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RPG-D Swords of Speirling

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    Vorian Brightstone

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    sub_rosa
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    Vorian Brightstone

    Post by sub_rosa on Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:22 pm


    Faceclaimed: Alan Rickman

    Name: Vorian Brightstone

    Titled Name: N/A

    Age: 45

    Personality: As a youngster Vorian was an unmotivated and apathetic boy with a predisposition for sloth. When it suited him he was gladly curious and inquisitive but such instances were rarely for any productive purpose. The constant teasing he endured from his elder siblings made him easy to irritate and provoke into anger, but he never physically lashed out unless he was accosted first. Vorian frequently shapes his behavior to fit the situation, and as a boy he found it easy to be comfortable in a crowd. The young man had such grand dreams: knighthood, marriage to a properly noble or high born wife, children...

    As a member of the Night’s Watch, Vorian has grown in some ways into a very different man. The dangers of living so close to the Wall have taught him to be diligent and passionate about his life, lest it be taken away from him. Crowds no longer provide comfort; they are hazards best handled with the utmost vigilance. Vorian’s demeanor is best described as cold and rigid, and he does not always require being amidst a group to behave this way. Debt also makes him uncomfortable and he will seek to settle the matter as quickly and adequately as possible. He is no longer easy to provoke... but be wary: his tempter is hot, yet quiet. When his self-restraint snaps he will strike and it will not be a pretty thing to behold.

    Vorian carries himself with as much dignity as he can muster. Nothing frustrates him more than being dependent upon others or the inability to be independent. He appears to derive a sense of self-righteousness in being a Crow, for they do the work akin to knights with no promise of reward... where most knights he has encountered have joined the ranks solely for the prestige. Despite his vows of wearing no crowns and winning no glories, Vorian is a visibly ambitious man – a complete change from the unmotivated boy of yesteryear.

    The aging Crow has kept the ability to don and adapt to many “faces” with which to greet the world. He can be a best friend, a confidante to keep even the darkest of secrets for the right price, or your worst enemy.

    Birth Place: Seagard, in the Riverlands

    House Of: Brightstone

    House Sigil: none

    Attributes

    Mental: Vorian is a resourceful and shrewd man; a strong advocate of the phrases “what a person doesn’t know won’t hurt them” and “the end justifies the means”. He will take a risk only if he calculates that the odds will be in his favor. Some would call him selfish, even sneaky. Vorian has a knack for lying and is prone to a vivid imagination.

    If any of his family were to visit him, or if he were to visit them, they would say that he has become surly in his long years of service. The child who was so enthralled by crowds became an aloof adult wary of too many people gathered in one place. Vorian’s great self-restraint would additionally make such a reunion all the more awkward. The circumstances that led him to take the black have made him bitter, cynical, and quick to use barbed wit against any who mock him. The venomous, passive-aggressive remarks he is prone to have led him to earn nicknames with serpentine overtones.

    Those who take the time to know Vorian will realize that he is not a humorless man. He does, indeed, have a sense of humor... but it is as dry as the sands of Dorne. Vorian also possesses some artistic talents, but it is not something he openly shares.


    Physical Skills: Vorian knows that he is not the greatest swordsman alive, but he can and will make use of most any blade put in front of him if he must. It is his preference to use lighter weapons, and most specifically axes. The swing of an axe is little different from the blow of a hammer strike onto a chisel. His use of a bow is decent both as a means of hunting and for combat, though he has never taken down an enemy by archery alone. His movements are swift, graceful, and sure-footed... like a snake coiled and prepared to strike.


    Social Skills: Since Vorian took his vows he can appear to be stoic, cold, and distant particularly towards women. He tends to stick to the fringe of a crowd and observe rather than be in the thick of things.

    Vorian uses a blend of high and low speech due to his particular social-political status in youth. As an adult he uses one or the other, or a combination thereof, roughly dependent upon whom he’s talking to or the impression he wishes to make.

