Dame Mercedes Valardin
If you have broken faith, oathtaker, you had best pray the gods have mercy on you, for I shall not.
Social Rank: 7
Concept: Righteous Inquisitor
Marital Status: single
Hair Color: dark, dark brown
Eye Color: gray-green
Description: Forge a woman from steel. Cast her features for strength, an image of Gloria in action: all jaw, all cheekbone. Then warm her to flesh, for this woman is altogether human. Her skin is warm and fair, occasionally spattered by dark freckling when she spends too much time in the sunlight. A dimple flashes in only one of her cheeks, and only when she smiles, which is not often. Her lips are thin, on the pale side, and rarely touched with color. Her hair is dark, dark brown, like the shadowed trunks in the depths of the woods, too warm and subtly reddish to be mistaken for black, but only just. Her eyes are pale, gray-green, like leaves through faded mist, of striking clarity and intensity beneath the stark, thick shape of her eyebrows. Muscle defines her lean but stocky frame more than any curves or softness, though neither curves nor softness are wholly absent.
Personality: Forthright occasionally to a fault, Mercedes brooks nonsense from no one and commands respect with her eyes and her name. She is a Dragon: an endless depth of passionate will seems buried beneath a surface rigid with strength. When she has determined that a thing is one way, based on reason or passion, there is simply no moving her. Her word is her bond and she will go to ridiculous lengths to keep a trust. Mercedes is an easy leader to follow, because she leads with her heart, from the front, no holds barred -- damn their spears, full speed ahead. Yet she is a good reactive thinker, tactically quick, decisive and fierce. She can be ruthless as well as reckless in the crunch, a woman who recognizes the need to get the job done and will do it, but her code of honor is the bedrock on which her entire self is built, and is wholly unshakable. She is not a woman of no smiles, but a woman of rare ones, and all those that come to her must be true and real, for there is no deception in her. Neither is she a woman without a sense of humor -- but it is reined in beneath her dignity, and escapes in mild, dry bursts, when it does so.
Background: Mercedes was raised as a princess of Valardin, a lesser line of a storied family. She was reared on myths and legends of heroism, with a spirit forged in righteousness and justice, with the high ideals of oathkeeping and faith being foremost in her heart. With other children, she played knight with a whole-hearted abandoned that occasionally got her in trouble for the violence of her assaults on imaginary 'monsters'. But she was also reared correctly, with a focused study of diplomacy and etiquette, and it was always known that Princess Mercedes Valardin would wed according to the needs of her family, as a princess should.
But, at eighteen, fierce and young and full of fire, she had other ideas -- not ideas of defiance to her family, at first, but ideas that developed that way as the game of marital politics veered more and more towards ideas that she found distasteful. The first match she refused was a Lycene one; it would have made her a landed noble, a marchioness, rather than a throwaway princess, but while the young man himself was perfectly unobjectionable, she drew the line at marrying into a house that worshipped the Thirteenth so openly and, er, lasciviously.
The second match she refused was a Thrax, an eminently suitable young man of the Royal House, who would have been her match in everything, but again she refused, because of her distaste for the Thrax. And as the second marital alliance fell apart around their ears, the Voices of House Valardin had to confront Mercedes with a choice: while no marriage could be forced as that would be a defiance of the laws of Limerance, she was being intransigent, and needed to remember her duty to her fealty and to her family.
"No," said Mercedes, "for I shall remember my duty to the Crown." And with that, the Princess Mercedes Valardin left her family and became simply Mercedes, a crownsworn commoner.
