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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 00:09 
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[QUOTE=Zeth;207160]Are you going to commit to joining when signups open, then? :3[/QUOTE]

Well, I can't confirm with 100% confidence but I'd like to say yes. Whether that is true or not really depends on many things right now.


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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 02:56 
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[QUOTE=Albert Clare;207167]Another Question — to what extent can Banecasters control various Forms of Plant Life (eg. Trees, Vines, &c.)?[/QUOTE]

There's no understanding of cellular biology at this point, and working on people is only feasible because of Old Kian experiments involving LOTS of experimentation on human prisoners and elven PoWs. As for plants or animals, they can sap bane from them or kill them outright, that's... about it.

Also, what Ethan said. Only I won't be as subtle about it. Play your character like a JRPG protagonist, and you'll run straight into reality. Reality will win.



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
-Tyrion Lannister, A Clash of Kings


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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 03:55 
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It means I actually need to be creative for once (laugh)

Though at this point I think I still need more information.

EDIT: I suppose information about gender roles, if any, might be important too.


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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 04:32 
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Gender roles are a bit more enlightened than they were in our early 19th century. Baneblooded women especially are considered marginally capable in politics and diplomacy, if not war. Baneless women often co-own businesses and farms, but are not allowed to own property by themselves and women are still subject to heavy discrimination outside of high society.

The only exceptions are the Elves, both Islander and Imperial, who tend to have women as equals, including as politicians, cabinet ministers, shipping magnates and army officers; a toroughly enlightened attitude which makes their society even more freakish to human observers.



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
-Tyrion Lannister, A Clash of Kings


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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 12:41 
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Zethan mistook me a bit on the last one — I was simply curious about that, which also tells me a bit more about scientific Advancement. I would have expected something about Cells to be known, given that they were discovered in our World in about 1665, though not expanded much upon until about 200 or so Years later, when the first (I believe) Cell Theory came about in the early-to-mid 1800s. I was also pondering Bane-related Horticulture.

Another rather random Question — how common are Migrations between Takara and the various Islander Elven Kingdoms?



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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 14:04 
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My exhortation was not motivated primarily by your last post.



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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 14:30 
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Don't worry, though — I may have mistaken its Origin, but have no intention of ignoring it.



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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 15:41 
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[QUOTE=Albert Clare;207178]I would have expected something about Cells to be known, given that they were discovered in our World in about 1665, though not expanded much upon until about 200 or so Years later, when the first (I believe) Cell Theory came about in the early-to-mid 1800s. I was also pondering Bane-related Horticulture.[/QUOTE]

Oh, they know what cells are, because cautious probing of living things by baneblooded healers has revealed that at least. It's just that finding out what they do exactly and how to manipulate, and more importantly, force their replication is extremely difficult, and so far, the only techniques known only apply to humans. Healing is one of the most dangerous and complex feats of banecasting. It doesn't require much in the way of power, but it does need an enormous amount of training and finesse. Closing up an open wound may take up to three or four hundred talismans. Curing a terminal illness like cancer is still beyond all but the most skilled Takaran Banecasters, and even then it is only curable when caught early.

The reason why bane-based horticulture is impossible is because nobody has really tried it. Sinking an entire kingdom's resources (which is what you'd have to do) into growing rose bushes is kind of impractical.

Migration between Takara and the Islander kingdoms are common. Many Islanders move to the Altrichs to see the world outside their tiny little spot of land (or in Butea's case, tiny little strip of land between sea and impenetrable jungle). Takara, in the meantime, has a lot of elves wanting to escape the oppressive atmosphere of political intrigue and constantly escalating (and extremely expensive) whims and mores of respectable society. They move (or retire) to the Islands, usually buying themselves a small, comfortable estate, finding some islander girl or boy to marry, and being eccentric for the rest of their days. Butea in particular, is dotted with dozens of those estates.



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-Tyrion Lannister, A Clash of Kings


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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 17:52 
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[QUOTE=La'Paulshanda;207183]They move (or retire) to the Islands, usually buying themselves a small, comfortable estate, finding some islander girl or boy to marry[/QUOTE]How convenient. That's precisely the kind of thing I had in mind for one of my character's family members.



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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 18:47 
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I would like to note that if you all plan on playing elves, that may not work well. I'd also like to note that the only Takarans who are SUPPOSED to be stationed in Callindria on a semi-permanent basis are the Ambassador and his staff, and said ambassador runs a very tight embassy.



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 19:58 
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It would have been rather helpful if you'd said this considerably sooner. I've been working on my profile for several days now, and I made it pretty clear from the start that I planned on playing an elf. :/



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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 20:45 
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Imma Tierran!

No, but he did say if ALL of you planned on being elves. That necessarily means that SOME of you can be. If Klarth and Dino play elves, and Mow and myself and Cata play humans, we could be ok, right?
Mow? Mow Mow? Mow Chika Mow Wow? What say you?



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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 21:29 
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I'm playing multiple humans, mostly because just about all the story-driving NPCs (except for the Takaran Ambadassador) are human.



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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2012, 21:59 
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[QUOTE=Zeth;207194]Imma Tierran!

No, but he did say if ALL of you planned on being elves. That necessarily means that SOME of you can be. If Klarth and Dino play elves, and Mow and myself and Cata play humans, we could be ok, right?
Mow? Mow Mow? Mow Chika Mow Wow? What say you?[/QUOTE]

Well, I don't see any problem with playing more than one character...


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PostPosted: 28 Jan 2012, 00:11 
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Truefax. I did that shit all the time in Infinity's Blades.



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PostPosted: 28 Jan 2012, 00:31 
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I'm hesitant to do so BECAUSE OF Infinity's Blades. As people dropped I got piled on with characters toward the end.



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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2012, 04:04 
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6.0: War in the Infinite Sea
This is not your standard medieval fantasy. The lone warrior or the wandering barbarian have little place here. Rushing into battle armed only with a sword, axe, lance or bow is a fantastic way to get yourself killed. The art of war in the Infinite Sea is a complex discipline, one with many facets. To fight effectively, a soldier not only understand the capabilities of his own equipment, but the tactics and doctrines which that equipment allows for and gives advantage to.

6.1: The Three Schools of Land War
There are three dominant military doctrines in the Infinite Sea today. Each emphasizes a different aspect of warfare and are tailored for the circumstances of its inventors. Each uses differnt types of weapons and soldiers, so naturally, the sprimacy of one school over another on the battlefield is purely circumstantial.

THE TAKARAN SCHOOL
Designed for the hilly and river-riven lands of Takara, this tactical doctrine is heavily defensive, built around the holding of choke-points to funnel enemy forces into decisive set-piece battles. The emphasis is on heavy, or "line" infantry, musketeers advancing in linear formations, packed tight to facilitate shielding from incoming bane attacks. On the flanks, Heavy cavalry wreaks havoc on enemy weakpoints as light cavalry skirmish with each other. Field Artillery is neglected in favour of high-calibre casters. The objective is to concentrate forces at a certain point on the enemy line, and break through their shielding with banefire or weight of musket fire, then break the enemy force entirely with a massed bayonet charge. The Takaran school is relatively slow and heavily dependent on the tactical sense of the officers commanding. Forces are limited by the number of casters avaliable to attack enemy formations and to shield their own. This doctrine is favoured by most of the Northern Kingdoms, including Tierra and Callindria

THE KIAN SCHOOL
Designed for the semi-arid flatlands of Kian, this extremely aggressive school of war splits an army into two elements: fire and maneuver. Much more flexible than the Takaran school, the Kian school sets simple guidelines for the army's commander. Armed with light mortars, rockets and heavy-calibre rifled muskets, the Fire Element and their accompanying warcasters surpress enemy armies with sheer weight of fire, relying on incendiaries, explosives and heavy musket balls. While the enemy is pinned in place, the Manuever element, wearing nothing but light armour, but armed with vicious curved longswords and specialized multi-barrelled scatterguns, charge the enemy, mounting a frontal attack on suppressed enemy formations. Cavalry are used to keep the flanks secure and help run down fleeing infantry once the maneuver element cuts the enemy to pieces.

