My story? Oh, mostly what you’d expect, I suppose. Nursemaids, hard tutors… soft women. You knew my father, of course. Everyone did. Wato. “The Wise.” The old fool always had somewhere else to be than with his family. An hour for the merchants, a blow for me. Until mother died. Loss can be so motivating.
Then, of course, it was suddenly about family. But with me? No. No, of course not. With her. With Xerith. Yes, slap an X on that name and suddenly that twat became royalty. She’s younger than I am. Do you know what that feels like? To know that your father’s a lech and your new mother was literally a whore? You were in the harem; you of all people know I could have bedded her there myself and no one would have batted an eye. Worse, she’ll probably outlive me. She’ll remain on the throne the entire time, now that father is gone.
All the time I spent, treating with nobles, making promises, accepting oaths, preparing for when I would need to rule – she’s done none of that. Suddenly, put her on a chair and all the nobles can’t be bothered to remember their oaths. What they promised to me, they give to her.
It’s not worth trying to poison her, of course. She has a food tester – heh, well, a new one, now. And her bodyguard, though I think I might be able to turn her if I tried, is but the last in many circles of defense. My father may not have been wise, but he was clever, and he loved her oh so much. I heard about it endlessly you know. I did hire an assassin once, but there was no point in it. Oh, she’s still around. It aggravates Xerith so to know that I’m having an affair with one of the Silent Knives.
The night of the meteor, though – now that was something else. Something I had never felt before. You’ve heard rumors that Xerith is Anathema? Oh, it’s true. And so am I.
No, don’t run. You’re safe in here. Just as long as you stay with me. I promise nothing bad will happen to you. You’re not the one keeping me from the throne. And even then – perhaps the whore can keep my throne a bit longer. She wants to build an empire? Fine. The larger it is, the more I can take from her.
Now come to bed. I brought you here for a reason.
Most of the people who meet Visho remember his gaze the most. His black eyes are intense, accentuated by a thin, stunning face and peaked eyebrows. He wears his black hair cut close in the royal fashion. His skin is a sepia brown.
Visho’s clothing is exceptionally well-tailored, made anew to fit him each season. He gives away the older pieces to the poor. He carries a simple steel blade. A gleaming suit of steel plate armor stands quietly gathering dust in his training room. He has no intention of going to war himself – and yet, he may need to wear it soon.
Everyone agrees that Visho is an ass. No one says it to his face. He’s ruthless and cunning, but at the same time everyone in a position of power knows that he’s the same petulant brat he was at thirteen. The main difference is that back then, he had outbursts of anger in public. Now his whole life is one subdued tantrum – and he has a personal militia to back it up.
Most of what Visho accomplishes is done via intimidation. Many of his father’s spies are more than happy to take his money, and he knows secrets about many of the city’s rich and powerful that they would prefer remained secret. So someone is dragged out into the street to be executed by Visho’s soldiers, denying their involvement in a matter they swear they knew nothing about… perhaps they’re being honest, but no one can afford to call his bluff.
Intimacies: The throne should be mine (defining), The adoration of the Shirakhi people (major), Katavi will be my beloved queen (major), No forgiveness (major), Ask for nothing.
Visho was gifted with a lithe body, sharp mind, and handsome face – and, of course, princehood of an entire city-state. He’s parlayed all that into a city-within-the-city that he owns, a network of informants, spies, merchants, and soldiers that are more loyal to him than to the crown. (It’s never enough for him.)
With his exaltation as a Night caste, all of that has been firmly locked down. Xerith may have taken more direct power, but he expanded his into the less savory parts of the city. Socialize is Visho’s supernal attribute. Everything he suggests just sounds so reasonable now – at least when he initially says it. He sows doubt and discord. Anyone who argues against him finds that they’ve talked themselves into pariah status. He finds it difficult to move directly against Xerith, but easier to outmaneuver her
All this is made the easier now that he can see into his allies’ souls and find out just what it is they want from him. He finds it trivial to string together scraps of information into blackmail material. His old vizier’s advice on the duties of the investigator finally make sense! If only he had gained some introspection along the way.
If it comes to a fight, Prince Visho has been trained by several exasperated tutors in the sword and bow. He has learned enough to acquit himself well. In addition, his bodyguard Ruan is always there beside him.
- Aria, his latest concubine. Pretty, agreeable, protective.
- Jalex, the leader of his troops. Ambitious, punctual, receptive.
- Kelsha, who handles his money for him. Greedy, anxious, refined.
- Iuweth, his main informant amongst the Wathia. Apprehensive, haughty, restless.
- Would Visho work with someone who opposed the Queen? If so, how deeply would he enter into a conspiracy against her?
- Would Visho work with the Dragon-Blooded if they promised him the kingdom?