Lady Gwendolyn Gyldenstein
Trouble: Uncertain pawn of Count Mecklengar
Aspect 1: My day will come!
Aspect 2: If it’s not mine, it can be bought.
Aspect 3: Honesty is not always the best policy.
Skills: +4 Fight
+3 Athletics, Deceive
+2 Contacts, Notice, Shooting
+1 Empathy, Resources, Physique, Will
Heavy hitter—When I succeed with style on a Fight attack and choose to reduce the result by one to gain a boost, I instead gain a full situation aspect with a free invocation.
Danger sense—I have a preternatural capacity for detecting danger. My Notice skill works unimpeded by conditions like total concealment, darkness, or other sensory impairments in situations where someone or something intends to harm me.
Stunt 3: TBD
The world is changing—and I don’t need a Talent to see that. What with the strange weather, the starving peasants… the old order isn’t going to last much longer. And when things change I plan to be on the right side. (Once I figure out what side that is!)
Count Mecklengar told me that as soon as he saw the tiki statue, he felt the statue’s importance like a gust of wind inside his chest. He knew it was a powerful portent of change. I may not have the Count’s Talent for sensing the future, but I knew the statue was important too. Someone made that statue—someone from a culture we’ve never seen. And something is changing the weather—some type of magical power that we’ve also never seen. It’s obviously linked. And more change is coming. Whether it’s war or revolution, I don’t know. But things can’t stay the way they are.
Not that my uncle sees this. Lord Karl Erick Gyldenstein has been the head of our family for decades. He will do the same things and follow the same people until the end of time, no matter what happens. A couple years ago, the peasants on his estate couldn’t pay their taxes. The weather had been unusual, to say the least. First it was too warm and wet, then it was much too cold, and then there were the frogs. (That was bizarre.) Obviously, the harvest failed, and the farmers couldn’t pay a cut of their harvest as taxes. And so my uncle sent people out there to literally beat grain out of them. I told him that was wrong, that the farmers were starving and couldn’t pay. But he said he had to have their rent. How else could he pay his taxes? And if he didn’t pay our taxes, then our whole family could lose our land, and then where would we be?
There must be another way. Count Mecklengar has a plan, I’m certain of it. He clearly sees me as part of his plan. Of course, I don’t quite know what he’s plotting—and I’m not entirely sure I want to be part of it. I just know I can’t follow my uncle’s plan. In his eyes, I’ve finished school and training, so I have two choices: become an Army officer (like my father and older brother) or get married. Oooh, yes! Years of doing only what people tell you to do while living in my brother’s shadow, or years of scheming in the minutia of local politics around some minor noble’s rural estate. Fun, fun!
And so, for now, I’m working with Count Mecklengar. Earlier this year, he sponsored me for the Annual Games. He used his connections to ensure I’d be competing against suitably challenging opponents. He also bought me appropriately fashionable armor and a new sword. (My parents saw no reason to spend money on new equipment when I already had perfectly serviceable gear. Whatever.)
I was so happy that I’d made it to the final day of the dueling completion! Unfortunately, as I was walking to the arena that morning, my vision suddenly went blurry and my legs felt heavy. I couldn’t move properly. A couple of passersby helped me into the Fat Sow Tavern, where they gave me some water and food. I was very lucky that the naturalist was there having breakfast. He saw what was wrong with me and helped gather the ingredients for some type of medicine. Given the speed and certainty with which he worked, I assumed he had a healing Talent. When Count Mecklengar’s aide later told me that the young naturalist actually comes from a family that can talk with spirits, I was quite surprised. Then again, I guess the spirits have seen it all and so can recognize poison when they see it.
Not long after that, Count Mecklengar asked me if I was up for a long journey at sea. I said I’d never been on a boat for more than a few days, but sure, why not? Then he then not to get too excited, as he was still working on getting a ship. At which point I told him that one of the people who helped me after I took ill at the games used to be a ship’s captain, until she’d been forced to sell her ship to settle some family debts. The way she talked, it was clear she’d like her ship back (even though she’d claimed to be too old to be gallivanting about at sea).
And so Count Mecklengar bought the ship and got the captain to run the mission.
Where are we headed? I’m still not sure. Count Mecklengar said he’d seen that a certain map was vitally important. He didn’t know—or wouldn’t tell me—why. But he said that my uncle had the map, and I needed to get it and find out where it leads. And so I went out to the country estate when my uncle wasn’t there and convinced the servants that I needed to be in my uncle’s study for a while. I then made a copy of the map with tracing paper. My uncle was furious, but I’m not too worried. I’m heading off to sea. What could possibly go wrong?
(Other info: “Knight” is the lowest rank in the nobility. The Gyldenstein family Talent lends itself to martial training, in that the Talent provides faster reflexes, a better sense of balance, and a slightly magical sense of what’s going on around them. This isn’t the Matrix, so I won’t be dodging bullets. Instead, this Talent is mechanically reflected in the fact that I’ve taken the fight, athletics, and notice skills at high levels and have the Danger Sense stunt. The potential downside of having this Talent is that my fight, athletics, and notice skills are magical, so people with a Ritual ability to detect Talents may be able to sense me or my skills. In addition, it’s possible that my danger sense and some of my fight skill might be affected by Ritual magic (i.e., I may not be able to fight so well in areas affected by weird weather where Rebecca’s character can’t properly navigate.)