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Suzanne du Maraisby Kit Navarro
Sister of Prince Malachie du Marais of Morlay-Malinbois
Former Seneschal of Morlay
"No, that would be a most unwise move. It would benefit neither Morlay-Malinbois nor our beloved Prince Malachie."
Suzanne is a statuesque beauty, with sapphire blue eyes from her Averoignian father, and the flame-red hair of her Flaemish mother. She dresses in Averoignian styles, preferring the classical cuts, rather than the mod fashions of the minute. She is most often seen in formal gowns and robes, being first, the Seneschal of Morlay's daughter, and then, the Seneschal of Morlay herself for a time. It is not unknown for her to wear pants and boots, if the occasion calls for it. She is even known to have a fine suit of hunting leathers for the occasional hunt in Morlay-Malinbois.
Suzanne carries herself with utmost dignity and respectability, as befits her stature in Morlay-Malinbois (a lesson taught to her by her father), but she knows how to use her sweet feminine charms, if stature and respectability are not enough (a lesson she learned from her mother). In Morlay-Malinbois, she is known as the only non-wizard who can look a wizard, straight in the eye, as if he was her equal, and make him look back at her, as if she was his!
Suzanne du Marais is the elder child of Édouard du Vrai and Suzanne Talstae. Sire Édouard was a minor Averoignian wizard, who served both in the Hall of Magistrates and the Guild of Spokesmen, and was instrumental in winning the Barony of Morlay for Malachie du Marais in AC 979. Édouard then served efficiently as Seneschal of Morlay, until his unfortunate death in AC 1001. Madame Suzanne, a flame-haired beauty of Flaemish ancestry, was a low-level mage and a schoolteacher in Les Hiboux, then later in Morlay.
Suzanne, the Seneschal's daughter, was born in Château Morlay in AC 986 and named after her mother. Her godfather was none other than Baron Malachie. Extremely bright and intelligent, Suzanne unfortunately had no magical talent. Sire Édouard ensured his daughter was well educated and never at a loss for her lack of magic.
Suzanne learned how to read and write, and do mathematics. She learned geography, history, animal lore, and four Glantrian languages (which, in Édouard's opinion, were the most politically important tongues at that time). She also learned the courtly arts, etiquette and the manners of nobility. She assisted her father in his duties as seneschal, and accompanied him in hunting trips. She learned how to ride, how to use the sabre, and how to use the crossbow (her favourite weapon).
One fateful night in AC 1001, young Suzanne, awoken by the disturbing howls of her hunting hounds, went to investigate the kennels in Château Morlay, and found the bodies of her beloved hounds drained of all blood. What happened next Suzanne would never know for sure: a shadowy humanoid creature with fangs and bat-like wings lunging at her, then a great White Wolf pouncing upon it, and saving her life.
After the bloody carnage, Suzanne had come to know what she had suspected for a time: Her savoir, the White Wolf, was Baron Malachie du Marais. What she did not know, and what Baron Malachie revealed to her later, was that her father, Sire Édouard, had also been killed in an earlier attack by that "vampire." A few days later, Malachie publicly executed a Boldavian immigrant and known criminal, stake through the heart, head cut off, mouth stuffed with garlic.
Suzanne, who knew no other life beyond Morlay, was now an orphan (Her mother had died at childbirth in AC 991). She was not completely hopeless though, and offered to take up the responsibilities of her father, until a replacement was found.
Baron Malachie let her stay and play seneschal, although he kept a watchful eye on her work, it being unusual for a young girl to be in such an important position. Suzanne did her job admirably for a girl of fifteen. And even after finding a new Seneschal (a suspiciously long one and a half years later), Baron Malachie would still take Suzanne's opinions of various matters on his barony with weighty consideration.
But Malachie's watchful eye became an amorous one, as the young girl blossomed into a young maiden, in the image of her beauteous mother (whom Malachie had a genuine but gentlemanly affection for). Suzanne too had changing affections for the ageless Malachie, from her devoted godfather to her valiant savoir to adoring master, and, as she had always dreamed, loving mate. In AC 1004, when Suzanne turned 18, the two finally declared their affection for each other and became lovers.
In AC 1005, when the political climate was right for Malachie to become Prince, Malachie was considering allying himself with the Vicomtesse de Malinbois, Diane de Moriamis. Suzanne, although emotionally troubled, understood the situation perfectly, and allowed Malachie to go through with the political marriage. In fact, it was Suzanne who came up with the idea as posing as Malachie's sister, thereby allowing him free to marry. Being fairly unknown outside of Morlay, no one would be the wiser. She legally changed her name to Suzanne du Marais, just as if she married the White Wolf.
Malachie was extremely moved by Suzanne's sacrifice, and in return, as a sign of his true devotion to Suzanne, Malachie created a special geas called Malachie's unbreakable lover's promise. On the eve of the wedding, Malachie presented the spell to Suzanne, and cast it upon himself, vowing to love no other woman but Suzanne. And to this day, Suzanne and Malachie love each other still, though keeping the pretence of being brother and sister.
