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Claude Valtieri

Title

Prince of Camlorn

Age

21 (born 4E 7)

Gender

Male

Race

Breton (Camlornese)

Height

6'1/2"

For many years Prince Claude Valtieri was the child in the background. Dutifully obedient to his father, quietly loyal to his mother, content to be moulded by his mentors; that the young Prince of Camlorn should have any ambition of his own was beyond thought. But times have changed. When he rode out to deal with a wayward Baron and crushed an uprising through force of will alone, it was clear that the content child had been replaced by a cold and calculating man. He could be ignored no longer. Camlorn needs a strong leader. The forgotten son remains in the shadows no more.

Appearance: Edit

In the young Prince of Camlorn, perhaps a hint of a strong aura can be found burning behind that hard stare, the dual nature of warrior and leader that burned in the eyes of recent Bretic Warrior Kings the likes of Gothryd Thagor, Titus Kynling and, until relatively recently, Senhyn Valtieri. Once cannot look at Claude without gaining the distinct sense that this is a man of rigid personal honour, a man whose rule is stern and fair, and that he takes no enjoyment from it. That this is a man born of duty, and justice. Yet, despite this, there is something unnerving about these qualities. For it is justice and honour untempered by compassion and mercy; compassion must not come at the cost of honour, mercy cannot blind justice. And in a world where nobility must delve into unsavoury territory to simply keep the realm afloat, there is nothing quite as frightening as a just and honourable man.

When the third child of Senhyn Valtieri was born from wife Lysa of Anticlere, it was clear which side of the family he would take after. Twenty years later those predictions have proved all too accurate. With a heavy chiselled jaw, sharp cheekbones and a brow suited for frowning, Claude has often been compared to his father; coarse black hair never allowed to grow much longer than an inch, short beard never allowed to grow scraggly, and a broad shouldered physique recall his father’s appearance when he was young and still a King. The only thing that isn’t his father’s is the dark grey of his eyes that resemble his great uncle Astien rather than Senhyn’s green. Being the tallest and the broadest of Senhyn’s children only reinforces the notion that he is Senhyn’s son.

An austere personality is matched by a similar wardrobe. Rather than wear the robes of ancient nobility or the dashing finery of young handsome princes, Claude’s attire is dominated by simple warrior garb and riding leathers, a style echoed by the many knights and free-riders that call Camlorn home. Wearing little in the way of baubles and jewellery aside from a family signet ring, it falls to the fine make of his plate and chain armour, as well as the crest on his longsword and shield to mark the man as a scion of one of High Rock’s most powerful families. 

BiographyEdit

Born hot on the heels of his elder sister Kelmena, and relegated to being the spare by virtue of his older brother’s existence, it was quite clear from the outset that Claude was never going to share the same importance as his elder siblings. With Astien already being groomed for leadership, and Kelmena the darling of the Senhyn’s court, it was only due to Lysa’s attention and calm guidance that gained him any kind of recognition from Senhyn at all. As he matured it became all too clear that he did not share his brother’s easy outgoing temperament. He was quiet, and shy, only ever revealing his true feelings to his mother. His brother often teased him and between them a fierce rivalry emerged, while his sister – despite being close in age – usually just ignored him. And with the birth of yet another Valtieri, little Maria, over whom many fawned as she grew older, it seemed Claude was destined to be overlooked. 

Yet, while he said little he observed, he studied, and he learned. He quietly excelled in his studies, and his interest in heavy swordplay and military history – something that his father latched onto after finding Astien lacking in said areas – was quickly noted and cultivated. With his father starting to take notice of his potential, and his mother quietly encouraging him, it seemed as though Claude may yet have grown to become a figure of importance within his family.

It was not to be so for long; Bhoraine burned, a King rode out to war only to return an Archduke and a widower, and the uniting force that held the disparate personalities of a tenuous family was gone. Without someone to confide in, Claude’s demeanour grew more and more embittered, a perpetual sullenness that seldom gave. Rivalries turned to feuds, small turns of phrase turned into arguments, and Claude took out his grief on Astien as they fought more and more frequently. Without his mother, Claude turned to the only other ally he’d ever had; his father. He often defended the Archduke’s decisions, not necessarily because he agreed, but to further oppose Astien who frequently challenged him. But Senhyn’s loyalty and love proved to be a fickle beast. One moment Claude was applauded for having the skills that Senhyn sought in an heir, then derided for lacking skills that Astien possessed. Praised with one hand and scorned with the other, whatever love Claude had for his father was soon replaced with begrudging loyalty.

Years passed. The Valtieris grew ever more distant from each other. Kelmena was sent to far away Daggerfall, Astien became embroiled in his schemes and in the shifts of young maidens, and Senhyn slowly descended into the lethargy of reminiscence and past glory, disinterested with the present. The only person to acknowledge his was Maria, and only because Claude found himself responsible for trying – and failing – to keep his youngest sister out of trouble. Ironically, this also was the only act he did out of motivation other than duty; he vividly remembered the shouting matches between Kelmena and their father, and would shield his youngest sister by taking full responsibility for her. Other members of the royal household noticed his quiet achievements and the efficiency and commitment with which he approached any task. But aside from this, Claude was usually overlooked. 

Until the schemes of a southern Baron were made known to court, and fell on deaf ears. Senhyn did nothing, and in their inaction the schemes were made real. Challenges were issued, claims of the falsehood of Valtieri authority were made, and the troubles from the Regency seemed ready to rear their heads once again. This of course, was unacceptable.

And so Claude rode south to deal with the problem at the head of a host of knights and free-riders. He left as an overlooked scion of a noble family. He returned as Claude Valtieri, Scourge of Alnwick. From that day onward opinion of the young Prince was chequered; the nobles deemed him too harsh and, but the freemen and free-riders deemed him a liberator and a harbinger of justice, and his soldiers saw him to be an able commander. Now he had a dour reputation; unforgiving, stern, just and most importantly, not a man to be ignored or insulted. He was more often seen at court, and Senhyn gave Claude full reign to hold court in the Archduke’s absence unless stated otherwise. 

Three years onward, and Claude seems to be the only member of the family with an active interest in ruling Camlorn. With Senhyn’s relative absence from the court and Astien often off following his own pursuits, much of the task of ruling Camlorn has fallen to him. More importantly, he has developed a taste for ruling, and why not? Senhyn shows little concern for his domain outside of war anymore, and Astien’s own plotting seems focused outside of the realm. And so Claude’s ambition only grows, and nothing will stop him from obtaining what he believes is rightfully his; Camlorn needs a strong ruler, and he will drag it kicking and screaming into restored glory whether it wants to or not.

Talents:Edit

First and foremost, Claude is a capable tactician and strategist given his age. He may lack the experience of grizzled veterans but it is clear that he has the makings of a truly great general within him. Further, he is also a very proficient fighter. Eschewing the more dashing – and perhaps more princely – rapier, Claude prefers to wield a longsword, equally capable with or without a shield, along with a rondel dagger for backup. He is also fairly good with a lance, but is a better foot soldier than cavalryman. He has also developed an aptitude for ruling; he is fair, good with numbers, and instils respect and loyalty to those close to him. Indeed, the only thing holding him back from being a truly great ruler is that he is a hard man to like. And a man without friends is a man against the world.

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