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Author Topic: Caol Johannes, Erpheronian, Minstrel  (Read 2065 times)
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Caol Johannes
Cynical Cavalier
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Human, Erpheronian


« on: June 08, 2009, 07:08:17 AM »

Name: Caol Johannes

Gender: Male

Age: 21

Race: Human

Tribe: Erpheronian

Occupation: Traveling Minstrel

Title: Cynical Cavalier

Height: 1 ped, 2 fores, 1 palmspan

Weight: 1 pygge, 4 hebs, 1 hafeb

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Dirty Blonde

      
Physical Appearance

   Some people, it is said, have tremendous “presence”, some mystical quality to grab attention and lead others. So many great heroes of ages past have had such a “presence”, an aura that seemed to will everyone around them to great deeds and fearless courage. This is the first quality that can be noticed about Caol Johannes, for when he walks into a room, everyone knows it. While Caol is only just over a ped and two fores tall, he possesses a commanding build at over one pygge and four hebs. His imposing gait and dignified posture give the impression of added height, as his demeanor is one of a leader. As Caol walks into a room, he commands its attention, as most eyes are drawn to his shining xazure eyes. These eyes are framed by weak eyebrows across an imposing, broad forehead sloping back to his long locks of hair. Cinnabrown in color, with streaks of adlemine and injahue running through it, his hair runs downs to the tops of his broad, powerful shoulders. One strong line of muscle and sinew runs underneath these shoulders, building the firm slope of his neck and resolving into the proud horizon of his fierce jaw line.

   When thinking of Caol, one should picture two poses. The first occurs upon a high peak, before a straight cliff face running down from his feet to the earth, many peds below. The sun is shining down upon him, alighting upon the brighter hues of his hair, setting it aflame with color. His eyes sparkle and shine out of an uplifted face as he gazes at the landscape before him. His legs stand parallel to the jutting rocks beneath them, seeming to grow up out of the earth itself. His muscular arms are thrown back behind him, as his persona is set in defiance against anything that would dare not to bend before his will. His laughter carries throughout the valley below, inviting every living thing to join in his joy, freely felt and freely given. In this moment, he is above and beyond the power of anyone to harm or tame him. Overflowing bursts of joy and mirth explode forth in time to his rising and falling chest. Victorious he stands, full in the sense of his own accomplishment.

   The alternate picture can be found in the Johannes family house, at Caol’s reading desk in his room. It is dark outside, except for the bright full moon shining through the bedroom’s lone room. Its pale ethereal beams only barely illuminate the brooding figure at the desk. Body slumped forward in malignant nonchalance, his head slowly rises to peer at the foreign light that seeks to meet his gaze. Shrinking from the pale face staring at him through the window, Caol raises his glass to his lips as a coughing fit takes him by surprise. The numbing liquid spills across the desktop and his arms, while the grating sound of his wheezing breath poisons the air with a quality of weakness and death. In a small, token show of defiance, he composes himself before swallowing the remaining contents of the glass in one quick draught. This show of spirit passes in an instant as he once again falls against the desk, his glass tumbling to the floor. The sound of shattering glass is swallowed up by the deadened atmosphere of the air, as Caol turns his face away from the moonlight. His hair falls across his face in dark sinister wisps, while the faint glimmer of blue in his eyes seems to cry for an escape that he has no hope of finding.

   It is rare for Caol to appear completely like one of these images, but he is often some combination between the two extremes. It is a constant battle within him, his courageous side of his spirit conflicting with the desire to hide away from a harsh world.

Clothing

   Caol wears clothing typical to the upper class of the Erpheronians, usually a loose cotton shirt under a light tunic. He wears sturdy leather pants with a pair of leather boots. He owns two tunics, one being light blue with white embroidery in the shape of eagles spread across both shoulders; the other is dark green without any embroidery upon it, and is the garment Caol usually wears outdoors. He also wears a black cloak when outdoors, made of sturdy wool.

