Lord Wash Kennex
The drink never did me any good, I know that now, but you know what did? The sea. Only thing more beautiful is my Catalana.
Description: Rangy height and strapping sailor's muscle define the length of Washburn's frame. The classic lines of aristocratic beauty mark the planes and angles of his face, but the fineness of his skin has been weathered to a deep, sun-baked tan, while the beginnings of smile lines shadow his mouth and crow's feet at the corners of his eyes. His eyes are dark, a deep, laughing brown beneath heavy eyebrows. His hair is an unruly mane, brown kissed to a tawny lightness by long exposure to the sun.
(Wash's unruly hair has been tamed, forcibly. One side has been shaved near to the scalp, probably to help stitch close a four inch laceration over his temple. He wears it swept to the left, still unruly, but now unruly and asymmetrical.)
Personality: Adrenaline is a hell of a drug. Challenge lures him as nothing ever has. With a reckless disinterest in reputation or politics, Wash is the kind of man who tilts at storms. When low, he is very low: long spates of shadowed darkness, where nothing can draw him out a funk except, maybe, for the rush. When high, he is unstoppable, with a manic intensity and a fierce unchanneled delight in every instant of being alive. Aggressively free-spirited to the point of throwing off the yoke of all restriction and inhibition, love is the only anchor to his passion: love of his wife, love of the sea.
Background: Expectation weighs heavily even on the landless scions of lesser lines of the Grayson family, but expectation without direction is a cocktail that deadens the bravest heart. As a boy, Washburn hated all his lessons and escaped them by passive resistance as much as possible. As a young man, the burdens of rank made him surly and depressed and a burden on his house. In his manic phases, he self-medicated with wine and occasional outbursts of near-violent passion and almost-deaths in hunting accidents. In his depressive phases, he slept for whole days at a time or funked out of training until a stalwart man at arms forced him into an icewater bath.
In short, Washburn was a handful: a prince who didn't want to be a prince, who dared scandal at every turn. He drank too much, he engaged in extreme sports - boar hunting! cliff climbing! whatever he could get into. He flirted daringly with throwing it all off and becoming Crownsworn. Yet he never quite took the plunge. His turning point was the lure of the salt.
Washburn met Lady Catalana Kennex at the height of a fever pitch manic phase and threw himself into maniac pursuit of her. Their passionate affair was the talk of the capital. After several months of intense passion, Washburn knew what he wanted for the rest of life, and stowed away on the transport ship as she and her family sailed back to Stormward. The results of this were twofold: he was discovered a day out of port and put to willingly to work by her family's crew as a ship's hand as punishment for his stolen passage, and he discovered a hitherto unknown love of the ocean, which dazzled all his senses.
Washburn was desperate for this life. He proposed to Catalana. Stormward offered Bastion a contract that would have made Catalana a Princess of Grayson, and all the arrangements were made, but Washburn was unsatisfied. Lost to another funk, he defied convention and invited scandal by throwing all of that aside and begging Catalana to marry him not as Prince Washburn, but only as Lord Wash. Many of the Graysons were furious, but King Alaric was temporarily moved by - or possibly distracted and not paying attention to - Wash's desperate plea to become a lord of the waves, and agreed.
After serving with the Marquis Ford Kennex in the Thirteen Hammers operation, Wash was named Admiral of the Stormward Fleet, Marshal of the March, and summoned to Arx to assist House Kennex, House Thrax, and the Compact.