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Deadly Decadent Court approved characters


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Old 06-02-2016, 11:35 PM   #1
The Oracles
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Default Alianor Vellfyre

- Character Information -
Name: Alianor Vellfyre Sollis
Titles, if any: Princess
Age and Birthdate: 58, born A272.
Hometown/Area of Origin: Tor Vellesca, Tal Volorro
Noble House, Affiliations: Vellfire, Sollis
Position at Court: Unofficial Head of Household (according to her)

Appearance: Tall, with perfect posture. Blonde hair, slightly greying and blue-grey eyes. Claims poor knees and walks with a jeweled cane, although some mutter that this is just to improve her presence. Hard to argue when you might get a smack from a large stick, after all.
PB: Janet McTeer

Personality:
Proud and more than a little abrasive at times, Alianor nevertheless has a reputation for being consistently fair-minded and oftentimes kind, especially to those in her employment and especially to the disenfranchised at court. This doesn’t mean she’s totally undemanding, however, she has notoriously strict views on how households should be run, holding her retinue and the people around her to a high standard of courtly behaviour. Despite this, her even-temperedness and occasional bouts of generosity make her high expectation of personal virtues worth putting up with.

Even with the death of her own daughter and her son grown, she takes a special interest in her older neices, nephews and the children of other nobles who come into her orbit, even when she is no longer acting as a kind of governess to the King’s daughters or overseeing her own children’s education. Sees herself as a kind of mentor to young people, particularly women, and these days views them as a kind of ‘project,’ to shape into a perfect courtier.

Her charitable tendencies are well-documented and she enjoys using her social standing to make donations to orphanages and improving the crown’s image, but at least some of this is genuine in the way she takes wards into her household with real concern for their interests. Is largely ignorant to the concerns of the peasants however, believing her social responsibility lies in the very narrow traditional scope of a court lady. This, she enjoys, holding control over her own little world which she might rule over benevolently holds great pleasure and self-reward for her.

Whilst not quick-tempered or particular fiery, she demonstrates her displeasure nontheless by being abrasive, dishing out slights or straight up ignoring nobles she feels do not act in a way she deems appropriate. Ocassionally mildly manipulative, especially when keeping the status quo of a smoothly running household. Is known to invoke, ‘my dear husband Septimus,’ a little too often for it to be believable.

Whilst not particularly superstitious as far as almanacs and astrology goes, she takes a serious interest in the contemporary religious and medical practical advice of the day, meaning she takes walking for exercise when a certain planet is in sight or eating a lean diet a full moon (or whatever the latest trend is) very seriously, doing her own research and even writing her own books on midwifery, women’s medicine and various other subjects. Much of this is actually in line with scholarly thought, Alianor has a reputation as a learned woman and wasn’t named as a governess to her neices for no reason. She’s also published pamphlets on philosophy, courtly behaviour, advice for wives (ironically, considering her tempestuous relationship with Septimus) and patronises a number of poets, writers, medical practitioners, astronomers and mathmeticians in her court.

Tends to disapprove of those who she deems lazy, weak-minded, vain, cruel, or spent a lot of time persuing hedonistic pleasures. Would approve/be amenable to those who are intelligent, duty-conscious, witty and value tradition, the latter particuarly as she’s grown older.


