Lord of House Darhel
Crispus Darhel is the fifty-two year old lord of House Darhel. Lord Crispus’ most pronounced feature is his balding pate, which he attempts to hide by combing over his gray hair to ill effect. He is growing fat from inactivity, and is developing gout in his left knee. As Crispus is too proud to use a cane, this gives him a distinctive waddling gait. Crispus’ fleshy face still retains some of the handsomeness of his youth, though burdened by the beginnings of a double chin and sagging jowls. His voice is still a commanding baritone, and Crispus knows how to use it to good effect in court or outdoors.
Crispus is a well dressed man, and values the effect that clothes can have on a man. The skirt of his coat is long enough to hide his bad knee, and his mantles are often decorate with fur collars so that his shoulders match the width of his gut. Combined with the rich fabrics and uncompromising steel jewelry he favors, Lord Crispus can still present an impressive figure despite the ravages of old age.
Crispus Darhel was once a hard-living, hard-charging example of knighthood. His father was known as a great builder, having upgraded Vertellion‘s curtain wall to stone. Determined not to fall short of his father’s example, Sir Crispus toured his House’s lands with a band of trusty companions (or hard-bitten mercenaries, depending on who is telling the tale), bringing his lord father’s justice to all and sundry like a questing knight from the Age of Silver. Confident, daring, devastatingly handsome and eager to forge his personal legend, Crispus and his retainers cut a swath through lawbreakers great and small – as well as women married and maids.
Crispus was forty by the time his father died, leaving him the House he had always craved. He wasted no time in “reforming” his father’s already strict criminal laws, imposing even harsher penalties for existing crimes and criminalizing other activities that had previously carried civil penalties only. When he became too old to hunt down outlaws himself, Crispus turned to the bench, becoming an acknowledged jurist (albeit one with the power to alter the law at a whim). He has a reputation as a harsh judge, but one who applies the law fairly as written, and even his critics acknowledge that the roads in House Darhel’s territory have never been safer. Crispus is also proud that he carries out his own corporal and capital punishments whenever he can, rather than using a headsman.
Crispus has seven sons, and undoubtedly many more bastards. He has been married three times: his first wife, Karen, died giving birth to his third son; his second wife, Doris, died from a fever; his third wife, Lady Trista, he married two years ago. While Crispus is an indifferent husband, he is a doting father, and was heavily involved in raising, educating, and fostering his legitimate sons.
House Darhel has at times had a contentious relationship with House Darry, as is perhaps inevitable between any overlord and a relatively poor vassal. As a vassal, he is intensely proud of the concessions his forefathers have won from House Darry, and can be counted upon to insist on his House’s rights in petty detail. However, he also has great personal respect for Lord Hugh’s strenuous effort against the ork, and his loyalty is not seriously in doubt.
Crispus’ arms are lozengy adamant, a lion salient solen with eyes and claws sanguine. He displays his charge frequently, and has a fondness for songs that describing his youthful exploits as the “Young Lion.”