Gerhard Staunton

Gerhard Staunton of the Exchange Immaterial, Knight-Emissary to the Camorra, Trade's-Pawn

Aspect 0 5 AMP 0CP
Domain (Trade) 0 5 DMP 0CP
1 … creates mutual profit
1 … levies hidden costs
1 … enriches the world
1 … opens up new opportunities
1 … connects people
1 … reveals the value of things
1 … cannot be forced
Persona 0 5 PMP 0CP
Treasure 5 5 TMP 15CP

Passion and Skills

Superior Passion: I play to win (2) A legacy of Aubergine Adrigan
Superior Skill: Impersonation (2) A legacy of Aubergine Adrigan
Passion: I love the finer things in life (2) A legacy of Holo Trade's-Regal
Passion: Notice me, senpai! (-1) Isn't it sad, Gerhard-kun? ;_;
Cool (1)
Shine (1)

Bonds and Afflictions (18 points)

  • Affliction: Your sin cries out to me [1] I know your darkest secrets…
  • Bond: I embrace the Song of Hell [2] … and I love you anyway.
  • Affliction: I was created a flawed imitation [1] My creator never much cared for verisimilitude so much as functionality.
  • Affliction: … but my flaws are endearing [1] The ladies love a man who’s not afraid to admit vulnerability.
  • Affliction: I gain nothing without cost [1] Don’t even try. I am not a proud man, but I will not suffer owing a debt.
  • Bond: … but I give up nothing without gain [2] The essence of winning is to give what you must in order to take all that you can.
  • Bond: I want to be a real boy [1] Just like in the story, the fairy who made me special only did so half-way.
  • Bond (Treasure: the Exchange Immaterial): My Pawns are everywhere [1] As they say, quantity has a quality of its own.
  • Bond (Treasure: the Exchange Immaterial): My Knights are strong! [1] Nobody messes with an ogre in a bailiff’s bowler hat.
  • Bond (Treasure: the Exchange Immaterial): My Bishops have foresight and subtlety [1] Lateral thinking has nothing on diagonal thinking.
  • Bond (Treasure: Hylonome, tsundere centaur secretary): My Rook can go anywhere for me [2] S-s-stupid Mr Staunton, it’s not because I like you or anything!
  • Bond (Treasure: my Abhorrent nature): I am an Abhorrent Weapon: Corruption, which is named Gerhard. [2] On a good day I can forget I was made to kill Creation. Unfortunately for you, today has not been a good day.
  • Bond (Treasure: Holo Trade’s-Regal): I have a crush on Holo Trade’s-Regal [2] Her kiss changed my life.

Anchors

Staunton’s Anchors are tiered in a manner that suggests the different values and abilities of chess-pieces. Most of the low-level (or minor piece) Anchors are Collections of mortal or wondrous things; from Hylonome onwards, each Anchor is a discrete individual.

