Corbeaux Baptiste

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Corbeaux Baptiste
CorbeauxAdrian.png
Gender Male
Race Elezen
Clan Duskwight
Citizenship Lominsan affiliated pirate
Place of birth The Burning Wall
Age 29 (Dead)
Sexuality Straight
Height 6 fulms 11 ilms
IC Tumblr The Parliament of Dreams
Alignment Type 4 Chaotic Neutral bending towards Type 1 Neutral Evil
The Gentleman Bastard (Deceased)

"People speak of freedom as if it is some physical thing, something that can be held in your hands like coin. Freedom, for most, is as simple as the absence of bondage. For some it's more than that. It's a ship, or power.. wealth. They couldn't be more wrong. Every onze of that belief is a distraction from the truth of it. Freedom is so much more ephemeral, so much more fragile than that. Freedom is the mind's stubborn refusal to be limited in its belief of what is possible for one man in one place at one time. And no one with chains and a cell can ever take that from you. It is so much more frightening than that. All it takes to lose freedom is one passing moment of deceit. Not from another, but from yourself. One fleeting moment of lying to yourself about who you are. About what you are. Because it's easier. Because it's comforting.

So long as you draw breath, you have the choice to be a man free of self-delusion. And nothing, not even the threat of death, can take that from you. You can only take that from yourself. Only fear and doubt can shackle you. The realisation of your own agency is a terrifying thing, like that first heartbeat of absolute, unnatural stillness that follows a thunderclap. But in that quiet you find purpose. And a man with a purpose, distilled and made pure is capable of amazing things. Or terrible. Hero or Tyrant. A very subtle distinction. But that's an argument for another bottle, don't you think?"

-Corbeaux Baptiste

Character

Appearance

Eyes
Hair Skin Body Type Voice Clothing Notable Features
Sapphires. Black, streaked with blue. Smoke against a moonless sky, inked in shadows. Lithe, athletic, graceful. Silk, with an accent that feels like spiced black tea. Simple, but fitted and elegant. Quietly fashionable. Horizontal scar on his left cheek.


A coiled serpent, he is a man utterly devoid of unnecessary movement; his every gesture and step graceful and deliberate. Seemingly never ill at ease, his calm demeanor never seems to flinch no matter how tense the situation. He prefers to shun elaborate dress, instead favoring simple, but high quality clothing that has been tailored and dyed to highlight his dark skin. He avoids billowy silhouettes, preferring cuts that show off his long, lithe form. He often wears bone ornaments in his shoulder-length hair, and numerous rings on his elegant, manicured digits. A full silver ring wraps around his lip, pierced through his labret.

His skin is covered from midway down his throat to his ankles in spidery ink, tattooed in sacred geometry, runes, symbols, the only flesh left unmarked being the palms of his hands. He carries himself with a simple elegance, a dancer's bearing, and a quiet pride. Not prone to emotional outbursts, his face is calm and rarely does he react in a grandiose fashion, with often a slight tweak of an eyebrow or a wry smirk usually the extent of his shifting expressions.

The compiled notes of Joliette Etranger, Lorekeeper of the House of Arcanists.

Initial interview on subject Corbeaux Baptiste

“He told me once that what he was looking for was home. I brushed it off, as so many were displaced after the Calamity. It was years later I finally realized he wasn’t speaking of having left the Wall after the shard of Dalamud laid waste to it. He never felt as if he belonged to the caves. But that was the point, I realize now. I don't think he ever felt like he belonged anywhere. He spent so much of his life looking for something, or someone, who felt like home to him. Safe, familiar... I think that's something we take for granted. That sense of peace. I don't think he ever found that, or at least not while I knew him. Can you imagine what that would do to a man? The act of searching for something that constantly slips through his fingers like sand?

So yes, to answer your question Madameoiselle Etranger, I did know Corbeaux Baptiste. I knew him as well as anyone, which is to say very little. I don't know if the rumours of him being what some people say he was are true, and I doubt very much there is anyone left now outside the darkest corners of Limsa Lominsa who do. And I doubt even more that they would speak to you of it. The man had a way of inspiring great loyalty in those close to him. I can tell you, however, that when he looked at you, and only you, you felt a thousand fulms high, and I would beg you not to lose sight of that while you chase your myths and whispers. Corbeaux was no hero, no Warrior of Light. We both know that. In the same breath, however, I tell you he was no fiend. No shade. In all my life I've never met a man made of more contradictions. He did some extraordinary things, for good and for ill, but those... were extraordinary times and so many did so much. He was, in the end, just a man.”

Interview with Rhoswen Stone. Sanguine Siren.
Recorded by Joliette Etranger on the 2nd sun of the 1st umbral moon.

