TOTEH Characters: Paymaster Stenstrom
July 7, 2011
Stenstrom isn’t the normal sort of modest, unathletic fellow occupying the role of Paymaster. At 6’7 he is a towering man, taller even than Captain Davage. He is the son of the famed Fleet captain Lord Stenstrom the Older who commands the warship Caroline. He carries the traditional LosCapricos weapons of his House, the NTHs, a pair of pistols said to be capable of slaying virtually anything with a single shot. He also wears a long dark green coat once worn by the defunct Hoban Royal Navy–Stenstrom is rarely seen without his HRN. As a final odd note, Stenstrom wears a small mask covering his eyes.
He hails from the House of Belmont, an old Zenon House on his father’s side and the House of Tyrol on his mother’s. The House of Tyrol are an odd, silver-haired lot living on the eastern coast of Esther, and consider themselves a tribe apart, through no official recognition has been given to them as such. Stenstrom’s mother, Lady Jubilee of Tyrol, is a notorious socialite and suspected witch. Her indomitable personality is well-known–she was under Public Wergild for over twenty years, meaning someone had formally posted a vendetta against her. She bore Stenstrom’s father 29 daughters ahead of him as a result of an oath she took. She feared for the life of her husband as he spanned the stars in his Fleet ship and swore he would have no sons until his boots were firmly planted on the ground for good; thus twenty-nine Belmont daughters. It has been said that Stenstrom the Older had to resort to sorcerous methods of his own to gain a son, purchasing a questionable tincture on Bazz said to ensure the birth of a son, and thus Stenstrom the Younger was finally born.The Blood Oath
His mother was said to be enraged upon his birth and swore to murder him in his crib, though she quickly came to love and adore her handsome son. Seeing the younger Stenstrom clamoring to follow his father to the stars, Lady Jubilee took steps … extreme steps to prevent him from joining the Fleet. Stenstrom has hinted she put him to an obscure ritual known as the Tyrol Blood Oath. Plunging a red-hot dagger into his heart, she made him swear he’d never join the Fleet as either a crewman or officer, least his wound burst open. She updated the Blood Oath over the years, adding the Astro Merchants, Billings and Merchant Marines to it. She was convinced the stars were no longer in his future.
A Tyrol Sorcerer
Paymaster Stenstrom is well-known for his ability to perform a number of feats considered to be Tyrol Sorcery taught to him by his mother. Though he has no Gifts of the Mind, he can fade into the shadows and pass unseen. He can also make small to medium-sized items appear and disappear with just a wave of his hand.
Flight From Bern
As a youth, Stenstrom went off to school at the University of Bern studying accounting (a pre-approved course of study). A disinterested student, his fiancée, Lady Lillian of Gamboa whispered in his ear and told him of a way to get around his mother’s curse. His oaths had made no mention of joining the Fleet as a civilian and she hit him upon the notion of becoming a Fleet Paymaster. The requirements of the position demanded he be an attorney or an accountant of vast tenure. Having no tenure, Stenstrom fled Bern upon his graduation and went into hiding in Calvert, accumulating his tenure at the barrel of a gun. Soon he secured a job as Paymaster aboard the Sandwich, a rusting Fleet frigate, which was illegally running Kanan grain spirits to the Xaphans. Due to his House standing and his fortune, he was not well-liked aboard the Sandwich and was widely shunned.
Along with his HRN coat and his NTHs, Paymaster Stenstrom is known for wearing a black mask at all times. The mask was a source of constant speculation until he revealed the mask contains several magical pieces of metal folded up in the cloth called “hermelins” which prevent his soul from being torn apart by demons sent by his mother. Without his mask, he’ll perish in short order.
Paymaster Stenstrom is introduced in Book IV as Captain Davage’s Paymaster aboard the New Faith. He will become the Main Character in the League of Elder Second Series starting with Book VII, The Sands of the Solar Empire, coming soon.
Copyright 2011, Ren Garcia and Eve Ventrue