Blood in the Water
Gregorio del Soldano
A fun-spirited, Castillian spearman who loves a good fight.
Gregorio del Soldano
Level 7 – Human / Brawler (Exemplar)
Blood in the Water Campaign in 7th Sea
Played by Greg Kopcho
Lineage & Early History
- “Son” of Maricella (nee Soldano) and Roberto del Aldana.
- His parents are members of the palace staff, where Maricella still teaches adolescents at the palace school and Roberto works in the palace treasury keeping their books.
- They had 4 children.
- The oldest, Roberto, followed in his namesake’s studies and is in finance at the palace. He is married with 3 children of his own: Roberto (boy – age 12), Maria (girl – age 10), and Erasmo (boy – age 9).
- One year after Roberto was born, Maricella was again with child. However, the pregnancy was troubled and the baby boy was lost immediately following childbirth. They named him Erasmo because they loved him. He lived for 7 minutes.
Maricella nearly died, too, but the healers arrived in time to save her life; unfortunately there was nothing they could do for the baby.
Following the tragedy, it seemed Maricella could not become pregnant again. The midwives all told her she would never birth again; the healers she consulted told her there was nothing for them to heal. It either would or would not be as god allowed. So Maricella turned to that last resort: she prayed. Years passed. On the verge of being past the typical years of viability she discovered she was pregnant again. Overjoyed, she honored the gift by pledging the boy, if she were to have one, to the Vaticine priesthood. When she was told she was carrying twins, Maricella believed she was even further blessed and doubled-down on committing her son to the priesthood in thanks for her answered prayers. With joy she birthed a boy and girl. The girl she named Aricella, remembering how Maricella stood at the altar of heaven to seek god’s blessing. The boy she named Gabriel to honor the god who strengthened her.
And following the birth, she stood by her pledge and promised Gabriel to the Vaticine church.
- Aricella is 10 minutes older than Gabriel. Five years ago, she married a nobleman named Maureo del Zepeda. She has yet to provide him an heir.
- As Gabriel grew up he showed more aptitude for fighting and combat than studies – especially his religious studies. Maricella never went easy on him, but Gabriel had a difficult time retaining any book instruction. But he loved fighting and wrestling and sparring. Movement, both athletic and balletic, was simply instinctual. He was quick and precise and often seemed one step ahead of his opponent. He was always trying to instigate Roberto (both father and brother) into a match, and though they often obliged, it wasn’t long before Gabriel’s quickness and agility had him straddling one of their chests and going for a pin. Most often he wasn’t strong enough to hold it, but his confidence never wavered and he only grew stronger as he developed.
That confidence extended to his schoolmates. He was never afraid of anyone larger or stronger and consistently challenged them. He was never malicious in his challenges. He is a playful, mercurial sort who loves to laugh and fight, and if he can do both at the same time, all the better. These fights weren’t about physical prowess – though he was the victor more often than not – but really about playful dominance. He needed everyone to know he won. This wasn’t about humiliating his classmates either – they were his friends more often than not – but simply the enjoying the glory of the win.
During one of these playful sparring matches at 13 years old, Gabriel was spied by the Chief of the King’s Guard, Lionel del Aldana, who noticed his natural ability and sought an audience with his parents. Gabriel was thrilled. Roberto was thrilled (though quietly so). He saw the look on Maricella’s face and stayed stoic. Maricella was not pleased. Gabriel was her promise to god. He was proof of her commitment to the church. But the King’s Guard. The Chief held much sway. His argument was convincing and with a few well-placed bribes and donations, the priesthood relinquished their claim on the boy and Gabriel was accepted into training.
Gabriel’s acceptance into the King’s Guard was a coup for the family and an instant increase in their status, though it was not without its drama within the household. Maricella was heartbroken at not being able to provide the church with a novitiate. She was beside herself at losing her pledge.
Roberto, knowing the boost to their family status, tried to placate her, but she often held it over Roberto’s head and would not forgive his relinquishing the claim. He was overjoyed. He saw that Gabriel was not right for the priesthood. At least at that time, prior to the explosion of the Vaticine Inquisition, a tough, warrior priest wasn’t a consideration. Now there might be a place for him, but then? No, a bookish, boring boy of ceremony and calm, Gabriel was not. Go to the king’s guard, fight for the royal family, and defend them.
