Arryl der Gottswache
(Baronin die Eisesgard)
*** Spoiler Warning
If you are a player in Chris Kindred's
"Ill Met in Amber" Amber Diceless RPG --
Please think carefully before reading the following.
This and the other pages of this site contain
information about the character and game that is still
classified with regards to other characters.
Zweihaendig: As a woman, Arryl stands six feet even. She has a lush build -- ample bosom and hips, narrow waist -- that is sometimes quite at odds with the uniformed figure she cuts. She is long in the leg, but thigh, calf, shoulder and bicep are all wrapped in curvaceous and generous lines.
Arryl's skin is a gentle golden tan with underlying hints of pink. And despite her time in the open, there is a freshness and firmness to her wrinkle-free complexion. Her face is oval with a high forehead, and a strong jawline. Grey eyes are surrounded by pale lashes and eyebrows. A handsome woman, but not a beautiful one.
Her hair is so pale a blonde as to almost appear white. It is long and thick with many loose body waves though Arryl tends to wear it in braids and buns that disguise the fullness and femininity of her locks.
While Zweihaendig, Arryl is most commonly found in the uniform of der Gottswache -- a dark grey coat with a high collar with branch and rank insignia emblazoned on black collar tabs. Black narrow epaulets reach from collar to shoulder. The sleeves are straight, and end with rank stripings of black near the cuff. Double rows of grey buttons march down the front of the coat to a flat-cut hip-length bottom. Over the right breast is emblazoned a large black circle containing the red up-raised fist that is the heraldic symbol of Prince Eric's armed forces. Tight trousers of dark grey with black piping are tucked into cuffless knee-high boots of black leather. As an officer, Arryl sports a grey and black-billed cap built along the lines of that of a WWII German Army Officer's hat.
In addition, Arryl usually affects a leather great coat over her grey uniform complimented by a pair of aviator's goggles draped around her neck. On rare occasions, Arryl has managed to cram herself into a dress or gown for the good of der Prinz und der Himmelreich. At such times, Die Baroninen die Eisesgard is an exuberant example of cheerful good health, who favors darker jeweled tones with fur trims, a modicum of jewelry and drifting enchantments of hair.
Vierfuessig: When Vierfuessig, Arryl is 38" high at the shoulder and 5' from tip of muzzle to tip of tail. She weighs in at about 95 pounds and is built with long leggy lines. Her paws are smallish for her size and her legs are lean runner's legs. Her muzzle is tapered and pointed with a smaller jaw, perked-up ears and curious yellow eyes. Her tail is likewise long with smallish plumes. The entire effect is for a lean distance hunter as opposed to a large mass of bone-crushing wolf.
Her coloring changes according to the seasons in Weirmonken -- regardless of where she actually is. Summer coloring is a white belly and feet, with a darker grey back. In Winter, the dark steel grey fades to a very light dusting, leaving Arryl almost entirely white.
When Vierfuessig, Arryl has what is known among the Weir as a 'fine calling voice,' meaning her howls and whufs carry very well over distance with pleasing (to Weir) tones.
Arryl is a bit... spirited and somewhat loud. And a beer drinker. She is pack-oriented and likes being part of a group. While she only has the manners that have been beaten into her -- including the now somewhat-outdated formal manners of a Himmelkrieg Baronin -- she also understands other people's feelings -- mostly because she can smell them.
She has a dark sense of humor -- fatalistic almost -- but isn't cruel. She is a killer, and yes, she plays with her food a little. But she doesn't let casual sadism dominate her life or get in the way of her duty.
Arryl likes physical experiences as opposed to intellectual ones. She's somewhat curious but not terribly so, pragmatic and not given much to philosophizing. Art to her is at its best in songs and war poetry and should be participated in, not observed. She finds spectator sports and art boring.