  • Pawns: These represent favours, services, and minor borrowed powers that aren't really significant individually, but which Staunton can call upon in bulk. Their collective power is to do the sort of thing that minions in bulk are good for doing: performing menial labour, creating distractions, bum-rushing stronger foes, doing administrative things, and so on. Summoning a swarm of pixies, calling in a flash-mob consisting of themed 80's street-gangs, and so on. Use of this miracle is how he keeps the Exchange Immaterial running. Usually Level 1-3 type miracles, augmenting Staunton's own skills with a gaggle of followers.
  • Knights: Represent assets that are strong individually but don't have much reach or scope outside immediate application. These are likely to be monsters or 'one-shot' miracles. Calling in an ogre or a squad of elite bailiffs. Most likely to be used in conjunction with Level 5: Weaponising Anchors miracles. Analogous to summoned monsters in Final Fantasy, I guess.
  • Bishops: Assets with scope and reach, but not a lot of immediate power. Strategic assets, used for long-term commitment. Spellcasters, spirits, minor gods, viziers and seneschals. The kind of asset that gathers power and utility the longer you leave it emplaced. Most likely to be used in conjunction with Level 6: Weaving Destiny miracles, used to solve problems in ways where no obvious solution presents itself; the Bishops individually have foresight and subtlety, which lets them come up with non-obvious solutions to problems, i.e. solve them off-camera and behind Gerhard’s back.
  • Rook: Following shatranj convention, Hylonome represents a chariot rather than a castle. She has both impressive power and scope with which to apply it, being a miraculous Anchor with the miraculous ability to travel anywhere. She's normally very useful, and quite powerful at the three things you'd expect a centaur to be good at (archery, going places fast, and paperwork), but when Staunton needs her to, she can tap into her tsundere heart and realise the massive crush she has on Staunton. Staunton takes a Wound ("My secretary is in love with me!") and she gets to do something truly miraculous, like travel back in time to save Staunton from a plot that has only just now wrought terrible destruction on his plans. From a minute to a day later, his Immortality heals the Wound and the two of them are back on usual terms, albeit a little bit more awkwardly.
  • Queen: In this case, Staunton himself is Holo’s Queen (the original queen piece being a vizier or minister). His Abhorrent nature is both flexible and powerful (if almost always destructive), capable of attaining Imperial levels of power in order to corrupt things.
  • King: Holo Trade’s-Regal is Staunton’s King piece.

Gifts

The Sovereign’s Gift variant (1 CP)
Lesser Creation, Animation, or Summoning (4) of Trade -1 Simple activation -1 Local effect -1 Comprehensive flexibility +/- 0 Common
While he isn’t actually a Noble, his close ties with the Estate of Trade has granted him this Gift: the ability to Trade things, even those that shouldn’t be possible. He can Trade you your memory of your mother’s eyes for a horse that will never tire; he can Trade you your youth for your heart’s desire. More mundane utility includes stuff like Trading his location with that of a known object within 10 miles, in order to travel quickly. This variant of the Sovereign’s Gift trades range for versatility, and reducing its cost from Normal (1 MP) to Simple (0 MP).

Elemental (1 CP)
Lesser Enchantment (4) of Trade +1 Automatic -3 Self-only -1 Comprehensive flexibility +/- 0 Common
What Staunton actually is is hard to define; usually most people remember him for what he does. If ventured to guess at what she created, Holo would say that Staunton is a tutelary spirit of the Estate of Trade, even though he doesn’t seem very spirit-like. At this point, Holo would sniff and point out that having a corporeal form and other humanlike qualities in no way disqualifies one from also being a spirit. Be that as it may, Staunton has the ability to reshape himself somewhat: not physically, but in terms of his dharma. He can mould himself into any of his borrowed Estate’s Properties, as if Enchanting someone else with them: this he does easily and reflexively, hiding himself behind the mask of his function and role.

Glorious (2 CP)
Greater Creation (7) of Emotion -1 Simple -1 Local -3 One trick +/- 0 Common
Ordinarily, Staunton is a blandly handsome man if you don’t look at him too closely: blond, impeccably-dressed, slender, dignified. If you actually do look at him closely, you start to notice things like eyes that are slightly different shades of the same colour, a lopsided smile, and other eerie irregularities. That said, with an effort he can shed the imperfections of his mortal frame and project a kind of numinous beauty that wounds the heart. At moments like these, the few witnesses who can remember particular details all swear to have seen stars falling in the bottomless depths of his eyes.

Active Immortality (6 CPs)
Greater Preservation (6) of the Self +1 Automatic activation -3 Self-only +1 Full flexibility +1 Uncommon
For better or worse, Gerhard Staunton is superlatively resilient, probably because he isn’t entirely real. Any attack that threatens him is swallowed up by a yawning emptiness that devours even the miraculous magic of the Nobilis. His injuries do not bleed, but rather leak an ichor that sparkles with the light of strange stars.

Appearance

Gerhard Staunton appears to be a blandly-handsome mortal man in his prime, of average height, slender build, and indeterminate coloration. He’s almost always impeccably-dressed, wearing expensive, tailored clothes. He seems to dress exclusively in business suits or evening-wear.

