Lord Strozza Mazetti
Account for all you can, suffer no setback.
Description: Stern featured, a figure that seems born of silent admonishment and disapproving looks. Tall and average of build, this man carries himself with a firm, confidant, manner - no motion wasted, no action frivolous, everything controlled. Raven locks hang in waves to his shoulders, regularly tied back to keep from getting in his face. Thin browed with storm cloud gray eyes that frequently look down along the length of his straight lined and noble nose. Square chinned with an angular jaw that seems perpetually with a scruff that implies grooming is a secondary matter for him at best. Thin lipped, and with stern lines beginning work their way into his features the blush of youth is being left behind, turning him into a form cast in stone, weathered by salt sea air and wind.
(The very picture of gloom. Dark under downcast eyes, deep set cuts from nose to corners of his savagely frowning mouth. Skin paler than normal and his hair tied back with a pair of crown braids to help hold it in place.)
Personality: A life of duty and discipline, Strozza plays a constant game of checks and balances. What will it cost to do one thing, how much reward reaped for the other. Calculating and tabulating all actions he takes and those taken around him. He'd be just as happy in a counting house, most feel, as he does on the deck of a ship, that is if it were confirmed if he was capable of such states as 'happy'. A ship is considered the ultimate weigh of balances. Supplies to crew. Space taken by necessities, and how much personal affects are allowed. All must be accounted for, and the keeper to be held accountable. Life is a mere extension of this. Too much flotsam and the man struggles beneath the weight, too little preparation and he flounders. It is impossible to factor for every contingency, but preparedness is rewarded with a chance to continue, to survive and learn from missteps or from what to be ready for in the future.
Background: Second son to Cacciatore and Fissata, Strozza's childhood was a game of cat and mouse with his elder sister, pitted against one another by mother and father. Who was the better tactician? Who was the better and keeping to the shadows? Who curried favor? Who commanded respect? Playmates were carefully selected, to challenge and confuse. Problems to be solved over people to connect and corroborate with. He would make them subservient, she would make them pawns. Nothing of childhood was truly childish, for there were lessons compounded into lessons and his mind began to look for angles, where pieces could fit. How to use what happened now to confirm what was needed in the future. Account for everything that could feasibly be.
Cacciatore took his daughter beneath his wing, to teach her the works of spying and confidence games. Fissata took her son to sea. Captained under his mother he was surprised to find himself little more than a servant. A cabin boy. Left to fend for himself Strozza learned how to win trust and use that to his own ends. How to manipulate the crew to see him as their leader, even as he was raised from boy to mate. No duty was shirked, but he made sure to work harder than any of the others around him. Turn their respect to love. Pit that love against the distrust in others. Use the men and women to bring round others to his heel. Always the stern word, but never the fist.
Fissata was especially stern with him, but never for the crew to see. To the crew he was just another lad of noble birth being taught seamanship. Behind their backs he was the son of the Captain. And a son who was ever found wanting. Even he was twisted and manipulated to seek his mother's approval. He became a mate, but he was still barely better than cabin boy. First Mate, but not an officer. Bosun, but not a lieutenant. Every achievement was a rung on a ladder and he'd best keep climbing.
Games and theory became his life, aboard ship or on dry land. How to get what he needed, as needed, and how to manipulate the game to his favor so that he won his prize, earned through victory and his own clever will.
That was how Fissata Mazzeti was demoted to Commander under her son. Holes punched in her method and record. Quietly kept issues that showed she should be a second in command at best for now, and not the ruler of a ship. Then he transferred her to a trade route escort. Let her become ships master there while he acquired his first command. And then his second ship, and then a half dozen in his grip. Patrol craft, transports, royal escorts. Fissata wrote from the eastern coasts that she was so proud of him. She expected him to go so far. His father too expressed his pride his sister, Nucca, he still has not seen since she turned ten.
Strozza though, continued his work, to serve his family make them proud, and strive to command more than just his half dozen small craft. To command all craft bearing their crest.