Character: Frère Sulpice

A thread for OneShot's character

1 Like

Early Youth in Reims

Sulpice was born in Reims as second son of a family of traders.

He turned out handy and charming – but there was something wrong with him, that only animals appeared to notice. With 10 years he accompanied his father to another town’s market, when a draft horse panicked in front of him without apparent provocation, and pressed Sulpice against a wall. After it was calmed down and led away, the father found his son’s left ear deaf, and the market town’s capable chirurgeon determined, that Sulpice’s eardrum had been ruptured.

From then on Sulpice no longer travelled to market fairs, but worked as his father's apprentice commis in Reims: he delivered, dispatched and dictated invoices, receipts and letters, and finally updated the ledgers. During this time he regularly visited Eliza (HMRE p.47 box Eliza) for help with his ear, and met her weird young helper Yannis: together they roamed Reims on their few off-hours. Sulpice still tried to understand the accident with the horse - and around Yannis he sometimes felt irrational antipathy, which he then curbed with a categorical "Don't act the horse!" to himself. But when it became clear that the left ear of Sulpice would never recover again, his wealthy family sent him in his early teens to Paris to study law.

Studies in Paris

Before tackling the Corpus Iuris Civilis and the Pandects, Sulpice had to learn Latin, grammar and all the liberal arts first. But what was tedious for many a future lawyer to him was a revelation. He found, that he had a natural talent with and inclination to all written and spoken languages. He even paid a son of a daughter of Rashi ('s_daughters ) and a runaway Basilian monk from Apulia ( ) subsisting in Paris from lessons in Classical Greek to teach him more. He passed his exam as Magister Artium Liberalium as the youngest of his year. Soon he had a growing reputation as a scholar in exotic languages. Instead of studying law he lived by supporting scholars of Theology, Philosophiae, Medicine, yes, sometimes even law in understanding documents and texts. While this did not make him a fearsome advocate, it still promised to be a steady income in Paris, and finally his family accepted that.

Ars Notoria

Then a renowned professor of Theology appeared at his doorstep, to test him with a weird document (RoP:TD p.97), which so far those of his faculty had universally judged as gibberish or a hoax. It turned out to be prayers and rites in Latin, Classical Greek, Hebrew and Chaldean, and to Sulpice the orations made immediate sense. He made a copy and returned it only a season later, confirmed that it might have been once for other readers than Parisian professors, and afterwards scoured the familiar bookshops and libraries of Paris for further texts on the orations he had learned by now.

His eloquence and reasoning power soon increased remarkably, as did his grasp of Philosophiae and Theology.


He suddenly excelled at disputations and began to gather pupils, which would never have developed an interest in dead languages beyond the bare necessities of unavoidable exams.

It was told, that he had suppressed an outbreak of ‚Saint Anthony’s Fire‘ in his neighbourhood, and when asked, he could give a professional explanation of both the illness and the cure.

The Order of Hermes

So Marcus of Paris (TL&tL p.86 Intelligence Services) began to observe Sulpice, and after some deliberation the local Order of Hermes offered him to join and swear the Hermetic Oath. This opened the eyes to Sulpice about his Gift, and he accepted.


But as he afterwards delved still further into his orations, he met the angel Pahalia ( ). She sternly reproached his indiscretions and insisted, that he change his life and behaviour. Showing him her control over the results of his orations, she quickly convinced him.

Looking for a way to atone, he found Italians living from alms in a ramshackle hospice at Saint-Denis a few miles outside of Paris: Franciscan friars come recently to France.

The Franciscans

Encouraged by Pahalia, he studied and analyzed their lives and opinions. He found them sound, and fitting to both his needs: to further research his orations and to reinforce his humility. Finally he disposed of his wealth in favor of his elder brother, the runaway monk and his Jewish teacher, and joined the little friars. He soon turned out a prodigy both in begging and preaching, and still was highly requested as a translator and auxiliary scholar. On the Franciscans‘ request he soon was examined by the archdeacon of Paris and ordained priest to serve his brethren.

The Call to Triamore

To be continued with @Xavi.


