Age: 52 years Born: The 21st Day of Sun's Dawn 2E 533 Gender: Female Marital Status: Unmarried Occupation: None Affiliations: Neutral Titles: Former Marchioness of Gaeldoch
Species: Breton Hair: Blonde with strands of white. Eyes: Pale Blue Skin: Clear and fair complexion. Build: She is fine-boned with soft, non-muscular limbs. Height: Slightly taller than average
A P P E A R A N C E
Her eyes, while not on their own unusual or different in any way, are striking in their depth. One court bard immortalized them in a song, stating that she had eyes “from which all joy is born". The grace of her movements is also of prominent note, having been raised with thorough training in deportment and manners. Her whitening blond hair is held up with crystal hairpins and is never seen down in public. She dresses always in finely tailored gowns and it is clear her appearance is of the utmost importance to her. A court ring glitters upon her index finger bearing her family crest and in the colors of Gaeldoch which are rich sapphire and gold. The ring opens and a portrait of a woman is inside.
She is exceedingly guarded and private. Passionate, thoughtful, caring, wise. A gifted conversationalist when among equals or subservients. She can be too outspoken and sharp when she feels strongly about something and can be intolerant to things she doesn’t understand.
S K I L L S _ & _ A B I L I T I E S
Cloddagh is an excellent scribe with perfect penmanship that is immediately recognizable. She is skilled with a needle whether it be as a seamstress or in the creation of tapestries. She has a trained and beautiful singing voice and plays the lute with great familiarity. A skilled dancer for paired dancing at court fetes. Expert equestrian.
H I S T O R Y
Cloddagh was born into the noble family Westmeath of the Gaeldoch estate and was presented at court when she reached fourteen years of age. Her title, The Marchioness of Gaeldoch, was inherited with the land when she was a young woman of twenty and very much ready to take on her responsibilities as the head of the estate and landowner. Though unmarried at the time, she had been raised from birth in preparation for eventual command of the family palace known as Gaelderry.
Cloddagh spent years cultivating a fine court filled with women and men of great nobility and interest. She has always been fascinated with musical talents and she favoured such people in her inner circle. Her court was always centered around grand fetes which she threw often, enjoying the thrill of matchmaking and the usual frivolities of the gentile. It was at these festivities that she would delight the court with her own singing and many courtiers would vie for a chance to dance with her. At Gaelderry, she would encourage courtiers and ladies to learn skills such as sewing and woodwork during their free time and it bolstered the spirits of court, leaving less time for idle gossip, a problem that oft poisons court life.
Beyond the more joyful, desirable walls of her castle, Cloddagh’s attention was focused upon the village of Glennmead, located on the grounds of her title holdings. While living, her mother and father were strict landlords to the village, but beyond that had paid it no true interest and the village was barely self-sufficient. With Cloddagh in command, Glennmead flourished. She worked at offering education to the villagers, both adults and children alike. She had a place of worship rebuilt at the center of the village that provided, for the first time, regular services in honor of The Divines. She gave small allowances to each family and held an audience with the villagers on a regular basis to assess new needs and help to overcome conflicts.
At the age of thirty seven, Cloddagh remained unmarried, despite an overture of proposals. Neighboring friends of the family and members of the court began to inquire about Cloddagh’s desire for marriage and the security of her title. Lords in near and in far-reaching regions sought a union, not only based on her known physical beauty, but on the success and wealth of her family. Though she did entertain the possibility of some of the more desirable suitors, Cloddagh politely refused all offers of formal courtship. When Cloddagh was in her early forties she fell unexpectedly in love. The object of that love was Aoife, a teacher and woman some years older than she. Their friendship had developed over the years while they worked tirelessly to devise a curriculum for the students to improve their futures and the further success of Glennmead. They kept their relationship absolutely secret as same-sex unions were not common, nor embraced by the nobility of the region at the time. There was also the matter that without an heir, the future of the Gaeldoch dynasty and all of Gaelderry (including the villagers of Glennmead) would be at stake.
The relationship was discovered eventually by a young student named Gracelynn who caught the pair in an embrace in the schoolroom when she’d forgotten a book and returned much later in the evening to retrieve it. In confusion she had divulged what she had seen to two other students who told their parents and rumors spread throughout Glennmead. Eventually those rumors reached the court at Gaelderry castle.
Cloddagh’s faithful steward Quinn broke the news of the whispered words at court but before Cloddagh could attempt to find a way to deescalate the situation, a series of interconnected problems arose. A jilted would-be suitor, Lord Cotham who controlled most merchant provisions to Gaelderry, stopped all trade in retaliation. Cloddagh sought other merchants to replace the loss contracts, but found Lord Cotham had spread numerous untruths to the surrounding regions and trade slowed to a stop. Supplies began to dwindle, as did the presence of her court. Many said they were moving on to further regions beyond reach of Gaelderry, promising the rumors were not the cause of their departure, but Cloddagh knew the truth. Eventually, only the most loyal of her staff remained.
Simultaneously, unbeknownst to Cloddagh, her uncle had set in motion a plan to take over Gaelderry and Cloddagh’s lands. Sensing her moment of weakness, he riled up the villagers with fabricated tales that Cloddagh used dark sorcery to bring ruin to the people of Glennmead, furthering their distrust of her. Finally, at the height of what had become a siege-like hold on the estate, the villagers rebelled against Cloddagh. The villagers were angry with the Marchioness for not accepting the proposals she had received which would have formed a strong trade alliance and secured prosperity for Glennmead and thanks to the rumors of her scheming uncle, the villagers now rested all blame squarely upon her shoulders. Aoife was ostracized from Glennmead and moved into the castle but eventually, out of guilt for what had transpired and blaming herself for the fall of Gaelderry -- she was found dead, having poisoned herself. Cloddagh withdrew completely from her court and from her village, closing herself within her chambers at the castle and in her grief, refused to see anyone.
One night following Aiofe’s death, after months of scraping by on whatever stockpiles the people had access to (including all the castle reserves which Cloddagh had the foresight of sending in to Glennmead) the villagers stormed the castle and Cloddagh was forced to flee on foot with the help of her steward who stayed behind to ensure she was able to get away safely. She left with only a carpet bag packed by her steward and her lady’s maid, Eleanor. It contained one of her finest court ceremonial gowns, heirloom jewelry and other fine valuables but not much of use in the outside world. The contents of the bag dwindled over time as she sold pieces of jewelry and other heirlooms, in order to feed herself and provide shelter in some of the more dangerous towns she had occupied. During this time, her demeanor became a stark contrast to her former self. Having found that standing out in any way drew unwanted attention, she stopped applying paints to make herself look attractive and styling her hair as she once had. She attempted to look clean but plain and uninteresting, though with Cloddagh's beauty, it was at times unsuccessful.
She has now, through the mysterious delivery of some of her old belongings, regained a small amount of her fortune. She presently stays with a friend, Vicente de Morieve, who helped her to escape a complicated situation.
Thank you! Yes I created her when I first joined ESO about a year ago and I figured I'd be encountering characters of all ages, but she's quite often the oldest character in every RP setting she's in. And if she's not the oldest character, she's almost always the only one who 'appears' her age. I'm so surprised by that. Older characters are fun too!