Prince Alessandro Velenosa
If you have eliminated all doubt from your soul, you must have eliminated all reason from your mind, for there is no true certainty in the world, save that the sun comes up in the morning. And even that, I'd wait until morning. Just to be sure.
Description: Strong bone structure and the lean lines of Alessandro's features combine for an impression of sharp elegance. His cheekbones can probably not actually cut diamond, but it could be a near thing. His eyes are pale and clear, of startling focus and intensity, beneath high-arched, thick, dark eyebrows. Their pale clarity is contrasted with the warm tone of his skin, dotted by occasional freckles. The dark waves of his hair are such a dark brown that they are nearly black, but in direct sunlight glint with deep mahogany highlight. Tall, lean as a rake, and impeccably dressed, Alessandro's looks are dynamic; at rest, features that might be ill-fitted are given an arresting allure by his personal vitality.
Personality: Alessandro has mastered elegance the way artists master their craft, and it shows in everything he does. He pursues knowledge for its own sake, an eclectic, thirsty mind with a keenly energetic spirit behind it, and always has a spare pair of reading glasses in his pocket so that he can take them out and clean them with a monogrammed silk handkerchief. His will is indomitable and contrarian. He is fiercely passionate about his work, and fiercely, intensely protective of his family. He also has a keen sense of the ridiculous, and a deep -- if buried -- ability to recognize his own paradoxes and make fun of himself. But privately, if you please. Dignity is key.
Background: Alessandro was a youth who pushed limits. He got into trouble a lot, and set his overbearing will against the dominance of his elders generally and his parents in particular. He was a handful, a struggle; generally, a big pain in the neck. As he grew older, his mischief grew more obscure and intellectual. His favorite game began to be pitting his intellect against that of instructors he believed couldn't keep up with him. Of course, when he was 12, it turned out he was rarely right about this -- the amount of knowledge an active preteen can absorb, no matter how much time he spends in libraries and harassing scholars for information, is not really a match for most trained adults. But he never really lost his taste for the game.
He hated sword lessons. He hated learning about poisons and antidotes. He was fortuitously allergic to horse dander and exaggerated his allergy to get out of more and more things so that he could spend more time with his books. He learned etiquette and mastered it expressly so that he could push the limits of being rude, and, enchanted with his own cleverness, earned himself several enemies in Lenosia's court. At least one of them is dead now, and it can't actually be traced to Alessandro at all, but he's always been on the lucky side.
Theology lured him, especially the theology of doubt, and while his cousin Isolde soared into the panoply of the Mirrormasks and reached heights of elevation as a disciple leader, he personally found much more lure in the practicum of their craft, and focused himself almost entirely on the scholarship of law and politics. By the time he defended his first case as a Mirrormask serving in the Court of Lenosia, he was certain he couldn't lose, because he knew the law that well.
It turns out there is more to defending a case than being right, though, and Alessandro learned some humility in practice that he had never had before. A perfect record is impossible as a defense attorney, but defending the indefensible is the greatest challenge of Faith for a Mirrormask, and Alessandro grew skilled in the balance of ego and humility, doubt and certainty, necesssary for the work. He also learned very valuable lessons from his family about the critical impact that sartorial perfection can have on one's effect.