Vasos spying a particularly good business opportunity.
Full Name: Vasos Sarantos
Species: Red Fox
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Job: Merchant, Vulpine Nationalist, former Ranger of Apaimea.
Vasos is a tall, lean fox with the standard orange-reddish coat and coloring of his species. His body is composition is mostly lean muscle, though he is perhaps a little bit pudgier around the edges these days than he was in his more militaristic and disciplined youth. His eyes are a deep blue, most often cool and calculating, more rarely warm and mischievous. He fastidiously keeps his fur medium-length, which he finds to be the most desirable compromise between comfort, cleanliness, and practicality.
In terms of appearance, he is most often seen wearing his travelling outfit, comprised of a long, green woolen cloak which he more often than not wears hood down, a long-sleeved flowing white shirt, a simple brown leather belt to which is affixed a dark sheath for his blade Fotia and a coinpurse, a pair of dark blue pants, and finally brown marching boots. Hidden from view is the Amulet of Adana which is worn around his neck at all times as a source of professional pride. Around his back is slung Thanatos, his osage recurve bow and a small quiver of arrows.
Fotia: A double-edged Damascus steel hand-and-a-half-sword, notable for the characteristic patterns of banding and mottling on the blade which resemble flowing water. It is a blade which is resilient, sturdy, and lethally sharp-a fact which many opponents, both woodlander and vermin alike, have seen firsthand. He may sometimes lace the edges of the blade with a poison which he has immunized himself to, though only if he is aware he is going to be fighting soon.
Thanatos: A short, compact recurve bow made out of osage. While not having the strength to be a truly long-range weapon like a longbow, it shines in the short-to-medium range confrontations, which are by far the most common type Santaros has endured either in the forested woodlands, rugged mountains, or low deserts of his homeland, and requires far less strength to draw and fire in a pinch.
Amulet of Adana: This masterfully crafted silver and sunstone amulet is a military decoration awarded by the city-state of Apaimea for saving the lives of one's fellow citizens by slaying an enemy of the state. It is awarded as the second-highest military honor by Apaimea, the first being the Amulet of Sarai, a gold and diamond amulet awarded for saving an entire army from destruction.
Ranger Training: Vasos has received extensive training in the arts of wilderness survival, tracking and observation from his days as a member of the Rangers of Apaimea, his homeland's reconnaissance and scouting force, and is more than accustomed to spending large periods of time alone and isolated from allies. He has also received the considerably less publicized training of the Rangers, including the art of stealth, sabotage, assassination, and poisons. While these skills may have atrophied a little these past few years, a decade's worth of training takes a long time to forget.
Way of the Snarling Wolf: A mixed longsword and paw-to-paw discipline which Vasos practices, the Way of the Snarling Wolf is one of several styles of melee combat taught in his homeland. It is most suited towards taller beasts with a greater ability for reach and power, and is an active, rather than passive style focusing around overpowering and slaying a single opponent quickly. It requires its practitioner to always remain on the offensive and to press the assault, with blocks and parries quickly followed up by swift counterattacks of one's own utilizing powerful, brute-force wide swings and katas, easily capable of overwhelming even the most skilled opponent's defenses if they are not exceedingly careful.
Fair Archer: Though he will not be winning any awards for particularly adept archery, Vasos is more than capable of handling himself with a bow and efficiently taking down a target or a group of targets of average skill with Thanatos, and unlike his blade is known to keep the arrows which he fires poisoned-though more often than not with non-lethal if debilitating variants, as he prefers to interrogate his prey before killing it in most circumstances.
Merchant's Cunning: Since taking up his primary occupation as a merchant, he has shown a natural aptitude for business, more often than outfoxing* his competition with a combination of a keen sense of value and a ruthless determination to achieve the best possible outcome for himself.
*Yes, I am aware, what a wonderful pun!
Way of the Snarling Wolf: While particularly powerful and deadly against even experienced single opponents, it is ultimately a duelist's style, more suitable for quick, vicious engagements where the objective is to kill and kill quickly and then pull back than for long, drawn-out battles, particularly against multiple foes. If forced into such a longer-lasting confrontation where one is unable to overwhelm one's opponents or opponents, a practitioner will quickly find themselves flagging, as the need to constantly press one's attack drains one's stamina immensely.
Rather clueless about weaponry: Though he is particularly good with his own specialized style of fighting, Vasos is rather clueless at using other sorts of weaponry. A polearm or an axe would be rather useless to him to the point where he would rather sell or discard them than attempt to use them in combat, and any attempt to use a mace or a Morningstar would most likely result in him getting injured rather than his opponent.
Lack of effective armor: Vasos does not own, nor does he commonly wear, any medium to heavy armor as such would hinder his mobility and stamina to the point where his fighting style would be ineffective. While this grants him superior mobility and dexterity, it also means that when one does land a hit on him, it tends to hurt far, far more.
