Armand's a dick.
Scion of the woefully indulgent Annabelle and Laurent Cargan, Armand's childhood could be described in three phrases: 'ludicrously pampered'; 'tolerably idyllic'; and 'predominantly composed of torturing his cousin Penelope'.
Youthful pastimes notwithstanding, Armand is by no means irredeemable. Following close investigation by the Cargan family into Annabelle and Laurent's somewhat profligate habits, he has taken it upon himself to strike up an occupation - and, subsequently, a calling - as Priest of the Warrior. Adventuring just sort of… happened, as consequence.
Feel free to try and avoid mentioning the Traitor Church. He'll be sure to let you know his opinions in detail, regardless.
(… Although, these days, he's not so sure.) This hasn't actually changed since his latest spiritual U-turn. Roughly five spiritual U-turns later, he's inclined to return to his initial assessment…
Update as of Those Turbulent Priests: Armand has gained newfound religious tolerance! His parents are very proud.
As of The Way Through the Woods: Armand is not, and never will be, a tree. Nor is he on particularly good terms with himself, from the looks of things.
As of Anniversary: Armand is still not a tree, but he is very much an angsty, weeping wreck.
As of An Ecumenical Matter: Oh god. He doesn't even know anymore.
As of Gaining Favour: In addition to gaining a limited amount of diplomatic nous, Armand is beginning to establish himself as a potential player on Acryn's political stage. This, in the wake of widespread and scurrilous rumours about his feelings for his cousin Penelope that are in no way maybe slightly true.
He would also like to stress that anyone who suggests that he is best friends with Emily Anara is a liar of the highest degree.
As of Consult the Oracle: Armand continues to be on absolutely abysmal terms with himself. As well as being on worsening terms with Emily Anara. And Penelope Cargan. And Francesco Graves. And… dignity.
Damned if that's about to stop him from publishing ill-advised pamphlets in support of the public Traitor Church, though.
As of Matters of Trade: In the wake of having his heart quite literally ripped out by his cousin, Armand now has a scar spelling the name of the Tender, Allyssa, on the small of his back, is divinely favoured by the Traitor, and is inexplicably engaged to Francesco Graves.
As of Shattered Futures: Following a ritual by Jimmy Hoskins involving the rebirth of a Primal in a Lost Space, Armand is… disturbingly soul pregnant? He has also agreed to a binding contract pending the wedding to Francesco, involving a number of fairly ambitious stipulations, like eliminating the phrase 'traitor fetish' from their marriage, and not insulting one another in public. Somewhat against all better judgement, he has also told Francesco about having gained the Traitor's divine favour.
As of Night of the Rooster: Following the unforeseen death - and subsequent revival - of Viciona Cargan, Duchessbot extraordinaire, and various ensuing political manoeuvrings on the part of his Uncle Walter - not to mention his new husband - Armand now possesses a seat on Acryn's Council, thus fulfilling a longstanding personal goal. (Obsession. Whatever.) Meanwhile, he and Booker have bonded over several earnest talks about their mutual Traitorous affiliations, and have resolved to work together closely in future.
Now officially a married man, Armand is alarmed to find that his feelings for Francesco (i.e. steadfast contempt) are decidedly more conflicted than they were previously. Francesco, naturally, must never know. In addition to this, Armand now has a son. An inexplicably teenaged son. A son whose name is still the topic of much (heated) (vitriolic) dispute. In the midst, then, of ever-intricate family tensions, newfound political responsibilities, and convoluted theological wranglings, it's a good thing he can always rely on the one thing that will never change: his passionate and unwavering faith in the Warrior. In a sense. Sort of. Mostly. Shit.
As of Faith Healing: Armand has aided Booker in attempting to reconcile the Traitor and the Tender - and, in doing so, managed to bring about a family reconciliation of his own… shortly prior to Penelope's violent and thematically appropriate demise. He is, to put it mildly, more than a little stupendously grief-stricken over this latter fact: grief which is only compounded by the fact that the Civil Service (to whom he is apparently now somewhat quasi-allied) have seen fit to take care of the body themselves.
