Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Duke's Circle

Description: The powerful Duchy of Burgundy is a rival for France itself. It is a center of courtly culture whose fame is spread far abroad by it's minstrels. However, it is the military and political acumen of the Burgundian Dukes that maintains the thriving state independent of both France and the Empire. While the flower of Burgundian Chivalry is justly famous, but it is the shadowy network of spies and assassins, first established by Philip the Bold, that deserves credit for maintaining the delicate line the Dukes must walk with the Royal House of France. Their most infamous exploits occurred under the previous Duke, John the fearless, and include the successive kidnappings of the French Dauphin and in 1407, the shocking public "Tyrannicide" of the heir to the throne of France in the streets of the capital. The new Duke, Phillip 'the Good', has chosen to carefully husband the resources of the Duchy and pursue a more subtle policy than his father. However, only a little more than a decade after the events in Paris, all in Europe remember what the Duke's Circle are fully capable of.

Skills: Stealth, perception, thiefcraft, melee or ranged arms, statecraft

Secret Masteries:

Duke's Hand (Statecraft (etiquette) Mastery) The agent is recognised as a the hand of the Duke wherever he or she goes. The sympathetic to the Duke or who follow tales of the Duke's glorious court, willingly open their doors to provide sanctuary, relate information and provide other small forms of aid without question.

Public Example (Statecraft (etiquette) Grand Mastery) For many reasons, political conflicts unavoidably come to a head and there is no option but violence in pursuit of Duke's aims. If it comes to this, the Duke's Circle are able to commit public assassinations so bold in their manner and with such precision and timing, that the Duke is able to escape public blame or political sanction. This ability does not achieve the assassination itself, it merely allows the agent to avoid ill effect to the Duke.

Childhood Background: Burgundy

Languages: French

The Burgundian court is famed throughout Christendom for it's spectacle and exultation of the Chivalric ideal. A rich center for commerce and a beacon of culture, Burgundy is accounted one of the great European states. The Dukes of Burgundy have a strained relationship with the Royal house of France and have in the past undermined them during the events of the Hundred Years War, the the current Duke has so far refrained from any activities of this kind.

Abilities: +1 Talent Performance, Persuasion

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