Ambitious: Vasos is a fox who knows what he wants-and is willing to go to any lengths to get such. Such ambition, however, oftentimes becomes detrimental, as he may sometimes miscalculate and attempt to reach too far, resulting in him losing more than he gained from a particular venture or an attempt-or find himself in a rather uncomfortable position from which it is not easy to extricate himself.
Personality: Vasos is, to most beasts he meets, cooly cryptic and politely professional, in the same manner that a particularly adept lawyer might be in an attempt to reel his clients in for more four-hundred-dollars-an-hour sessions. His face is a carefully practiced mask devoid of any tangible expression other than neutrality, carefully honed over a decade of military service and years of educated gambling (otherwise known as trading). His true feelings on most matters are thus hard to ascertain to strangers, though those few who know him well will usually be able to notice the subtle changes in warmth of his dark blue eyes, the flicking of his ears, and the swishing of his tail in order to reveal that which might otherwise be hidden behind his charade.
At times, towards those who he cares for, the mask of the calculating merchant slips away and is replaced by one of a hard-nosed, but remarkably caring todd-a todd who is willing to do anything to protect those who he cares for, ranging from giving up small amounts of money and extending all the way to murder-of multiple beasts if that is what it takes. He is also particularly enamored, after the experiences of his youth, with the idea of creating a homeland for foxes free of the aggression of both woodlanders and of other vermin-and will thus actively seek to persuade others of the vulpine persuasion to drop their more selfish pursuits to see this goal through, or rescue them to join his cause if he believes that it will not unduly set him back-and, in time, one may very well see the vulpine trader with a brood of his own behind him.
He dislikes woodlanders (commonly known as "goodbeasts"), viewing them on the whole as idiotic, barbaric, and prejudiced against vermin, though he does not let this personal distaste interfere in his dealings with them-make as he will the occasional "speciest" comment. His default reaction to other vermin is one of wary observation, though he is more trusting of those of his own species on ideological and personal grounds.
It should be noted that Vasos is unusual for one's typical vermin in that he unfailingly keeps his word, if not in exactly the manner that the beast who forced it out of him might expect or indeed even want-he holds his agreements to their specifically explained letter-and if that does not spell out the intent to an exacting degree of proficiency, then it is not his problem. He does not do this out of sentiment or some code of honor-he does it for practical reasons of business: if one cannot trust him to honor his agreements, then one will not do business with him.
When asked about his history, and if he is in a particularly indulging mood, Vasos will tell the following the tale, if with a little bit of variation here and there when appropriate. He born six of eight kits to a lower middle-class family in Apaimea, a city-state of civilized foxes situated near the sea on a continent far to the west of Redwall across a great western ocean. His father worked as a mid-ranking officer in the city's militia, while his mother worked as a clerk at the treasury. His upbringing was by and large simple and uneventful until he turned fifteen-the high walls, sophisticated fortifications, and well-trained militia of the city warded off more than the most daring and quick of raids against outlying settlements by other vermin, while the more aggressive neighboring woodlanders rarely strayed out of their own territory. Suffice to say, he not scarred in his youth by some terrible or tragic event which would define his life and give him purpose-that he would have to find out for himself, like most beasts.
At the age of fifteen, he was conscripted into Apaemia's militia for his mandatory three years of service, where he would learn the fundamentals of combat with a longsword and basic archery. His father, seeing potential in his son after he singlehandedly tracked and cut down a pirate infiltrator who was leaking critical information about the city's defenses to a coalition of local raiders. This would gain him his city's second-highest honor, the silver and sunstone Amulet of Adana, awarded for killing an enemy of the state and saving the lives of his fellow citizens. In the wake of this, his father decided that his son's intelligence and decisive, independent action made him a suitable candidate for Apaimea's elite intelligence and reconnaissance arm, the Rangers of Apaimea, and put in a recommendation for his son to be appointed to them, a recommendation which was accepted, he suspects, due as much to father's influence as a senior commander in the militia as his own personal skill.
Vasos rarely talks about the events that transpired in the next decade of his life during his service in the Rangers, only cryptically stating that he "learned many things, of love, of war, and of beasts" though from his fond, nostalgic tone, one can assume that it was not the worst of times for the todd. He only mentions that he performed adequately enough to honorably discharged from his service by receiving his blade Fotia, his masterfully crafted recurve bow Thanatos, and a good deal of silver from which he was to start a new livelihood as compensation for his considerable services.
He would follow in his mother's footsteps for two years, learning the ways of the city's economy and becoming involved in an increasing popular political movement known as Vulpine Nationalism, or the idea that foxes deserved not just their own city-but their own nation as well, a nation in which they could find refuge from the ravages of other vermin and the barbarity of woodlanders. Becoming increasingly convinced that this was the only ideology which would enable his city, his family, and his species to find true security and safety, and becoming increasingly disappointed in local economic prospects in the face of increased piracy, he decided it was time to both further his own interests and those of his people by travelling abroad.
In his 28th year, Vasos, with only a few pouches of silver, his weapons, and his wits would cross the sea and wander into the lands of Mossflower, looking for opportunity of any sort…