Character Name: Ser Robert Harold Avalern
Character Age: 31
Birthday (including year): 211, 6th of March
Current Location: Forsilvra Island
House: Avalern by Birth, Fontenot by Allegiance
Banner Appearance: A red cross on a black background
House Description: Nothing special. A minor Knightly House sworn to the Fontenot Family.
Player Base: Tom Hiddleston
In terms of size, Robert is not a great, mountain of a man. He is five foot eleven inches, and thin but muscular.
Personality: Robert is a very withdrawn and complicated man. Never quite sure whether to be the brave knight or the cunning advisor, he has settled on being the man he wishes to be, not what is politically convenient. In this way, Robert is a man who relies firmly on himself for all things, and thereby has a deep confidence that is integral to his being. Robert doesn't truly believe in Gods - he believes in the power of men. He never makes excuses for his actions, or blames others for his failures. The downside of this is that Robert expects others to do the same, and is openly contemptful of people who shift blame or try to weasel out of responsibility. Indeed, he has a deadpan and unflappable nature that allows him to be constantly sarcastic and constantly snide towards a world that simply does not measure up with what he had dreamed. His sense of humour is centred around making dry observations about life and his fellows, and getting away with it. Robert does not hate people, he just expects the worst from them, and is often found to be correct. Nobles have affairs, Peasants shag sheep, Merchants steal from the needy, and Knights murder helpless children. All he has seen, and worse, and the man simply shrugs and expects it. His own code of conduct is centred around maintaining a decent reputation - he keeps his head down. He doesn't fuck tavern whores, he keeps away from Noble daughters and sons, and just stays out of mind for the court.
He has no friends, except perhaps his charge Isabella Fontenot, and Robert essues regular company. Instead, he watches, observes, and is often ignored simply because he shuts up and stays so, before reporting back to Isabella. His advice is always ruthless, and always pragmatic - ideals went out the window for this man a long time ago, for while he tries to maintain his reputation, he sees no reason not to kill another human being if they threaten him or his lady liege. He's a fast man in a fight, too. Not as skilled as a Horn, far from it, but Robert doesn't have any concept of 'honour', really. In the Tourneys, he fights and loses, usually to an up and coming Knight or a Lord of martial renown, but when his life is on the line? Robert doesn't give a fuck. He bites, he spits, he scratches, he uses his sword as a hammer, his fists as screws to tear a foes eyes out. If it means getting out alive, Robert would tear a man to pieces without a second's hesitation. Oh yes, they have their swords, but Robert utterly refuses to fight honourably when his life is on the line. This practicality extends to his day-to-day life; Robert is always polite and proper, except when making a snarky quip, and tends to all his own needs. Washing, food, scrubbing his armour? Done by him - Robert despises incompetence, and finds squires to be tedious. The quiet work of manual labour helps keep him relatively sane.
In terms of less legal skills, Robert is a reasonable actor - he can play the drunkard or the stupid swordsman to a fault, though he finds anything more complicated difficult. It is his ability to blend in with others that is truly valuable, and this causes him to be a reliable source of information to his liege lady. The fact that Isabella Fontenot has never been harmed in the ten years Robert has been assigned to her is testament to the man's ability to gather this information, but also a key ability to scout the crowd. Robert is a skilled truthteller, though not perfect, and his analytical and furtive nature means he can quite easily sift out that which is unimportant. Combine this with a deceptive speed and any would-be-assailants find a few Guardsmen tapping them on the shoulder.
Of course, Robert is both completely unimportant and socially isolated, to the point that if he were to ask a Horn for a copper, they'd most likely throw him from the Castle. But he is content with this. He's far from ambitious.
Robert was born the son of a Knight of Castle Licorn. He was squired to another Knight of Castle Licorn. He was raised, brought up, and knighted in Castle Licorn. Yet inbetween those facts, those pegs upon his life, lies the real story of how a young man learned to hate the world. It all began in the first weeks of his birth, when his father was awoken by his crying in the night. Instead of having his wife feed the boy, or attempting to comfort him, Robert's father took a needle and thread and stitched his mouth closed. Only when morning came were his muted screams answered, with his mother shocked by the development. Robert's father, Duncan, blamed a serving girl, who was severely beaten and her hand cut off for abusing a child of gentle birth. It never truly got better after that. His father would beat and torture him, and lie to his mother. She was no fool, she caught on eventually, but what could she do? Her family was long in the ground, and her husband was a respected Knight at court. Any accusations would be thrown out.
The result of this was that Robert never developed faith in humanity. What he did develop was a tolerance for pain that is almost unprecedented, and a stoic mindset. By the time he was seven years old, and a Page at Court, his chest and legs were blanketed with scars and burns, but his face and hands were spotless - Duncan Avalern quickly found that it was convenient to keep evidence of his abuses to a minimum. Indeed, in public, the two seemed the archetypal portrayal of father and son. Duncan taught Robert to fight with a blade, to ride, and patted him in the shoulder whenever they crossed paths. On the man's deathbed, Robert asked Duncan exactly why he tortured him. His response was simple: 'Because I could'. In present times, Robert notes that he was a sadist - he enjoyed the infliction of pain. But growing up, Robert was warped by his treatment. He teased younger boys, kicked dogs, smacked weeping girls and was reprimanded a thousand times. He learned to fight boys bigger, whom he felt no fear of, and boys smaller, whom he took out his hatred upon. When he was thirteen, he was sent to squire to a brave man called Ser Reginald Potter. A commoner knighted for heroism, he was a slovenly, fat man with age creeping up on him.
