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Gitane (Everquest 2 Swashbuckler) portrait

Gitane

(Carmen Bayle) (Everquest II)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Everquest II  is a Massively Multipler Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) released in 2004. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the successor of Everquest and takes place in the same heroic-fantasy world – albeit centuries later and after great cataclysms. Though it had clear qualities, EQ2 was largely eclipsed by World of Warcraft.

As often with our video game articles, this profile presents both a sample Player Character  in that world and various aspects of the worldbuilding. Our FAQ includes further notes about adapting MMORPGs to DC Heroes.

This specific character is allegedly the descendant of our main sample Player Character for Everquest, the original Gitane. We recommend reading the original Gitane’s profile before this one.


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Background

  • Real Name: Carmen Bayle.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Parents (names unrevealed), Gitane (alleged ancestor, aka Queen Ezmirella of the Karanas Gypsies).
  • Group Affiliation: Leader of the Combine Network ; member of the Ancient Disorder guild ; member of the Guardian Angels.
  • Base Of Operations: The Willow Wood, within the City of Qeynos.
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Preternatural green Hair: Raven black


Powers and Abilities

Gitane is Ayr’dal, or half-elf. As such she is very nimble, ages very slowly (in fact she seems to age even more slowly than most Ayr’dal) and can effortlessly see in the dark. This is thermal vision, conveniently bypassing light cover such as foliage or mist – at least with opponents with a body temperature.

Commando

Though she never became an archer as was her dream, she received excellent ranger-type training from the Tunarian Alliance in Qeynos . These priests of Tunare maintain a militia serving as irregular assets for the Guard, running long-range patrols in the wilderness, scouting missions and such.

With her extensive experience, Gitane is a redoubtable commando fighter, favouring speed, stealth, ambushes and sudden assaults.


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She’s an experienced infiltrator (able to sneak into well-guarded areas through stealth and acrobatics), an able assassin, and a solid fighter, capable of fighting multiple opponents in close combat if she must.

Generally she appears from nowhere, backstabs, stuns, distracts, inflicts much damage and confusion and disappears, though she can also fight it out toe-to-toe if necessary. Most of her techniques rely on superior speed and precision rather than raw strength.

She has been taught some druidic tricks – mostly how to vanish in darkness and run like the wind, using low-key magic. Gitane boasts that she can outrun most horses. She uses this speed when fighting, often to perform surprising acrobatics such as briefly running along a wall.

Everquest 2 - Qeynos harbour in the morning

A view of Qeynos’ harbour in the morning. Hey ho, up she rises.

Gitane uses distinctive two-edged blades – somewhere between a long and heavy knife and a slim and small shortsword. These have been custom-forged by Wight Palerider, a member of the Combine Network, and are based on the shape of the Centi blade of her father.

Her paired long knives fighting style is based on the Kithicor style. Kithicor is traditionally used by the Rangers of Surefall Glade, the woodrunners allied to Firiona Vie during the Age of Turmoil, and similar irregular militaries.

Non-tactical

Bayle was trained in her early adolescence as a jewels-maker and keeps practising. Like many artisans on Norrath she can work with magical metals, gems, compounds, etc. to make rings, necklaces, earrings, etc. that have minor magical properties.

She is specifically interested in pre-Sundering Gypsy jewellery, copying the designs as an homage to the culture of her alleged ancestors.

Beyond her skills as a woman of action, Bayle’s main assets are her cold deductive intelligence, obsessive stick-to-itness, superior organisation — and self-taught skills as a professional negotiator, broker, fixer, wheeler and dealer, spymistress and businesswoman.


Video

The EQ2 launch trailer back in… psschew, it was a long time ago.


The Shattered Lands

Carmen “Gitane” Bayle exists in the Everquest II continuity, which is slightly different from the Everquest I continuity. Basically, these two versions of Norrath are the same world (though with some small differences from retcons), but their histories diverge in the late Age of Turmoil.

The commonly accepted point of divergence is that the shared history continues until some months before the events covered in the Gates of Discord  expansion for Everquest I. What ’replaces’ those events in the Everquest II continuity is the War of Fay  on Faydwer.