THE ANTARI SCHOOL
The heavily overgrown grasslands of central Calligia gave birth to this cavalry-heavy school of war. Unlike the Orders-Militant of their southern neighbours, the Antari Church Hussars fight not by order, but as a single massed force of cavalry. In Antari war, the infantry are merely chaff, usually conscripted peasants braced with professional officers and sergeants. These are used to pin the enemy infantry into place as the lighter elements of the cavalry occupy the enemy horse. Once the enemy is thoroughly pinned, the Hussars make an all-but-unstoppable charge down at the weakest point of the enemy force: a moving mountain of bane-hardened steel, blades and horseflesh crushing everything in its way. It is not uncommon for a massed charge of Hussars to charge into an enemy formation and charge right out the other side, before turning around and repeating the process.

6.2: Weapons of War
War in the Infinite Sea requires a wide range of weaponry. While professional soldiers can depend on other formations and arms of service to cover their own shortcomings in equipment, mercenaries and other independents must be careful to cover every eventuality. Thus, they must sometimes carry two or more weapons. In order of importance, these are:

FIREARMS
Flintlock pistols, muskets, blunderbusses and rifles are the most common weapons in the Infinite Sea. No gentleman's son grows up without learning how to shoot, and the single-barrelled flintlock pistol is the most necessary symbol of the ship's captain, army officer, gentleman, adventurer and brigand alike. In Callindria, firearms are mostly unrestricted. Only rifled weapons and guns specifically banned by the Takaran government are considered illegal. Flintlocks vary widely by quality and price, but all are relatively easy to use, can punch through any non-banework armour and can reliably hit (and kill) a man at up to thirty or forty paces. It is very important to note that lead bullets cannot be directly affected by banecasting, making them extremely useful weapons, and the main reason for their replacement of the bow and crossbow. Sumptuary laws only allow male citizens of Callindria and representatives of foreign powers to own firearms.

Enchanted firearms are rare, but not unheard of. The Takarans and Kian are well-known for making enruned firearms. The most common variety is the Dragonlock, a mechanism that replaces the flint with an enchanted, fire-spewing pearl, eliminating the possibility of a misfire. Rarer varieties do things like firing red-hot shot, or balls which fly with unerring accuracy. Note that this second variety of enruned guns are explicitly outlawed by both Takaran and Callindrian governments, as are the extremely rare Wind Rifles - guns which use pressurized air instead of gunpowder. More mundane, but no less illlegal, is the Kian thunderlance. A massive, high-calibre musket, usually requiring a crew of two to load, the thunderlance fires a heavy musket ball with a double-charge of gunpowder, and is usually considered the only non-enruned firearm capable of reliably punching through banehardened plate.

NOTE: Firearms tech is roughly equivalent to real-world tech circa 1800. This means muzzle-loaders firing lead balls. You are expected to have a cursory understanding on the capabilities and the use of a muzzle-loading flintlock, including the reloading process, ESPECIALLY the reloading process.

SWORDS
The long-bladed cruciform broadsword is still a viable weapon in the Infinite Sea, though not for the common soldier or mercenary. Longswords made of good-quality steel are prohibitively expensive and are usually found as the ancestral, enchanted blades of the Knights of the Orders-Militant. The weapon of the aristocrat, the army officer and the swashbuckler remains the smallsword, a much lighter, one-handed weapon, usually with a basket-hilt of some sort and one more for show than combat. The exception to this rule is the weapon of the cavalry officer, the heavy, curved sabre, a weapon designed to be used from horseback and is quite clumsy one-handed on foot. Regardless, Callindrian sumptuary laws prohibit common townsmen, peasants, merchants and women from carrying swords of any length.

More exotic swords are also seen in Callindria. The characteristic curved broadswords of Takara are a rare, if unforgettable sight. Forged with steel of unrivalled quality, Takaran warswords are almost always enchanted and sharpened beyond any possible human equivalent. They often glow with banefire and shine with runes and banecrystal inlays. Takaran swords are heavily guarded: The number of human kings and dignitaries with Takaran blades can be counted on one hand and the Takaran government maintains a standing order for the immediate execution of any mere human who manages to get his hands on one through ilicit means. Kian straight-swords are more mundane, but are more common and suited for human hands. Light, versatile and durable, Kian straight-swords are a favourite of swordmasters the world over and are considered a more masculine and exotic alternative to the somewhat effete smallsword.

OTHER MELEE WEAPONS
The Infinite Sea is home to a number of other melee weapons, both mundane and exotic. Almost every person over the age of six carries a small knife for eating, grooming and self-defence. Hatchets and small axes are also common, both among foresters and skirmisher troops. Many armies equip their non-commissioned officers with heavy polearms like awlpikes and halberds. The main-gauche is a common off-hand weapon for swashbuckers and mercenaries, while the heavier dirk is more often in the hands of cutpurses and thugs.

Heavy crushing weapons like the mace are considered knightly weapons, though not as prestigious as the Longsword. Enruned maces are among the few weapons capable of crushing banehardened armour. The greatmace is also a symbol of office for members of the Takaran Senate. Each senator carries a heavy mace with an enchanted head and butt. The latter is used as a rhetorical tool, creating a deafening noise when struck against stone. The head is a symbol of the Senate's political power. Should the Aldkizern try to lock his senate out, the Senators are quite capable of breaking open the doors with their badges of office.

ARMOUR
The age of the musket has rendered armour thoroughly redundant for most infantry. Armour has not been used by rank-and-file footsolders for centuries. The most visible use of armour is by cavalry. The heavy banehardened plate of the Orders-Militant and the overbuilt splint mail of the Church Hussars are the most iconic armours in the Northern Kingdoms. The black plate of the elite Ritters of the Takaran Imperial Guard have a similar mystique. Banehardened plate can shake off blows by mundane melee weapons and most calibres of musket ball (outside of a range of about five metres) without a scratch. Banehardened plate is, of course, extremely expensive, and VERY illegal for those who do not have permission to wear it.

Lighter armour still exists. Buff coats and hardened leather are used by some of the Twelve Companies, as well as by private guards and the like. Mercenaries tend to wear heavier armour, though nowhere near as protective as the Knights of the Order. They usually rely on some sort of chain or scale undershirt, though the heavy expensive of these garments make them prohibitively expensive for anyone not planning on using them regularly. As a result, the chain shirt has become an unmistakable symbol of a sellsword or rogue. In addition, some specialized soldiers, especially heavy cavalry, are known to wear incomplete suits of armour, usually unhardened. The back-and-breasts of Northern curassiers are the most commonly found variants.

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Signup format and sample coming after this, stay tuned kids!



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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2012, 05:41 
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Signup sheets are done. Here's the format.

Name:
(Your character's name)
Gender: (Self explanatory)
Ethnicity: (Country/region of origin, then species)
Age: (DO try to keep this realistic please?)
Appearance: (A picture or text description of what your character looks like)
Apparel: (A description of what your character wears, including weapons and armour)

Social Station: (Your character's social standing: Underclass, Lower Class, Middle Class, Upper Class, Petty Nobility, High Nobility)
Bane Calibre: (For human nobles only: What calibre of baneblood does your character have?)
Political Alignment: (Optional: Who does your character swear allegiance to?)
Occupation: (What is your character's job?)
Weapons Proficiency: (Rate your character's weapons skills for each weapon he/she can use. Rating goes: Very poor, poor, fair, good, very good, exceptional)
Titles: (ALL of your character's titles as pertaining to his/her job or birth etc.)
Living Family: (Any living and immediate family your character has. Dead family can be detailed in Biography)

Personality: (A detailed description of your character's personality)

Biography: (A history of your character's history and any other relevant facts about his/her life.)
Tropes: (I use this as a sort of shorthand to flesh out your character. Link to any tropes you might feel embodies your character. This is completely optional.)


In addition, I made a sample sheet for one of the major NPCs, which includes all the optional stuff, just to get you started.

Name:
Caedwin Aeric Stanislaus d'al Cruz ae Cazarosta
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Tierran Human
Age: 39
Appearance:
Image
Apparel: Lord Caedwin's everyday garb mostly consists of a wide selection of trimmed, cream coloured silk shirts and trousers, along with a silk cravat, knee breeches and polished black shoes made of soft black leather. When functioning in his capacity as ambassador, he wears a deep red velvet jacket, trimmed in silver and proudly displaying the lionhead of House Cazarosta. On his shoulders, he wears a short mantle of black leather, trimmed in wolf's fur, pinned together with a pair of silver lion heads and embroidered with the tower and gryphon of House Rendower on the shoulders; his official garment of office. Caedwin carries no weapons, save for an eating knife and a small dragonlock holdout pistol.

