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Nicholas Burton

'When lawless violence Invades a Realm, so pressed that in the scale Of perilous war her weightiest armies fail, Honour is hopeful elevation, whence Glory, and triumph.'

0 · 263 views · located in Seabel

a character in “Forged of Blood and Steel.”, originally authored by Calvazara, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

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Say, what is Honour?
Tis the finest sense
Of 'justice' which the human mind can frame,
Intent each lurking frailty to disclaim,
And guard the way of life from all offence
Suffered or done. When lawless violence
Invades a Realm, so pressed that in the scale
Of perilous war her weightiest armies fail,
Honour is hopeful elevation, whence Glory, and triumph.
Yet with politic skill
Endangered States may yield to terms unjust;
Stoop their proud heads, but not unto the dust,
A Foe's most favourite purpose to fulfil:
Happy occasions oft by self-mistrust
Are forfeited; but infamy doth kill.

~William Wordsworth





Role: 5th Duke of Yorkpoint. Adviser of the King.

Gender: Male.

Age: Fifty-Two.

Nicknames: The Duke: Most people refer to him simply as this.
Nick:Is used by a select few only, the King is one of these.






Height: 5'11"

Weight:200lbs

Build: Stocky

Hair Colour: Grey

Eye Colour: Grey

Scars?: Multiple covering his hands, arms and legs. Nicholas has two distinct ones, a deep, eight inch, sword wound across his chest. His next runs the length of his bicep, another wound from a sword fight. Nicholas's final scar is on his shoulder from an arrow wound.

Brief written description: Nicholas is an intimidating and stern figure, although not overly tall he is very dishevelled and a hard looking man. His hair has greyed from a dark brown colour, when at court he is clean shaven, however when at home he very rarely shaves, letting his stubble grow out, however he never let's his facial hair grow into a bearded, his wife always hated that. Nicholas's are a very cold grey, all love he had in them deteriorated with the death of his wife, he looks like a man who has very little to no sleep due to the dark circles under his eyes.; his skin is so pale that he often gets asked if he is ill. His face holds many rounded features, a slightly crooked nose from a fight as a child, Nick has a strong defined square jaw, yet his cheeks look rather hollow. His brow is seemingly always furrowed, as if he is constantly annoyed or concerned; he has a few wrinkles on his forehead, around the eyes and frown lines around his lips. Duke Burton is a man who smiles very rarely, his thin lips are often pursed in a tight thin line. One of the Duke most notable features is that he is missing two fingers on his left hand from battle many years ago.

Clothing preference: Nicholas is a simple man, he does not care for fine clothing, Infact he thinks men who dress in such a way aren't true men. Since the death of his wife Nicholas wears nothing but black or dark greys or brown, leathers, fabrics or furs nor does he dress himself in jewels.






Skills:
-Swordsmanship
-Finding funds
-Ruthlessness
-Politics
-Law and Oder
-Acting coolly
-torture
-Loyalty

Quirks:
-He often speaks with a grunts around most people besides the King.
-He has never spoken one words against the King, the same cannot be said for the South, he slanders the Rayleigh's daily.

Likes:
-The King
-Mead and Wine
-Banquets
-Power
-Seafood
-Yorkpoint
-Glory
-Wealth
-Strength
-The sea
-Battles
-Spilling blood

Dislikes:
-Weakness
-The heat
-Threats to the throne
-The Rayleigh's
-Animals (besides horses)
-People in general
-Peace
-Joyous people
-His children, they remind him too much of their mother.
-Pain
-Loosing Money
-Any forms of warmth
-Jesters
-Plays
-Southerners

Fears:
-Failing his King

Written description: Nicholas is a cold man who has grown even colder with the death of his wife. Although he had never been a particular joyous man, he use to know what laughter and love felt like, his dedication to the king was alway strong but of late it has become an obsession, he can not fail his leige the way he did his like. Yorkpoint is said to breed some of the toughest and deadliest warriors in all of Seabel and the Duke is a prime example of that proclamation, he is stern, ruling over the islands with an iron fist and little sympathy, he could be considered cruel, often punishing his subject for the slightest indiscretion, he does not differ on the battlefield, where he is ruthless and violent, not caring who he slays as long as the king remains on the throne.