Whereas Everquest I takes place at the tail end the Age of Turmoil, Everquest II takes place about 500 years later, in the Age of Destiny. There are two Ages of Norrath between the two, and these were particularly unpleasant – the Age of War and the Age of Cataclysms.

Age of war, age of cataclysms

These are marked by the departure of the gods, the destruction of several major civilisations, the destruction of Luclin (an inhabitated moon of Norrath) and colossal devastation when lunar debris impact the planet. The latter disaster is often called the Sundering, the Rending, the Shattering and other similar terms.

Gitane (Everquest 2) shows her sword at the Qeynos entrance

Click for a larger version.

That sapient beings survived the Age of Cataclysms in significant numbers is a testament to the hardiness of the various races of Norrathians – and, more practically, would probably have been impossible without access to magic.

The Everquest II continuity is thus a post-apocalyptic version of Norrath. However the rebuilding is already well under way and there already exist large cities that represent a hope for well-meaning sapients , such as the new Qeynos or the new Kelethin .

Still, the hold of civilisation (even the less than-benign ones such as Neriak or Freeport) remains somewhat fragile. Much of the land is untamed, sinister and filled with inimical powers such as gnolls or orcs – and the remains of places familiar to Everquest I players.

Shattered lands

The setting is sometimes called the Shattered Lands. The upheaval from the Age of Cataclysms was so severe that entire continents were broken up, and few bodies of land are as large as what existed before the Age of Cataclysms.

The pre-cataclysmic continent of Antonica, for instance, has been broken into discrete large islands, separated by shallow seas. Travelling from Freeport to Qeynos, once a long overland run through plains, hills, mountains, deep forests and the like, is now chiefly an exercise in sailing.


History

What happened to most Karanas Gypsies during the Age of Cataclysms remains unrevealed. However one couple ended up in the Isles of Refuge , specifically Sandshore. Deciding to settle in, forego their old ways and take a Qeynosian name, they chose the family name of Bayle.

Like many other refugees they named themselves after the Qeynosian royal family to express their thanks for having been taken in by the Qeynosian interests controlling some of the Isles of Refuge.

Carmen Bayle was born on Sandshore. She was never told about her family’s origins as they wanted to raise her solely as a Qeynosian. As a little kid, though, she discovered some of her father’s hidden belongings.

The royal castle in Qeynos in Everquest 2

The Bayle royal castle in Qeynos. Click for a larger version.

She grew convinced that her father was the grandson of the Queen of the Karanas Gypsies during the late Age of Turmoil – Gitane.

In particular she found her father’s old sidearm, an authentic Centi longsword  with a Karanas Gypsies scabbard.

Lost nomads

Wanting to be true to her supposed Gypsy heritage, but not having access to anyone who could tell her about Gypsy culture, little Carmen clashed repeatedly with her parents. They steadfastly refuted her allegations of Gypsy roots in the family, telling her that they always had lived in the Qeynos Hills.

Bayle went to meet supposed Gypsies among the Isles of Refuge. However, these folks weren’t capital-G Gypsies, but descendants of families who had adopted a nomadic lifestyle out of necessity during the Age of War.

The various communities of nomadic refugees often adopted trappings similar to those of Gypsies, perhaps as they received help from their namesakes. Their Gypsy-style clothing has occasionally led to confusion.

Many small-g gypsy folks refute affiliation with the actual Gypsies. For instance the gypsies of the Commonlands, who live under the loose protection of the Overlord , prefer to be called “nomads”.

Yet, what little Gitane had found from nightly rummaging in her parents’s stuff was clearly older than the Age of War. A Centi blade, in particular, has by definition been forged in antiquity on Luclin.

At barely 15, Carmen applied for Qeynos citizenship to leave the Isles and reach the Shattered Lands. She proved her skills as an auxiliary to the Far Seas Trading Company’s mariners, doing some risky work involving minor threats in the Isles such as local grobin tribes.

The Plan with a capital P

Carmen Bayle came to live at the Willow Wood, the district of Qeynos where immigrants of elven or half-elven origin congregated. She gradually stopped foraging for her elusive familial roots, as too much of the past had been lost and nobody was interested in recovering lore about the Karanas Gypsies.

