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Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - crayonne couleur Juillard portrait

Damasque / Masquerouge

(Baroness Ariane de Troil)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • This includes multiple S P O I L E R S – but on the other hand I think that the material was only ever published in French and Romanian.
  • This profile assumes that the various inconsistencies are retcons, and thus that the more recent version overwrites older accounts.
  • This covers all events until 1625 – data from later graphic novels isn’t taken into account.

Context

Les Sept Vies de l‘Epervier (“The Seven Lives of the Sparrowhawk”) is a classic French graphic novels series. It is firmly based on popular swashbuckler serials, films and novels such as those written by or inspired by Alexandre Dumas  or Paul Féval  – plus a helping of Zorro.

Over the decades it became a sprawling historical graphic novel set during the early 1600s with lots of adventure, swordfights, melodrama, court intrigue, etc.. It also occasionally doubles as an History manual.

It is particularly noted for the portrayal of its heroine, Ariane de Troïl, which was slightly ahead of its time.

A bit more context

It started as Masquerouge, a simple capes-and-rapiers comic published in working class children’s comics anthology Pif Gadget  in 1978. The authors arced back to this story during the 1980s, publishing a series of graphic novels as a prequel then sequel to Masquerouge.

This series, Les sept vies de l‘Epervier is much more detailed, especially when it comes to characterisation and historical research. Further series of graphic novels in the same universe and with the same cast followed.

About the WORG translation

Masquerouge means “redmask”, but I indulged in a fancy translation. ”Damasque” is a pun on the adjective “damask” (“coloured like a rose”), which also calls to mind the Damascus steel  used in high-quality swords, the rose as a symbol of romantism — and quadruples as a wink toward well-known swashbucklers Fanfan the Tulip  and the Scarlet Pimpernel.

If the fancy letter in heroine Ariane de Troïl’s last name throws you off, just imagine it’s written “de Troyl” – that makes no difference within the range of common English vowels.


Background

  • Real Name: Baroness Ariane de Troïl
  • Other Aliases: The Sparrowhawk III
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Blanche de Troïl (mother, deceased), Yvon de Troïl (legal father), Gabriel de Troïl (actual father, aka Sparrowhawk I), Godefroy de Troïl (grandfather, deceased), Guillemot de Troïl (half-brother, deceased, aka Sparrowhawk II)
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile through France during the XVIIth century
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 118 lbs
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Red


Powers & Abilities

Ariane is a swashbuckling heroine, with the skills that it implies. She is a superior equestrienne, a fantastic fencer, a dead shot, and highly athletic.

She is also considerably stronger, faster, more charismatic, more dexterous and more intelligent than most of her contemporaries assume.

Her skills set includes basic military skills, and more sophisticated woodsperson skills (including enough trapping skills to lay traps for men).

She is trained both in old-fashioned, Middle Ages-style knightly skills and in then-modern fencing. The latter seems to have a strong Italian influence, as she favours a rapier/dagger combo – though it is a French-style rapier, lighter and shorter than the typical Italian scherma sword .

Ariane is also a skilled cutpurse, and fairly stealthy. She has a lot of practice at kicking her male opponents in the crotch. She is a good archer (a skill which may have been taught by Gabriel de Troïl when Ariane was a tween).

The comics and graphic novels follow a common swashbuckling genre convention, where ordinary opponents such as city guards and low-rent mercenary swordsmen can easily be defeated by superior fencers, even when they come in packs.

Bird of prey, flying high

Damasque’s pet sparrowhawk  has been described by onlookers as being “as big as an eagle”. This is clearly exaggeration. Still, its talons are vicious and it is an expert at fly-by raking faces, quite possibly taking out eyes.

When it’s not perched on Damasque’s shoulder or falconer’s glove, it is flying high and keeping an eye on her. Damasque doesn’t need to keep it hooded.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - l'epervier largue de l'or

There’s something supernatural to how well the sparrowhawk can follow Damasque’s commands. It behaves much like a smart dog, in the sense that it will even react to yelled commands.