Social Station: High Nobility
Bane Calibre: 8th
Political Alignment: Unified Kingdom of Tierra, House Cazarosta
Occupation: Civil Servant, Diplomat, Tierran Ambassador to Callindria.
Weapons Proficiency: Smallsword (Fair), Pistol (Poor)
Titles: 3rd Earl of Leoniscourt, Warden of the Western Approaches, Knight-Companion of the Order of Saint Octavia, Lord Ambassador to the Court of King Antonio IV on the behalf of His Majesty, King Alaric I of the House of Rendower, King of Tierra.
Living Family: Elena (Wife, 34), Calvin (Son, 12), Karin (Daughter, 9), Esteban (Brother, 35)

Personality: Lord Caedwin is a very reasonable man, and strives, very much, to uphold that image. He is considerate to his immediate subordinates, regularly corresponds with his friends and dotes on his family, even from a thousand kilometres away. More than two decades in the Foreign Service have made him patient and possessed of everyday graciousness when dealing with his supposed lessors or inferiors. He has a firm sense of right and wrong and will not hesitate to make his views known, even to his superiors within the Tierran government. He values a just and lasting peace above all things and sees every crisis resolved without bloodshed or promise of imminent violence to be a victory. Despite this, he is a very adept diplomat and more than willing to stoop to cutthroat means to get the job done but only as a last resort. He above everyone else knows how much sleep men in his position lose over decisions of "political expedience". Lord Caedwin understands the sometime necessity of violence to achieve his ends, but will only accept it as a last resort, and if the situation truly demands it.

Biography: House Cazarosta is an ancient and powerful noble family, having been lords of the rocky island fortress of Leoniscourt for over five centuries. Originally petty kings in their own right, the Cazarostas were absorbed into the Unified Kingdom of Tierra after a short, but bloody war three generations ago. House Cazarosta is both rich and powerful. Lord Caedwin himself is close friends with the vitriolic King Alaric, no mean feat for a man of any calibre. An accomplished diplomat with twenty two years of experience and a shrewd politician with deep knowledge in the iron trade that his House is so heavily invested in, Lord Caedwin was assigned to head the embassy in Callindria in early 568. Since then, he has proven an extremely skilled diplomat, introducing Tierran courtly graces (as well as Tierran brandy) to the Callindrian court and winning the respect of both the Kauronna and the Orodini.

Tropes:
The Chessmaster
Dangerously Genre Savvy
Non-Action Guy
Reasonable Authority Figure



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 Post subject: Zeth Character 1/3
PostPosted: 30 Jan 2012, 11:58 
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Name: Guy Martin Leicester d'al Mhedilles ae Estez, Sub-Lieutenant, Royal Marine Brigade (Guy d'al Estez, shortened)
Theme Song
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Tierran
Age: 22 years (b. 24 Megalío OIE549)
Appearance:
Image

Guy is a decently handsome young man, though perhaps his face is a bit too narrow and his nose and chin a mite too large. Nobody knows where he gets them, and more than one person who believes they are good at judging heritage based on appearance have guessed he may just be Cunarian. Whenever this is brought up to Sofia and Echert d'al Estez, they become curiously quiet, and Echert's right eyebrow raises about as far as Sofia's gaze shifts to the side. Guy avoids brooding on this conspicuous peculiarity. People say he has his father's eyes and his mother's hair, but then, a lot of people have blue eyes and sandy brown hair. He does brood about many things from time to time though, and perhaps the first few lines in his brow and his alternately mildly sceptical, inquisitive or almost-but-just-short-of-poker-face expressions can be attributed to such.

Guy is of above average height (5'11”/1.8m), and appears every bit of it because of his generally good posture: straight back, chin up when in the presence of higher authority to show respect; straight back, chin up when in the presence of social sub-ordinates to lead by example. This is, of course, only an ideal, and Guy fails as often as he succeeds.

Apparel:
On duty (most of the time), Guy wears the standard uniform of his position as an officer of the Tierran Marines. Burnt Orange coat with a white sash running from his right shoulder to his left waist and around his back to meet the shoulder again. A single epaullette and a bicorne hat to match it all. While serving as an ensign aboard the HMS Unthinkable, it was customary for any such personnel to serve barefoot, so asto find purchase on the smooth timber decks pitching about. Guy hated that. Now that he's stationed on land, he much appreicate the hobnailed jackboots assigned as part of the uniform.

When not on duty, Guy...kinda dresses like an over-privilaged clerk. A white, light fabric shirt that can be closed or opened near the top and tucked into a pair of belted brown breeches. A suede vest with many buttons down the front is typically over the shirt. Sometimes there is a cravat, sometimes there is not. When intending to go out, he will don a pair of black, soft leather boots and add his sword and pistol to his belt, and then grab a frock cutaway in a curve away from the waist to the rear. The colour of his preferred frock (he has two) is a brown-tainted red (red being a colour of Redmarch, from whence the Estezs come) with a wide black collar, folded. Brass buttons and only a little bit of gold-coloured trim (he doesn't prefer any great deal of detail on his outerwear; it's fancy enough being an unfaded colour in his mind).

Guy has been known to carry a smallsword gifted to him by his great uncle, Aeric Sígmond d'al Estez, a small, simple knife, and often a flintlock pistol as well.
Also given to him by his great uncle Aeric and that Guy frequently carries on his person is a thin book—Statements on a Perspective of War—written by Aeric. Guy has always appreciated the work (even if it was not a success), but moreso now than he did, because he does consider it rather comprehensive in scope—a quality he now greatly admires and does his best to cultivate. He has committed many of the actual statements and corollaries to memory, and makes it a point to apply them in his life. In this small, thin, leather bound booklet is a small picture of Caroline Eudilles, his fiancée. It is a high quality image in full colour on a piece of stiff parchment. It was made by a friendly sort of elf that Caroline and Guy encountered disembarking an ES&S ship once, and was possible to make only because the dyes on the parchment were still very fresh. Guy does not understand exactly how it works, which he doesn't mind because he doubts he would have the talent to do it well himself anyway, even if he had a reason other than Caroline to expend the time and effort in scrawling out the spells. And it would require many, specific spells. It is a very detailed work. He also knows nothing about dyes, so...yeah.

Social Station:
Upper Class, no doubt about it, being the son of the primary owner of the largest shipping company operating between Takara and Tierra. He is second cousion to petty nobility (Charles Elbret d'al Estez, Baron Redmarch)

Bane Calibre:
Though not of the main branch of the family that holds the title (next in line to receive the title of Baron Redmarch after the current Charles Elbret d'al Estez is his son, Elbret Sígmond—Guy's endearing yet mischievous 10 year old cousin), Guy is of a noble house, and is baneblooded. He is designated as second calibre, but is not particularly adept in the use of magic, by his own admission.

Political Alignment:
Tierra first, ES&S second, in theory. Whomever Tierra tells him to support, he most likely will without any qualms unless it conflicts with his principles and allegiances. He is loyal, but he is not blind, basically. To this point he's never been presented with an obvious conflict, and so has never had reason to be anything but obedient.

Occupation:
Guy has served in varying capacities during his time aboard the ships captained by Jaimes Hunter (mostly administrative and command), but as far as his career in the Tierran military is concerned, he has served as an ensign of the colours at sea in the past, and has now been made a Sub-Lieutenant and posted to the Tierran Embassy in Callin's Glory. This is his first assignment as a Sub-Lieutenant.

Weapons Proficiency:
As far as combat is concerned, Guy would rank his own abilities with weapons he is familiar with as: capable with the axe and pike, proficient with a musket and bayonet, but much superior with pistols and swords (speciality: cutlass).
Pike: Very Poor
Axe: Poor
Bayonet: Fair
Musket: Good
Pistol: Very Good
Sword: Exceptional

Titles:
Sub-Lieutenant of the Tierran Marines of the Royal Guard of the Tierran Embassy at Callin's Glory on the behalf of His Majesty, King Alaric I of the House of Rendower, King of Tierra; of the House Estez of Redmarch.

