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Genevieve de Sephora
Countess of Touraine
by Michael Berry
“Before I die I will have his white pelt on my wall”
Of all the beautiful women in Glantri, and boy let me tell you there are some, few even compare to Genevieve de Sephora. Genevieve stands 5’ 7” tall with long curly brown hair and green eyes. Her skin is mentioned often as perhaps her most stunning attribute. Despite her age her skin is flawless with no wrinkles and is soft and milky white. She tends to wear tight silk robes which accentuate her rather awe inspiring figure. Genevieve tends to prefer neutral colors with her clothing and often will wear jewelry to match her choice in colors and has a preference for simple jeweled pendants which rest upon her ample bosom. It is often joked among the male nobles that the Countess could simple charm a man by winking or smiling at him, the truth is her beauty is so exquisite that any male must save versus spells or be subject to a non-magical charm (same effect and duration as the spell).
II. Personality & Quirks
Genevieve de Sephora is driven by two increasingly divergent aspects of her personality. She is intensely loyal to the d’Ambreville family, especially Etienne, for providing her an escape from Old Averoigne on Laterre and bringing her to this place and giving her the opportunity, with the rulership of Touraine, to show that she is not just a pretty face and killer body but an intelligent woman and a wizard of great power. The darker side of Genevieve’s personality is that she is driven by a absolute hatred of Prince Malachie du Marais and of any lycanthropic creature. She has made it her single most important mission in life to see Malachie dead. While unable to act directly due to the realities of Glantrian politics she normally has multiple plots brewing at any time to have 3rd parties either kill him or more preferably quietly capture him and deliver him to her at Touraine so that she can reap her revenge upon him directly.
Outside of d’Ambrevilles and lycanthropes Genevieve is quite the pleasant host or guest. Having felt like she has proven herself as a wizard, reaching the High Mastery of Alchemy, and proved to all that she is a capable and efficient dominion administrator she feels little need to try to impress her fellow nobles as she did when she first was raised to Countess of Touraine by Etienne d’Ambreville himself in the face of substantial opposition at the Council of Princes. In her private life Genevieve has never felt the need to marry but has been quick to take lovers as she has felt the desire or whim and has 3 children from 3 different fathers; Etienne (age 7), Mathéo (age 5), and Eugénie (age 2). As her son is set to enter the Great School of Magic in a few years she is seriously considering becoming a teacher at the Great School and leaving her dominion under the care of a hired professional. However before leaving Touraine for Glantri City she still has one thing she wants to accomplish, avenging her family.
III. History & Background
Genevieve de Sephora was the only child of Sébastien and Francine de Sephora. Genevieve was born in 959 and raised at Sylaire, her family’s estate, in Old Averoigne. In the two hundred plus years since the d’Ambrevilles were driven out of Averoigne by the King of France the practice of magic was severely cracked down upon by the King and the Counts of Averoigne following the exodus of the d’Ambervilles and their followers. Magic was highly illegal in Old Averoigne and due to its particular history in the province was stamped out whenever indentified. Anyone found, or often even suspected to be capable, of practicing magic was brought to the Count of Averoigne and almost without fail was soon burned alive in the public square of the capital of Averoigne. So it was to her parents great horror when innocent little Genevieve starting showing latent magical abilities at the age of 5.
Knowing that if her talent was unharnessed she would likely be discovered and sent to the Count and likely burned alive her parents made the choice to have her formally educated as the best way to protect their only child. After many back channel inquiries and much gold being passed that the de Sephora family was put in touch with a underground wizard named Julien Beauvilliers. After meeting young Genevieve, Julien agreed to formally teach her magic as well as guide her in how to survive as a magician in Averoigne. Under the tutelage of Beauvilliers Genevieve progressed quickly as a mage and discovered a passion for alchemy. Genevieve studied under Julien for over 10 years until personal tragedy struck her and became the singular focus that defined Genevieve de Sephora.
