In an interest to see how in depth people go with who their characters are, and to see how good of writers people are (I write for a living) I am starting this thread. If you ever wanted to give your character some background here is your chance.
I am Gabryal no Mandrake de Sansclair, and I am a Scion of Kushiel. I was the third son of the Chevalier Tristam de Sansclair and Celicia Shaharizi. Our home was a peaceful place, a coastal holding in southern Kusheth, in the beautiful nation of the people of Elua. I lived as most boys might I think, Kusheth is a hard land but not without it's beauty. I loved the sea, and often went sailing alone on my small skif, and I loved to ride looking forward to the days when the Tsingano would hold their horse fairs at the hippochamp. I dreamed a boys dreams, wishing to be at one time or another, a soldier, a sailor, a pirate, and all the other things a young boy dreams off. This ended when I was eight years old.
My family, while titled, was bereft of currency and in some debt as the lands of Sansclair were little more than a rock and surf, bringing in meagre funds for the support of the household, and my parents owed a supstantial debt to the Court of Night Blooming flowers, house Valerian had filed suit. It was thus as the youngest son that my indenture was sold to house Mandrake to cover the cost and my service to blessed Namaah began.
I am a Scion of Kushiel, blood as pure as any in the Duchy of Kusheth, and as I grew older my blood began to tell. I was trained in the ways of giving pain and humiliation to my clients, as well as all the things for which the Court of Night Blooming flowers is renowned. It was vogue amongst certain people to witness for their pleasure some of the atrocities reported, but unverified, of the Skaldi during the invasion of Waldemar Selig, so I was trained to sword and shield, the language of Skaldia, and how to deliver wounds that were not lethal but would appear so to the clients of house Mandrake. I make no boast but to say that learning to do this thing takes many more hours of training with the blade than is customary, perhaps even amongst the Casseline Brotherhood. The stories were all the same, innocent townsfolk being butchered and an innocent D'angeline maiden being ravaged. These last were supplied by House Valerian whose art is in the recieving of pain. It was in one such performance that I met eshva no Valerian.
Naamah grant pardon on me. She was beautiful, so small and delicate pale of skin with long auburn locks. She trembled to look upon me in my white wolfskin cloak that is said to have been the mark of the personal guard of Selig. I trembled inside to see it, and something inside me broke to see her fear. I wish now that I had not completed the performance, I wish now that I had blasphemy there and not subjected her to the humiliation of those people who had gathered to watch it. I wish many things, but I am a Scion of Kushiel, and my blood overwhelmed my pity. Blessed Naamah perhaps would understand, I for myself will gladly subject myself to Kushiel himself and demand my due from him when I reach the Terre d'Ange beyond the sky. For this thing alone in my life do I feel remorse.
House Mandrake benefitted greatly from my prescence, of all the performers of the reenactments, I was the most requested. However, from the day I met eshva my heart was as stone, and as patron gifts poured in I saved half of what I earned, and applied only half to my mark. I had it in mind then I think to buy her mark, but be that as it may I endured and my performances grew greater audiences, as I poured my longing into my art. Soon it was not two or three members of house Valerian that were my victims but twenty, and they went from being innocent townsfolk to soldiers . The blood stained the floors and patrons of a hundred or more threw their coins onto the floor at the end of each performance. I can only imagine what house Valerian thought of this, taking upon themselves the training of arms, and how to use them effectively and yet still yield. I imagine it was an interesting scene, but I shall never know.
The performances grew more diverse as time went on. I learned to shoot as an Arcadian to recreat the oft told rumour of the assassination of the murderers of Isabelle L'envers. I rode as a member of Prince Roland's company in the battle of three Princes, and as a member of the Black Shields in the Betrayal of Percy de Sommerville. I had not yet reached my twenty second year when my marque was complete.
