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Etienne de la Roche
Full name: Etienne de la Roche
Also known as Garguiem
also known as Gargoyle
also known as Uncle Etienne
Age: 57
Birth Date: June 15, 1816
Place of Birth: Paris, France
Nationality: French
Allegiance: Corvi Helvetia, aka The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, Switzerland
Occupation: Spy

Physical Description Edit

Rather tall and lithe, with dark hair and eyes and fine features. He is beginning to suffer from osteoarthritis, which as of yet mostly troubles him when it is cold, and as a consequence he sometimes walks with a cane.

He is something of a slob when it comes to physical appearance, not bothering with a coat most days and often wandering about with his waistcoat unbuttoned, if he is wearing one at all. Furthermore, he doesn’t have much of an inclination towards fancy clothing, preferring things that can handle a great deal of abuse, though he can put on a costume of fancy clothes and pulls off ‘aristocrat’ very well when required to. Generally, however, he is the ‘what, I am wearing shoes, that is dressed’ sort.

When not affecting a particular accent, Etienne speaks a sort of cockney version of Parisian French, having grown up for the most part as part of the lower classes in Paris.

Hobbies and Personality Edit

Etienne is the sort of good-natured that has a tendency to steamroller peoples’ prejudices, but can be utterly infuriating to people who are determined to dislike him. He does ‘gentle ribbing’ often and well, can handle being teased himself. He often solves problems by offering people chocolate, and acts in a very avuncular fashion to all the younger spies. All in all he is quite charming. He was often called a scamp when young, which he met with a cheeky grin. Actually, he still gets called that by Anming, in spite of being middle-aged.

He often reacts to things emotionally, which impedes his ability to be detached and impartial; it is for this reason that he has always been adamant in his refusal to take over from Damián Armas as spymaster, insisting that he did not have the ability to divorce himself from his emotions to the extent required to make the sorts of decisions which might send any of those he considers his family to their deaths. He is also a deeply religious, (but very liberal) Catholic, though he is not at all prone prostheletyzing, as shown by the fact that he has managed to maintain a romantic relationship with an aetheist for over thirty years.

He maintains a fondness for Gothic and adventure novels, though thankfully his tastes have improved since he was fourteen. He still very much enjoys theater, in spite of not having been part of a production for a long time, and sometimes wanders about on the surrounding mountains/in the nearby woods.

Another enduring enjoyment of his is pestering Sebastian, and he is always one watching new people do odd tricks (such as Cateryn’s riding a unicycle on a tightrope while juggling.)

Family and Relationships Edit

Born to Sophie de la Roche, a young single mother, who had begun working in a Paris theater as a seamstress (eventually became an actress as well and was level-headed to the point where she wound up helping a great deal with the business end of things) at the time, and consequently he grew up with his ‘theater family’, at least until age fourteen.

After being whisked off to the castle, he began training to be a spy with Sonja, Sigrid’s mother, and they became best friends and essentially siblings, sharing similar temperaments. It is due to the closeness of their friendship that all of Sonja's children consider Etienne to be their Uncle.

At 21 he was largely responsible for bringing in Sebastian Webb, but they initially did not get along, and even their eventual friendship was very fraught for a number of years before settling into a stable and long-term partnership.

He is mentor to Sorin Dragomir.

Job and Weapons Edit

Job: Spy, sniper, assasin, teacher/trainer of new spies, especially in matters of deception relating to demeanor and language.

Gun preference: In his youth he favored Jaeger rifles, and the occational target rifle, along with the new Colt revolvers. Now, he tends towards the firearms (electrical and conventional) which Sebastian makes for him. All in all, he is a terrifyingly accurate shot.

Other Weapon Preference: He usually carries a variety of blades and can use nearly anything which comes into his hands as a weapon - including his hands themselves. As a young boy he was taught an early, self-defense style of the martial art which would eventually become savate, by an old drunk of a sailor who was tired of seeing the boy always taking a beating from larger children. As a result, he still will generally go the route of breaking shins and knees when caught in a tight corner - or when given the opportunity.

Backstory Edit

At the age of fourteen, Etienne was caught up somewhat accidentally in the failed July 1830 Revolution. He and a friend aided the escape of Damián Armas from the Royalist French authorities that were hunting him, and as a result his friend was killed. He, in turn, was labelled an accomplice and was forced to flee Paris. His mother, Sophie, through some unfortunate past circumstances was able to discern Damián’s identity and the organization to which he belonged, and demanded that her son be protected by them. He and Damián escaped Paris, travelled to Drudenschloss where a fourteen year old Sonja had arrived several months earlier, and the two were trained together untill they both reached eighteen, when they became regular members of the Corvi Helvetia.

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