Timeline:
272: Born to Crown Prince Kaiden and his wife Princess Alexandria. Milknamed Sugar.
273: Named Alianor.
279: Alinor’s education begins, excells at art and enjoys languages.
282: Mourns her brother Volus, with whom she was close.
285: Alianor’s father becomes King.
288: Marries Septimus Sollis at the behest of family at age 16, of whom she has a low opinion and enjoys being married not. Remains at court after much persuasion and manipulation.
292: Daughter Jeyne is born.
294: Father Kaidan dies, brother Rothgar ascends to the throne. Alianor helps arrange both the funeral and coronation.
299: Edric is born. Jeyne starts her education and Alianor insists on doing much of the teaching personally.
306: Named Governess to the Household of her Princess neices Valencia and Ziamara, passing on some of her former royal household duties to Melantha Solvitreo.
308: Becomes guardian to her neice Valencia and takes a special interest in her education and wellbeing.
309: Jeyne marries Isarn Vikary at the age of 17.
311: Grandson Robett is born.
312: Crown Prince James dies and Ziamara becomes clingy. Alianor pushes to foster her out but is overruled.
313: Edric is sent away to become a squire at the age of 14.
316: Grandaughter Arista is born.
317: Jeyne dies at the age of 25. Her mother never truly recovers and goes into a long period of mourning.
324: Husband Septimus dies. Publicly mourns a great deal. Privately, not so much. The difference between the mourning of her daughter and of her husband is stark.
325: Organises the engagement of Edric to Lenore. Congratulates herself on a job well done.
326: Frantic at the thought of losing another child, Alianor uses her influence at court to pull Edric out of the war, damaging their relationship.
328: Mourns the loss of a close nephew Garrett in Abat-Charn. Grandson Richard is born (milkname Pudge).
329: Robett Vikary, her grandson, dies in battle. Blames herself for not using her influence to get him out of battle, too.
330: Red Fever begins and as a charitable (and PR) gesture the Princess Alianor visits the sick and distributes alms around the city. 2 of her favoured ladies later fall sick. Granddaughter (milkname Lilly) is born.
331 - 1M: Grandaughter Arista dies. Alianor is amongst the nobles who visit the temple and is caught up in the riots. Another favoured maid is injured in an attack and dies three weeks later from her wounds. Edric and Lenore divorce after accusations of adultery, causing a rift between her once close friend Melantha. Alianor accompanies her brother, the King, on the royal progress.
331 - 4M: Alianor receives a waterlogged letter informing her of Edric’s death by Springtime fever and goes into a long period of mourning mired by regrets.

Family Tree: See House Vellfyre.

Information on the Family: See House Vellfyre.

Retinue:
Donna Miria: Maid-in-Waiting/Lady Companion, one of her few remaining childhood friends, previously a strict chaperone to her daughter and now head chaperone to all the young ladies of the Princesses retinue.

Lady Arsinoe: A fool - most definitely not an actual lady - who dances and amuses the Princess by saying outrageous things not usually acceptable at court. Shaves her head and wears a selection of ostentatious hats.

Juan Pedro Suaraz: Long standing accountant and general secretary to her household.

Br. Matias: A very old and infirm spiritual and medical advisor, who these days sleeps more than advises. Kept on mostly for appearances, although Alianor is genuinely fond of him and takes his advice seriously.

Elianora ‘Nora’ Suarez: Maid-in-Waiting, a bright young girl from a very minor family that attends the Princess and carries out small duties. Juan Pedro’s niece.


Writing Sample:
The gods were cruel. This was not the teaching of the benevolent priest murmering over incense and statues, but it was nonetheless the truth, Alianor thought to herself. She stoicly watched the ritual play out in front of her, as she did every week on her meticulously kept schedule. Like a silent play they moved, chanting prayers, the white musk smoke floating to the heavens themselves. This wasn’t usually time to consider the gods, but time the Princess used to accomplish two things. First, her own performance. The walk to the Temple District, accompanied by virtuous ladies of the household. A display of regular, punctual piety. The sitting and the watching, perfect posture, perfect repetition of prayers. All her maids had to know the prayers, the correct time to light the incense. The right amount of quiet contemplation and the right amount of nodded respect due to the priests. All the court was an dance, and the Princess prided herself on knowing these steps by heart.

And then the lighting of candles for the dead: My dear husband Septimus, she would begin, lighting a candle to his memory. That one was a lie. A play, just like the priests who repeated their actions over and over for the audience. This small act signaled the end of her performance and the beginning of something everyone did with at least a little genuinity. Everyone had lost someone. A babe lost before even their milkname had been replaced, a husband lost in the recent conflicts. A father barely out of his fourtieth year. For the Princess, a brother. A daughter, a son. A nephew, grandchildren. Friends who had served her since their childhood. The list went on and on, growing every year whilst Alianor grew older. How could it be that such a woman, who had passed on everything she knew already, should outlive a daughter? A granddaughter?

The candles were lit, the smoke evaporated through the occulus in the ceiling to send their prayers to the gods themselves. The hopes and wishes of the few of her ladies who took their pious duty seriously, the lazy repeated prayer of those who didn’t. And the questions Alianor had herself, about the place she once thought so assured.

But nothing was assured in this life, that was also true, as true as the fact that the gods were cruel.


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