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Viscount of Redstone
Cryptomancer of the 2nd Circle
by Michael Berry
‘I will forever hear the screams and smell the burning flesh... and yet they call me a hero’
Ansel, like most elves, is slender, graceful and projects a noble bearing over and above his political rank. Blond haired and blond eyes Ansel is slightly taller than most elves and stands 5 feet 8 inches tall. Ansel shows impeccable tastes in his clothing when the situation merits but otherwise can be found in his comfortable leathers around his tower at Redstone. Friends have noticed that the youthful look Ansel had prior the Great War has been replaced by a harder leaner look.
II. Personality & Quirks
Ansel was once a happy go lucky Elf like many of his race caring for little and taking very little seriously. Due his experiences in the war he has changed significantly since the war however. Where he was once fun loving pleasure taking life as it came he has become much more serious and has become a vocal advocate for non-violence and for peace. Privately he questions his desire or ability to hurt anyone again, even in self defense and hope never to be in the position to have to decide between self-preservation and taking another’s life.
Regardless of his personal feelings about violence and the Great War, Ansel is extremely proud of his accomplishments once returning to Glantri from Alphatia. Unlike most nobles he genuinely cares about improving the lot of those he rules over and works hard to try to make their life better. Ansel’s true weakness is for children and could be used against him if an opponent ever discovered his weakness for them.
III. History & Background
Ansel was born in the woods between Vesubian and Red River in AC 737 not long after the Elves moved into Glantri from Alfheim. Ansel spent the first 100 years of his ‘adolescence’ in the forests being raised by his clan and wandering the woods, learning how to track and hunt and generally enjoy life. After his period of adolescence ended Ansel chose the path of the Wanderer and spent the next century visiting Alfheim, Norwold, and then finally Alphatia where he made many friends among the Shiye Elves. Ansel had a passionate relationship with Shiye woman and had a son with her. Though they never married he remained as part of his life until he was killed by a beholder in 912. After his son’s death a grief stricken Ansel left Alphatia and returned back home to Glantri and the forests of his clan.
Feeling he wanted to do something with his life, still young at 190 years old, Ansel decided to apply to the Great School of Magic in Glantri City. He excelled in his studies and had a particular talent for languages which drew the attention of the Glantrian Foreign Service. After graduating from the Great School of Magic Ansel decided to join the Glantrian Foreign Service and received his first posting which was in Darokin. Ansel worked himself up the ladder of the Glantrian Foreign Service and in AC 978 received a promotion to head of section and was assigned to the new nation of Karameikos where he reported directly to the Ambassador.
While he no longer was supposed to participate in field missions Ansel often would slip out and join them preferring to see information gained for himself rather than have his agents bring it to him for passage to the Ambassador. In spite of his refusal to adhere to the standards of his rank he proved to be popular and well thought of by the Ambassador herself as well as by his superiors in Glantri City. The information gained was more accurate than not and most importantly was gained without drawing attention to Glantri or worse causing an international incident. After Karameikos Ansel served in the Sind and was stationed in Darokin City when relations between Glantri and Alphatia quickly went very badly.
Following the assassination of an Alphatian spy in the spring of 1004 a delegation of the Glantrian Foreign Service was sent to Alphatia to deliver a message from the Council of Princes to the Empress Eriadna. Soon after arriving a prominent Alphatia General was assassinated and the Glantrians were accused of murdering him but managed to escape before being tried, convicted and executed. A couple of months later a meeting of nobles at Glantri Cities Silver Tower Inn turned deadly when a band of assassins broke in and unleashed a bombardment of high level spell fire killing many of those in attendance. Among the dead were the wives of both Prince Volospin and Prince Innocenti are along with Innocenti’s older brother. Ansel was immediately recalled to Glantri City and tasked with taking a diplomatic letter to the Empress demanding she surrender the assassins to Glantri for justice.
Upon arriving in Sundsvall Ansel met with the Empress and delivered his letter. The Empress denied Alphatia ordered the massacre. However before Ansel and his group could leave for Glantri they were arrested and accused of burning a number of temples in Alphatia. They were quickly tried and sentenced to death. Before the execution could be carried out however Ansel and his group were broken out of the Palace’s dungeons. In an attempt to escape they made it to Aasla, the primary sky-ship port in Alphatia, in an attempt to try to escape by stealing a sky-ship. Ansel managed to do so but in the process a fire they set to cover their escape went out of control. In addition to burning up the majority of Alphatia’s sky skip navy it also turned the city of Aasla itself into a firestorm. Over half the population of the city, some 200,000 people was lost. War before Alphatia and Glantri was declared soon after.