In the summer of 975 the 16 year old Genevieve was due for her coming of age party and her parents arranged for her to be presented at the court of the Count of Averoigne. On the road at night between Sylaire and Vyonnes her family was attacked by a pack of six wolves under the bright light of a full moon. Using her magical powers Genevieve tried to protect her mother and father and moved between the wolves and her family and told them to flee with their two personal guards and ride as fast as they could back to Sylaire. After dispatching the wolves Genevieve rode hard back towards Sylaire to meet her parents and resume their journey but the young Genevieve instead came upon a large white wolf starting to feast upon the remains of her parents. Summoning all the magic she had remaining the enraged Genevieve attacked the white wolf which fled into the night. Both of her parents and one of the household guards was dead, the other guard was near death when Genevieve arrived. Soon after the white wolf had fled the severely wounded guard, before Genevieve’s own eyes, began to transform into a wolf. Suddenly realizing this was no normal wolf attack Genevieve dispatched the now lycanthropic guard.
Now the master of her family’s tower the young Genevieve buried her parents and made it her singular mission in life to find this white werewolf and destroy it. Over the following years she, and other fellow werewolf hunters, would gird herself for combat and search the dark forest of Old Averoigne on the nights of the full moon in search of werewolves and especially the white werewolf. The guerilla war continued for several years without resolution. One night in 981 Genevieve was on a werehunt and had found the white wolf alone they were locked in combat when a 3rd party stumbled upon them, a group of adventurers, who naturally joined Genevieve and attacked the white wolf soon forcing the white wolf to flee. Thanking the party of adventurers Genevieve was shocked to hear the story of how the party, not of Averoigne, was not even apparently from this world but somehow were from some parallel world. Knowing her history Genevieve immediately understood this party was from the same world that the infamous d’Ambreville family had fled to hundreds of years ago. Joining the party Genevieve helped break the curse of Etienne d’Ambreville upon his family and she found herself transported with the party to Noevelle Averoigne and the ruins of the old Châteaux d’Ambreville.
In the days that followed her arrival Genevieve met the Etienne d’Ambreville and they immediately struck up a friendship and she offered to serve him and the family to the best of her abilities. She also offered to see the rebuilding of a the d’Ambreville family estate and proceeded to arrange having Sylaire disassembled stone by stone and brought through the new portal between Old and New Averoigne for the use of the family. Along with the tower of Sylaire many in Old Averoigne took advantage of the new portal to flee the iron hand of the Count of Averoigne and settle on Mystara.
Soon reports of an outbreak of werewolf attacks came to Genevieve’s attention and once word of a large white wolf got to her Genevieve knew her battle with her parent’s killer was to continue. However her personal war with the White Wolf soon was soon sidetracked after a personal meeting with Prince Etienne who thanked her personally for the relocation of Sylaire and offered her a chance to join the nobility of Glantri. All she had to do was play along with Etienne who was going to claim she was a distant relative of a recently deceased noble. Trusting Etienne to carry off the charade Genevieve agreed and upon the announcement that the Count of Touraine, Thierry Tulasne, had passed away supposedly without a declared heir or any known family she was presented to the Council of Princes as his distant relative.
Genevieve was known to the Council for being a new arrival from the d’Ambreville’s homeworld and donating her tower to the d’Ambrevilles which was carried through the portal stone and stone and rebuilt as Sylaire, the new home of the d’Ambreville family but not as any relation to Tulasne. Angry questions and hints of cronyism were directed at Etienne but he was able to provide a signed document from Tulasne indicating that his distant relative from Laterre be his heir, in addition Etienne produced paperwork said to be from Laterre notating the ancestral connection. After a week of bitter divisive debate, as much suspecting cronyism as much as simply wanting an Awards Festival to this prized dominion, Genevieve de Sephora was barely confirmed by Council vote to become the next Countess of Touraine. It is said her unique charming influence on men had as much to do winning the vote as Etienne’s dubious paperwork.