Strengths

Commanding Presence
When Caol walks into a room, almost everybody is drawn to his powerful demeanor. He attracts people’s attention and their obedience with his high posture and deep compelling voice. Caol tends to take over groups he is placed in, formulates plans well, and can usually find ways to get people to work for what he wants. He can motivate people to higher standards through his own charismatic spirit, and in the same way he can sometimes gain quick allegiances by presenting people with an organized, appealing plan of action.

Meandering Melodies
Caol has throughout his life played the thirteen string lute, which he learned to play when he was a little boy. It is relaxing to him, and while he has only sporadically received official training in the instrument, he has some amount of skill. He learns music by ear, and is pretty skilled in composing his own simple melodies. This skill can get him small amounts of money from time to time, though not often much since he lacks a good singing voice to accompany his music.

A Quaint Quickness
A sharp, swift mind has belonged to Caol since his eyes first opened to behold the lands of Santharia. He has had several years of schooling, learning to read and write, but little useful information beyond that. His best skill lies in his ability to think quickly on his feet, scheming his way into and out of tight situations. Caol likes to have things planned out before he takes on any endeavor, and is very good at adeptly thinking ahead to successfully design his plots.

A Fair Fencer
Caol has received training in sword fighting, also at an early age, and while not naturally talented for fighting he has acquired a decent amount of ability in the use of a sword. He carries with him a fairly standard short sword, undecorated with a blade about three-quarters of a ped in length and a handle of a palmspan and a half. Caol is by no means a master swordsman, but he can hold his own against the average soldier.

A Rather Lovable Companion...
When Caol is not within the confines of his native Nyermersys or any other human settlement, he is often accompanied in his travels by his odd but faithful friend, Urrrik the Ogre. Urrrik is a considerable boon to Caol, as he makes a formidable bodyguard, capable of easily fighting off most of the foes the pair faces. In most cases a fight is not even necessary, since Urrrik's appearance and scent are both quite terrifying. Urrrik occasionally gives Caol a ride on his back, though only in times of absolute necessity and only after the beast has been made to roll at least a few times in the shallows of a nearby river. Finally, this oddly adorable ogre can move and carry heavy objects for Caol.

Weaknesses

Sarcasm
Along with his sharp mind comes a sharp tongue. Caol loves to use sarcasm at many opportunities, and will not hesitate to bring others down for his own amusement. With his cynical view of the world, Caol feels no qualms over teasing others, and this trait has lost him many potential friends. Not that he cares very much for the people he loses in this fashion, but it is a disadvantage to him when he is attempting to get what he wants or to get people working with him. An ill-fated remark has more than once destroyed the carefully thought plans that Caol has devised.

Constant Illness
When Caol was a baby and toddler, his family would give him alcohol whenever he was crying in the night or had any other ailment, following an old belief held by the family for generations. Thinking that this was the best home remedy for all types of illness, Caol was led to psychologically depend on alcohol to keep him healthy and in good spirits. This addiction became totally mental for Caol, as his body never truly depended on the drinks, but without his mind now plagues him with psychosomatic illnesses whenever there is no alcohol in his body. The most common of these illnesses is the development of asthmatic breathing and coughing fits, though if he goes several hours without alcohol he will also develop stomach pains. If days should happen to go by without him drinking, these pains would develop into ulcers. Caol ability to think quickly and clearly is lost after half a day without drink.

Cowardice
Behind his imposing figure and authoritative deportment, Caol has always harbored and fought his desire to run and cower. The bad example set for him by his weak father has allowed this avenue of escape to be tempting to his normally strong character when he is in stressful situations. After all his planning, and his work to corral people to his aid, he must fight the urge to choke during critical moments, an urge stemming from the fear that he will become a weak trembling man like his father.

Disliked and Disinherited
Through his sarcastic attitude and his tendency to make trouble, Caol has gained a bad reputation in the city of Nyermersys and the surrounding countryside, particularly among the nobility and authorities. Caol authoritative style has also given him a reputation of arrogance, adding to his sore reputation. Now that his father has passed away, his small power and place among the nobility has been taken from him by more powerful enemies, and he is actively hunted by these enemies in the lands of the Erpheronians.

