A Vassal of the Monarch
Fallo Swordsferret last edited by
Name: Aníbal Sebastián Heliodoro Delvalle
Species: Common Genet
Age: 36 seasons
Weight: 157 Lbs
Personality: Aníbal cuts the figure of a perfect gentleman, and as a knight in the service of the Castilian crown he is at no liberty to behave in any other manner but that of a chivalrous champion. Bolstered by the blessings of the current monarch, and emboldened by the apparent glory of his mission, he is as fearless as they come. His list of priorities is no longer than his pinky thumb, and while they are few, in his mind the magnitude of each one constitutes fanatical devotion. First on the list is the Queen, followed shortly by Country, Duty hot on their heels with Personal Endeavors lagging behind like the fatty in a marathon.
Being a civilized beast of a morally and ethically pure nation, it is only fitting for him to be as agreeable and diplomatic as possible, especially in the situations where he is regarded as the foreigner. In all his dealings in Mossflower, with goodbeast and vermin alike, he behaves in a civil manner, talking slow and deliberately to cancel out his debilitating thick accent. If negotiations are not going as planned he may just switch into a dialect that is more familiar with the natives, with his honed blade playing the role of the stylus, and their life fluid that of ink.
Cruelty of any sort, when not endorsed by the ruling powers of his budding nation, greatly perturbs Aníbal, to the point where he takes immediate and precise action. Typically resulting in severe bodily harm to the abuser, chastening of the abused, ending with Aníbal uttering a few curses in his native tongue whilst he attempts to slip away unnoticed. In all 20 seasons he has spent in military service, never once has he struck an unarmed beast. Instead, if it is entirely necessary that he eliminates one whose life must end, he promptly supplies his opponent with a blade. He makes it a point to abscond from killing any who he perceives as weaker, and will dispatch these lesser foes with stunning blows to the head, utilizing his upper body strength and his swords pommel stone. Laying his hands on women and children is out of the question, his moral code bars him from any acts of aggression towards those deserving of love and protection.
He takes great personal pride in his status as First Lieutenant of the 1st Frontier Espadachines Brigade, stationed at the border of the jointly owned Castille-Leon territory, acting as a buffer between teeming hordes of Moorish savages and the last refuge from the constantly shifting political squabbles of the other neighboring kingdoms. It is in this role he has seen fit to fabricate many tactics that by modern standards would be deemed unethical. He is as cunning as he appears polite, and on more than one occasion has he tricked the Saracens into entering the gates of his beloved fortress, retinue in tow, before slaughtering them with a well-planned ambush.
He is single-minded, with dogged determination to accomplish any task The Lady wishes of him, however menial or capricious. This undying loyalty has been endowed upon others who have saved his life, or done him a great service. Be thankful if you have been given to pleasure to watch this imposing creature kneel before you with his helmeted head bowed humbly, clasping your paw in two of his as he recites the vow of life-long fealty. It is a rare sight to see, and you will have been the third beast to pay witness to spectacle.
Although he appears reserved, an unbridled ambition bubbles up from the fierce furnace of his soul from time and again, revealing his far uglier side. This has led many to believe him to be a greedy, cold and empty hearted radical extremist, which he is indeed.
Strengths: His shrewd eyes have served to divine the next strike of the Moorish raiders on more than one occasion, and though they were as unpredictable as the swirling sands they sought refuge in, Aníbal was always there to meet them in the embrace of death. Thus, too have his keen optics gifted him with the foresight to analysis his opponents’ movements, allowing him to respond in kind with a deft swipe of his trusty blade or to defect away.
His physical strength is not to be scoffed at, a hardened veteran of an impossible war does not reach such a state without much sacrifice, and one of the first to go was his penchant for laziness. With the many drills occupying his time, the iron armor draped over his shoulders, and the high protein diet of flesh and lactose products of unknown origin, it is no wonder how he became so brawny. Not enough to strike awe or to give pause, but enough to come out of a struggle victorious, the head of his vanquished challenger clenched in a mail fist.
His unwillingness to surrender despite overwhelming odds has been most beneficial for him, not only in terms of climbing the military’s complex and shoddy social/promotional ladder, but also in garnering him a reputation amongst the easterling barbarians as a force to be reckoned with, belying his outward civility and subtle charm. Though the Spanish identity has yet to be forged, he had the makings of a true Spanish conquistador.
His fierce and unquestionable loyalty has gained him much loyalty in return, from countrymen and soldiers of fortune alike, particularly the Barbary corsairs the monarchy conscripts to replace the depleting number of patriots in the National Guard. Unlike the other commanders, he treats these vile scums as if they were his very own soldiers, with care and consideration.