Outraged by the authoritarian outlook of the Civil Service, and appalled by the acts he committed against the Founders in his vision, Armand longs for renewed connection with Lynndis, but understanding eludes him - whereas knowledge of Abraxis comes far too easily. Meanwhile, the only way out of the political mire in which he is currently entrenched appears to be to accrue as much power as is remotely feasible…
At least he finally has confirmation that Francesco loves him. Who knows - maybe Astraeus will even have a full name before he turns 30! Stranger things have happened.
As of One Knife: Armand's trust in the Warrior has zigzagged so frequently it's becoming difficult to conceal. After experiencing his fifth crisis of faith of the week over his god's seeming indifference to being cured of her injuries, he can't help but feel that he might have chosen the wrong calling. This, of course, combined with the fact that the devil-may-care jock attitude of the majority of his church leaves him totally cold.
That said, in a sense, he's never felt closer to the Warrior herself. Shaken by a miracle that went slightly more right than expected, and having come so close to achieving the understanding he craves, it's impossible to lose faith entirely.
As of That One Time They All Got Caught in a Storm and were Forced to Take Refuge in a Seedy Pub: Screw social humiliation - Armand has bigger fish to fry. Namely, the fact that he might just have discovered (and befriended) the second-last remaining heir of the Salic line…
As of a guest appearance in The Cough: … In addition to a couple more, markedly less useful, noble refugees. More owing to whim than anything else, Armand and Francesco have found themselves the impromptu guardians of Tamberlaine Terrec and his bodyguard, Hod. Having been dressed in Cargan colours, and submitted to a binding deal, the two runaways have thus far been put to work doing menial household chores.
In other news, Astraeus is very, very grounded.
As of Clan Wars: So, in an attempt to break up House Darrish's monopoly on the import of mana crystals, Armand has apparently - half-inadvertently - plunged House Cargan (and, by extension, House Graves) into a brutal trade war. This would all be rather profitable if they were the ones in control of an armada.
In other news, Astraeus is probably still grounded.
As of Emblem of a Murder: As per a longstanding (albeit somewhat ill-thought-out) plan between Armand and Francesco, Armand has embarked on the thorny path to godhood - all for the low, low price of 125 Riel. What the gods to whom he is pledged will make of all this remains to be seen.
Also, their household now has a cat, apparently. This, in addition to his new ward, Tam Terrec - now on a much more legitimate and permanent basis, thanks to no small amount of creative deception.
As of Perfection Marred: Armand Cargan-Graves the Rightful has finally become a young god, devoted to maintaining the heirarchy of the estates of the realms of Acryn. Astonishingly, he has managed to remain un-excommunicated by either of his gods in the process - even in the wake of the Warrior's ambivalence, and a decidedly fraught tete-a-tete with the Traitor, during which he gave his word that he had no intention of using his power to turn tyrannical god-king.
… She has also, incidentally, stolen his heart. Armand Cargan-Graves the Rightful is not a little self-righteously pissed about this.
Meanwhile, he has embarked upon his first divine project: to wit, restoring House Cargan to something halfway resembling a functional political entity with competent, non-brainwashed leadership. That is to say, ousting Viciona. He and his printing press have been working tirelessly to replace Unit-03's puppet with his far more sympathetic (and non-brainwashed) Uncle Walter, campaigning amongst the family - but, in the end, the battle can only be decided by support (or lack thereof) of the Circle of the Broken Wing…
As of Nature Vs Nurture: Well, that was an emotional day.
In the wake of Senta getting herself kidnapped by Tuireann through misplaced diplomatic ventures, and the subsequent top-secret rescue mission that resulted, Armand has been placed under a particularly nasty strain of anti-deception curse: he has learned, if nothing else, not to underestimate the tenacity of village fanatics, particularly if they happen to be secret mages who worship an auraless god that probably has no business existing - at least if he doesn't want to end up propagandising for said idiot as recompense. (Thanks, Hoskins.)
