Vidrigal Archimbauldt Rainor Montresse
A seasoned and dour old inquisitor willing to preserve order and justice at any cost.
Inquisitor Montresse cuts an imposing figure for a 63-year-old. He is 6’2" and 175 lbs of lean muscle. His hair is gray, roughly jaw length, and recedes into an austere widow’s peak. Despite his age, his piercing light grey eyes and aquiline features give him an uncommon look of severity. He wears light, half-moon, wireframe spectacles. His clothing is finely crafted and ornately detailed; accented particularly by a gaudy breastplate and rich red demi-cape with a large, trailing shock of white fur. Fashioned from gold and hung about his chest is a large key shaped holy icon. He wears close fitting breaches and tall black leather boots. He walks with the authority of office and a subtle limp. He often uses his heavy, cruel looking, yet elegantly styled mace to support himself.
Montresse is a man of single-minded determination in his faith and his goals. He believes in upholding and expanding the order of law above all else, and punishing it’s transgressors harshly. He is an adept scholar in many fields and possesses a blistering intellect that he uses with the poise of a chess-master as he doggedly investigates his cases. He is highly socially attuned, and his knowledge of the mind’s inner workings makes him very capable at everything from polite diplomacy to the cruellest interrogations. In order to attain his goals, he is willing to tread far into morally grey areas, and has barely a shred of innocence remaining. In his heart, he is guided by a calling to protect justice, righteousness, civilization, and order, for which he he would sacrifice anything. To his discredit: He is obsessive, rigid, bitter, and has a quick temper. He is completely frigid and despite his social graces, he becomes rather uncomfortable and clams up at the prospect of romance or lasciviousness. He also harbors an abiding and– at times– irrational distrust of the arcane magicks. While he is slightly inclined towards good, he is far more concerned with orderliness and stability than kindness and egalitarianism.
Vidrigal Archimbauldt Rainor Montresse was born as an only child to a wealthy young couple in the Ivy District of Absalom. His mother and father were both nobles, and met as scholars in the halls of a prestigious university. His father was a mage, and his mother was a judge. His childhood was idyllic, albeit very sheltered. From a young age he studied privately under acclaimed tutors, and spent his free time fascinating himself with books of adventure and faraway lands. When he was allowed beyond the gates of his estate, he was scarcely ever permitted to leave the Ivy District.
At the age of 9, his mother fell ill with an incurable and aggressive wasting disease. Vidrigal could only watch in dismay as his mother’s ailing health reduced her to a bedridden shadow of her former self. All the while his father drove himself mad seeking out any possible remedy. At the age of 11, as his mother was left quivering at the threshold of death, barely able to eat or to speak, and Vidrigal’s father had fallen in with a mysterious sect of mages wholly foreign to Absalom. They called themselves “The Silver Key.” In his desperation, Vidrigal’s father had beseeched them to cure his wife, and to his surprise, they claimed that they could oblige. Shortly thereafter, Vidrigal’s parents disappeared. They were missing for nearly a month before their bodies were dredged up from the city’s waterways: bloated, mutilated, and horrifically deformed by unknown eldritch rites. Though he was not allowed, Vidrigal managed to sneak into the Ivy District’s morgue that same night, and has since never forgotten the expression on his parent’s faces: twisted with anguish and indescribable terror.
Owing to his mother’s connections within Absalom’s judiciary, his custody was given to the clergy of Abadar. It was there that he managed to truly lose himself in his studies, supplanting his own anguish with a numb devotion to ecclesiastical and civic learning, and an irascible, almost masochistic dedication the strict fighting drills of the abbot-marshals. Though he received great praise for his excellent performance, he found himself unable to make emotional connections to neither peer nor mentor. At the age of 16, he requested admission to a highly selective and rigorous inquisitorial training pipeline, and was admitted as a matter of course. During the course of his 8 year training, he was able to study in the field, working with senior inquisitors and law enforcement. He was finally able to travel in the capacity he dreamed of as a child, but the sense of wonder he had always longed for had already been robbed of him. He was nevertheless able to finally able to feel some sense of fulfillment; a grim satisfaction in helping to root out the forces of lawlessness, chaos, and entropy.
