Male.Pʟᴀᴄᴇ ᴏꜰ Oʀɪɢɪɴ
Tall, sharp featured and with a perpetual expression of dissatisfaction, Godomar cuts an imposing figure as he strides across the deck. He prefers a formal uniform of black framed with purple, every button shone to perfection and every frill delicately positioned, a formality that is, in his opinion, essential to the proper running of a ship. His hands are naturally clasped behind his back, allowing him to look the very signature of a classic Archipelago gentleman as he stalks the ship in search of laziness, slovenliness and disobedience to put to rights. When not dressed in a full formal uniform (for fencing practice or when working the rigging, for example) Godomar prefers an low cut white shirt and hard wearing trousers, though he rarely parts with his boots, each polished to a mirror-like sheen. Even when out of his stuffy formal uniform, he likes to remind others of his superiority with their pristine perfection, though you'd never hear him say that out loud.Pᴇʀꜱᴏɴᴀʟɪᴛy
Judged by the aesthetic standards of his native Chaleur, Godomar is a very handsome young man, with the wide shoulders and lithe form preferred on the island as well as the symmetrical, sharp features in vogue at the moment. He is only missing the extravagant hairstyle and expensive clothes to get all the way there. He has always kept his hair cut down close to his head for practical reasons and claims fashion is the pursuit of fools and the profession of conmen, however. He is lucky, then, that his preferred attire of an Academy regulation uniform is in fashion everywhere. Or, rather, it is out of fashion nowhere as it never pays to be too dismissive of the Academy. Besides, who doesn't like a man in uniform? The only thing that mars Godomar's good lucks is his predilection to scowl, sneer and otherwise look down his nose at others, though they say that is very much the preferred demeanour of men in Baleine. It's hard to appreciate the velvety quality of his voice of the pools of amber that are his eyes while both are doing their best to belittle you.
With a sardonic smile and an appraising raised eyebrow, Godomar can tell you everything you need to know about him and exactly what he thinks of you. The smile is patronising, assuming for your sake that whatever you've just said or about to say sounded cleverer in your head. It makes you feel smaller, clumsier and sparks a red flush around the nape of your neck. The eyebrow is challenging, goading you into trying again like a red rag in front of bull, encouraging you to abandon the old motto of 'once bitten, twice shy'. And when you do, it's just more of the same, more looking down his nose and more and failing to suppress condescending little chuckles while you're speaking. His friends are few and far between and even they need to weather any number of barbs and jibes on a day-to-day basis, though in his defence he gives a playful nature to these insults, less attack and more poke, but lashes out with all venom on anyone unfortunate enough to try the same jovial mocking to him or one he considers friend.Sᴋɪʟʟꜱᴇᴛ
It's a common criticism of those people who feel the need to tear others down that they do it only because it makes them feel better about their own inadequacies. And in the case of Godomar, this is half right. He has no personal surprising deficiency that he's covering for, he's not secretly a coward and didn't covertly cheat on his examinations. The only secret that Godomar is covering for a rather mundane one; he's not as rich as he pretends to be. The ancient house of Vandame is failing, its coffers long since drained and the family estate crumbling for lack of maintenance. Now, out on the decks of a ship, few care how much land a name has behind it or how many titles your grandfather had. Godomar, however, spent his youth in the Carreau Academy, where a person's family history speaks as loud or louder than their deeds. To be considered for notice or commendation in the Academy, he needed to work twice as hard for twice as long as anyone from a more wealthy dynasty.
As such, Godomar has become adept at two things that define him as a person. Firstly, deflecting doubt (internal or external) and aspersions onto those around him, whether friend or foe. He is bitingly harsh in his criticism, acidic in his wit and disingenuous in his compliments, all as a learned defensive reaction to growing up surrounded by those who found it natural to look down upon him. If you can't join them, beat them. Secondly, he is a singularly driven individual and a hard worker. When he sets himself to the task, he barely tires, doesn't slow and never deviates until it has been achieved or he has collapsed. It's tunnel vision, to be sure, but backed up by a deep reserve of willpower. And while it is less pronounced and more a product of his experience than upbringing, there is a third essential element to his character; he is fiercely loyal. After the cut-throat world of the Academy, Godomar has been refreshed to learn that people out here in the world are capable of interacting without sniping, of giving without expecting to take. It's new to him and he's having some difficulty getting to grasps with the concept but those that show him such kindness secure a spot in his heart, forever.
♦ The Noble Art of the Duel♦ A Classical Education♦ Command and ManagementWᴇᴀᴋɴᴇꜱꜱ
As the son of a nobleman who was educated and largely raised in an Academy full of nobles, Godomar has some trouble connecting to those who've lived less privileged lives. For while the Vandame house is poor by their standards, they still possess more wealth most people will see in their lives and he has been afforded access to a standard of life at the Academy most can only dream of. Coupled with his haughty, prickly demeanour, this makes Godomar a hard man to like for those how are traditionally considered his social inferiors and, given the state of his family, an even harder man to respect for a noble. He's caught between the two, far too poor to be real nobility but too proud and too aloof to be a commoner. Most of those people he considers friends are themselves somewhat outside the normal structure of society, such as Zephyrus.Hɪꜱᴛᴏʀy
Additionally, while he is supremely well trained at the art of duelling, the theory of ship-to-ship combat and the practise of command, Godomar has no true experience. He has never killed in anger or self-defence, never ordered a ship to open fire upon the enemy and never had to make a decision upon which the lives of his crew hinged. In all these things, he is "so green he pisses grass" to use the colourful slang of the Imperial Navy. In time he is sure to accumulate experience and have ample opportunities to put hard earned skills into practical use but until he has faced those tests, there must be some doubt as to whether he can honestly bare the title of First Mate aboard The North Wind.