    It is very unlike Vorian to sugarcoat or mince words. He will tell it like it is or how he sees it with a generalized disregard of a person’s status. During conversations where this attitude may get him in trouble he will preface his remark as a way to soften the blow... but only to spare himself from possible punishment.


    Biography
    Family:
    Father – Cregard Brightstone; deceased
    Mother – Shella Brightstone; deceased

    Brothers – names in Turquoise are open if any would like to play them
    Warren (firstborn; 54)
    Tristifer (second son, third born; 49)
    Lucas (third son, fourth born; twin to Lanna; 48)
    Ryger (fourth son, sixth born; 46)
    Aemon (sixth son, eighth born; 43)
    Harren (seventh son, ninth born; 42)

    Sisters – names in Lime are open if any would like to play them
    Sallei (first daughter, second born; 52)
    Lanna (second daughter, fifth born; twin to Lucas; 48)
    Bellena (third daughter, tenth born; twin to Eleanor; 40)
    Eleanor (fourth daughter, eleventh born; twin to Bellena; 40)

    Daughter – Elira (20)


    Rumors:
    The Brightstones of old provided stone and assisted architects in building the castle Seagard; and it was fine masonry, indeed. (True)

    There’s a rumor that Vorian takes bribes to keep secrets his sworn brothers would get in trouble for, should they get caught. (No one has found hard evidence of this... but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened a time or two)

    Some nicknames Vorian has acquired among the Night’s Watch: The Viper, Poisontongue (the prefix ‘Old’ added recently), Stormcrow


    Known In Public: Vorian is cold and distant towards others to start with. He doesn’t like talking about his past, and particularly the series of events that led him to the Wall. If he discusses this with you then you are someone he feels he can trust and open up to. When it is required of him he can be polite... but he is also candid almost to the point of being painfully so. Although the people he actually likes are few in number, he is a completely different person towards them. If Vorian doesn’t like a person then his words become rougher, with sharp barbs and thinly-veiled venom.


    History:
    Vorian Brightstone is the fifth son born to Cregard and Shella Brightstone of Seagard, in the Riverlands. His forefathers provided the stone and assisted the architects in building Castle Seagard. Castle Seagard is the masterpiece responsible for putting the Brightstone name in a unique situation. Those who are aware of Castle Seagard’s history know that Brightstone masonry is of fine quality, which gives the Brightstone patriarch of today no shortage of work. However, the family has never lived in enough money to be considered one amongst the nobility. They are more like “elite smallfolk” than anything else; and this unusual social-political position always made Vorian feel awkward in the presence of others.

    Life in the Brightstone household was far from lonely. In Vorian’s younger years it seemed like there was never a time when his mother wasn’t carrying a baby, be it in her belly or in her arms. He was relentlessly teased by older brothers, and his care frequently delegated to resentful older sisters. The only time there wasn’t at least one person yelling, one person crying, one person using the noise to aid in a mission of stealth, another in search for further havoc to wreak, and another plugging their ears was during the darkness of night. There was never a dull moment in the house.

    In due time, Vorian became increasingly aware of his place amongst the long line of siblings. It was only natural that the eldest son, Warren, would be chosen to take over their father’s trade. Tristifer, if the Seven favored him, might one day own their grandfather’s quarries and mines. Brightstone daughters might one day become handmaidens to noble ladies... but the reality outside of a great stroke of luck made such notions little more than grand dreams.

    Vorian discovered that from the third son onwards, they would only be so lucky should their elder brothers fall before they could produce their own heirs. Surely by the time Vorian made an accomplishment, one of his siblings would have done it already... possibly even performed it better than Vorian himself was capable of. As a result Vorian felt very little need or desire to compete with his siblings. He even went so far as to call his younger brothers fools for their competitive attitudes in what he felt were futile endeavors.

    His unique social status had the potential to be a great benefit as he grew into manhood. A wealthy noble had written to Cregard Brightstone to ask for a potential groom for his fifth-born daughter, Sabitha. Vorian courted the girl for a time but in the end the nobleman withdrew his offer in favor of a much more lucrative match. Although they were no longer seeing each other in person, Sabitha sent Vorian frequent ravens. She proclaimed that she enjoyed Vorian’s company far more than this new suitor her father picked for her. Vorian suggested that they could elope. Sabitha agreed, and they began making plans...

