For a change of pace, I decided to write a villain rather than a hero. I’d be interested to see where people would take the story of his downfall (or victory). If you do write followup link it to my post and I will share it when I post my next Person of Interest.
Name: Verrill Mermon (Lord Verrill Tesmin)
Appearance: Verrill’s frame is extremely thin with a large potbelly. His black hair is going gray and his face is deeply lined. He wears a goatee which is mostly white. His clothes are extremely refined and expensive, usually a red as close to purple as he can get away with.
Description: Verrill grew up in the wharf, among the other destitute and the stench of fish guts rotting in the sun. He was the smallest child, and frail. The larger children bullied him relentlessly. He was constantly covered in bruises and cuts.
Most thought the boy would die young. Even his parents kept aloof and called him boy most of the time. He was isolated and alone in a world where might made right. He wondered to himself which child would be the one to finish him off.
This started to change when he caught one of the largest boys, Phillip, kissing another boy. Such actions were crimes against the church. At best he could expect strict punishment, at worst torture and death. As for Verrill, he just saw an opportunity.
A few days later Verrill waited outside the area of the trysts, listening to their passion. He smiled, this was his chance. If he succeeded then the bullying would end. If it failed he would be dead. He suspected this would work.
The smaller boy left, not noticing the black haired youth in the shadows. Verrill waited to speak until Phillip was leaving. “How godless you are, performing perversions in the eyes of your Lord,” Verrill’s voice echoed around the alleyway, disguising his location.
Phillip turned red and began to tense his powerful muscles. “I’ll kill you before you breathe a word to the church!” he spun around peering into the surrounding shadows.
“You misunderstand me,” Verrill said, grinning at angry young man “I have no desire to turn you in unless I have to. I think we can help each other,” he swallowed hard “I need protection from a strong man like you, and you need help covering up your nocturnal activities.”
Phillip’s brow furrowed as he continued scanning his surroundings “I think I’ll just kill you and be done with it.”
“That would be a mistake, friend. I have left a letter among my effects that would be sent to the church. It would be a shame if they learned of your actions,” Verrill laughed. “I could care less what kind of people you lay with, and as I said I will help cover for you as long as you help me.”
The large boy spun, frustrated, tears in his eyes “I’ll kill you!”
“Why don’t we be friends instead?” Verrill said quietly.
Phillip dropped to his knees, arms limp “Just don’t reveal Joseph, please. I’ll do whatever you want.”
Verrill walked out hand held out “As I said I can help you keep this secret. We will help each other.” Phillip looked up and reluctantly shook the small boy’s hand.
Verrill was as good as his word, knowing many places where the two could meet, many were his hiding places when he was a target. Phillip, in turn, convinced the bullies to leave him alone in a most violent nature. The feeling of power drove Verrill to search out the secrets of others. He blackmailed merchants, took control of the local constables and knew dark secrets on all those around him.
Within a few years, he was wealthy, Phillip serving loyally at his side. He had been through many boyfriends but Verrill had many places for him to meet his lovers. These were often beautiful rooms and Phillip came to have absolute loyalty. Once a lover threatened to turn Phillip in. Within a day the man was in a slave caravan headed south, his family’s deceptive trade practices revealed.
Verrill began to desire a beautiful woman to match his position. His target was a woman named Emily. She was part of a lesser noble family with very little wealth but had a connection with the royal family. He started sending his spies to watch their dealings. Within a week Varill had tracked down black market connections that were the only things that kept their finances firm.
Gleefully he sent a letter to the Lord Tesmin. It read simply “Alley off 152 Dervish Street, 5 o clock tomorrow. Arrive either with your daughter in bridal garb and a letter making me your heir or find guards at your home with evidence of your ‘business’, V”.
The Lord did the former, arriving in the alley with 5 strong men and his daughter. Verrill was prepared for this, however. Hired mercenaries on the surrounding buildings peppered the guards with bolts, leaving the Lord and his daughter alone. Verrill then entered the alley with Phillip. “I see you have brought your daughter as requested, although I am disappointed you tried to double cross me. Do you have the letter?”
Growling, the Lord tossed the letter to Verrill. Smiling, Verrill signed his name with a flourish, dried the ink with a little sand and tucked it into his cloak. “I have arranged for a priest to wed us just a few buildings away. Emily, my dear you look lovely. Come let us become one in the eyes of the Lord.”
“You’re a monster!” she screeched.
