Marquis Gaston Blackram
Everyone has the capability to be a monster, but ignoring the dark whispers and songs in their blood is what can make for heroes instead.
Description: Gaston is a wolf in noble's clothing, trying with questionable success to present a convincing veneer of culture and refinement over a feral mien. If Gaston could be said to be handsome it owes more to the strength of his features, often resulting in him charitably being described as 'rough hewn'. His pale, wide malachite eyes are flecked with gold, his body and limbs wiry but corded with muscle, and his smiles attempting to be warm and reassuring often come across as sharp and offputting. If not for the austerely short manner in which he keeps his crows wing hair or the relatively aristocratic nose he might be thought of something altogether other. He is of tanned skin tone like so many of the Blackram, though his seems to be a shade paler than that of his kindred, and made all the more striking for what appears to be the slash of claw across his eyes and what appear to be long healed bite marks upon his hands.
Personality: Gaston is a man terrified of his own temper. Through most of his life, he lived in self-enforced exile in the hopes that isolation would help grant him control and serenity, and never was able to forget that he could present a terrible danger to those he cared about just by being near them. He found, however, that he truly enjoys the company of others and self-imposed isolation might have been slowly driving him mad, so it was time to try a different tack. He is now determined to be a good noble, someone that can try to overcome his flaws and be a better man, and draw other people together. A man willing to turn the other cheek if it wins compromise and solidarity, he's a natural peacemaker- it wouldn't be urbane and cosmopolitan to say he views it as keeping the peace in a wolfpack, but it's how he thinks.
Background: Gaston, it was said, heard and understood the tongue of beasts and wild places before he formed his first syllables. Born months after his sister, he grew much more quickly than his siblings, though his elder brother would eventually overtake him. Quick to fight but even quicker to laugh, he was adored and feared in equal measure. For a time Gaston himself despaired, the boy concerned that he was too quick to anger, that he would cause great harm to someone due to his great size and physical cunning. However, his concerns and a great deal of his ferocity seemed to evaporate when allowed to wander the hills and mountains of Stoneburn, or down in the forests west of the River Gray. At the age of fourteen he left the Blackram stronghold, and for several weeks it seemed as if the boy had disappeared, never to be heard from again. Gaston returned however, wrapped in the pelt of a great wolf, his face stained with blood, the majority of which was not his own. Although his parents and his siblings worried for Gaston, they eventually came to terms with his need for solitude and to be away from civilization, and weeks turned to months turned sometimes to as much as a year away from home, returning with the results of great hunts, journals filled with illustrations of beasts, plants, and natural formations of where he had been.
He became something of a local legend, alleged to know every trail and footpath north of the Lycene Split and west of the Gray River, able to find concealment in a shadow half a normal man's size, and routinely wrestled bears. One particularly fantastic story claimed that all of the wolves of Valardin and Redrain recognized him as their king. Though Gaston did his best to repute these rumors, the folk of Stoneburn do love to spin a good yarn, and it seemed to be more important to them to believe the narrative they had spun around him. As mortifying as it was, he dealt with it, and was just starting to feel it was time to return to society and attempt to become the best noble he could be when he heard of his father's death. While he sometimes misses the wilds and the serenity he tried to find there, he doesn't miss the bleak loneliness, and looks forward to trying his hand at becoming a true noble of the Compact and a peacemaker that can win stability and honor for his house. Time to be a real noble and a good man. He spent enough time in the wilds to know that the lone wolves die first, after all.