Rather than dig for a distant past, she eventually decided to change her approach and build herself a future. The youthful Bayle essentially wanted to change the world and bring back the Combine Empire, the reputed source of Gypsy culture, art, weapons, etc.

She considered that a return to the finest hour of what became Gypsy culture was her mission – since she was perhaps the last Gypsy alive and romantically considered that she was bearing the last drop of destiny of that culture.

Her alleged ancestors had wrought a golden age, and she could see the last Gypsy hero (say, herself – don’t sweat the details) bringing a return to that.

The Plan, in practice

Carmen had little assets but her good health and determination. She decided to bank on that, drawing the main lines of a plan toward global power and influence that relied on her longevity and staunchness.

Since she had convinced herself that she was the descendant of the long-lived Gitane, she thought it probable that she would live for centuries.

The core mechanism of her plan was favour-trading and networking – gaining the trust of many key organisations, guilds, clans and families, over several generations if need be, by providing specialised services.

Her goal was to become a unique kingpin of influence, holding power by virtue of intricate ties of trust with heteroclite factions not normally working with each other.

The influence, money and other resources could be used to create a shadow alliance prefiguring a new Combine Empire. It would be a collection of races and alignments working together with a common agenda of peace and grandeur.

While Carmen did not expect an actual New Combine Empire to emerge even during her lifetime, she intended to prove on a large, long-term scale what an alliance of many races and creeds could accomplish.

Have to be handy with the steel, if you know what I mean

However, the teenaged Bayle had little to provide in the way of specialised services.&emps;Yet, her extravagant plan required her to have some sort of elite training a mercenary could bank on.

Carmen naturally wanted to become a great ranger like her alleged ancestor, skilfully blazing trails between communities and exploring the secrets of uncharted lands, a stout bow in her hand. She applied to enlist with the Qeynos military.

While she qualified for service, her dreams of joining the prestigious Qeynos rangers were ruined when she discovered that she was slightly near-sighted. She wouldn’t cut it as a professional archer.

Terrified of washing out, she made contacts to join irregular, shady parts of the Qeynosian military. Like the rangers, these were a joint project between the Qeynos Guard and the druidic Tunarian Alliance.

Over her 5-year enlistment contract Carmen became an outrider, then a scout, then a recon specialist for the informal Qeynos special forces – then essentially a long-range assassin for the Qeynos Guard.

Special forces

She operated alone deep in the wilderness to take out specific targets or harass enemies such as gnoll tribals, the corrupt gamekeepers of Archer Wood or highwaymen. Such forays would take weeks and be paid cash, often by the Tunarian Alliance.

The druids taught her and other irregular assets some magic, not unlike the tricks taught to the rangers. The petite Carmen specialised in knife work rather than larger weapons, and her main combat instructors were recruited in the Guard’s prisons.

An Everquest 2 area map

When her contract ended, Carmen wasn’t a proud and clear-eyed archer with a spiffy uniform. But her skills set and experience as a commando were even more useful to provide special services.

She retained as many contacts among the Guard and Alliance as she could. She also made sure to manage that wealth by regularly conducting off-the-record solo jobs for her friends.

Sellsword

Bayle then continued to scour the world, selling her blades and expertise to an aggressively wide list of clients. Her goal was to become a trusted contractor for an heteroclite list of agencies, and she took… unusual steps.

For instance she sneaked deep into Freeport to establish ties with the Seafury Buccaneers headquartered there. These were allies to the Overlord, but not prone to looking too hard at the provenance of their mercenaries.

Bayle even arranged to create personal ties with isolated units of the Overlord’s military, for whom the mountains where high, the Overlord far away, and the problems numerous.

Continuing to closely associate with the Far Seas Trading Company men she knew from childhood, she essentially got to travel for free as a marine on the fastest Company sloops whenever one would leave port. Gitane criss-crossed the world from Faydwer to New Halas to build the web of contacts she had dreamed up.

