The Duke & Harlequin

Who are these mysterious Gifted? Find out today!

There are two Gifted going up for pre-order later today. We saw the Duke earlier in the week, but we also have fan-favourite Harlequin too!

Who Are the Gifted?

Well, that’s a bit of an odd question to answer. The Gifted can be anyone, but they are also no one.

Unlike other factions in Carnevale, the Gifted are a disparate group. They exist as a complete faction only fleetingly, when their goals align. For the Gifted are a series of individuals, linked together merely by circumstance.

When the Rent in the Sky opened, it brought with it catastrophe to millions of souls. The pain and suffering was beyond record, killing most of Europe in floods and fires. Many who didn’t die immediately succumbed in the weeks and months to follow as pestilence and famine set in.

Yet suffering wasn’t the only thing the Rent in the Sky brought into the world – it also brought magic.

Although magic had long existed, it was merely a background noise, unnoticeable to even the most skilled practitioner. As the Rent opened, raw magic spilled out of it, and over the two years since, many have studied long and hard with masters of the eldritch to use this energy to craft spells of their own.

However, a minute percentage of the population felt the magic in a more primal way. These individuals are linked completely to the Rent, tied to the magic inexorably. They feel the magic flow through them and offer them unheard-of abilities. These powerful heroes can be found throughout Venice – where their powers are strongest – offering their help to those who need it (or can pay). However, they must live in the shadows, as there are dozens of different groups that would see them captured or killed.

Who is Harlequin?

For what little we know about the Gifted, Harlequin is actually quite easy to pin down!

An acrobat beyond reproach, Harlequin may well be the most dexterous person in the world! The Rent in the Sky gifted him the ability to spring about from step to step, moving so erratically that he can avoid even crossbow bolts and pistol shots!

Harlequin sees himself as a protector of the city, selling his sword to those who need it, rather than those who pay the highest price. Barely a night goes by when the jester isn’t out on the streets fighting for peace.

Although his origins are somewhat more murky than his jovial attitude and bouncy persona would suggest…

The Commedia dell’Arte

This group of touring performers are legendary in Venice. If not for their showstopping performances, then for the bloody toll they exact on their audience. Cruel and sadistic to the core, each member of the Commedia thrives on causing pain to whomever they come across, often kidnapping guests after their shows, or murdering people during the performance. These acts are greeted by cheers and laughter as the vicious troupe trick their audience into believing the show simply make-believe.

The group seem to get more vicious as time goes on, turning more and more into their personas.

Why is this important?

Harlequin used to be a member of this very troupe. Whatever transpired to gift them with their powers also gave them a thirst for pain that has yet to be sated. What Rent madness that afflicts this troupe may well also be affecting Harlequin. It certainly would explain why he is always found in the thick of the fighting night after night…

What About the Duke?

For all that we know about Harlequin (his powers, his demeanour, but not his real name or really anything about him), we know even less about this shadowy figure.

And shadowy is indeed the right term, as the Duke has been known to appear and disappear at will, leaving nothing more than an alleyway full of cloying smoke in his wake.

The Duke – by all accounts – is a man of contradictions. He is brave and commanding, but also secretive and skulking. One night he will lead the charge, and the next he will stick to the shadows, striking only when his enemies least suspect him.

It is even said that he has split personalities. He could work for a group for a week and then the next day would look them blank in the eye, not knowing them from the next adventurers. Some claim that the Duke is merely a name given to an entire group of assassins – much like the fabled Rialto Assassins allied with the Guild.

Whatever the truth, the Duke will sell his sword to anyone who needs it – depending on his current mood that is. That sword you buy tends to be different night to night, much like his personality. Always of the finest craftsmanship, the Duke’s weapons have no equal short of the highest up Patricians. This suggests nobility, but for such an elite aristocrat to be Gifted would be a true advent – one such person could truly change the world.

 

Both the Duke and Harlequin are going to be released for pre-order later today, so check back to pick them up soon!

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