King Castruccio Irovetti
A Biography of the King of Pitax by Calathes, Pathfinder Scribe.
Pitax is a River Kingdom of some pedigree, able to trace its history back over three centuries. During those centuries, it has been overrun on more than one occasion, first by the Steel Phalanx of Numeria, then a generation later by invaders from Mivon, and it was even split for half a century by civil war between its leading families. Yet through this all, Pitax has remained a hub for trade and a haven for smugglers. But now it faces its most dangerous enemy yet, an enemy from within—its own leader, Castruccio Irovetti, who may be able to do through corruption and pride what 3 centuries of war and upheaval could not—who could well bring Pitax to an end.
The man known today as Castruccio Irovetti was not born unto that name. The bastard son of a crusading Taldan knight and a Numerian noblewoman named Cimany Bellander, Castruccio’s birth name was the even more flamboyant Mandalarucio. His father sent regular deliveries of gold from the field of battle, so he and his mother never wanted for wealth. Mandalarucio’s mother doted on him, paying for dance, music, and language lessons and parading him among the other nobles of Hajoth Hakados as often as possible. Mother and son knew little of hardship until the payments from Mandalarucio’s father (a man he never met) ceased with his death at the hands of the Worldwound’s demonic host.
His mother did her best to make ends meet, but they had both grown used to extravagances, and within 2 months their funds had given out. The cutthroat aristocracy of Hajoth Hakados swiftly took action to reclaim the family estate, and just like that the Bellanders were out on the street. After suffering another 2 months of indignities, Mandalarucio turned to crime, using magic to gain the confidence of rich visitors and then robbing them, leaving behind victims too embarrassed or shamed at being duped to pursue justice.
Eventually, though, Mandalarucio made a critical error by attempting to con and rob a visiting member of the Technic League. When the con went sour and the Technic League sorcerer lost his hand to Mandalarucio’s blade, the young man went into hiding to escape punishment. But the Technic League didn’t need him to repay the blood debt. Operating under the aegis of the Black Sovereign and the slanderous whispers of local aristocrats, they quickly found that the missing Bellander had a mother—they arrested Cimany, and by the time Irovetti heard of her arrest, she’d already been executed.
When he learned of this development, Mandalarucio wasted no time. He stole into the inn the Technic League agents were staying at and extracted his revenge in a single night of red ruin. When the sun rose, the five Technic League agents were dead and the delivery of rare Numerian artifacts they had been entrusted with delivering to Starfall had vanished. Hajoth Hakados’s government had its suspicions, but the case was never solved, for Mandalarucio had fled Numeria entirely, never to return.
The next 2 years of his life were spent lying low in the River Kingdoms. He changed his name to Castruccio Irovetti, combining the first and last names of his mother’s favorite artists, and periodically sold off some of the Numerian artifacts he’d stolen for funds, but overall kept a low profile. It wasn’t until his wanderings took him to Pitax that his fortunes finally changed. After hearing rumors of strange treasures hidden in the forest called Thousand Voices, Irovetti entered the mysterious woodland in search of riches.
Nothing is known during this time as he disappeared for 2 years or why when he returned, he seemed even stronger and focused than before.
Once he re-appeared, Castruccio went straight to Pitax with rulership on his mind. Armed with his two remaining Numerian artifacts, he had an idea how to become Pitax’s newest ruler. One of these artifacts is a strange device called a mindrender baton — a device that functions like a rod of rulership. Irovetti began building his reputation in the city by using the mindrender baton to aid in purchasing several warehouses for scandalously low prices and securing relationships and deals with several important merchants and smugglers. Eventually, he invited two of Pitax’s leaders, the brothers Lothaire and Berengar, to a card game at one of his warehouses. Through the use of his mindrender baton and magic (particularly modify memory), Irovetti swindled the brothers out of their rule—the next morning, neither had any memories of being duped, but Irovetti owned a signed document legally handing over all the possessions of the ruling family to him, including the crown of Pitax.
As the bandit king Irovetti took control of Pitax, the city mirrored his dark and brutal personality, becoming a force to be reckoned with in the River Kingdoms and drawing the ire and envy of the lands surrounding it.