BIRTHDAY | 32 Ophus, 2690
AGE | Twenty-eight
FACE CLAIM | N/A
PLACE OF ORIGIN | Muffey, Anaxas
LOCATION | Brunnhold, Anaxas
OCCUPATION | Housekeeper
PLAYER | Graf
A great deal of Renard’s face and body is disfigured from the burns he sustained as a young teenager. While his jawline and the bottom right part of his face are largely untouched, the area from his lower left cheek to his entire forehead and some of his scalp is covered in hypertrophic scars; the skin is raised and warped and varyingly mottled, and his nose is nearly gone. He has the use of only his right eye, the other milky and partly-obscured by a drooping eyelid. His mouth is perhaps the most expressive part of his face: wide and generous-lipped, and with a tendency to wrinkle around the muzzle, it is most often found in a severe, concerned, or uncomfortable frown. When he smiles, though, it’s a crooked, warm smile that brightens his whole face. He never smiles without his eyes.
At the left side of his neck, the scarring resumes, covering the whole left side of his body with varying degrees of severity. His left hand is badly scarred and missing most of its smallest finger; his right hand has only traces of scarring. He wears a ring on the second smallest finger of his right hand, a thin engraved silver band that he inherited from his mother when she died.
He dresses like a Brunnhold servant of good character. He keeps his hair – thick and fine where it still grows, and wavy even when short – well-combed most of the time, keeps his somber and plain uniforms (and other clothes, for that matter) clean and orderly.
Of course, he’s not without compassion and empathy, and he thinks about right and wrong a great deal. This strong sense of (and willingness to engage with) justice and morality is perhaps the most important feature of his personality. He’s a stickler for the rules, and he’ll try his absolute best to avoid breaking them, but in these days in Anaxas, the rules are often unjust in ways that you can see with your eyes and feel with your heart – and if you are a sensitive, reasonable person, your heart will often disagree with what you’ve learned is true. This is a constant source of conflict for Renard, who believes on many levels in the rightness (and holiness) of the social order. He tries to accept his place as a gated passive with understanding and faith, and won’t actively struggle against it – after all, he has seen the results of a passive’s diablerie firsthand – but the poor treatment and restrictions on himself and other passives gives him a great deal of doubt.
Renard is an incredibly devout Circlist, praying to Alioe frequently and with deep seriousness. He’s never been caught taking the Lady’s name in vain, and phrases like “Benea light your path” are always on his tongue. He spends a lot of his private time talking to Alioe, and feels strongly about his personal relationship with the goddess. Often he asks Her for patience and foresight, the two qualities he admires and needs the most.
He takes his job as seriously as he takes everything else, working tirelessly at whatever task he’s given. He’s gained the respect of his superiors rather quickly, and gotten a reputation for spotless housekeeping; he’s an organized person by nature, keeping his own spaces and belongings spartan and orderly, and he extends this to his duty as a caretaker of others’ spaces. While students can be a messy crowd, and it’s often a thankless job, he tries to find fulfillment in it.
Because of his mother’s values and his upbringing, he’s quite literate and rather scandalously fond of reading. It’s one of his few indulgences: he’ll read anything he gets his hands on. He borrows books and pamphlets, hides them, then passes them on or gets rid of them quietly.
(He has a taste for steamy romances and positively loves the work of Agnes Rivintuit. Tell anyone and be puréed.)
Blaise and Kaleva both had high hopes for Renard. He was born almost scandalously soon after their marriage, followed two years later by his sister Camille. For the first seven years of his life, Renard was the favorite child, sociable and pleasant (if a little shy), a quick learner and a voracious reader. It was Kaleva who first began to suspect that something was wrong, and Blaise would hear nothing of it, perhaps out of love and perhaps out of fear. When Renard was discovered as a passive at ten years old, Kaleva was disappointed but not surprised; Blaise Vérène, on the other hand, was anguished.
Blaise was firmly of the opinion that Renard needed to be left at Brunnhold, quietly disowned so that the revelation would not affect his (now budding) career in fashion design. Kaleva, on the other hand, found the Anaxi treatment of passives distasteful at best; what she saw as Blaise’s “barbaric behavior” (said unwisely in a heated moment at the university) put unbearable strain on the marriage. It was out of Blaise’s love for Kaleva that they came to an uneasy agreement: Renard would be permitted to stay at their home in Muffey, so long as he was a quiet, mannerly servant and they did not speak of him outside of the household. Kaleva was to swallow her personal beliefs and teach him the Anaxi way of thinking about passivity, and if his diablerie ever reared its head, he was to be sent to Brunnhold immediately.
If Renard harbored any anger toward his family over their treatment of him, he did not show it. He was, as always, a polite and receptive child, and absorbed and adjusted to the new information quickly. This was when he began praying fervently and regularly to Alioe, having been told that he was cursed and that to have faith was his only hope.
Meanwhile, two years later, Camille went to Brunnhold and scored a seven on her initiation test, impressing her bereaved father. The family dynamics were shifting, of course; Camille Vérène became the pride of the family, and Blaise’s only hope of avoiding yet more scandal. With Camille absent, increasingly less present for breaks, the Vérène household was a cold, awkward, and strange place for Renard. He became obsessed with cleaning and fastidiousness, attempting to make up for his passivity with an absolute adherence to what he saw as his divine duty. Kaleva still treated him with kindness and encouraged him to read and think about the outside world, and to Renard, this became something like cruelty. The tense, unhappy balance between his parents meant that he was treated kindly only at an arm’s length, and that he would never be as close to the life he had wanted as that kindness made him yearn for.
When Renard was fourteen and Camille twelve, Kaleva died rather suddenly of an illness. The kindness ceased, and Renard was treated only with discomfort, at best. The strain from his scandal of over a decade was hitting Blaise hard; his designs and business were not as successful as they should have been, and he feared stagnation and mediocrity.
Renard’s diablerie expressed itself when he was sixteen. There was no good reason for it; he was cleaning the dining room the after a dinner his father had hosted the night before when the very air around him suddenly went up in flames. Thankfully, he was completely alone – nobody else was injured – but he made a wreck of the dining room and nearly set the entire house on fire, and nearly died himself. That he received medical care at all was a mark of his father’s respect for his late mother, and even then, it was poor and faulty. He believes that he survived and recovered out of Alioe’s grace, and that the event occurred in order to send him to his calling, where he could spend a life in honest work, quietude, order, and closeness to the Church of the Moon.
It goes without saying that as soon as he was able (and nearly before), he was sent off to Brunnhold, where he has been working in housekeeping in various parts of the campus for over a decade. He was troubled initially, and for perhaps the first time in his life struggled to adjust; although he did his best to keep his head down, he had to learn to defend himself and fit in with the other passives at Brunnhold. Now, however, he has settled into a routine.
- To fulfill his duties perfectly on a daily basis.
- To work on his faith and build his personal relationship with Alioe.
- To (in the naturally spiritual environment of Brunnhold, within earshot of the Everine) reconcile his painful feelings about his passivity and the social order with his deep faith; to come to any conclusions about whether or not he is genuinely accursed, and what this means for his spirituality.
- To gain the respect and trust of his peers and superiors, to gain more work experience, and rise through the ranks of housekeeping at Brunnhold.
- To get his hands on the latest romances...