Countess Sabine Tessere
The consequences of anger and rash action are far worse than their cause.
Description: There is a tale in the Lyceum of a lovelorn artisan beseeching Jayus for inspiration. "Let me but find the very aspect of my true love as I shape this block of marble, so that I may know her when I meet her, O Jayus! I will give you everything," he said, making formal vow to the god in Limerance's name. Jayus answered. From that cold stone the artist's hands drew forth perfection. Gazing on her when he was finished, he wept until his heart burst because he knew he would never, ever meet her in life. It's a very popular tale in the South, particularly in the embellishment of his death agonies. Sabine could be that statue. Perhaps some conspiracy of the gods breathed life into heavy marble and set her loose upon the world, aloof and lovely, perfect in form. Perhaps, if she allowed someone near enough to touch, they would find her flesh to be firm and cool, or that the gleam of her green eyes is but paint and gilt, or that her thick sable hair is a fortune of silk plucked loose into individual strands and arranged upon her head.
Or perhaps the story is nonsense and she's only a woman, though one who has been blessed in every aspect of her appearance.
Personality: Stoicism is not a popular philosophy in the Lyceum. Someone really ought to have informed Sabine of this before she went and grew up to be a serenely composed young woman but at least her family and people speak proudly of the Countess' strict control over her emotions. Rumours of the glimmer of deeper feelings being observed behind the drawn veil of downcast lashes or a glance turned aside are generally held by House Tessere as slander by jealous parties. They counter with first-hand accounts of her devotion to absolute reason and her rational approach to decision making-- an approach which stands sharply in comparison to the previous Countess' more tempestuous nature.
Background: Sabine was not born under a fortunate arrangement of stars.
House Tessere's fortunes have been, in recent centuries, slowly reversing from the earlier scandal and disgrace which had plagued their name. The work begun generations ago has been of late bearing very lucrative fruit. But it is well-known that her mother, the Countess Lucrezia, was of a temperamental nature. Her preference for deliciously fiery wars conducted against both husband and consorts meant that there was little peace in their household, and less attention paid to the delicate business of shepherding the County into more prosperous waters. This coupled with the exile and excommunication of the Count-Consort's family, the Forza, from the Compact, and then Sabine's birth being followed very shortly thereafter by the Countess bearing a child to her favourite consort, set it in stone that she and Nurie-- and the other children who followed, full- and half-blooded-- were destined to be raised in something very like chaos.
Somehow they made it work. It took the combined effort of staff, servants and advisers, people whose life's sweat and tears were spent in securing Tessere's security and the well-being of its next generation. They saw to it that Sabine was tutored as befitted the heir and if she insisted Nurie was always at her side for these lessons, they took it as a sign of the girl's willingness to accept the acknowledged bastard child as a sign of her generous nature, and nevermind she had never been a particularly warm or expressive child. It simply proved those things existed beneath the controlled exterior, and they believed it would come to show more in time as she grew in years and maturity.
Those predictions did not hold true but in all other ways, it was clear Sabine intended to excel. She pursued her childhood and adolescence as if diligently following a primer written on How To Be The Best Heir and Future Countess, and even before her majority, it was noticed. Lucrezia began to use her daughter as proxy and Voice very early, beginning with simple ceremonial roles and eventually progressing to meeting with dignitaries and fellow nobles, or sitting in at council. By twenty, mother and daughter were all but dividing the role of Countess, giving Lucrezia more time with her favourites, and Sabine more opportunities to become comfortable with her hand on the reins of the County.
When Sabine was twenty-two, against her father's objections for he would have preferred a Lycene match, Lucrezia arranged her marriage to Lord Martinus Harthall, a cousin to that family's central branch. The bride did not blush but neither did she bat a lash at being wed to a man she'd met only twice before the nuptials. The expectation was that she would perform in this duty as she had in all other things-- with diligence and distinction, by rapidly producing an heir. It wasn't to be. Sabine proved again, and again, and again to not be pregnant. When the Gyre's forces approached Arvum, Lord Martinus was tasked with leading the House's small military in support of Hawkmour and Fidante. He didn't return, dashing all hope that the young couple would do right by their families.
But that was not the end of Tessere's troubles. Details have been scarce-- suppressed, some say-- but Countess Lucrezia was announced dead, murdered, in late 1008 AR. Still newly a widow, Sabine was ushered into her place. Her first act as Countess was to order an investigation into her mother's death.