But hurt pride is probably the least of his worries. Francesco has proved unreachable thus far, save sporadically through their scribing notebooks - and Armand is fighting every instinct not to throw all responsibilities to the wind and ascend on the spot. Still, not every single facet of his personal life has gone entirely to shit. He seems to have reached a bizarre understanding with Hugh Branch, for one. More importantly, rescuing Senta has affirmed their friendship in a way that he had been too stubborn to allow before: truth spells aren't too awful when they give you the opportunity to finally tell your best friend that you love her like a sister.
As of 36hr: That was… also emotional.
Armand has travelled to several alternate dimensions in the past, but never at quite so great a cost, or under circumstances nearly as fraught. Narrowly avoiding losing pieces of himself in the process, he's defended himself - and his party - under ridiculous odds, dueled with dragon minions, wrangled with the Rampant, and - most unlikely thing of all - had an honest, open conversation about the future with his son. Not that the latter didn't end in tears. Meanwhile, Senta is working through her dragon-related issues quite characteristically, and Armand is struggling to lend her the emotional support he's entirely unqualified and wholeheartedly shit at providing.
He's also struck up an unlikely friendship with Alexander Everett, political radical - once again, proving that anti-deception curses can actually be of great benefit to one's personal life. Together, they've created a Bill of Rights that Armand has introduced to the Council - and by introduced, he means 'utilised every single contact and possible favour he possesses throughout both the nobility and the city at large in order to force his notoriously conservative colleagues not to dismiss it out of hand'. Unexpectedly, this seems to be working.
Francesco still remains comparatively unreachable. Armand might be pining, just a little.
As of Unnamed Mini-Freeform at My Place: Morose, rid of his anti-deception spell, and entirely drunk, Armand takes an evening out to brood over the absence of his husband and the prospect of leaving his son - and also to subject Felicity, er, Cargan to an evening of social awkwardness in the name of honing her political instincts. He and Alexander have talked once more, perhaps more freely than he'd intended to - and he's admitted to him that he knows of Felicity's true name, and had hoped that Alexander's influence would rid her of her schemes for a royalist revival. He's also revealed to Alexander the absence of his heart, and informed him that he may soon call upon him for aid in retrieving it.
He and Hugh, meanwhile, have had several unexpectedly intense conversations. For one thing, Hugh may very well have admitted to being his friend? But the end of the evening heralded a long political discussion that has turned several of his assumptions entirely on their head, and he's utterly unsure of where to go from here. He thinks, with a certain amount dread, that this may actually have been a turning point.
Further revelations have emerged. It seems the mysterious individual who had given conversation such a portentous note throughout the night is none other than the Chairman of the Adventurers' Guild - and it appears that they are fascinated by the potential stories that both Armand and Alexander have to tell…
Post-freeform (roughly simultaneous to Beat The Champ): It seems that the suspension of communications between Armand and Francesco was, miraculously, only temporary. Upon confirming his ability to visit the realm of his husband at will, he's been dragged quite definitively out of the doldrums - though it has done nothing to alter his determination to ascend as soon as he is able to barter with the Traitor for the return of his heart.
As of World of Desires: The Bill of Rights has nominally passed, defanged of virtually every controversial measure, and Armand's not sure whether to laugh, cry, or marvel at the fact that the Cargan-Graves Foundation was ever allowed to come into being. One thing's for sure: this quasi-success has made him ever more adamant to enact welfare reform by whatever means he is capable of achieving.
Longing for his husband, plagued by doubts over the suitability of his purview, preoccupied with dodging Jimmy Hoskins' ever more blatant attempts to organise either his ruin or death, and navigating the increasingly complicated state of his friendship with Alexander Everett, Armand is nonetheless a man on a mission - and acutely aware that he's running out of time.
Particularly as Julius Ravensfall apparently wants to see him crowned. There's no accounting for taste, probably.