In fact it sometimes understands commands it was never taught, such as a screamed order to abort its attack. Like a dog, it will spontaneously attack to defend its mistress.

Examples of even more complex stunts are :

  • flying evasively over the right side of the castle as a diversion while Damasque’s busy climbing the left wall (sparrowhawks are hard to hit, especially this one)
  • having the sparrowhawk carry a laden purse in flight, and tear it open over a crowd to trigger a riot as people try to catch the falling coins. A variant involved creating a cloud of pepper.
  • having the bird follow a specific person while high up in the sky, while Damasque indirectly tracks the person by following her bird. On some occasions the bird even spontaneously understood that Damasque would want to trail a specific person
  • quickly flying by and shrieking to unnerve a gunman about to shoot Damasque (if the person is too well-protect to claw at)
  • flying back to Damasque for protection when the bird was chased by a larger raptor
  • the sparrowhawk once flew down a chimney so it could defend its mistress indoors (!)

Given the role of “Merlin” and the crone (see below), it is possible that the pet sparrowhawk *is* supernatural.


Yvon de Troïl

The de Troïl fictional lineage is minor nobility from the mountains of Auvergne , in South-Central France. During the XVIIth century they were fervent Catholics – an important characteristic during the bloody French Wars of Religion  (1562-1598) between the Protestants and the Catholics.

The young knight Yvon de Troïl was sent to Paris by his father to encourage the King of France, who favoured appeasement, to wage yet more massacres against Protestants.

As it happened, Yvon arrived mere days before the 1572 St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre . Joining the Catholic death squads, Yvon killed the Admiral de Coligny, the most senior Protestant leader in France.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - dessin de Juillard

Ariane de Troïl as an adult

As de Coligny failed to reveal himself as a demon upon dying, Yvon realised that his fanatical father had lied to him. Refusing to claim the “honour” of the kill, he displeased the King – but then randomly ran into Walter Raleigh , an English emissary in Paris.

This soon led to meeting Henry, King of Navarre (the future Henry IV of France) and Queen Margaret. Raleigh and de Navarre hammered out a deal, and the young de Troïl thus became an agent of Henry.

(Walter Raleigh is the historical spy, explorer and general troubleshooter – who indeed lived in France for several years at that point. His biography during these years is nearly blank, allowing for the artistic licence of his involvement with Yvon de Troïl).

Yvon de Troïl is known to have been part of Raleigh’s travels in Southern America (and most famously his quest for El Dorado), but the details of these remain unrevealed. Though he eventually came back to Auvergne, the events of the St. Bartholomew left him a firm anti-clericalist.


Gabriel de Troïl

Yvon’s younger brother Gabriel was a captain in the French military, and renowned for his extraordinary swordsmanship. During his service, he became an acquaintance of three musketeers who would later achieve fame .

An habitual seducer, he became the lover of his sister-in-law, Blanche de Troïl – perhaps whilst Yvon was away on his travels. She became pregnant in early 1601, but the lovers felt crushed by shame over their betrayal of Yvon.

On the verge of giving birth, Blanche thought that the temperamental Yvon was going to kill her and ran away in a panic. She was killed when she stepped onto a frozen lake – but survived long enough to give birth and protect her baby girl, whom Yvon and Gabriel found in time.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil gamine et Gabriel

Ariane de Troïl at age 8, and Gabriel as the Sparrowhawk.

Ironically, Yvon came to think he had unjustly suspected his wife and brother, and that no adultery had taken place. However, he forbade everyone to ever talk about Blanche – her son Guillemot and her daughter Ariane thus grew up without knowing anything about their mother.

Devastated, Gabriel considered his life to be over, but a blind crone convinced him to dedicate his existence to a just cause instead. She also gifted him a sparrowhawk, a symbol of courage, light and justice.