Living Family:
Limited Family Tree Version 1.2[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]I didn't bother to list all the connections coming off the Estez ladies who married into other families (or even their husbands, save Hector Armont, just 'cause--unrelated to Cata's char unless he wants it to be) because frankly if I kept going, we'd be here theoretically indefinitely. The archipelago is not a huge place. Nor is the Infinite Sea, for that matter.

Personality:
Being somewhat unsure of himself recently, Guy has a tendency now to be overly sceptical of romantic perspectives on the world, though he still firmly believes the world would be a better place if only those romantic ideals could be realised. But they likely never will. Sullenly disillusioned would be an apt summation of his demeanour in general. As a result, he does his best to be the most capable and agreeable person he can be, but occasionally struggles when met with instances that conflict with some of his more reactionary core principles such as it being very important to learn all that you possibly can and use your knowledge to look at the world from a holistic perspective, rather than a narrow view that excludes outside influences on events and actions. This is not to say that he himself does not succumb to this.

All things considered, Guy tries to be the best person he can be by what he perceives to be general social consensus, and tries rather hard to fight a certain gullibility that he blames his earlier misconceptions upon. Honour is appreciable, but not always attainable to produce a result that will do the most good for the most people. Politeness is very important, even if you don't particularly like someone, but this doesn't preclude the dropping of hints. Politeness is, after all, merely a social construction, and should not impede the preservation and progress of the society that supports it. And most of all, courage is far more important than bravery. This last fact is perhaps the most the most vital to Guy's self-concept, as he has found that his desires for self-preservation and societal-betterment do not always agree. He has what you may call a nervous streak. To his credit, he does an exemplary job in obscuring that fact. Most people would never even guess the Hero of the Unthinkable was able to scream like a little girl, and indeed, he has effectively squelched that tendency. Fear nowadays is more of failure than it is of the actual processes, for if he fails in what he sets out to do, then the process was pointless, and nobody gains anything (except, perhaps, knowledge of how not to do something).

It says something about his character and skills, his tendency to carry a book about at times. Coming from a house so deeply engrossed in business, Guy is highly adept at reading, writing and figuring numbers, not to mention possessing of a very keen ability to efficiently organise things. A clerk he may never have wished to be, but the mind of one he certainly has. Besides being good at it, he has a tendency to want to keep things organised and reasonably clean (he is not a perfectionist). Aboard the Unthinkable, he was often jokingly called the Butler Ensign because of his eager attendance to his superiors and propensity to tidiness.

Biography: O lol.
Family History: Setting the Stage[spoiler]To fully understand Guy's outlook and perspective, one should begin with his his grandfather and the Tierran Succession Crisis of the OIE 520s. Guy's grandfather, Martin Kassan d'al Estez, was a successful businessman in trade and the industry of shipbuilding and repair with Estez Shipping and Shipworks (ES&S). He was also the younger brother of Aeric Sígmond d'al Estez, Baron Redmarch, who was also involved in the family company, of which he, as the then patriarch of the family, had primary control.

In the Succession Crisis, Aeric was unfortunate enough to back Edwin III against Edmund II, and was thus forced to prematurely relinquish his title to his oldest child, Sígmond Carles d'al Estez. Naturally unhappy with the arrangement—particularly due to the fact that Aeric disapproved of his son's contrary political opinions—the ex-Baron used his influence in the company to push his junior brother of 5 years, Martin, and his imminent branch of the family into primary ownership and senior authorship into his stead over his son. Though naturally the new Baron Redmarch, Sígmond, still had a high stake in the company, the political and capital elements of the family were effectively split at this time. Some years later, the split would be made still more obvious by a particularly lucrative business strategy made by Edwin's son, Prince Edmund III, who approached Martin d'al Estez and his nephew the Baron with the matter of ES&S becoming the “official pack mule,” as it were, between the Tierran and Takaran industries of particular interest to the governments of either nation. From Prince Edmund's perspective, ES&S was particularly suited to his plans, since its proprietors were quite Pro-Tierra (and the Baron was quite vocal about it, at least—less so Martin, who, although a pleasant, amiable man, was appreciative of what volumes a controlled flow of information could speak in and of itself), its senior operator had proven himself efficient, it was financially stable but not a household name, and with a noble family attached to it but not in primary control, was easily guided but divorced if necessary. Not that he was particularly dubious of ES&S—Edmund was simply an intelligent man.

Meanwhile, no longer politically relevant or titled, nor actively involved in business matters, Aeric d'al Estez penned his Statements on a Perspective of War as an attempt to supplement the relatively meagre accommodations made for him by Sígmond. The work was a failure in the Tierran archipelago. It would later receive some modest attentions from certain circles of Antari and Takaran nobility, but in Aeric's own era, the only notable persona of whom it would garner attention was another businessman: Bernherd Dekkir. Dekkir, a Takaran merchant working for the shipping company Acheliea Commodities and Trade (AC&T) who had purchased an Estezan constructed ship hastily after losing one of his own Takaran crafted vessels in unexplained mishap, expressed approval of a manuscript in the possession of Martin while brokering a deal for the two replacement ships. Sígmond was quick to push the potential friendship, and introduced his father to the Takaran merchant so as to cultivate a healthy business relationship with Dekkir's affluent shipping company, which he hoped would increase his political relevance. Hindsight being twenty-twenty, it was a naïve manoeuvre and a gamble, as executed by the well-intentioned and ambitious Baron, but would prove to be beneficial in the long run when played by a steadier hand.

About the same time that Aeric Sígmond d'al Estez died, primarily due to old age and abuse of a very simple but elegant pipe, a stroke soon halted any of his son, the Baron's, efforts at ingratiating himself with any and all higher political circles. All but entirely disabled at a premature age, Sígmond Carles d'al Estez's title and administrative responsibilities within Estez Shipping and Shipworks effectively if not actually passed to his more content and self-sufficient son, Charles Elbret d'al Estez. Charles successfully marginalised any sway that more dubious nobles and businesses may have acquired on the rather small scale politics that a Baron was apt to be playing a hand in (and which in Charles' opinion were too petty to warrant significant expenditure upon) thanks to his father's tangled and aimless political web weaving. To a great degree this was accomplished by a great poker-face and the firm understanding of a businessman's mind that is usually reserved for confidence men and storybook agents of espionage, and occasionally businessmen themselves if they're good.

Prince Edmund became King Edmund about this time, and Sígmond Carles died very soon after from a second stroke. Under the joint leadership of the now Baron Redmarch Charles Elbret d'al Estez and his ageing uncle Martin d'al Estez, ES&S joined the ranks of the largest and most affluent of the Tierran Archipelago's commercial trading companies by ways of...“reaffirming” was the King's word for it, if recalled correctly—ES&S's trade agreement with the Takaran and Tierran governments. Trade with Takara to the south exploded, and ES&S ships became an evermore increasingly common sight between Tierra proper in the archipelago to Callindria and on to Varsovia. As the company approached its zenith, Martin Kassan d'al Estez passed away at the ripe age of 73. His son, Echert Guy d'al Estez, was given his old position jointly with Baron Redmarch. It is currently a very good time to be of House Estez. Politically favoured by the ruling regimes of two nations on the Infinite Sea (at least one of them a setter of international norms, nonetheless), taking in money by the bucket load from the industries of either nation and key in the...shall we say information trade. (You may note the rather indiscreet delicacy with which this biography dances about references to a certain necessary exercise in statecraft. Oh yes. Aren't you clever? No, not particularly. But yes, if it makes you feel good.)[/spoiler]
We shall at this time introduce Guy Martin d'al Estez, the son of Echert Guy d'al Estez and his lovely wife Sofia Maria née Mhedilles d'al Estez. Guy was raised by a family fully expecting his entry into the family business to be an uneventful and smooth event, and for him to be the hair's-width-off-image of his father Echert, much as was said of Echert and Martin before him. Guy was never particularly opposed to this eventuality, but the fate of a very rich and extremely well connected upbringing meant books and scrolls. Well, the ability to read said books and scrolls from a relatively early age, more relevantly. And books and scrolls meant history and fantasy. Fantasy at this time being more along the lines of “we shall henceforth omit all the bits of history we deem as unnecessary to understanding the current balance of power because they do not immediately portend to be powerful in and of themselves” (Garrowforth's Takara and the Kian: An Unstoppable Cannonball Meets an Unmovable Hull, Foreword, page II). Guy likes to think he was more gullible at that point in his life (indeed, in retrospect, Garrowforth had an excellent understanding of the repercussions of martial conflict in regards to other such conflict for the same cause, but literally no idea why they should arise in the first place, much like a dog who understands that his eight year old master feeds him sprouts most generously, doesn't know why, and happily doesn't care), and reflects often on the rash romantic outlook he developed as a result. Sitting behind a desk or even captaining a vessel that did nothing but haul casks and trunks and barrels and crates back and forth on the same routes over and over again simply did not appeal to his desire for adventure.

