Sunday, February 26, 2012
Character Spotlight - Markus du Monte
Campaign: LEGACY the Path of Heroes
Race: Human (Suel)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
STR 17 DEX 18 CON 16 INT 11 WIS 11 CHA 08 CMS 14
Markus du Monte was born on 11 Harvester CY557 in the town of Penwick in the Viscounty of Verbobonc. He is the son of a retired knight, Sir Morgan du Monte, and his wife by an arranged marriage, Lady Madeline of Safeton. Markus was raised in Penmont Keep, Sir Morgan’s ancestral home, but was bullied from an early age by his older twin brothers, both already squires keen to follow in their father’s footsteps, who served with honour as a Knight of Verbobonc in the army that was victorious at Emridy Meadows.
Markus has two younger sisters, but he was closest to his mother during his early years growing up in Penmont Keep. Madeline was a sad woman, all but ignored by Morgan du Monte after the birth of their four children, but having grown up on the Wild Coast she was independent and loved the outdoors, and took Markus on many outings into the woods around Penwick.
Markus was toughened by the rough treatment of his brothers, but by the time he was 13 he had developed a deep hatred of them, worsened by the adoration heaped on the twins by their father. At that time Markus was sent to live with Roderic, his father’s cousin, and the mayor of the nearby village of Kleinmere. Rumours in Penwick tell of the hunting incident involving Markus and a near-fatal arrow wound to one of the twins that instigated this exile, but Markus has never discussed the matter.
Markus took an instant dislike to both his father’s cousin, Roderic, and the village of Kleinmere, and his normal moodiness worsened into outright disrespect, surliness and a rebellious attitude. This resulted in Roderic sending Markus to stay with his head huntsman in a cottage where his lands bordered the Gnarley Forest. The huntsman, a tough, war-wounded, and cantankerous old ranger named Bren, took the boy in “to teach him some manners”, and set him to performing the most demanding (and demeaning) chores he could find, often from dawn to well after dusk.
However, over the next two years, Markus began to change. Toughened by this rigorous routine, and the rough and no-nonsense treatment of Bren, Markus seemed to learn to respect, if not admire the old ranger. By the time he was 18, Markus was being trained full time in the lore of the woods by Bren, and under the old ranger’s tutelage learned to master the longbow and the great axe. Swords reminded Markus of his brothers and his father, and the trappings and ‘ridiculous traditions’ of knighthood, and he would have nothing to do with them.
By the age of 21, Markus had finally gained the full respect of Bren, if not his admiration, and a strange friendship, bordering on a father/son relationship, had formed between the two. Both now served Roderic as master huntsmen, although both shared a dislike of Kleinmere’s mayor, and the type of heavy-handed mercenaries he employed as his guards.
However, soon after his 22nd birthday, an extended return trip to Penwick ended in some form of showdown between Markus and his now ageing father and his brothers. The du Monte twins, now knights of Verbobonc, were already famous in Verbobonc City, but more for their carousing and reckless gambling than their military prowess or honour. Indeed, Markus found that in the nine years of his absence Penmont Keep had fallen on hard times - most of its fineries having been sold off, and the keep itself beginning to look shabby and poor.
Markus does not speak of that trip, but what is known is that he returned to returned to Kleinmere on a stormy on the last day of CY578, along with his mother, she wrapped in a heavy cloak and hood. The two were exhausted and drenched as they staggered into Bren’s cottage, but all three did not sleep that night as they discussed their plans until dawn stained the eastern sky. No one in Kleinmere is yet aware, as Needfest gets underway, that Lady Madeline of Penwick is in hiding in the old huntsman’s cottage, and Markus will not discuss anything to do with his family.
Since then, Markus has begun to frequent the local tavern in Kleinmere. He can now be found there, sipping on a mug of ale or mulled wine, gathering news of the outside world from travellers, and keeping an eye out for whatever it is that he is waiting for that will guide his destiny and set him on the path to adventure… .
Markus dresses in the studded leather armour gifted to him by Roderic, but his prized possessions are the great axe and longbow crafted for him by Bren. Markus is suspicious of those he does not know, and surly and sometimes rude with strangers (CHA 8), but he can form long-lasting bonds with those he grows to trust. His rough upbringing under Bren has made him strong (STR 17), and years running on foot in the forest and training with the bow have kept him lithe (DEX 18) and healthy (CON 16).
Although the family portrait painted during Markus’ return to Penwick shows him short-haired and clean-shaven, he has now grown his hair long, and he sports a beard. He is not vain, but he is a handsome man (COM 14), and from Bren he has learned to use his common sense and wit (INT 11) to apply the old ranger’s simple wisdoms and no-nonsense approach to life to temper his youthful spirit (WIS 11). However, his noble blood sometimes makes Markus yearn for the finer things in life, and he has a bad habit of dwelling too much on things that bother him, or drinking too much to keep thoughts of them at bay. He can be quick to anger, and has a sarcastic sense of humour that lands him in trouble from time to time.