Pieter Tolbren

Pieter Tolbren, Earl of Marak and Barven is an ambitious man, and to his credit his peers have not realized yet that that is a very dangerous thing. Most think of Tolbren as a self-serving schemer, and certainly they wouldn't be far from the truth in those opinions. But in labelling him so, they generally fail to perceive him as an actual threat. The the relative backwaters of Marak and Barven, while weak individually, are one of the great powerhouses of Reddown together. And Tolbren is willing to exhaust every asset at his disposal to pave his path to the throne.


Pieter is a stout man, not specifically unattractive but certainly not noble of feature. He is short and has thinning hair, a weak moustache, uneven eyebrows, fleshy chin and pockmarked face with lips that perpetually seem pursed in mild disgust. but compensates for these shortcomings by always being dressed in the latest fashions made with the finest silks. Though he might seem a little fat, and lumbering, the two-seated Earl's broad frame hides a prodigious strength, and men who have provoked him have learned that he has fists like hammers.


Earl Tolbren is a man prone to speaking his mind but also able to hold his tongue. When he does say something it is to the very heart of the matter, but for the most part he chooses simply to listen. And with some very careful listening he has been making a lot of friends recently by cutting some very mutually beneficial agreements with his peers and also with some of the wealthier freemen of his earldom. Thus far he seems content to let his lands and himself prosper and collect his tax gold, and because of his lowly station on the council the other earls tend to overlook quiet Tolbren, but he almost certainly has a plan, and men of learning and foreign officials are starting to question what that might be, and what it means for them.


Tolbren was brought up in sight of the quickest growing region of all Reddown, knowing that when his land came to him it would be greater than he saw it now. He was the eldest of two sons, and his father groomed both with a ruthless efficiency and proud love. Pieter learned all things from trade and war to diplomacy and religion. While he was not a prodigal student he proved able and had a distinct finesse for quickly taking advantage of even the worst situation. When his father passed the domain on to him and abdicated to serve as his adviser, Pieter began to take the domain in new directions. He has has worked hard to try to build maritime trade in Reddown, and make links with as many disenfranchised parties as he possibly can, giving them position and task and legitimate gold. If you want to serve Tolbren your past means nothing, only your loyalty from now on, to Barven and it's gold.


Tolbren understands the need for dynastic succession, and the need of allies, and has made sure to excel in both aspects of his duty. He and Carel Terr both like to maintain a low profile at the Council, but outside of Proudmoore these two men would like nothing more than to destroy the other, both knowing that they are one another's greatest foes, both on a ruthless, unrelenting quest to one day don the mantle of King of Reddown. The three major powers Galastry, Sherevon and Forthest and their allies tend to overlook Tolbren, and Noel Wern is far too concerned with the Kommeron and his own internal security to care much for Tolbren's actions, so he has been able to work under the noses of the council in building his power base, even developing a close relationship with the Iron Mage. The rumour mill whispers that he has dealings with pirates too, and even some say the T'Ovari and and Kommeron. Silas, the newly appointed Doge of Barvenham has also become integral to Tolbren's service in recent years.

Tolbren has a large extended family of uncles and cousins all based in Marak and Barven, but he makes sure their ambition is kept in check. In the interests of their security he has sent guards in his pay to 'protect' them from any enemies. He has two sons, his heir Pieter is somewhat stupid, which chafes his father severely, but Dirnek is a bright, ambitious lad, and Pieter senior has stopped just short of stating his preference for the younger man as heir. His wife passed away some time ago, under suspicious circumstances, and Tolbren is actively looking to remarry. His brother Lander is still his chief adviser, and keeps him close, seemingly as much to keep an eye on the younger man as for his council.


Race Male Ahlonian Skills
Age Adult (38) Skill Points: 196/226
Profession Earl of Marak and Barven (2) skill value rationale
Faith Western Dissident Church of the Dioune (5) Acumen 7 Attentive
Class Earl (8/7) Bargaining 5
Talents Inventory Brawn 4
Fast -2 weapon cap threshold reach Conning 6
Graceful -2 Diounic Religion 3
Hale +0 Flattery 3
Strong +3 Gaming 6
Tough +1 armour hard tiers enc/limit Governance 3
Intimidation 4
Clever +2 tool cap test Numeracy 3
Insightful +0 Oratory 2
Knowledgeable +0 attire environment Questioning 3
Perceptive +2 Ahlonian Lore 5
Wilful +2 Ahlonian History 2
Speak Trade Tongue 4
Brave -2 Stealth 3
Persuasive +0 Strategy 4
Forceful +1 Swimming 1
City Survival 2
Lucky +1 Unarmed Combat 4

Character Traits

A Hidden Giant (2)

Pieter Tolbren rules a full two Earldoms, he commands a sizeable military force, is rumoured to have secret ties to the Iron Mage, and possibly even have allies from beyond the sea. He is a powerful man, and he has not done such a fine job of keeping his ambitions secret. And yet something about him seems lowly to his peers, and the man's true power is consistently overlooked. While it might be inexplicable to an outsider, Tolbren may have to march on Daultin before the Earls' Council truly realizes he is a threat.

Hold Your Tongue (2)

Pieter Tolbren might be outspoken when he can't help himself, but for the most part he has mastered listening closely, and paying attention to what is said. He is able to glean much from letting people go on at length, persuading them to let their guard down, or, ideally, momentarily forget he is in the room altogether.