Gabriel de Troïl became a red-masked activist and outlaw fighting for the people. Commoners named this local Robin Hood figure “the Sparrowhawk” after the bird accompanying him.


Supernaturals & sparrowhawks

Two (perhaps three) seemingly supernatural persons are involved in this tale.

Leonard the Glib-Tongued is an apparently immortal street artist and prophet. Among other things, Leonard claims to be the secret master behind at least part of French history, and has heavily implied that he is Merlin the Enchanter.

Leonard looked the same in a story set in 1554 and in stories set during the 1620s, and seems to have had a specific interest in ensuring, across several generations, that Henry of Navarre would become King of France.

During the XVIth century Leonard was accompanied by a pretty young woman of highly variable appearance, serving as his assistant as part of his street theatre act. Though she may be a Vivian/Nimue figure, she was apparently a mortal apprentice whom the self-proclaimed Merlin taught in sorcery.

Like Leonard, she knows the future. Both can also apparently summon and empower the spirits of the dead, as ghosts, and provoke hallucinations.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - 9 ans

Ariane de Troïl at age 9

The blind crone is apparently the same woman, albeit decades later. She seems to be conducting parts of Leonard’s master plan. In particular she claimed that she is raising seven sparrowhawks, who will act as champions of justice and rebellion.

She is usually accompanied by a owl (symbol of secrets and wisdom) and a black goat (symbol of sorcery and Satan). The crone was apparently slain in 1625 by a crowd accusing her of witchery, but had already recruited and trained a successor.

The crone all but stated that she served the Devil, and most of Leonard’s close associates think that he is the Devil as well Merlin. This Devil, though, is more a figure of freedom and rebellion than of evil.

The “seven sparrowhawks” are in chronological order :

  • Henry IV of France
  • Gabriel de Troïl
  • Louis XIII of France (son of Henry)
  • Guillemot de Troïl
  • Ariane de Troïl
  • Unrevealed at this point of the story
  • Unrevealed at this point of the story

Ariane de Troïl

Ariane was born on the 27th of September, 1601 – the same day as Louis, son of Yvon de Troïl’s master Henry IV. Yvon raised her in the same way as her brother – up to and including training in obsolete chivalry skills, such as lancing and broadsword-and-shield fighting.

Ariane was fascinated by the Sparrowhawk, though she didn’t suspect that it was actually her father Gabriel. She even briefly met him when she was 8.

Ariane developed a romantic girlhood fixation on the red-masked Sparrowhawk, even crafting herself a makeshift mask out of a pumpkin. During a second chance encounter, she helped him escape after he attacked the castle of an abusive local nobleman.

The Sparrowhawk’s interest in Ariane led Yvon to realise that the masked vigilante was Gabriel, and that Ariane was probably Gabriel’s daughter after all. Yvon secretly confronted the martially superior Gabriel in what was essentially a suicide attempt, but Gabriel refused to kill him and fled.

Ariane now routinely rode out to meet the Sparrowhawk, who became her friend but did not have the heart to tell her about Blanche – or that he was her father.

Inquisition

As the Sparrowhawk kept defeating his foes, it was decided that he was in league with Satan. A messenger was sent and returned with Hyronimus the Persecutor, a fanatical witchhunter. The inquisitor and the men-at-arms of local nobles invaded the castle of the de Troïls.

When it became clear that little Ariane would be tortured as a witch, old Yvon went berserk, unexpectedly breaking his bonds and slaying most of the rabble in his castle. Ariane fled in time to shoot Hyronimus from behind, but the former Jesuit had already vanquished the Sparrowhawk and cleft away his left arm.

Gabriel reconciled with Yvon on the spot. However, for Yvon’s and Ariane’s sake he lied to his brother, swearing to him that Blanche had never betrayed him and that Ariane was Yvon’s daughter. Gabriel then left for Paris.

Though Gabriel intended to abandon his role as the masked man of justice, he first confronted the boy-king Louis, encouraging him to be a fair and just ruler upholding the welfare of the commoners. Albeit the masked man was captured and lost an eye, the intervention had a strong effect on the 9-year-old Louis XIII .

