Verbes: private page

If you are not David or Ryan, you should not be reading this. Gosh!

Mechanical Details

Class: Swashbuckler (with modifications)
Character Sheet: Attached

Quirk: +1 to Cha
Counterquirk: Acid Vulnerability - Take 2 extra points of damage from acid
Quirk: Pack Mule - +50 lbs to light/medium/heavy load; no movement penalty for being under medium load
Counterquirk: I'm not going to tell you. :P

Alignment: Loyal Impassioned

Interactions with Other Player Characters

Gantt

Verbes treats Gantt with the respect that he feels due to any venerable man and particularly to his father-in-law. Sometimes he actually feels that respect, and sometimes Gantt annoys him monumentally, and sometimes Gantt highly amuses him. He enjoys Gantt's tendency to question the obvious.

In any case, while he would never admit this, or in any way convey it, Gantt is his least favorite humanoid family member, and possibly his least favorite of all, depending on what Zasz ends up being. This doesn't mean that Verbes doesn't love Gantt; but he loves the others more.

Roland

Verbes respects Roland to a degree that he respects few others. He admires his devotion to Gertie, his stability, and especially his craftsmanship. Verbes considers Roland to be a good man and a competent man, which are two of the things Verbes values almost more than anything. They are fast friends, though not in the chill-with-a-beer kind of way. They call upon one another for the most important things. They have traveled together, faced hardship and danger together, and supported one another through difficult times. Roland is the one man whom Verbes trusts with his life.

Lome

From the beginning, Verbes has loved Lome like the sister he never had. Her quirks delight him, her strength impresses him, and the prospect of this diminutive half-elf as a butcher will never cease to amuse him, though as with his appreciation for gnomish humor, it is an amusement that will remain secret. When Analia left, Lome already knew the kind of pain he was experiencing (at least to some degree; I am, of course, not actually sure what happened to her husband) and provided a great deal of quiet moral support, for which he is altogether grateful. He already sympathized with her for her loss, and feeling such a loss himself greatly increased his sympathy and respect for her in response.

But since that time it sometimes bothers him to be around her, and particularly her family: this has manifested itself particularly during times when he has spent time around her with her children. Those times are always a joy to him, but sometimes they also fill him with an intense and painful longing.

At first he thought that he was falling in love with her, which freaked him the heck out. Further reflection revealed that this was not exactly the case. It would be closer, though still imprecise, to say that he was falling in love with her family; but still not quite there. It's more like this: sometimes Lome resembles Analia in her mannerisms - not too often, but they can be eerily similar on occasion, to where he can forget for a moment that Analia is not still there. Moreover, he had always wanted to have a family with Analia and now this cannot be, but he loves [Peter and Kathryn] as if they were his own children. So there are moments where it is all just too close to what he always dreamed of having with his own wife - a painful image of what his life could have been had Analia stayed. It rather stings when he lets himself reflect on it. This does not stop him from treasuring those times with Lome and the kids, but they can be almost excessively poignant. It also does not stop him acting in brotherly, respectful, and level-headed ways toward Lome, though he is not always able to hide the sorrow or the awkwardness.

All that said, there is no romance between them. Verbes is very careful never to allow there to be. Entirely apart from the fact that they are in-laws, and that would be seriously weird; and entirely apart from whatever Lome's feelings on the subject may be, if she has even thought about it; he still loves and is committed to Analia and considers himself a married man, even if he has pretty much given up hope of seeing her again. And Verbes is nothing if not faithful.

But deep in his subconscious (he is not all that self-aware), he thinks of Lome and her children as his own family. He may not live with them, or spend nearly as much time with them as Margim used to do. Of course not. But if they ever were to be in danger, he would defend them as instinctively and as ferociously and as sacrificially as any husband and father would.

Lore and Nars

He loves them very deeply, and it sometimes pains him that they are not his own. The fact (if this remains a fact) that they are 1/4 orc does not bother him. Their antics sometimes exasperate him, but he loves them anyway.

When Analia was still around, they were the children that he wanted one day to have. Since she has left, they have become the children he knows he will never have.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, he has very strong sympathy toward orphans, and the fact that they have lost their father strikes a deep chord of sympathy in him, which endeared them to him even before he had other incentives to love them. I'm pretty sure that he met Analia (and thus, her family) pretty shortly after Margim vanished, so he has never known their father, nor known them when they had a father.

Lore

Verbes sometimes calls her "little one" as a term of endearment (or, when he is in a more ironic mood, "the giant"). Which is weird. Verbes doesn't use terms of endearment for anyone. But Lore is pretty special to him. Even as Roland has taken Nars under his wing, Verbes has taken Lore under his. He takes her to the library sometimes and helps her to learn; he trains her in the art of fencing; he carved her a flute and taught her to play it. Her sneaking around sometimes gets on his nerves - he is, after all, a very private person - but particularly since his visit to New Perth he is glad that she is learning how to stay out of sight. Of all the thoughts that are going to bother him during the party's great adventure, the prospect of Lore ending up hurt or dead disturbs him the most.

