Marquis Salazar Argento
Don't tell me you haven't done that! You haven't -really- lived if you haven't done that!
Social Rank: 5
Concept: Pirate with a Pedigree
Marital Status: single
Hair Color: sunbleached brown-black
Eye Color: liquid honey
Skintone: golden bronze
Description: Six feet tall and corded with lean, sinewy muscle, Salazar is a man marked by the sun and sea. His skin has been tanned to a rich, golden bronze from countless hours under the open sky and even his coal-black hair has been bleached a dark, golden brown under the right light. He is a study of contradictions - his face is long, thin and almost boyish, but often covered with a beard of fine stubble, adding both years in age and an air of roguish disrepute. His chiseled nose sits under hawk-like eyes like liquid honey, while his brows are dark and expressive, like thunderclouds threatening to pour. He has an expressive mouth that can assert stark gravitas one moment, and laugh-out-loud amusement the next.
Personality: Salazar is like the sea he loves so much, tumultuous and ever-changing. At times, quiet, at peace and in tune with the world, he can stay still. But in a flash of lightning, he can become a raging maelstrom of activity. He is, in his best and worst selves, an enabler - his moods and charm can inspire others to achieve their inner muse, to do what they wouldn't, to try things they've never tried before, for better or worse. He is very good at getting people to do things they wouldn't otherwise do, a skill he has often wasted on frivolous pursuits. Yet despite this, Salazar can be incredibly pragmatic. His moral compass is guided by a situational code that few mainlanders would understand, one laced with a streak of hopeless romanticism. Fiercely independent, he strives to be in control of his often mercurial moods. But one thing, if any, is ever-true - it is never boring to be around Salazar.
Background: Scions of the Argento clan are torn between two opposing forces - the duties that bind them to home and hearth, and the siren call of the tumultuous sea, inspiring both rebellion and wanderlust. Marco Argento spent a decade of his life and a small fortune to reach the farthest reaches of the Mourning Sea, relying on sun and moon to guide him finally to the coast of Eurus. One of the few in living memory to have completed the voyage, he had nevertheless lost two galleys and many good men in the venture, bringing back with him a cold sobriety that led him to tend to his family's holdings rather than adventure madly out again. On the return voyage back, decked in the exotic pelts of Eurusi fauna and fingers encrusted with a myriad of gems, he'd stopped dead in her tracks a then much younger Arianna Pravus. A whirlwind romance ensued and the two soon returned to the rocky citadel and familial manor at Nilanza to raise a brood of their own.
Historically, that was the way it was. Male Argentos (and in more recent history, female ones as well) would make a journey to experience the world and get the wanderlust out of them, and if the world didn't kill them, they'd return to tend to the familial estates or tack their ships to close ports trawling the coast from Sanctum to Arx. But in recent generations, House Argento had lost several members in ventures - the merchant marine and navy were much more dangerous than it seemed at first hand - and the surviving members in the line of succession were terribly prepared for the level of organization and diplomacy that running a Lycene city-state required. Commoner stewards could not always be completely trusted - what is the adage about blood being thicker than water? - and thus, Salazar was both the first-born and the first in a grand experiment that would involve his two younger siblings as well as his cousins.
Raised to know the common law, the art of orating, stewardship, accounting, fine poetry, history - the kind of education any proper Arvum courtier might have at their disposal, Salazar was surprisingly well-read for a member of a House that had its start raiding neighbors on longboats in the dark of night. This emphasis on education extended to his sister and then somewhat to his younger brother. Salazar was taught the warrior's art of sword and shield, the courtly virtues of chivalry, the necessity of duty. An exceedingly charming child, he went through life with an understated charm, absorbing passively this path that had been hewn out for him.
But by the time he'd turned 20, the Argento wanderlust struck him and he spent a few wild weeks in Setarco and even further abroad. and getting into one bit of trouble that proved hard to clear. A Pravus scion and he had spent a drug-and-alcohol-fueled spree streaking across the rooftops of Setarco, giving the whole city an eyeful. Of course, when it came to blame, said Pravus scion had said that Salazar had plainly encouraged him, which cut Salazar's youthful sojourn short as he was sent home. Faced with this bit of scandal, the elder Argento had ordered Salazar take on more responsibilities and duties at the family manor.
In an uncharacteristically tactless turn of events, Salazar had shouted down his father and stormed off to the docks. Oppressed by words like 'calling', 'duty' and 'responsibility', he'd shoved a cheque into some captain's hand, found himself in charge of a brand new ship, and set sail for Setarco again. By the time he'd left port, his father had nearly had an apoplexy over the fact that not one, but /both/ his sons had disappeared (Salazar's baby brother, Hugo, had smuggled himself onboard in the fracas). The next four years, he spent mostly at sea, getting written permission and a privateer's license from his liegelord to trawl for the countless shav pirates that plagued the coast. Those four years, he traveled as far north as the Mourning Isles, collecting an eclectic crew and eclectic experiences.
Docked in Arx, he received missive from his father - Marco Argento's health was waning, and he asked - please, from a father to an estranged son - that they meet. Marco Argento would not be able to make the trip from Nilanza to Arx to complete his duties in the Compact. Would Salazar become Voice of the House, settle here in Arx and give up the wanderlust? Seeing his old man, hobbled by gout and age, Salazar agreed. With his brother in tow, and his sister sent up to advise him, he had finally been drawn back to the game of politics.