Guillemot de Troïl

Ariane was determined to see a new Sparrowhawk take the place of the fallen one. She captured a baby sparrowhawk in a nest and tamed it, and crafted a red cloak and mask resembling the Sparrowhawk’s.

Despite her martial talents she assumed that, as a girl, she couldn’t be a warrior. Instead, she convinced Guillemot to become the Sparrowhawk. However, both were but on their early teens at that point, and it was mostly play-acting.

Furthermore, she considered that Guillemot wouldn’t be ready until he could defeat her while sparring – and she simply was better.

In 1617, everything went bad.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - trouve Guillemot mort

Ariane finds Guillemot (as the Sparrowhawk) dead

Though eager to please his little sister and to prove his manhood, Guillemot was a failure as the new red-masked vigilante. He would have been caught in an ambush had his kid sister not bailed him out, and was killed in action a few days later.

While struggling against enemies of the Sparrowhawk, Ariane was raped by Germain Grandpin, a friend of Gabriel de Troïl who mistook her for some expendable commoner girl.

On the next day, Yvon de Troïl hung himself. He could no longer bear the nightmares and hallucinations about Blanche he had endured for more than 15 years.

Germain Grandpin

Ms. de Troïl strong-armed the contrite Germain Grandpin into becoming her servant, lest she had him executed for his abuse. She retained his services as a valet for years. Though she originally just kept him around as her vengeance, they slowly became friends.

By this point, Ariane and Germain were the only living persons on the de Troïl estate. The young lady rounded up what little possessions she had left and put the torch to the small, aged de Troïl keep, leaving her childhood behind.

She and Grandpin presumably reached Paris in 1618, where they lived off what was left of the de Troïl heirloom. While there she randomly met street artist Leonard the Glib-Tongued, though after a short conversation she realised that nobody but she had seen the man.

Louis the Just

De Troïl grew increasingly close to Louis XIII, King of France. Though mostly asexual, the King developed a crush on the baroness after they randomly met in late 1620 or early 1621.

He even gifted her an hôtel particulier  in the Marais neighbourhood of Paris. Knowing that she would otherwise refuse, he made if a gift to the de Troïl lineage of Auvergne, for their history of service to the Crown, rather than a personal present.

Since de Troïl became moderately affluent, it seems likely that the King added some minor holdings to her title.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - Ariane quitte l'Auvergne

Ariane leaves Auvergne

For several weeks in 1621, the baroness and the King were secretly lovers. Though neither had much interest in sex due to their poor childhood experiences, their friendship and need for support and affection eventually went that way.

Still depressed over her childhood tragedies, de Troïl soon broke this relationship. The King left to command the campaigns of the First Huguenot Rebellions .

However, the baroness was left pregnant, which the spies in the royal house promptly learned. Though the spymaster correctly deduced that the reclusive and unambitious de Troïl would keep her offspring a secret, Marie de Medicis  and Gaston d‘Orléans (the King’s mother and younger brother) ordered the baroness killed.

All such attempts failed due to the superlative skills of her bodyguard Germain Grandpin. On the 13th of January, 1622, Ariane de Troïl gave birth to a male royal bastard.

Within minutes, de Medicis’ men burst in and kidnapped the baby. They later let de Troïl know that the baby would be kept alive to ensure her compliance, and that she never was to see the King again.

Covertly handed over for adoption to the Poquelin family, baby Jean-Baptiste would have his own remarkable destiny .

Leonard the Glib-Tongued

Some months later, Ariane had a vision of her brother, who told her to get in touch with Leonard the Glib-Tongued. Thinking that she had become insane, de Troïl complied.

The Glib-Tongued made several accurate prophecies about the life of Ariane’s son. He then convinced her that accepting the mission of the red-masked Sparrowhaw was her destiny, as the ghost of Guillemot had kept telling her.

