Countess Gabrielle de Rais Character in The True Dark Ages | World Anvil

Countess Gabrielle de Rais

Countess Gabrielle de Rais

Gabrielle de Rais is a countess of the de Rais family based usually at their estate on the edge of Orleans.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Gabrielle de Rais is one of the most powerful nobles in the Orleans hierarchy. Born over 30 years ago, she proved to be ambitious, intelligent and as dangerous as any of the de Rais family. She proved to have a skill in both blade & magic from an early age. By the time she was 7 years old she could take on anybody in her male peer group & give any of them a good scar. Constantly practising with a rapier and studying all matter of subjects, she could easily take on any subject she wanted. The only one she kept secret was her study of magic, and her family allowed her to practise this in the vaults below their manor. As this was in the vicinity of a hidden temple to Seth & Apep (followed in secret by the family at large), Gabrielle was able to use many of the occult tomes & texts that was present here. Here she learned summoning rituals, raising the dead, astral travel, and the basics of other dark magics.   Ove the years, well into her late teens, Gabrielle became well versed in these eventually mastering the majority along with destructive & mind altering spells. She eventually reached the age that she had been betrothed to a member of the de Orleans family, and was expected to marry him. Seeing no reason to, and preferring the company of fiends & other unnatural entities, Gabrielle conspired on her 18th birthday to have the suitor, a Rikard de Orleans, murdered. Using blood magic she summoned a demon from one of the hells to possess a servant. When the servant was not aware of this, a feast was arranged to mark the betrothal. At a given time Gabrielle whispered a command word that brought the demon forth. The servant's mouth & face contorted into the shape resembling a venomous serpent & bit Rikard, killing him almost instantaneously, his soul payment to the demon for this act.   This was hushed up and made to look like the servant's family were to blame. An since that time a rare few has attempted to court Gabrielle. Most find her too arrogant, intelligent & aloof to warrant any further attention. In the past few years the family has suffered, not due to a drop in wealth or power, but in influence and this has affected her chances of marrying. Members of the extended de Orleans family has had their suspicions that there is more to the death of Rikard than what was initially told. Also, the Burgomaster of Parisius, a de Rais has been under scrutiny from his superiors for certain acts especially the disappearances of children round Parisius. Recently he had been arrested by the authorities after his immediate superior, Count de Sade, and the Bishopric of Notre Dame was made fully aware of him dabbling in black magic. Coupled with a series of minor plots against other houses seen him sent to the deepest dungeons possible. Rumours persist that he has been marked for execution as a 'Traitor to the Crown'. This is something that Gabrielle has took personal, as she was always overly fond of her Uncle.   During her 20s Gabrielle has plotted against many of the local noble houses, and has expressly vowed in private to bring down the de Orleans family. She thinks they are responsible for spreading misinformation about her own kin & family name. So far she has been able to win over a few Dark Fey to her side. By doing so, she has persuaded a few to do her bidding, or has struck deals with them.   One of the fey is a Hag from the surrounding forests, a vile creature called Granny Applebite. Initially a hag the family had been dealing with for decades if not longer, it turned out a similar fate had befallen one of the de Rais family a couple of generations before, and the de Orleans were suspected, but completely exonerated. At the time, the hag had tried to corrupt members of both families and was rebuffed, and viewed more as a pest & weakling than a truly powerful spellcaster in her own right. She had tried to start trouble then between both Houses, resorting to placing the seed of the sorcerer's mark on the de Orleans. While this seems to have actually helped the de Orleans to some extent, Gabrielle is well aware that at least one of the present generation is likely to be a Hexblood and looking to hasten the process of transformation. To Gabrielle, this would prove to the world that the de Orleans are the family that led to the bad blood between her own House, and the others in Noble Society.   If Gabrielle could only find the exact de Orleans. At present she has her eyes set on Cyrielle, the daughter of the ruling line of the de Orleans. Something about her has sparked Gabrielle's curiosity.

Dangerous member of the de Rais family Powerful de facto ruler of her family Despised by many who know her

Current Location
Lawful Evil
Current Residence
de Rais estate at edge of the city of Orleans
Reddish Blonde
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Fair light skin
5' 5"
89 lb
Roman Catholic (openly), The Order of Seth & Apep (secretly)

Cover image: by Colonel 101


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28 May, 2023 04:25

This character has been places! Done things! At thirty two, she's accomplished much - like a novel's worth of intrigue and plottings. It's neat to see so much history laid out in something akin to an *info dump*, but that's the sort of thing I like for character summaries. It makes it feel like the character's life has been *busy*, and it seems like that was the case for her from the tender age of 7.   I have to wonder, though, does the old adage of "There is always someone better" apply to Gabrielle? Or is she the biggest bad?

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
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28 May, 2023 13:06

One of the Big Bads, and the whole family is. Already had her Uncle arrested in-game after a thief player found information about him. Needed a new villain to oppose a new character that's joined and why not from the same family? A little bit of historical information there too, the family is based loosely on the real life medieval character Gilles de Rais. A real life psychopath. If you have a weak stomach don't google him.

28 May, 2023 17:23

You had my curiosity, now you have my attention. I love villains. They're my jam. All the better if you tie it into someone's already established family. She *does* sound like an absolute BA that is going to be incredibly difficult to overcome, if at all. *cue dramatic music* I know it's bad form to want the players to lose but still <<

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
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28 May, 2023 21:56

Need a god villain. One of three or four I've done that for. One of them is a Count with the surname de Sade, and one is a cross between the fictional Frankenstein and Mengele. The latter I've had to be very very careful about for obvious reasons. Still, don't want the players feeling like its a walk in the park. And why have them directly getting their hands dirty too.

29 May, 2023 15:08

Are these characters you have up on WA too? I most definitely want to know more about the baddies!

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
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29 May, 2023 17:55

Should have both somewhere. Viktor Mengele under World Atlas. Don't why the other Wilhelm de Sade isn't filled in. Maybe I've done it under NPCs but not updated the file yet. Must cross over and flesh him out. Latter has barely been used in a few months so that's why I've forgotten to expand him.

29 May, 2023 19:15

Got Wilhelm de Sade done out properly now, lol.