Saturday, January 21, 2012

Character Description - Balfrith

Balfrith is a Nûmidëan youth of fifteen years. At this age, he is not yet fully grown, although he is already a good height, standing about two inches short of six feet tall. This is about average for a Nûmidëan man, so he stands neither taller nor shorter than most of his companions. Over the course of the next few years he will gain another inch as he grows fully into his adult stature. He also has the thin, gangly build of a youth his age, but again, he will fill out to a mature man's weight over the next few years.

Balfrith has medium brown hair, cut shoulder length as is the style, combed and parted in the middle. He is trying to grow a goatee in the fashion of Nûmidëan nobility that he's seen in the company of his father. His father, Osric, has no time for what he calls "foolish fashions", and keeps his face clean shaven. Unfortunately for Balfrith, his facial hair is still rather scraggly, and the goatee isn't filling in very well, but he stubbornly persists in his efforts. Hope springs eternal, I guess.

His eyes are hazel, tending towards green if one looks closely. His face is thin, with gaunt cheeks and a sharp jawline, but as he grows to manhood these features will will become rather more well-defined, even handsome in a way. He has the narrow nose of his mother, and this will not likely change over time.

Balfrith's voice is mid-way between tenor and baritone, but will drop to full baritone by adulthood. Unfortunately he is rather tone deaf, and will not likely ever be a good singer unless he gets good training (not planned in any of my stories, but you never know...).

Balfrith can be very moody, like many young men his age. But he combines this with a thoughtfulness not common at his age, so that the moods themselves are not always obvious as he keeps them mostly internal. This manifests in many grand plans for his life and the future, most of which are never heard by another, not even his sister.

Aingeall ("Angel"), his sister, is closer to Balfrith than anyone else in the family. She understands him better, and empathizes with his situation where his brothers do not. The "situation" is his relationship with his father, which could be described fractured, at best. Balfrith is the youngest son in the family, and tragically, his mother died giving birth to him, so he has never met her. His father is too intelligent to blame Balfrith for the death of his wife, but the loss still weighs heavily upon his thoughts and emotions, especially in the spring-time as Balfrith's birthday comes around (the Spring Solstice, which is a holy day, but not something celebrated in their house). This manifests in a shorter temper, even outbursts of anger, towards Balfrith around that time of year. Unfortunately, Balfrith reacts to this by rebelling in both passive and aggressive ways. And so their relationship is best (more like "least bad") when they are ignoring each other, and worst when they are arguing - which is far too often.

Balfrith doesn't really have any friends. Where his brothers made some boyhood friends among the common folk, Balfrith never did so. Aingeall is really his only friend, but being his sister means that she is too close to the situation to be much good for advice, except to comfort him when he's upset or hurt by something their father has done. In this, she is something of a surrogate mother, which has been hard on her as well, forcing her to grow up more quickly than she otherwise might have done.

His tutor, Leofred, could be considered a friend of sorts, or rather more of a mentor who occasionally listens to Balfrith's frustrations. But Leofred is also a faithful servant of duke Osric, and so he balances carefully what he hears from Balfrith, against what he knows of the cool-headed fairness of his lord. Leofred simply cannot (or will not) see that in this case, Osric almost is as often in the wrong as Balfrith.

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