    Neither Vorian nor Sabitha knew that they were being watched by Joth Deddings, the man Sabitha’s father intended her to marry, on the night they decided to elope. They were just preparing to leave Sabitha’s home when Joth confronted them in a rage. Joth attacked Vorian, and Vorian had no choice but to defend himself. It was a long and bloody scuffle, and in the end Vorian killed the man in self-defense. Unfortunately, someone else witnessed the fight and summoned the town guards; Vorian was arrested on the spot.

    Two days before Vorian’s trial, Cregard and Shella visited him. They told him that gossip on the street did not sound promising for him – that it was said he killed Joth in cold blood and attempted to kidnap Sabitha. They encouraged him to take the black should the worst befall his trial. Precisely one day before he was due to be tried Vorian was visited by a wandering crow, and was again encouraged to take the black if there was no other option.

    At Vorian’s trial, Sabitha testified against him and lied to the entire courtroom. She claimed that Vorian took her from her home and Joth had been trying to stop him. Vorian was convicted of murder and given two options: execution, or join the ranks of the Night’s Watch. Naturally, he chose to avoid death and join the Night’s Watch. Later that day Sabitha approached Vorian’s cell in secret. He demanded an explanation of her; Sabitha told him that she had to avoid disgracing herself and provoking her father’s wrath. She told him that she was glad he wouldn’t be killed for trying to protect himself; Vorian told her he might as well have been executed, and refused to speak to her further.

    The trek to Castle Black was long, cold, and harsh. His clothes were dyed black, and they were not well suited to the northern temperatures. Vorian did poorly against the cold at first; it was something the Northmen among his class teased him about, which frequently led to infighting on the road and at Castle Black. Where at home Vorian could get away with being lazy, he found no such benefits as a crow. Never before did he have to work so hard in his young life of seventeen years.

    He received a new set of skills as part of his training. Although some knew that Vorian came from stonemason blood, the young man did his best to deliberately make shoddy work of his lessons with the builders. He didn’t want to be a stonemason like his father, and he certainly wasn’t going to become a builder. Vorian instead decided to put all of his efforts into excelling at combat. The way he saw it, he would have to fight against the threats beyond the Wall eventually. If his life’s circumstances had been different he might have attempted to become a knight, to get out of the shadows of his elder brothers. Vorian’s first patrol after becoming a ranger and taking his vows scared him out of his skin. He would never admit it, but he has never quite grown out of that fear.

    The patrols beyond the Wall were never easy. They needed to vary the time, size, and route of each patrol so the Wildlings wouldn’t catch on to the patterns. Each time Vorian was picked for a patrol he knew he might never return to Castle Black, but this knowledge did little to prepare him for when it seemed it would actually happen. Eight years after Vorian took the black, at the age of twenty five, he and a small patrol went beyond the Wall. A small clan of Wildlings were getting too close to the border. It was the Night Watch’s duty to repel them by whatever means necessary. Vorian’s patrol was attacked by a raiding party allied to the clan in question, and only a few on both sides managed to survive the skirmish as a snowstorm blew in. Visibility rapidly decreased, which made Crow and Wildling alike retreat to find shelter.

    Vorian was separated from what was left of his group, and realized much too late when he had become lost. He wandered through the snow but was unable to find his sworn brothers. The man could barely see an arm’s length ahead of him in any direction. Vorian happened upon a cave freezing and covered in snow, only to find that a Wildling woman from the skirmish had also taken shelter in the cave. She immediately recognized him as a crow and attacked him. After the skirmish and getting caught in the snowstorm Vorian used what little strength he had left to fend her off. He bound her hands and her feet despite her squirming, hitting, and scratching; he was determined to take her to Castle Black as a prisoner, and have her questioned about the clan’s movements. Vorian found very little sleep that night out of fear the woman would wriggle out of her restraints and kill him in his sleep.

