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Guido Durandson

Ah, going to see Guido are you?! Word of advice, you might want to take a shield with you. No, he’s not dangerous, but what he creates is….
Rahhailian Merchant to Maximilian Hoherberg Von Zottehal   Although he has never really intended anyone any serious harm, the creations and inventions that Guido Durandson has created during his life time are, somewhat unpredictable. His most well-known discovery, the previously unrecognised properties of Blackpowder , have led to a number of rather revolutionary, if unreliable inventions, not the least the creation of rudimentary fire-arms.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Guido cuts quite a recognisable figure on the streets of Rousier, standing out not just because he is a Tiefling, but also because his research has quite literally left its mark on him. Standing at around 6ft in height, Guido walks with a noticeable limp, and often holds quite a slumped posture, as if he has spent most of his life leaning over a work bench. He is also missing his little and third finger from his left hand. His orange-red skin is peppered with black stains from being in close proximity to Blackpowder explosions, and is covered in innumerable small burn scars. His oval, welcoming looking face, nowadays frequently contorted by an involuntary twitch, has several large, black powder burns on it, particularly on his right cheek and jaw. His black hair is cut short, and has two bull-like horns sprouting from the temples around his hairline, that sweep back over his head. One of these horns has been broken off in the middle, and is now only half the size of the other, terminating in a jagged edge.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Guido’s early life was rather unremarkable. A clever boy, born in 489S.E., Guido excelled in his studies at the school that his mother ran in the Rahhailian capital of Rousier, and upon completing his studies there at the age of 16, he was lucky enough to win a scholarship to the Royal College of Social, Scientific, Historical and Philosophical Studies in the Sultanate of Fashaddon. He then spent a further four years studying away from Rahhail, an experience that he described as being bearable at most. His natural dislike of the desert led to him returning to Rahhail as soon as he had completed his studies, even though faculty of the Royal College had requested he stay on, and even take up a teaching post.   Returning to Rahhail at as a sprightly twenty-year old, Guido sought work in the western hills of Green Vale, in a mining operation that was being run by a cousin of his. Guido’s remit on arriving was to investigate how the mineral extraction process could be made more efficient, and how the extraction of metals from their ores could be developed to produce higher, better quality yields. For eight years, Guido worked within this remit, and made some respectable innovations to the way in which the mining operation was run. However, in his fifth year of working in the concern he began to investigate more closely the black powder that was left as a by-product of the metal extracting process, which had been dismissed as a useless waste product, to see if more metal could be derived from these tiny, black granules. It was during the administering of a concentrated heat test, that Guido discovered the hidden qualities of Blackpowder . The subsequent explosion, which he claims nearly killed him, sparked his lifelong passion to study Pulverigne, as he called it, commonly referred to as Blackpowder.   For the next three years, Guido would work on the mine’s projects during the day, and then continue his studies of Blackpowder during the night, often working all the way through the night and forgetting to eat or even sleep. However, as Guido realised that he needed to devote more and more of his energies into investigating his discovery, he left his job at the mine, and returned to Rousier, to devote all of his time to researching Blackpowder. Despite the initial observation of his family that he was crazy, he was able to secure enough sponsorship from the wealthier merchant of the city to set up full-time as a researcher, conducting his work from a single room above a shop in the capital.   Initially, Guido’s works concentrated on perfecting the refining process of Blackpowder, after which he began trying to understand how best to apply the material. His Blackpowder inventions ranged rather wildly from an attempt to build a horseless carriage, akin to the Clockwork Carriage, powered by the Blackpowder, to a method of exchanging messages between ships at sea by launching a message capsule off the deck of one ship to another. Almost all of these inventions were rather abject failures. His Blackpowder carriage nearly destroyed the main marketplace in Rousier, whilst his inter-ship message system backfired so spectacularly that the ship Guido was demonstrating the technology on sank. As the failures mounted up, Guido’s sponsors began to abandon him, all except one, a certain Pierre de Terion, who covered the cost of the damages Guido’s contraptions had caused and kept him safe from prosecution, provided that he attempted to investigate the potential military capability of Blackpowder. Initially, Guido refused, but with bills and petitions for his arrest piled up, he relented, and came in to de Terion’s service.   The fruit of his labour was the first Blackpowder ‘firearm’. Guido’s system revolved around a crossbow-like stock and trigger design, with a long metal tube, the barrel sprouting from the front of the weapon, as opposed to a bow. A charge of Blackpowder was placed into the barrel along with a metal ball made to fit. A small charge of Blackpowder was placed into a trigger mechanism attached to the side of the barrel, and linked to the trigger in the stock. When the trigger was pulled, it released a hammer, holding a piece of flint, into the metal pan holding the Blackpowder charge, igniting this and sending a tongue of flame through into the barrel, where it ignited the main charge, and fired the metal ball out of the barrel. Pierre de Terion was very impressed by Guido’s innovation, and knew exactly where it should be publically demonstrated. Auspiciously, Guido finalised his fire-arm in the year 521S.E., when Rahhail was valiantly defending itself against the joint forces of the Kingdom of Dazscor and Aramore and the Kingdom of Sharisar. Guido, rather reluctantly was dragged onto several battlefield, to demonstrate the fire-arm before Rahhail’s generals, who were convinced enough to commission a number of pieces, and to pay Guido to train them.   This experimental force of 50 troops was deemed just about battle-ready in 522S.E., and with the siege of Rousier raging all around, the then Merchant Prince of Rahhail went against the judgement of  the Merchant Council, who advised him to ignore the generals suggestion at all cost, given Guido’s track record, and deploy his so-called Musketeer Corps to defend the walls of the city. Guido’s troops turned out to be so effective a deterrent, that they are credited as being one of the main reasons the coalition army agreed to discuss terms with Rahhail, rather than trying to starve them out.   The years following the end of the siege of Rousier, have seen Guido be set-up at the expense of the state to continue his work and to perfect his fire-arm system, along with developing any other inventions as he likes. In addition, the production of fire-arms has begun on a more industrial scale, though few of the weapons are actually produced, and none are distributed beyond the borders of Rahhail intentionally, for fear of other nations taking up the technology. Guido himself has taken on a number of apprentices in the intervening years, to train them up as gunsmiths, and to train the members of the now permanently established and growing Musketeer Corps in his new developments. Guido is well aware that the technology he has created is nowhere near perfect, and it speaks volumes that none of the fire-arms carried by the first members of the Musketeer Corps in the defence of Rousier in 522S.E., have survived to the present day, thanks to technological problems and devastating misfires.

