Author Topic: The Good, The Bad, and the Hidden - The Verteidiger Family Story  (Read 913 times)

Kieyt

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| - This is merely a brief family history to help set up the story of my characters.  Any questions/comments/critique are welcome.  If you've been in the same region/realm as them, you may have already read some of this.  - |

The Verteidiger (Defender) family is a small house of nobles located on the continent of Atamara, within the Realm of Talerium.  Much like the people of that realm, the family generally put forth nobles of tenacious ambition and nobility, steadfast in their convictions, and unfaltering in their motives.  While many nobles have since come and gone from the house, this story focuses on a set of three, and their connections...

It all started with Devesh Verteidiger.  A strapping man with a big heart and a bigger mouth, he spent most of his time pursuing a life civil work and avoiding military life.  He travelled from place to place, assisting the funding of schools and academies, as well as common houses and cheaper residence.  His goal, he claimed, was to make life easier for the common folk - and in tern, make them more willing to serve their realms.  He would marry a woman, Whiska, from another small noble family because he felt she shared his ambitions.  He was wrong.

It soon became evident that Whiska was a greedy and power hungry woman, and Devesh quickly lost his love for her.  It was during this time that rumors began to abound - That the free-spirited Devesh was carrying on an affair.  More troubling still were the rumors that his mistress was a commoner, a dirt-shoveling serf.  Rumors were all they would ever be, with no solid evidence to be gained.  Soon, Whiska was with child, and the rumors slowly faded for a time...

However, Whiska would die in childbirth due to complications, leaving young Kessel without a mother.  Devesh tried to raise the boy, but his duties kept him extremely busy.  The result was that Kessel would primarily be raised by his aunt and uncle along with his older cousin, Lesaria.

Rumors began to abound again that Devesh's mistress had also borne a child - a bastard to the Verteidiger name - and that if that was the case, he had claim to the "second seat" of the Verteidiger family estate.  That is, the Verteidiger family only ever allowed two family members at a time to represent it in military capacity, and the right of "first option" was given to the lineage with the most honor.  In this case, Devesh's.

Thus, should this bastard exist, he would bump Lesaria from her spot... Something Lesaria's mother - Kessel's aunt - and Lesaria herself very much wished to avoid...



| - KESSEL - |

Fame. Honor. Glory. Power. Kessel had grown up hearing stories of all such things, but those things were not what finally drove him from the family home and into the service of his realm. No, it was something deeper, more personal, a story the family never openly talked about, but whispers could be caught in the quiet of the night.

"They say he lives yet, despite his whore mother dying in the streets..."

That line had perked a younger Kessel's interest as he crouched low in the shadows, listening to his aunt and her friend talk just on the other side of the cracked door.

"Hmph, I doubt it." His aunt shifted in her chair, frowning thoughtfully at her well manicured hands. "If he had the hot-headedness of his father and the gullibility of his mother, he'd be long dead by now."

Her friend shrugged, pushing a lock of her auburn hair behind a delicate, pale ear. "Still, if it's true, he has a legitimate claim to the family name, doesn't he? I mean, your daughter only got her claim because..."

"Enough." Kessel's aunt rose from her chair. "Kessel has no brother, and Lesaria has no rival to her station. If the whelp ever showed his face and made such a claim, he wouldn't be believed, he has no proof, the other nobles would execute him for his insolence. You'll never speak of this again."

Brother. Kessel's imagination took flight that night. The stories would continue to trickle in as he grew older, and he did all he could to research his potential bastard brother's whereabouts...

---
Present day...

Kessel frowned into the distance, wondering if the squiggles on the horizon were his new home. He was a Knight now, a brave young man with the world at his fingertips. He had a feeling his brother was still out there, somewhere, knocked from his place by his older cousin: a wretched woman who longed for nothing but power. He hadn't even been able to find a name for the boy, if he had even ever been given one.

Still, he would keep looking, all the while bringing honor to his home and people... Even if his brother was gone, he would honor his memory... and if given the chance, expose his cousin for what she really was.

He urged his men forward. "Come on, men! Tavos, give those stragglers in the back something to fear and get 'em moving! Victory and justice do not create themselves!"

He smiled towards the horizon once again, a quiet wind blowing past his face and tousling his semi-long brown hair. Talerium. There was nowhere else he'd rather be.



| - LESSARIA - |

Fame. Honor. Glory. Power. Lesaria had grown up hearing stories of all such things, and they filled her head. To have fame, one must be honored. To be honored, one must find glory. To find glory, one must be powerful. To be powerful, one must be strong. To be strong, one must crush the weak. With that mantra, she grew into the fierce warrior she was now. Merciless on the battlefield as well as court politics, she gained a reputation amongst the rest of her family as a predator - a single sign of weakness, and she would have you forever.