He began accompanying one of his father's most favoured captains, Jaimes Hunter, in preparation for the latter anyway. He had an official position in the company and on the crew, but he's since forgotten what title it liked to bandy and prefers to simply think of it as it was: general assistant to the captain and impromptu accountant or first mate when needed. The latter two rarely were. ES&S runs a tidy operation. Then Guy met Caroline. Caroline is the daughter of a high ranking clerk in ES&S's larger port office on Tierra. Without going into details over the sprouting and blossoming of their friendship (you are the nosey one): the two were very taken with each other. As for Caroline, her father was overjoyed that someone of such privilege and standing had interest in his daughter (who was of either the fortune or misfortune of being of a particular heritage). Echert was accepting. On one condition. It would be unacceptable in the senior Estez's eyes for a son of his to marry without having achieved some sort of career over which a wife could dote. Guy was not upset; this would merely be a chance to indulge his [then] still romantic take on the world and return—accomplished and at peace with the wicked but wonderful world outside his home—to a fiancée eager to be swept up in his arms and live happily ever after with contained little firebrands for children possessed of a Takarablade-sharp wit.

Guy began his military career as an Ensign on a bought commission out of a desire to see more adventure than he would as a merchant captain or clerk at one of the home offices of ES&S. He was promptly scared so nearly mindless that his one notable feat was more the result of ingrained desire operating his mindless body. It occurred somewhat by accident, was achieved mostly by chance, and was entirely accredited to Guy Martin d'al Estez's bravery and wit in the thick of battle, even if it had to be admitted that said bravery and wit was somewhat offbeat and...unique. (First-hand witnesses and cohorts attest that throughout his taking up of his commanding officer's arms and leading the taking of the enemy's ship, Guy d'al Estez must have been followed by a stowed-away little girl, who was shrieking in terror the entire time.) Scared clean into buying one commission higher to Sub-Lieutenant so as to be a little more than a very well-marked, un-armed target, Guy has currently been preoccupied with reconciling his apparently great abilities with his clearly lacking motives. His assignment to the Tierran Embassy Guard at Callindria is his first as a Sub-Lieutenant.

Caroline Eudilles: The Fiancée[spoiler]Caroline Eudilles is the daughter of Stevan and Callia Eudilles. And it is from here that we see the start of Caroline's fortunate or unfortunate heritage.

Long story short, it actually begins with her grandmother. Her grandfather found himself heavily enamoured with a certain young lady working at a pub, with her pale skin, strong if thin figure and golden hair. He was not deceived by the way she always let her hair out and fall around her shoulders to hide her ears—it was pretty obvious to anyone (even if they were dull enough not to notice that the ears were always covered) why she was working as a table scrubber and server at a none-too-high-reputed tavern when she was such a beautiful—and clean—woman. Emelie Horfano (her surname was, in fact, merely a pet name) had the misfortune of being half elf by an unknown father and a “woman of ill-repute” as some may say. Some may have found it somewhat surprising that she was even working that job. Luckily, so many pints of ale and beer had the tendency to make one not notice if the lady serving was an elf (or hafelven) or not, merely that she was as pretty as one, and while the dubious proprietor of the establishment may have been more or less permanently trapped to the current brand of clientèle, he was not, in fact, a savviless idiot. A pretty girl could sell more...uh, well, sell more of lots of things, and an occasional brawl begun over her pushing a patron a little too eager for her to pull back her hair into another's drink would result in only a little extra cleaning work and lots of free publicity.

In any case, Emelie soon had a real surname. Emelie would have two children, a boy and a girl, whom she was quite happy to remain at home and raise herself while her husband was out on the seas earning his first mate's salary. She had been removed from the setting where everyone knew who and from whence she was, and when she needed to go out it was briefly and with a bandanna and hair obscuring her ears and looser-than necessary clothes. There wasn't much else to be done, but of those few friends she developed, they got to know her before they ever had the chance to confirm their suspicions. In any case, she was very content with a quiet life about the home. It was much the same for her quarterelven son and daughter. The daughter, Callia, however, would in time come to marry a certain clerk with whom her father had interactions with on occasion in a company he came to work for, Stevan Eudilles. Stevan has been working for ES&S essentially his entire life, being the son of Inigo Eudilles, an honest sailor who worked his way up through the ranks of the trading company's labouring men until he found himself a first officer by merit, much like Callia's own father. Though Stevan and Callia were in no way opposed to having children, they in no way planned for it either. As a result, Caroline, as they called their little girl with the chestnut coloured hair and the barely squared bump on her ears, is an only child. Eager to give Caroline an easier time of life in the Infinite Sea, her parents had the tiny remaining bump that was the most evidence of her elven side (other than simply being very very pretty—duh) shaved gently while she was still just a toddler, over a matter of months.

Caroline spent a great deal of time accompanying her father to his work, where he would spend countless hours writing all sorts of letters and numbers on all manner of papers, weighing small packages, melting wax and stamping, tying things with twine that ended in complex knots with simply bows and other such things which generally fascinated smaller children because of the hurried manner in which they were done and the engrossing manner in which they were poured over, rather than for what they actually were. When home with her mother, Caroline would often bring home her father's work with her, as it were; often writing down the symbols she would see her father pouring over when with him, and adding them together on her own.