Unfortunately, with what resulted, Maricella’s shame was only magnified. It was a double loss to her and there would be no other children to take his place.
- Gabriel excelled in his training and with his verve and enthusiasm, became well known within the palace community. People saw big things for him and he rose quickly through the ranks and by 21 years old was assigned a post guarding Prince Javier.
One night, Gabriel was caught unawares and knocked unconscious by an assailant. Later, when he awoke, Gabriel discovered a heinous crime: Prince Javier had been kidnapped. It seemed. There was not much to see in the room. Nothing seemed disturbed or out of place except for one thing: white beads from a broken rosary had spilled across the floor. Gabriel understood immediately the implied threat from that discovery. That rosary wasn’t local. Castille’s colors, the Vaticine colors, were red. A white rosary is blasphemous. Gabriel raised the alarm immediately, but it was too late. The assailant or assailants were gone, as was Prince Javier.
Gabriel was, of course, a suspect. He was locked away while the investigation proceeded. And there are no exceptions, no explanations for such an egregious offense. The prince was kidnapped and immediately, Gabriel’s career was cut short. He was cleared of any wrongdoing, but perfect innocence was never verified and he was expelled from the King’s Guard. Not only that, but he was exiled from Castille. He was deeply saddened, but relieved at the same time. He was lucky to be alive. Not just from the assailant, but also because execution was the typical result of such failures of duty.
He walked away, alive and alone, but always willing to fight.
- In all the rumors and reporting on the incident, there was no mention of the white rosary.
- Gabriel was not content to just continue. Despite his failure and his sadness, he retained a joyful gait. He loved to laugh and he loved to fight. He found a swordsman’s guild, joined it, and became a mercenary, a body guard. Not only that, Gabriel never wanted to forget his failure. He wanted to wear it as a badge of honor, like a scar – painful and prominent. Thus he changed his name to Gregorio del Soldano to always remember to be a vigilant watchman. It is both a reminder of his mission and a remembrance of his failure.
- Gregorio’s permanent residence is at a barracks of the Swordsman’s Guild in Newport.
- Gregorio was born in Vaticine City, the capital of Castille. He lived there until he was 21 years old.
- The 6 years since have been a time of constant travel. As part of the Swordsman’s Guild, he has been assigned tasks that take him around the lands, though he has never returned to Castille.
- Gregorio is acquainted with Alonso Alfonso and has been assigned on missions with him in the past. He respects his archery, but they have never been more than acquaintances. Gregorio does not understand the wolf.
- Gregorio was recently hired by Count Montagna along with Alonso to guard him on his latest mission. This contract, originally designated for 3 days to 1 month, has been extended for 1 year.
- Roderick – Gregorio doesn’t really trust pirates, nor does he understand their evolving loyalties. If Gregorio makes a commitment he follows through and is obedient to then end. It would never cross his mind to overthrow his boss due to any dissatisfaction. He is also a defender rather than an assaulter, so the thought of attacking and stealing from others is foreign to him.
- Roderick Royston – Perhaps a pending playful competition between them. There was bonding over drink, but Gregorio will want at some point to prove his physical superiority.
- Gregorio is a follower of the Vaticine Church.
- He follows the church and their teachings as a tribute to and reminder of his mother, but he is no zealot or evangelist. He is indifferent to the beliefs of others.
- Gregorio doesn’t abide evil or the purposeful destruction of life or property without purpose. He isn’t afraid of a fight and will fight whenever required but he always prefers a show of force to its actual application.
- Gregorio was educated in the Vaticine schools until he was 13 years old.
- After being accepted into the King’s Guard training program, he was educated and trained from 13 to 18 years old in typical educational arts (reading and writing) but the focus was mainly on developing his athletic and physical gifts. He remained in the King’s Guard on active duty until his exile at 21 years old.
- Following his exile, Gregorio joined the Swordsman’s Guild at 22 years old and his training continues apace; practice is important to staying sharp and skilled and to maintain the reputation of the guild.
- Gregorio can be contracted out on jobs via the Swordsman’s Guild, but is free to negotiate his own rates and choose whether or not to accept any assignment. This was crucial to his being able to abide by his exile from Castille.
