L'Honneur et les Intrigues
Captain-Lieutenant of the Cardina;'s Guard (SR 9)
Tall and weathered with long mustaches and gray-green eyes under a wide-brimmed hat.
|Might 2||Daring 3*||Savvy 2||Flair 1|
|Brawl 1||Melee 4||Ranged 0||Defense 1|
|Soldier 3||Ruffian 1 Poet 2||Duelist 2|
|Lifeblood 15||Composure 3 Advantage 67||Fortune 4|
Languages: French(N), Italian (F), German, Dutch
Boons: Dueling Styles (Italian, Old Style, Drake’s), Laugh-in-the-Face-of-Danger (Bonus Die vs. fear, intimidation, and social combat), Hard-to-Kill, The Look (Bonus Die to Intimidation), Military Order (Marines: Sailor at Soldier-1, +1LB; Cardinal’s Guards: BD to Intimidation, +1 Advantage). Artistic (Bonus die creating or appraising art),
Flaws: Arrogant (disdain for non-soldiers); Hot-Tempered (proud and prickly about honor)
Master Italian Style: Main Gauche does 1d6 damage, +1 to resist disarms when in the Italian stance.
Final Secret: The Cross-Lunge – Mighty Success attack = free attack with the other weapon.
Master Old Style: Remain conscious at 0 Lifeblood.
Final Secret: My Sword & Shield are One – Mighty Success attack or parry with buckler gives a free Bladework attack with the broadsword.
Master Drake’s Style: Fight with cutlass and 2nd weapon (cutlass or shorter); ignore the penalties for using improvised weapons.
Final Secret: Cross Bones – +1 damage with weapon in your off-hand (e.g. 2nd cutlass, axe, hook-hand, knife, belaying pin, pistol butt)
Backstory: Born in Amiens, Picardy in 1593, Gaston is the only son of Hubert Thibeault, a cloth merchant. His mother was killed during the Spanish capture and French siege of Amiens in 1597. After the French retook the city, Gaston’s father moved Gaston and his sister Marie to Paris. In 1607 at the age of 14, Gaston ran away to find fortune and glory as a soldier. He joined the Picardy Musketeers (one of the Regiments that retook Amiens) as a piquier under Colonel Jean de Gontaut Baron de Biron, where he met Jehan Legrand, a fellow Picard. Gaston and Legrand were part of the 4,000 troops sent by Henry IV to reinforce the Netherlands in 1608 and in 1610 they were at the siege of Jülich, but Henry’s assassination in May of 1610 prevented the completion of the siege or a wider war and the Regiment de Picardie was demobilized towards the end of 1610 and Gaston headed to Italy to become a mercenary where he gained his love of poetry and first learned the Italian dueling style, from Maestro Giovanni Cantigliare. After the death of the old King, Gaston served with the Tuscans – fighting in naval battles against the Turks – and with other Italian city states through 1612. He returned to French service towards the end of 1612 and was part of the garrison sent to hold Casale Monferrato for Charles Gonzaga, the Duke of Nevers, during the Monferrato War of Succession. At Casale he again met up with his old comrade Legrand.
After Casale, in 1618 he joined the 2,000 men sent by the Duke of Savoy under Ernst von Mansfeld to aid the Bohemians – to victory at the Siege of Pilsen and to defeat at the Battle of Záblati (Sablat). Escaping the burning town of Záblati, Gaston managed to steal a horse so as to escape death or capture with the rest of the infantry after Mansfeld fled. Gaston continued to serve the Bohemians as a dragoon after Mansfeld’s departure – to victory at Wisternitz and to disastrous defeat at White Mountain against the Spanish-Imperial forces led by the Count of Tilly. Gaston was part of the brave but doomed cavalry charge led by Christian Anhalt the Younger. Gaston’s main gauche is actually a vizcaina taken from the body of a Spanish Don that he killed during the battle.
After the collapse of the Bohemian revolution after the disaster at White Mountain, Gaston returned to France and rejoined his regiment where he once again encountered his old friend Legrand. Together they fought for the young Louis XIII in the First Huguenot Rebellion (1621-22) where, as a sergeant-in the Picardy Musketeers, Gaston took a brave young cadet, Lucien DeBourges, under his wing. In February 1622, while briefly detached to serve with the Duc d’Elbeuf’s command, Gaston met Honorat de Bueil, seigneur de Racan and found that he and de Racan shared a love of poetry; later, in battle against the Marquise de la Force, de Racan rashly charged the enemy banner and was wounded and nearly slain when his horse was killed on top of him. Fighting off de la Force’s cavalry, Gaston saved de Racan’s life, gravely wounded the leader of the cavalry troop, the Marquise’s son, Armand-Nompar Baron de Caumont by first dismounting him with a pike and then piercing him with a sword. Gaston thereby gained a brave friend in the Seigneur and a bitter enemy in the Baron. DeBourges bravely distinguished himself in several engagements during that campaign. Lucien was, along with Gaston and Legrand, the first through the breach at Negrepelisse. Though horrified by the aftermath, Lucien’s bravery in the breach secured him a place in the newly formed King’s Musketeers. Gaston was wounded, mustered out, and returned to Paris to finish his recovery.
Now back in Paris, Gaston works sometimes as a sword for hire, continues his study of the Italian or Florentine style at a dueling salle, Fraternity Sainte-Didier, under the tutelage of Maitre St. Pierre, and, in his spare time, he writes poetry – Gaston thinks of himself as a warrior-poet. He seeks to express the meaning of life and love, war and glory in his poems e.g. Ode to an Old Hat and dreams that his words will one day bring him fame. His years as a soldier throughout Europe have made Gaston somewhat cynical and hard-bitten though he still cannot resist either a pretty face or the siren call of glory. In combat, Gaston is an unshakeable, tenacious soldier. Despite his common birth, he aspires to one day become an officer and to lead men in battle. Gaston is arrogant – looking down on those cowards and popinjays have not been soldiers as well as on those unfortunates who were not blessed by God to have been born French. Gaston has a prickly sense of honor and is possessed of a fierce temper – which often causes him trouble. He can be said to be neither too honest nor too religious though his loyalty to his friends and comrades is unquestioned.
With the influence of the Duke DeMainz at the end of January 1623 Gaston is made a Lieutenant in the Picardy Musketeers, becoming one of the few soldiers who rose ‘from the pike up’ or von dere Pike auf as the German’s say. (The pikes are the senior service seen as more honorable by the officers since they kill their foe with cold steel rather than devilish invention of gunpowder; recruits on the other hand preferred becoming musketeers rather than piquiers, who often had to stand under fire without personally being able to retaliate. ) Now Gaston must vie with the other lieutenants for the few vacant spots of Acting Captain.
After saving the life of Cardinal Richelieu from the Spanish assassin known as the Left Hand of God, Gaston is made the first Captain-Lieutenant of the newly formed Cardinal’s Red Guards.