Rashad, Master of the Thousand Eyes
Master Rashad (a.k.a. The Grey, countless merchant Aliases)
An aged, cunning Ameri who's managed to climb to the top of The Thousand Eyes, the Ameri spy network.
General Physical Condition
Rashad is aged and showing it. Often he walks with a carved wooden cane, and tends to tilt his head slightly when listening to people speak as if he were deaf on the left side.
Rashad is aged and slightly stooped, though some believe this is an affectation to make himself look less threatening. His fur has turned a greyish-white color, obliterating any previous markings that might give away his family line. His voice is quiet but rich, and sounds like it comes from a much younger man.
Rashad's face is lean and thin, and his nose and muzzle seem to be stretched slightly- giving him a faintly nearsighted look. In his old age, the fur around his face has begun to grow out longer as well, and he makes no attempt to trim it back. One of his teeth on his lower jaw is obviously missing, lost in some forgotten misadventure. Only really visible when he smiles, it does make him look slightly lopsided. The most notable feature, however, are his eyes. Gold-yellow, bright, and piercing, they are said to be able to see straight through a person and into their soul. While that's an exaggeration, it's a fact that his gaze can make even hardened soldiers unnerved.
Rashad is, even to this date, a rather "generic" Looking Ameri. Aside from his bright, golden eyes despite his age and a few notches in his ears from long-forgotten fights, he can melt into a crowd with ease and be overlooked.
Rashad carries a cane and affects a slight limp on his right leg, as well as stooping slightly. Some of his inferiors in the Thousand Eyes insist this is all a ruse, and claim they've seen him leap up and scale walls as if he were in his prime. Rashad, naturally, denies this- though he tends to smile when he does so.
Rashad has no known magical talent, and is definitely not a registered mage. However, his talent for making himself blend into the shadows has produced several rumors. For what is known- he is a frighteningly intelligent man, an exceptional pickpocket and assassin, and has a knowledge of the world that is almost unparalleled. Many times he is called upon by the royal family for advice on matters not related to espionage- simply because he's absorbed that much information.
Apparel & Accessories
For the most part Rashad wears a loose, dark, robelike garment that's belted at the waist with a crimson sash. Unlike many Ameri he doesn't decorate himself much- though he does carry a few rings at all times. He also carries a carefully carved wooden cane.
Many of his subordinates whisper rumors about his rings- some claim one is a shard of Mirrorslate set up so that he can send messages if he leaves the Stronghold, others that they contain small quantities of particularly deadly poisons. Like much about Rashad, his cane is more than it appears. Should he ever be ambushed, the head of the cane can be removed to reveal a punch-awl weapon, kept extremely sharp. He also carries a katar at his wrist, sheathed and tucked into the folds of his robe so that it is almost invisible.
Few know the story of Rashad, the Ameri who would become the spymaster for the entire nation. Originally born in a caravan in a far-off land, he showed skill at a young age in the skills required to be a spy- he was clever, he was quick, and he was forgettable. Upon a trip through the homeland, he attempted to enter the Thousand Eyes and was accepted, his natural talents putting him quite quickly into the spotlight. For years he posed as a merchant in the Traticean Empire, traveling north-to-south along the Imperial highways in a large caravan- relaying information and honing his skills. At this point, his history becomes somewhat blurred. Several members of the powerful Varsini family who had been rumored to have killed a member of the Thousand Eyes suddenly began to die in increasingly improbable accidents, culminating in the Duke at the time suddenly turning black and toppling over in the middle of a banquet at the Imperial palace. Naturally, Rashad was nowhere to be found. Later, Rashad reappeared posing as an itinerant musician in the Elven nations, wandering from keep to keep in the company of a small theater troupe. By the time he left the troupe it was rumored that he could tell you everything about every Elven lord, down to their breakfast preferences. Exactly what happened in those lands is a secret, and Rashad will only smile when asked. After what many would consider a lifetime of espionage work, he was appointed to be the Speaker to the court at the Stronghold. Normally a position of power and prestige, Rashad chafed at the idea of being bound to the mountain and ended up sneaking out more often than not, somehow making his way down into the market town at the base of the mountain and vanishing into the crowd. Eventually, he resigned his position- one of the few to do so- and took up the merchant's coat again to wander the world. Rashad was dragged back into service entirely by accident. While heading along the Golden Pass, he happened to overhear a party of adventurers speaking of finding the fabled Dark Scar, one of the most corrupted places on the face of the earth. Using old contacts, Rashad managed to warn the Ameri king, and then tailed after the would-be adventurers. Somehow, the party of mercenaries, mages and scholars had managed to find a time when the guards at the Scar were at their weakest and most disorganized after a sandstorm, and reinforcements would not be able to find the party in time. Rashad hired himself out as a local guide to the group, and then embarked on a one-Ameri plot to derail their entire plan. He lead them in circles. He left clues for the military to follow him and his "employers." He carefully plied the divisions inside the party, creating mistrust and resentment in their ranks. Though it took weeks, he managed to make the party turn in upon itself, and when the armed force sent from the Stronghold finally arrived it was to find Rashad casually perched on a pile of supply packs under a large tent, waiting for their help in burying the bodies. After this, he was welcomed back into the Thousand Eyes with open arms- and placed on the First Circle- on the condition that he be allowed to roam at will. When the Master died years later, Rashad was elected to the position. Now older and supposedly cured of his wanderlust, he has held the position for over fifteen years, and can often be found in the Stronghold.
Apprenticeship at the Thousand Eyes, several years' wandering as a merchant, advanced training in the Ameri Desert.