Many call him crazy, a statement which could be true. On the outside he is a stern, ragged man, stoic and unemotional, on the inside he is not much different. The little love he once held in his heart, died with his wife along with the love for his children, now his offspring are just constant reminders of the woman he lost. He cares for them to the extent of housing them, feeding them and keeping them in the manner they have become accustomed to, other than that he is impartial. His hatred towards the South run deep, and his eldest sons marriage to the Southern whore keeps this hatred at a boiling point; his idea to marry Alexander to the Hale girl was simply aploy to gather as much information as possible about the Rayleigh's, he hadn't expected Alexander to fall in love with the girl, he certainly didn't expect a child. It pained him to know that after his death and Alexander's death and boy with half Southern blood would inherit Yorkpoint and his title. If only there was something he could do.






Relationship Status: Widowed

Family:





Secret Word: This is war!

So begins...

Nicholas Burton's Story

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It was said across the land that Seabel reared bitter men, albeit strong and brave but bitterness ran deep, engulfing human emotions such as empathy and love. Most blamed the environment in which they grew up in, Port Yorkpoint was not a place for the weak, from the moment babes could walk they were put to work, violence was an everyday occurrence and the harsh weather only added fuel to the fire, no, The island town was not a pleasant place to be, nurture was not a word in parents vocabulary; island life was tough, parents couldn't afford to see their children as blessings, they were another mouth to feed and when they were physically able they were put to work, if they didn't, they would starve, simple as that. Many deemed this parenting as barbaric but to the islanders it bred the sissiness out of them quick. No one could call an islander weak. Nicholas Burton, the 5th Duke of Yorkpoint, was a prime example of this stern upbringing, he had been sent by his father, at the age of nine, to sea, with the navy, where he remained for five years, when he returned he went to war with his father and uncles to fight for his King against the advancing Luxorian army; many argue about which of these events caused the Duke's heart to freeze over; perhaps one of the only good things to say about Nicholas, was the loyalty he held to his king. Many things could be said about the Burtons but one could never fault their loyalty to the crown; power driven, barbaric, battle-hungry bastards? Yes. Traitors? Never.

Although to his credit, Nicholas did allow himself to love once. His wife, Helena hadn't been the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on, but she had been the smartest and most cunning. Raven black hair fell to her waist in waves, her green eyes would stare you down, gazing into your very soul; Nicholas had been enamoured by her and married her soon after, there was no courting in Yorkpoint, you wanted a woman, you bloody went and got her before someone else did. Despite himself, Nicholas did love Helena, although no such words were uttered between the two, but the fact that he had no other woman during their marriage was a testament to his affection. Although the woman was devious, calculating and harboured a similar hatred towards that famed Southern family, she did have a softer side and that showed when it came to their children; she was not a native to the Islands and so did not necessarily share their 'tough love' techniques, she wanted them to be strong but also knew the worth of compassion, she was affectionate with her children along with stern. Though Nicholas voiced how she was making them 'weak' he never fought her on the matter, secretly it made him admire her more. When Helena died, any inkling of this affection died with her.

Now all that remained was a shell, the soul had vanished many moons ago. Nicholas was a man obsessed with crushing the imminent Rayleigh rebellion and despite his Kings wishes for a peaceful resolution, due to that bitch who had bewitched Orion with her Southern witchcraft, he believed it would only be settled by blood. He wanted blood. He wanted to see the Rayleigh's heads on spike along the walls of Arva. This had been his reason for his visit to the tavern, diverting from the Kings convoy to Beaumont, he need to detour, he needed unknown men and his spies had told him a ship from the the free cities would be coming to port this day.