Education

As Guido’s mother ran a school in the city of Rousier, that well-to-do citizens could pay to send their children to, Guido enjoyed a good education in his formative years, which was further augmented by his winning of a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Social, Scientific, Historical and Philosophical Studies in Vaháyer, capital of the Sultanate of Fashaddon. His focus at the Royal College very much focused around the theory of mining and scientific studies,  both areas that interested him the most.

Employment

On finishing his studies at the Royal College of Social, Scientific, Historical and Philosophical Studies in the Sultanate of Fashaddon, Guido returned to Rahhail and took up work in a mining operation in the west of Green Vale. There he was charged with examining how best to improve the process of extraction, and refining of the metal ores that were being produced. It was whilst working in this capacity, that he realised the undiscovered properties of Blackpowder, which has proved to be his life’s obsession. After several years of working on unravelling the mystery of what he had discovered, alongside his job in the mine, Guido abandoned his position, and managed to pitch the potential of his discovery to enough merchants back in Rousier to allow him to work full-time on his project. His contribution to Rahhail’s war effort in 522S.E., led the Merchant Council to set him up as a ‘researcher’ maintained by the state, in the hopes that he will continue to come up with technological innovations.

Accomplishments & Achievements

His most famous achievement is undoubtedly the recognition of the properties of Blackpowder, which has been produced for millennia as a by-product of mining in Ulskandar. His accidental discovery of its destructive capabilities, and following on from that the detailed and laborious process to consistently refine and produce Blackpowder have enabled his pioneering work in its uses, not the least in its application to military technology. Without his discovery, subsequent investigation of the substance and invention around it, Rahhail’s troops  would almost certainly not have been able to hold back the invading forces of Dazscor and Aramore and Sharisar from storming the walls of Rousier in 522S.E.

Social

Social Aptitude

Guido’s social aptitude is best summed up in a single word, reclusive. Always a rather shy and retiring sort, Guido’s work, which constantly exposes him to numerous explosions, controlled or otherwise, has left him noticeably jumpy and paranoid. As he has begun to go profoundly deaf, thanks to being in close proximity to explosive substances, he also has a bad habit of shouting at people, which often makes him come across as rather aggressive. In addition, some would say that his work has started to unhinge him slightly….

Wealth & Financial state

Though not from a wealthy family by any means, Guido’s position as a state sponsored ‘researcher’ affords him a workshop and house rent free, exemption from the paying of taxes and a healthy stipend to cover his living an material expenses.

Species
Tiefling
Year of Birth
489 S.E. 64 years old
Birthplace
Rousier
Biological Sex
Male
Aligned Organization
Rahhail

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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah

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