Born to Varimir Vandame and Celeste Vandame, Godomar could be said to have been born a hundred years too late. A century ago, the members of house Vandame were influential, powerful and wealthy. Now the head of the house could barely scrape together the capital to hire a single ship and they couldn't even afford to send their son and heir to the Carreau Academy. Godomar was raised on tales of the glory days so that by the time he was seven, he knew far more of what happened in yesteryear than what was happening in his present or what might happen in his future. And that future was more than a little unclear.Aᴍʙɪᴛɪᴏɴꜱ
There was no money in the family coffers to send him to Carreau Academy and no question of him learning a trade, not one of such illustrious blood. There was only one chance; scholarship. It would be galling for a noble to enter the Academy on such a scheme, as they were usually reserved for commoners of exceptional skill, but better that he be galled within the school than proud within it, it was decided. Of course, the scholarships were awarded based on merit so Godomar would have to prove himself a more attractive candidate than any sailor's son or merchants child.
Varimir, whose spirit had been broken some years ago with his final ill fated mercantile venture, held out no hope that his son would draw the eye of the Academy's scouts but Godomar was not deterred. He taught himself about the theory of sailing and navigation, learning from the family's decaying library, and practised on a decrepit skiff, the last of the ancestral fleet. He nearly killed himself a couple of times by crashing or going to far on the aged vessel but some accident of fate or family had granted him the iron backbone of the Vandames of old.
And so when the choosing came, some weeks after his eleventh birthday, Godomar was gratified but not terribly surprised to be selected to attend the Carreau Academy on a full scholarship. However, while he had been warned that he was unlikely to be welcomed into the arms of his noble born classmates, he couldn't have been prepared for the venom that the son of disgraced noble family who was only got in on grant money would face. He was shunned, ridiculed and had his life made even more difficult than the life of any student in the Archipelago's most prominent Naval Academy already was.
He persevered, however, learning first to ignore the stings of words and then how to use them for himself. His exemplary academic record kept him in the school and he made sure never to stray from the letter of the Academy's regulations but soon any who dared cross him would catch the sharp end of his tongue. More than a few gauntlets were dropped after he handed out a verbal tirade, as the insulted's only way to maintain a reputation after such a volley of vicious insults and listings of their shortcomings.
So, having developed a thick skin and a sharp tongue not to mention numerous Naval skills, Godomar finally graduated from the Academy at the age of twenty one and was somewhat surprised to find that the outside world cared far less for his blood than his record. While the Archipelago's aristocratic system was certainly still in place, merchants care more about the potential in lost profit by hiring a foolish crewman than about breaking with tradition. Within weeks of leaving the Academy, his home for ten years,
Godomar was flooded with offers.
He took a few brief contracts on Merchant skiffs and one on an Imperial junker, serving as one of the officer's staff. They were interesting and helped him learn the realities of the sailing life not taught in the Academy, like banging ships bread on the deck a few times before biting in or how to successfully sleep in a hammock, but he didn't feel interested in extending any of them to longer stays aboard. Instead, he continued to look for the perfect job, the one that would make sure he stood head and shoulders above his erstwhile classmates.
After nearly two years of mundanity, it came. Madame Le Fèvre, allegedly a descendant of the great explorer Cumulus himself, was in the market for a crew and, most importantly, a first mate. The interview was intriguing, not least because the parameters and length of the mission were kept so vague, and Godomar saw many of his former colleagues there as well. In the end, however, he was chosen to serve as first mate to the captain, one Zephyrus Duchamps. He would find out later that it had been the captain's advice that had swayed their benefactor's mind in the matter, as he had apparently preferred Godomar's unflinching belligerence to the snobby condescension of his peers.
Godomar has, for most of his life, had one ambition; to restore the house of Vandame to its former glory and riches. It has been many decades since it was considered one of the great houses of the Archipelago or since one of its children was called upon to give advice in an Imperial Council. This ambition was thrust upon a young Godomar when his father, Varimir Vandame, gave up on the same quest. Since then, it has been a mantra for the only son of the house to console himself with through long years of back breaking toil and ridicule at the hands of his peers. One day, he has always assured himself, they will have no choice but to take it back, to eat their words. The name of Vandame will tower over them and they'll have to bow down.Iɴᴠᴇɴᴛᴏʀy
Since graduating with full honours and a special commendation, however, that dream has seemed a little hollow. After all, the name of house Vandame didn't support him through his trials, he pulled himself through them by willpower and determination. His ambitions haven't changed entirely though, they've simply shifted in motive. It's not the name Vandame that he wishes to elevate anymore, it's the name Godomar. He will have glory, fame, riches, influence and anything else he can acquire through those means available to him. The last hope of house Vandame is as rabidly ambitious as he is stubborn and will not stop for anyone on his climb upwards.
♦ Duelling Pistol — An ornate pistol, designed for maximum accuracy and flashiness at the cost of reload speed.
♦ Family Sword — A family heirloom, this sword has seen many a combat and hangs heavy at Godomar's side.
♦ Spyglass — Using plates of glass, this tube allows for the magnification of far off sights.