Nicholas sat by the fire, in the furthest corner of the room, he was confident no one would notice him and even if one did, the others would hardly believe he was nobility. He did not care for appearance, he left it to the women to look nice, his hair was unkept, his stubble even more so and clad in his dark leathers, he looked more like a common soldier than anything, you would not fathom that this man had a fortune and a title. He had been there for a while now, sat in the corner on his forth goblet of mead, which tasted more of watered down horse piss than anything, he was fast loosing patience with these men and half suspected his spy of giving him false information but then he heard the commotion outdoors, they had arrived. Resting his hand against the wooden table in front of him, Nicholas drummed his fingers repeatedly. There was one man in particular he wanted to see that day and his name was Melek Blackrain, he was a deceiving little cunt, but exactly who he needed for this task. He had heard a lot about Melek from various sources, most of it bad but for what Nicholas needed doing, he couldn't ask for anything less. One by one men began to pile into the tavern, loudly expressing their wants and needs to the inn keeper and his daughter, poor girl would be in for some hassle that evening. Finally Melek entered the establishment, although he had never met the man before, it was clear from his body language that this man was the leader of this band of men and therefor must be the man he sought. "Blackrain!" Nicholas Burtons gruff voice, beckoned across the room, immediately ceasing conversations, with his gaze locked on the fire he waited for the man to approach.

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How many taverns and inns could be made unsafe by a group of mercenaries in a single evening? It was not a question Merek had ever asked himself, but it seemed his comrades were determined to find out. This must’ve been their fourth inn this night. Or was it the fifth tavern? They all blurred together in Merek’s mind, which was not a good sign. Even he was getting bored and a band of bored mercenaries were a dangerous thing. Should they start acting up too much, they might just attract the attention of those with the power to forcefully remove them, one way or the other. Perhaps he had made a bad gamble, coming here before the war started. He had hoped to be the first to capitalize on new business opportunities, but it seemed like he might’ve made a mistake.

With a sigh he followed the small group of his men into the inn. He glanced around, but saw little of interest, a few younger men, who had showed that they were likely as dull as all city dwellers were and a few old men, one of which had the look of a soldier who had seen to many things and could do nothing but brood and obsess about them now. His gaze lingered on that man for a moment longer before making his way towards the bar. His men had already found some poor girl to harass, judging by the innkeepers distraught reaction, it was likely his daughter. Or his wife, if he were lucky. Well, she’d be compensated for her troubles, at some point anyway. Merek had not made it half way to the bar before a booming voice broke the otherwise hushed silence of the other patrons and the loud celebrations of his men.

”Blackrain!”

Silence then. Silence which lasted a few moments as Merek’s eyes scanned the inn looking for the owner of that voice. All eyes were turned, either to Merek himself or to the brooding man sitting by the fire. Well that was easy then. With a short chuckle he walked over to the man, standing at the other side of the fire. ”Now, there ain’t many that know me by name, especially here. ‘specially no soldier or thug in some dingy inn.” Merek drawled, his voice filled with amusment. But his eyes were cold and analytical when he finally stood close to the man. He observed the man intently, taking in every detail. A soldier by his garb, not a knight. A veteran though, judging from his age and confident posture. And there was something else. The man exuded something, something he had not noticed when Merek entered the inn. Only now was it becoming clear to him. The man exuded arrogance.

Not just any kind, naturally. The kind that only high-born have. The sort of arrogance that comes only to those who are used to standing above others and considered it their rightful place. He was likely a noble of some sort then, especially since he knew his name. Merek snorted slightly, before spitting out a combination of mucus and phlegm on the floor. ”Now, if I killed yer son or nephew or sumthin’, I suggest you go turn ‘round and git, old man. Ye don’t look like a spring-chicken and I ain’t feelin’ much fer stabbin’ ye tonight.” Merek’s drawling voice and condescending attitude calmed his men, who continued with what they were doing, doing so loudly, drowning out Merek’s and the old man’s voices here in the far side of the room. When they did so, Merek drew up a chair and sat down lazily. ”’course, maybe you just want a li’l talk with a youngster like meself?” He asked, sly grin spreading across his features.

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Merek’s eyes studied the older man sitting in front of him with severe intensity. No details were missed, every line on the man’s face was counted, every gesture analysed, every word picked apart with the precision of a surgeon. Such things were important to a man in Merek’s profession.Not because of some ages old adage of ‘knowledge is power’. Merek had chopped the heads of enough men who possessed the great power of knowledge to know that proverb was something weak men hid behind in order to appear more powerful. No, he simply wanted to know more about the man he was dealing with. What made him happy? What pissed him off? What frightened him, what motivated him, what were his desires. Such things were essential when you dealt on the less honourable side of wars, or even combat. Your once employer could turn on you with as much eagerness and vigour as they had when they shoved coins in your hands, begging you to take care of their problems. To avoid such things Merek needed to know about his potential employers.