In time, her father and mother would in fact teach her that A and 4 did not simply make % by virtue of having lines between them, and that T4|<4R4 |3Y I5.3 was not actually a sentence. In just a short time more, she actually became very good at both of these attempted products, and Stevan would often have an apologetic laugh explaining to his co-workers that he was indeed continuing to not read any of the books on finance, law and navigation that he was always borrowing. At home, Caroline didn't really give care what the newest book was about; she merely enjoyed devouring their contents for its own sake. This would have made her quite the peculiarity among the children her age and to their parents, but luckily, under the guidance of her long-suffering mother, Caroline became a very socially astute person. Indeed, it was merely the fact that so many people either suspected or were aware the she had to have some elf blood in her human veins (still judging partly by her appearance, although at only 12.5%—that's a recursive decrease of 50% each generation after purity by the way—elf, this was the sort of thing people would wrinkle their brow over and wobble their hand at; “well she is striking, but...”) that kept her from having far more potential suitors at her beck and call, despite her lack of enormous dowry or generally “pleasant plumpness.”[/spoiler]Much Abbreviated Timeline[spoiler]488
Sotrano - Aeric Sígmond d'al Estez is born.
493
Sueláne - Catalina Maria née d'al Estez Cearleon is born (senior twin).
Sueláne - Martin Kassan d'al Estez is born (junior twin).
512
Megalío - Sígmond Carles d'al Estez is born to Maria née Caliena and Baron Redmarch Aeric d'al Estez.
523
Suelío - Echert Guy d'al Estez is born to Penelopé née Cruez and Martin d'al Estez.
529
Isabella Cosella née d'al Estez is born to Penelopé née Cruez and Martin d'al Estez.
530
Baron Redmarch Aeric Sígmond is forced to relinquish his title to his son, Sígmond Carles, as well as his position in Estez Shipping and Shipworks (ES&S). Before the edict is affected, the Baron surrenders senior authorship of ES&S to his younger brother Martin.
534
Charles Elbret d'al Estez is born to Helena née Gaigns and Sígmond d'al Estez.
537
Statements on a Perspective of War is completed as a first manuscript.
539
Bernherd Dekkir is impressed by Statements on a Perspective of War, purchases an d'al Estezan-built ship.
545
Prince Edmund, son of King Edwin III, approaches Martin d'al Estez and Baron Redmarch Sígmond with the offer to approach the Takaran Embassy in Tierra at his behest and request ES&S become the primary shipping and trade liaison between the two nations.
547
Edmund ascends to the throne of Tierra as King Edmund III. The King requests that ES&S approach the Takaran government a second time with offer of facilitating their information network. Takara acquiesces, and as a result, find it in their best interests to allow ES&S trade and shipping vessels travelling between territorial waters (i.e. nearly any/all of them) to be armed and maintained for the protection of their assets. ES&S profits soar, and the fleet becomes one of the largest on the Infinite Sea.
548
Megalío – Guy Martin d'al Estez is born to Sofia née Mhedilles and Echert d'al Estez.
557
Aeric Sígmond d'al Estez dies at age 68, two weeks from his 69th birthday.
Baron Redmarch Sígmond Carles d'al Estez suffers a severe stroke, leaving him disabled. His son, Charles Elbret d'al Estez assumes his position and duties. Is a good deal more astute and successful.
558
Sígmond Carles d'al Estez dies of a second stroke at age 46.
564
Guy d'al Estez begins serving primarily under Captain Jaimes Hunter, a veteran naval and merchant captain, and trusted friend of his father's.
566
Martin Kassan d'al Estez dies at age 73
568
Guy d'al Estez is assigned to be the new ensign of the colours aboard the Tierran Naval Vessel HMS Unthinkable.
569
An altercation with an Antari vessel leads to Guy's accidental fame amongst those who hear the story or saw him play a critical role against superior odds in taking the Antari ship. Some months later, Guy purchases a new commission as a sub-lieutenant.
570
Sub-Lieutenant Guy Martin, baneblooded of House Estez, receives his first assignment with his new ranks serving under Hector at the Tierran Embassy at Callin's Glory, Callindria.[/spoiler]
Tropes:[spoiler]-Cowardly Lion (played literally and to the letter.)
-Cower Power
-Dramatic Stutter
-Potentially Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe. We don't know, but there may be an Implied Answer.
-Emerging Knight in Sour Armour, very softcore at this point in time.
-You Are In Command Now; subverted aboard the HMS Unthinkable. Ensign Estez is never in charge, but he takes the lead and sweeps the day.
-What, Exactly, Is His Job? while working under Captain Hunter of Guy's daddy's company. (His job, of course, was whatever Hunter wanted him to do and could have him do without getting in a bind with his boss.)
-Weapon Jr. is somewhat subverted, since, Guy is given a sword by his great Uncle Aeric at age 13, but doesn't really learn how to use it properly until at the very least 16, and that's no mastery. 6 years from then, the shortsword that was gifted is his Weapon of Choice and he's not bad. Not bad at all.
-Owing to conflict between values his formerly gullibly naïve romantic perspective instilled and the reality of the world, will inevitably face the decision To Be Lawful or Good.
-The Magazine Rule. Subverted in that Statements On a Perspective of War is one book, not a subspcription of magazines.
-Regularly tells other to Think Nothing Of It because he is a Humble Hero.
-Is sometimes perceived by subordinates (and the occasional superior) to be Super OCD and the Perfectionist. Isn't, but may be a Neat Freak.
-Iconic Items. Besides his Weapon of Choice (above), the book his Great Uncle wrote and a picture of his fiancée.
-He seems to evolve Survival Mantras when needed.
-Skilled, but Naïve
-Sarcasm-Blind and Cannot Convey Sarcasm. Often, but not always. Not for lack of trying.
-He is never allowed by others to forget his one-off as a Screaming Warrior, but not the kind you're thinking of. Subversively crossed with Screaming Woman.
-Is baneblooded, but Not That Kind of Mage.
-Not So Weak
-The enlisted men must admit (if begrudgingly) he's Not Bad.
-Nice To The Waiter
-Misery Builds Character
-Recently acquired Jade-Colored Glasses because for inhabitants of the Infinite Sea, it may simpy be that it is In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves. Conjunctively Grew A Spine.
-I Am What I Am. Actually, his fiancée Is What She Is.
-Has his own Guilty Pleasures, if you care to poke around.
-Can't remember Great Uncle Aeric without that Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe.
-Determined Expression. Oh he has one somewhere.
-Attempted Consummate Professional, with hit and miss success.
-Character Development. It's basically his purpose.
-Apologises a Lot[/spoiler]



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Cataphrak has given me leeway to post some supplemental information that I helped him fill out a little bit and that I thought may come in handy to help people grasp the concept of time, age and history in the Infinite Sea, so I am.

7.0 The Tierran Calendar
The Tierran Calendar is used throughout the archipelago of human kingdoms south of Antar and north of the Kian. It uses a twelve month cycle that begins and ends in the middle of summer. Each month is 30 days, and does not lose time through continuous use, owing to the fixed state of the Infinite Sea, resulting in every year being 360 days, without fail.
In Tierra, the months are as follows:

Original Literal Translation - Current Name

Greatsun - Megalío
Stormsun - Suelío
Stormwind - Sueláne
Darksky - Sotrano
Darksea - Sosslása
Greensea - Prásslása
Firstrain - Probrocé
Kindrain - Albrocé
Kindstorm - Ataiyal
Quicksea - Grelása
Calmsea - Irslása
Gentlesky - Aparno

The 1 year > 12 months > 30 days calendar structure is descended from the old Calligian calendar system, and is used, with differing names and baseline points for the year not only in the human populated Archipelago with the Tierran dominated form, but also in Takara and Antar.

7.1 Baselines for Tierran Year Dates
In the immediately relevant past and future, there are two baselines for figuring the date present in the human archipelago kingdoms.

The first is the Old Imperial Era (OIE), which begins at the establishment of the Antari Octovian Empire under Stanislaus. At the present, this system is used throughout the archipelago, both in Tierra and Callindria and elsewhere. It is the current standard. The current year date according to this baseline is OIE 570.

The second calendar system baseline is the Aetorian Dynastic Calendar (ADY for Aetorian Dynastic Year). This originates with the foundation of the Aetorian dynasty's supremacy over the Tierran throne. Seeing as Tierra is a relatively small power that has not held hegemony over many other former sovereignties, this is very much a Tierran convention at this point in time. That is not to say that nations outside Tierra don't know of its existence, but unless they have some sort of direct contact with Tierran dominated activities, it's unlikely that they would be familiar with it, or even know the current year. The current year date according to this baseline is ADY 91.

Something unrelated but also worth noting is that Cata's given me the go ahead to develop the Takaran language as I see fit, so, if you find yourself playing an elf... Watch me. Ask me questions. Debate with me, do not argue with me. I hold decision power, and Paul over me.



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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 03:31 
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Alright, I'm giving you guys a week to make your profiles. RP starts on the 7th, with or without you.



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 03:55 
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I think I might have to bow out of this one for now. I can't say I can spare the brainstorm to write a proper character at this point, and it would be better to come up with something good later than to half ass something right now. Sorry >_<


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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 05:40 
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Signups are always open if you wanna join in later.



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
-Tyrion Lannister, A Clash of Kings


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 Post subject: Zeth Character 2/3
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Name: Claudia Serra
Theme Song - Actiony Alternate Espionage Theme
Most Frequent Aliases: f. “Maria Ferraro”; m. “Valerio”
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Callindrian (born in Callindria, anyway)
Age: 19 (b. 30 Grelása OIE550)
Appearance:
[I'll add a picture here as soon as I have it. Could be quite a while.]

Let's take a description from Claudia's natural, undisguised appearance.

She has fairly average Callindrian features: oval-ish face and sorta squared-almond eyes. But what makes her really special is exactly the thing that makes her not very special at all. She is very androgynous. There was a time she was too young to really realise what it meant—she just looked like she looked, just like you or anybody else does—but now she realises exactly how lucky she is to have the face and figure she does in her line of...work. Indeed, she doubts her more naïve disguises that she started out with would have ever worked out if she weren't as she were, and then it would have been a much harder life for Claudia.

She has a straight shaped body with about equally spaced hips and shoulders, and her face is just a mite wider than average, she would guess, which makes it easier to play with some cosmetic effects on her too-round-to-be-male-too-square-to-be-female jawline to sway the gendered perceptions of her audiences. Her eyes and hair are a medium shade of brown, and she almost always keeps her hair short and cut like a boy. Every once in a great while she'll let it grow out if she plans on playing more cons and female roles than thefts/heists and male roles. She is about 162.5 cm / 5' 4" when barefoot and has a lightly tanned tone to her skin, which has been a further discouragement to her attempting to impersonate the highest classes in society. She probably could obscure it, but it's a bit more of a challenge than the potential loot is usually worth to her.

