D&D Character Sketch: Jezeryn Cyneric

Name: Jezeryn Cyneric (Jezzie to her friends)
Race: Human
Alignment: Lawful Good
Class: Fighter
Age: 22
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 165 lbs
Birthday: December 7th (Sagittarius)
Appearance: Tall and notably muscular, but not intensely so, attractive with long, bright red hair, green eyes, and pale skin that sees as much of the sun as it can tolerate (pictures courtesy of Final Fantasy 14, I made a Lancer to get a picture for this character).

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Likes/Admires: dogs, horses, good craftsmanship, weapons, most sports, the color green, archery, freedom, travel, philosophy, being outdoors, optimism, friendliness, steadfastness, loyalty, affectionate people, strong friendships or family bonds, family businesses, soft beds, baths, warm clothes, fireplaces and campfires, blackberries, a strong stew, good ale.
Dislikes: fussy clothes, gossip, sewing, games of chance, the color yellow, caterpillars, work that does not use one’s talents, off-the-wall theories, being cold, hungry, or otherwise deprived of basic needs (honed by army life), being overlooked, aloof or inconsiderate people, entitlement, rudeness, laziness, sour fruits, spicy food, wine.
Fears
:
Failure, rejection

Family:

  • Kyrius Cyneric, father—age 56
  • Nerys Allamarane-Cyneric, mother—age 54
  • Avrian, brother—age 38
  • Bellanira, sister—age 36
  • Chiram, brother—age 36
  • Dayatra, sister—age 34
  • Edelmarr, brother—age 32
  • Ferazia, sister—age 30
  • Gennadius, brother—age 28
  • Hermione, sister—age 26
  • Ingmar, brother—age 26

Background: Jezeryn Cyneric is the tenth child of Duke Kyrius of Caertien. Her family line has held the Dukedom of Caertien for twelve generations, since its inception, when an ancestor helped the second king of Jayard put down a rebellion that threatened to undo the new kingdom his father had established. The rebels were the last remnants of discontent with the first king’s unification of the smaller tribes and lands into the kingdom of Jayard, and the battles and conquests of Uruslan Cyneric are today the stuff of songs.

Jezeryn grew up in Caertien Keep, surrounded by family and staff. However, despite having so many siblings and both her parents typically close at hand, Jezeryn was rather lonely growing up. The next two children closest to her age, Hermione and Ingmar, were four years older than she, and twins, so they mostly preferred each other’s company. Jezeryn’s next sibling was her brother Gennadius, and he was six years older than she, which is a lifetime when you’re kids.

Her mother, Lady Nerys, long since tired of having children– and indeed, Jezeryn was what her parents call a “pleasant surprise”– handed her over to the keep’s staff almost immediately after her birth. There was never any one nurse or governess she attached to. There were so many other children in the family, the staff was all kept quite busy, going where they were needed.

Jezeryn always thought she detected a coldness toward her from her mother. Hoping she imagined it– and indeed, Nerys was not exactly a warm mother to any of her children, especially the younger ones– Jezeryn tried to put it out of her mind. Her father was often unavailable as well. Lord Kyrius traveled regularly to the capital for various noble duties. When he was around, there were audiences and bureaucratic duties to attend to.

When you’re the tenth child in a noble family, it turns out everything important or noteworthy has been done already by the time you come along. At least, that was Jezeryn’s experience. All the important political and military accomplishments were achieved by her brothers, and all the important political marriages and alliances were accomplished by her sisters, in some cases long before she was of age to make any kind of mark on the world.

Possessed by a strong sense of self motivation– and an intense desire to be noticed in her busy and accomplished household– Jezeryn worked hard at everything she attempted. And it turned out there were advantages to being often overlooked . . . it meant she was rarely interfered with, as long as she didn’t make trouble.

At first Jezeryn tried learning the things that made her older sisters so successful: music, dance, diplomacy, embroidery, fashion, court manners. She learned what she needed to learn as a nobleman’s daughter, but her heart wasn’t in any of it. Her sisters’ gossip was about marriages and scandals, fashion and masquerades, and it bored her to tears.