And yet, there were rumors... Rumors the only reason she was given her chance to be what she was now was because another heir to the name had gone missing. A prodigal bastard son whose place she had taken. Never openly spoken of, but mentioned in the quiet still of the night by those who thought all other ears had fallen to slumber.

"They say he lives yet, despite his whore mother dying in the streets..."

That line, spoken by her mother's friend, had Lesaria's interest as she crouched low in the shadows of the study, listening to her mother gossip with a family friend.

"Hmph, I doubt it." Her mother shifted in her chair, frowning thoughtfully at her well manicured hands. "If he had the hot-headedness of his father and the gullibility of his mother, he'd be long dead by now."

Her friend shrugged, pushing a lock of her auburn hair behind a delicate, pale ear. "Still, if it's true, he has a legitimate claim to the family name, doesn't he? I mean, your daughter only got her claim because..."

"Enough." Lesaria's mother rose from her chair. "Kessel has no brother, and Lesaria has no rival to her station. If the whelp ever showed his face and made such a claim, he wouldn't be believed, he has no proof, the other nobles would execute him for his insolence. You'll never speak of this again."

Brother. Lesaria scowled into the shadows, fists clenched. There was one who would question her power and authority? Hidden amongst the common rabble? No, her mother was too at ease about this. Commoners had risen to positions far above their stations in the past through luck and skill. Her bastard cousin could ruin everything if he managed to make a name for himself somewhere. She swore she would track him down, and if given the chance, remove his threat permanently...

And Kessel, the bastard's half-brother... If she had to deal with him too, well... A bridge to be crossed if it came to it.

------------------------
Present day...

Lesaria tightened her short blonde hair back into a military pony-tail and adjusted the locking gauntlet on her left hand. Newly appointed a Knight of her chosen realm in a land far away from home, she had found her bastard cousin, but did not feel threatened by him. He seemed unaware of his heritage, and was far away in Atamara, far from where he could cause her any real problems. Still, she had scouts keeping an eye on him occasionally, just to be sure... Kessel, too, was still on Atamara where the family home was, and if that meddling fool managed to find him... well...

She shook her head, and placed her large broadsword into its shoulder harness. Problems for another day, she had power to attain.


| - BENJAMIN - |

Power. Glory. Honor. Those were things he had heard in the stories, growing up, that nobles fought for, and their men died for. He'd seen none of it. No, he had three other things that consumed his life story: Blood. Sweat. Tears.

Nearly fifteen years ago now, his mother held him close while she was sick and cold, giving him their last piece of bread. "My dear son..." She told him, a loving sadness in her eyes. "You aren't just any boy. Not just any man. There is noble blood in you, and I know that if you do your very best, the rest of the world will see it too."

----

Noble blood...

"What a load of shovelled dung." Benjamin stated out-loud as he pushed the remains of an undead from his blade, remembering his mother's final words to him. "Just comforting nonsense for a boy she was about to leave behind."

He surveryed his handi-work against the undead and smirked proudly. Not a bad job. "Hmph, I'd love to see a noble get down and dirty with these guys. I bet some of them could single-handedly wipe an entire army of these bone-bags."

He pulled an apple from his sack, tossed it into the air before catching it and taking a large bite, letting the juice dribble down his unkept face. "Mmmmm... sweet victory..." He closed his eyes, thinking again of his mother.

---

"You have a half brother, a noble lad, out there somewhere. I'm sure if you find him, he'll help you claim your rightful spot." She had told him. "But be careful not to go around making bold claims... The spot you should have, your birthright... Your cousin sits in that station, and she will be loathe to give it up. She will hurt you if she finds you... her and her aunt... wretched people, them, a disgrace to your fine name..."

---

"If I was from such a fine name..." He smacked his apple, talking to a severed head of a skeleton on the ground absentmindedly. "...Why am I in this situation anyway?"

Tossing the core away and packing up his things, kicked the skull away, grinning at the distance it went. "Still... It'd be fun to be a Knight, I bet. I wonder if they really do slay dragons and rescue princesses daily..."



Mini-profiles:

Kessel Verteidiger

Age: 20
Sex: Male
House Ranking: Military, 1st seat
Alignment: Lawful Good
Faith: The Word

A strapping young lad at 6' even, a trim, cut build and a firm jaw.  He has shoulder-length brown hair - oft in a loose ponytail - and emerald green eyes.  Though rarely seen, the Talerium crest is tattoo'd over his heart, a symbol of his love and loyalty to the realm.  He has an exceptionally kind disposition to those with less power and fortune than him, and a very strict code of honor in which he will never, of his own accord and knowledge, strike down a weak or helpless foe.  Though he joined the military, and takes his job very seriously, he dreams of a day when the world will have no need for men like him, and fights to bring that reality to bare.

