Lord Cornelius Blackshore
Every ambitious move is a gamble.
Description: Light flecks of silver pepper the edges of his chestnut locks. Swirling cerulean eyes that have the hints of crow's feet at the edges reflect whatever the occasion calls for. Proud nose connects him to a long line of ancestry. Smooth tongue, smiling lips and deep voice that always have the right words for any situation. Even though he's experienced the rigors of age causing a little rounding here and there, his powerful body would rival any young man. Whatever scars the man carries are not for public viewing.
Personality: A hint of steel lies beneath the smooth tones of his voice. Commanding without even having to say a word, he draws others to his web by radiating confidence. Brilliant mind that sees opportunities not roadblacks in his ambitions. A fine connoisseur of beauty, he is selective on his associations, claiming his allegiance to his departed wife keeps him from developing anything deeper.
Background: With other heirs apparent, it was clear when Cornelius was born that he would never inherit Blackshore Isle. However, he was groomed to serve his brother Oswald by the stern, unforgiving hand of his father. Mother was nothing more than a glittering show piece that was valued only by her ability to engage their social peers in the drawing room. He never found any maternal warmth from her. Under the harsh rule of a Thraxian warlord, Cornelius quickly learned to navigate among some of the most ruthless warriors of the Compact.
Cornelius met Lady Florence Gilden, his future wife, at a society event. She was nothing like what he was used to. Fragile, vulnerable and so trusting. It was easy to sweep her off her feet, and convince her to marry him. Of course her family had misgivings that he was ten years her senior and only after her dowry, but he managed to convince the idealistic artist that he had only eyes for her. They were married after a quick courtship. It was her dowry that allowed him to launch his career as a naval architect for House Thrax.
Serving Donrai was never easy, and his back bears the scars of a few missed gambles but overall he managed to get the High Lord to sponsor his ideas. When his first son, Romulius, was born while his brother had yet to produce an heir, other ambitions caused him to stop more often to visit Oswald. Florence never liked him so he was careful to balance those two when they were together. The next few years passed quickly, his fortunes ebbed and flowed depending on his investments. Dycard and Skye were born. His family thrived on their many travels as he gave his duty to the Compact. While Florence's health seemed to wane as time passed, others would remark that he was the consummate family man.
Cornelius will tell you it was a difficult decision to leave his wife with his brother, but her wasting illness got to the point where she needed more medical care. He managed to convince Oswald to take his wife in. Then he placed his daughter there to assist with her care. Of course, he kept his sons by his side to make sure they would learn the business. There were times that he perhaps in reflection were harsh, but he only was trying to raise them to be warriors that would thrive under Donrai's rule. As a staunch traditionalist, he managed to gather popularity among his peers.
All the pieces were in place. His daughter had gained favor with Oswald, his oldest son was being groomed to be the heir of Blackshore. Dycard was a bit of a disappointment, being more of a dandy than a warrior, but perhaps in time he would find his place in society. Then it happened, the reavers attacked their ship. Cornelius bravely fought off the pirates, creating an escape route. He yelled at his oldest son to come, but the foolish man wouldn't leave Dycard. The window of opportunity was closing. Suddenly Cornelius had to face a decision to escape or be taken by the pirates with his sons. In a split second, Cornelius chose escape, promising himself that he would return with troops to free Romulius and Dycard. He traveled back to Blackshore Isle to rally his brother, only to find the isle in ruins. Everyone was dead. Without the means himself to rescue his family, Cornelius was forced to lean back on his wits. To lean on others more powerful than himself, slowly rebuilding his connections.