...Or Perhaps Not Quite So Lovable
While Urrrik does possess many good points, keeping him around as a companion brings with an equal number of bad points. First and foremost is the smell with which all who would befriend Urrrik must endure if they are to be anywhere in his general vicinity. Secondly, this fact, combining with the frightening appearance of an ogre, makes it impossible for Caol to bring him into human settlements of any kind. It also makes it difficult for Caol to bring Urrrik to help with important trips or jobs if another human accompanies him, since getting new people used to this behemoth is quite a task. Lastly, the stigma that comes with being an ogre requires that Urrrik be hidden away from human areas with significant military forces. If the people of a city were ever to hear of Urrrik and deem him a threat, the hunt that would go on would be disastrous to Caol's friend.

   

Personality

“So, here I am, writing my own personal entry into the royal registry this year. Not that I’m actually royalty, but as a noble’s son those in authority like to keep tabs on me. At least, they will as long as I stay a noble. But, seeing as my current status in life is in a questionable state, I’ve taken it upon myself to write my own account of my person, to give them a proper view of who I am. I’ve always thought they never really did justice to my exuberant persona, and here I give you the full version. I don’t expect to see this version make it to the registry, since I’m not exactly a popular man around here just now, but here I go anyway…
   
“Alright, so you’ve read this far, quite impressive. You have now proven that your attention span is longer than mine. After that fabulous (and exhausting) bit of writing I came up with for my first paragraph, I got up and found myself a good drink. Now that I’m so wonderfully clear-headed, I’ll tell you all about my darling personality. I want you to know that I think quite highly of myself, and I’m not ashamed of what I’ve become. Quite a few people around me hate me, even despise me, and think I’m worthless, but they’re completely wrong. The problem with me, you see, is that I’m a complete cynic, and a skeptic besides. You see, the world didn’t turn out the way I thought it would, nor did I get in life what I wanted. Even if the world was half-decent, I’d be a bit more kind in my attitude, but the whole disc is gone to rot. And I hope it rots soon, because I’m tired of living in it.

   “What? You expected me to be a little happier, didn’t you? Well, I’m sorry to tell you I’m not writing a fairy tale here, this is real life. Did you really expect me to start writing a bunch of fantasy? That’s the pitfall of the typical idealist, no sense of reality. Though, I will admit that the last paragraph was a bit depressing, maybe because of that drink I had. It didn’t quite live up to the shining example of that first paragraph. Well, I’ll liven things up with the second half of my charming social skills. Some say you should laugh whenever you can in life, so that everybody’s happier, right? Well, laughing is one of my best skills. I just happen to specialize in sarcastic laughing. And while I’ve noticed that it tends not to bring too much happiness to other people, it sure brings enough smiles to my face. After all, I’m the one who counts, right? So there you have it, I’m a sarcastic cynic. Great combination, if you ask me, but then again nobody was asking me, were they?

   “And…if I’m to be totally honest, and I am one for honesty most of the time, I do have one small bit of redeeming virtue in me. Somewhere, way down in a part of my life that’s been forever lost to me, is the little boy that hoped to save the world. And that started with saving the little girl that he loved. Chivalry was always something I cherished, along with a sense of duty. I grew up confident that I would always be able to defeat any enemy that stood in my way, and that my darling would be waiting for me when I was victorious. Life has taught me a very different story, but still a small piece of that attitude remains behind. A very small piece. Very. Small. I really do wish sometimes that it would go away entirely, but I guess that would be killing whatever good is left of me. Oh well.”

History

   “I was born on the 17th day of the month of Molten Ice, a bright morning with a shining sun over the city of my origin Nyermersys. I was the first born son and only child to a small noble house, whose power had been dwindling for years. My parents had been trying to have an heir for quite some time, and after much frustration and disappointment I came to them. I was cherished as a babe, for our family had been in danger of losing everything with the lack of an heir. After all, we were quite low on the pecking order of the nobility, and plenty of old enemies wished to claim what little name and property we had left. But I was the one who would change that and restore our name to the dignity it had once held. My mother died soon after childbirth, as exhausted from the labor she was taken by some illness that could not be identified. I was already a bit frail as a baby, and without my mother’s milk I failed to gain much weight or strength. They tell me I was temperamental as an infant, and I guess it was a sign of things to come.

