Brother Olivando Igniseri
Sometimes the greatest human truths may be found in fiction. It's just facts you won't find there. Facts and truths aren't always the same.
Description: His hair is thick and dark, his eyes dark and clear, veiled by a sooty thickness of eyelashes. His skin is warmly brown, his facial shape cast far too gently for statuary: high cheekbones, but soft cheeks, a high jaw with soft, full lips. The mouth might seem more kissable and inviting if the dark eyebrows were not so often pulled together, deep in thought. The tiny crease of thought between his brows, crowning the bridge of his nose, is so frequent that he's told it may one day become permanent. Tall and slim in a boyish way, there's a reedy slightness to his build that makes it hard to take him seriously as any kind of physical threat.
Personality: Clever and incisive, Olivando is a wit, but a quiet one. His flair for the dramatic is buried a level beneath a mild reserve. He doesn't need to show off; the pursuit of knowledge is, in itself, something very satisfying for him. Inventive and resourceful with a certain knack for organization, there are few things that lure Olivando's interest like an unsolved mystery. He has an unsurpassable depth of loyalty that, once tapped, might never stop flowing, but the compassion of his heart is carefully guarded behind walls of self-protection, earned by the wisdom of experience.
Background: Olivando Igniseri was born the younger of two sons, sons of a lesser line of the Igniseris, though not one without ambitions. While the main line was rife with murder and chaos -- or, well, there were certainly rumors of murder, since the Marquesa could simply not hold onto a husband -- the cousins watched and waited, some with more Lycene patience and cunning than others. Olivando grew up at the knee of a patient woman, but his brother was reckless and fierce, and wanted nothing more than to expand the family holdings. Olivando was painfully, desperately loyal to Sindaveno, who was the kind of brother it was easy to idolize: handsome, daring, reckless, witty, protective. Sindaveno got into scrapes on the regular, sometimes to defend shyer, quieter Olivando from detractors, and Olivando worshipped the ground on which he walked.
When they were boys, they were inseparable -- only two years apart and the best of playmates. When they were teenagers, they squired together in service to their liege-lord's guard captain, and traveled widely in the holdings of Gemecitta, learning and growing and laughing and playing ... and getting embroiled in the kinds of schemes that only young Lycenes can get involved in.
When Sindaveno died, it was in the midst of chaos, scandal and murder. It was a complex scheme, layered and involved, that he was discovered to be in up to his neck, an attempt to manufacture a claim on some land that had been held by Southport for centuries. If he had succeeded, he might have been able to expand the holdings of Granato enough that one day the March could maintain enough of a holding to claim space as a duchy of the Lyceum. It was a grand design.
No one could prove that Olivando had any knowledge of it. His name never appeared in any of the papers that were discovered about it and he was never named as a person of interest by the Malvici diplomats who went to Granato in outrage after Sindaceno was implicated in this conspiracy.
Yet... how could he not know? His beloved older brother, whom he followed every waking moment in their childhood, whom he squired alongside of, whom he followed into battle with spear and shield? Everywhere Olivando went, whispers followed him, and though he was young, he was not foolish. He knew that it would be too uncomfortable for the Lyceum to leave him alive for long with those whispers of ambition riding in his train.
So he went to the Faith, forsook all claim to any land or title, and became a Godsworn brother. He set aside spear and shield, and took up pen and ink, and began to study and learn as much as he could, a student of politics, of intricacy, of diplomacy. He began to learn as much history as he could. Because he had learned, he felt, the true danger of _not_ knowing what is going on around you. Ignorance is no excuse for anything. In fact, it can ruin your life.
As a godsworn scholar, he threw himself into his work, and became a mainstay of the Scholars through thick and thin, learning and growing and organizing information that showed a knack for it as well as a certain personal subtlety. He may never have joined his brother's conspiracy... but if he had, maybe it would have fared better.