“Maybe,” Verrill allowed. “However, you’ll want for nothing in my care and your family won’t face the executioner’s axe.” He held out a hand. After a moment she took it. Verrill heard her weeping behind her veil.
“My Lord, as a courtesy I request no dowry. Let us away.” The Lord was beet red, fist clasped on the hilt of his blade. Phillip stepped in front of Verrill. Verrill simply raised a hand and a bolt landed at Emily’s feet. Tesmin paled and released his blade, his hands held open in front of him. Verrill simply nodded and the group went to the church and had a simple wedding ceremony, after which he consummated the marriage with his sobbing bride.
The next day he began the next phase of his plan. Lord Tesmin needed to die. His underworld connections were dangerous, and he needed the title to be his. Contacting some underground merchants he worked with and the guards of town. With some manipulation, he convinced the groups to work together to catch Lord Tesmin in the act.
It took several months of arrangement, during which time his wife swelled with pregnancy. The idea of a child excited him, he would have an heir to take over his businesses when he was old. The meeting was arranged and Verrill waited anxiously in his study, pacing.
Late in the night, a messenger delivered a missive. The Lord Tesmin had been captured and awaited execution. Gleefully, he recited ‘Lord Verrill Tesmin’ over and over, until he tired and retired.
The next day Emily rushed in, tears in her eyes. “My father has been captured is awaiting execution. He is no doubt being tortured as we speak,” he stared into his eyes, pleading “If you love me at all, save him! I will never fight you again, m’lord.”
“My dear I would do as you wish, but in the hands of the executioners, he is beyond my reach. The constables would listen to me, but not them.” The statement was a lie, he could have the man released with a word.
Emily knew this was true, and her eyes widened “You did this! You want his title for whatever dark purpose you have in your evil mind,” she sobbed into her hands. Deftly, she grabbed a dagger from a nearby table. “You won’t have me or my child, monster!” Verrill ran at her but it was too late, she had thrust the dagger into her chest. Coughing up blood she collapsed “I curse your name,” she gasped, struggling for breath. Her final words came out as a whisper “I will await you in hell, monster.”
Verrill sadly called for the undertaker to take his dead wife away. He was not used to things being taken away from him, and she had been his. He wore a black suit to watch the execution of her father. This at least brought some joy.
The next day Lord Verrill Tesmin went to court for the first time. For several months he listened to the other Lords manipulate the King to do as they wished. They were amateurs compared to him. He began to make plans.
Using his resources he set up crime sprees which he advised the king how to stop. He even revealed a bandit camp deep in the forest. He had known about and worked with them for years, but they were a small price for the power he was amassing.
Before Long he was the King’s closest advisor and using alchemical mixtures to make him open to suggestion. One by one Verrill enemies were arrested or hung as warlocks. He never married again but had many dalliances. He was waiting for the young princess to come of age. He already flattered her constantly and the 12 year old always blushed in his presence. He knew he could manipulate the King into doing as he wished.
Verrill could taste victory. The princess would be 13 in just a few months and the King had all but made him the crown prince. His businesses had long since made him the richest man in the Kingdom. His underworld connections controlled the city, and he could have anyone killed at any time, including the King. His power was unrivaled.
Then came Father Mormont. He appeared out of nowhere and the power of his godliness soon had the King’s ear. Once he had the lesser sycophants beaten for their lying ways. Verrill had tried several times to have him silenced but the man always saw through the plots. There was no connection to him anyone could find, he made sure of that.
A few days after his last attempt a knock came at Verrill’s door. Phillip answered it and Mormont stood waiting, hand holding his oversized crucifix. “I’ll make this brief. A spirit told of me of your evil. I know you are powerful, but I am commanded by the Lord to put a stop to you,” he glared through Verrill. “Lord Tesmin I offer you a chance to reform. Repent here and now and leave this Kingdom, never to return.”
Verrill sneered “Why should I do this? You simpleton priest, I am on the verge of ruling this land and nothing you can do will stop it. You have no power over me.”
The priest said nothing and simply tossed a ring on the ground. It was one given to the leader of one of his bandit lords. “Last chance, m’lord. I can and will destroy you.”
“That means nothing to me. Get out, lying priest or I will have my man kill you where you stand,” growled Verrill.
The priest nodded and walked away. Phillip closed the door and looked at his master. “He has declared war on me. No one does that and lives,” Verrill dropped into a chair. He quickly began writing letters. He would defeat this rival like all the others and he would be King.