   “I led the ordinary but joyous life of a young boy for several years, my days being eventful and filled with play. I made some friends and some enemies among the neighboring children, for my fitful nature still hung about me. And being a small child I was at a loss to keep pace with the others, and was the victim of jokes at the hands of those stronger or bigger than myself. I became fearful of the world, and ceased to see it as a friendly haven for play. My father was never truly close to me, for his own cowardly personality kept him from ever supporting me in my forays into the world. Certainly, he did his best to spend time with, but he was never the protector I think a father should be. As a quiet and moody boy of six, I happened upon a forgotten portrait in a dusty old room of the house. Its covering sheet had fallen from it, revealing the full figure of the portrait that leaned against the wall. At the time, that picture must have been at least three times taller than I was, and it portrayed the greatest member of our family. Johannes the Blacksmith.

   “A face, framed by a shock of bright red hair, contained a set of startling green eyes. A jaw line that conveyed the grimmest determination laid the foundation to a countenance that was the very person of honor, dignity, and courage. Slightly uplifted, eyes shining as though the stars were hidden beneath them, he had a look of pure, unadulterated freedom. For the first time that I could remember, I saw the face of a person that enjoyed life to its fullest, never giving up the joy that he knew was his to have. Tall and well built he stood with one knee raised upon an anvil, dressed in a full suit of armor. Johannes had started as a simple blacksmith, but his magnificent skill had enabled him to rise to such great wealth that the king granted him a title of nobility. From practically nothing he became the richest man in the city, and arguably the most powerful when he became the king’s best and most trusted friend.

   “Johannes was a hard worker, who earned everything he had, and would take no help in making his up in life. He was a fantastic metal worker, and could fashion intricate yet strong weaponry and armor. His shooting rise to prominence came when he developed his own special alloys of iron and bronze. He made his work stronger and more durable than any other blacksmith in the province, and probably for many miles farther than that. It is said that even the dwarves respected and admired his work. In the portrait I saw of him, he was wearing a suit of armor that he had made himself, from the very first castings of his alloys. And the anvil upon which his foot rested was the one he bought for himself at the age of seventeen, having worked his entire life on farms to earn the money for it. I learned all of this later on, as I questioned everyone I knew for information about this compelling personage, but even then his very picture captivated my heart and inspired me.

   “And then I met her, my darling Ellena, a daughter of another noble of slightly higher standing than my father. Ten years old I was, and had lived the last four years of my life planning on how I would live up to the great example of my ancestor, while all the time I had to go to school. While my mind was quick and apt to the task, it was also constantly elsewhere, picturing the glorious life that it would take to match such a man as Johannes. And when I met her, it caused all my future plans to fit. I pictured a knight, on top of a hill, resplendent in armor and in valor, charging a besieged city single-handedly. So great is his prowess, that he breaks the siege and routs the armor by his incredible strength, skill, and courage. I was that knight now, and I fought that battle in my mind a thousand times over. And when I emerged victorious and freed the city, she was always the one waiting for me at the end of my struggles. Years passed as we both grew older, as all the while I used every opportunity to prove my courage and valor to the world around me.

   “As fate would have it, I received such an opportunity when I was taken out of school at the age of eleven after it had become clear that I had no intentions of becoming a scholar. My father sought to see if I had any makings of soldier in me, as I had filled out in my frame a little and my head was so filled with high virtuous dreams. This was the beginning of seven years of training in swordsmanship and horse-riding, both of which I gave my very best effort to. I felt that this was the best way to live up to the vision of my ancestor that I had formed and to become a great noble in my own right. My sweetheart Ellena began blossoming into a beautiful young lady, which only served to motivate me to try even harder. Despite the physical limitations my naturally weak frame placed upon me, I determined to overcome them. I spent many mornings riding out into the countryside near the feet of the northern mountains to find and lift the heaviest boulders I could manage. In this way, I added breadth and strength to my shoulders, going from a thin weak boy to a strong burgeoning man.