Merek had experience when it came to such things. The simple admission of ‘I have my ways’ told him enough of the man’s social status. Even if it didn’t rule out the possibility of him simply being some gang lord, it lessened the chance substantially. From his experience, those men preferred to drop names, make their conversational partner quake in fear at the power of his acquaintances. Not dropping a name meant he didn’t want Merek to know too much about who he knew, which meant he didn’t want others to know he knew Merek. Most likely a lord then, as he had assumed. The next admission was more interesting from a political standpoint, but utterly interesting from a business standpoint. It was no secret many a lord despised their children. It seemed to Merek lords didn’t desire a heir as much as they desired themselves in a younger body. Not a better version of themselves, of course. Gods forbid their children point out their glaring faults. No, a younger version of themselves, preferably a little on the slower side, so they would need daddy around to guide them for as long as daddy was around. Pathetic really, if he hated his sons so much why not just kill them and make new ones?

Merek was shaken from his musings when a bag of gold coins were tossed on the table. Instinctively Merek pulled a single coin from the purse and took a gentle bite. He could feel the gold bending underneath his teeth and felt no change in its consistency a bit further in. Pure, real gold then. Good. He’d hate to kill the man for trying to cheat him already, especially now that he finally had a reason to like the man. Gold smoothed such things over with great efficiency, as always. A wide grin spread across his features as he looked up from the coin purse and looked the older man dead in the eye. ”Now yer talkin’. But don’t stop there, me new friend. I’d love ta just take yer coin right here and now, but me guess is ye want me to do something … violent… aye?” Merek’s entire visage changed from the previously pleased look to something more vicious, more dangerous as soon as the word ‘violent’. As if the mere thought of such things filled the man with joy. But as soon as the change had occurred, it reverted and Merek grinned once more, his visage arrogant and sneaky. ”Don’tcha, worry about a thing, though. When it comes to solvin’ problems that need sharp solutions, me and me boys got us some experience.” Merek continued grinning as he looked at the man, his eyes once more beginning to study every detail they could pick up on.

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Nicholas quirked a heavy, greying eyebrow, watching as Merek's face brightened at the sight of the gold, all of his senses were against him, telling him not to trust this man, although he shoved concern to the side and carried true to his scheme. Usually he made a point of not trusting a man who valued gold so much, they were dangerous, disloyal and down right scoundrels, unfortunately in this case he needed someone who could easily be controlled and a man who valued gold above all else would do just about anything for it. ”Now yer talkin’. But don’t stop there, me new friend. I’d love ta just take yer coin right here and now, but me guess is ye want me to do something … violent… aye?” Nicholas frowned, but nodded also "aye" he began leaning back in his chair, his fingers drumming a repetitive rhythm along the wooden arm rest, as he gazed off into the fire, momentarily "it is violent, you might not like, but like I said, there's plenty more where that came from" he spoke, sturdily, tearing his gaze back onto the man before him, motioning to the gold on the table.

”Don’tcha, worry about a thing, though. When it comes to solvin’ problems that need sharp solutions, me and me boys got us some experience.” Merek boasted with a smile, Nicholas had to give him that, this man seemed like an excellent problem solver. He looked like a man of hardship, but someone who had made something of himself, even if it was in sinful trades, but still he showed tenacity and that was something seldom missing in a lot of men these days. "Good" The Duke mumbled gruffly, shifting his position once again, so this time he was leaning forward on the rickety, wooden table, what he was about to say, could not be overheard. Clearing his throat he began "I don't suppose you know who the Rayleigh's of Port Vale are?" He asked, it came across a little rhetorical, he doubted Merek would know who they were at all and so didn't give him time to reply "they're vicious, poisonous snakes, vile being and what's the best to quell a snake? Remove it's head." He spoke, through clenched teeth, even the mere mention of those traitors names was enough to get him into a hot temper.

