Monday, May 23, 2011

Let's meet some other damn person

H. is loosely based off of an H. I know in real life. I picture him as a rival, perhaps even an villain, but one with a not completely unsympathetic point of view.

In contrast to L., H. is a man (definitely a man) of the world. H. is cynical, ambitious, wealthy, and selfish. He's not amoral, but he's not one for causes or crusades. Anything he does he intends as an avenue towards something he wants. He's very good at what he does, however - which is a mix of business and soldiering. H. is a mercenary, or more properly a condotierri, a gentleman adventurer. He makes his life not so much by using the sword as holding the sword, by being paid "to fight or not fight," as Varric might have it.

His vice is really sloth, as that might seem to imply, not greed; put another way, he's ambitious but not driven. He is slovenly in some sense. He eats too much, drinks too much, he's slightly fat and out-of-shape for a soldier (though strong and a good fighter). His hygiene is less than perfect, he's sexually crude, sexist, and a great lover of prostitutes, slave women and less-straightforwardly "kept" women. Matrimony is a distasteful idea to him.

Despite his penchant for pleasure and soft-living, he's not above a little excitement and adventure, provided he doesn't sacrifice too much or enter into too much danger.

He's no duelist; he prefers to have others do his fighting, but when he must arm himself he's purely professional about it. He prefers heavy fighting and a heavy sword, and a solid pike if he can get his hand on it. He has no sense of honor or chivalry beyond what's convenient.

He's not from the City and considers their urbane, orderly ways somewhat quaint (perhaps ironically). He's from a much more rural, impoverished land of an extensive fighting aristocracy protecting a desperately poor peasantry, which he regards as a much more honest arrangement than the subtle political and economic distinctions of the city's classes.

He holds the goddess and her cult in high respect, but mostly as a) a goddess who can do something for him and b) a church that has (in his eyes) conned itself into a great deal of earthly power. It's not that he disbelieves the lie - far from it. He's just the sort of person who knows in the pit of his stomach that "it" will never happen in his lifetime, so he doesn't really concern himself with matters of life and death.

I like the idea that spiritually he literally worships a symbol of his family's standing - perhaps ancestor worship, a fairly rarified form tied to his culture and class?

One of his defining attributes is an amazing sense of self-assurance. He really thinks that he's the best, and that he's on some level invincible.

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