Shaking different hands and using different credentials would let her sail on Seafury ships — though on less favourable terms — giving her the rare ability to reach any place where a civilised ship would go, the two antagonistic maritime operators’s cold war and occasional skirmishes being something she could now ignore.

Over the years, Carmen did become one of the trusted “special guys” of a dazzling variety of interests. These included factions openly at war with each other who hired her as a go-between for prisoner swaps and the like.

The Network – with a capital N

The master plan wasn’t to operate alone forever. The next step was to create a inner circle of associates. This inner circle would be a shadow mini-Combine Empire, bringing together people of many races and religions to achieve common ends.

To overcome the obvious difficulties, the inner circle would be recruited among marginal adventurer types, and the trick would be that they wouldn’t know who the other members were.

This secrecy wasn’t just an oblique means to obtain cooperation. It also was a security measure and a way for Bayle to have her fingers in even more pies, indirectly working for interests she couldn’t hope to contact directly such as factions within the dark elf city, the new Neriak.

The members of the secret Combine Network, hand-selected and contacted one by one, have to abide by extensive security measures. Everybody uses code names and passwords, the agents never actually meet each other, most communication is through coded messages left in drop-off points, and common contacts get met using masks and heavy hooded cloaks.

The selling point of the shadowy Network was to swap information about employment opportunities and perform favours for each other, such as smuggling rare goods and exchanging artisanal services.

Good with logistics

With Carmen doing much of the work under the code name “Gitane”, the Combine Network’s diverse members found that they had access to a never-ending fount of information — who to contact, what to say, what was needed, how to negotiate with them — of custom-made adventuring and military gear, of safehouses, of maps, of intelligence, of loans, of fencing deals for exotic goods, of well-trained horses, of odd trinkets of interest to certain collectors, of caches of raw materials, etc.

Having operatives from Qeynos, Freeport, Kelethin, Neriak, New Halas, Gorowyn, etc. speaking a wide variety of languages and sporting varied skills and heritages was as fruitful as Gitane had hoped.

This diversity and the great secrecy of the Combine Network gave the impression that the organisation was much larger and more powerful than it was – which was precisely the plan.

Layers within layers

Several of the recruits were embedded in other organisations such as guilds or military units. At one point, most of the Combine Network’s operatives operated under a false flag, that of the Guardian Angels.

This Freeport-based fighting force was quite successful and respected until the brutal Freeport politics resulted in its split, as it was becoming a potential menace for the four great guilds answering to the Overlord.

Now the Guardian Angels are but a shell of what they once were, with but a handful of veterans keeping leftover business in order and dusting the trophies.

The creation of false credentials was arranged with an inside contact, allowing Network operatives to operate as Guardian Angels soldiers as there were too few actual Guardian Angels left to investigate the charade.

Web of intrigue

The Network now counts a dozen professional mercenaries and adventurers. As per its mission statement, and though the members cannot know for sure, its membership ranges from stalwart young elven rangers to troll swamp witches specialising in poison magic, from burly and tattooed Barbarian wisewomen to brutal ogre executioners.

And slowly the web of money, of favours earned, of influence, of friendships, of business ties and of special — and usually bloody — services is spreading, the mean and efficient seed of a shadow empire.


Description

Carmen Bayle has eyes of the same inhuman shade of green as Gitane reputedly had, and jet black hair likewise. She dresses like a nomad.


Personality

At her core, Gitane is cold, manipulative, megalomaniacal, obsessive and highly intelligent. She may occasionally border on being ruthless.

She routinely turns on the charm, appearing bubbly, funny, extroverted, pixie-like and talkative, much like her alleged ancestor. But though she genuinely likes behaving that way, it’s ultimately an act. She has a romantic vision about her place in the world and her alleged heritage, and is too busy working to question it.

Though her complicated machinations, secrecy and power-mongering may seem sinister, and she has done some debatable things to create ties with some Freeport factions, her goals are generous and idealistic.

An Everquest 2 area map

She sees the Combine Empire of old as a sort of Camelot, a realm of wonder and union between all, and wants to recreate such a supposed golden age without compromising its principles.

