Lord Charles Frederik LaVerne Blacktree was the head of the Blacktree noble family of Ravens Bluff during the latter half of the 14th century DR. He had an impressive civic career within the city, having served as both Lord Speaker of the Advisory Council and Field General of the Ravenian army during the war of 1370, and was nominated for, and nearly won, the position of Lord Mayor.
As a young man, Charles Blacktree IV was somewhat lanky and awkward in appearance, standing 5'11" (1.8m) and weighing 160 lbs (72.6 kg).
When he made appearances in court or at social functions during his younger years, Charles would wear custom-tailored fine silks and leather boots, a brocaded cape, a velvet hat with a roc's feather and a jeweled dagger tucked into his belt.
When hunting or traveling he wore a custom-made suit of green studded leather armor, sometimes complemented by his magical gauntlets of swimming and climbing. While he didn't care much for their practical use, he appreciated their finely-crafted appearance.
The young lordling enjoyed his noble position and wealth, and certainly didn't mind flaunting them around the Bluff. He often bragged about his skills as a hunter, his way with women and his political connections, but with little evidence to back up his claims.
If challenged, he would bluster and threaten, but would never commit to a physical confrontation if any conflict rose to that level. He would often throw revels at his estate for his friends among the Ravenian noble youth and enjoyed his reputation as a playboy. While he was tolerated by his colleagues in the Advisory Council, mostly as a gesture of respect to his late father, he was often merely tolerated. For many years he was regarded as vain, indolent and wildly irresponsible by the nobles of the Bluff, and he believed them to be stuffy and old-fashioned.
While this reputation followed Charles for years, it wasn't a permanent state of being for the aging noble. During the War of Ravens Bluff in the year 1370 DR, he joined the Ravenian military as a battlefield commander, rising to the rank of Field General. During this time he was highly respected among everyone in the Bluff, to the point where he had the backing of most of the Ravenian army, in the post-war election for the title of Lord Mayor. In the years to follow he showed some signs of reverting to his old habits of sloth and decadence, much to the chagrin of Lady Katherine.
Charles Blacktree IV was born the second son to Lord David Blacktree IV and Lady Melanie Blacktree. He was largely ignored by his parents, who favored his older brother David V, who was being groomed as the future Lord of the Blacktree estate.
He came into his inheritance too early in life, completely unprepared for the duties of managing the family's 2,000 acre Blackwood Manor as well as their financial holdings. However, these responsibilities were presented to Charles when his parents and older brother all died at sea. Charles left the Blacktree fortune in the hands of the major domo of Blackwood Manor, Ilhans Silverspeak,[note 1] who had served his father for over 20 yeas. In return, Ilhans provided the young noble lord with a regular stipend of gold to live comfortably in the city and otherwise refrain from interfering with Blacktree business.
After it was discovered Ilhans was investing in shady businesses, and nearly bankrupted the Blacktree family, control was transferred over to "Iron" Henry Mason, head of the family's personal guardsmen, the Black Knights. Charles meanwhile, remained content on merely spending his family's money.
Charles' life wasn't completely carefree however, as he did serve as the Lord Speaker of the Advisory Council of Ravens Bluff during the late 1350/60's. On the occasions when he chose to meetings, the young lord disregarded his duties and played favorites with what power he did wield. Many remembered him as the worst speaker in recent history.
When the city of Ravens Bluff was threatened by the invading Warlord, Myrkyssa Jelan, Lord Charles Blacktree took up his family's name in the city's call-to-arms. He devoted his entire personal guard, some 250 trained guards (who served as "gardeners" of Blackwood Manor), and his 20-strong contingent of expertly-trained Black Knights to the quickly-forming Ravenian army. Furthermore he joined the military leadership as a commander, quickly ascending to the rank of Field General, under Lord Marshal Gaius Varro.
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- Bruce Rabe and Lew Wright (November 1994). “Back in Black”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #101 (TSR, Inc.), p. 10–12.
- ↑ Gateway to Ravens Bluff, the Living City refers to this person as "Hans Silverspeak" but the more recent The City of Ravens Bluff refers to him as "Ilhans Silverspeak".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Jean Rabe, Skip Williams and Ed Sollers (1989). Gateway to Ravens Bluff, the Living City. (TSR, Inc), p. 11.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 67. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.