Nars

Verbes is not as close with Nars as he is with Lore. He enjoys a good hike as much as the rest of his family but the fixation with the outdoors and animals and things kind of weirds Verbes out. Still, as with Lore, Verbes is glad that Nars is learning to fend for himself in case… something… goes wrong.

Zasz the Magnificent

I really have no idea until I know more about him. Her? It?

Analia and Oroh

The one person that Ae'Ven hates is actually his brother, Oroh, who is not, in fact, dead. Rather, Oroh stole most of their father's fortune (which was not all that great in the first place, since the musical instrument business is not exactly a money pit) and skipped town in company of some minor smugglers. The family was too ashamed to admit it so they claimed Oroh had been killed by said smugglers and Ae'Ven has told no one the truth to this day, except his wife.

Ae'Ven blames Oroh for the dashing of his own dreams and for the early deaths of his parents. He also, being a moral person, despises the brute fact of what Oroh did.

After Analia left with Cor, Ae'Ven left to try to find her. She told him, before she left, that she was going to New Perth. She did not give a reason but asked him not to follow. It caught him completely off guard. Initially he could do nothing but mope inwardly and continue to work, but after a few days realized he was being an idiot and he left the business with his apprentice and he and Roland followed her. When they arrived at New Perth they made some inquiries and learned that they had not, in fact, come that way at all - she had lied. In retrospect, this seemed obvious, but Ae'Ven had always been trusting, and she was ordinarily quite honest. They did learn that Cor had lived in New Perth for a few years at one time and had a wife who still lived there. They tracked her down. She was as surprised and distressed by the events that had transpired as Ae'Ven was, but she had an idea that they might have gone to Ashkelath, as Cor had spent the last few years studying that city.

They began to examine their resources and see if a trip to Ashkelath would be possible. Between the two of them the finances might just do it - maybe - but it would be a long, difficult journey and they were not experienced travelers. They began making inquiries about the best way to get there from New Perth. During the process, Roland was attacked and hurt, though his assailant got the worst of it.

More details can be found here.

As they examined the body of the attacker, they found several tattoos on his face. Most of them were symbols of the cult of Mor'thos, but Ae'Ven recognized one of them as an ornamental symbol that Oroh used, as a young teen, to sign his name. Roland had no idea and Ae'Ven said nothing. But as Roland convalesced, Ae'Ven asked some discreet questions. He learned that New Perth was home to a fairly substantial smuggling operation led by a man named Oroh - Death - who had developed quite a network of organized crime and had informal ties to the cult of Mor'thos. It was generally assumed that Oroh was just a nickname meant to inspire fear but Ae'Ven feared this was not the case. He realized, too, that they could not stay safely in New Perth if his identity reached Oroh, so when Roland was ready to return home, he was only too happy to do so.

Some months later a courier brought him a package addressed to Orron Verbes. It contained a substantial sum of money and a note from Oroh. In it Oroh mentioned that he had heard Ae'Ven was in his city and it had reminded him that he owed his father a fair amount of money. He hated to be in debt and hoped that the enclosed would cover it. Say hello to Ae'Ven. Best regards, &c.

Verbes burned the note without reading it a second time. He kept a small portion of the money to save his business, which in his absence had nearly gone bankrupt. He justified it at the time but has always felt guilty for doing so. The balance of what he considered blood money went to orphanages.

He also, once the financial situation stabilized, bought a good sword and began taking a few hours a week to learn how to use it. Even if he never found himself in a position of fighting Oroh or his minions, if Oroh's enemies learned that Oroh had family, that could bring problems down on Ae'Ven's head - or worse, on his own family. If that sort of trouble came, he wanted to be ready. The others suspect he is training to be able to fight Cor one day. He lets them continue to think that. Verbes has become decent with a blade over the years but still has not really had to use it in actual combat, so he remains fairly inexperienced, despite the training. It would be very difficult for him to actually kill a man.

His fears never materialized, so he has had a quiet life since the trip. He never left Doerstadt again except for a single trip to the Great Library, and he did his level best to leave the past behind him and devote himself to his work, his study, and his family.