Her duty with the Gottswache is the center of her life, though she *does* understand off-shift. She is very proud of her position within Eric's forces -- a pride she shares with the other Weir. However, Arryl likes to portray herself as an 'Alt Schurrzenjager', an old warwolf, due to the length of time she's served in Amber. As well as her inescapable feeling that both Weirmonken and the Weir are passing her by and leaving her in the dust of history.
Arryl was born in Eisesgard during the last days of the Himmelkrieg. She
grew up in Weirmonken just as Prinz Erik was establishing Der Second Reich. As a young woman, she fought in a massive inter-festung tournament-style (though still very bloody) melee. Seems that Der Prinz was gathering recruits for the first Weir force to leave Weirmonken under Amber's flag.
Arryl was one of 115 Weir chosen to enter Der Prinz's Gottswache -- so she's pretty much old-school Weir -- with a thin veneer of modern Weir laid over by various home-leaves. These first members of the Gottswache left Weirmonken to serve -- at first -- just at Erik's private estate while he worked it out with his father (and probably certain brothers) to bring a portion of the Gottswache into Amber City / Castle proper. She was serving within Erik's castle, probably 40 some years after the end of the Himmelkrieg (Amber time.)
Arryl was not among the first Weir to enter service in the Castle / City itself -- when the Gottswache finally came to Amber Castle 10 years later -- 50 years after the end of the Himmelkrieg (Amber time.) But she was among the second wave, arriving in Amber about 53 after the end of the Himmelkrieg (Amber time) -- the positions of estate forces being filled in behind the more senior Gottswache by new recruits.
Given the general -- errrr, rambunctiousness -- of the Weir troops, Arryl is actually quite senior now (in experience, if not in rank) among the Gottswache. Of the original 115, about 35 are still living and most of them are either retired, on special assignment or extremely ranking officers.
Despite this Arryl der Gottswache retains her original rank of Leutnant (lieutenant) and her original posting as a courier. Arryl just has no ambition to move on to bigger and better things -- unless they have a new motor in them.
As Arryl has served in the same position for over three hundred years, she has developed quite a familiarity with the castle and the people in it -- especially the secretaries, attaches, castelaines, guard captains, watch commanders, department heads etc. -- the people who are actually getting the work of Amber done.
"Oi, you know better dan to deliver to Steward Oshwei at dis time!" Companionable booming laugh to the sullen page. "It's before die Morning Tea. Come Freund, let's get some eis on dat eye. "
She also has some knowledge of the equivalent in the City and the Port as well -- port masters, police commissioners and captains, teamster and shipping heads, guild masters, mayor, councilmen, etc. And a passing familiarity with the major names of the Church of the Unicorn.
In some cases, she may not know the people personally or never have been introduced -- she'd know who takes their own dispatches and who works through a secretary or attaché. She might only know them by sight, scent and voice -- and they might not know her at all -- or merely as one of Eric's messengers. Of course, since she is a rather... ummm large personality -- even when maintaining military discipline -- she in turn has become somewhat recognizable, if not by name.
"Hmmmm. Is that rather loud messenger of the Prince's available for a reply? Oh, never mind, I can hear her from here."
Arryl also knows the couriers and officers in the other Royal's' forces. She's carried messages to Benedict's troops. Gotten blitzed on occasion with some of Dierdre's Valkyries. And while the relationship is still be a little strained -- worked with the Rangers of Arden. Passed secret dispatches to Caine's spies or open packets to Gerard's naval couriers.
In the more recent centuries, she's got some experience with various shadows -- especially Golden Circle -- where she's needed to take things. She knows how to use the Royal Way, arrange passage on an outbound vessel or hire a shadow guide to get where she needs to go. (She also knows the chant that will bring the Himmelpfad to the outskirts of Amber.)
Arryl is also one of the few Weir who can actually ride a horse -- but she's not great, merely competent. She's hell on wheels on a Motorrad (Motorcycle) and a competent Auto driver. She can man a Luftschifftzen or a regular ship, but doesn't have much experience yet with those newfangled Weirmonken Ornithocopters that are springing up back home in Weirmonken. However, she figures it's only a matter of time before she can pilot as well as she can drive.
