in that fact. His past regrets quite often stemmed from choices made based upon lies he was told, and so his commitment to only speaking truths is unbreakable.  
The words you hear don't always align with the truths he speaks.
— caution to a new recruit

Relationships

Known Magic
Necromancy
Shielding Magic
Current Location
Species
Ethnicity
Other Ethnicities/Cultures
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Grand Navarch, Minder, The Bastard of Baden, Grim, The Janitor, Oathbreaker, Tergerael
Currently Held Titles
Age
unknown
Circumstances of Birth
Born to loving parents, both farmers.
Birthplace
Family
Spouses
Siblings
Current Residence
Pronouns
he/him
Gender
male
Eyes
Intense Orange
Hair
Straight, black, shoulder length
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Burnt Ochre
Height
6ft 10in
Quotes & Catchphrases
Why tell a lie when the truth holds more power?
— Shane
 
You have something I want. I'm going to find out what it is.
— Shane
Aligned Organization
Other Affiliations
Known Languages
Galactic Common, Sparnick, Yarvish, Legionese, Loxiran, Badenese, Morjakk

The Names and Titles of Shane Lawrence

Grand Navarch
His formal title within the Mordena while he was alive, this rank has since been passed to his son Jake. Most references naming Shane as the Grand Navarch are therefore historical in nature, although some Intelligence briefings maintained by the other factions also continue to use the title.  
Minder
Shane's current title, Minder refers to his role as the head of the Minds within the MORTAC hivemind supercomputer.  
The Bastard of Baden
Earned prior to the official founding of the Mordena, this nickname references his surprising victory against overwhelming odds at the Battle for Baden. Merely a middle school janitor at the time, his efforts fighting Admiral Kydell's armada succeeded where the entire Baden Defense Force could not.  
Grim
A nickname earned at some point in his past, the list of those who dare to call him Grim today remains short. His son Jake is the only one to use the name outside of private conversation, and only as a warning when his father is at his most brutal. The name is assumed to be a reference to his imposing countenance, or a reference to the dire fortunes of those who dare cross him.  
The Janitor
Originally a derisive commentary on his day job, The Janitor became a respectful reference to Shane's abilities to resolve and clean up any situation thrown his way.  
Oathbreaker
Far from an insult against Shane's commitment to speaking only truths, Oathbreaker refers to his unprecedented ability to break a Soul Oath, severing the Oath's binding tether from the soul of its target. After passing the secrets of this ability to other necromancers within the Mordena this title was also passed to the knife used to perform the procedure.  
Tergerael
Morjakk for "The Repentant One," Shane earned this title from Janikk herself during his efforts to negotiate an agreement allowing the Mordena to claim the planet as their own.
 

Want to Read More?

Shane Lawrence's rise from humble janitor to the founder of the Mordena mercenaries begins with In Spite of the Inevitable, a 75k word novel exclusive to my Patreon subscribers! (First three chapters are free!)
 
"Dad! What's wrong?" Jake made his way to his feet, clearly worried.
  "We have to go. Now. It was a diversion. SAF lured all Baden's defenses into the open." Shane was pacing, his normally impassive face a conflict of emotions. "There's a whole armada up there now. We don't have much time."
  Razick's stomach sank. If the janitor's words were true, Baden had no chance at remaining independent. The shelter vault had its own defenses but these were largely nonviolent measures and eventually they, too, would be breached. If the Confederation didn't starve them out first.
  Razick watched as Jake's face hardened. "I don't want to run anymore, Dad. I finally have a chance at something good here. Better classes, actual friends, no more bullies..." His eyes turned pleading. "I know you can fix this. Please don't make me start all over again."
  Shane stopped pacing, looking at his son as if seeing him for the first time. "A whole armada, Jake."
  "I want to stay."
  To Razick's surprise, after studying his son for a moment Shane sank to the floor in thought, still seemingly oblivious to her presence. "Okay."

 
MD1, Chapter 1
Prose | Oct 24, 2023

Haunted by his past and finally beginning to adapt to civilian life as a single father, Shane Lawrence finds himself thrust back into his role as a military tactician in a desperate effort to defend his new home.



 


Character Portrait image: Grand Navarch Shane Lawrence by Astron
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Comments

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Jun 21, 2021 21:48 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Shaaaane. One day, I really would love to know more about his past and who he was before he was Shane Lawrence.

Jun 21, 2021 22:13 by Morgan Biscup

I am really looking forward to that reveal myself! It's going to be so fun to tell that full story. But I have a lot of other things to write first before I get to do that. *Motivation*

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Jan 8, 2023 16:44 by Morgan Biscup

And now you know. Bwahahahaha.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Jun 22, 2021 07:08

I especially love the morality part :D He's a right bastard, but he knows it well enough to sort of counter-balance it too


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jun 22, 2021 08:59 by Morgan Biscup

He doesn't *want* to be evil. And has realized that he does have a choice, he just needs help to pick the right ones.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Jan 8, 2023 13:19

What a skillfully detailed character, awash with the great nuances of talents and quirks. Very enjoyable read.


Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
not Ruleplaying
not Rollplaying
Jan 8, 2023 16:44 by Morgan Biscup

Thank you so much! <3 Shane is very near and dear to my heart. He's managed to tease a whole novel series out of me so far. (Well, 4 of the 5 books so far).

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Jan 10, 2023 02:15 by Barron

The Grandson part of this hit me the most, I love that illustration with the little cat ears. Feels so precious and real!


Jan 10, 2023 05:14 by Morgan Biscup

Those drawings are the best! Emy drew several, and I have full intentions of peppering them around the site in the secrets although that may be the only one I've added thus far.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
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