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Valerie Aydelotte

Title

Baroness of Reywell

Age

27 (born 4E 1)

Gender

Female

Race

Breton (Menevian)

Height

5'6

Valerie Aydelotte is the Baroness of Reywell, and a very accomplished spymistress. While she is technically a sworn vassal to Menevia's ruling family, the Colisandes, due to their behaviour over the years as well as the history of tension between their two families this loyalty is tenuous at best.

CharacteristicsEdit

AppearanceEdit

Valerie has a dancer’s figure; slender and willowy, though with a not unsubstancial bust. Wavy scarlet hair and sea-green eyes contrast with porcelain skin, featuring freckles on her upper torso (front and back), shoulders and cheeks. At average height, she is not the tallest of women, but her stunning figure and delicate features have made her the envy of many women of court.

She will wear her hair in a variety of elaborate styles, though when worn loose she is arguably at her best looking. Often she will don a dark eye shadow to emphasise the pale green of her eyes.

Weapons and AttireEdit

Valerie’s collection of clothing is staggering, featuring a full range of hues and colours, all of them well made. They are somewhat minimalist, forgoing elaborate tassels, ruffs and so on, favouring embroidery and ribbons with flowers to accent. Most of them are designed to show off her figure, resulting in a lot of low cut designs. She also possesses a great number of fine jewellery pieces. Among them is a prized locket that she is seldom seen without and her ring of office, both of which feature her family sigil of a phoenix.

Aside from this she also has a somewhat impressive armoury; an assortment of knives, stilettos and rapiers, each one of expert craft. She also owns a suit of supple leather armour, moulded to her body and reinforced with metal inserts, equally well maintained. It is as much a thing of beauty as a thing of utility.

PersonalityEdit

Valerie attempts to find balance in all things, however leans towards a somewhat epicurean lifestyle, largely doing whatever she pleases. She enjoys good food and drink, fine music and otherwise pleasuring the senses. While her hedonism has brought about some criticism she is no glutton; being raised with Dibella as her patron divine has led to her doing everything in her power to ensure she retains a healthy and enticing appearance. She is something of a narcissist, though not truly arrogant nor judgemental, simply proud in her appearance. She is also noted for being fairly liberally minded, and this coupled with her unwed state, she is rumoured to enjoy the company of women as well as men, though this is never mentioned publically.

Lifestyle aside, Valerie has a quick wit and sharp tongue, able to make pithy comments and quips without much effort. She is also in possession of a very fiery temper when roused, though most of the time she is able to maintain a calm appearance. She appreciates intelligence, wit and exceptional skill in any field, from war to poetry. She also has a love for gossip and a drive to learn and know about practically everything; the more dangerous the better. This - coupled with what could be described as a sense of over-confidence - often got her into trouble on a number of occasions. She has learned - mostly - from these early blunders,  .

With such qualities it would be quite easy for one to assume that she is a cold person, but in actual fact Valerie an ultimately benign individual, though is slow to truly trust anyone. She is an incredibly flirty individual, not one to shy away from risque talk, though more often than not this is a ploy in order to loosen tongues and find out some kind of information. She has a kind heart and is very much aware of the emotions of others. However, because she is so in tune with others she can be incredibly manipulative.

While she is mostly confident she is certainly a reluctant leader, forced into a position that she wasn't really prepared for. While she is able to govern Reywell effectively with the help of Lorenzo, she certainly takes little pleasure from it, and often tries to palm off some of the responsibility. This however does conflict with her attempts to uphold the Aydelotte legacy, specifically her father, and she is often torn between doing what she wants to do and what her father would approve of, weighed down with the burden of carrying on the Aydelotte legacy.

SkillsEdit

Valerie has some skill as a duelist, wielding stilettos and other bladed weapons of elegance with skill, in conjunction with light leather armour, though she is hardly a master; she can hold her own, but is far from the best. She is also very athletic and limber, which has made her a rather good gymnast and dancer, which she prefers over the helter-skelter of combat.

However, her mental prowess is far more impressive; she has great skill in rhetoric and organisation, with a sharp mind and even sharper tongue. Specifically, her personal skills lay within the realm of information. She is quite good at reading people while giving little away – or at least giving misinformation through controlling her body language – and getting people to talk, usually through gentle persuasion instead of intimidating force. It has often gossiped – though seldom said publically in polite circles – that she has considerable prowess in the bedroom, a claim that she neither promotes nor denies, and that she has loosened several tongues in this fashion.

Aside from personal skills, she also has a fairly elaborate network of spies and informants within Menevia and specific areas of the Kingdom of Wayrest , in similar vein to the great spymaster Dunistair Berarde, who’s skill in the art of espionage and political intrigue Valerie has admired and tried to emulate for years. Although she is not the greatest spymaster to ever live, she is easily one of the best in Menevia – at the very least, far better than the Colisandes.

However, while the reigning Baroness of Reywell, her skills in governance aren't perhaps as great as they should be; she is competant but by no means exceptional. As result, she often falls back to her steward and closest advisor, Lorenzo, when making decisions, occasionally taking herself out of the loop entirely.