To help her overcome her depression, the Glib-Tongued had her join his street theatre troupe. She played the role of the Sparrowhawk – a popular character featured in many of Leonard’s plays ever since Gabriel de Troïl’s exploits.

The comedians taught her to disguise her body and her voice so she could play this male role.

Recovering her confidence with the troupe, Ariane had Germain Grandpin become her maître d’armes – her combat instructor. Though within months she was ready, she refused to adopt the Sparrowhawk name and instead invented a new one – Damasque, the crimson-masked.


Ride of Damasque

By 1623, Damasque the champion of justice was a well-established figure in France, and a feared fighter. Since the Sparrowhawk had been reported as killed and had disappeared for several years, many fearfully assumed that Damasque was a supernatural entity such as a ghost. And nobody thought that the dreaded swordsman might be a swordswoman.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - portrait a cheval

In late 1624 Damasque began clashing with the Spider, a KKK-like secret organisation of reactionary nobles employing terrorism to obtain a return to serfdom. She even prevented them from destroying the whole of the Les Halles  Parisian neighborhood in a gunpowder plot.

Later on, the Spider disguised one of its leaders — a woman, coincidentally — as a fake Damasque, but the real vigilante put an end to this.

Some weeks later, while breaking a child-trafficking ring, she allied with the chaplain Vincent de Paul – who would later be canonized as St. Vincent de Paul, patron saint of charity.

Two Kings and a half (and a Gascon too)

As Damasque, Ariane became an ally of Louis XIII, who was still fascinated by the deeds of the Sparrowhawk. Though the King was well aware that the mask was now worn by another person than the man he had met as a boy, he did not suspect that the only woman he had ever loved was the famous swashbuckler.

Albeit she had broken off all contact in 1621, Ariane de Troïl eventually restored her friendship with the King in her unmasked identity. Howbeit, they never became as close as they once were.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - contre l'homme loup

Another King was Ariane’s friend in both her identities – the King of Fools, ruler of the parisian cours des miracles (the equivalent of a favela). This gave Damasque a considerable home field advantage in Paris, as hundreds of beggars and proletarian workers actively supported her.

It is with the help of both these Kings, and of a teenage musketeer named d’Artagnan, that Damasque struck a nearly fatal blow to the Spider. She even exposed its second-in-command as none other than Gaston, Duke of Orléans – Louis XIII’s own brother.

The deeds of Damasque and her allies ruined the Duke’s big plan of establishing a new kingdom for himself in Canada.

A hard rain

In 1625, the infamous Cardinal de Richelieu set up a new trap for Damasque. This time he hired the grizzled and aged swordmaster, the Condor. A dreaded killer with a long mercenary career in the New World, the Condor was actually Gabriel de Troïl, still deadly despite his missing arm and eye.

Embittered, considering that his career as the Sparrowhawk had been but manipulation, and jealous of the popularity of Damasque, the Condor agreed to kill his successor. The first attempt failed, but the Condor demanded a rematch.

Conspirators linked to the Spider insisted on paying him a fortune to kill Damasque. Gabriel took the money – then had a messenger take it to Ariane along with a letter, as her inheritance.

However, Ariane had already left her home to meet the Condor in single combat. This time, the Condor prevailed, and slew her.

Could this be the end ?


Description

A former tomboy, the beautiful Ariane still has a mannish aspect to her – especially around the jaw. Her chest isn’t on the voluminous side, and her voice isn’t particularly feminine, which considerably facilitated her cross-dressing.

The Damasque hood also appears to disguise her voice a bit, as with her predecessors.

She has a good way with words, often sounding theatrical. Like most characters in the Sparrowhawk graphic novels, her speech approximates or even equals an alexandrine meter . She has an excellent sense of repartee – no esprit d‘escalier  for Ariane.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - repousse des gardes

As the baroness de Troïl she usually wears typical noblewoman clothing — almost always a dress — and prefers warm colours such as reds and yellows. Fashion connoisseurs will note that this is fairly low-key clothing denoting impoverished provincial nobility, though. Her simple “page boy” haircut being another big clue in this direction.