   “At this time, another young man of the nobility, Korys, took notice of Ellena and made clear his intentions to pursue her. This of course outraged me, especially since Ellena had no affection whatsoever for the good-for-nothing, and so immediately upon learned his designs I challenged him to a duel. Korys was a year older than I, and was the son of a nobleman of much greater power than our own family. This, however, did not enter my calculations as he and I agreed on swords as the weapon, found a suitable place, and met there on a bright sunny day of Burning Heavens. I did not know it at the time, but Ellena watched the conflict take place from a hiding place near the forest clearing were we stood at ready to begin the fight. After inspecting each other’s weapons and shaking hands, we walked to opposite ends of the clearing and drew our swords.

   “The fight was not a long one. While Korys was certainly taller and larger than I, he was not as skilled with his blade and kept to the simple tactic of trying to knock me to the ground so that he could finish me off easily. I found it to be a great amount of sport to step aside as he charged my person and simultaneously trip up his foot with the flat of my blade. Several times he fell, his clumsy fingers fumbling away his sword as he tumbled to the forest floor. Once he even managed to knock his head against a nearby tree, giving him a terrible looking knot upon the side of his head. Bruised and bewildered, the unfortunate young man charged again with more fury than any of his previous attempts, swinging his sword down at me with his full strength. Despite the added swing of anger, his attack was unchanged in its strategy, and he soon was plummeting to the ground once again. However, the momentum of his sword blade carried the object downward and caused it to plant itself into the earth, and as Korys fell his leg grazed the sword’s edge, producing a pair of gashes on his thigh and calf.

   “While not life-threatening, these injuries were certainly painful. Korys howled before jerking his sword out of the ground and swinging it wildly in my direction. I easily parried the blows directed at me then watched as Korys dropped his blade to his side and fell to his knees, exhausted by his sudden outburst. I moved behind him, using a sharp jab from the butt end of my sword hilt to bring him to the ground. Placing my sword blade at the nape of his neck, I proceeded to force an oath from him that he was never to pursue the lady Ellena again, nor speak to her, nor even dare to look upon her fair person. Then in a swift motion, I picked up his sword and placed it against a nearby rock before breaking the blade in half with a concerted stomp of my foot. The blade was very showy, but Korys must have had a poor eye for metalwork as it was quite a weak instrument. As my foe rose slowly to his feet, a few threats and choice insults from me were enough to cause his hasty retreat from the scene.

   “I sheathed my sword and took a seat against a tree at the edge of the clearing, closing my eyes as I exhaled a long breath of relief. A rustling sound nearby was followed by a pair of arms entangling me in a tight embrace. My startled eyes flew open as I was greeted by a very generous kiss from my love Ellena, who breathlessly told me what a courageous hero I was and how much she loved me. After some time spent together there, we spent what remained of the day walking aimlessly through the forest, talking gaily with one another. I told her I wanted her to be my wife, she accepted without hesitation, and we began making grand plans of what our life together would be. As the sun waned and twilight began to set in, we reached a small hill from which both the city and the mountains of the north could be seen. Resting there, with my darling’s head upon my shoulder, I felt that I should never die, but live forever and defeat every obstacle in my path. When we returned to the city that night, and I bid her farewell with a lingering embrace, I was never more confident that one day I would rise to greatness, with her at my side every step of the way.

   “That confidence remained with me when I awoke the next morning, a cloudy day with a steady rain blown about by a brisk wind. About mid-morning, as I prepared to go out for the day, a group of rather rough looking men appeared at our doorway. When our footman announced that they had been sent by Korys’ father, my own patriarch hastily came to the door. The measured, concise tones of the messengers’ leader were answered with hurried, frantic ramblings from my father. In a few minutes, the men entered our house, surrounded me, and informed me that I was now going to answer for the embarrassment suffered by Korys. I was walked out of the house and down several by-streets before coming face to face with the smug grin of my formerly vanquished foe. I was then furiously beaten by the group of four thugs, though not without a fearsome fight in return. Their numbers and their size advantage were too great for me, and I was left bloodied and bruised in that alley of the city. As Korys left, he spat in my face, shouting a curse against me.