As a courier, Arryl is very good at deliveries but she doesn't inquire to closely into what Der Prinz is asking her to deliver -- if some of her packets were bombs, timed curses, incendiary devices, small poisonous creatures, or full-up assassins -- she would still get them where they needed to be. She is a practical soldier type. And is completely aware of the 'need to know' restrictions that the courier for a Prince of Amber might be dealing with.
Back in Weirmonken, where Arryl -- like most Weir -- goes for most leaves, she's got the rank of Baronin die Eisesgard -- of course, so do a *lot* of great nieces and nephews etc. It's a rather large family and though Arryl is older than most of them due to her service in Amber, her line is extremely distaff. Weirmonken has an old saw that there are more Baroninen die Eisesgard than there are rivets on a boiler. So while Arryl does have some education in the more refined graces, she mostly chooses to ignore it as there's no chance of her ever being in a position of Nobility. The Gottswache is her best shot at honor.
Of concern is Arryl's exposure to one of the great quandries of the Weir race: Sir Reginald Bayle -- Der Nacht Habicht (the Night Hawk). Reginald Bayle was a serious player in the Himmelkrieg. And at that time he earned the Weir's respect -- valiant foe and all that -- and was named Der Nacht Habicht (the Night Hawk). He was counted as one of the Himmelkreiger and Weir songs got sung about fighting or foiling him. Weir slain by him were considered to have fought valiantly and died heroically.
Thhhheeennnn.... he got all soft and foppish. And the Weir get all confounded. Now one of their great foes is... well, a pansy. That doesn't make them look very good at all. So the general Weir attitude toward Sir Reginald Bayle is a mix of disgust and confusion, with some resentment thrown in.
In addition, Arryl -- like many other Weir -- also adds a strange kind of personal proprietariness to the mix.
"He was *our* great enemy, verdammt! Now, look at him!" Spits to side. "Ah, well. Let's get him out up of that gutter, Halteseilen (guys.)"
Another area of discretion concerns one of Der Prinz's former... er, Geliebten (Girlfriends.) She was very minor nobility. And One day she was gone -- married to someone else and touring the Golden Circle on ambassadorial duties -- for several centuries. She just returned and the husband is now a duke.
"Dis would be Dame Julianna Pinegar, die Herzogin von Carlisle, nicht wahr? She was ein witwe (widow) when she enjoyed der Prinz's company. Not'ing wrong with dat."
More recently, Arryl's become involved in a Weir pseudo-conspiracy. Amber town has suffered from a rash of murders involving the biting of off heads. And Die Weir Kommandieren (Command) has initiated their own investigation on the QT, separate from any civil investigation.
The Kommandieren feel that it's only a matter of time before some speciest starts stirring up trouble for the humanovores in Town. And none of them wants to deal with the paperwork of putting down a mob armed with torches and pitchforks. Besides -- they feel -- who better than a humanovore to recognize the type of killing being done.
But the Weir don't want their investigation to attract attention and give the
sheep-men ideas concerning the wolves in their midst. So very quietly Die Kommandieren are getting the Kerls (guys) down there to have a sniff around. Besides, they figure if it *is* one of theirs, the offender is *way* out of line -- sloppy too -- and will be taken care of, Weir-style.
So Arryl has become involved in the coordinating and messenging of the quiet Weir investigation that's not going on, sir, oh no.
In-between times, Arryl R&R's at one of Der Gottswache's favorite hang-outs -- "Der Amberhoehle" or, more affectionately, the Hole -- a Weir bar not too far (but just far enough) from Der Weir Kaserne (Barracks) to provide a nice getaway. The Hole contains a low bar and tables, couches -- no chairs or stools, bier served by the stein or by the bowl, and spring-powered victrola in the back-ground pumping out 'Oompa' tunes. With a *lot* of wolves in there, yep, yep.
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