As of His Greatest Work: Once again, Armand has been instrumental in saving the city from certain doom. You get used to it. However, he's determined to convert disaster relief efforts into the beginnings of a welfare state - and, as part of this vague, potentially ill-judged measure, he has set up a boarding college fit to rival the Stars. The aim is, once again, to educate the city's poor - and the execution has, thus far, been surprisingly successful.
However, the cracks are beginning to show in his home life. Having finally realised - and hopefully amended - the existential drama that has been bothering his son for months, Armand is all too aware of his failings as a parent. Meanwhile, his growing intimacy with Alexander Everett presents… complications. What's more, he has determined that he cannot ascend in good faith until he has become something both he and the city can be proud of - which, in short, entails doing the impossible: changing his purview.
As of Clash of Kings: After metaphysically rebranding himself as Monarch of Acryn for the sole purpose of slaying Jocelyn, the Cargan cousin that would be Queen - only to reject the very concept of monarchy itself by using a last-ditch miracle, fight the Leader in single combat, and engage in a decidedly experimental Primal ritual with Ragnar Thane - Armand Cargan-Graves the Rightful is now Armand Cargan-Graves… The Revolution.
If his previous purview was far too conservative for comfort, he gets the nagging feeling that this one might be too progressive. Particularly given the anarchist cult he appears to have accidentally acquired. However, with his now-lover Alexander Everett confirmed as his soon-to-be High Priest, he has far fewer qualms about his ascent to godhood. If before he feared becoming fixed and unchanging, then this is an identity he can work with - revolution, of course, being more or less antithetical to stasis.
… Plus, it gives him the excuse to write more reform Bills.
Of course, it isn't all sunshine, roses and social sedition. His family has suffered heavy losses: chiefly, their Head of House, Viciona - whose Council seat has been filled, rather disastrously (to Armand's mind), by his royalist cousin Alastair. And although Walter Cargan is close to assuming his rightful place as Duke, it seems the Cargans themselves are suffering from a nasty, nigh-undetectable divine curse…
And that doesn't even begin to cover what his husband will make of this.
As of Unfinished Business: Not that Armand is complaining, but… all of his friends keep dying. He knew this would happen; at this point in his adventuring career, it was inevitable. But, try as he might to remember the exact moral circumstances of his death, he hasn't been able to stop himself from mourning Hugh March. And now, he's responsible for sending one of the first people to ever really believe in him to dragon-prison hell. Meanwhile, Alexander is facing his own grief over the apparent death of Tabitha Terrec - and, on the whole, things are spectacularly horrible.
Nonetheless, he did manage to take on the Thunderer in single combat and win. That happened.
As of Oblitus Mundi: Lynndis is dead. Armand is alive, but frantic. With the revelation that Young Gods really do hasten the world's descent into stasis, his plans for the city and his career lie in tatters - and he dreads telling Alex of what he must do. Killing the Pivot of the World had disastrous consequences for all - however, he is determined to let the city know that it mustn't turn its back on its remaining gods.
He will serve the new Warrior. He will restore the realm of the gods. He will find the middle route the stars told him existed, and fix this world without necessitating the slaughter of thousands. And then, against all his wishes, he will ascend.
Just as soon as he works out a plan.
As of All in the Blood: Triskellion has been fixed, but at devastating cost - and Armand now finds himself having unwittingly had a hand in losing what he strove to uphold, in addition to having lost the ability to feel love (or, well, guilt) towards his son, to boot. With Lucian dead, Hugh once again missing, the Council's treasury vastly depleted, and no longer even Alexander to depend on, he has lost all faith in his ability to affect change for the better.
Time, then, for something more drastic.
As of a guest appearance in the debrief of That As-Of-Yet Unnamed Cole Larp: … And now, Acryn is under martial law. Funny how quickly disaster follows on disaster. After acquainting himself with (read: yelling at, appalled) a revolutionary named Thorn, Armand has been convinced (or rather, convinced himself) to finally start living up to his purview in a literal sense. Nothing could be further from what he wants. However, by now, circumstances demand it.
