Duke Hadrian Mazetti
Be what your House and your people need you to be - revered, feared, entertaining, clever, reliable. If you can't manage the contradictions, then at least pretend. You might enjoy yourself. I know I do.
Social Rank: 4
Concept: Wicked Duke With a Heart of Gold
Marital Status: married
Hair Color: cold black
Eye Color: harlequin green
Description: Lithe and narrow, Hadrian is a tall young man whose angular face, deep-set green eyes, and high forehead stake out a striking challenge to traditional notions of male beauty. Smiles both dazzling and knowing are rarely far from his expressive lips. The blue-black hair that curls ever so slightly about his ears contrasts with the rosy undertones of his pale complexion. The exuberant zest for life that animates him can scarcely be contained by his slim, wide-shouldered frame. Above all else, the intensity and confidence in Hadrian's gaze and gestures make him a spectacle that is difficult to ignore.
Personality: Hadrian has crafted his public persona the way a playwright creates a character, and he has been honing and playing it more than half his life. He is a philanthropist and playboy, loved by Southport's commons for his incorrigible habits as much as his public works. Some wonder if his playful demeanor masks cruelty, for he ruthlessly punishes malfeasance in his government. The true Hadrian Malvici encompasses kindness and cruelty both. He keeps his friends and enemies off-balance, rarely reveals his true motivations, and relishes being larger-than-life. He is a textbook example that over time you often become what you at first pretended to be. If he didn't enjoy himself so much, that might disturb him.
Background: When Hadrian was ten years old, there was the war between his cousin Count Lucien Malvici and Duke Leo Fidante for control of Tor and the Fidante family. He did not know the Count's intentions when the Count pursued a marriage to Leo's mother, the then-ruling Duchess of Tor. The death of the Duchess of Tor and Count Lucien's attempt to delegitimize Duke Leo in favor of Lucien and the Duchess's infant daughter came as a surprise. So did the war and its conclusion with Lucien's death at Leo's hands. Publicly Hadrian's mother the Duchess Malvici of Southport supported Lucien's claim. Privately, she provided him funds as a stake and then offered no more. Lucien risked everything in a single move. It almost worked! In failing, however, he lost everything, including his life. He had been so openly dishonorable even Tor's commons rose against him.
Hadrian drew three lessons. First: daring to defy all convention can achieve what seems impossible. Second: never risk everything in a single throw of the dice. Third: appearance can determine reality. Accordingly, he continued his mischevious behavior so people would expect it from him. At the same time, he began claiming more authority than he had in order to intercede in conflicts among merchant princes, make donations to good causes, and launch unexpected festivals and other spectacles. Many expected his use of power he frankly did not possess yet would be checked by his mother. When protests and questions arose, she would laugh, and explain why she was confirming the young man's judgment in the matter. "He is spirited," she said, as if that explained everything. When he made mistakes, she explained the errors in private. In public, he had her full support and a growing reputation as a maverick Malvici, a roguish youth with compassion for the commons of Southport.
In the eyes of many nobles, to show kindness is to show weakness. Following his mother's abdication in Hadrian's favor, one of her old ministers began skimming from House Malvici's finances. After the minister's execution, the new Duke's bouts of compassion were rarely confused with softness.
His mother died of natural causes, a proud feat for a Lycene aristocrat, and had the pleasure of seeing her son come into his own before she passed.
It was all duty and fun until a previously reclusive ruler from a city-state of the Lyceum came proverbially knocking. Bearing a contract signed by their mothers from two decades past and fulfillment of that contract sought. With the word and honor of not only himself, but his home of Southport and his House on the line there was only one option in the mind of the Duke of Southport. Ever one with a plan, the Duke of Southport accepted the terms. Shortly after Hadrian abdicated from his rule of Southport and went on to marry Marquessa Cambria Mazetti with a most unusual agreement from the past, joining her rule of the reclusive and arguably mysterious city-state of Ostria where once his cousin, Lucien Malvici, had briefly called home.