By the age of 25, he was finally authorized to operate independently as an inquisitor. His operations began with trifling matters of the law– seeking out small-time bandits and pirates– but as the years progressed, he began to bore himself with such petty missions. By age 35, his web of contacts was substantive enough that he could begin to occupy himself with more dangerous game, and so he did. His increasingly difficult and protracted hunts for cults and blasphemous entities were always tempered by diligent studies into ever more esoteric and inaccessible areas of research. At times, he found himself pressing into scholastic realms he never even knew existed, and furthermore, along paths he wasn’t sure had ever been trodden before. It was during this period that he first felt the divine power of his deity directly, and began to channel it. This was a long and arduous period of Vidrigal’s life, and it was here, against the whetstone of the unknown, that he began to truly sharpen his skills to a razor-fine point. By the age of 50, he had amassed– in Abadar’s name– a vast catalog of expurgated people and creatures, brought to justice beneath the heft of his mace, or within the holocaust of purifying flame. By this point, many terrible sacrifices had already been made, but the inquisitor took mirthless solace in knowing– beyond doubt in his mind– that he had prevented the sacrifices of countless more.
At this age, the inquisitor returned to Absalom in a more permanent capacity than he had since his days in the clergy. Within the Ivy District he had made a name for himself, particularly within the church, and he knew that his youthful vigor had begun to fade. Inquisitor Motresse (as he had come to be known), also knew that should he perish in the line of duty, his vast and hard won repository of knowledge would be lost to the sands of time, and so he began work as a professor at the very institute his parents once belonged to. He lectured in civics, philosophy, planar studies, theology, and biology. While his more undisciplined students had trouble following his dry and stern oratory, those disciplined few who did received the education of a lifetime. Some very few who the Inquisitor/Professor prized as promising pupils were privileged with tales of his time as an investigator. One such student was a young nobleman named Leo Rograven.
The inquisitor and Leo soon formed a rapport that extended beyond Leo’s university graduation, and Montresse took seriously upon himself the task of educating the young man personally in many matters that went beyond collegiate academia. For the first time in Motresse’s life, he had found a person with whom he shared a friendship that went beyond professional respect. Indeed, Montresse had found a pupil that he felt secure in divulging the proximate whole of his knowledge with.
After a year or so of this tutelage, the young noble had become very well versed in the type of lore that is never taught in schools, and yet, the student seemed increasingly, inexplicably distressed. Montressed pressed the boy incessantly, worried that he had become embroiled in crime, addiction or worse. When Leo finally confessed the nature of his despondency, the inquisitor’s old concerns were replaced by a myriad of entirely new ones. Leo’s niece, Quilliana– a much beloved childhood friend– had perished under mysterious circumstances. It had been explained as a tragic drowning, a seizure or fit of some sort that had overcome her while she was bathing… What troubled Montresse was the uneasiness he detected in Leo. His finely attuned suspicion could not get beyond the sense of uncanniness in the whole incident- and so he began to investigate. In deep cover, through a web of elaborate disguises, coerced informants, and private observations, Montresse came to understand that Leo’s uncle Remarcianne had taken a perverse, often violent, and unrequited obsession for the girl. In an entirely unsanctioned, desperate, and unseemly bit of investigation, the inquisitor unearthed Quilliana’s body at the very cusp of permanent departure, and used his divine abilities to question her. It was here that he discovered, beyond any doubt, that Quilliana’s uncle had drowned her in order to pre-empt admissions of grisly abuse.
When Montresse returned, he resumed the indefinite cancellation of his classes. He invited Leo into his study. It was here that he explained fully the fruits of his espionage. When Leo– dumbstruck– had finished exorcising his grief and anger, finally asked what was to be done, Montresse calmly stood and opened an armoire revealing a gilt and enchanted rapier he had won in his travels. Leo took the blade in his trembling hands, and further took his revenge that very night. By the next morning both student and teacher had fled Absalom. Montresse left a missive on the steps of the constabulary explaining his actions, but did not wish to stick around for the inevitable and labyrinthine proceedings. They may well have taken years. The years of his the inquisitor’s life were more precious now, and he finally felt the call to return to his true life’s work. He concluded his message with a classic Absalomian saying, one of his favorites: “Necessity is it’s own law.”
From there, after a rendezvous with Leo, the two set about travelling Golarion pursuing the unjust. They were often separate, but always communicating, and always working in concert. This continued for nearly a decade. By the end, the two had begun closing in on the biggest lead of their lives. Not only did it seem to connect with the so-called “Silver Key”, but it seemed to connect with all manner of discordant elements throughout Golarion in a way that they had never before seen. Just as they began to feel as if they were on the verge of uncovering something truly massive, Leo Rograven disappeared without a trace. At the age of 62, Inquisitor Montresse made haste for the last known location of his pupil: a place called Sandpoint.