   “I did not allow myself to stay down long, rising very painfully from the ground and crawling out into the main street. There, some kindly soul who I was not alert enough to remember his identity now, aided me back to my house, where I was tended to. I lay healing in bed for several months, my mind filling with dark thoughts all the while. I was shocked and hurt by the betrayal of my father, his inability to stand up for me in any way in this crisis. He avoided me during my entire convalescence, and I grew discouraged over my failure. When I finally did arise and walk about once again, I heard terrible news. It was announced city-wide that the marriage of Korys Ackword to the lady Ellena. That was the end of my hope to emulate old Johannes, the end of my dreams, and the end of the Caol who had lived eighteen years on this disc. In my grief I left my father’s house and wandered for three years, traveling from tavern to tavern, from fight to fight, and from rogue band to rogue band. It was in this time period that I stole a lute and taught myself to play it, which gives me some comfort from my troubles on occasion. I also happened upon a new friend, Urrrik the ogre, but that’s a story you can read elsewhere.

   “I have only recently returned to my family home, upon the news reaching my ears that my father was dying. By the time I got here, he had already passed, and I suppose I must give a funeral for the poor soul now. Not that I will miss him, he was a weak man throughout his life, who was a poor excuse of a role model for me. His legacy will unfortunately dog me for the rest of my life, as it seems that the small title he held will never reach me, and the pittance of an inheritance I might have received will most likely be swallowed up by one of my numerous enemies. This morning when I entered the city I learned that the lady Ellena died last year in childbirth. Now you can see why I’m a cynic. There are no fairy tale endings.”


Belongings

A plain short sword
2 tunics, 2 plain linen shirts, pants, leather boots
A canvas bag containing Caol’s clothing
Two bottles of
A thirteen string lute
A dark cloak

Familiars

Urrrik the ogre
« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 06:38:30 AM by Kalína Mërénwèn » Logged

There are no fairy tale endings.
~Caol Johannes~
Kalína Dalá'isyrás
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2009, 10:21:12 AM »

Hello Caol! ;) I know you are awaiting comments, yet my time has run short for today with work early in the morning. This is my IOU for tomorrow afternoon. Feel free to poke me with PMs if I "forget".

:)
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2009, 07:39:58 PM »

Hey Caol, excellent CD, brilliantly and entertainingly written.  Have you read any medieval romance?  Your portrayal of a poor knight's life is very accurate. You have two blanks though, one in the 3rd paragraph of appearance and one in the 7th paragraph of History.  The only thing that worries me is that you have Urrrik listed as a familiar, but he's not in your strengths or weaknesses.  If they are travelling together a lot of the time, I kind of feel like he should be in there.  I don't see much of a danger of unbalancing if you do put him in, as an Ogre is probably just as much hassle as he is help! 
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2009, 06:18:32 AM »

From what I have read, you look pretty good and are ready to go. Once the things Rooks pointed out, are taken care of :)

Also, you can link Urrik in this CD, just like you did with Caol in Urrik ^.~
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Insanity is only a perception made by those who have yet to attain its greatness. While those of us who have already stepped inside its bounds find bliss in our utter madness.
Nai'r en'Lina ar'Kaimel
Caol Johannes
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2009, 10:55:08 AM »

Shucks, I had meant to get a link in there originally, but somehow it didn't happen. Edits to Rookie's comments now made, thanks! Though the gap in the 7th history paragraph is not actually in the text. It just how the forum formats it, I guess.

@Rooks:I have not actually read any medieval romance, specifically, though I have read a lot of fantasy so I'm sure I've come across some of the same themes somewhere. I'm really glad you enjoyed reading it, thanks for the check!
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~Caol Johannes~
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2009, 02:18:15 PM »

Looks good, Morden.

~First Approval~
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2009, 04:10:09 AM »

It's not so much a gap in your history, but three question marks about halfway through.  I don't think the word is that important though, so I can give you a

~Second Approval~

I'd just recommend you fill it in before it gets moved down to the archives! ;)

The reason I though you might have read medieval romance, btw, is because you've got some cool touches like the way her love inspires him to fight better (very common theme) and the fact that he is forced to become a rogue/mercenary type (a sad fact for a poor knight).  I really like this character!
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2009, 06:38:49 AM »

Titled and Archived! :D
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