I strapped Riot to my back, letting Dusk settle around my body like a familiar lover. I strode to the door, throwing it open. "Gruffyn! Where are you going?" "To fix your problem."
Gruffyn the White ("fierce lord")
Obsessive loner, bastard in every sense of the word. Possessed of a hubris that would give the gods pause. Dressed in monochrome white and black with accents of deep red-purple.
Represented by Sable, Gryphon enraged and extended argent inflamed gules. (A black field with a white gryphon, rearing up with wings open and wide, wreathed in red flames).
"Looking good, Gruffyn. It's good to see you out of that armor for a change." I'm sure she meant it as a compliment, but I scowled none the less. Being reminded of my... nakedness was unkind. But I'd been told in no uncertain terms that dinner was formal and Dusk and Riot did not count as formal. Fools. So I'd settled for a white tuxedo, causing some trouble for the royal tailor, who'd had no fabric as white as my hair in stock and was forced to special order it to meet my needs. A black bow tie as instructed was the only contrast, even the rose on my breast was white. I gazed contemptously around the room. Fools and weaklings capering for the amusement of the few important people present. I itched, longed to have a blade in my hand. I'd had to beat off women and no few men with sarcasm and wit all evening, and I longed for an honest battle. Taking my scowl and continued silence for the rebuke it was she retreated back into the crowd. A fawning servant offered me a drink and my acceptance seemed to make her swoon. Had I known I'd have suffered my thirst.
Gruffyn is gorgeous by nearly any standards. Tall with broad shoulders and a slender waist, with a near ideal build and features that straddle sharp and delicate, his physique alone is impressive. Wedded to wavy waist length hair, whiter than the driven snow, and eyes as green as spring in Arden, Gruffyn never fails to make an impression, and there's been whispers that there's blood of elves in his veins. However, his looks are marred by an expression that occasionally relaxes all the way to a stony neutral, and more frequently conveys icy rage, cold disdain, or stubborn defiance. Any trace of amusement or smile is usually sarcastic or malicious.
For nearly all situations, his attire consists of his gleaming white armor Dusk and his blade Riot. If he needs to make an impression, a full length cape of purple-red is his usual addition. On the very rare occasions that he's forced to shed Dusk, he tends to wear straight white tunics and pants with black boots.
I loosed Riot, taking several quick swings that set it to singing and raised my spirits immensely. My opponent paled, realizing now that he was vastly overmatched. I grinned nastily and stepped forward, motioning for him to do the same. He was good, I knew by reputation that he'd bested a number of the Elite Guard on occasion, and once taken two at once. But I was better than that. Much better than that. The fight lasted almost two minutes. I was stronger, faster and tougher, but I wanted him to know how much so. I toyed with him, drove him to distraction, then to tears, then left him kneeling with cuts covering his arms and face. I wasn't breathing hard, and my pulse was even and steady as always. His second stepped forward at one point, hoping to stop the fight. I caught him with my eyes. He thought he was strong of mind and will and tried to force me back with his thoughts alone. I showed him his error.
Gruffyn is well balanced, in terms of potential. He could never go toe to toe with any single area specialist, but he's well above Amberite average in everything, with an emphasis on physical power, weapon skills and tactics. His mind is probably his weakest point, but even there, he's quite powerful by any standards but those of the Royal family, where he's possibly bordering on semi-weak.
Unlocking the power within me had taken a long time. With no guidance I'd spent a long time developing the sense of self I needed. But it was a path to power. Power I wanted.
Gruffyn is one of the rare types who taught themselves to Shapeshift, rather than learning from an advanced master who could show him the ways in which the power worked, one more notch for his personal hubris. It's not clear just why he chose Shapeshifting over Pattern, Magic or Trump, as all were available for him to learn. He's not even sure himself.
The wild swinging finally did him some good, and he scored a line across my cheek. But I laughed, as the wound scabbed and faded before his eyes, leaving not even a trace of a scar. He took off running and I let him go, my laughter ringing in the forest around us.
One of the primary advantages of Shapeshifting for him is the increased ability to soak up wounds. With an already formidible Endurance, and the protection offered by Dusk, Gruffyn has very little fear of wading into physical conflict.
I let him run, further and further, then I let the change come over me, wings unfurling behind like sails. I lept into the air, nimbly ducking among the branches as I hunted my prey. Far ahead I could hear him crashing through the trees, smell the fear in the air as I flitted along from tree to tree. I fed on his terror, letting his mortal mind dissolve beneath my vastly boosted intellect.
In demon form, Gruffyn's appearance is only modestly different. His features become sharper and subtly terrible. His teeth multiply and become wickedly pointed. And a pair of stark white wings unfurl from his shoulderblades through specially forged slots in Dusk's back. The effect seems very much like an avenging angel to most onlookers. While in this form his mental offensive abilities are greatly enhanced, in fact, the demonform 'eats' by absorbing the minds of others. Further his normal senses are also dramatically improved.
I ripped into the horse with gusto, letting the animal part of my brain enjoy the taste of fresh blood. I raised my beak and hooted a cry of triumph and territory.
As can be inferred from his standard, Gruffyn's avatar form is that of a gryphon, a lion with the head and wings of an eagle. So far, Gruffyn has not explored this form greatly, usually prefering his demon form with it's enhanced capabilities, however it seems likely that his avatar form also has such talents, but that he merely hasn't uncovered them yet.
The blade was long, nearly three quarters my height excluding the two handed grip. The metal, if that's what it was, shone with a sort of oily rainbow hue, and it seemed to hum. Given its name I'd always fancied that it was made out of sound itself, given substance and form and forged into a blade. Whatever it was, it cut through nearly anything with ease, and turned away every blade I'd ever encountered. The grip was nearly a foot long itself, wrapped in dragonskin and topped with a pommel in the shape of a screaming gryphon. The quillon was the wings of the gryphon, and shone with the same oily hue. Swinging the blade made it sing, the normal sound of steel, but undercut by a cacophony of other sounds. It's name was Sheeancliweagh, which means Dreadful Noise in the Shape of a Sword. But everyone, including me, just called it Riot.
Sheeancliweagh is Gruffyn's blade. Tremendously destructive, and capable of turning most other blades, it's his primary weapon, and very rare is the occasion it's out of hand, let alone reach. Further, it's embued with with a number of minor magics, in the form of Words of Power, that enhance it's function, allowing it to cleave through certain forms of magic shields and enchanted weapons and armor, as well as making it more capable of shattering anything it hits. Despite being a nearly five foot long blade, it also seems to fit into nearly any scabbard it's placed.
The armour was not quite white. Maybe off-white, or dove grey. It looked like burnished steel, with semi-elaborate tracings along the joints and seams, but tapping on it produced a solid sound, not the expected ring of steel. Even without close inspection it was obviously armour of the finest class, a full suit of articulated plate with highly intricate joints. Worn, it was quite light and restricted movement not at all. It almost shined, light in the evening fog, and few blows had ever even dented it. Those few scratches and dents would be gone between blinks, as if attended by a master armorsmith. I called it Dusk, but its proper name was Bancaddwyll, the White Gloom that Protects.
Gruffyn's armor, Dusk, is a suit of highly effective plate armor. As with Riot, rare is the occasion that he's without it, and indeed, he often sleeps within it. It's got a seemingly magical ability to always remain comfortable and to keep him clean and fresh, even after hours of gory battle in the worst conditions (or sleeping in it) and to repair any damage to itself in time, something that suits Gruffyn's vanity and pride quite well.