Sulpice de Reims

Frère Sulpice de Reims

Covenant: Triamore

Saga: A bonfire of tradition

Characteristics: Int +2 [+5] (Analytical), Per +1 (Astute), Pre +1 (Serene), Com +2 [+5] (Eloquent), Str ‑2 (Slight), Sta +1 (Spirited), Dex +1 (Dextrous), Qik 0

Size: 0

Age: 24 (24), Height: 168 cm, Weight: 63 kg, Gender: Male

Decrepitude: 0

Warping Score: 0 (0)

Confidence: 1 (3)

Virtues and Flaws: Member of the Order of Hermes, Gentle Gift, Ars Notoria*, Magister in Artibus (240/240), Affinity with Ars Notoria, Initiated into Order of Hermes, Linguist, Puissant Ars Notoria, Mendicant Friar, Priest, [Greater Purifying Touch: Apoplexy], [Patron Angel: Pahalia], [Sense Realm Affiliation], The Gift, Optimistic (Major), Monastic Vows, Ability Block (Martial), Missing Ear (Hearing: ‑3), Offensive to Animals, Temperate

Personality Traits: Analytical +1, Brave +2, Optimistic +3, Serene +2, Temperate +3

Reputations: Unfit for Trade (Reims Merchants) 1, Learned Preacher (Artist Reputation) 1, Master of Exotic Languages (Academic Reputation) 3


Dodge: Init: +0, Attack ‑‑, Defense +2, Damage ‑‑

Fist: Init: +0, Attack +2, Defense +1, Damage ‑2

Kick: Init: ‑1, Attack +2, Defense +0, Damage +1

Soak: +1 [+6]

Fatigue levels: OK, 0, ‑1, ‑3, ‑5, Unconscious

Wound Penalties: ‑1 (1‑5), ‑3 (6‑10), ‑5 (11‑15), Incapacitated (16‑20), Dead (21+)

Abilities: Art of Memory 1 (Orations), Civil and Canon Law 1 (Papal Laws), Medicine 1 [6] (Anatomy), Philosophiae 1 [6] (Moral Philosophy), Theology 1 [6] (History), Chaldean 4 (Ancient Texts), Classical Greek 4 (Attic), Hebrew 4 (Biblical), Latin 5 (Academic Usage), Artes Liberales 5 (Rhetoric), Concentration 1 (Study), Awareness 1 (Alertness), Athletics 1 (Swimming), Brawl 1 (Dodge), French 5 (Orléanais), Preacher 3 (Impromptu Speaking), Scribe 1 (Copying), Intrigue 3 (Scholars), Leadership 3 (Preaching), Teaching 3 (Artes Liberales), Charm 3 (Fast Talk), Folk Ken 3 (Scholars), Area Lore: Paris 1 (University), Church Lore 3 (Franciscans), Ars Notoria 7+2 (5th Ring), Parma Magica 1 (Mentem), Code of Hermes 1 (Mundanes), Order of Hermes Lore 1 (History)

Equipment: Rings already recited successfully once: 1 to 5; Rings recited currently ( Ring 1 for two years in Spring: Philosophiae 6, Communication 5, Ring 2 for a year in Winter: Theology 6, Intelligence 5, Ring 3 for a year in Spring: Medicine 6, Greater Purifying Touch: Apoplexy, Ring 4 for a year in Spring: Patron Angel Pahalia ‑ MR 15, +5 Soak, Ring 5 for a year in Summer: Sense Realm Affiliation)

Encumbrance: 0 (0)

Placeholder: early develoment

Frère Sulpice as written is 23 (1197)
Yannis is currently 21 (1199)

If Sulpice was attacked by the horse when he was 10 that would mean Yannis was 8 and already in Reims. Perhaps the chirurgeon sought the help of Eliza when that event happened and they could have met then.

1 Like

Excellent! I'll buy that!

I further updated his early biography and his character sheet.

@Xavi and @MalakhGlitch: please take a look and see, whether you agree!

