Caius is the second-born son of Baron Frederick and Baronness Jade Gawyne. He is a full three years younger than his eldest brother, Hunter, and at the same time, three years older than his closest sister, Ivy. His next brother, Robert, is four years his younger. His other two siblings, another brother and a sister, are far enough away from him in age that he is only just beginning to form real relationships with them as an adult.
NPC + PC Family
Hunter Gawyne - NPC
Ivy Gawyne - PC
As the second child, Caius was oft compared to his brother. He was a quiet and easy infant, content to be held and hardly ever fussy. He, like his brother, was given all that he could have wanted as another male and potential heir. While Hunter was studious, the second Gawyne was active—he much preferred physical activity, rough housing, and making messes. He was creative instead of logical, and yet had great aptitude for reading and history and stories, always captivated by knowing what had happened before his time. He was the boy who got lost in the Fort Gawyne library whenever possible, curling up in a chair with a stack of books he had to blow dust off of before he could even open. He learned to read early as a very young child, perhaps in true competitive form against his brother, and has never grown out of his appetite for the written word and the process to create a book from start to finish.
He took well enough to combat training as was fitting for a Lord, finding close combat and the use of a sword both worthy of any tale in an old tome and exciting for the strategy involved. Sticks, pans, and real weapons borrowed from the Gawyne armory often snuck their way into his play with his siblings, much to the chagrin of his parents. Tutors eventually brought him to focus on the saber, and while he has no particular interest in military service, Caius is aware that Idalos is a world full of conflict—he is a noble, after all.
Caius’ real love was and is art—both the visual arts and the written word—and the young Lord drew and painted and charcoaled and carved his vision of such expression on every surface in Fort Gawyne. There are secret art works hidden in places adults would never know to look and there were many cold Zi’da days spent scrubbing walls with the servants for his disobedient creativity. He found it easier to express himself visually and physically than he ever did with words as a child, and was often teased by his brother for being quiet and shy when he just couldn’t find the right words to say no matter how bold he felt inside. However, this creative pursuit was not deemed practical for a Lord of any age and this in the spirit of competition and preparation, Caius was discouraged from pouring too much of himself into anything resembling the arts. It was good for a man to aspire to be well-rounded, said the his father far too often, but a Gawyne must seek to expand his mind through practical knowledge and well-honed wisdom through study and discipline while cultivating pleasing hobbies within the arts instead. And so even as a child, Caius began to grow discontent, torn between the pursuit of knowing and the need to make with his hands.
He and his siblings were quite close as children, and despite the often confusing competitiveness placed upon him by parental expectations, he admired his older brother and was always finding ways to get into trouble with his sister Ivy. Their penchant for adventure was notorious throughout Fort Gawyne, though it was usually Caius who got in trouble or Robert who took the blame, the boys more often than not making sure to heroically look out for their sisters.
At least until they couldn’t.
Caius blames himself for Ivy’s disappearance, for it was their shared spirit of adventure that encouraged her decision. That and he grew afraid and refused to come with her, aware that the repercussions from their father and family once they were found would have been far too much for the quiet, bookish boy to bear.
In the trials after Ivy’s disappearance, so much of his home life was turned upside down. Hunter’s blame and anger drove a wedge between them as Caius was the first to speak up that he knew. While his eldest brother didn’t blame him at all it seemed, the younger Gawyne didn’t need anyone else to tell him how to feel. He remained supportive of his parents, which lost the youth his eldest brother’s respect. The yelling and talk of vengeance drove Caius further into his studies and into his quiet, creative world. Had he been asked, he would have gladly sworn the same vengeance, but he was not, instead choosing to pursue knowledge in his own way, seeking to sooth the hurt but also gather information in ways that Hunter could not, always leaving him the clues as his older brother was still looked upon with authority by birthright, no matter who objected to his accusations and crazed methods.
When Ivy returned, Caius was often the one who found the most creative ways to see her, his self-initiated guilt driving him to take the risks in order to cheer her up with drawings, paintings, books, and poetry.
With the failure of his brother to find Ivy’s captor, Caius became disillusioned with both Hunter’s supposed superiority as well as traditional nobility in general. Everyone had failed and to the younger Gawyne, something had to change. That something started inside himself. The desires to constantly resort to violence and conflict felt foolish, leading only to more trouble instead of the solution everyone surely longed for. The young Gawyne longed for peace in his own home and peace for his siblings foremost. He missed their friendships and closeness, the loneliness of suffering driving him inward and away instead of empowering him to get involved. He allowed himself to become an outsider, afraid to step up, to speak out with words lest he bring more hurt and chaos.
More frustrated than ever at the conflict and ineptitude that raged within his own House, he threw himself into studies of language and history and art and religion and politics, seeking to expand his mind with ruthless precision and yet more and more relying on the creative outlet of art to express the things he could not say out loud, to communicate wordlessly with those willing to listen. And then Ivy left him too, alone with his younger siblings, and after Robert’s death Caius truly felt as though he had no one. He became aloof and disinterested in the duties and expectations of his family, missing the companionship of his closest siblings and exhausted by the expectations of his father to fill a role he had not been raised to fit into without the option of creating his own expression of it.
By his 18th year, he requested to go to Viden to study Art, a request that was not right away granted by his father in Hunter’s absence. Instead, the restless Caius took on the role of eldest Lord in his brother’s place for more arcs than he desired, each new season bringing his request back before his father with more and more desperation. Growing more and more apathetic to the trappings of nobility while his hunger to learn grew impatient and starved, the young Gawyne was finally granted his freedom to study abroad and he took it without hesitation.
Young Adulthood to Present
Finally, with Hunter’s return from Nashaki and subsequent studies at Rynmere University, Caius was allowed to leave for Andaris and study as well. However, he took the first opportunity he had to put distance between himself and his family by choosing to study for almost an entire arc in Viden. It was difficult and even colder than his own homelands, and yet the separation was perhaps just the kind of breathing room he needed after all that had happened within his family. After that arc abroad, he has returned to Andaris to continue his studies at Rynmere University. Though he still does not associate at all with his brother, especially now that the eldest Gawyne has returned home, Caius desires to seek out his sister and perhaps rekindle their friendship now that they are both far from the confines of their home in the north. Inside, Caius still longs to bring stability and peace, though his focus is on his immediate circle, still far too disillusioned to consider his usefulness in the kingdom at large.
His creativity has matured after studying drawing and painting and writing. After countless hours among books and scrolls and old times, he has found an interest in printmaking with its meticulous precision and physical activity as well as in the making of books with its long process with so much careful involvement. The Baron has no interest in his second son becoming an artist, however, and so Caius could only pursue Printmaking in the Institue of Arts under the strict promise that he take up a more practical course of study. Therefore, the ever rebellious second son has chosen Religion as his primary course of study, a choice that keeps him constantly covered in the dust of old books, his fingers on spines in need of sewing, and buried in old stories of knowledge far beyond his understanding.
Just as it should be for a proper Gawyne.
Tomes are dusty, but they provide a good bit of information. Even more importantly, they provide you with a location in which your true education can begin. North of Viden there is a cave that is talked about in a rumor you found written in the pages of a book. Told to contain a source of true knowledge, Treid's Sanctum has been undisturbed for two hundred arcs. It could all be a rumour, but perhaps it's not. And for some inexplicable reason, you want to leave your home and figure out if the hype is to be believed.
But there is a niggling feeling that the exact arc, trial, break and bit of your death happens to fall on the date you get to Treid's Sanctum. Do you want to take the risk in pursuit of knowledge? Or will you allow the cave to remain undisturbed, and hope the date of your natural death will come far later? You decide.
Courtesy of Djinn