Q & A

Awesome, Ryan — this is really cool. I'm excited for the things you're bringing to the virtual table this summer. :)
Here are a few further questions and clarifications that I'd like for Ae'Ven. Feel free to answer them here, revise your orignal stories to reflect the answers, or any other method of answering them that you like:

  1. First, please check out the Revised Template Page. I put a few additional questions on that page for people to answer. (One of the drawbacks of posting everything first is that I don't actually know what I want out of people yet :P).
  2. What would Ae'Ven do if Analia showed up at his door one day, asking him to take her back? When he asks her why, she says that Cor died and she didn't know who else to turn to.
  3. What would Ae'Ven do if Cor showed up at his door one day, asking for money? He had tried to start a new business venture in Haocian, but it had fallen through and he had gone bankrupt. Cor knew that Ae'Ven was generous with his money, and didn't know where else to turn, and Analia wouldn't ask Ae'Ven for Cor.
  4. What does Ae'Ven want to do to Oroh?
  5. If Ae'Ven could change his given name to anything he wanted, what would he change it to, and what does his new name mean?
  6. What is the one thing Ae'Ven wants more than anything else in the entire world?
  7. How well-known is Ae'Ven as an instrument-maker? I.e., is he the Stradivari of Thrynn? Or is he barely scraping to get by with relatively low-quality instruments? How busy is his shop?

I may integrate some of this into my other materials somewhere, but I will start by answering some of the numbered ones.

  1. Alignment is listed above (should it be public?) and the writing sample is linked from the public page.
  2. Ae'Ven, as I mentioned, is a very forgiving person. If, over time, he became convinced that she sincerely wanted to come back and wasn't just going to use him, but was genuinely sorry, he would take her back as his wife and say no more about it. In the meantime, he would provide her help with practical needs (at least unless it became clear that she was using him for money), but would not immediately welcome her as a wife or even really as a friend. In the best of cases - if she really was sincere and repentant - he would be back on friendly terms after a few months and take her back fully after maybe a year. If she turned out to be duplicitous, he might forgive her again, but would no longer ever consider taking her back. It would be close to impossible for her to stop him loving her, but he is not a fool.
  3. He would calmly remind Cor that he has a wife in New Perth and suggest he turn to her. An interesting corollary to this is if Analia did ask on Cor's behalf but they were still together. Ae'Ven would try to convince Analia to leave Cor. If that failed, he would give her a generous amount but make clear that this was a one-time sort of thing, and that if either of them showed up asking for money again they would not be acknowledged as anything but strangers.
  4. He doesn't know. He is convinced that justice requires that Oroh pay for what he has done. Preferably by the hand of the law, but by Ae'Ven's hand if need be. Ae'Ven is not a killer and would really rather something work out so that he would not be honor-bound to avenge his father's honor on his brother, but if it came down to that, he would do it. He really wishes that Oroh would repent and change, and if he did that sincerely, Ae'Ven would probably forgive him. Probably. In the meantime it makes no difference. Ae'Ven, as I say, considers honor highly but is also no fool. He has no plans to challenge a substantive criminal organization and try to kill its leader, no matter how serious the grievance might be.
  5. He would not change it. He doesn't care for the name at all but he loved his parents (silly hippies though they could be sometimes) and would not dishonor their memory by formally changing the name they gave him. He may have a nickname, if one of the other family members wanted to give him one. He often goes by "Ver" for short.
  6. To die knowing that he was faithful to his obligations and to those who needed him. Part of the reason that Analia's flight eats him up is because he knows that if he had been more open to what she wanted, she would not have left. In second place, he wants his niece and nephew to grow up to be happy and good - happy in the broader sense, not merely enjoying themselves most of the time. And yet… and yet, if he is honest, there is another secret wish in his heart, but he tries not to acknowledge it because it runs directly athwart his other wishes. But he would love to be a great historian. Most of the study he does is in music-related things, for they directly relate to his business, but he always loved the historical records best and reads them when he can. He would love to devote all his time, if he had no other obligations and all the money he would need, to traveling from place to place, digging out old records, rooting out the bearers of oral traditions, trying to plug the holes that exist in the tales of great deeds and geopolitical struggles. And he would do it with Analia at his side. But, for now, such a scenario fits neither with logistical realities nor with his sense of honor and familial devotion. It doesn't bother him too much. But if we're being honest, it's definitely there.
  7. Ae'Ven has steady hands, good pitch, deep knowledge of the subject, and a perfectionist's attention to detail, but he is more scholar than artist in many ways. He also does not have enough experience to be a true master of the craft, and there are better instrument makers in Doerstadt. Currently he is known as a crafter of reliable, affordable instruments. He isn't selling for millions, but he gets a lot of business from up-and-coming musicians who don't have the money to pay the big guys, but want to have a good, solid instrument to work with. He will probably never be Stradivari, but he will not be a hack either, and that is enough for him. In the meantime, he is not rich, but his business is doing just fine. Due in part to the scholarly labor he has done in his time off, he is getting a reputation as a skilled appraiser of instruments and is sometimes called upon to determine whether a supposedly rare piece is genuine or not. Usually they aren't.
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