Duchess Belladonna Pravus
All boundaries are conventions.
Description: Undeniably beautiful, with her long flaxen locks, intensely sapphire eyes, and sharply gorgeous features, Belladonna combines her striking looks and sultry sensuality with a vibrant life in her to devastating effect. Her winsome features are those that will seem young, even when her hair has greyed, lightened by the challenging fire and daring sparkle that infests her eyes. Her lush lips are quick to smile, both in sympathy and understanding, and in a smirk of satisfaction that only seeing her enemies crushed before her can evoke. Her form is lithe and sinuous, slight of frame, but her infectious laugh and vibrancy makes her seem larger than she is. Many noblewomen tend toward fair skin, of those too important to endure the harsh suns, but Belladonna's richly tanned, smokey skin, common in the city-state of Setarco, sets her apart and lends her an exotic air.
Personality: Belladonna knows how easily it would be for her to be a truly wicked woman. Many of the city-states in the Lyceum tend toward cruel and insidious plots, sacrificing anything and everything for power. Belladonna is every bit as capable to play the same cutthroat games, and play them well, but has come to fear just how much she enjoys them. She loved her father, and his good heart very much, even as she saw how it destroyed him. It makes her determined, shrewd, and extremely capable of manipulative intrigue but she is well aware that ruthless maneuvers undermines her father's legacy and the hopes he cherished that she would follow him as an honorable, kindhearted ruler. For her enemies, she represents a contradiction of a dangerously charming woman that can be a deadly, conniving adversary yet remains capable of confounding acts of generosity and compassion that leaves opponents bemused on what could possibly be her hidden motive. It's more simple than that, really. She wants to be a good woman, strong and powerful, but she will stop at nothing to avoid the mistakes of her father.
Background: The Lyceum has a reputation as a den of machiavellian scheming at best of times, but Belladonna is well aware that in her home city-state of Setarco it is more deserved than most. Her family House Pravus, has ruled Setarco, the city famous for its influence over the silk trade, since the time of the Reckoning nearly a thousand years ago. And yet it seemed that in the past generation that nearly everything they have held dear was lost. Belladonna's famous uncle Duke Niccolo was the one groomed to rule and lead House Pravus to glory once more, but passed on the burden of rulership so he might follow his heart and marry his future liege, the Duchess Carlotta Velenosa. This very unfortunately forced the mantle of Duke of Setarco onto Piero, Niccolo's younger brother and Belladonna's father.
Belladonna's father was a kind, generous man, soft-hearted and wishing more than anything simply to be loved. Belladonna now knows that few personalities are as ill-suited to rule the snakepit of competiting Lyceum families as one such as he father's. She watched as her father tolerated much and more, small slights as other lesser vassals tested her lord father to see precisely how much they could get away with, outright ignoring orders and making House Pravus a laughingstock. What's worse, her father never saw the danger in this. Instead of winning their love, it emboldened the most ambitious and won only scorn and contempt for her father's weakness. And as her father's eldest daughter, she was caught right in the middle of the plots of the vassals who had lost all respect for her lord father.
She tried at first to be good, she really did. She warned her father, she tried reason to make it clear how much his good heart was costing House Pravus, how none of these men were in any way his friends and that trying to win their love was only destroying her family. He just wouldn't listen, it was simply too easy to turn a blind eye to the men and women walking all over the Duke of Setarco. But as her lord father ignored slight after slight, and she watched arrogant vassals 'jest' they would marry her and take Setarco away from House Pravus for good and all to make things right again, she knew she could wait no longer. She quickly discovered that most of the arrogant men trying to undermine her father were not half as clever as they thought they were, and the proper word into the perfect ear, the right amount of charm to the right person, and a bit of sly manipulation could be wielded to a more devastating effect than all the soldiers under her father's control.
Her enemies never quite guessed how much guile lurked behind the eyes of the very young noblewoman, as she used grace, beauty and charm to set her enemies against one another. Her one regret was she waited so late to act, since she had no idea that one of her father's most powerful vassals had already decided it was time to lead an uprising and replace him. She discovered the plot in time to crush the rebellion in its infancy, House Pravus soldiers catching the ringleaders in a meeting that resulted in more than a few executions for treason... but she did not know about the plot to assassinate her father, and returned home to Setarco to find the city in mourning and her as the newest Duchess of Setarco and head of House Pravus.