As she spent more time with the King in Paris (Versaille had yet to become a thing), she bought some pricier court dresses.

Some of her dresses are tricked out. She can quickly detach the lower part, under which she is wearing her more practical Damasque pantaloons. However, she can’t wear her weapons belt under a dress, so she needs to put it on after getting rid of her skirt.

After reaching age 22 or 23, the baroness de Troïl practically ceases to age. Much like the famous Diane de Poitiers  before her, she’ll remain untouched by time into her 40s, and possibly beyond.


Personality

As a child Ariane was independent, energetic, eloquent and sharp-tongued. The big thing in her life were the deeds of the Sparrowhawk. The girl practically worshipped him, and dreamed of marrying him and entering his legend.

Though she was martially gifted and killed her first man in her early teens, it didn’t occur to her back then that her place might be as something else than a good wife.

Ariane remained a passionaria for the cause of wealth redistribution. Being on the lowest rung of nobility (and impoverished to boot) she also suffered from the predations of more powerful and wealthier nobles, and of the Church – but she fights for the common people, not for herself.

Despite being a noble, she is well-aware of the ghastly condition of the cours des miracles.

In some ways she is an anachronism. Her philosophy is closer to the Enlightenment one that will come to prominence almost a century later, and in modern terms she would probably be called a Left anarchist or a Marxist.

In particular she rejects religious and societal conformity as tools of domination against commoners. At one point she even defines her stance as “ni Dieu, ni maître” (no god, no master) which historically only appeared in 1880 as the signature French anarchist motto.

Howbeit, she has no problem working with honest clergymen.

Firebrand

Ariane’s steely determination to fight injustice and cruelty no matter what the cost makes her remarkably resilient – she *will* overcome. And as Damasque she is every bit as brave and assertive as the more flamboyant versions of Zorro.

Being hard to truly hurt, she is ready to forgive those who have harmed her as she knows that vengeance and a lack of forgiveness only result in a circle of blood. Sincerely repenting can go quite far with her.

Masquerouge - 7 vies Epervier - Ariane de Troil - duel contre le Condor

On the other hand, she can be over-idealistic as to the willingness of the people to break its chains and so on and so forth. And while she is highly charismatic, she occasionally overestimates that asset of hers.

Damasque will not hesitate to kill armed opponents if necessary, but usually spares those who cannot defend themselves – unless she came specifically to kill them.

Ariane doesn’t make much effort in protecting her secret identity – in the early Pif Gadget stories, it’s more of a “nobody recognises Clark Kent because he’s wearing glasses” thing.

Even later on, those who deduced a link assumed that she was secretly Damasque’s lover since that’s what women are supposed to be.

Harsh times

After the death of her family and before she becomes Damasque, Ariane undergoes months of mild depression. This made her brusque, bitter, not that interested in self-preservation, and she was on a bad guilt trip about Guillemot and even Yvon.

Like her father had hallucinated about Blanche de Troïl for much of his life, Ariane even begun having conversations with Guillemot’s imaginary ghost.

Her friendship and eventual low-key romance with Louis XIII was essential in recovering her strength, though she remained mostly depressed until her first pregnancy. The kidnapping of her baby destroyed all the progress she had made, until her meeting with Leonard the Glib-Tongued.

During these years de Troïl is almost a recluse, avoiding courtly life as much as she can despite her affair.


Quotes

“I shall be sister to none, Sire. For I have done far worse than wasting my childhood. My brother died as a sacrifice to my folly, and mayhap my father died by my fault. I am but a bringer of misfortune.”

“This is no vengeance at work, for I am merely resuming my fight for justice and equality.”

“Peace be on your soul, if that may be – as such a judgement I cannot deliver.”