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The Wraith of the Rhotano and the Gentleman Bastards

Excerpt from a letter by Ser Arthur Malthiel, taken from the remnants of his home. Recipient unknown.

I had a teacher once who told me that as long as there are shadows, horrors will hide within them, whether real or within our collective imaginings, and Limsa Lominsa casts long shadows indeed. I've written you extensively on this so-called Wraith of the Rhotano in the past, my friend, and oft have I complained I felt like I was chasing Aether fueled hallucinations. Fables invented by drunken pirates. However, I have discovered something that gives me pause and forces me to reconsider the validity of the Wraith's existence.

I've told you in previous missives that the most frustrating aspect of attempting to discover the truth at the center of this myth comes from attempting to differentiate the true threads from the false. The Wraith, if he is real, either has the blessing of Nymeia herself or is a master of misdirection. I begin to suspect both. Every street I follow shows clear footsteps that suddenly vanish, as if into thin air. The Yellow Jackets have long decided he is a ghost in the machine and given up the chase. I can't blame them, as Limsa Lominsa is swaddled in blankets of corruption and crime that don't take all of one's attention to simply compile a list of possible suspects. No one seems to work for the man, yet I meet countless people who know someone who has. It is as if every crime in Limsa is a single step removed from this figure, and yet none ever connect back to him. I am never sure if, from day to day, I chase a smuggler, a killer, a crime lord, a pirate or some combination of them all. It is as if I'm attempting to unravel a tangled ball of string and all I find are several thousand torn strands. I have everywhere to begin and not an onze of hope to find the end of it all.

That is until recently. I met a retired Roegadyn Pirate who served in the Barracudas na-- (Here the fire and smoke claimed much, and I was only able to salvage the end of the missive. - JE)

--se Gentleman Bastards are not unknown to me. They are a network of information brokers and cutthroats led by a Duskwight Elezen named Corbeaux Baptiste. Baptiste served as a pirate aboard several vessels around the Rhotano and developed quite the reputation for himself as a silver-tongued rogue with a mind for tactics. As I delve deeper into the man's network, I must admit I am impressed by the breadth of it as he seems to have tentacles all throughout Eorzea. Far more intriguing to me, however, is a rumour that Baptiste has brokered several deals for the Wraith in the past. I plan to make contact with several of his acq-- (The rest seems to have been torn away. I understand how Lord Malthiel must have felt, as I too feel as if I'm chasing the shadow of a ghost. - JE)

The Long Dark

Excerpt from a letter addressed from Joliette Etranger to Daphinaux Etranger

...If Lord Malthiel's suspicions are correct, it may offer insight into a gap in Corbeaux's history I've been struggling to explain. At the height of the Bastards' seemingly inevitable climb to the peak of Limsa's underworld, both Baptiste and the Bastards themselves seem to wink out of existence. There is no evidence of a rival organization seizing control, no hint of an internal conflict, nothing but a sudden vacuum of power reported by the Yellow Jackets and the seeming disappearance of the Duskwight himself. I'd have assumed him dead if not for his sudden reappearance in a report 10 moons later. It was innocuous, a shipping manifest with his name attached to it. But after that signature, he begins to appear in the day to day Limsan registries as if nothing untoward had occurred.

For the duration of the long absence, the Wraith remained active as near as can be verified. Perhaps Baptiste found himself out of his employer's better graces for a time and decided that the best option was to remove his piece from the board. Of course this is, all of it, speculation on my part. The facts are his people disappeared, and almost instantly so did Baptiste. When he reemerged, they did not, and by all accounts of those near him, he never did fully rebuild the Bastards to what they'd been. Although he did eventually reassemble his reputation with new faces behind him, he seemed less interested in the power he'd obviously been seeking prior to whatever transpired. The man that reemerged was more cautious, more measured, than the man before. Far less brazen in his role within Eorzea. He was a man burned by something, taught humility, and I think that something may have been the Wraith of the Rhotano."

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Rumors

Common Rumors

  • "Baptiste? He's a smug son of a bitch, and I know more than a few people who would like to take his head clean off. Makes you wonder why no one has."
  • "He's served on a few vessels that flew black colours in the past, but I haven't seen him put out to sea in some time. I imagine he's taken up a new trade."
  • "He's a right smart bastard. Not like street smart, you understand, though he has that in spades. He's educated. That much is obvious. No idea where he found that sort of book learning on a pirate vessel..."
  • "Disappeared for a spell. Not unusual for him, but it was a long spell. May have gone back to the sea a while, I'm not sure. Whatever it was, it didn't agree with him. He's been... a little taciturn and prickly ever since he got back. Doesn't like talking about it, neither."
"Charming? Seven hells, the man positively oozes magnetism. The type of bloke who is only alone when he wants to be alone, yeah? I've been playing cards with the man for months, and I'm damned sure he cheats, but still I go. Every time. Something about the goddamn Duskwight just makes you want to like him."