Settling into her new position as Countess of Touraine, de Sephora had three priorities. Establishing herself as a formidable wizard and master of alchemy to the other wizards of Glantri, taking a hands on approach to running Touraine, and last but not least continuing her private war against her enemy from Laterre the White Wolf. The years that followed her ascension to Countess of Touraine Genevieve de Sephora did remarkably well, first learning of, joining, and defeated the High Master of the Secret Craft of Alchemy and becoming its Master. She also proved to be an able administrator of her dominion, skillfully guiding it through the Great War and the devastating plague and over time became quite beloved by the people of Touraine. Only in her private war with the White Wolf did she not succeed. Soon after becoming Countess of Touraine a Averoignian wizard came to her attention who was an albino and active in the Valley of the Wolves. Strongly suspecting Malachie du Marais was the White Wolf Genevieve commissioned numerous attempts to kill or capture him which all failed. Soon her war against Malachie became more complicated as Malachie become a fellow noble then later a Prince of Glantri. Genevieve was never able to get hard proof that the White Wolf and Malachie were one and the same so she couldn’t act directly against him nor find any recourse in the laws of Glantri. Never one to admit defeat she continues her private war on Malachie to this day and lycanthropes in general and is noted for having cleared nearly all lycanthropes from her dominion.
IV. Web of Intrigue
Genevieve for most of her years in Glantri has not been personally involved in Glantrian Politics preferred to lay low and administer to her dominion and gain power by establishing herself as the premier alchemist in Glantri. Her only real goal outside of Touraine was of course her private war with Malachie du Marais. Restrained by the realities of Glantrian politics she has been forced to resort to using 3rd parties to attempt eliminating or capturing him. The elevation of Malachie to Prince of Morlay-Malinbois and the close working relationship he had first with Prince Etienne and later Princess Ididore have made her task even more difficult. She has in the past and continues still today to make use of her skills with alchemy to aid in finally getting her revenge upon Prince Malachie.
In the years since the Great War Genevieve has taken greater interest in the politics of Glantri. After the death of Henri d’Ambreville the traditional loyalty of Genevieve to Noevelle Averoigne has been severely strained. Relations between the Countess and Princess Isidore have been strained by rumors of her being a lycanthrope, a werewolf, and most certainly not helped by Princess Isidore’s alliance with Prince Malachie. Last year Countess de Sephora was known to have had several social visits with Princess Dolores of Blackhill and has been seriously mulling Dolores’ offer to leave House Sylaire and join House Silverston. Time will tell if she will for no matter how cold the relationship between Genevieve and Isidore, there always remains the Averoignian bond and loyalty to the memory of Prince Etienne. However if Princess Dolores was able to do as she promised, and deliver Prince Malachie to Genevieve, she might seriously consider joining House Silverston.
V. Statistics & Style of Magic
Statistics: 23rd level Wizard, 5th Circle Alchemist; Str 11, Int 17, Wis 15, Dex 10, Con 13, Chr 18; AL - Neutral
Languages: Averoignian, Thyatin Common, Alphatian (Flaemish dialect), Elf
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger (skilled), Staff (skilled)
Skills (11): Alchemy (I+3), Metallurgy (I), Alternative Magics (I), Knowledge of Lycanthropy (I+1), Knowledge of Glantrian Government (I), Glantrian Society and Nobility (I), Persuasion (Cha)
Genevieve is a powerful spellcaster who is well versed in all the common offensive and defensive spells. While not particularly known as a combat mage by the very nature of her high level and repertoire of spells she would prove a very formidable opponent in combat. Due to her high political and social standing in Glantri she is more apt to use her formidable and more subtle skills as a alchemist and High Master of the Secret Craft of Alchemy to combat a known opponent. Genevieve would only resort to dagger and staff in the most extreme cases otherwise teleporting away from a danger that her magic alone could not defeat.
‘Oh don’t listen to the rumors; she just never forgave me for shooting her down one night’
(Malachie du Marais)