Lord Valerio Mazetti
Is there anything more worthless than an excuse?
Social Rank: 5
Concept: Seasoned Realist
Marital Status: single
Hair Color: salt & pepper
Eye Color: grey
Obituary: Determined to aid in a rescue mission of an ally and friend, he died throwing himself between an abyssal creature and Arik Halfshav. Those with him at the end say he died speaking the name of his beloved wife as though she waited for him in the Shining Lands.
Description: One might expect someone with scars like his, Valerio might opt for a beard and shaggy hair to hide behind. Except that the man is too proud to walk around like a homeless war veteran society forgot about. He keeps himself clean shaven, with his grey-streaked black hair cropped short and styled neat. Nor is Valerio an uncouth savage - he wears a simple eye patch, very rarely going without it. Now, from certain angles, one can see the handsome man that Valerio had once been. More often than not, he is prone to sombre, if not outright dour expressions. His smiles are few, tending towards the sardonic when they do appear. He is tall, with broad, heavy shoulders and wide, spatulate hands that are roughened from years of use.
Personality: Once upon a time, Valerio was a spitfire. He eagerly jumped into any challenge presented to him, very rarely thinking about the consequences, no matter the outcome. Older now, and Valerio has mellowed out. He has come to understand the weight of responsibility, and how there is no such thing as an isolated event. When presented with trouble, he engages it from a position of matured wisdom, rather than simply assuming that bludgeoning it to death will make it go away. His humor tends towards the dry, and there are those who would claim it is generous to call him laconic, but Valerio still manages to summon casual Lycene charm...when it suits him.
Background: Valerio was new to fatherhood, but he was not new to strife and combat. He had killed his first man several years prior, before he had even had his first shave, in fact. In those days, the Shav'arvani outside of Ostria were particularly aggressive. Raids and border skirmishes were not uncommon, thus Valerio spent more time in the field than he did behind the thick walls of his beloved city. He most certainly did not waste 'unnecessary' time on courtly intrigue, though he was never so bad as to forget names. Perhaps it was for this reason that he did not see Lucien for the man that he was. Then again, as so many have said, no one did.
If he had been asked five years earlier, Valerio would never have guessed that his battles would cease to be against quarrelsome Shavs, and instead pit him against his fellow countrymen in a larger, bloodier scale. To be sure, Valerio was not, and has never been, much of an idealist. He knew his history - barely a century ago saw the end of the Crownbreaker wars, after all. Yet, at that time, things were relatively peaceful amongst the city-states.
Word of Lucien's actions filtered back to Ostria. How could it not? He had been Count of the March there, married to its late Tereza...and not all that long ago. Foscari had assumed the mantle of rulership, yet he was resolute in keeping Ostria out of the growing conflict between Southport and Tor. Valerio, gazing upon his wife and son, could not understand his inaction, and so made one of the most emotionally agonizing decisions of his life. He went against his brother's, his liege's, orders and privately organized a small team to hunt down and assassinate Lucien Malvici.
Things did not go as planned.
Chiefly, Valerio's background prepared him to show courage and tenacity in the face of adversity. It had also honed his martial prowess. On the field he stood with the best. These things did not translate into the realm of skulduggery. The group was captured just before reaching their target. It would come as a shameful (and painful) lesson to Valerio later that he and his men had been allowed to get that far before Lucien gave the cue to take them. It was the first of many lessons that night. It was Valerio's good fortune that he lived to have them eventually sink in. To begin, Valerio was questioned, and questioned heavily. When he grabbed his ear and sarcastically asked that his interrogator, 'repeat himself,' he lost a good chunk of it. When Lucien spit on him and Valerio flipped him off, he lost that finger. He claims not to remember when or why they took his eye, but he knows it came before they slaughtered his comrades and left their bodies to rot in the sun. Only one eye had wept.
Valerio was eventually ransomed back to the Mazetti. By then, of course, it was too late. Southport had concluded that Mazetti was colluding with the enemy, and thus spared it no mercy. Centuries of vassalage crumbled almost at once. Valerio believed himself responsible, regardless of the truth. He could not even rely on the support or comfort of his wife, for she had been slain - along with the entire staff and wounded of the Chirurgeon's field tent, including two Mercies. Valerio found himself a widower, a maimed fool that nearly destroyed everything he loved, and thought he would never wash his hands of all the blood he'd drenched them in. If there was ever anyone the annals would expect to admit defeat and disappear into the fog of self-recrimination and eventually wine-sodden death, it was he.
Yet not all was lost, and Valerio was, had been, and could be again, a better man than that. He had family, still; brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. He had a son. It took time, of course, but Valerio recovered. Upon the war's conclusion, Valerio began to shift his focus away from fighting on the front lines to that of command. He made sure to make time for Vitalis, though he did not remarry. He grew, and he learned, and he determined to never allow the heat of the moment to dictate the terms of his life to him.