This is not a personal ambition – in her mind, the rulers of this reborn Combine Empire would be the great-grand-children of Antonia Bayle, the current Queen of Qeynos . But there is a definite, romantic desire to mark history in a grand, epic way.

Modus operandi

Gitane is an efficient assassin and works much like a cinematic master hitman. However, she is ethically strict about the type of contracts she and the Combine Network will take – and always performs due diligence before signing.

Most missions are not assassinations in the usual sense, but long-range special forces strikes, “alternate procurement” and bounty hunting. Gitane and other Network agents usually work solo and are highly adept at travelling and surviving alone in the dangerous Shattered Lands.

Though Gitane’s whole plan is manipulative on a grand scale, this paradoxically leaves no place in her life for deceit or dishonesty on a smaller level. If she starts to lie, it will be impossible to keep track of her stories.

While her overall scheme is a secret, she’s perfectly honest as a mercenary operative and “special guy” for her employers, allies, strange bedfellows, etc.

Bayle has no time for her personal life, since running the Combine Network and executing on missions are both full-time jobs. In anticipation for what little relaxation time she has, her place holds an impressive collection of plushies and books for her to enjoy – on the rare days where she just shuts down and vegs out.

When she works Gitane talks very much like a lawyer and professional negotiator, with a mixture of precision and euphemisms – and making a show of professionalism and analytical intelligence.


Quotes

“I *want* him dead, and I’ll *make* him dead, and I don’t *care* what I have to do to kill the bastard !”

“I can help with that – remove the points of friction, make the process smoother. We do not need to consider a proportionate compensation immediately ; what the interests I represent want is establishing a long-term partnership.”

An Everquest 2 area map

“What the Network can do for you is to show you how to reach the Towers without interference from the guards, and establish contacts with a representative who does not mind working with agents from outside of Qeynos. We’ll work to guarantee full pay from the Towers, but it is imperative that you show them that no matter your allegiances, you can work with them in a reliable, mutually beneficial fashion and you are as valuable as any Qeynos contractor. And that you don’t actually eat babies. Well, sapient ones I mean – veal doesn’t count.”

“I’ll need the usual dose of the usual toxins, and a quote for an offensive enchantment for the katana of a Network member – it’s a blackened iron blade, hand-forged. I’ve made progress to arrange for an apartment for you in Freeport with no questions asked as requested, but there will be stringent security protocols. Oh, and I’ve drawn the maps you needed, but I’ll need to explain to you the symbols for the landmarks and what to pack for this mission.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Gitane II

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Power
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Adventurer, spymaster
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 016 HP: 020

Powers:
Invisibility: 02, Running (ML): 05, Thermal vision: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:
Invisibility only works in darkness and deep shadow.

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05, Artist (Actress): 04, Artist (Jeweler): 04, Charisma: 05, Military science (Camouflage, cartography, cryptography, tracking): 05, Thief (Stealth): 06, Vehicles (Sea): 04, Weaponry (Small blades – wielded and thrown): 05

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Remains of Antonica and Faydwer), Credentials (Far Seas Trading Company, Low), Expertise (Survival), Familiarity (Combine and Gypsy lore), Language (Faerlie, Gnoll, Orcish, Fae, Goblish and the various languages most common in Qeynos such as Gnomish, Barbarian, Halfling, etc. – nearly 20 languages total), Lightning Reflexes, Schticks (Blindside adept, Fists of Fury, Ninja stealth, Paired blades), Slowed Ageing.

Connections:
City of Qeynos (Low), Guilds of Qeynos (Low), City of Kelethin (Low), Guilds of Kelethin (Low), Far Seas Trading Company (Low, from Credentials), Irontoe Brigade (Low), Great Herd (Low), Seafury Buccaneers (Low), Combine Network (High).

Drawbacks:
MIA toward Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviour, MPR (Near-sighted).

Equipment:

  • Centi-inspired short blades (x2) [BODY 06, EV 04].
  • Caustic poison resin vials [BODY 01, Poison touch: 04, Bonus: Can Be Combined with melee attacks if the weapons are coated with poison].
  • Throwing knives (x15] [BODY 03, EV 03].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Everquest II.

Helper(s): Darci.

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