mandag den 13. oktober 2008

The Trials of RUFUS

Misteline's towering genius does not take long to decide to whom he will turn for assistance after reading Silas' letter. He chuckles to himself as he thinks of the hot-blooded Rufus; wonder what trouble the best blade of Takshendal has gotten into since their return? Impetous lad that Rufus… By the Light, is it a year already…

Rufus' landlord informs Misteline that the Castelopean is not in and that he looked grim as he went out, and a few coins soon loosens the busy bag's tongue.

It seems as if things did not go quite as planned for RUFUS. Upon his return to TAKSHENDAL he was ambushed. Walking down a quiet street one winter's day he sensed something was wrong, but before he could react, he was shot in the back from an upstairs window. Several ruffians then burst forth and set upon him but RUFUS managed to keep them at bay with his rapier and parrying dagger until local militia guards came to his help. RUFUS spent the next several weeks in bed with a fever, tended by DOCTOR CINDER on the behest of ADRIANA ARABELLA WORMPOLE. It was Februrus before RUFUS was able to walk again and the landlord suspects his fighting abilities had suffered considerably as a result of the wound he had sustained. He cursed and railed at the unseen enemy who had dealt him such a low blow but soon his anger turned to resolve and two months hence he began to hunt for his assailants.

Misteline thanks the good Burgher and sets out to find Rufus, not a hard task as his demeanor alone has put the fear of the Gods in those he met, street vendors, hawkers and beggars all remember the short but fearsome and determined man with fire in his eyes walking past, and soon Misteline spots the Castelopean. A much-changed man with white knuckles gripping his sword hilt; his agile and graceful step, ever moving as a dancer has turned to a limp, the quick, agile movements blunted by pain and the confident and challenging stare now has a touch of paranoia and pain in it, a pain deeper than anything physical. While his hard eyes search every window and cranny for an ambush, yet, not recognising Misteline even as his eyes, at once distant and sharp, passes him.

Misteline calls out and Rufus half draws before he realises who is facing him and greets him, eyes still distant. And distant they stay while Misteline relates his need for a strong sword arm and the fortunes of Silas and himself, even news of The Black Rock seems to not face him and it seems to Misteline that his trusty friend was starting to turn him down as suddenly his eyes turns sharp and he murmurs something before smiling coldly, "Overmore you say? Our old companion Silas, that cold-blooded cutthroat, has trouble in Overmore? Misteline, my old friend, I shall be glad to accompany you and again to thwart those nefarious cultists, and bask in the light of your intellect, artistry and skill. When do you plan to leave?"

Misteline's hearing is not as it once was, but he is certain Rufus murmured something along the lines of, "Overmore mmmm mmm coward puta mmmm mm mmmm mmmm that me mmm mmm I can mmm him."

fredag den 6. juni 2008

Rufus Carraresi de Castelopea

Rufus Carraresi of Castelopea is a famous swordsman and noted duellist, especially in the upper levels of Takshendal society where duelling has become commonplace, he is said to be the finest sword and dagger man in the city.
A dark and tempestuous man with a single minded strength of purpose and a definite chip on his shoulder in most ways; Rufus is youngest son of Giacomo Carraresi, a minor noble of Castelopea. He has been forced to make his living in Takshendal where he is currently, quietly employed by Adriana Wormpole as a living extension of her will. He is officially ordered to protect Misteline against any unforeseen eventuality.

Rufus specialises in the sword and dagger technique of duelling, but is just as adept with sword and buckler, and is one of the few fencing experts that has adopted an early version of the rapier. He is credited with participation in at least 19 duels in Takshendal of which 13 ended with the death of his opponent. Nearly all these duels were fought against people who had acted or spoken out against the House of Wormpole and it is common knowledge amongst the merchants and nobility that Rufus Carraresi de Castelopea is Adriana’s living blade.

He is said to have helped The Great Misteline and Captain Silas expose and thwart a plot against the city on behalf of Adriana; killing Lord Beauforque in a duel, and single-handedly defeating five Mursulan mercenaries and their Condottieri captain in the process, but has since disappeared from the city.

Giacomo Carraresi is a minor noble from Castelopea, holding lands near Sandroto and Cattallo, who grows and bottles fine wine and cognac. With the position of his estates he is also a man of some militant skill, as all border lords, and many sons; too many sons and too little room for Rufus to live out his ambition and his honour.
Growing wine and patrolling the border with no prospect of ever inheriting or living the life in the higher circles he dreamed about made Rufus an even more hot-tempered youth than his already volatile and tempestuous nature. He fought his first real duel at 16 as a result of a Blood Feud, killing his dearest friend BASILIO D’CASTELLETO, and left his home heartbroken, as his father had to oust the troublesome and incontrollable youth as part of the peace agreement. This suited Rufus fine, after slaying Basilio his life was tainted by sorrow that he tried to purge by perfecting his skill. After a season campaigning in the south to gather some money, Rufus made his way to Takshendal, hoping to make a name for himself and attain the life he wanted- a life in the high circles, courting women and fighting in the name of honour.

In Takshendal he was soon invited to the Wormpole residence by Adriana, who already knew about the hot-tempered young man from her agents and traders in Castelopea and could employ his skills. In him, she found an almost perfect tool to intimidate rivals and slanderers- if his tempestuous nature could be properly controlled, directed and catalysed. In her, he found a way into the upper circles of Takshendal society; recognition, respect, wealth, banquets, refined women, and a way to earn more honour and make a name for himself, a purpose.

He does not live in the Wormpole residence, but in a fine rented flat on the second floor of a Merchant’s house. Here he hones his skills and receive the few people outside The Wormpoles he calls friends, while passing the day at ballgames, races, fencing, dicing and carousing in inns, or in the Wormpole residence, when not participating in balls, dances or banquets; or courting some high-ranking woman. Rufus prefers maids of great beauty or married women of the upper levels of Takshendal society, as pleasures and trophies.

Rufus is tempestuous and passionate, almost obsessed by his honour and enhancing it in any way, duels, sexual conquest, war, all of it and more. The companionship of The Great Misteline and Captain Silas has opened possibilities for this and as such he sees it not just as a service to his patroness, but a chance to gain even more fame as well as wealth. For though honour is the most important aspect of his life, he is keenly aware that he has no other means of income than serving as Adriana’s blade, and eventually wants his own estate or fencing school, for a career taking orders and being bored in the military will never be for him...

Rufus is a typical southern noble; short but strong, lithe and athletic. His grace as a dancer and fencer is evident. But in contrast to some other noted bladesmen, he does not flaunt or pose while fighting- though there is some of both to his nature when not in a fight- instead he focuses all his energy and resources in a single-minded purpose; to defeat his opponent quickly and effectively. His dress is not as flamboyant as other Castelopeans’, for like many other southerners he has adopted local dress. He does like large, broad brimmed hats with feathers though, and his clothing is always of good quality.