Sharn Ghasta

The Lord Mayor of the City of Lights is second generation Ghanish emerge Sharn Ghasta. The City's ready acceptance of a man who is essentially a foreigner to the office of Lord Mayor is a testament to just how cosmopolitan Tohl truly is. Cunning, vastly intelligent, and more than capable, Ghasta husbands the assets of The City expertly, and seems to find an almost childlike delight in thwarting and baiting the Lord High Provost. Wielding a rare combination of respect and fear, wielding a vast network of spies with one hand, and gracious diplomacy with the other, Ghasta is fond of saying he doesn't just rule The City, he embodies it.


Tall, and vividly gaunt, the lord mayor is high of shoulder and stoops, giving him a vulture-like silhouette. Add to this his swarthy caste and large hooked nose, and the effect is doubled. He moves with a stiff, unnatural march and it is clear that his ageing joints are effected by the change of the winds, but the lord mayor has proven he can still be quick and spry should the need arise, and his long fingered hands are as nimble as any cutpurse's. Ghasta's eyes are deep set, small and almost black, but they sparkle like stars in the darkness. His mouth is a hard line, barely a mouth at all, more a fissure part way between the hooked nose and harsh chin. When he smiles Sharn's tombstone-slab teeth say little of mirth. His grizzled hair, still jet black, shines with the thick gelatine he slathers on daily to tame it, making him look perpetually damp, like a drop of moisture might fall from the tip of his pointed nose at any moment.

"It is no secret that I have eyes everywhere. Agents in every noble house. After all, how would the nobles of this city know to fear my retribution if I failed to tell them I was watching?"


Wry, acerbic and brilliant the City of Lights could likely ask for no better custodian. While outwardly there is something stiff and grim about Sharn, his mind is as flexible and adaptable as an acrobat. Definitively lucid, and the very embodiment of clipped eloquence, Sharn never displays genuine emotion. At all times polite, but a culpable undercurrent of irritation and impenetrably leave a distinct impression that his clipped pleasantries conceal an ocean of contempt.

Of course, that is not to say that Sharn doesn't have a sense of humour, but his jokes tend to be entirely for his own benefit. He delights in tormenting the Lord High Provost and thwarting him whenever he can, and seems to almost have made a hobby of driving the noblemen of the city to distraction should they dare cross him. In many ways this seeming incongruity between the grim lord mayor and his capricious humour have led some to label him mad, and others to be deeply afraid of the man. Many believe that he is a figurehead, and some other power works through him. Although much of this teasing might be seen as jovial, the lord mayor will also easily resort to scathing, caustic barbs when he is thwarted.

It cannot be denied that there is something cold, distant, perhaps even inhuman about Ghasta. Rational to a fault, he often fails to grasp simple concepts, perhaps because he habitually over analyses everything he sees. Ever the intellectual, Sharn enjoys games of strategy, and even gambling, though few could tell how he might react were he to ever be bested - mainly because that has never happened.


Sharn's father and mother, Volimir and Svetsa, were of a wealthy merchant class in Vo Gabrov, and their caravans often traded with Ralstaan cabals, so when the Carroghan situation in Vo Gabrov became untenable they fled to the south, eventually following the great northern highway to The City. Despite his pure ghan blood, Ghasta was actually born in Tohl - a fact he is wont to remind local noblemen now and then - in YED 4017 and has spent little time outside the walls in the course of his life. His parents used their great wealth to set themselves up as money lenders in Broadstreet, however they lost their lives in the last days of the bandit wars, and a young Sharn was left in control of his parents' assets.

After making a return to his ancestral home, he resettled in the City, and considerably increased his already vast fortune during the rebuilding of the Inner City. When the previous mayor passed away some eight years later in YED 4054 Sharn found himself with enough noble connections, and little enough strong opposition, to campaign for the post, and backed by House Cavish he won the office easily over his competitors, as an impartial candidate.

Only after he took the office did the nobility of the city realize what a mistake they had made. Sharn proved ruthlessly effective. When the noblemen met with him he soothed them with banal pleasantries, but then when they left they encountered rumours of spies and informants throughout their households, and the lord mayor let just enough slip to confirm these suspicions. Whenever they tried to avoid their tithes, or influence the courts they were thwarted, whenever they maneuvered against one another they found themselves before the lord mayor's court the moment their crime had be sufficient to incriminate them. Ghasta became the scourge of the city. Only on the streets was his influence limited by that of the Lord High Provost, and it became commonplace for house gangs to do the dirty work of the nobles. Even then, the Citizen's Militia arose and began persecuting anyone who seemed suspicious, and making the watch look foolish and ineffective. Though no link between the militia and the mayor has ever been traced, suspicion is rife.

Today, in his late middle age, Ghasta remains as razor sharp as the day he first took the office and he has developed an nearly childlike glee in manipulating the affairs of The City. His city. Nothing happens that the lord mayor doesn't know about, and if he doesn't like what's happening in his city it stops. Sometimes with lethal finality.


The lord mayor has made it quite public that he keeps a comprehensive network of spies and informants who keep him well abreast of happenings in the City, but no one knows the name of any individual who numbers amongst this network. On the rare occasion that suspicion is strongly founded, the subject of that suspicion tends to vanish without a trace. Sharn has never married - never finding anyone he entirely understands, and never fully understanding romantic love, he sees little to gain in a political union. In addition to this he has no personal staff who last more than a couple of years. They don't seem to anger or displease him, but clerks either leave of their own volition or are replaced. Those who have been persuaded to speak about their time in the mayor's office deliver disappointingly banal anecdotes, and no one has yet mysteriously disappeared or washed up on the banks of the silver river.

However if he has no friends, Ghasta has an abundance of enemies - or rather foes. Chief amongst them is the Lord High Provost, Agniel Ur-Laren, who relies on the lord mayor's office for his funding, and personally despises Ghasta. Sharn, for his part, loves to bait the old veteran, and is more than happy to hint that the shadowy citizen's militia serve him, if only to gall Agniel. Most of the heads of the noble houses would equally like to see Ghasta disappear from his office - though they would never say so out loud. The most active of his noble detractors are Pelles of House Tarkaan and Raenar, Slum Prince of House Deloene. While he serves the High King staunchly, the lord mayor and his monarch almost never meet, but Sir Mastorial represents the High King's throne to the lord mayor - and by and large the hulking palisade knight might be the only man Ghasta gets along with - perhaps even respects.


Race Male Ghan Skills
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