It was then that the Dowayne of Mandrake house approached me asking my intentions. I think he expected me to stay, and I might have I think, having spent over half my life in the Halls of Mandrake House, if not for one memory nearly three years before of eshva no Valerian. I spent not another day there instead with twice again the money my marque had cost I left Mandrake house never to return.
I walked straight to Valerian house and requested an Assignation. I was well known to the Dowayne of that house, and I think I guess rightly that he was none to pleased to see me. The role of Valerian house in supplying my "victims" had brought them great wealth yes, but it had also lessoned their stature to that of an offshoot of Mandrake. Yet my coin was good and I requested eshva no Valerian for that very evening. I will admit I paced the floors in waiting, and when the time had come I was ushered into a pleasure room where in the center kneeling abeyant was eshva no Valerian.
She was as beautiful as I remembered, more so now. She looked up to me with clear green eyes and asked in a quiet voice with a hint of tremble to it.
"Good evening My Lord, what may I do for you this evening?".
My blood beckoned me, yet I recoiled from it and for the first time repulsion at what I was rose in me. I answered thusly.
"Only this, in repayment for the fear I gave you once long ago." And dropped the sack of coins next to her.
What she thought I do not know, but as I turned she spoke again this time with some small amazement and perhaps some indignation in her soft voice. "My Lord, I have waited for you these three long years, and you shall leave me now?" Naamah help me my heart so long of stone melted. I turned back to her and holding her to my chest I kissed her.
We spent that night together as people who have known each other all their lives, and indeed I still believe that, as Elua preached, "Love as thou wilt" so it is that love indeed is granted to those who seek it out. The next day I went with her to see her marque completed, and it was beautiful, of rose and thorn as it is said the Comtesse de Montreve had done, but with a tilt of gentleness that matched my darling's lovely spirit. My own marque, bearing depictions of war and weapons was a poor sight next to it, and I daresay that is how it should be.
When it was finished, I marveled at it and without thought I asked, "eshva no Valerian, will you consent to be my consort?" Her reply still to this day brings sunshine to my heart "It is for this, that Naamah blessed me My Lord". And so at the temple of Naamah we said our vows and afterwards prepared for the journey to Sansclair, purchasing traveling clothes and horses for us both, and taking her with me to the Smithy, as I had desire to again wear arms, for it seemed for the first time I had something to protect.
Here my new consort surprised me, asking in her soft voice if she might be allowed to have a pair of daggers such as noblemen, or Casseline might use. I smiled, not willing to deny her anything, and after some consernation the merchant indeed showed her sets of daggers, but I think that he believed it was a jest, as I did at least half. Needless to say we were both surprised to see her carefully testing the weight of each and flicking one up to catch it by the blade burying it a good two inches into the wood frame of the wall. I never did ask where she learned the skill, but I think she must have picked it up on her own while in Valerian house, where knives of all sorts are part of the accoutrement therein.
We had an uneventful journey, we talked and loved one another and it remains the happiest time of my life. We set out through Siovale intending to take ship up the coast to Sansclair. The ship was small but was not intended for long voyages, as this was not such. I never saw the storm coming, and I had lived on the sea in my youth, yet never such a fierce storm has blown I think. It was four days in passing and the three sailors on the ship were all blown overboard. On the fifth day, I knew not where we were, and could not get bearing by the stars that night, what's more the wind it seemed blew only in a westerly direction, and the currents also, and even if I could have rowed against them, our oars had long ago been blown overboard.
Eshva was a model of calm through it all, helping me as she may, and in her quiet way revealed the sterner stuff of which she was made. Ten days after we had left Siovale, it was she that spotted land.
"My Lord? What land is that?"
"Avallone" I breathed, for both in Scaldia and in Alba they speak of the lost continent to the west. So it is that we reached the city of Randol, in the land of Juno, the western part of Avallone, whom the men and creatures deemed mere fantasy in Terre d'Ange called Fey or Elves, called Iris, and also where we were caught up in the war brewing there...
Love is one of the most difficult things in life, and like all things difficult is the most valuable thing to have.
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