Weaknesses: His chivalry has proved time and time again to be his undoing, with a majority of the beasts he chooses to spare either attempting to strike a blow just as he turns his back, or leaving and returning with a newly formed invasion force. On one occasion he nearly had his cashmere tail lopped off by a disgruntled hamster clad in indigo robes, which Aníbal accented with a lovely crimson hue shortly after.
His pride has also proven to lead to squabbles amongst his fellow officers, officers who have a better social standing and resolute grasps on the day to day socio-political minutia provided by the comingling of nobility and military personnel. It is in this way he has managed to alienate himself from any who may prove essential to his survival in the corrupted hierarchy, leaving him to his own devices, not an asset in sight.
His ambition, as mentioned above.
Unfortunately, despite being a reasonably intelligent beast, his tongue is unaccustomed to the gothic tongue spoken in Mossflower, leaving him with an atrociously thick accent. To many beasts’ ears it is unintelligible at best. Naturally, he is easily misunderstood by others and either casually ignored or silenced by a chorus of jeering laughter and mimicry.
His voice, too, has been the source of much ridicule in his life. A bass, raspy voice with distinct nasal qualities, excessive rolling of the ‘r’s and a noticeable lisp have made him the target of belittlement. Volume control is also a problem of his, not only because of the clunky armor he dons, but because he cannot differentiate between his inside or outside voice. Typically, he blends the two into a horrid cacophony of awkward vowel sounds and unnecessary upward or downward inflection without heeding the listener’s body language.
Habits: He always gives him opponent, regardless of his current physical condition or theirs, the chance to surrender and leave with their body intact. This is more courtesy than any others may show, and if they refuse and Aníbal eagerly obliges. Bowing and paw-kissing have become integral parts of Aníbal’s daily induction and socialization. Whenever a maiden is introduced to him, he offers his upturned palm, brings her hand to his mouth, and plants a light peck upon the back. This has earned him a slap once or twice in recent years, because no woman appreciates unwarranted displays of affection, however tame they may be.
Proclaiming his full name in all its glory whilst initiating a bow is also common, along with listing any relevant family members his memory can dreg up to accent his introduction. It puffs up his ego, and gives him the appearance of inflated importance. Before a change, he will roar the name of his country’s patron saint ‘Santiago de Compostella’, meant to strike fear and intimidation in the hearts of his Saracen foes.
Twisting his whiskers has become a fan favorite, and idle hands really have become a plaything, because he cannot help but run them through his tail fur when no beast is about. He prides himself on his tail; the less-developed vanity within him draws any attention to the twitching appendage behind him.
Drilling has become an intricate part of his daily life, and every day he attempts to reserve at least 2 hours of training time, and thus far the payoff has been exponential increase in stamina and performance.
Physical Description: Aníbal is a Genet of slightly above average height for his species, with decent musculature and even distribution of fat and excess skin where applicable. His pelt is an exotic spotted print akin to a leopard, a hypnotic pattern of mismatched black splotches encompassed by pale yellow rings and a light grey filler coat bearing a slight yellowish green tinge travels from the base of his skull, down his elegantly curving neck to his plump rump. His most defining feature, if choosing between his swan’s neck and his bizarre banded tail, his tail wins hands down. Stretching far behind him at nearly twice his body length is an amazing display of animal adaptability and beauty; his glamorous tail of consecutive white and black bands of cashmere fur, ending in a jet black tip that twitches lazily when idle. A very expressive tail indeed, known for a variety of displays. Frizzing, erecting or slouching, twisting in the wind like a windsock, the list goes on.
A creamy eggshell colored underbelly bisects him from his lower jaw to his pelvis, spreading to the round of his ribs on both sides, and then etching down in a triangulated movement of jagged edges. A pair of large, swooping ears black-tipped wreath his narrow face, which is as mutely colored as the rest of him and bedecked in zig-zagging black lines. His sleek facial features include two large, pale green eyes whose pupils are wreathed in that brownish gold layer iron deposits tend to form, his ears with inquisitive tufts of off-white fur peering out of them, and lastly a brown-speckled black nose at the very end of his drawn snout. His paws, which have smote many a worthy adversary, were the same off-white as his underbelly and marred with lines as well. Aníbal is quite the attractive specimen, who possesses good proportions.
Clothing entails several articles, mainly his civilian garb first. A simple tunic of woven fibers suffices, with a dreary brown coloration and lacking any defining features. A pair of trousers from the same material with a rope belt serve best to hide him from the world. A pair of wooden-soled shoes clings to his feet.
Military regalia are an entirely different story. He trades his modest tunic for that made of multiple heavy layers of tightly woven cotton mesh that wraps about his torso from front to back with flaps for rear and frontal extremities, secured by a broad leather waist belt with a large hoop buckle of burnished bronze. Pair of white, paned hose with ornately puffing fabric in a plethora of colors at the thighs serves as covering. The predominant coloration of his bizarre, yet customary legwear being a mauve base, crimson cross-woven with strips of maroon with a few trace threads of silver. Breeches, too, are a necessary article of clothing, although more for modesty than anything else. To complete his bizarre appearance, a ruff of plain fabric adorns his neck.