The lovely young woman has been hardened by events, and possesses a wisdom far exceeding her years in the ruthless politics of the Lyceum. With wit, charm and ruthless determination she fully intends to restore House Pravus to its glory and will harbor few regrets about using any means necessary to accomplish her goals.
|Agostino||A gracious hostess, whose beauty outstrips every story I'd heard of it.|
|Alrec||It is hard to breath and focus when standing next to this woman, for her stare is enough to cut a man down.|
|Amerigo||I would follow her anywhere.|
|Arianna||Mother seemed to like Bella and I never knew why but now that I'm older and wiser I can see it. She truly is the best of us.|
|Aurelia||My estranged cousin was as haughty as horrifying. She hasn't killed me yet, so perhaps time has tamed her. I pray that her predatory gaze stays affixed on others far, far away from me.|
|Bianca||It is no secret the admiration I hold for the Duchess Belladonna Pravus. I have watched her carry the burdens of her position, the weight of loss and the hope of the future with grace and poise. She is an exceptional woman.|
|Cadenza||It's been a while since I've seen her...and she's still as Pravus as ever.|
|Celeste||Father taught us family comes first; others may have helped fill in the gaps of our family history. One thing I know will always be true: my sisters I will defend to the death. Belladonna taught me that. And seeing her again in Arx reminded me of all the reasons I love her so fiercely.|
|Domonico||She definately knows how to make an entrance and get eyes onto her. A true Lycene it seems with no shame in her naked form.|
|Dora||The lovely duchess was a happenstance meeting in Reflection Square. She is every bit as lovely and charming as they say. But I saw fire in her eyes and maybe I'll bump into her at the ambassador and we can speak about fires and reflections.|
|Duarte||Still as alluring as ever. I think her time away brought some good. She seems recovered from some of the notions that had recently dominated her thinking.|
|Fatima||What is she my... cousin-in-law? Well who knows! In any case, the Duchess is lovely and formidable, but most importantly, it seems she's getting on with my siblings over there. With that, we should all be like family, and I imagine we will accomplish a great deal.|
|Galen||If House Pravus is the pride, then she is the lioness and I have a feeling that woe to the one who messes with the lioness's cubs.|
|Grazia||Sharp, a knife hidden by the finest fabric, ready to cut. Beautiful too, and an ally to be courted. I appreciate her Lycene ruthlessness.|
|Harlex||Ocean-vast wisdom in the eyes and a beauty that, I suspect, will outlive us all.|
|Helena||Quite charming and very commanding, even if our team lost. Quick witted and a good strategist of games -- she just had the poor luck to have me for a teammate.|
|Jasher||The duchess of Setarco. Not what is usually expected of a duchess, but she is a Lycene, so it was a given.|
|Juliana||Beautiful, gracious and every bit as dangerous as she needs to be. Welcome home.|
|Karadoc||The Duchess Pravus always has a way of drawing the focus every time she arrives and exits a place. They call that presence.|
|Leola||Oh, she's a Duchess of the Lyceum all right. She uses her favor as a Templar would a sword. Or, in this case, a mercenary of the Crimson Blade|
|Lianne||Once more the bright star I looked up to for so long.|
|Pharamond||He may be the Sword of Ashford and a loyal Grayson, but a man would go to war for a woman such as this.|
|Prisila||She's quite something in person. The kind of woman whom can understand the true elegance of wit and cunning. Delicious.|
|Sebastian||It is good to see my dear cousin back in the city, and so eager to improve the Pravus name. We've had our ups and downs, but things seem to be going wonderfully between us this time, and I'm glad to be here to support her.|
|Sudara||Whether ruling at home or attending a royal court, my young cousin is something of a force of nature. Though I mourn her father as a friend and inspiration, I look forward with hope to his daughter's reign over our House.|
|Valentina||A former friend whose inheritance I tried to steal. Must that reeeeeally come between us? Honestly. There's no reason to be beastly about it!|
|Verity||Like the touch of a dagger well honed, the Duchess is delightfully sharp. My first encounter with her was at Reflection Square and it may have been a perfect backdrop for the meeting. I will have to find reason to meet with her again.|
|Vitalis||If stories are believed, meeting the Duchess only gives me proof that the line between dream and nightmare is thinner than the surface of reflecting water.|
|Viviana||Bella is sharper than even the keen blade of Twilight's Edge, something that is far too easy to forget until it's too late.|