Mercedes Valardin arrived in Arx having cried off all her options, 22 and determined, with a jaw as hard as her will. She had little with her but a little silver and a sword. She served as a Champion for coin and glory for about a year, and eventually quit in disgust because the devil-may-care attitudes and general disreputability of her fellow Champions drove her to a kind of breaking point ... and that was when her sword, her eye and her determination brought her to the House of Questions. She began as a Confessor, but it was not long before she was elevated to the Inquisition instead, and took oath as a knight-inquisitor in service to the Crown.
|Adalyn||A fellow Oathlander, she's a former Champion-turned-Inquisitor. I wonder what motivations led her to change her path? She's a martial sort and a knight as well. No doubt she has stories to tell about what led her to where she is today.|
|Bhandn||Duty is both boon and burden. When I was about her age, it was the only thing that existed for me as well. I don't know if I feel nostalgia or pity, now, but we each choose our own happiness, and she will certainly find her own path to it, in her own way as it should be.|
|Calypso||She reminds me of me. I hope she doesn't end up the way I did.|
|Faye||A longtime friend and sister-in-arms with the Inquisition. There are few I would rather have at my back in a fight or share a bottle of whiskey with at the end of the day.|
|Gabriella||A fine example of an Oathlander. At first blush she seems the stoic, but it is in the midst of a dance of blades that passion of hers shines through brilliantly. Controlled, yet sharp in its intensity. I've no small appreciation for such a person.|
|Gwenna||Dame Mercedes Valardin is someone I have met in passing once or twice, and have always wondered about the tale that lead her from royal princess to knight-inquisitor. She is a warrior, without doubt; the type that I remember from tales my mother told me of the Oathlands when I was just a girl. Seemingly chiseled of ice and steel, there is a warmth to her as well, surely stemming from her devotion to the gods as well as her passion to her duties. In a word, she is formidable - and in the best meanings of the word.|
|Ian||An inquisitor. Fits the mold.|
|Joslyn||It had been so long that I had not even known she had gone from Princess to Dame. Truly embarassing... but it sounds as though there are so many stories for us to share and if we can only find the time to speak quietly once more.|
|Juliette||She seemed to be at odds with a lot of people? I don't know, the kitten was too distracting to pay full attention. Still, she has gorgeous eyes.|
|Korka||The life of every party and the one who is most likely to break hearts and leave men weeping. Yes, I'm talking about Inquisitor Mercedes Valardin. This is two truths and a lie, right?|
|Liara||Straightforward and concise, and seemingly not given to speaking unless she definitely has something to say. Goodness only knows what wealth of information she has to hand - I might find out in the days to come.|
|Mabelle||A Knight who attempts to look frightening but likes sweets. Cookie lovers do not scare me!|
|Miranda||An inquisitor. I must say, that I am a bit wary of them these days. Not her fault, specifically, just a general feeling. Still, I respect such a calling. It must be hard, but rewarding work.|
|Niklas||How I've missed that smile!|
|Orelia||In a three-way bout she protects a fallen opponent while facing the one still standing. She has a protector's instincts and might to match.|
|Ras||Weirdly, doesn't seem all that bad. Might not like her a lot of the time, or always agree, but she's got ideas about what's right and what's wrong.|
|Reigna||A cousin? Second or otherwise, still, she is family. Serious, very much so. A member of the inquisition. She is gruff, but her heart is defeinitely in the right place. I should like to get to know her better.|
|Rosalind||I -think- there was some misunderstandings on a couple things, but that's ok! I think we can start over on whatever it was! I bet shes really good at her job!|
|Sabella||An incredible fighter and while a woman of few words I know that is just because she considers and weighs each one before thinking, a noble trait that I wish perhaps I practiced a bit more but if I did I wouldn't be able to sing her praises as often as I do!|
|Shard||She seems a little dramatic, but she also seems sincere. Maybe that just comes along with the knighthood. Good fighter, from what I saw.|
|Sunaia||Fierce and merciless - until mercy is won.|
|Sydney||Whatever else she may be, she's a joy to watch with a blade in her hands. She may have given me the best show I've seen in recent memory between those who play at swordcraft. She takes her duty seriously - I just wish that duty didn't include 'Inquisitor'. Ugh.|
|Tescelina||I wish to know more about her, her strength, her heart. Things made of steel. I wish to let our swords converse in Gloria's name, to know her spirit. Above all I - I wish to be her friend, I think.|