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Rolf von Graustein
Viscount of Blofeld
4th Circle Alchemist
by Michael Berry
“Tonight, we shall ascend into the heavens. We shall mock the earthquake. We shall command the thunders, and penetrate into the very womb of impervious nature herself ”
Rolf von Graustein, known affectionately as 'Herr Doktor', looks great for a man who recently celebrated his 70th birthday. He is as active as any 20 year old, and is in excellent physical shape. If his physique and mannerisms don't give a person a hint as to age then a close look would. What was a luxurious head of thick black hair has thinned out over the years and is now mixed with grey.
Von Graustein has strikingly hawkish facial features and rarely dresses up to his station in Glantrian society. He is always dressed in nondescript black and grey clothing usually with a long white coat over them. Herr Doktor has never been seen with any kind of jewellery or fancy accoutrements. He simply has no interest in such things.
II. Personality & Quirks
Von Graustein is driven by his experiments and magical research into the field of constructs. He spends most of his time in a special laboratory deep within the bowels of Schloss Ritterburg, often talking to himself or to his construct assistants, where he works constantly on his latest creations, or seeking a solution to a specific problem relating to his research into a particular creation. Rolf is often lost in his own world during these days and will forget about any mundane concerns or even forget that he might have visitors or guests once he immerses himself into his research. Prince Jaggar is Von Grausteins best friend and they have been friends since both were children and Jaggar was apprenticed for a time under Rolf's grandfather during which time they met and established a lifelong friendship that continues just as strongly today.
Rolf has an older mundaner sister, Tabitha, who Rolf is affectionate towards and visits occasionally but other than Jaggar and Tabitha Rolf really has little time for anyone else in his life. It is not that he is particularly anti-social, not like some driven mages can be. He just simply has no time for anything or anyone else with all the projects he has set for himself.
III. History & Background
The Von Grausteins are one of the most prominent Hattian families in Glantri. The Von Graustein family was one of the Hattian families put into exile from their ancestral holdings after their revolt against the ruling Thyatian clans in AC 313. The Von Grausteins and most of the other exiled Hattian families chose to immigrate to the Alasiyan colonies of Thyatis. There they remained for some 400 years until war came to Alasiya and the Thyatian forces were decimated at the Battle of Hedjazi in AC 728. The Hattian Commander Otto Von Drachenfels had heard rumors about the rich and sparsely populated Flaemish Highlands to the west and following the battle, many families followed Otto west, including the Von Graustein family.
Upon arriving in the Highland the Von Grausteins settled in present day located of Silverston and other Hattian families settled in the region known today as Blackhill. After several decades living in the area and laying roots in the area; the Von Graustein family and the rest of the Hattians were uprooted after Halzunthram decided he wanted the area the Hattians had for his own, so he offered the leader of the Hattian forces, Sigmund Von Drachenfels, the area of present day Aalban as his own. Against the protests of all the Hattian families he accepted and the Hattians, including the Von Grausteins vacated the lands they settled and moved to the north. The Von Grausteins were reluctant fighters on the side of Halzunthram during the early stages of the 40 Years War, being ever faithful to the head of the Hattians, the Von Drachenfels family, unaware that the new head of the Von Drachenfels was trying to undo what his father had done and was secretly trying to switch sides. Once the double-cross was finally revealed, and with the entry of Prince Morphail into the war on the side of the rebels, the tide of the war turned against Halzunthram.
With the end of the war the Hattians, including the Von Grausteins, wanted their original lands returned to them that were held by the Alphatians. The subject of those lands and what to do with the Alphatians was tackled during the sessions that would form the political structure of the new Republic of Glantri. In a close vote the Council rejected the motion and the Von Grausteins, and other Hattian families, were given new dominions. The Barony of Adlerturm in the north of Glantri was given to the Von Grausteins. The Von Graustein family continued to rule Adlerturm for over a hundred years, occasionally trying but never succeeding to win an Awards Festival during these years. In AC 951 the Viscount of Blofeld, Alberts Kviepoly, and his entire family was found butchered and the Viscounty of Blofeld came open. This time finally they got the required votes and Wilhelm von Graustein moved up to the Viscounty of Blofeld. There they remain to this present day.