A steel breastplate bearing the cross of Santiago as a large, gold-plated centerpiece that encompassed nearly the entire piece resides on his chest. A simple backplate attached via a system of leather straps to the breastplate possesses no embellishments. A set of highly-polished tassets is latched upon his breastplate, along with some steel grieves and small gleaming spaulders increase the probability of protection while enhancing mobility. Atop his head, the venerable comb morion rests, affixed to it with ginger care being a large eagle’s ventral feather, a mottled brown denoting that of a predator. Mail gauntlets bastardized by thick mauve canvas and studded with lead on the knuckles protect his paws, which in their vice-like grasp bear a deadly combination.
In his left hand gripped tight is a side sword of unparalleled beauty, shining white in its clarity and sharpness, a perfectly round sample of Lapis lazuli reinforced by a steel cage serves as the pommel stone, with more used to accent the remainder of the hilt and hand guard, coated too in leather from an unknown rodent. A gift from the monarch herself, the blade’s shine comes from the amalgamation technique used to smelt and purify the steel, whist the brilliant blue stone was retrieved from barter between Aníbal and one of the easterling warlords. Its simple scabbard hangs from his right him, attached by a ring to a thin belt encompassing his waist. In his right paw, a simple wooden buckler with a cast-iron end cap protruding from its center, extra stability and durability is added by the rounded bands of iron riveted on, encompassing the entire shield. Sheltering his feet from the many dangers awaiting them is a pair of all-purpose boots, with a ridged steel toe to defend from minor thrusts or crushing attacks.
A large burlap backpack with simple, crudely sewn aesthetics is draped over his shoulders, filled with miscellaneous paraphernalia. A small tent, a coarse fleece blanket, some flint, a journal to keep record of his travels in the foreign land, his civilian clothing and a whet stone all call this multi-purpose bag home.
Family Overview: The story of his birth is not one befitting a soldier of his supposed acclaim, and in lieu of this has it been swept under the rug by Aníbal. Even the country’s census taker is in the dark in regards to his origins. It is a known fact that in order to excel in a region that demands of you blood that is undiluted by the vile peasantry of the surfs, when that thin, unremarkable blood is flowing in your veins that you must put aside any petty code of honor and lie. Aníbal did exceedingly well at climbing the social ladder, but as he learned later, it doesn’t take much to be booted off your hard-won rung either.
In a wharf town north west of the citadel he called home, a lowly merchant by the name of Sebastián Delvalle anxiously paced across the hardwood floors that pooled across the communal birth sanitarium’s foyer, his boots clomping incessantly as wood met wood at a brisk pace that nearly drove the poor nun cleric to tears. Beyond the threshold of the large, mahogany double doors was a chamber filled with bustling nuns, hard at work as they transferred blood-soaked towels to a large black barrel bearing the sickly sweet scent of putrefying bodily fluids. One with a stony face and clenched jaw brought a large, brass water basin, whilst another clasped a heap of swaddling clothes in her wizened hands. The fruit of their labor had been a gurgling babe that squealed for its mother who laid prone mere feet away, her chest heaving gently. Their attempts to salvage both mother and baby were successful; however the mother was extremely weak after her ordeal, and needed rest.
The door gently peeked open, and Sebastián whirled upon the wooden creak just as a petite paw urged him to enter. Anxiety gripped him, yet he obeyed the command so without a second though. Brushing the mousemaid aside with a flick of his fingers, he turned his head away from the offended creature to find himself gazing in awe at his infant son. Son! A proud son wrapped in layers of scratchy cloth, fast asleep in his weary mother’s arms. Lizeth Heliodoro gazed up at her gaping husband with a thin-lipped smile on her speckled features, clutching her babe in the fashion only a mother could. A daughter of one of the many merchant clans about the city, she was betrothed to Sebastián in hopes that the wedding would bind the two separate clans in a profitable merger that would lead them into the next century as the most powerful organization in all of Leon.
But, in the three years they spent in the bonds of holy matrimony, love had bloomed from the original shallow intent. Though the pain of her labor had not yet subsided, she could not contain her elation. Her boy was the spitting image of his father, with his mother’s fur, imagine that! A warm, slightly damp paw enveloped hers with a reassuring squeeze; her husband had made his way to her side in silent stupefaction.
“What shall we name him, mi amor?” She whispered, azure eyes dilated and half lidded from her struggle met his sharply focused chocolate brown orbs, her voice still managed to exude that smoky Latin tone that had drawn the affection of her Basque mate. “Aníbal.”
She passed in her sleep shortly after this; a complication with her bleeding had prevented her from recovering.
NOTE: This is very much a work in progress, and is subject to change at any moment.