(Manhandling an enemy leader and shoving him into his guards to delay them) “Forgive me for acting in such a cavalier manner, monsieur. But surely we will have another occasion to become better acquainted.”

“To me, my bird !”

“For you are the instigator of foul deeds, a murderer of a most terrible ilk, one who doesn’t deserve to be called a man. And I have come to destroy you.”

(Drawing her sword) “I am angry indeed – irritated enough that I’ll let my sword arm do the talking. As you’ll find, it is quite well-spoken.”

(After robbing a coach) “I shall take away your horses, too, and thus remind you that you have legs to walk with. Many of my friends don’t.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Damasque (Ariane de Troïl)

These are stats for Ariane once she’s fully active as Damasque

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Noblewoman
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 015 HP: 030

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics)*: 05, Acrobatics (Climbing): 06, Animal handling (Horses, Raptors): 06, Artist (Sewing): 02, Artist (Acting): 04, Military science (Camouflage, Tracking, Demolitions): 03, Thief (Pickpocket, Stealth): 04, Weaponry: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:
Artist (Acting) is Specialised in her Damasque appearance and voice (the APs noted are those of the Speciality)

Advantages
Expertise (Outdoors booby traps), Familiarity (Military equipment and protocols), Headquarters (Expansive – a Parisian hôtel particulier), Language (some Latin), Mystique (France), Pet (Sparrowhawk), Schtick (Goonbane, Flashing blades, Paired fencing weapons), Misc.: Ariane is minor nobility

Connections:
Germain Grandpin (High), Street (Low), the King of Fools (High), Louis XIII the Just King of France (Low, Powerful)

Drawbacks:
Mistrust, Secret ID, SIA toward Honour, Misc.: Ariane runs into some social limitations as a woman, though with her status it’s not as bad as it could be

Equipment:

  • French-style rapier [BODY 04, EV 04]
  • Parrying dagger [BODY 05, EV 03 (04 w/STR), Misc.: can Block light blades like a full-sized shield]. It’s not an actual main-gauche, and it can be thrown in a pinch.
  • French-style wheellock pistol (x2) [BODY 03, EV 02 (04 w/STR), Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 01, Drawback: Very Long Reload]. A specialised weapon – Damasque prefers using swords under most circumstances.
  • LEATHER-BACKED CHAINMAIL VEST [BODY 04, Skin armour: 02, Miniaturisation: 01, Partial Coverage (Vest). This vest can be hidden under clothing but it is hot and heavy, and is only worn when Ariane has a specific plan requiring it. It increases the OV of most agility-based rolls by one CS after an hour or so of wearing it.]
  • A good horse with such useful equipment as dozens of metres of robust ropes, one or two grappling hooks (often padded to make them less noisy), gunpowder, a self bow with a full quiver, etc.

Pet sparrowhawk

Dex: 04 Str: -4 Bod: 01 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 01 Wil: 01 Min: 01 Occupation: Bird of prey
Inf: 01 Aur: 00 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 008 HP: Shared

Powers:
Claws: 03, Flight (Winged): 06, Sensory block (Sight): 04, Shrinking: 05, Telescopic vision: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Claws can only be used at full APs on targets with an unprotected face. It drops to 02 APs if directed at unprotected arms, and 00 APs if both arms and the face are protected
  • Sensory Block is Combined with Claws, but all 3 APs of Claws must be used.
  • Sensory block might become permanent (GM’s call)
  • Shrinking is Always On and already factored in (giving the sparrowhawk an OV of 09 in flight, possibly rising to 11 with full Flight APs)
  • Skills:
    Charisma (Intimidation through high-speed fly-by): 04

    Advantages
    Lightning Reflexes, Sharp Eye, Schtick (Goonbane)

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Les Sept Vies de l‘Epervier and Masquerouge graphic novels. This covers all events until 1625 – data from later graphic novels isn’t taken into account.

Helper(s): Darci, Peter Piispanen

Writeup completed on the 23rd of February, 2015.

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