Artifacts of the Inquisition
Claudio di Balua
Vodacce farmboy who has run away from home looking for adventure.
Rapier and knife.
Skills include hunter and Sailor.
When you first see Claudio, you can’t help but think “typical peasant”. His clothing, shabby and well worn, is entirely muted earth tones, cheap but sturdy. From the careful way he treats it, you get the feeling he may have had to feed the sheep that produced the wool for his very warm cloak. He wears a wide brimmed hat, to keep off the sun, and its faded condition attests to many years in that service. His black wavy hair is kept shoulder length, but you can tell that it is less a statement of fashion than it is how long he can cut it himself with his knife.
Despite the farm-boy clothing, he is not overly muscled, and is, in fact, small and wiry. He has a thin, smooth face, and is fanatical about shaving: from your own experience being his age (17) you suspect that it is because his beard is very patchy. His eyes are green, and while he would certainly not draw much attention from the ladies given the rest of the party, he has his own shy charm.
In terms of personality, he is very open. Being around him for the last few weeks, you will have noticed several things about him, unless you are as dense as Hector.
1. He is scrupulously honest, and has trouble if asked to tell a half-truth
2. He has been quite sheltered. During the excitement of the escape he was too focused on the mission, but during the long days onboard ship he was constantly talking about how amazing the sea was, and that descriptions had not done it justice. He was equally garrulous about every city you come to. He tends to alternate between excitedly pointing out every little thing and quietly staring in awe.
3. Because of his sheltered existence, he tends to see the world in black and white. Allies are to be trusted and enemies are to be fought or killed. There is no in between. This does mean that he is extremely loyal, unless he feels that you have betrayed the party.
4. Despite his habit of drinking goat’s milk in bars, onboard ship he has been known to drink a hard cider occasionally. When asked, he will say that he had a bad experience where a bartender gave him something harder because he thought it would be funny, so he only drinks milk in bars.
5. On religion, he will defend the church to the death, because they are “Good Guys”, but he will acknowledge that there are traitorous elements that are working against what is right. Beyond this vague idea of “church: good, heretics: bad” he has no strong feelings about religion.
6. He will proclaim loudly and often his opinions on “love”, a silly pastime for people who have nothing better to do. He will deny any implication that he will ever fall in love, and acts disgusted by any signs of his friends being smitten. When probed, he will say that the only loves worth have are the loyalty to friends and family.
He is quite willing to talk about his history, but, since he is so young, there is not much to tell. He was a mischief-maker, and, although he never says it, you can get the feeling that he never really got along with his father. He learned his swords skills from Silvio, a fighter who had “retired” to the country (there is probably more to the story of why he left the court, but Claudio refuses to believe that it could be through any fault of his teacher). He also inherited his rapier and fighting knife from him, as well as a wish that he should not waste away in Balua. He had run away soon after, but nothing much of import had happened to him between his time in Balua and when he met the Rose and Cross. A few bar fights, a few robbers fought, but Claudio is not one to exaggerate victories.
The one part missing from his history is his family. He will talk endlessly about love and duty to family, but only a word here and there about his father, and nothing mentioned about his mother or any of his siblings. if probed, he will look sad, but actually evade the question.