While his features are pleasant, even attractive, there’s something… off-putting about them. Upon closer examination, he has the effortless, expressionless good looks of a mannequin or a doll. Anyone who concentrates on his features enough to make out particular details is likely to conclude that he’s had some work done. His features are just noticeably asymmetrical: one eye is a slightly darker shade of the same colour than the other, his smile is lopsided (when he smiles at all), and he never seems to need to eat, drink, sleep, or breathe. There’s just something artificial about his appearance.

This is, of course, because he isn’t a real person at all.

History

The shard, Gerhard Staunton, was created by the Excrucian Deceiver Aubergine Adrigan by combining the fragments of a broken Abhorrent Weapon with a chessman (a pawn) from a Staunton set to serve her will: to infiltrate Creation in the guise of a Cammoran agent, to oppose the Nobilis, and ultimately to help her accomplish her goal of exposing, in a burst of nihilist liberation, all of reality as but a game played by its inhabitants.

But one of the Nobilis had other ideas. Holo, the Power of Trade, reached deep into Gerhard Staunton and pulled from him his stolen power, skin, and dharma. She saved his life when he tried to kill himself to avoid capture. She blessed him with a gift: the newfound thing called agency. He was, for the first time, able to make his own decisions, to follow his own destiny, to seek happiness and meaning as the lowliest mortal had always been free to do. He was also bound to her Estate inextricably, becoming an agent of the Estate of Trade, a tutelary spirit in its pantheon.

Since then, he has been working for the Exchange Immaterial, the bourse-house through which spirits traffick powers and service in exchange for favours, worship, or other services in kind. Empowered by his Excrucian creator with superlative resilience, he quickly rose through the ranks of the Exchange to hold the rank of Knight-Emissary. He considers himself one of Holo’s personal retainers, a position he holds with some pride, and has become a staunch defender of Creation.

Even so, he has never quite overcome the stigma of his origins in the eyes of the Society of Flowers, and his own nature is somewhat of a mystery even to himself. He is not a Noble, as he has no Imperator and no Chancel. And yet, he is indubitably suffused with spiritus Dei to a degree comparable with many Nobles. He is bound to an Excrucian, although their new relationship has never been negotiated. He wields (well, more precisely, is) an Abhorrent Weapon!

And yet, he has served Creation well… hasn’t he?

He is currently on long-term secondment to the Cammora, to do a job that even they can’t. They took him on for his dependable reputation, his affiliation with a Noble and Chancel known for neutrality and fair-dealing, and also the little-known but much-feared possibility that he can conceivably stand toe-to-toe with a Noble and fight them to a stalemate.

On the last point, Staunton has refused to comment. So have the Nobles he has successfully stalemated, or even defeated.

Life Path

Clematis (IV): Key of Something, Given Gifts
I Have Witnessed It: emissary, defender (In Love with Something), custodian (I’m something really strange), champion (my troubled life inspired me), executioner (I serve the Song of Hell)
Why I Doubt: do I deserve to exist? (my Estate is something you can describe), can I lead them? (I have disciples from the Exchange Immaterial)

Gorse (VIII): Key of Something Held in Thrall
Held in Thrall: Excrucian-bound, weapon (my Estate is from the painful side of the world)
Entangled with My Enemy: I can’t let go, I’m weak, I had no choice (I led a troubled life), Excrucian contact (I am on friendly terms with Aubergine Adrigan, my creator)

Domain Miracle Chart

0 know when something threatens Trade or the Exchange
1 exchange minor details or features for cosmetic effect (ie swap the colours of two fruits to make a red banana and a yellow apple)
2 find out something about the details of a Trade (motivations, relative values of exchange, etc.)
3 enforce the terms of a Trade agreement; increase the value of a Trade; make Trading partners draw closer to one another
4 exchange two things or their properties
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Persona Miracle Chart

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