John Argyropoulos, hermetic scholar - Myth-Weavers


John Argyropoulos, hermetic scholar

   
John Argyropoulos, hermetic scholar and alchemist



"These hermetic treatises of alchemy are not fables. You will see with your own eyes the Azoth… Darkness will appear on the face of the Abyss; Night, Saturn and the Antimony of the Sages will appear; blackness, and the raven's head of the alchemists, and all the colors of the world, will appear at the hour of conjunction; the rainbow also, and the peacock's tail. Finally, after the matter has passed from ashen-colored to white and yellow, you will see the Philosopher's Stone, our King and Dominator Supreme, issue forth from his glassy sepulcher to mount his throne in his glorified body... diaphanous as crystal, as flowing as quicksilver… to transmute lead into gold."

"As Hermes Trismegistus says, 'As Above, So Below.'"



Name: John Argyropoulos (Ἰωάννης Ἀργυρόπουλος)

Clan: Tremere, Tzimisce, Malkavian, Nosferatu, possibly Assamite (sorcerer)
Gender: Male
Nationality: Greek




Height: 5'9"
Weight: 170 lbs
Apparent Age:30
Actual Age: 30




Date of Birth: January 18, 1414
Place of Birth: Constantinople








DARK AGES: VAMPIRE


Name:
Affiliation:
Concept:.
John Argyropoulos

Hermetic scholar

Nature:
Demeanor:
Road:.
Visionary
Philosopher



Clan:
Generation:.
Sire:







ATTRIBUTES


PHYSICAL
Strength
Dexterity
Stamina
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SOCIAL
Charisma
Manipulation
Appearance
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MENTAL
Perception
Intelligence
Wits
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ABILITIES


TALENTS
Alertness
Athletics
Awareness
Brawl
Empathy
Expression
Intimidation
Leadership
Legerdemain
Subterfuge
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SKILLS
Animal Ken
Archery
Commerce
Crafts
Etiquette
Melee
Performance
Ride
Stealth
Survival
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KNOWLEDGES
Academics
Enigmas
Hearth Wisdom
Investigation
Law
Medicine
Occult
Politics
Seneschal
Theology
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ADVANTAGES


DISCIPLINES
In-Clan Discipline 1
In-Clan Discipline 2
In-Clan Discipline 3
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BACKGROUNDS
Allies
Fame
Resources
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VIRTUES
Conviction/Conscience
Instinct/Self-Control
Courage
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AND EVERYTHING ELSE


MERITS
You are able to speak a mixed language made of common tongues that most people you encounter will understand. You may not be able to hold philosophical discussions, but you can navigate your way through conversations in most places and will be able to communicate sufficiently in dire situations.
Lingua Franca(Free)
You are a learned scholar, able to bow read and write. The merits assumes that you can both read and write fluently in your native tongue, as well as Latin and any languages you have gained through the Multi-lingual Merit.
Literacy
Through patience, study, and/or immersion, you are able to speak another language or languages with native fluency. This represents a full command over the language. For each dot of Intelligence your character possesses, you may know one other language. you may also use the Merit to reflect secret codes, cant, jargon, or sign languages as well. Languages spoken: Greek (native), Lingua Franca and Latin (from Lingua Franca merit), Italian, Arabic, French, English.
Multi-lingual

FLAWS



Clan Weakness Text
Clan Weakness

ROAD
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Aura: (No Modifier)


WILLPOWER
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BLOOD POOL
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Blood Per Turn: ■
RITUALS



LANGUAGES
Greek, Lingua Franca (Free)

I'd appreciate a look over, @Peacemonger . It's been a while since I played Vampire and I've never played Dark Ages before. I intentionally left 3 points of Backgrounds and 12 points of Freebies off the sheet to save for later. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


All right, let's see...

Changes
-I'm going to say no to the Italian nickname of 'Giovanni', correct translation or not. Not a huge thing, but can see this being a bit confusing and distracting given how central Clan Giovanni is in the story.

Considerations
-I find with the 'enjoys scholarly pursuits and little else' can run into problems when there isn't a library about. You do a good job of mitigating it with his social charm, but one extra hobby or side passion can add a bit more. Not required, but something to consider.

Clarifications
Fine here.

Questions
-John believes in alchemy, but what about things like magic, demons, faeries, and so on? Does he believe those things have alchemical backgrounds, can be explained with science, something else?

-What is John's take on romance and love. As a man well into his years (especially for the time), has he had any paramours? Any interest in it whether in the past or present? Why or why not?

-You mention John's desire to find a powerful, noble patron. Is it simply a means to an end? A practical consideration of who can help? Does he feel the nobility are worthy of leading, of praise and loyalty whether inherent or earned?

-Where does John currently draw the line of how far is too far in his research? What will he consider, and what will he flat out refuse and why?

-Does John have any contact with his family any more? Did he cut out his roots whether intentionally or unintentionally, or does he still occasionally check in (or have relatives check in on him)?


