Charles Barbaroux - SylvanWell, it all depends on how you look at it, doesn’t it?

I suppose if you want to call me a villain, you’d be well within your rights, of course. You can call me whatever you want, I assure you, I’ve been called worse. Being a bastard seems to attract a rather high concentration of name-calling and taunting, you see, especially when your father happens to be the favored brother of the Queen, hmm?

So yes, my father is Lord Lucas, the beloved prince who stood by his sister Maelys until he died rather uneventfully of a heart-attack some years back. I don’t remember him much as, well you might imagine, seeing my likeness wasn’t particularly something he enjoyed–especially considering I look so much like him. I’m a memory of a bad choice, the decisive factor in destroying his marriage (although I would argue the woman was plotting against him well in advance of my appearance on the scene; it isn’t my fault she couldn’t bear children, after all).

So you might say that I’ve been set up for villainy my whole life. Yes, I’m terribly arrogant and self-serving. But truly, I do this as a matter of survival. I inherited all of the characteristics of the Vezinas and the royal line: cleverness, good looks, patience, confidence, tenacity; yet I cannot enjoy any of the benefits, like land, titles, and the like.

Maelys has always had a soft spot for me, and I have done whatever she has asked. Why not? The old crone knows what she’s doing, even if I don’t always agree with it. So is it villainy to follow directions? Maelys’s trust in me has helped me achieve ranks higher than I ever imagined–I am a Knight of the Rose, and for the most part, I do as I please. It’s a significantly better alternative than wasting away in a brothel like my mother.

I’ve been called a bringer of death.

So yes, I kill people. It’s a talent I have. But in my defense, I do it well. There’s little pain involved, unless they resist. And, suffice it to say, I’ve not yet failed an assassination, or I wouldn’t be here to answer your petty questions, now would I?

That’s right. I’m the Queen’s Assassin. We all have our dark secrets, and I’m hers.

Conscience? You ask if it bothers me? Well, I wouldn’t be human, would I, if I went about my tasks unfeeling? No, there are difficult days, difficult assignments. Men with families, acquaintances I’ve known. There’s no shame in my job, to be sure; I’m proud to do it. But remorse? It does visit me on occasion. Usually, I forget it after a glass of wine, or a visit to one of the maid’s quarters.

A man must get by, after all.

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