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Aucassin

Aucassin

The noble Aucassin is one of the most quietly influential men in Mousillon, and he is a key lieutenant to Mallobaude. His family has resided in the Château Hane for generations, and the chanson of his family is among the longest in the whole of Bretonnia. Aucassin’s ancestors fought for Maldred against the king and against the Duke of Lyonesse for Merovech before that. Though proven in battle, Aucassin’s family is mostly noted as patrons of the arts and exemplars of courtly culture, and Aucassin himself is Mousillon’s most cultured noble. His court, held in the handsome Château Hane, includes poets and artists to entertain the nobles who come to visit (nobles including Mallobaude himself). Aucassin is the hub of Mousillon’s noble culture. He is also an irredeemably evil bloodsucking fiend.[1a][1b]

The curse of Vampirism has been on Aucassin’s line for as long as the line has been in existence. Aucassin no longer considers it a curse at all. After all, it is only with an extended lifespan that one can truly come to understand the cream of art and poetry, and the choicest vintage wines are nothing compared to the nectar that is the blood of a young unblemished victim. Quality blood is exceedingly rare in Mousillon and so Aucassin’s court often imports young, beautiful men and women to drain them of their blood, and at any time there is usually one or more such victims imprisoned in Château Hane awaiting exsanguination. The court artists, similarly, are effectively imprisoned—once they realise what Aucassin is and what he can do they understand full well that they can never leave the Château Hane alive. Aucassin’s staff is a mixture of fearful living servants and craven thralls dominated by his will, and the Vampire is served by a group of knights drawn from distant branches of his family, whom he carefully vets to see which ones to turn into Vampires so they can better serve him.[1b]

In spite of Aucassin’s Undead evil, he is a gracious and accommodating host who adheres to traditions of hospitality as old as Bretonnia. A noble to whom he has offered hospitality is treated as well as possible, to the extent when even those who come to realise Aucassin is a Vampire often choose to ignore their host’s predatory tastes. Even commoners who are introduced to the court are rarely preyed upon by Aucassin. While at Aucassin’s court, a guest might hear the delicate poetry of Betrand of Aquitaine, view the exquisite tapestries of the artist Berenice, or enjoy the tales of history and legend with which Aucassin regales his guests. Aucassin’s most favoured knight, Gefrelar, might also lead noble guests on a hunt in the relatively sound countryside around the Château Hane, where guests are invited to shoot or lance the wild boar specially imported by Aucassin and released into the Château’s grounds.[1b]

Aucassin’s role in Mallobaude’s plan is to act as Mallobaude’s voice in gathering the support of other nobles. It is when potential allies have been introduced to Aucassin’s court and their loyalty has been assessed that Mallobaude tells them what he saw when he drank from the Grail, and in doing so convinces them to help him overthrow the crown. Aucassin’s considerable wealth and the competence of his courtly money-counters means he is also useful for arranging the raising and supplying of Mallobaude’s potential army. Aucassin, though not a warlike knight on the surface, is a keystone of Mallobaude’s claim to the Dukedom of Mousillon.[1b]

A tall, slim, slightly cruel-faced man, Aucassin’s charm and skills as a host mask all but the slightest indications that he is a monstrously soulless predator. Beneath his façade, Aucassin is literally a cold-blooded murderer with no concept of another’s suffering, and when dealing with those he does not consider his guests, he is as utterly merciless as any degenerate Vampire. Aucassin’s heraldry consists of three black flowers on a white field, to which Maldred added a small black fleur-delis in recognition of the family’s service during the Affair of the False Grail.[1b]

SourceEdit

  • 1 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Barony of the Damned
    • 1a: pg. 33
    • 1b: pg. 34

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