Duke Cristoph Laurent
The formula for good luck is preparation plus opportunity. In other words, a good quartermaster.
Description: Tailoring -- or armoring -- mostly obscures the most dramatic feature of Cristoph's looks, the latticework of arrow scars that write pale white lines over the broad bulk of his chest and shoulders. One of those fine lines surges past his collarbone to a visible mark left on the skin of his neck. His next most distinguishing feature is the brilliant clarity of his blue eyes, their summery hue as arresting as the intensity behind them. His features are mostly even and pleasant without being drop dead gorgeous, but the expressiveness of his eyes and the dynamic mobility of his mouth lend more charm to his face in motion than it might be entitled in stillness. Tall and sturdy, his stocky frame is lent grace by the length of his limbs, and there is an energy to his carriage that suggests his dynamism.
Personality: Vibrant and dynamic, Cristoph is a doer: one of those men who thrives on action, and whose energy seems to flow from some innate wellspring that simply does not fail. In short: the man is nonstop. Pragmatic and intelligent, his chiefest struggle in life is probably how much of himself he can find fault with. It's difficult to tell where exactly Cristoph's need to prove himself comes from, nor to what inner ghost he seeks to prove, but it drives him. Organized as well as active, he yearns to take the field and lead, only to sometimes be held back by practical necessity. He is also the man to whom the Valardins can go to make sure that something gets done. Unburdened by high idealism, it is not that Cristoph lacks the fortitude of a personal code as that he simply finds honor to be a practical construct of integrity and effectiveness rather than an unblemished philosophy. His sense of humor is dry, but warm; his core attitude is realistic, but positive; his basic nature is grounded.
Background: Because he was the second child of Duke Edmund Laurent by a number of years, Cristoph was educated as the 'spare' to his sister's heir. He showed considerable aptitude for the soldier's trade, and generally expected that it would be the knightly service of the ducal seat that would be his life's work. Yet his path was not so set when she struck herself from the rolls of House Laurent. His sister was in her early twenties when she left the laity sisterhood of Gloria to be truly godsworn and throw herself into the Faith. That left Cristoph a boy coming to his adulthood in a changing universe. (It also killed a potential marriage alliance with another ducal house, but never mind. There will always be more potential brides, right?)
Yet the mantle of heirdom did not sit easily on Cristoph's shoulders. He was accustomed to a soldier's trade, a soldier's goals, and he hungered for the glory of the battlefield. He risked himself early and often, leading from the front and leading the charge ahorse against the Shavs even as a young man. Badly injured to within a few inches of his life in a skirmish a few years ago, his men prevailed upon him to control his more glory-hound impulses; his father had lost one heir to a different kind of duty, and it would be terrible to lose another, particularly with his younger sister so very much younger. In order to accustom Cristoph to responsibility and grow him into his role as the future duke, he was made Voice of Laurent, and threw himself into the work with a will to prove himself, first while he lay recovering in an infirmary bed, and then afterwards when he was wholly recovered. He proved a pragmatic thinker and a capable organizer.
So it was that when the duke fell ill and died in the spring of 1005 and he took the reins of the duchy, it was with several years solid experience under his belt, as a leader of men whose vibrancy was newly tempered by patience.
|Edain||The Duke of Laurent is a good man. Good fighter, good night, incredible mind for tactics. His efforts bringing down the supply lines during the Seige of Arx was an amazing feat. I am glad to know he's on our side.|
|Eirlys||Seems like a good man, caring of our people and wanting to help. Could we ask for better?|
|Gisele||Literally the first person to let Gisele show her history geek side and rattle off obscure points of the long long ago without interruption or complaint, which means the Duke of Bees ranks high in her esteem. Though she is still a little nervous as to what "that Gisele?!" might mean.|
|Jael||We had a nasty case of sibling rivalry growing up...at least I did...but I feel like we've come a long way, especially during the Siege. I am proud of him, even if he's my brother and deserves a glass of mead on his head every once and awhile.|
|Marian||His Grace is a fine example of House Valardin's penchment to duty. When questioned on the best ramparts, he gave a proper response and called out House Valardin. I wish more people had his brand of loyalty.|
|Marius||The Duke Laurent seems like a fine fellow. He was willing to send bees to the Grove whenever we get it built. I wonder how often he's been stung...|
|Mason||Mason met Duke Cristoph at a dinner party he and his sister Jael invited the prince to. Overall the evening was highly enjoyable, but Mason did misstep when asking Cristoph about Thrax thralldom. There was palpable tension in the air and Mason is terribly curious as to why an Oathlander would react so sharply to the inquiry, but he dropped the topic and things seemed to ease up again. Overall, he liked Cristoph and wants to get to know him better, hopefully without further discomfort.|
|Sasha||A very polite and generous Duke. I look forward to getting to know him.|
|Tesha||There are many things you'll find in the families of the Oathlands. A young heir that came to his title, expectant and pleased with his position? Scarce as anything. Maybe he has the appearance of a young man yet sitting on his father's throne but these things yet take time.|