He is a follower of The Word on Atamara, and while not the most religious member of the congregation, takes its morals and tenants to heart.

He is exceptionally fond of the men in his unit, Bard's Song, and does his very best to keep casualties to a minimum, seeing the loss of even one life as a failure on his part as their commander.

Quotes/Insight:

"A good commander is nothing without good men to back him up, and I'm proud to serve with the archers of Bard's Song."

"When we march, Bard's Song, sing forth! Let the enemy know we're coming. Let them hear our approach. Let them know that this melody is not a battlecry... it is their dirge."

"It is a Knight's duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves!  To ignore this, to deny this, is to reject what sets us apart from the beasts that wait at our very doorstep to rip us apart!"

"We ARE the desert winds. We ARE the sandstorm. We ARE unstoppable. WE. ARE. TALERIUM."

-----------

Lesaria  Verteidiger

Age: 25
Sex: Female
House Ranking: Military, 2st seat
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Faith: Pagan

Though some may call her beautiful, she has no time nor desire for such claims.  She is a woman driven purely by power and glory, and has deemed nothing worthy enough to stand in her way.  Her blonde hair is kept short, only to a little past chin-length which she ties back into a small military ponytail/bun when preparing for combat.  Her eyes - a frosty, saphire blue - are hard and often focused, seemingly staring into the heart of the person she is speaking too, looking for any sign of weakness.  She is tall, right at about 5'11", and has an athletic build with a small, but respectable, bust. 

She chose to join the Obsidian Islands far from home in the East Continent where her younger cousin Kessel couldn't use his family clout to thwart her bids for power, and to be far and away should those rumors of a bastard be true.  She plans to return to Atamara once she has gained sufficient influence and clout to take the family's "prime lineage" for herself, and to stamp out any hope of the bastard's claim. 

Power and glory are all that drive her, and though she has no problem hurting others for her personal gain, she does have a very strict code of conduct which she follows - if only to give the illusion of civility.

Quotes/Insight:

"It is the duty of us born of noble blood to lead the rabble, because they lack the power to forge any destiny of their own."

"What use is power if one doesn't use it?"

"Mercy? Would you let a snake who bit your child free so that he may bite him again at a later date?  Sever its head and keep your home secure."

"Do you think a queen ant cries when its soldiers and workers die in its name?  Then neither should we cry for our citizens and soldiers lost as a result of war.  Victory is the only thing that matters."

----------

Benjamin Kurier (Verteidiger)

Age: 20
Sex: Male
House Ranking: Bastard/Uknown/Unacknowledged
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (with a Good lean)
Faith: Pagan (though he has been interested in the few pamphlets of "The Word" he's gotten passing scribes to read to him).

His 5'8" frame doesn't stand out amongst the crowds, though his fit and scarred frame might make him out.  A mess of brown hair, just past the base of his ears , usually hangs free and wild as he makes his way from region to region, following rumors of monsters and undead.  His eyes are a dark brown, though they seem to shine with a constant laughter - an inside joke to which only he is privy to.

His mother gave him everything.  When she died, all she was able to leave for him were a few silver coins, and an old blade that had seen much better days.  The hilt of the blade seemingly once had a crest or a seal on it, but it had long since been removed.  There was an engraving on the blade itself that had almost all but worn off, leaving just a few letters: "esh Ve."  Still, with that blade and those coins, he took off from the farmlands he was a serf on, becoming an outlaw freelancing adventurer, seeking his own thrills and stories like the ones he grew up with.

He doesn't really believe his mother's stories of his noble heritage, and as such, he is not looking for his long lost family, and is in fact trying to, generally, avoid detection.  However, after learning about this faith called "The Word" and how it stands to help people of all walks of life better themselves and their lives, he has become somewhat obsessed with joining the faith, and works tirelessly to scrape the funds together to formally join it as an aspirant.

He also really enjoys smashing undead.  He finds it liberating.

Quotes / Insight:

"Expecting company... Monsters? Undead? Rival realm? I'd rather not stick around to find out, that's a LOT of soldiers..."

"Sorry, they don't pay me to stand around and look pretty.  In fact, they don't ever pay me for anything."

"I got this scar fighting a dragon while saving a maiden from the-- Hey! Where are you going? I haven't even got to the good part!"

"Noble seems to be a misnomer, the way they treat us, sometimes..."

"Heh, Sir Benjamin... I like the sound of it.  I bet I'd make a pretty good Kn-- Hey kid! Stop laughing! A man can dream, y'know."

"Apples.  Apples are the single greatest invention ever."
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 02:29:18 AM by Kieyt »

Indirik

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Have you put all this on the wiki yet?
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving.

Kieyt

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I have not yet put it on the wiki.  I was waiting for a bit of feedback/tweaks, since it's been years since I last played BM, and I'm not sure how much the world has changed.