Apparel:
Claudia's apparel is far too diverse to nail down a specific wardrobe that is “Claudia.” That having been said, on the occasion that she needs to lay low for a while or maybe once in a (great) while gets to relax, she prefers men's attire. That having been said, it's not really acceptable for a young (or any) lady to go strutting around in unfeminine garb in her society, so she typically keeps her already modest chest bound and wears loose-ish shirts. Keeps her hair short, but frequently wears a hat anyway to help obscure her face more when needed.

Also of note would be one in particular of her thief disguises. Her primary persona as a thief—and persona would be correct word for it—is the one she calls Valerio. Now, Claudia is a realist. Definitely. For sure. But she does like to entertain certain states of mind for different personae. It's ultimately what enables cons to work at all; not just acting like but inhabiting a different person. It carries between her work. And Valerio is a character. He does like to think of himself as one of those rare gentlemen thieves. And he dresses as such. A proper, though worn, frock coat with an intense, dark blue colour that fits a mite more snugly than Claudia typically cares for, soft, black leather boots and thick tights with a seam running along the outside of the legs—similar to riding breeches, actually. Claudia wouldn't know how to classify them, exactly. The first time Valerio pulled a job, he wore a smart hat with a huge brim and a feather. That had been a mistake. Claudia wonders sometimes about the fate of that hat, left behind in a botched exit from a window. Valerio has similar hat now—it's black with a grey feather and has a gash in the brim near the back—but it's more of a show thing to impress fences. It's easily identifiable, so it rarely gets the dust shaken off it more than two or three times a year. Claudia has considered getting rid of it many times, but...well surely she could use it more if she got off this tiny island, right? Keep it rolled up in the pack for now; that's a good girl.

Social Station:
Underclass, technically, though she's imitated a number of other classes. She rarely, if ever attempts impersonating nobility or even the uppermost class. Lives a life that straddles the fence between Lower Class and Middle Class.

Bane Calibre: Claudia had no idea. Zero? It's not like she's of noble blood or anything even remote, so far as she knows.

Political Alignment: None

Occupation: Confidence Man/Woman and Thief

Weapons Proficiency:
Dagger [Speciality: Dirk] – Very Good
Throwing Knife – Fair
Sword – Poor

Titles:
None in reality. Has claimed a few from time to time.

Living Family:
Perhaps her mother? Perhaps her father?
Unknown.

Personality:
Who is Claudia without one of her personae? Well, a little bit like all of them in one package, but at the same time not really like any of them. It's mostly a difference of inner person and outer person. In her head, Claudia retains a great deal of vivacity, melancholy, seriousness, clownishness—basically any trait you can think of, appropriately applied to what situations she is confronted with. But honestly, who doesn't have all these traits in their mind? The difference is what gets out. As for Claudia...she, herself doesn't get out much. When she does, she's usually rather quiet and subdued. Not shy, but not really assertive either. If she has something to say, rather than interrupt with a loud voice, she would prefer to wait until others are through speaking and then state her peace with a steady voice that strikes one as being neither particularly strong nor soft spoken. She smiles, she frowns, but neither with great force.

Perhaps most easily stated: she's average. She is very very average. And that's what you'd expect from a person like her, isn't it? She can see many different perspectives (though she wouldn't be so bold as to say all sides—she knows better) on the same thing, and so she tends to walk to the middle of the road; this is reflected in her behaviour. She is a great compromiser when she needs to be, and is very patient. She has incredible self-control and self-awareness and is extremely honest with herself about herself.

Of course, she's also great at not being herself.

Biography:
Claudia isn't particularly accustomed to being referred to by her real name. This is, of course, assuming it is her real name. In all honesty she could claim any name as her real name, since it's not as if it was ever written down anywhere, and it's not like she has any family around to enforce it. She was born to a prostitute in Callin's Glory and raised briefly by said prostitute before finding her place more often in the hands of an ageing innkeeper and his wife than her birth mother’s, since her birth mother was hardly the type to be any mother at all. She had probably even had a child or two before Claudia—no telling really. Claudia isn't too attached to her, which is good because Claudia has no idea where she is now. Not anywhere in the old slum, that's for sure. Maybe she died from one of those nasty little sores or got lucky and skipped out on a ship to some city far away where she could be a mistress to some noble (uh-huh).

In any case, Claudia's been on and off the streets for her entire life, more or less. The “off the streets” part being more like taking advantage of a spare room at an inn like what those who let her make beds and wash sheets when she was just a tiny little girl had. But she was dead set on never being like her mother, that was for sure. Claudia's philosophy? Never let someone take something from you of equal or greater value in exchange for giving you something. That's no way to make profit. No, instead, you always need to be taking the thing of greater value in exchange for giving something of lesser value. That's essentially the definition of profit, eh? It was something Claudia picked up on pretty quick, given she hated the concept of turning labour into coin at the inn. From an early age she was in contact with all manner of Callindria's low lives and thugs and even the occasional criminal who fancied himself the gentleman thief. Those last ones tended to travel a good bit and were few and far between, but naturally, they were the charismatic and Claudia always wanted to be like them as a little girl.

It goes without saying that she never could be a “gentleman thief,” if such was even really option for your aspiring Callindrian peasant-class little girl. Doesn't it?
Maybe, maybe not. Claudia never bothered to pay attention.

The first skill she picked up was lock-picking. She mastered it easily because of the sheer number of doors on which she could practice around the inn. The inn had locks on the front and back doors, the pantry and to the stables around back. Truly a fortune in locks. This was after of course, that even the cursory provisions that the owning couple had made for Claudia had expired. (There was never a parent-child relationship, to be clear. The innkeepers more pitied her than anything and spared what they could for the girl who would sleep around their place.) One thing leads to another, and Claudia decided to try picking a lock that would get have greater consequences for having been picked than a yell and a knobbly fist shaken at “ya dang girl, make somethin uv yirself after 'll we did fir ya!” That was all she did; pick the lock.

She went back on a another night and picked it again. And that time she took something from the butcher's house.

Next came the confidence work. Claudia's a fairly migratory little imp. She doesn't have much use for fanciful items to lug around. What things like that she does have she'll stash in different places as she moves around Callindria, rarely staying one area more than a week, and never—after assuming her primary lifestyle—a full month. Oh she'll come back soon enough—Callindria's not all that large. But she'll make use of the different areas around each specific location, and combining that with a variety of different looks affected by skirts or breeches or powder or oils and so forth and so on, hopefully enough time will pass that she won't eve be recognised by the time she's spotted by the same victimised eyes again. In any case, she needed to sell the little things she'd take. But then you're going to need excuses as to how and why you have something. Oh sure, there are fences, but sometimes they just don't cut it. Or even when they do, you never can know when one'll get traced back to by some nobleman who sees that his grandmother's necklace on Mrs. Ecloir's neck. (That had been a pretty ugly affair for the fence, so she understands, but luckily the fence only knew Claudia as “the skinny bloke wot 'ad the big 'at and the dirdy meed'm-brown hair 'n' callt isself V'lario”.)

One thing leads to another, and hey: why not use that bag of tricks to just take money straight out rather than trading something for it behind a mask? That led to the confidence work. Indeed, most of that little roving stash that Claudia will hide when she settles down in a spot includes accessories and articles that she can use to make simple disguises for herself. She doesn't need that much, either. Just enough to give an impression, and then her speech and behaviour would do the rest.

For example:
It's true that, when not dressed to play a part, Claudia is a pretty plain looking young woman. It's like starting with a blank slate. Throw on a garish dress and stuff in the right amount of padding in the right areas and you've got yourself a pretty decent piece of bait for the errant soldier or sailor on leave with his month's pay and half a year's worth of...loneliness. Play your cards right, get him into a room and then knock him out with a bit of something you snitched from an apothecary you talked to the previous week while wearing a slightly-worn frock over your shirt and breeches and your hair tucked under a rough-looking tricorne hat after smearing some dark coloured...uh...stuff into it to change the colour. Sleeping like a baby, he won't miss his purse until he wakes up.
Or perhaps she did have something she'd taken from a house or business somewhere abouts. But it's not worth all that much. Or maybe it is worth exactly what you'd expect it to be, but you want more. Seems like a good time to try slipping into a marketplace dressed as a meek young man or girl looking to raise some money for their very sick mother after their father never came home. It was the last nice piece they had, so you best pay top dollar else you're just a horrible, horrible person.