Personality & Quirks
Suzanne was taught at an early age never to be ashamed that she was a non-wizard. With her extensive education and natural intellect, she has come to realise that she is a more capable and a more worthy person than most wizards who know only of magic. Indeed, in Morlay-Malinbois, she is a most respected personality, by non-wizards and wizard alike. (Then again, she is also not naïve enough to think that her closeness with Malachie has nothing to do with it.)
Although her days as Seneschal of Morlay are long over, Suzanne remains sharp when it comes to matters of rulership and dominion, political and economic issues. She is Prince Malachie's most trusted and most capable adviser, when it comes to local concerns of his principality.
Suzanne is also genuinely and passionately in love with the White Wolf. Many a night, after the labours of princely politics, Prince Malachie found solace in the arms of the one person he can trust and love completely. She, of course, knows of his lycanthropic nature, and accepts him for who he is. She has even considered becoming a werewolf herself, but decided she is not yet ready for such a change in lifestyle.
There are perhaps only two quirks in Suzanne's personality: The first is that she is deathly afraid of vampires, after her encounter with the creature that allegedly killed her father. She is even suspicious of Traladarans, and has been noted to lose all composure when visiting Boldavian dignitaries come to Château Morlay. Needless to say, these visits are now few and far between, with only Prince Malachie in attendance.
The other flaw is that she dotes on her brother, Noussoir du Marais. In her eyes, he can do no wrong. All reason and logic fail when someone, even Malachie, tries to show her his misdeeds and roguish nature. To her, Noussoir will always be a poor misunderstood boy who was never given a proper chance, and therefore, deserving all opportunities and luxuries in life, and needing so much understanding and patience. It came to the point that she asked Malachie to cast on himself Malachie's unbreakable lover's promise a second time, this time vowing never to bring harm to Noussoir.
Allies & Foes
Suzanne has spent most of her life in Château Morlay, and almost all of her life in Morlay-Malinbois. On the rare occasion that she makes a trip to Glantri City, she only stays a few nights, never enjoying Glantrian high society, and always thinking back to her beloved dominion.
In other words, Dame Suzanne is not one for intrigue. And Prince Malachie likes it that way!
She is however one of the most influential personalities in Morlay-Malinbois, with local allies and supporters, all the way back from the time of her father. She has given assistance and advice to the Seneschals of Morlay, Malinbois, and Ylourgne, and the mayor of Les Hiboux (a distant cousin of her mother) owes her a favour or two. She is also perhaps the most popular non-lycanthrope among the lycanthropic societies of Morlay-Malinbois, for her effective running of the principality, making their home a true haven.
Statistics & Fighting Styles
5th-level human fighter.
Str 13 Dex 14 Con 12 Int 15 Wis 10 Cha 16; AL N (D&D), NG (AD&D).
Weapon Proficiencies: short sword, sabre, light crossbow, hand crossbow, dagger.
Skills: animal training (hunting hounds), bureaucracy, etiquette, heraldry, hunting, reading/writing, riding/land-based.
Languages: Sylaire, Thyatian (Glantrian dialect), Flaemish and Elvish (Belcadizian dialect). Sire Édouard insisted she learn all the influential political languages of Glantri at the time.
Suzanne is first and foremost "the Seneschal's daughter," and thus all her skills are geared towards the making of a good seneschal. If only for this, she has been invaluable to Malachie as an adviser and ally. She is not a real fighter, in the usual boorish sense. What fighter skills she has, she developed from the hunting trips at Château Morlay.
Suzanne's magical treasures reflect mainly this passion for hunting. She owns a suit of leather armour +2 for hunting, given to her by her later father, and a hand crossbow +3 of accuracy, given to her by Malachie. Suzanne is still pleasantly surprised when she hears exaggerated accounts that she is as deadly as an Ethengar with the crossbow while on horseback, but she modestly admits she is not that proficient. She also has a sabre +2, also from Sire Édouard, for one-on-one combat, but the occasion hardly comes up these days.
Suzanne once had a special item given to her by Malachie: Suzanne's silver amulet. This amulet protects her from all lycanthropes, except for one, her beloved White Wolf. However, when Noussoir left Château Morlay to live in Glantri City, he replaced this amulet with a fake one and took the real one, hoping it would protect him from Malachie and his minions. Suzanne is unaware of the switch, and Noussoir is unaware of the flaw in his plot.
Suzanne also has the single existing copy of Malachie's unbreakable lover's promise on an ornate scroll of the finest vellum. Though she cannot cast it herself, she keeps it as a reminder of the true love between her and the White Wolf.
"If men had sisters as devoted as her, they would have no need of wives."
(Geneviève de Sephora)