1 Like

For @Plot_Device: a remark about the Basilian runaway monk

For the earlier 1200s, Sulpice is a rare and precious bird: he knows both Classical Greek and Latin well, and can translate Classical Attic Greek to Latin.

Such scholars existed earlier: Gilbert de Poitiers, the Porretanus, must have had a helper able to do this in the first half of the 12th century.
But the most famous one is Willem van Moerbeke, who translated Aristotle directly from Greek to Latin for Thomas Aquinas.

But who could have taught Classical Greek to Sulpice?

After the great schism from 1054, most links between Greek Orthodox and Latin Catholic culture got weakened or severed - and the representatives of links remaining suffered.

One such link were Basilian monks. They had founded monasteries - called Lauras - in Southern Italy, while it was held by Byzantium. They stayed when the Byzantines left, first under Norman and then under Stauffian rule. To be allowed to do so, they sided with the Pope against the Patriarch of Constantinople. But they kept their rule, their liturgy, their liturgical calendar and the language of their service alive: Classical Greek. Basilian monasteries like Grottaferrata and San Salvatore of Otranto were sources of instruction in Classical Greek for Italian humanists still in the 15th century.

Life in these Lauras of the 13th century was likely often poor and hard: patrons would dwindle and novices become scarce. This should have led more than one monk to run away - and an enterprising one might have come to the famous University of Paris to capitalize on his Classical Greek. But typical Parisian professors (Porretanus and Aquinas among them) deemed Classical Greek too hard to acquire for its use in academic life. So the poor runaway was forced to serve enthusiasts and amateurs like Sulpice.

Yannis and Sulpice will have to get French (Picard) instead of French (Waloon). We have accents. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Actually Sulpice speaks French (Orlèanais) because of TL&tL p.143: "Orleanais is the dialect of the Ile de France, including Paris. Those from other parts of the country who need to communicate with the nobility also speak this language. This includes many merchants and trades persons." Over his many years in Paris Sulpice will have refined his French (Orlèanais).

I thought, that Yannis was born in the Ardennes and thus could speak French (Walloon) - but French (Picard) might be spoken just a few miles further towards Reims and is certainly also possible.

Ah right! He came from a family of traders. Makes sense.

I could have Yannis speak Waloon, but I changed it to Picard because it seems more appropriate. Anyways, we can understand each other and people at Triamore all the same. We just have accents. :slight_smile:

I adapted Frère Sulpice for the updated Order of Hermes setting now.

I also read:

At the beginning of 1218, there are under 20 Franciscans in France, and precisely 2 Franciscans - Fra Taddeo and Frère Suplice - in the Kingdom of Germany. But their - today unknown - rule might have been 1216 approved by Pope Honorius III already with the Perdono di Assisi.
As a Parisian Magister, Sulpice is already in minor orders, subject only to canon law, and can learn Academic Abilities.
Sulpice's Social Status Mendicant Friar represents his choice of life - thoroughly checked with Pahalia - and his adherence to a budding order which in 1218 nearly nobody in France or Germany understands, but which is very active, vocal and about to make itself known better.
@Xavi: I leave it to you to decide, whether by your saga standards this is a Minor or Free Virtue - but it needs to be on the character sheet of Sulpice. If in doubt, it could also be a Minor Virtue because likely to reduce botch dice for Ars Notoria.

I think you are asking me to make a ruling on a virtue that is already in the books, right? Mendichant Friar is there and has stablished values already. In that case go by what the books say. I prefer to spend my time planning the other 200 things on my plate if you do not mind :slight_smile: You are all adults, use your own criteria.

Hmm. That is what I have done so far.

Just have me point out then also, that by the books (ArM5 p.37 box Virtues and Flaws Rules and Guidelines) "All characters must take one Social Status, <...>". I am just trying to sound out, just where you follow the books, and to speed up that sounding make proposals. I will stick by the books until I have seen where you wish to go with the house rules.

it was pointed out that Wealthy and Poor did not make sense if you just "changed gear" at the start of the saga. And this is why we changed it. the rest of the stuff does not seem to interact in the same way with other stuff. The character was fine as he was.