Rolf Von Graustein was born in 943, the second child to Sigmund Von Graustein and Beatrice Cjisters. Rolf's grandfather, Wilhelm, was the Baron of Adlerturm at the time. Both Sigmund and Beatrice were arcaners though of low level. Neither really had Wilhelm’s interest in or affinity for magic, nor did Rolf’s older sister. It wasn't long before the magical talents of Rolf became apparent and Rolf spent more time with his Grandfather than his parents and took to heart his grandfather’s interest in constructs. Young Rolf was a sponge to his Grandfathers lessons and soaked up everything Wilhelm could teach him. During these years he met the young heir to the Principality of Aalban, Jaggar Von Drachenfels, who was sent to Wilhelm for a short apprenticeship before going to the Great School. Rolf was two years older than Jaggar but they formed a friendship that lasts to this day. It was cemented during their years at the Great School where they were inseparable even where their arcane interests were completely different. Rolf became a noted talent, even his youth for his creative and numerous experiments with alchemy and theories into constructs. After graduating the Great School in 961 Rolf went to live with his Grandfather, now the Viscount of Blofeld where he was given his own laboratory and he soon educating his former master in alchemy and educating him on advance construct theory. In 971 Wilhelm von Graustein passed away after a heart attack and his declared heir, Rolf Von Graustein became the new Viscount of Blofeld. Rolf had not interest or experience in leading in dominion so he appointed his father as his seneschal and continued to do as he had before his grandfather has passed and concentrated on his research.
When Jaggar ascension to the throne of Aalban in 983 he invited Rolf to join him and offered him a facility and resources that he could not even hope to have drawing upon the resources of Blofeld. Rolf accepted the offer and has spent most of his time in Schloss Ritterburg since then. He rarely comes to Blofeld, and does only to visit his sister who took over the management of Blofeld after their father passed away. Rolf in these years has become famous in Glantri with his mastery over Constructs and manipulating matter. He was given the moniker of 'Herr Doktor' and it stuck and he is referred by that by many that have not even met the Viscount. Though residing at Schloss Ritterburg he has left quite a retinue of his earlier constructs at Blofeld as a guard force who now answer to his sister Tabitha. There are 10 Galvan Magen, and 4 Iron Gargoyles serving as personal guards for the tower of Blofeld. At Schloss Ritterburg Rolf has created 83 Golems (52 Wood, 5 Bone, 17 Obsidian, and 9 Silver), 16 Magen( 10 Caldron, and 6 Galvan), 14 Manikins, and 10 Living Statues (4 Iron, and 6 Steel). They work various tasks for Rolf and for the von Drachenfels family.
Rolf has not been married nor had any children himself. He has two possible eligible heirs, the adult children of his older sister Tabitha, but hasn't made his mind up yet as to which of his nephews he will name as heir. Having always known that the family name and lineage will persevere, he never has concerned himself with having a direct heir himself. While he likes a good looking woman as much as any man and is definitely not an ascetic, he simply made the choice to give his life to his passion, research rather than home and hearth.
IV. Web of Intrigue
As the Von Graustein family has always been, Rolf is completely loyal to the Von Drachenfels family and directs his representative at Parliament to vote according to the desires of the Prince and House Ritterburg. Rolf has neither interest in politics nor any desire to participate in politics what so ever. The enemies and rivals of House of Ritterburg do not view Rolf as an enemy or a rival. They know Von Graustein has not the slightest interest in political games.
Only a direct and dire threat to Jaggar or House Ritterburg would stir Rolf to action. Even though best of friends Rolfe does not share Jaggars militant views on the Ethengarians. Quite simply Herr Doktor is often too busy to take a personal interest in anything outside of his studies and his friendship with Prince Jaggar.
V. Statistics & Style of Magic
Statistics: 17th level Wizard, 4th Circle Alchemist; Str 10, Int 17, Wis 11, Dex 12, Con 13, Chr 8; AL - Neutral
Languages: Thyatian (Hattian dialect), Alphatian, Averoignian
Weapon Proficiencies: Daggar (basic), Staff (basic)
Skills: Alchemy (I+1), Alternative Magics (I), Magical Engineering (I), Mathematics (I), Engineering (I), Metallurgy (I),Smithing (I), Sculpture (I), Mining (I)
Rolf von Graustein knows most common spells appropriate to his level but has never once unleashed a spell in anger, or even brandished a daggar in anger. If ever forced into combat without having his constructs available to fight for him Rolf would likely be at a severe disadvantage for simply not having memorized any offensive spells and only a bare mimimum of defensive spells. If given time to prepare for combat he would use his constructs when appropriate and use spells appropriate to defense to give him safety and time to direct his constructs in the attack. If put into a situation where his contructs could not be used, he would use basic offensive and defensive spells but might be liable to mistakes in their timings and applications that might prove fatal against combat experienced spellcasters.
"Rolf who? Oh, Herr Doktor. He's a little cracked, but harmless...right?"