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.
|Aiden||There is something in Gaston's eyes and his mannerisms that speak more animal than man, at least, sometimes. Aiden can understand that, so it makes Gaston easier to read than most people he's come across. Gaston seethes with the energy that top predators have; a keen eye which looks at someone in a measure of what they are - are they prey, or are they part of the pack. Gaston showed concerned with the cages that the animals were in, which lends credit to the association. He is either highly in-tune with animals or there is more to his story than Aiden can currently guess at.|
|Alarissa||A behemoth, at least compared to me. A scar very promimant that can be imposing if you are not prepared for it. But there is a kindess there that lorks beneath that snarl of a smile.|
|Arcelia||I didn't really get to meet Gaston but what interaction I did have with him showed him to be polite. I look forward to meeting with him again.|
|Arianna||Gruff, and massive in size. The man looks like he could cleave a horse in two with a single blow. Though he was actually quite nice compared to the Duke...|
|Arn||Big man. Like all the Blackrams. Doesn't mean he's necessarily a good warrior. We'll see.|
|Asher||Knows a bit too much about reindeer piss. But maybe he just knows Shav culture.|
|Calaudrin||He needs to get out of the Valardin Ward more. But other than that, seems like a good enough guy for a silk. Nice dog too. They can both stay.|
|Calista||Rather subdued for a Blackram and quite different from his brother, Gustave. He's a tea drinker which I suppose is a set up from a burly man asking for milk at a bar.|
|Corban||This man stalks the room as if he were hunting. Slides through the conversation as if the other participants were game. I will give a soldier's wager his area of comfort is anywhere but the social arena. Perhaps with a boar spear?|
|Cristoph||I've briefly encountered Gaston on two other occasions. He's gruff and scarred but he apologized for losing his cool in the Vow. I'm not sure he was fully resonsible for that, but I don't know his whole story. Either way, not everyone is capable of doing that. I appreciate it. I'm glad I didn't hit him in the head.|
|Daemon||An imposing, scarred man. I'm happy he fights for us, otherwise I may be quaking a bit in my steel.|
|Dagon||Someone that Dagon legitimately knew nothing of, which is rare enough for him, with as wide-flung as his politics tend to be. Although they shared mostly a curt, respectful introduction, that's usually where things start. Also, he's freaking huge. Anyone that can legitimately stand over Dagon is bound to be worthy of note and worth a drink or a spar somewhere down the road.|
|Eirlys||Has a bit of wolf in him, a slight edge of danger and he spars as if his life depends on it. He didn't tap out. He kept going till the end. I commend that and look forward to perhaps getting to know him better.|
|Fiachra||No formal introduction yet, but the man has good ears on him and recognized a trap that had been set, which speaks well for him. EVen better was his charge against the enemy that was attempting to pin us down.|
|Ida||They grown them big in the Cloudspine and this Blackram lord is no different, really, despite his remark otherwise. There's a feralness to him that seems edgier than others I've met from there. I don't often feel wary around people, but perhaps a bit with this one. Wields quite the impressive glaive, though.|
|Jael||The man seems to have some trouble with expressions, like he's had to learn smiling by rote and hasn't quite got it right, but he seems amiable. It's refreshing to meet a nobleman who isn't all that...polished, and doesn't seem to care.|
|Katarina||Lord Gaston of House Blackram has so easily won my respects, having played an integral role in aiding my family against (another) assassination attempt. I hear he even might have the constitution that could even rival that of the Red Mountain peaks in his homelands. Interesting!|
|Leola||Though we share no relatives we know of, I feel a strong kinship with him. It is fine to find another hunter who will walk the wilds and has such a command of animals.|
|Lorien||A strange feral glint in that man's eyes, and yet pleasant enough dinner conversation. I look forward to seeing him on the hunt.|
|Malesh||Rowed hard to give Valardin a good early lead. I nearly thought they'd started rowing before the horn!|
|Marius||HE KNOWS TOO MUCH ABOUT TREE-CHUCKING! Who told him!?|
|Monique||Feral. Ruggedly, dangerously attractive. That he likes the Forest marks him with great potential for befriending.|
|Neve||Seems like a strong warrior with a sense of strength and intelligence to know common sense. Probably has more common sense than me. Is more used to people and Arx than I am. Seems like he could be a good chitty-chatty companion!|
|Petal||He seems like a kind Lord, thoughtful and calm.|
|Reese||He likes to hunt and I think he that he likes to spar as well. He sort of seems like a Lord of the Valardin and like Noble of the north at the same time, because he has a kind of wildness. I think anyways.|
|Reyna||Someone aught to show him how to smile, you know a real one, not that thing he is doing currently with all those teeth. Rough around the edges, realy rough, but frankly rather rough then that whole smooth fakeness others have. Next we will have to work on that whole extra long staring bit.|
|Ryhalt||A man who seems to like a fight, and while that's not necessarily my angle, it's quite handy, and he was kind enough to help me with my polearm work.|
|Sasha||I am curious about how he got his scar. Though I would never ask such a thing in a public setting.|
|Serafine||Gaston is stubborn in the good way, modest, and not the kind of lord that feels sorry for himself when he loses a spar. Eloquent and naturally talented with a spear, he's got Serafine's respect.|
|Shae||Kindred spirit. You calm the anxiousnes the city fills me with. In you I see someone that understands my love and connection to dogs. Instead of running from the pack, you should make your own. You would make a good, strong alpha. And the scars, those give you depth of character and show you are couragous in the face of danger.|
|Tarrant||He doesn't look like a nobleman... or act like one. More like a particularly well spoken beast.|
|Tesha||Just seeing him makes my nose ache. Mother said that you could hardly tell after a year... but, what a beauty I might have been if he hadn't been such a stubborn lout...|
|Valery||The man seems nice and he likes animals. He knew about Boots and Chip even before meeting Valery!|
|Warrick||A proper Crownlands goes a long way towards making a man feel comfortable in his boots, thank the Gods.|