    They survived for a while on his supply of rations, but eventually they ran out. In time Vorian conceded to a rare alliance with the Wildling woman so that they might both live long enough to reach their respective homes. Through many dangers and obstacles they trudged... and, slowly, they got to know each other. Vorian began to care for the Wildling woman and learned her name: Brilene. It was she who made her affection for him known first. In the darkness of night beside a dying fire, Vorian chose to forget his vows.

    Days later, the storm cleared. It didn’t take long from there to reach a neutral distance between the Wall and Brilene’s clan. Vorian thought he saw tears in Brilene’s eyes for just a moment – he being unwelcome amongst her people, and she unwelcome amongst his – but for his heart’s sake he didn’t dwell on it the moment they parted ways. He inflicted several minor injuries upon himself and allowed the start of frostbite to set into his hands before finally returning to Castle Black. Vorian spun a harrowing tale for those of his sworn brothers that asked to hear it, though repeatedly left out the parts about the Wildling woman and what had transpired between them.

    Months came and went as they had before that fateful patrol. While Vorian was out on an errand beyond the wall, and once he was out of sight of his brothers, Brilene caught his attention and told him they needed to talk. She suggested an abandoned village north of their location, and Vorian immediately set out for it on horseback. He arrived and tied the reigns of his horse to a hitching post in front of one of the dilapidated buildings, and led Brilene indoors once she arrived so they could speak in private.

    Once there, Brilene told him she was with child. Vorian’s face paled, knowing he could do little to help her or even be a proper father to the child-to-be... and if the Night’s Watch learned of this, he could very well be executed. He considered abandoning his post, but doing so would make him a wanted man and put Brilene’s clan in more danger than they were already in. They couldn’t go back north because the harsh weather would be too dangerous for a child to be born in. Brilene told Vorian he didn’t have to do anything, but felt he had a right to know as it would be cruel otherwise. The sound of Brilene’s clan going to war with the Night’s Watch forced the two to part ways yet again, and return to their respective sides of the conflict.

    For twenty long years after that, Vorian remained a loyal albeit cynical ranger of the Night’s Watch. He heard nothing more from Brilene, and he could only assume that perhaps she had died out there. Perhaps she died giving birth... or one of the cannibal clans got her... or maybe she had been struck down by one of his own brothers in black. Vorian knew he couldn’t be certain of her fate, and to inquire about patrols he didn’t participate in would arouse suspicion. It was best for him to forget it and move on... though the man spent two brief moments of each day – upon waking and just before sleep – to silently pray to the Smith for the safety of Brilene and her child.

    With Vorian’s increasing years he participated in fewer and fewer patrols, and finally requested a reassignment from the Lord Commander to the position of a wandering crow. Vorian was granted the position, provided he went on patrols at least once every other year until he could no longer fight efficiently. He agreed to those terms, and began to compose a list of supplies he would need to make his first trip south in twenty eight years.


    Vorian took a seat in a far corner of the common hall, making sure his back was to the wall so he could observe the comings and goings of his brothers. He didn’t want anyone sneaking up on him. The man set down his bowl of stew and mug of ale, then removed from a pouch on his belt a crude and beaten journal, a portable ink pot, and a short stick whittled to a point that served as his writing quill.

    He set up the area in front of him just so as he had for the last twenty years: mug ahead, ink pot beside the mug, journal and “quill” to the right, and the bowl of stew directly left. Dark eyes scanned the other men and boys of the Night’s Watch as they trickled into the hall, then lowered back to the items before him. Vorian opened his journal up to a fresh page and placed the stick of a quill between the pages to keep his place, and took a spoonful of stew.

    By the taste of the meal being served, a new batch of Stewards was in training: while it was common for the stew to contain mostly broth, and said broth given a little flour to give it the appearance of a heartier gravy, the offered meal contained lumps of unmixed flour amidst the sparse but flour-encrusted globs of actual meat or vegetable. Add to that the vegetables were not fully rid of the sharp undertaste of being more fit for compost than for stew... and the usual fat-and-gristle-heavy bits of meat that always managed to float like grotesque little ships on the murky sea of broth.