HistoryEdit

OriginEdit

When Baron Henry Aydelotte returned intact after having fought off Daedra during the Oblivion Crisis, his reunion with his wife Eleanor was one of relief and passion. Valerie was conceived as a result of this union, the second child born to Baron Henry Aydelotte of Reywell. Already having a son five years Valerie’s elder - Florian Aydelotte - who would lead and fight in war, she was raised in much the same way as most young noblewomen were. However, Henry - arguably the best soldier commander in Menevia that wasn't a member of Wayrest's Knights of the Rose -  wanted to ensure that his daughter could defend herself, both with blade and mind. So, he made sure that she was well-read and proficient in combat. However, while she loved her father, it was her mother Eleanor from whom she learned the most and was closest to. There was something about the subtlety of “woman’s work” that Valerie found particularly thrilling, and it didn’t take long for her to establish her own little spy network among the stable boys and maids, allowing her to learn about the goings on within the family manor.

She was very close to Florian, her elder brother often falling victim to little pranks that Valerie would play on him, though they were seldom malicious in nature. Florian was usually the first person she went to if she had a problem and as a result she adored and looked up to her brother. The Ayedelottes of Reywell also had close ties to the Fisks of Tunwick, with Florian and Sholto in particular fostering a strong friendship, the boys of similar age and heirs to their respective family holdings. As a young girl, Valerie was quite taken with Sholto, often insisting that the two were going to be married one day. While this amused Florian and her mother, Baron Ayedelotte never really paid much heed to this infatuation with Sholto, even as it continued after Sholto was pledged to marry someone else. Valerie's crush on the young man wouldn't cease until she was around fourteen.

Death in the FamilyEdit

However, tragedy struck when she was sixteen years of age, as Eleanor took a fever, and was claimed by the illness in 4E 17. Valerie continued to emulate her mother to honour her memory, remembering all of the lessons in subtlety and espionage that she had taught her. However, unlike her mother, who remained proper in all things, Valerie began to seek out pleasure as a way of dealing with her loss, which resulted in her losing her maidenhood to one of her childhood friends. Her father and brother were furious upon discovering this, though whlie in theory this decreased the prospect of her marrying in practice it had changed very little. Baron Henry was notoriously intimidating and yet to find anyone he deemed worthy of his daughter’s hand, though Valerie informed him that he should have had her pledged to Sholto Fisk and that because he didn't, everything that had followed was on his shoulders. She was locked in her room for a week because of that remark.

Valerie's life would once again take a turn for the worst late in 4E 18. Florian travelled south to Menevia City to participate in a tourney, and had once again stole everyone's attention when he emerged as the tourney champion, unhorsing every opponent in the joust. After writing home of his triumph, Florian and several other members of both the Reywell court and a few prominent northern Menevian noble families boarded the White Laurel and commenced the sea journey back north, numbering around 300 including the ship's crew. What followed next remains an enigma almost a decade on. How or why it came about is unknown, but the bare truth of the matter remains that a fire broke out aboard the ship during the night and the White Laurel sank. Eyewitness accounts state that Florian made it onto a lifeboat, but turned back in order to save one his companions, disappearing again into the murky depths. He was never seen again. All in all, only ten people survived the sinking of the White Laurel. The loss of Florian so soon after his wife drove Henry into a dark, meloncholic state, retreating into himself. Valerie dealt with her loss much the same way she had dealt with the death of her mother, and the relationship between Valerie and her father became even more strained than before. In an attempt to curb his daughter’s growing hedonistic tendencies, Baron Henry started giving her more and more responsibilities, grooming her in much the same way as he had done with his son, although this was met with limited success. Despite this, it was a highly prudent move as later events would prove.

Rise to BaronessEdit

The Moonguard Revolt and the following year long Siege of Nova Orsinium would again change Valerie’s life. While the majority of Wayrest's forces advanced on Koegria to liberate it from orcs (and simultaneous check King Senhyn's advance into the same region after his success at Kambria and Bhoraine), Baron Henry was tasked with leading the contingent of soldiers representing Wayrest in the Bretic Coalition, around a few thousand men. With her father going off to war, he left Valerie as the Baroness of Reywell while he away. Thanks in part to her father's recent actions, as well as eager to prove him wrong she turned out to be a fairly efficient ruler, utilizing every skill that her mother and father had taught her, though her Steward Lorenzo also proved to be of great assistance.

However, what began as a temporary holding of power quickly and terribly became quite permanent when Henry fell in battlle and died during the siege. As sole heir to Aydelotte lands, she was officially proclaimed Baroness, and her first decree was the immediate return of all Reywell soldiers still stationed at Nova Orsinium. With no one to curb her behaviour, Valerie's hedonist activities increased, and finally she was free to do what she wished. However, this came at the expense of her ability to govern effectively as she often failed attend her baronial duties, and for the first few years she was not popular with her subjects.

In the end it took a party turned riot to straighten her out a bit, along with a very stern speech from Lorenzo of how she was failing not only her barony, but her family. After that moment she heeded her steward's advice, and while she did continue to partake in some hedonistic activities she was careful to ensure they didn't bring any trouble for her people, attempting to find balance. As she loved espionage and the thrill of adventure there were times where she was away for long stints from her holdings, with Lorenzo ruling in her stead while she was away. With his aid and unflinshing loyalty, she has governed the lands around the town of Reywell successfully (and largely without incident) for near seven years. However, trouble brewing within County Menevia - namely that caused at the hands of the Colisandes -  could break this idyllic peace.

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