Carlino "The Convert" Carpente
The topic of gossip and stories
As described by Outealofaiateoe Eteaulelei:
Carlino Carpente is a close friend of my family and a fascinating man. My father Tala always listens intently to his stories and will sometimes use Carlino’s graphic exploits when describing intimate scenes within his own stories. Unbeknownst to Carlino, I myself will relay some of his colorful exploits with females as I spin my lore of “Carl the Busy Bee” using flowers as metaphors for women. Carlino often boastfully displays his scars and tells us of besting others in swordplay. This, too, we weave through our own tales.
Every story, and every person, has their own beginning: Carlino was raised in the house of his father, D’Anton Carpente. He was one of 13 offspring, all related by their sire’s blood and having no common mother among them. Instead, the inattentive and neglectful father hired a caretaker for his brood. She was the only person Carlino had ever known as a mother figure. He liked to pretend that he actually did belong to her, but he knew in his heart that her age would make that nearly impossible. And his father would never have been with such a homely woman anyway. When he was only six years old, she passed away, and the children were left to fend for themselves.
Carlino had to resort to begging for food and water on the streets. He has a lovely voice, and might have earned some extra coins by singing to entertain a crowd, but his nerves would get the best of him. He developed a quirk of singing to himself whenever he believes himself to be alone. Often, other children in town would pass by and tease him, calling him D’Anton’s Baker’s Dozen. (To this day, he will lose his temper should anyone utter the words “baker’s dozen,” even if it is truly describing pastries.)
Spurred by his anger at being part of D’Anton’s Baker’s Dozen, Carlino began to search for his father. Knowing his penchant for going through women like an ill person uses handkerchiefs, he began to monitor all the local brothels. As he watched the comings and goings, he would closely study the faces of the men who entered and left. This proved fortuitous as he grew older and recognized those men as politicians, lawyers, judges, and even officers of the law. He also noticed that those same faces would enter churches and confess to minor sins without divulging the full extent of their depravity. Carlino saw an opportunity.
Carlino followed his first “prize” to the man’s office and attempted the blackmail him. The boy learned two vital lessons that day. First, do not let the person you are blackmailing identify you. Second, the more severe the sin, the more money will be paid to keep the secret. But there is a tipping point where the “prize” has no qualms about killing to prevent their deeds from leaking out to their families and public.
Haunting the churches and the brothels granted him a new path. He began to study theology to use religion as his sword and shield. At the age of 12 he was employed at one of the brothel’s washing down the women between “sessions” and carrying out minor errands. This put him in a position to attempt to fix the lustful sins of others from the inside. This failed. In an echo of his father, he went the other direction and became a man within a year. When the brothel owners discovered he was sleeping with their employees free of charge, he was thrown out.
Perhaps it was this rocky beginning, an absent mother, his father’s escapades, and his experiences in the brothel that contributed to the lack of respect he has for women now. He will never abuse them physically, but he has a silver tongue and is talented at verbal manipulation. Initially, he will seek a woman’s approval and attempt to woo her. After he attains some level of reciprocated love, he will leave and move on to the next victim to fall for his charm. Carlino claims that no woman is ever sincere enough for him, and he never bothers to wait around to discover if a child has been conceived.
He still continued to study religion. Over the course of one year, he slept in the wilderness and became one with nature. His luck was unnatural. If his belly started to growl, apples would fall at his feet as he passed by the tree. If his mouth became dry, a sudden rainfall would quench his thirst. As he communed with nature and began to love it, others noticed his presence. More women flocked to him, and his confidence was boosted. This cycle continued for the next 20 years.
People are drawn to Carlino. He has a reputation for being trustworthy and patient, luring those around him to his side. He has the ability to bless others and tell their fortunes. He is a skilled linguist, and his lyrical daggers are laced with sincerity or lies, using empathy to gauge the defenses of both his followers and opponents. He will preach to those who are drawn to piety and will listen to those who explain marital problems to him. He will use hallucinogens and other “medicine” to weaken the will of others and has even been known to use Miracles to sway his most stubborn victims. The Tiple he carries around is mainly for show, though he has been taking lessons to add yet another weapon to his arsenal.
Where words stop short, his edged weapons pierce through. A highly polished backsword is his standard weapon of choice that hangs from a scabbard on his belt. A Lochaber Axe is strapped to his back for larger jobs. He is fully armored in a studded cuirass with a ringmail helmet, giving him a formidable air. The buckler shield on his left arm is devoid of any design. And a Stiletto dagger in his studded heavy riding boots (key feature) assures that he is never unarmed, since his boots are always on should he need to quickly depart from a naked rendezvous.
Carlino is very young at heart. To him, life is just a game. His penchant for young women has probably kept his youthful soul from aging, and running afoul of jealous husbands has kept him in peak fighting condition. Those who attempt to defend their wives’ honor are always dispensed with quickly, leaving no opponent wounded. His weapons of choice differ greatly between the sexes, though he has confided in me that in a few rare instances he has physically fought women and at other times has seduced men. Regardless of gender, the aftermath of his fights is where I began my knowledge of medical training, albeit from a mortician.
Carlino also caused me to doubt my own faith of Isheen, and even converted me over to his Nature religion for a moment before I met my wife Posten. He even performed the hand-fasting ceremony for us. I firmly believe that had it not been for Carlino’s intervention, I would have married another elf.
Despite being disowned by my father for converting over to Eochaid, Carlino still stays in contact with me. He tells me how my father is doing. He probably tells my father how I am doing in return, although I doubt my father knows about Carlino’s part in my marriage.
Upon Carlino’s last visit, he told me of a woman he fancied who had stated that she was a follower of The Ever-Changing One. After some extensive research, Carlino discovered that he was born on the same day that the founder of that religion had perished. Believing nothing is mere coincidence; he has decided to expand his preaching base to include these worshippers as well.
This led him to have an unusual vision. He dreamt that he was part wolf and had impregnated the master of The Ever-Changing One. To me, it sounded a bit like the Isheen story, but in reverse. Carlino was intrigued by this portent, so he went to the Occultus (meaning “hidden” in Latin) Forest to gaze upon the current master, Sylvaniabijou (meaning “Jewel of the Forest”).
Much to his surprise, this master of The Ever-Changing One was even more beautiful than in his dreams. In fact, she was the most stunning woman he had ever seen. This began his obsession with finding someone to teach him how to Shapeshift and fulfill his vision. That dream was a few years ago, and Carlino has since worked his way into a large, wealthy church in the city of Coras.