The way she sees it, she goes through phases where the conwork will be her primary source of sustenance and then the theft will be. Do either too often or too predictably and people will be ever more alert to you. You have to give people enough time to get comfortably sloppy again. Time for that edge one acquires from being victimised to wear off again. “Victimised,” yes, Claudia always thought that was too strong a word. Re-appropriation of select goods would be more accurate.

But alas, as said, Callindria's a small place, and you can only circle 'round so many times before you exhaust your options. Now? Now she's having to press her feats of confidence and theft to greater and greater levels to avoid getting caught. More complex disguises, more tightly secured premises, and an awful lot of running. It's about time she make her way back to Callin's Glory and look to shipping out of the little island. After all, there is a great big sea out there, with plenty more marks to...uh...mark.

Tropes:
[To be added.]



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PostPosted: 04 Feb 2012, 21:06 
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Name: Joakim Westman

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Takaran Elf

Age: 125

Appearance:
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(Colouring: Pale blond hair, fair skin, blue eyes. In other words, a typical Takaran Elf.)

Apparel:
Everyday dress is generally smart but practical, and quite understated compared to that of many of the privileged members of Takaran society. Typically he wears breeches in a light, neutral colour, worn with long black or brown leather boots (of which he has numerous pairs in assorted styles), or, occasionally, black buckled shoes with white hose, and topped by a fine white silk or linen shirt and cravat, and a brightly coloured waistcoat. Over this ensemble he favours a frock coat or, when relaxing at home, a simple yukata. Should the weather be unduly cold, he has a dark cloak that he could wear over the coat, but Callindria's climate has rendered this item unnecessary so far.

On more formal occasions he replaces the frock coat with a double-breasted tailcoat, and finishes the ensemble with polished black Hessian boots. He also owns one very ornate red and gold embroidered suit, consisting of breeches, waistcoat and tailcoat, along with a matching bicorn hat, dating from one single occasion when he and his father were invited to a senate social event in recognition of their services to Takaran weapons crafting.

Lastly, when working at the forge, he wears simple work clothes of leather breeches and waistcoat, with a plain, open-necked linen shirt.

As one of the few swordsmiths with both the skills and the authorisation to forge the highly esteemed and sort after Takaran warblades he not surprisingly owns one himself: Blitzmitzei, which he wears on formal occasions or at other times when he feels the need (or desire) to impress. But, given their rarity and extremely high value, not to mention his specific responsibility for protecting those belonging to the embassy, he deems it inappropriate to carry the weapon around on a day to day basis. Instead, he often carries a self-made and -enchanted, smallsword, which he feels is less conspicuous. He also, of course, carries his trusty eating knife, once again made by himself to a standard far beyond that required for eating. Enchanted for strength, it makes a very useful back-up weapon. He possesses a dragonlock pistol but, because he finds wearing both a sheathed sword and a holstered gun, together with supplies of powder and ammunition, rather cumbersome he doesn't often carry both at the same time, usually favouring the sword over the pistol.

Social Station: Upper class

Bane Calibre: N/A

Political Alignment: Takaran

Occupation: Weapons intelligence and security for the Takaran embassy on Callindria. Swordsmith

Weapons Proficiency:
Sword: Good (Probably very good by human standards, given his elven speed and dexterity)
Pistol: Fair

Titles: Agent of the Sword Hunt. Master swordsmith

Living Family:
Irik Westman (Father, 262)
Adalia Westman (Mother, 256)
Angilika Bruen (Sister, 155)
Krista Suydman (Sister, 147)
Naumi Teglir (Sister, 140)

Personality:
Joakim is usally calm -natured and thoughtful. He likes to have time to think things over and rarely lets his heart rule his head (but it's not unheard of). He enjoys learning, and finding out about new things, sometimes to the point of appearing nosy (though this nosiness has stood him in good stead on more than one occasion). He is a diligent worker and considers it a matter of pride to do his best in all things.

He is outwardly sociable and can generally get on with most people - even humans, around whom he is easy-going and tolerant in the same slightly condescending way that an expert might feel at ease in the company of a novice, confident in the conviction of his own superiority. However, he doesn't form strong bonds easily and has few close friends. Even his ties to his family are more dutiful than emotional. He would like to marry one day, but so far has never met a woman he truly loved.

Joakim is proud to be Takaran and is loyal to his country (naturally - he'd hardly be employed in an embassy intelligence role if he weren't), but there are limits to that loyalty. He is not blindly patriotic: he serves his country because he believes it merits his loyalty, but if the government were to follow a path that he believed to be seriously morally wrong, he would not be afraid to reconsider his position.

In addition to a passion for anything to do with swords, and blades in general, Joakim has acquired his sister Naumi's interest in the culinary arts, and enjoys holding occasional small dinner parties. He also very much enjoys reading, both fiction and non-fiction, covering a wide variety of topics, and music (he can play the koto and has a good singing voice).

Biography:
Joakim was born the youngest of four, and the only son of swordsmith Irik Westman and his wife Naumi on the western side of Takara, where Irik ran a small but successful business forging swords and other bladed items, mainly for the local gentry. Little Joakim attended the local school where, in addition to the usual subjects you'd see in any human school, he began to learn the basics of manipulating the bane. Although no genius, he was a bright, hardworking boy, and did well in his studies, finding he had a particular flair for languages.

When he was old enough Joakim followed his father into the family business as an apprentice. His elder sister Krista also worked there, handling the accounts. (His eldest sister, Angilika, was already married and had emigrated to Butea with her husband, while the youngest of the three girls, Naumi, was engaged in the study of the culinary arts and the use if the bane in the preparation of dishes. She would later go on to establish a popular eating house that became well known for the quality of its cuisine.) Alongside his training as a swordsmith, Joakim was allowed day-release to continue his schooling , and he also began learning how to wield a blade, in addition to how to make one. Once he had completed his apprenticeship and the necessary years as a journeyman, Joakim's skills finally reached a standard that allowed him to be granted the title of Master Swordsmith.

Meanwhile, Irik's reputation had been growing and he was now regularly receiving orders from customers living in other parts of the island, who had heard of the quality of his blades. Consequently, once Joakim was fully qualified, Irik made the decision to leave the existing business under the management of a competent subordinate to continue to provide for the needs of the local population, and move with his family to Varsovia to be closer to most of the more prestigious customers, and found a second branch there. At the same time he promoted Joakim to junior partner in the company, now named Westman and Son. The new branch was an instant success and very quickly outstripped its parent out in the west in terms of sales and revenue. Initially Irik himself handled all commissions from the aristocracy and other high-class customers (and his reputation by now was such that he could command very high prices for his products), while Joakim dealt with orders from those less able, or willing, to pay inflated prices for a sword forged by a famous name. Meanwhile, the company built up a small workforce of smiths producing everyday blades for the common population. Much of the management of this subordinate workforce, and much of the training of apprentices also fell to Joakim. The crowning glory for Westman and Son came when they received a commission for a number of weapons from the office of one of the directors of Imperial Intelligence. Irik and Joakim, whose quality of workmanship was just as good as his father's even if he was less well-known, shared the work of crafting these blades.

It was during the time of this contract that Joakim spotted a member of the workforce acting suspiciously. Over the next few days he discreetly kept him under observation, finally following him at a distance when the man headed in the direction of the docks instead of towards his home, after he left work one evening. There, he spotted him meeting a stranger, in an isolated corner, and managed to get close enough to recognise that the language they were conversing in was Tierran, and the stranger had a distinctly Callindrian accent. Joakim immediately guessed that the employee was passing on information about the director's commission and the security arrangements for its protection (though no staff except Irik and Joakim themselves had access to the weapons themselves), and reported the incident to the authorities. Both conspirators were arrested and executed, the employee for treason and his partner (a tall human who had disguised himself well enough to pass for an elf in the dark) for espionage.

Westman and Son completed their task without further incident and life went back to normal. It was some time later that Joakim received some unexpected visitors. They were looking for a skilled swordsmith with good observational skills, who was also fluent in Tierran...

Tropes: To be added



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