Jezeryn tried a different tack, and began to study more spiritual things. She had an older brother go into the clergy, and a sister who secured a very influential alliance marriage because of her deep religious nature and knowledge. Also, Lady Nerys was quite religious herself. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out for Jezeryn either. Her heart was never particularly touched by the sermons, and her stance on the gods ended up being pretty neutral. The one good thing about this avenue of study was that she met her first real friend, Daniel.

Daniel, or Danny, as she soon came to call him, was a gnome, an orphan taken in by a local church. The first thing that struck Jezeryn about him was not only that he was friendly, but he was indiscriminately friendly. Everyone Jezeryn knew was much more calculating about the energy they spent on people. They were only friendly to people it was advantageous to be friendly to, or people they were genuinely fond of, otherwise they were just pleasant. But Daniel was always friendly, always positive, uplifting to be around, and funny. No one could make Jezeryn laugh like Daniel could. Jezeryn was fond of him immediately. They made an odd looking pair, the tall redhead and the gnome, who was small even for his race. Before long they were often together at the temple, trying to keep their chuckling quiet enough not to attract the attention of the priests.

There was also the matter of a very disturbing prophecy spoken of Daniel’s future. Apparently, according to a seer, he was going to be responsible for the end of the world. Jezeryn was horrified, and at first tried to treat it lightly, as if it was beyond belief, to try and bolster him. It turned out Daniel didn’t need bolstering. It was important to him that people live life to the fullest, regardless of what time they had left. Instead of being ashamed of the burden, hiding it, hating himself, he seemed to grow even friendlier and more honest. Jezeryn didn’t necessarily agree with the wisdom of introducing himself as “Daniel, the Tiny but Inevitable Destruction of All Things,” but for the life of her, she couldn’t help but admire the spirit behind it. Nothing could keep Daniel down, and he was content to simply be himself, whatever that was, and just do his best regardless of what other people did or thought.

Although she couldn’t bring herself not to care what her family thought of her, Jezeryn was inspired by his example. She’d always been more interested in dogs and horses and sports and archery than the things her sisters were interested in, or the things her religious family members valued. Maybe it was time to try doing the things she wanted to do, for herself.

Jezeryn began to study warfare, weaponry, strategy, history, and literature. It turned out, after trying everything along these lines she could think of, she had a knack for battle. And not just the sort that is waged in a captain’s tent around a map. Jezeryn was good at combat itself, much better than any of her brothers, even the two that had made the army a career. Jezeryn asked her father if she could serve the two years in the army the males of a noble house in Jayard do traditionally. He seemed surprised, but gave permission.

She was sent to the command of her brother Edelmarr, much to her annoyance. Jezeryn had hoped to accomplish this task herself, without the aid or oversight of any of her family members. Luckily, Edelmarr wasn’t interested in keeping an eye on his baby sister either. He put her under the command of someone that had nothing to do with him, and Jezeryn was very happy with this. Even and especially when this meant that other than the bodyguard her father had insisted she take along, she got no special treatment whatsoever. She was a normal army recruit that ran drills and dug latrines and did any other grunt work required. The ever-present bodyguard made the transition harder for Jezeryn than many young soldiers, because it was a sign she was noble, and her peers did not at all appreciate that. They settled down eventually when she proved she could do everything they could do, and more.

By the end of her service, she had covered herself in modest glory in a couple of battles during the War of the Mountains, proving herself an unusually competent warrior, especially for her age. She had also befriended the company smith and spent her little free time learning from him how to properly care for and repair weapons. Jezeryn came home from her years of service feeling satisfied and hopeful. She’d done well, all on her own. Perhaps this would be worthy of her family’s notice, maybe even praise. She was crushed when people hardly noticed she was home, and only asked polite questions about her time in the army.

When she received a letter with the king’s seal, speaking of work to end the war, in special service to the king, Jezeryn jumped at the chance. Instead of asking her father, this time Jezeryn went up to his office and informed him of her departure. He was uncharacteristically flustered at the news, but did not prevent her.

Jezeryn then left on her adventure, without even a horse. She walked down the dusty road away from Caertien Keep, carrying her own gear, her spear over her shoulder. Next time she came home, people would not only notice, she vowed. They would care.