Moderate Rumors

  • "Make no mistake about it, that man has slit throats in his day. The way he moves and the way he carries himself around some of the most wretched scum Limsa has to offer? Ice in his veins. A man who acts like he has bloody all to prove has already done it countless times over."
  • "You know, I've never seen him angry. Not once. Not so's you'd notice, anyway. He doesn't yell or even raise his voice, his eyes just get... cold-like, and there's this edge to his tone. I've seen a Roegadyn turn a table I was at into kindling over a card game, and I'd rather stare down that than Baptiste any day. Made my skin crawl the way he looked at that fellow. Like he was already dead and just hadn't realized it yet."
  • "It's odd to see one of his kind so... socially accepted. Granted the son of a bitch could talk his way out of a noose, but still. Duskwights ain't exactly popular these days, and yet I rarely see him without some pretty little miqo'te or hume on his arm... even a few Au'ra, and he's always hobnobbing with pirates who's names you'd know if you heard 'em, savvy?"
  • "The thing about Baptiste is that he'll never lie to ye, but he'll never tell ye the truth, neither. Always talks in riddles, that one. Every conversation, even a friendly one, ye come away with the distinct feelin' ye've given him more than 'e gave ye in return."
  • "I don't know where that man went to ground or why, but he sure as hell wasn't sailing for the months he was out of Limsa. I had a curious party pay me to get my hands on the registries from the time. His name wasn't on there. Neither were any of the aliases I know he uses. So he was somewhere. But he wasn't on a ship. Not by choice, anyway."

Rare Rumors

  • "Corbeaux Baptiste? What's he do? He's the leader of the Gentleman Bastards. You haven't heard of them? That would be by design, friend. They're spies, thieves, and cutthroats, very good ones, and rumour has it they've buried as many secrets in shallow graves as they've sold, if you take my meaning. He's all smiles and charm, but make no mistake about it, he's a very dangerous man."
  • "If you put 12 different people in a room and asked them to describe Baptiste, you would get 12 different descriptions. I've heard people describe him as everything from a drunken, lecherous rake of a pirate to a well-spoken, silver-tongued literati. Then there are the other whispers in the dark. Those would make him some sort of sadistic sociopath; a proper monster. I honestly have no idea how to place the man, but I know enough not to spend too much time trying."
  • "A predator. Pure and simple. Under the fancy damn clothes and that slow, deliberate way he moves, he's a goddamn snake. And I don't mean ye can't trust him, though ya probably can't. I mean he's a serpent; calm, easy, and perfectly still until he sees your throat. He's not a fighter, he's a killer."
  • "I hear some accident when he was younger left him with the ability to remember everything, just as it happened. He can apparently recall things with a clarity that borders on magic. I've never seen proof of it, but I know he never forgets who bought the last round, at any rate."
  • "Where was Baptiste? Who the hell knows, but I'll tell you this much: The Bastards haven't been around since the day he disappeared. I haven't heard a whisper of his people, and haven't since he got back. Well not the same ones, at any rate. Whatever happened to him, happened to them. Or maybe HE happened to them. I'm not about to pry to get those answers, and given the humour he's been in since his feet hit Limsa again, I would advise you don't, neither."

Player Character Rumors

((Add whatever you like, just let me know.))

  • "I suspect his line of work has him with his fingers in many different pies. As much as his offer of help is appreciated, I must needs tread carefully." ~ Ciel Wulfe

Character Connections

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The following characters may have the possibility of an RP link with Baptiste:

  • Anyone who has ties to the less savory side of Limsa may know him by his reputation as a former pirate turned underworld consultant.
  • Anyone who works within Eorzea as an information broker would know of his reputation for being particularly talented at tracking down obscure knowledge, lore and secrets, as well as his love for hoarding them.
  • A character who lived around the Burning Wall pre-Calamity may recognize him as having lived there when he was younger.
  • Particularly well connected criminals may know he has a reputation for being exceptionally professional and adherent to avoiding "bad business" practices, while those that tend to not hold up their side of things have a tendency to wind up in the ground.
  • Many scholars within Eorzea will have dealt with him, as he has a great love of lore and history and actively seeks it out whenever possible.
  • Law-keepers would know he has a reputation for being less than adherent to most legal expectations.
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Annotations

Much of this layout is taken from Brynhilde Wulf. Go take a look at her work, it's way better than mine.
Ettecorb.jpg is from the obscenely talented Ette The circular portrait and sketch are from the lovely Nai

the Profile picture is done by the absurdly great Adrian