Prince Baldessare Velenosa
I'm not a hothead. I believe strong feelings and beliefs are a measure of honor, though I hardly believe honor requires publishing my battlefield strategy in advance.
Description: It's body language that creates Baldessare's strong impression. He carries himself with driven confidence. His low voice is bold and resonant. His eyes are intensely dark, framed by absurdly long lashes beneath the thickness of well-defined eyebrows. His lips are more full than thin, mobile in the midst of the strong lines of nose and jaw. His skin is a dusky olive brown. He frequently keeps a neat, dark beard. The sculpt of his features could be the cast of a soldier's statue, but his face is too lively, his expression rarely still. Tall and lean, he looks like a swordsman, built on muscular lines that match the strength of his long fingers.
Personality: Passionate and driven, Baldessare is a hot core of dynamic ambition layered beneath a dry reserve. His sense of humor is understated, but rarely banished entirely. Wit earns his respect, and intelligence, his regard. Bravery is not an uncommon trait, but his is a courage fueled by self-assurance and tempered by a deeply grooved streak of grounded, solid common sense. He is a born "fixer" - a man who needs to resolve problems wherever they occur, whether they are actually his business or not. Puzzles need solving; battles need winning; emotional problems need... what? He's not sure but he'll definitely try to come up with it.
Background: As a boy, Baldessare's energy was often stoked by the fires of competition. Reared on legends of his House and often witness to the efforts - academic and athletic - of his cousins, he always wanted to prove that he was as good as any of them, and frequently pushed himself to terrible extremes to prove himself. Especially as an adolescent, he pushed himself. He wanted to be the top of his class, the best fighter, the best racer, the best everything, but of course, the perfection that he demanded of himself was impossible, and in those days, he threw fits and tantrums often, furious that he wasn't measuring up to his own self-image.
Eventually, he settled down and evened out. The perfectionism would remain with him, but it was tempered by reality, an understanding of human limitations, and the patience of tutors. The older he grew, the more he demonstrated focus, and fierceness. He learned to control his temper and to channel it, so that the outbursts grew fewer and further between. His favorite way to blow off steam was on horseback, and he would ride out in solitude for hours, communing with the animals and feeling the freedom of their gait beneath him.
His father took both Benedetto and Baldessare to sea in their early teens to teach them how to behave, and assigned their squirage as cabin boys on several voyages that were designed to look more adventurous and exciting than they were. Baldessare stuck to his father's elbow like glue, wanting to learn everything there was to learn about being a sea captain and caring for his men as a protector and a commander.
He also learned that grog will knock you on your ass, especially when you're fifteen.
As an adult, his generally attentive and ambitious nature proved useful to the family, as would that of any aspiring, aggressive military officer with an eye for horseflesh. As his sister's social star climbed in Arx, he and Benedetto were dispatched to Arx. Baldessare has high ambitions for demonstrating his prowess in service of his House. As far as he is concerned, the capital hasn't seen anything yet.