To this day, Ser Robert considers Reginald his true father. In public, he would smack and shout at his young servant, roaring with apparent fury fit to rock the very flagstones. Yet, behind closed doors, Reginald was mild-mannered, gruff, and happy in an instinctual manner. He taught Robert to use his wiles against his foes in a controlled and professional manner, not the dirty scrapping he'd grown accustomed to. He taught Robert how to look a man up and down and know his worth. For seven years, Robert and Ser Reginald were kindred spirits. To the world, Robert was the evil, rogueish, sharp-tongued devil, cowering before his fat, gluttonous and useless master. To the 'T' they played their parts, and Robert came to distinguish between the man he played in public and the man whom he was.
After these seven years, Reginald finally confronted his squire. Where had these marks come from? Why was he always found beating upon some poor fool at night? Why did he look at a cut with relief, rather than shock? Robert lied, of course, a horrific fear of his father still coursing through him, but when Ser Duncan visited his son next, Reginald watched them very closely. Afterwards, just outside the Castle, Ser Reginald challenged Ser Duncan for assaulting his squire. Many were shocked, none more so than Robert. Though he knew his master was faster than his bulk implied, he also knew that his father was the very devil in a fight.
The next day, a duel occurred. It lasted perhaps seven seconds. Ser Duncan jabbed cautiously at the armoured Ser Reginald, and the fat old man displayed an incredible burst of speed when he grasped the sword's tip and pulled his opponent towards him. That was the first three seconds. The next four involved a very abrupt stab with a punch dagger, up through the guts. A slow death.
It took Ser Duncan Avalern three days to die. Ser Reginald appeared distraught in public, but revealed to Robert, quietly, that he was bribing the man's healers to poison him. He'd known exactly what he was doing. On the last day, Robert confronted his father, and talked for many hours. Duncan was honest. He was a bastard born, lacking his family's brown eyes where all men of his line bore them. Knowing his mother could do little, Duncan's rage had built until that day in the cradle, and it had never subsided. As stated - when Robert demanded why the torture, why such pain, the man had stated that the lack of anyone stopping him had been a prime showing. In this, Robert lost fear of his father. He wasn't some godly, tormenting power. He was a stupid, weak, pathetic man. After that, Robert is unable to see men in power as anything but stupid, weak and pathetic.
Not long after, Robert's squiredom came to a close, and he was Knighted. He was assigned as Lady Isabella Fontenot's personal guard, and has remained her cold but effective protector ever since.
"You don't like me, do you, m'lord?"
"Shut up and stab the fucking dummy."
At his master's insistence, Roland took his blunted sword and shoved it into the dummy, it's rusted steel easily slashing into the linen and retracting, mechanically, like he'd been told to. A few feet away, Ser Robert was sat upon a pile of old leather jerkins, carefully cleaning his nails with his belt knife, a look of mild disdain upon his face. As always. Infact, Roland was coming to note that the closest his master ever got to 'happy' was 'less hateful'.
"M'lord?" the lad inquired, and this caused Robert to finally look up. He took a long sigh, and stood, taking the rusted blade from the boy, and turning it, so he gripped the dulled blade with his hands, and slammed the crossbar into the dummy's 'head', leaving a very large mark.
"Practice" he ordered, thumping the blade back at Roland's chest. The boy looked disturbed, and was protesting even before his master sat.
"M'lord Avalern, isn't that illegal in the tourneys?"
Never before had the lad seen such a cold expression cross his master's face. Never, though he had only been with him a short while. The man planted his feet and stared at his squire. In his precise and smooth voice, he responded pointedly and slowly, as if Roland was an utter simpleton..
"It kills men in armour." He stated, before returning to his nails. Roland did not drop the issue though.
"Ser, I don't think I should be learning things that all the civilised world looks upon as barbaric, dishonourable."
Ser Robert -laughed-. It wasn't a gleeful, good humoured laugh. It was snide and mocking.
"Honour? Are you genuinely stupid, boy? Moon touched?" He shook his head, and gave his small beard a quick scratch. "Honour is just something we made up so that the Commoners would think we were better than them. Honour is just about the most worthless thing our petty little civilisation has ever come up with. Honour is an excuse for men to prove that they're superior not through reason and morality, but through adherence to tradition and bloodshed. When some young man comes along and kills you for sticking that scullery maid, it will be 'honour' that drives him, and 'honour' that prevents me from avenging you. Now shut up and show me how to kill a man in armour."
As expected, Roland left Ser Robert's service the next day. It meant nothing to him; he'd not had any chores except to learn and maintain himself. When telling others of his former master's disquieting advice, the most common response was 'who?'.
[Time Line Events]
Year 211: Born.
Year 218: Becomes Page to his father.
Year 224: Becomes squire to Ser Reginald
Year 231: Ser Reginald kills Ser Duncan; Robert is knighted.
Year 241: Present
Ser Duncan Avalern --Kelda Shawcross
- Ser Robert Avalern
Last edited by Robert Avalern; 07-08-2012 at 02:32 PM.
everyone but us is an enemy
And I could tell you
His favorite color's green
He loves to argue
Born on the seventeenth
His sister's beautiful
He has his father's eyes
And if you ask me if I love him
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