- Gregorio is currently employed as a guard and support personnel for Count Montagna on a 1 year contract.
- At 13 years old, while “sparring” at school, Gregorio’s most chief competitor was a boy named Salvino del Aldana. He and Gregorio were often reprimanded for wrestling and sparring in the courtyard of the school. Salvino hoped to be part of the King’s Guard, but was not selected for the honor. He is part of the royal guard now, a larger group below the King’s Guard in status, and outside of his family is the only person from Castille who Gregorio has regular contact (via letters).
Once, when Gregorio was first employed by the Swordsman’s Guild, Salvino visited Gregorio in Newport, but that is the only time he’s seen him since he left Castille. Salvino is married to a lovely Castillian named Destina and they have 2 daughters named Destina (age 4) and Fortuna (age 3).
- The Chief of the King’s Guard, Lionel del Aldana, is someone whom Gregorio considers a friend and mentor. He identified Gregorio at a young age and pulled all the required strings in order to have him accepted into the King’s Guard. He holds himself partially responsible for Gregorio’s exile as it reflects on his failure as his trainer. He directed Gregorio to the Swordsman’s Guild with a glowing letter of recommendation to help him during his next stage. Lionel corresponds with Gregorio, but has not seen him since the exile.
- Edmund Greyviper – In Newport, Edmund is one of Gregorio’s only friends – and likely his best friend – within the Swordsman’s Guild. He is not an overly talented sort, but he loves a good laugh and of that, Gregorio can’t get enough. There is something conniving about him, too, but Gregorio hasn’t experienced any direct opposition or conflict. They enjoy their drink and their humor and Gregorio will never decline an invitation to partake with him.
- Fighting – Gregorio is interested in all aspects of fighting. He loves his spear and constantly aims to become more skilled at it. This is also true for any kind of sparring or wrestling.
- Drinking – Gregorio isn’t a drunk, but enjoys a good belt and finds that over drink is often when he learns the most about a person.
- Uncover the truth of Prince Javier’s abduction and find Prince Javier, with hopes that it will clear his name and allow him to return home to Castille.
- Always become a better fighter, train and learn and glory in victory.
- Be a loyal and faithful hired man.
- Gregorio enjoys women nearly as much as he does drink or fighting, but he understands that as an exile his options for a wife and family are limited. He visits the houses of pleasure, but he doesn’t wish to spend all his coin there. He does find that the bar wenches are not generally up to his standards of decorum, but they’ll do in a pinch. A man has needs, after all.
- Gregorio, however, has a lost love. As part of the King’s Guard, he interacted with one of the royal cousins, named Isabella del Aldana. She was a lady in waiting for the royal princesses and they met during the course of their various duties around the palace. Gregorio fell hard and was in love. She was a beautiful brunette with light brown skin and dark, deep brown eyes. He believed they were well on their way to a betrothal when he was exiled. So not only did he lose his livelihood, but he believes he lost his true love. Isabella has never returned his letters.
- Alexandre Fortier, a former member of the Swordsman’s Guild. Unbeknownst to Gregorio, during his first six months with the Swordsman’s Guild, he embarrassed Alexandre three times without malice or intent. The first time got the relationship off to a poor start. Alexandre was a member in good standing and one of the top fighter’s in the guild. He enjoyed fighting new member’s to “put them in their place.” During the match, Gregorio caught him off balance and he used his bladeless spear to trip him. He then knocked Alexandre back to the ground with a smack of the butt end to his chest. Gregorio then circled him and waved his arms at the crowd to howls of laughter and cheers. Gregorio didn’t do anything he hadn’t done many times during his bouts in Castille, but the swordsmen weren’t used to the show of it all.
The second embarrassment resulted from the presence of one of Alexandre’s regular clients at the bout. Neither knew he was there, but this client never hired Alex again and hired Gregorio at every opportunity.
The third was simply the overall lack of respect experienced by Alexandre following the bout. Alexandre believed everything Gregorio did was intentional and with malice and believed that his dignity was lost all due to Gregorio.