The vein in his head bulged, the candle light by his face making him look rather intimidating as he seethed about the Rayleigh's for the umpteenth time "I need you and three of your trusted men to ride with me to Beaumont, there a peace summit is being held, to try a ease qualms between the King and that treacherous family, tomorrow night I want you and your men to slaughter who of that family you can, but, make sure you get Francis Rayleigh, he is your main target."

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[font=times new roman]Merek rolled the golden coin through his fingers as he watched the older man across the table. No matter what way he looked at him, he didn’t strike him as a rich man, especially not a rich man from Saebel. But that was likely the point. But, the bag of coins now laid out between them spoke book ends about the wealth the man was implying to have, so for the moment Merek felt it was safe to trust the man’s capital. Just that, however. Despite the fact that Merek was involved in enough shady affairs in his life did not he did not feel any apprehension about such things. And this felt particularly shady, involving some matters that went beyond Merek’s understanding. But the promise of additional gold made it all right. ”As long as there’s gold ta be found, I don’t mind a l’il violence all that much.” He said with a smile, confirming for the older man that the promise of additional gold had him interested.

When the older man asked a question Merek was shaken from his thoughts. A slight frown appeared on his face when he heard the name ‘Rayleigh’. Did he know any Rayleigh? He could’ve sworn he knew a man named Rayleigh once. Or was that Bailey? He could most definatly remember stabbing a Bailey, or a Rayleigh at some point. Merek made to respond, but when the man continued an instant after asking his question Merek realized he needn’t have bothered trying to find an answer to the question. Whoever this Rayleigh character was, it was clear that the older man had no love for him. Or her. Always that possibility. Merek sneered slightly as he considered the possibility of some jealous lover asking him to murder some consort or whatever. He didn’t much understand all this talk of snakes either. He had seen plenty, but never bothered with finding out about them. As such, when the older man spoke of snakes, Merek could do little but smile sheepishly and shrug slightly.

Luckily this was not the case. Now it seemed more likely the Rayleighs were a rival family of sorts and this man wanted them out of the way. That was good. If this turned out right, he could manoeuvre himself in a better position within the kingdom. With a vicious grin he replied. ”Sure, I can do that. Three men, ya say? I got just the men, vicious pack of cunts they are, but they’ll get the job done right.” Still grinning he extended his hand across the table, to ‘seal the deal’ as it were. All things considered, Merek was ready to follow this man to riches. For the time being, at least.

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Nicholas watched as Merek ran his dirty fingers over golden coins, he couldn’t help but find the gesture symbolic and had he been a man who bowed to his emotions, he probably would have felt guilt at that moment in time, alas, he felt nothing, accept slight enthusiasm that the Rayleigh’s would no longer be a threat to his country or King, this man was exactly who he needed, someone who didn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Of course his mind did wonder how the King would react in knowledge at what he was planning, their was no doubt that he would be angry to begin with, but held the upmost faith that King Orion would see the benefit in chopping of the head of the snake and praise him eventually. This was definitely the right path to go down. “As long as there’s gold ta be found, I don’t mind a l’il violence all that much.” Merek spoke finally, his smile indicating that he was indeed on board with the Dukes plan.

He watched as Blackrain frowned at hearing the ‘Rayleigh’ name, something, which often occurred for Nicholas also, their name was like venom on his tongue, he couldn’t help but spit it out with incredible disdain. “Sure, I can do that. Three men, ya say? I got just the men, vicious pack of cunts they are, but they’ll get the job done right.” Nicholas simply nodded, satisfied by his answer, he didn’t need to know about these men, only that they were able and soulless enough to take up such a task, then again any man could become soulless with enough gold.

“Good” Nicholas replied, standing swiftly from his chair, nearly knocking it from the chair “gather them up and meet me in the stables in ten minutes. Don’t be any longer, we must make hast to Beaumont.” With those final words, he offered a curt nod to his new associate and hastily left the tavern, stepping through the back door as the rain splashed at his feet, turning the ground into the most unpleasant muddy bog. He trudged through the mud, across the street and into the liver where he had kept his horse, flipping a silver coin to the stable hand for his work. The Duke was highly anxious to get to Beaumont before people noticed his absence, his absence in the Kings convoy would already be noted, but if he could get there before others, he could state that he rode ahead to scout out for Rayleigh spies, no one would question him on that.