Meanwhile, he is grappling with the fact that his feelings for his secretary, Clem, have taken a turn towards the fatherly - not that this wasn't already accurate before. Naturally, this means he is going to abandon her horribly in about three weeks.
As of the fluff freeform pre-Godsmoot: … Let's not get into that debacle. Suffice it to say that he would gladly murder Hugh, if he wasn't convinced that Hugh would come back again in a couple of weeks, somehow twice as obnoxious as before.
Admittedly, there's probably some unfinished business there.
Meanwhile, to Armand's delight, Clem - the only person he trusts to compassionately usher in a new world - has agreed to be his High Priest, when the time comes.
There's just the minor matter of making it.
As of Godsmoot: A plan, solidifed. Allies, acquired. Would-be allies alienated. Husbands, reunited; a breakup speech badly received. And, as always, Armand succeeds in inadvertently humiliating himself in front of the Traitor. Par for the course at these meetings.
Nonetheless, if there is one conclusion he is coming to, it is that the world needs The Revolution more than it needs Armand Cargan-Graves. He will not disappoint.
As of the Warrior's going away party: Everything is ending, and Armand feels as though his heart will break - but the Warrior is resolute. He will be with her until the end.
As of Last Stand: … In more ways than one.
Overwhelming Tuireann's hatred for humanity with love was always going to take more than one sacrifice. At the end of the day, nothing could be better, or more fitting - and neither Armand, nor The Revolution could conceive of a greater honour than to die at the Warrior's side.
Besides, his legacy remains. Acryn is aflame with revolutionary fervour; Armand's last manifesto, urging the populace to revolt, has secured him a place in history - and, martial law notwithstanding, it seems certain that the people will rise…
Doppelgangers dealt with:
4 (10 if you count Hugh Branch and Penelope Cargan, Nobody, a flux creature in a Lost Space, Hugh again, and Evan)
Class: Warrior Priest
Background #1: Noble
Background #2: Weaponry: Sword
Background #3: Divine Favour of the Traitor (gained after Matters of Trade)
Background #4: Divine Favour of Howard Branch, The Splintered Man (gained after Shattered Futures)
Background #5: Divine Favour of Francesco Graves the Arcane Arbiter (gained after Consult the Oracle; he is adamant that he will never make use of this)
Background #6: Knowledgeable (bought after Faith Healing)
Background #7: Medium Shield Use (bought before Unfinished Business)
13 + 18
XP: 57/57 (as of Oblitus Mundi)
(Refunded XP: 3)
Additional Trees Access
Oracular Vision (gained after Consult the Oracle)
True Face of the Traitor (gained after Faith Healing)
Organisational Ties: Civil Service (gained after Faith Healing)
Expert Sailor (as of Clan Wars)
Personal Power (as of Perfection Marred)
Walked on the Other Side (as of Dissonance)
Lone Defender Before the Tempest (as of Dissonance)
True Face of the Warrior (As of Oblitus Mundi)
Other Miscellaneous Stuff
* Weak Point, 10 sec (BACKSTAB +1 REND) (once p/e)
* Playing Dead, 15 sec (once p/e)
* Traitor's Cloak (once p/a)
Lone Defender Before the Tempest
True Face of the Warrior
Income: 135R + 38R (Noble Wealth 5 + Large Church)
Total current wealth: 0R (as of Last Stand)
Divine FavourSoul Pact extended to:
(thus far used to:
Manifesto and Bill of Rights
Armand's manifesto - published in the wake of Nature Vs Nurture - contains a summary of his political opinions, including:
Armand's new manifesto, published in the wake of Clash of Kings, contains an updated summary of his political opinions, including more or less the stuff from the Bill of Rights.
Armand's third and final, posthumously published manifesto is as seditious as it is uncharacteristically concise. It calls for the creation of a democratically elected assembly, and openly urges the people of Acryn to revolt against martial law.