Lord Titus Vaevici
Listen close to a battle's clash of steel and the cries of the dead. Whispered there is a terrible song few ever wish to hear. For my sins, I am a conductor.
Description: Though Titus' physique still carries the definition of muscles carefully toned with lots of hard work, it's tempered by a sickly thinness that is a mark of the illness that almost took his life in his early teens. Pale skin only serves to make red eyes more prominent in his gaunt, yes handsome face, with prominent cheekbones and a generous mouth that tends towards more serious miens, though has been known to smile when the moment warrants it. Brown hair is kept into a tight, Sangria-style military cut, neatly out of the way for a man who keeps himself as busy as his ill-health will allow.
Personality: For someone so young, Titus has seen far too much death and suffering. Coming of age during a great contagion that saw many stripped away from him, and constantly aware of the threats that could imperil all those he cared about, he was studious, serious, and often melancholy. The temptation to indulge in self-pity and bitterness was overcome by a fierce determination to better his people, to serve them to the best of his abilities, and to prove worthy of the sacrifices he saw his soldiers make time and again. He sees battlefield strategy as a butcher's work, grim and full of sorrow- but his talent. A tragic talent, but his nonetheless.
Background: Titus was born in a promising branch of the Vaevici and had aspirations of leading the House into a brighter future, dreaming of being the bold battlefield commander that would lead a conquest of the other Shav'arvani houses of the Saffron that had been ancestral enemies for generations, and building something even the Compact could respect. But when he was in his early teens, the Crimson Withering came to the city-state of Sangris and its surrounding lands, with much of the soil turning red, the farmlands turning red and dying, and much of the population dying in coughing fits. Titus, training as a promising young warrior, was laid low- bed ridden for months, his physique wasting away, and it was feared he would be lost. The head priest of the Wave Temple of Mangata prepared what came to be called the 'Sangris Libation', which saved much of the afflicted highborn, though many of the survivors' eyes remained tinted crimson as a toll from the Withering. But only a very fortunate few survived, and the city-state of Sangris was crippled by the plague, and even the head priest perished, the secrets of the libation passing with them. During the two terrible years that the Withering took hold of Sangris, much of the people of the city gave up hope. Even Titus' brutish older brother Argus fled the Saffron Chain to become a pirate and then sellsword in the Compact, leaving his people behind.
But not Titus.
For Titus, there was never any question of continuing his dreams. While he was bedridden for the better part of two years, he studied every ancient text on war, every account of battles, every smuggled copy from every Compact tactician that ever made its way to Sangris. He consumed it, he was obsessed with it. Still racked by lingering coughs and a weak stamina, he took the field to command platoons of his people fighting against the more barbarous shavs, attempting to prey upon the city weakened by its plague. Time and again, he led small victories, but decisive glory eluded him- the elder noblemen of the city refused to take risks, refused to ever show the bold determination that could make Sangris rise above a trifling regional force unable to master even the Caldera, let alone a rival for the Compact. But then there was Calla. In the future Magistrix was a bold leader with vision, one that Titus could see elevating the house and city from a small corner of the world to something great. Calla has promise, and Caius has put all his weight behind supporting the new Magistrix and her decision to join the military power of Arvum, especially if that means they may call their allies to destroy their enemies in the Caldera once and for all, to buy peace for Sangris.