The Whisperer in Darkness
Sir Douglas of Charn
Professional guide and chaperon
Sir Douglas does not appear a knight. He has a lean appearance and his hair is black and shaggy. He wears brown tops and trousers, often with a leather armour vest. A rapier is strapped to his left hip; a club hanging on his right side from a belt which also has various pouches arranged around it. Depending on the situation, he may have a greater or lesser number of daggers worn on scabbards around his body. A well tailored black cloak provides a level of respectability when he uses it to hide his various weapons
When asked what he does, Sir Douglas likes to describe himself as a ‘professional uncle’ but those in Charn who advertise his services prefer ‘the Grand Chaperon’. He has carved out a niche for himself in Gerelden since leaving his home city some thirteen years ago.
The many bright young Charnaians who arrive to attend Esselfine University are woefully ignorant of both the ways of the world and the nature of the city they have arrived in. Their own minders are little better, having not lived in Alba’s capital since their own time in higher education. Sir Douglas makes a living from guiding these innocent adolescents through their time in the city.
He is usually engaged by the fathers of female students, who charge him both with protecting their daughters’ persons and ensuring that they are still maidens when they return to the north. He prefers these contracts because any student with any sense will listen to his advice and probably never experience any trouble in the city. His time is spent escorting girls if they wish to visit more unsavoury parts of the city, running off suitors who are becoming too friendly and finding more suitable male companions who are either eunuchs or gay.
Sons give him much more trouble: Charnaian families often believe their young boys are capable of handling themselves and do not engage Sir Douglas’ services, except for perhaps an introduction to the city. When these youths inevitably mess up, they are quietly referred by wiser friends to the Grand Chaperon, who goes about solving their problems as discreetly as possible. Common issues are impossible duels, unexpected paternity and stolen (or gambled) heirlooms.
Apart from their academic studies, Charnaians are expected to learn military skills, something the Alban government opposes. Sir Douglas finds suitable trainers who discreetly teach the noble children.