    Vorian washed down the chalky taste of a half-dissolved lump of flour with a long sip of ale, and focused on his journal. By dawn tomorrow he would be on the Kingsroad headed south seeking new recruits for the Night’s Watch. Any and all unfinished business at Castle Black would need to be given his due attention before sunset.

    A young boy perhaps no more than fourteen years set his own bowl of stew and mug of ale directly opposite Vorian as he scribbled away in the battered black journal. The boy’s sudden movement and noise startled Vorian into locking an icy glare on him.

    “S-Sorry... I didn’t mean to startle you,” the lad muttered.

    Vorian quirked an eyebrow at the boy and returned to his journal without a word.

    The boy stared into the shared space between them as if hoping to find some sort of conversation starter. When he found none he picked up his bowl of stew and cupped his hands around it for warmth. “M’name’s Avo... How d’you like the stew? Me and a few of the others just started our training in the kitchens today.”

    Vorian set his piercing gaze on Avo again, no softer than he had the first time around. “If you enjoy the taste of stonemason’s mortar, I suppose it’ll do. I personally find it utterly revolting.” Avo’s half-cheerful expression fell, but Vorian pretended to take no notice. “Have you ever even set eyes upon a kitchen before today?”

    Avo blinked at him, stunned, and shook his head.

    Vorian scoffed. “I didn’t think so...”

    Avo took several spoons of stew to keep his mouth full, and didn’t find his handiwork to taste nearly as bad as the old man said. He shrugged and took three bites of stew for every single spoon Vorian ate of his own between scribbles. “...You must be Old Poisontongue, then?”

    Vorian stopped writing and slowly quirked an eyebrow again at the boy in front of him. “... What?”

    The boy swallowed so hard that even Vorian heard it. “That’s one of your names round here, isn’t it? ... Because you make no apologies for your harsh opinio–“

    “Oh, have I offended you, boy?” Vorian interrupted. He smirked when Avo once again fell into silence. “Yes, it is one of several names I’ve been given in my time here. And you’d do well to mind that curiosity before it kills you...”

    Avo bobbed his head and kept his gaze on his stew, and occasionally glanced at the old man through a curtain of golden brown hair. Whatever the older crow was writing it seemed to take up much more of his time than his stew and ale. After several moments the lad couldn’t hold in his curiosity any longer. “W-What are you writing?”

    Vorian paused and rolled his eyes. “That’s none of your concern.”

    Avo bit his lip in thought. “Maybe sometime you can teach me how to do letters, then.”

    Vorian picked up his mug of ale, careful to not spill the pot of ink nearby. “You want to learn that badly? Take it up with the maester. If you learn anything from me it will be to toughen your hide and prepare yourself for a fight... or otherwise how to survive beyond the Wall. I’m a wandering crow, not a scholar...”

    Avo shifted in his seat. “Yes, but...”

    Vorian quickly swallowed the sip of ale he had taken so as to interrupt the lad yet again. “Seven hells, will you be silent?! All I want right now is to take my meal in peace!”

    “Yes, sir...” Avo muttered.

    A bubble of awkward silence separated their corner of the hall from the rest of the room. Vorian glanced at the boy after several moments of unusual quiet, but he was determined to not give in to the younger man. He pocketed his journal, inkpot, and makeshift quill in order to fully focus on what was left of his stew, and rolled his eyes at the seemingly disheartened boy before him. “... Either less flour or mix it with water before adding it to the pot next time...” Vorian grunted into his ale mug.

    Avo lifted his gaze and his jaw dropped. He blinked at the old man and nodded even though he knew Vorian wouldn’t see it. “Alright. I promise I won’t forget... Thank you.”

    Before Vorian could say anything more the younger man picked up their empty bowls and his own mug of ale, and walked away. The older man took another sip of ale and shook his head. “We’ll be lucky the kid lasts a week...”

      Current date/time is Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:55 pm