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Dunistair Berarde is the current Earl of Markwasten and, unofficially, Queen Elysana Septim's spymaster.
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Dunistair Berarde

Title

Earl of Markwasten

Age

31 (born 431)

Gender

Male

Race

Breton

Family Irienya Berarde (wife)

Dunwyn Berarde (son)

Appearance:Edit

The Berardes have always been tall, pale, and red-haired, and Dunistair is no exception. He has the graceful but powerful build of a duellist, and a proudly angular face, with pronounced jaw and cheekbones, stony grey eyes, and a faint dusting of freckles that soften his appearance somewhat. He is clean-shaven, but his hair grows more or less free as a shoulder-length mane of red waves. In public, his expressions are invariably muted and reserved; he prefers to maintain a sense of gravity and consideration. In private, of course, he displays a full range of emotions, and to those he is close to, he is fine company indeed.

Skills:Edit

Dunistair is a fair duellist, soldier, and commander, although in all of these fields he has his betters in High Rock. His real talent is working in the shadows and pulling whatever strings need to be pulled. He has at his disposal not only personal skills of espionage and morally grey diplomacy, but also a significant network of spies, informants, and agents which he is highly proficient in managing.

When going about “daylight” diplomacy, the earl’s skills are similarly sharp. His etiquette is flawless, he knows an impressive number of foreign languages and aristocratic small-talk subjects, and is quite capable of holding his own in a battle of tongues, although he lacks the easy charm of other young noblemen.

Equipment:Edit

For courtly business, Dunistair most commonly wears sober but stylish outfits in muted tones, typically just a half-step behind courtly fashions in an effort to create an appearance of sobriety.

He carries an ebony longsword, his familial weapon, whenever etiquette allows it, and he is quite up to the challenge of using it. In his line of work, however, more subtlety is often required, and so he habitually carries a dagger in his boot and/or sleeve.

In battle, the earl will don a somewhat unconventional suit of steel half plate (valuing the additional mobility), adorned only with his family crest and a black cloak.

Background:Edit

Dunistair’s father, Earl Odistair (who was given his county by Elysana, but died soon after), and his father, Sir Ordwyn  were staunch supporters of Queen Elysana, and both preceded him in his impromptu office of spymaster. Sir Ordwyn Berarde had been much favoured for his services in espionage early in Elysana's reign, and his son and pupil had been his most logical successor. When Odistair was given the county, the role became almost a tradition for the Earls of Markwasten. Dunistair has so far shown great promise in following in their footsteps, even at his young age.

At age 24, Dunistair married Irienya, a Bosmeri princess from Northern Valenwood. Given the gulf between elves and men in the Fourth Era, the match was not as politically valuable as it might once have been, and the earl certainly did not marry for love, but it is widely acknowledged that the two make a formidable pair, and the exotic elven countess is highly popular with the people of Markwasten. Their first (and so far, only) son was born the year they married – an elven boy with his father’s hair and freckles.

Character Summary:Edit

Dunistair Berarde is defined and driven by his fervent loyalty to his liege. The reason he is good at what he does is because he will do anything his Queen requests, even if he would otherwise consider it morally abhorrent. This almost religious loyalty is due in part due to the Queen’s own admirable qualities, part to her Septim lineage, part to his father’s tutelage, and part to the oath Dunistair swore to her on his coronation. Of course, this oath is the only one with real power over him; any other, he will hold dear until it conflicts with the Queen’s wishes, at which point he will cast it aside with no qualms. His son, and increasingly his wife, are the only people whose welfare he would consider above the Queen’s orders.

Earl Markwasten is a serious man, although he will employ sarcastic wit when the situation demands it, and opens up considerably in private. Generally, his life reflects this; his castle is simply (although quite elegantly) furnished, his dress is sober and reserved, his meals are (comparatively) small and regular. His few pleasures include reading, fencing, hawking, and walking the sad moors of County Markwasten, which he is known to do often with his wife Irienya, and any other advisors he cares to speak with. If it were not for his marriage to an elven princess, his people would perhaps find him a dull and unsatisfying ruler, but with the bright addition of Irienya to his court, he is seen more as a quietly intelligent patron of learning and humility, with sympathy for, but no indulgence in, the arts.

It was for reasons like this that Dunistair married Irienya, and for no others. Her home of Arenthia is far removed from Markwasten, and so there is little political alliance between the two cities. He did not marry her for love or lust either; privately, he prefers the company of gentlemen, and a tacit arrangement by the couple gave them an heir, and the right to discreetly associate with whomever they please, a situation which appears to suit both.

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