Once you address the above I'll mark you complete!

Changes:
Good point. I removed the Italian and substituted the Latin Ioannes.

Considerations:
This is a legitimate concern. I tried to hint at the fact that he actually wants not scholarly pursuit, but public recognition. That's also why I chose Visionary as his Nature, instead of idealist or Philosopher or Fanatic. Those Natures would be single minded and solitary. Visionary, however, requires that others accept his vision. In effect, secretly and deep down, he wants approval and fame more than knowledge.

Clearly I need to emphasize that a bit more. And I do like the idea of adding another dimension to him. Perhaps I'll add something else too -- I'll think about what would be best.

Questions, with my answers
Quote:
John believes in alchemy, but what about things like magic, demons, faeries, and so on? Does he believe those things have alchemical backgrounds, can be explained with science, something else?
So, hermeticism is a belief system that mixes together alchemy with some weird neoplatonic stuff like heavenly spheres, angels and demons, and magic. So, yes, he'd believe in a lot of that stuff (as, indeed, 15th Century alchemists often would).

He would not believe in faeries as we understand them, as those are for the most from part English folktales. He also would have no beliefs in vampires or werewolves, for that matter. But angels and demons and magic, also speaking to the dead, yes, he'd likely believe in that. (honestly most Christians might have in the period, right?)
Quote:
What is John's take on romance and love. As a man well into his years (especially for the time), has he had any paramours? Any interest in it whether in the past or present? Why or why not?
I think I will add a love interest to his backstory as a way to give him some more depth. Probably I'll tie her into his fallout with his mentor. Perhaps she was his mentor's daughter? So he also aches from lost love and that is another reason why he wants to prove himself again.

I'd say that, in general, he desires love, but denies himself any opportunity for it at the moment, fixating instead on rehabilitating his reputation and re-establishing his position with his former mentor, so he can win back his former love.
Quote:
You mention John's desire to find a powerful, noble patron. Is it simply a means to an end? A practical consideration of who can help? Does he feel the nobility are worthy of leading, of praise and loyalty whether inherent or earned?
For the most part, yes, the patron can provide him with the financial support he needs to conduct his research, as well as improve his reputation. I would say he has no special loyalty to the nobility. He's no egalitarian democrat, of course, as that was almost unthinkable at the time. But he cares little for duty to his lord above getting what he needs. He would likely always provide the necessary politeness and appropriate respect to the nobility, but only out of a pragmatic consideration. It's just what one does and that is the way to get what he truly desires. Do the nobility truly deserve his respect? Not really. Not unless they actually understand and appreciate his genius and the importance of his work.
Quote:
Where does John currently draw the line of how far is too far in his research? What will he consider, and what will he flat out refuse and why?
He did not actually know that Gilles de Rais was going to kill anyone. He only thought that he was providing the man with heretical material in exchange for money. He likely did not believe that the books he sent could actually summon demons at all, much less lead to people's deaths. He is not a sociopath, by any means, merely egocentric.

He'd likely consider doing some questionable things, such as lying to a noble or turning a blind eye to someone else's misdeeds, and he is certainly comfortable with heresies. But no, he wouldn't directly harm another human being or conduct experiments on them or anything terrible like that. Not at this time.
Quote:
Does John have any contact with his family any more? Did he cut out his roots whether intentionally or unintentionally, or does he still occasionally check in (or have relatives check in on him)?
Yes this is another place I could add some depth. I had assumed that his parents would be dead by now, but his brother may very well still be in Constantinople. I'd say he has no strong reason to disown or hate his family, as they set him on a quite normal path for someone in his position and did not prevent him from doing what he desired. My guess is that they have little contact and less in common. But yes, perhaps I'll write a vignette that contains some correspondence between him and brother, so I can explore that relationship.

So, in sum, here's what I plan to add:
(1) A paragraph about his mentor's daughter, whom John loved. She likely was not so in love with him, but John had hoped, as his mentor's star pupil, that his mentor might agree to their marriage. John sees this as having been ruined by his fight and exile. I might even have the new apprentice, Cristofano, mention that he is now courting the hand of the daughter, and have that be what causes John to fly into the rage and strike him, accidentally killing him.
(2) I'll also add a paragraph with some correspondence between him and his brother.

Let me know how all that sounds. I'll probably get to those additions tomorrow. Thanks for the feedback!

OK thanks!

I pretty significantly changed the first few paragraphs of Personality (paragraphs 2-4).

In Background, I made two changes. First, I addressed the father/brother relationship in paragraph 3 and the final paragraph, suggesting the father is dead and the older brother disdains John, who hopes to return someday and prove his older brother wrong. I also introduced his mentor's daughter as someone John had been courting in paragraph five.

Finally, I added a reference to the mentor's daughter into my secret...

Thanks to the feedback, I think this character is more interesting and dynamic now, a bit more of a loose cannon, with more of a social focus in his desires.








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