[size=150]Humbert de Venosc[/size] aka [size=150]Humbert du Cheval[/size] aka
[size=150]Humbertus Eques filius Livia, House Guernicus[/size] aka [size=150]Humbertus Scorpio[/size]
Humbert the Horseman
Humbertus is of average height, perhaps just a hair shorter than usual. He is relatively fair skinned with medium length brownish hair. He is clean shaven. His eyes are blue. His build is a little on the stocky side, reflecting his peasant birth. His fingers are quick and deft, a sharp contrast to the limp which spoils his gait; his left leg was broken at some point in the past and did not heal properly. When asked, he says it was "during his apprenticeship," but will not elaborate.
He has adapted quickly to the clothing style of Cappadocia and the Middle East, favoring light silks for the most part, though his boots and belts are made of leather. He is rarely seen without a leather pouch on his belt and, to those with eyes to see, enchantment is visible upon it.
Humbertus has a lively and inquiring mind, not unusual in a quaesitor. In Humbert's case, it has led to a tendency to pry into, well, almost everything. He is, in fact, something of a busybody.
He will also argue at the drop of a hat on very nearly any subject. He claims that he is sharpening his skills at disputatio for use at Tribunal and elsewhere. Probably he just likes to argue.
Humbertus Eques (Humbert the Horseman) arrived at Mystikae Eikona seven years ago, having passed his gauntlet some eight years before that at Mystikae Eikona's mother(?) covenant in the Alps. He cited climate as the major reason for his migration.
He rapidly established himself in an expansive ground floor laboratory and quickly built a reputation for himself as a busybody and a fiery disputant, primarily on the behalf of his newly adopted home. He is a fiercely loyal friend, as some came to learn, but just as fierce an enemy. Clearly more comfortable with animals than people, said animals oddly not fearing him as they do most magi, he nonetheless worked hard to make a place for himself in the Covenant, bringing his skills as a Quaesitor to bear when needed.
The horse raising enterprise was a favorite of his, of course, and his limping presence was often seen around the enclosures - that is when he was not riding his own mount.
As time went by, he began to convert his lab into a veritable menagerie of local fauna as well as small stable and stockyard for the subjects of his experimentation. It was somewhere during this time that he made the acquaintance of Octavia, the exceptionally large scorpion who was to become his familiar (and cause of a new cognomen for Humbert himself, Scorpio).
The disturbing (to some) sight of Humbertus with a rat-sized scorpion riding on his shoulder has become common around the Covenant, although Octavia wisely remains hidden when Humbert rides out to visit the horse ranch or other areas outside of the somewhat eccentric confines of the covenant.
Humbert is, of course, Catholic and has recently taken to meditating and praying in the Chapel on occasion. (*note, he's not rabid about it or anything mind you, but he was raised Catholic and the presence of the Divine is indisputable.)
Humbertus occupies a sizable chunk of the cave complex and has turned it into something that resembles a zoo as much as a laboratory. As one approaches it, the first thing one sees is the stabling area where a selection of horses live, including Humbertus' favorite mount, Piedvent. The stables are constructed out from the caves and include access to a small field in which the horses can run and play, although they are quite often left to run with the other herds, half wild in the vale.
From that point, one enters the laboratory proper, a spacious area in a shallow cave, isolated from the rest of the cave complex - at least, so far as anyone including Octavia has been able to determine. Wooden shutters may be closed to block off access to all or part of the cave, and a few areas in the back have been walled off to provide more protected storage.
To the left as one enters, most of the wall is taken up with a menagerie of local fauna, the care of which is one of Theodora's main tasks; Theodora being the local girl who serves as Humbertus' personal servant. There is an extensive scorpion habitat, among other structures. Some of the holding pens are built into the walls themselves, others are cages or bins resting against it, and so on. Nearest the open air is large bird house with access to the open air.
A feature of both the stables and the menagerie which is not immediately apparent, but which becomes obvious on a very short observation, is that many of the enclosures are not actually sealed; the inhabitants are free to come and go as they please. Some, of course, are true cages, and when asked why some are kept one way and others another, Humbert replies that some animals are more trustworthy than others and some are just too stupid to be left to roam free.