What Jezeryn Doesn’t Know: Lord Kyrius has reached the stage in his life where old man guilt is settling in. The travel and day-to-day politics are beginning to slow down and be outsourced for him, and he’s starting to realize while he’s been a good lord and administrator, he’s been a rather awful husband and father. He doesn’t have the slightest idea how to begin to make amends to his family, but he very much wants to. He’s already been rebuffed by some of his older children. The damage is done, and long ago at that. His wife doesn’t seem particularly interested in becoming more intimate with him either, and this fazes him less. Lady Nerys is an impressive woman and an excellent lady of the keep, but their marriage was arranged, and her lack of warmth wasn’t reserved for just her children.

Jezeryn did not imagine Nerys’ coolness toward her. Nerys is quite superstitious– really the only thing she’s passionate about, though she hides it well– and thinks Jezeryn’s red hair is a bad omen. The only other person in the family with any red in their hair is Lord Kyrius, and that was only ever a sprinkling. When Jezeryn befriended “the Tiny but Inevitable Destruction of All Things,” Nerys’ dislike deepened into wariness. Jezeryn is a problem, a threat to Caertien and the Cyneric name and holdings, and must be watched. Nerys is hoping on the road Jezeryn will do something crazy enough to make a real case for disowning her, though this seems unlikely due to the girl’s genuine competence and desire to do good. Regardless of what Jezeryn does or doesn’t do, Lady Nerys has worked hard to build the hold and reputation of the Cyneric name, and will not allow anything to threaten that, even threats she may be imagining. (Have fun, GM!)

Personality and Habits: Jezeryn is serious, maybe too serious sometimes. This habit has eased a little since Daniel’s entrance into her life. She admires him greatly, and is quite protective of him. At first she treated the prophecy about his future lightly for his sake, but she continues to do it for her own. It’s too ridiculous. How could someone as good and kind as Danny ever do such a thing, a thing that would lead to the end of the world? Is their world a world worth living in if he could?

She desperately wants to earn the love and admiration of her family. She’s not particularly interested in fame, only to the extent that it might impress them. Her childhood was long and lonely, and she often felt adrift and unsupported, unremarkable, invisible. Even the people in the town around the keep don’t seem to know or remember who she is. With ten children, if she doesn’t introduce herself as a Cyneric, why would anyone know or remember?

Jezeryn wandered as far and wide as an unmonitored noble child could, and she saw and heard much in her home that inspired her to serve her people properly. The relationship between commoners and nobility is supposed to be symbiotic. Commoners toil to meet the needs of food and shelter and strength of arms for the realm, and nobles work to organize and distribute those resources fairly and honestly, maintaining peace, justice, and security in their lands. Her father is a very competent administrator, and as a result, people have little to say about him, and can go about their daily lives securely, for the most part. Jezeryn admires the synergy of that arrangement, feels it brings out the best in humanity, where people cooperate and take care of each other. She got to experience this in a way none of her other brothers and sisters did, quietly, unnoticed among the people, and has seen and respected the lot and contribution of the common person as a result. Her time in the army reinforced this.

Jezeryn feels this sense of noble duty very deeply. She is not a runaway noble girl, entitled and seeking to shirk the responsibility of her birth. Quite the opposite. She takes her duty to the realm, and her people, very seriously. She was thrilled to be contacted by the king’s agent, not just because it might be a chance to win her family’s affection, but because it was a chance to serve her people in the way she best felt she could. If her family bade her to fulfill any other duty expected of a noblewoman, Jezeryn would do it, without question, for the good of the people.

Jezeryn Cyneric is a loyal, brave, and valiant ally, and a true friend; once someone has earned her respect and friendship, she’ll fight until she’s cut up into pieces for them. She would risk her life without thought or question for Daniel, who brought joy and purpose into her life when she was adrift and alone. She is smart, steady, competent, and graceful, on and off the battlefield. She has many insecurities about her worth and place in the world, but genuinely wants to do what she considers her born duty: protect the people of Caertien and Jayard to the best of her ability.

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