Sunday, August 3, 2008

Character Development - Gyrfalke

Not that I’m trying to sway the vote, but this is the story I’ve put the most into. Here are some further details about my Heroine and Hero. I will be doing a series on all my major story ideas to date on the main characters, or at least what I have of them so far.

Heroine: Gyrfalke- age: 24
- Job: embroiderer in the service of John of Burgundy at an estate in Northern France (I think Senlis is a likely site, see: ). She trained herself while in Paris, working with her father. Her work came to the attention of Lord John, who hired her and she moved to the estate. She has been there nearly ten years, which is when her contract expires.
- Intellect: Literate and well spoken, relatively good with figures.
- History: Was fifteen when she arrived at the estate, had an affair with a lowly carpenter when she was nineteen, now has a 5 year old son. Is still unmarried, since she refused to wed, is considered unsuitable and tainted. Despite that, her attractiveness still draws manly attention, which she encourages to a point by flirting, and then spurning possible suitors, confusing many because her ex-lover wasn’t exactly a “catch”. The estate chamberlain was interested at one point, and is her primary adversary in her problem achieving higher status as seneschal because of her refusal to become his mistress. Her ex-lover was killed in a drunken dispute, so she is raising her son alone. His one dream is to someday become a knight.
- Aspirations: Originally, she wanted to be ‘seneschal’ (manager), which would have made her responsible for the training of new workers, as well as in the position to offer advice on projects. She would also be in charge of her own bookkeeping and able to control her clientele, as well as demand higher payment for works. These aspirations have become increasingly harder to attain since the birth of her child and her refusal to marry. She has turned her dreams toward the desire to leave the estate and move back to Paris and create her own guild of embroiderers.
- Family: Father lives in Paris as a ‘burgher’, or merchant, with her mother. One brother, who will take over the family business.
- Appearance: About 5’7”, red hair and green eyes, Father is French, Mother is Welsh and Irish. Fair complexion and slim, but well-rounded figure, considered unfashionable for the times.
- Attitude: Outspoken (tendency to speak out of turn), Rebellious (hates to follow the norm, preferring to do what she feels is right), Determined and Goal-Oriented (knows what she wants and is constantly making plans for the future)
- Perceptions: Intractable (has often gotten into trouble), Negative (her ‘constructive criticism’ is unsolicited and unappreciated), Unemotional (gets close to very few people, and those she is not close to call her an ‘ice queen’, also because she is ruthless when negotiating contracts for her work)
- Hobbies: Falconry, is good friends with the head falconer, and helps him train birds. Clothes- with her father a cloth merchant, and with her own skill with a needle, her wardrobe and those of her friends is the envy of many “ladies”. She designs clothes and creates them as a side job to supplement what she makes through the estate.
- Goals: Saving to return to Paris and start her own guild upon the expiration of her contract. On the lookout for a husband that will give her both LOVE and POSITION, so that her son may become a knight, and to strengthen her position as guildmistress. Realizes this is not likely to happen, and takes great pains to remind anyone addressing her as “lady” that she is indeed, NOT a lady, as if to defy them and demand criticism.

Hero: Vincent de Lannoy – age 28
- Job: Mercenary soldier, currently in the employ of Henry V, contract expires soon. Decorated hero of the battle of Agincourt
- Intellect (Great with numbers, literate)
- Family: bastard son of noble lady, since adopted by step-father, though not an acknowledged heir, only to receive knight’s training. Family lives in None, France; Mother and Father still living, half-brother and sister. Family is close, but very private and not actively political.
- Aspirations: Hoping to earn enough by his high mercenary fees to purchase his own small estate, and earn a title in the process, depending on who ends up king.
- Appearance: About 6’2”, olive tone skin, dark eyes (Father is rumored to be Moorish). Dark hair, but shaves head bald ‘Norman fashion’. Very muscular, but moves with grace. Very deep voice.
- Attitude: Very private, few friends. Refuses to give details about himself, and permits rumors to circulate about his origins (perhaps even starts a few himself). Determined and goal-oriented, has systematically accumulated wealth with intentions of gaining his own land. Risk-taker (Not afraid to challenge the status quo, by refusing to swear fealty to a king)
- Perceptions: Evasive (doesn’t answer direct questions unless it suits him, and hard to tell if he’s telling the truth), Uncouth (doesn’t follow fashion, and often appears plain or rough-mannered)
- History: Shrouded in mystery, but the known and confirmable facts are that bastard born, yet adopted by his noble step-father, he was trained as a squire and became a knight, as was customary. Fought as mercenary, creating a name for himself on the battlefield, until he came to the attention of John of Burgundy, who brought him to Henry V. Fought at Agincourt, and is considered a hero. Unknown facts include that, yes, his father was indeed a half-breed Moor who had raped his mother. When a young knight, had an affair with a young noblewoman who ended up pregnant, but rid herself of the pregnancy with an abortion, and went on to marry a rival knight. Is on the lookout for a wife, but must be one nothing like his previous experience with “ladies”, and must have a brain on her to run an estate while he is gone. Unfortunately, his trust level is shot, so if need be, he will marry just to produce an heir once he gains an estate.
- Hobbies: Falconry (something in common with Gyrfalke), mentoring (being a bastard himself, he has employed others, helping them to achieve their own goals. This is not widely known information, as he has since limited himself to using them in lower-ranking positions.)
- Goals: To own his own estate and be respected as a fair and just lord, overcoming the title of ‘bastard’.

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