Navallia Nordenfeldt, Mason, Engineer, Venturer (A to Z)

16 April, 2021

Oh, this will never doMany people desire to build things, others desire to take those things away, so yet others build walls to keep them safe.

Navallia Nordenfeldt, Mason, Engineer, Venturer

Quote: They have let the town outside the wall encroach too close, if there is a potential siege they will have to tear down rows of houses.  A proper plan to begin with could have prevented that.

The Lavorda have an odd love of six-sided towers, making them round would be even better but at least they are not square.

It is most likely our enemy will rely upon mass assault and ladders but we cannot neglect the possibility that they will have some sort of siege engines available.

Description: Navallia is tall and slender, athletic and hard, she is obviously someone who is used to hard work, her long fingered hands are calloused and scarred.  Her black hair touched with silver is usually worn shoulder length, or a little longer, but contained in a tight braid.  Her eyes are grey and she needs to wear glasses to see distant things clearly.  Her voice is clear and can be quite loud when she needs it to be, she is practiced at shouting to be heard in noisy environments.

Navillia dresses in worker’s clothes by preference, preferring those of thick cloth or leather in most cases, and with a reinforced hat when out in the quarry or worksite.  She prefers trousers but will wear a skirt to confirm to local customs if she must.  When required, Navillia will dress as the local fashion requires understanding how the game is played, following local advice, but she will always veer as far towards what a male engineer, architect, or military officer would wear as she is allowed too, as she aims to set certain expectations of her role and abilities.  She always has a pair of gloves to hand and something to defend herself with, even if only a chisel (which make quite an efficient stabbing instrument in a pinch).  She wears jewelry as required but never rings while she is working.

Background: Navallia was born to a family of mason blessed with great skill, but cursed with poor luck for her generation, she was one of just seven children of her cohort who made it to late childhood so her parent and extended family poured all of their teachings into this small group.  Navallia learn it all and then wanted to learn more.  There was no major building or structure within a days ride of her home that she did not know completely.  It was mostly by raw competence, though the lack of candidate and family support help a little, that made her a journeyman on her seventeenth birthday.  And journey she did!  There was so much architecture to see and building skills to learn, she wanted to master them all!

She was twenty-three when she ended up in the small fortified town of Ikland’s Fork just before the Duke of Casavol forces swept down upon it.  She convinced the town’s elders to put her in charge of the defenses, which was a feat in itself, and then managed to direct the rebuilding of the town’s walls and defense system and then the repairs of such long enough that the Duke had to call off the siege to fight off an attack on his major holdings.  By knowledge, skill and bloody hard work Navilia and the townsfolk saved the town from a much superior foe (even if it was one ill equipped for siege warfare).

Since then, he star has been on the rise in the field of military architecture, seeing her travel across the Sea of Stars building and improving defensive works and building other projects as well.

Presenting this Character: When working, Navillia is no nonsense, focused on getting the job done correctly the first time.  Masonry and construction are dangerous jobs, people get hurt and killed, sometimes even when your do things right, so she is intent on minimizing the opportunity for mistakes.  This makes her a difficult boss but the worker usually appreciate it, once they get use to it. Nor does she shy away from doing work herself, she is happy to stick in and show people how she wants things done and tell them why it should be done that way.  But she is adaptable and will learn from people and local conditions.

While seeking employment and politicking she is no less focused but much less confrontational, she relies on her aura and reputation for competence to get her through the door.  Once she can make her presentation and demonstrate her skills and design, they can decide to hire her or not.  If not, she regrets the time spent and moves on to the next potential job.

What can they do?: Navallia has a brilliant mind for architecture and construction combined with deep practical knowledge of the techniques and materials used in such.  She is no dreamer, everything she designs, she know can be built.  If you need a fortification made well, there are few if any better.

Apolitical by nature, Navillia watches politics (both internal and external) of the places she works as such often impact large scale projects such as she works on.  She prefers working for communities rather than rulers and civic defenses rather than castles, but she has worked for kings and princesses and built fortified palaces.  But at her core, she is a person who thinks of herself as one of the people and instinctively sides with them and not the aristocracy.

Who might know them and why: Anyone interested in defensive architecture or fortification will have heard of Nordenfeldt, she has become a rising star in the field.  Possibly they lost a contract to her or won one from her and found she conceded gracefully.

Someone with a military background may have served in one of her forts (or attacked one).  While someone with a builders background may have helped to build one.

Plot Hooks: That place that is important to the character, soon an enemy army will march against it.  Perhaps they should get an expert in to help them prepare and improve that place’s defenses.

Navillia is seeking stone for her project, if the characters know of such a place where it can be quarried (or can find one) they could make some money.

The character have fought the invading army before, Navillia needs to know how they operate to optimize defense against the invaders.  Will the character help?

Notes: Someone the player characters could easily find themselves working with (or for, hopefully not against).  Indeed, she ended up as the characters’ patron in the game I ran earlier tonight (one of the reasons this is late).  For more on masons and city walls see yesterday’s post.

Photo “City Walls” by Jocelyn777 Love Europe is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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