Her second was to command her staff to begin packing for a journey to Arx.
|Aella||One of those count as blessed to see the Spirits perform their creativity through the vessel that is my body. Or whatever. Some lady that was probably oggling my body like ALLL THE REST.|
|Ajax||An interesting sort I suppose. Prim, proper, like a silk should be. Though, I wonder where she stands on more then a few things. I'll prod next harder next time.|
|Alessandro||A very intriguing Countess, who manages seemingly without effort to capture one's attention in the Shrine far more easily than the mirrors.|
|Arman||A lovely creature and of a temperment I hold affinity for. Observant, articulate and manages the measures of proper society with an unwavering grace. There is something about her poise that I hold a certain kinship to and a lifetime ago I may have been keen to garner the woman's affections, however stoic they may be.|
|Aurelia||A darling of a Countess who has a way with words, and shares a taste for mischief.|
|Belladonna||The rare breed of reasonable and cautious Lycene. I always heard they migh exist but I never saw one up close. What an experience!|
|Berenice||Oh, what an absolute /delight/ to have her in the city! So very wonderful. So incredibly marvelous.|
|Berto||She seems charming, and sly, and generous. I would like to know more, but that seems to me like that's a fine way to seem.|
|Bliss||An immaculate beauty who is happy to play along with my flirtations. I've never had a bad evening spent in her company, which is more than can be said for so many in this city. Always interesting, always challenging, and marrying for the right reasons. Good woman.|
|Calarian||The very image one envisions when they think on the Lyceum, given flesh. I'll keep an ear out for what comes of House Tessere.|
|Cullen||Sometimes, you meet a woman who is beautiful, charming, witty...and then you do something incomprehensible, like admit in front of a crowd to not wearing smallclothes. Brilliant. At least she had the decency not to remark upon it.|
|Domonico||A Countess with a commanding attitude. Able to clear a path through a crowded room without need of an escort.|
|Duarte||She exhibited very well practiced social grace slicked over a thorough study of my potential usefulness.|
|Eamon||Etiquette and politic manner both are perhaps embodied in this woman, but an interesting question might be what she looks like when she lets that fall. What is behind the mask she wears, I wonder? Because there is one there - there is for each of us. Still, consider me impressed and intrigued both.|
|Fiora||A noble lady, pretty, composed, witty. Probably what I'm supposed to be. Whoops.|
|Harlex||I have not done much sailing but once, in the southern tip of the world, I found myself on a cog far into the ocean. There, out the middle of the waves, was a tall islet made of granite. Water had smoothed it down with curves. It looked beautiful, it looked like it wasn't goin' anywhere less it wanted to among the tumultuous sea--like it couldn't be bothered with all that fluidity. Anyway. That's what I thought of, when I met the Countess.|
|Helena||The epitome of southern charm and wit -- bright with a sharp edge like the most excellent of blades.|
|Ignacio||Countess Sabine seems to be a charming woman from a House not too dissimilar to House Fidante. I would like to get to know her better.|
|Jasher||Like a blade upon the high seas: Sharp and meandering.|
|Jeffeth||A very lovely lady who I think is very intelligent. Like a lot of intelligent people she likes to give a lot of advice, some of her advice was not to take advice. I think. I will follow that... Or not follow that?|
|Juliana||Countess, lovely.. composed. One wonders what it would take to break that composure.|
|Jyri||The efficiency of a general. I bet she'd be an amazing one if she set her mind to that. Got along famously, and looking forward to future meetings.|
|Lys||A clearly cunning and perceptive Lycene lady. She knows a true prize when she sees one.|
|Nurie||My beloved sister, my lady, untouchable and bold, who is my greatest joy to serve, and my greatest fear that she might be taken away from me. When we were children, if I was afraid or unsure it was you I ran to, not Mother. And so it is now, except for you ease my heart with just a glance, and I know no matter what the world thinks of me, your love is all that matters. I will see you rise, and will have your back, so long as there is still life within me.|
|Preston||She is confident and certainly puts on a display - all you would expect of a Lycene noble woman. And you can't help but like her for it.|
|Reese||she seems friend, welcoming, lovely and has creative ideas.|
|Rinel||It's like everything Lycene poured into a single person. I bet Duarte would love her. I certainly don't.|
|Talwyn||Met at the Queensrest. She seems enigmatic and interesting, I find myself fascinated by her unique patterns of speech.|
|Talwyn||This is a Countess of refinement and elegance - I found her subtle wit and gracious manners beyond reproach.|
|Tescelina||Breathtaking. I saw her with knife in hand and I went right to her -- how dangerous a presence, how cunning those beautiful eyes.|
|Theo||The wife of my dear former protege, Karadoc Saik, and friend of my cousin, Berenice. I can /definitely/ see it.|