Lord Griffin Redreef
I've published two hundred and twenty-seven poems... and now I can't even finish a first line.
Description: Griffin Redreef is in that gray area between 'average' and 'tall.' His build skews slender, and he seems to have the kind of body where it would be easier than most to define his muscle tone -- but he just hasn't bothered lately. His skin tone is on the pale side of caramel, and it makes his dark, dark brown eyes stand out all the more. Griffin wears his black hair close-cropped, but often goes days without shaving, leaving a dark five o'clock shadow to accessorize his high cheekbones, strong chin, and full lips.
Personality: Griffin is someone who was never meant for battle, but only found that out the hard way. The things he did and saw in the conflict over Redreef Shores haunt him. Rather than forging him into a soldier, his time on the battlefield ruptured his sense of self. He still holds on to his old passions: art, music, painting, literature, and most especially poetry, and possesses an endless curiosity for stories, tales, and legends. Even at his most morose, beauty sustains him.
Background: "Poetry" is not a word that most outside of the Mourning Isles would associate with the place, but it does exist there. When he was a young boy, Griffin Redreef displayed a remarkable ability to compose verse, to the point that his first collection was published when he was only twelve. That collection, and several subsequent folios, received widespread acclaim around the Isles, and he was hailed as an emerging virtuoso, who in time would perhaps become the defining poet of the Isles.
His parents, Dua and Spencer Redreef, were happy that their youngest son was bolstering the family's reputation, but honestly weren't terribly interested in a poet. They're part of the most staunchly traditionalist branch of the Redreef family tree, and were far more keen to lavish attention on their two older children, Gehenna the diplomat and Nimue the horse-breaker. Perhaps that's what seeded Griffin's progressive leanings.
As he grew of age, Griffin became more and more willing to speak out in favor of progressivism in the Mourning Isles. When Baron Landis Redreef died, his brother Tiberius laid claim to Redreef Shores, but this claim was contested by Landis's daughters, Ember and Marina. When the swords were drawn, Griffin sided with Ember and Marina, to fight for the progressive ideals he believed in.
Griffin fought valiantly, even though his prowess was much more 'acceptable' than 'exceptional.' Still, he survived. But for him to survive, others had to die. Griffin slew six men on the battlefield over the course of the drawn-out conflict, and he remembers each of them clearly, and the looks on their faces as life left them. He also remembers the looks on the faces of those on his side who were cut down, and the smell of dirt made wet with blood, and what it was like to walk around in the quiet after a battle, looking for the remaining pieces of bodies that used to be his friends.
When Ember won the conflict and established herself as Baroness, Griffin thought he was ready to return to poetry. He imagined that he would compose an epic about the struggle, but when he sat at his desk to write, no words came. As months passed, he found no words coming to him about anything else, either. His gift felt as though it must still be there within him, but always just out of reach, taunting him with potential.
In the absence of writing, Griffin took to reading. He became a ravenous autodidact, exploring whatever took his fancy, particularly as it pertained to Death, the Wheel, and other things that weighed heavily on his mind after his time fighting. This led to his initiation into the Harlequins, where he hopes that in helping others and sifting through the legends, his inspiration will return to him.