Alexandre left the Swordsman’s Guild to become a personal guard of a noble of Arrent, Montaigne, named Patrice Giroux. Gregorio only saw Alexandre a time or two after the fight and though the interaction was chilly, Gregorio was always outgoing and friendly and never thought anything of his later resignation.
- There are probably an assortment of other characters that, like Alexandre, are put off by Gregorio’s antics during fighting and training. They don’t approach them with the same joy or glee or excitement and view him as someone to knock around if ever given a chance. Most tend to forgive and forget if they ever get to share a drink with him because they see he has no guile. Unfortunately, not all are receptive to his charms.
- Diego del Aldana, a fellow member of the King’s Guard. Diego is now 35 years old and a member of the King’s Guard. He was guarding Prince Javier at the time of Gregorio’s activation into the King’s Guard. He never liked him. Though the Castille way was one of enthusiasm and showmanship, Diego was a by the book soldier. He never failed in his responsibilities, but because of Gregorio’s rapid rise through the ranks, was removed from guarding the Prince about 3 months prior to the kidnapping. He was jealous of Gregorio’s rise and skill – that was clearly accurate – but he blamed him for the loss of the prince and never forgave him.
- The assailant or assailants who kidnapped Prince Javier. Gregorio was never certain if he was targeted in part because of his presence at the door. He didn’t want to consider if that was true, but there was always something that nagged at Gregorio that it was personal.
- In Newport, Gregorio was recently hired by Count Montagna and following a brief encounter has had his contract extended for 1 year. This is the longest contract he’s ever had.
- In Newport, Gregorio has had a number of short-term jobs for a noble named Sir Henry Strongwell guarding the transport of goods from port to his estate. Before his long term contract with the Count, Sir Strongwell was his most regular patron.
- From 13 to 18 years old, Gregorio trained as part of the King’s Guard.
- From 18 to 21 years old, Gregorio was an active member of the King’s Guard.
- From 22 years old to present (27), Gregorio was an active member of the Swordsman’s Guild.
- He has never been part of a formal army or fighting unit, but has encountered his fair share of actual skirmishes.
- At 21 years old, when Gregorio was knocked out while guarding Prince Javier. When he awoke the Prince was gone, kidnapped, and he has yet to be located. He was exiled from Castille for his failure to secure the prince.
- Gregorio views it as a mission to survive long enough to find the prince and discover his kidnappers.
- Being selected for the King’s Guard.
- First meeting Isabella del Aldana.
- Alignment: Neutral Good
- Disposition: Fun spirited, lively and good-humored.
- Moodiness: 2; fairly consistently happy and good-natured.
- Generally optimistic: Sometimes a mixed bag. Gregorio isn’t always optimistic he’ll find the prince and be allowed to return home, but generally he is very optimistic about life in general, society and his ability to live well and survive.
- Integrity: Gregorio abides by his own ethic and tries to stick with it. Any job will dictate his ethic to a point, but he will not take jobs that require evil or mistreating others. He always tries to avoid harming other when possible, but will never back away from a fight.
- Impulsive: Gregorio is very impulsive in his free time, but when on the job he remains focused and centered on what he’s asked to do.
- Bold when himself, especially in combat.
- Flexible and always open to learning or trying new things, especially combat-related.
- Warm towards others, especially new acquaintances.
- Comportment: Casual, relaxed and comfortable in all circumstances.
- Disclosure: Open, wears his shame like a scar/badge (e.g., his name change) and will gladly share his story hopeful to learn more about the kidnapping or at least with the hope that others learn from his mistakes and his example.
- Conformity: Gregorio conforms to the job at hand. He will always focus first on the responsibilities of his contract above his own needs. But he’ll let loose and conform only to the overriding law of whatever land he finds himself.
- Sense of Humor: He enjoys jokes, pranks, tricks, slapstick and laughing. Even in combat he prefers to fight with good humor and grace, desiring to defeat but not humiliate his opponents.
- Magic: He doesn’t understand magic and doesn’t know much about it, but accepts its reality. Mystifying to him in a lot of ways. Believes in training and expertise more than magic.
- Nature: Loves nature, animals, and the land.
- Military: Personally prefers a designated task, but understands the importance of armies.
- Politics: No interest, outside of the royal lineage of Castille.
- Other races: Accepting and indifferent.