Rashad has had a wild and varied career. For most of his life he's been involved in the Espionage community in one way or another, but in addition he has been an apprentice merchant, a merchant, a smuggler, a musician, a beggar, a vagabond wanderer, an advisor and once flirted with the idea of joining the Priesthood.
Accomplishments & Achievements
The crowning achivement of Rashad's career was turning a hundred-man-strong expedition of mages, mercenaries and scholars in on itself to keep the location of the Dark Scar secret, and the dark residue inside contained. Through suggestion, rumor, whispers and hints he managed to play up the subtle divisions in the group until they slaughtered themselves, leaving him unharmed and free.
Failures & Embarrassments
Though he rarely speaks of it, one of the biggest regrets of Rashad's life is that he was unable to be with his father when the old Ameri died. Disease and distance kept the two of them apart, and the spymaster has never forgiven himself for that. Though at the time he felt justified in resigning his position as Speaker to the Court, he would forever regret it. His replacement wasn't, in his eyes, as adept a spy as he was, and opportunities slipped through their fingers. Though it's not something he'd admit, he felt that he failed his king.
It's kept a secret, but Rashad is deathly afraid of the ocean. Merely climbing on an ocean-going ship in a harbor is enough to make him tense up, and should he be required to take a voyage he'll barely sleep or eat the entire time. Occasionally even to this day he awakens with nightmares of deep, dark water rising up to swallow him. Rashad has been playing so many roles over his life- merchant, guide, spy, vagabond, musician- that he's not entirely sure that there's a "real" Rashad underneath the various masks. Sometimes he worries that there's nothing but a pile of masks and fur walking around the court of the Stronghold.
Rashad is conversational, but speaks in a slow, calm voice even during the most dire crisis. He always seeks the angle, the advantage, the secret- and enjoys playing verbal fencing matches with even his closest friends to try and tease out information.
Rashad has a near obsession with information. He must know. He must know everything he can. Aside from being a personal passion, he has turned his desire for information into a near religious devotion to the Ameri throne, intent on making sure his people survive- no matter what.
Savvies & Ineptitudes
Rashad is an excellent spymaster, frighteningly intelligent, and has a knowledge of poisons, antidotes, weapons and anatomy that is second to none. However, he is absolutely terrible at most games- finding them pale standins for the real world of espionage, and therefore not worth his interest. He also can barely swim.
Likes & Dislikes
Rashad has a deep hatred of the ocean, fearing deep water in general. He also has a bit of a grudge against the Traticeans, and tends to assume the worst about any situation involving them.
Virtues & Personality perks
Rashad is calm, quiet, and levelheaded- as well as extremely quick of mind and reflex. He has a vast memory and is virtually impossible to lie to.
Vices & Personality flaws
Often when analyzing information brought to him by his agents, Rashad will forget to eat or sleep for days at a time until necessity compels him. These spells are growing more frequent and longer, causing his subordinates in the First Circle to begin to worry. A vastly organized person, Rashad is easily annoyed if someone moves or disturbs his possessions.
Rashad tends to smile out of one side of his mouth only, his missing tooth never visible. He never seems to blink when he's staring at something that fascinates him. Often when reading he will pace the room he's in, one hand held out slightly to ward off the possibility of walking into furniture or guests.
Rashad is meticulously clean and organized. His chambers at the Stronghold and at the Thousand Eyes' monastary are identical in almost every way, meaning he can walk either with his eyes closed. Each has a vast bookshelf of scrolls and tomes- though the information within isn't a direct duplicate.
Contacts & Relations
As the premiere spymaster in the Ameri nation, Rashad has contacts that span the entire globe- from merchants to mercenaries, sailors to servants, kings to killers.
Aside from his dead father, no one knows if Rashad has any family.
Rashad is a quietly pious person. He has a private shrine in both of his residences, and has been seen in public to make offerings to the Chainbreaker.
Rashad is, when not covering himself with the mask of an assumed identity, charming and an interesting conversationalist, if a bit prone to verbal fencing and word games.
Rashad is never separated from his cane, and tends to lean heavily on it when speaking to someone. When he walks, he taps it quietly- sometimes in perfect step, sometimes every other foot, sometimes holding it in his hand so that the tip never strikes the ground. He has a habit of tilting his head when talking to someone as if his left ear is somewhat hard of hearing. When interested in something, he tends to focus those unsettling golden-yellow eyes of his on the object of his curiosity, and doesn't seem to blink.
Hobbies & Pets
Rashad keeps a few musical instruments in his libraries, and occasionally has been caught playing them. He's surprisingly talented.
Rashad speeks in a deep, rich voice and never seems to grow excited. He enjoys playing word games- angling in on things from multiple paths, sometimes asking 'out of the blue' questions to surprise people and catch them off guard, and often punctuates things he says with a soft chuckle.
Wealth & Financial state
Rashad's wealth is hard to pin down, as fits one who's spent his entire life hiding things. What is known is that his personal weapons aren't showy or flashy- instead they're well-worn, workmanlike pieces of exceptional quality and strength. His quarters and studies are well appointed but not overly lavish, and he eschews jewelry. His biggest asset, however, is the vast collection of scrolls, maps, tomes, notes and other information he as accumulated. He has two vast, personal libraries, one at each residence- and is rumored to have more, hidden around the world.
A roadside inn in the Dwarven mountains to the West
The Ameri Stronghold
Golden yellow, bright and clear
Grey and long
Quotes & Catchphrases
"Fascinating. Do tell me more..."
(In voice only: Max Von Sydow.)
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