Ansel returned to Glantri as a hero for he had dealt Alphatia a crippling blow that would make a direct assault upon Glantri impossible thus necessitating Alphatia undergo a brutal slogging ground war against and through the Empire of Thyatis. Meaning it might take years for Alphatia to each Glantri, giving the much smaller nation much more time to prepare. Ansel though hailed as a hero was deeply traumatized by what he had done and the memories of it. He retreated back to Erewan for some months to hide from the public and private adulation. After some time he emerged and offered his services again to the Foreign Service. He served a few months in Thyatis City as an aide to the Glantrian Ambassador before he was recalled to Glantri City in 1006 to receive his reward for serving Glantri.
Ansel was offered a chance to join the ranks of the nobililty and take one of the new Baronies being created in the far west of Glantri. Ansel reluctantly accepted and soon ‘won’ his Awards Festvial for the open Barony which he named Goriidel, after his dead son. Unlike many nobles Ansel had no interest in joining the elite Terror squad going to Alphatia to wage guerilla war on the Alphatians. Ansel by this time was close to falling into deep depression and in order to keep that at bay he invested all of his time and energy into building up his dominion and appealing for new settlers. Ansel spent a couple of years as Baron of Goriidel before deciding to move on and competing for an open Viscounty. Given his enduring popularity and war hero status he easily won the vacant Viscounty of Redstone in 1008.
Since then Ansel has spent most of his time in Redstone to guide the rebuilding after the Great War. He rarely attends events at the Capital and spends most of his free time alone brooding over the ghosts in his past. Friends of Ansels recognize the pain and depression he is dealing with but to this point have been unable to bring him out of it. He is extremely popularly ironically with his majority Alphatian dominion. While they know of him and what he did they appreciate him for what he has done to try to improve their lives and help guide Redstone back to prewar prosperity.
IV. Web of Intrigue
Even though Ansel is well known and highly thought of member of the Glantrian nobility he really has no desire at this time to participate or even be around Glantrian politics. Unlike most nobles he does not maintain a residence at Glantri City and only visits when etiquette demands it. Visitors to the out of the way Redstone are few and far between so he does not have to worry about having to entertain visiting nobles.
Unlike many his generation, the Great War class of new nobles, he does not have the ties of friendship that many forged as leaders of the counter insurgency Hunter-Killer squads or members of the Glantrian Expeditionary force but conversely he is free of the enemies and rivalries those same ties created. Ansel has a tight group of friends in the diplomatic and foreign service who occasionally call on him at Redstone.
One relationship among the nobility though intrigues Ansel. While Ansel met and became known to all the ruling Princes and Princesses of Glantri one in particular has taken an interest in him, his liege ruler, the Princess of Erewan Carlotina. She has invited him several times to join her several times at Ellerovyn and while he was able to excuse himself numerous times on pressing business at Redstone he has not fully be able to avoid the Princess or her attentions. Ansel does privately wonder what exactly her interest is, it is merely sympathetic or is there something else there. Ansel does not deny his attraction to her; he just doubts that she might feel an attraction to him. He just plans to not make any moves and surrender the initiative to the Princess and if she makes the first move he would be more than happy to reciprocate.
V. Statistics & Style of Magic
Statistics: 10th-level Elf-Wizard (see GAZ 5), 2rd Circle Cryptomancer; Str 13, Int 17, Wis 9, Dex 15, Con 12, Cha 13; AL - Lawful
Languages: Elf (Erewan dialect), Thyatin, Alphatian, Sindhi
Weapon Proficiencies: none
Skills: Treewalking (I), Tracking (I), Alternative Magics (I), Alchemy (I), Disguise (I), Knowledge of Glantrian Government (I),Persuasion (Cha), Bargaining (Cha)
Ansel knows all defensive magical spells, and common use spells but only a few offensive combat spells Forced into combat Ansel would be more comfortable with a bow or a sword. At this point in Ansel’s life he hopes to never see combat and would likely only fight in self protection or to protect others.
"I wonder how long Ansel can remain ignorant that Carlotina wants some of that"
(Viscountess Kristiana Wilhamine to a group of friends and admirers at the Silver Tower Inn)