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Rene de Saens


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Who are you? Sum yourself up in one sentence.

I am Rene de Saens! famous artiste! master mage!

Do you have any nicknames, street names, titles, or nom de plume?

I was once a captain of the French Revolutionary army, but not for long. Nobody has called me Captain in centuries, nor would I wish them too. I have a few honorary titles for being members of various art institutes.

What is your full birth name?

Monsieur Rene de Saens

Where do you live?

In a charming old, and rather large, house in the Riverside district of Freedom City. I have the top floor converted to my own studio, of course. The house is a listed building.

How old are you? What year were you born (if applicable)?

I was born in 1977 (7th July), making me two hundred and twenty three years old.

Physical Traits

What is your gender? If not applicable, please explain.


How would you describe your heritage?

French! and proud of it! home of liberty, reason and art!

How tall are you?

5'10", but slightly bent over these days.

What is your body type?

Rather thin. I have the body of a physically active seventy year old, by your count. I'm getting too long in the tooth for military service, certainly, but there is life in the old dog yet!

Do you have any particular weaknesses, such as allergies or physical disabilities?

Well, my joints are a little creaky. My eyesight not so good these days. I need reading glasses. My hearing isn't what it was. People say I am more forgetful than I used to be, but if you had lived over two centuries, you wouldn't be in such good shape, let me tell you!

How do you carry yourself? Are you graceful, or heavy on your feet? Can you be stealthy, do you walk with confidence?

I walk with confidence, but rather slowly. I am not heavy on my feet, but I don't have the grace of a young man any more. Damned if I need a stick though!

Describe your skin, eye, and hair color.

I have tanned, rough skin. No, we didn't have moisturiser in those days. And I painted outdoors, and believe it or not, have done my fair share of hard labour outdoors. How do you thing I got to live so long?

My hair is white. My eyes area deep, serene brown. See the life in them? I have seen things you people wouldn't believe...

How do you wear your hair, if applicable? Do you have facial hair?

I wear my hair under a beret most of the time. And yes, its still mine. Can't say I bother styling it these days. I have a short goatee style white beard.

Do you consider yourself attractive? Do others?

Not these days, although I am not bad for my age. I was a dashing young man in my youth of course.

Do you have any scars, tattoos, piercings, or birthmarks?

Quite a few scars from the Revolution. A nasty one on my back. I can't be doing with all this modern rubbish with tattoos and piercings.

Do you resemble anyone famous?


Do you have a dominant hand?

Right handed, although I have painted with my left at times for experimental purposes.

What kind of clothing do you wear?

Comfortable, artistic, and French. I actually have quite a wide variety, but am often wearing a beret, some comfortable shoes, a jacket or coat, and slacks. I have even worn your American Jeans. I potter around the house in my dressing gown quite often. I often wear a special magic device, the robe of mists - which looks like a grey overshirt with silver buttons.

Do you wear makeup?

Yes, a little. A habit from the days of the Revolution. Makes me look a little younger.

What is your vocal range? Is your voice distinctive in some way?

Deep and a little hoarse these days.

Do you have any distinctive habits, nervous tics, or mannerisms? Where did they come from, and what causes them? Do other people notice and remark on these habits? Do they annoy you or other people?

Stroking my beard is a pleasant past time. Not blinking and staring at things to long is another. The artist's eye is ever seeing - although I understand it can unnerve some people.


Where do you come from?

Paris, France. I was born there, and just moved from there.

Have you made any major moves, or do you live in your hometown?

I have lived all over Europe, mainly in the Cities. London, Berlin, Stockholm, Madrid, Venice, and Rome have been my primary residences (alongside Paris), although I have resided for months or even a year or two in other odd places.

Do you feel loyal to your country of citizenship? Do you consider yourself patriotic? How do you feel about the government of your country?

Yes, I am. France is the best country in the universe. Followed by the other west European countries. America is... well, its America. It gave us Jazz, I will give it that.

How do you feel about the place you come from?

Paris is the best city in the world. Followed by the other west European cities. Freedom City is... well, its American. You have nice Jazz here.

Where is your home town? What was/is it like?

Its in France, idiot! Imbecile! are you telling me you don't know where Paris is! Sacre Bleu! It is the best city in the world! Home to the finest art the world has ever known!!!

Growing up, were most of the people you knew similar to you, or were you somehow a minority? How did that affect you?

They were similar, although I was always set apart somewhat. I have a mystic and psychic sensibility that set my apart, and this only grew with my training. Having said that, I was very much one with the youth of the Revolution, when I took part in it. We all felt part of a magnificent enterprise, together. Comrades in arms.

Is there something you've always been really good at or really bad at? How has that affected your life?

I am magnificent at art! all else is meaningless.

Were there any traumatic experiences in your early years (death of a family member, abandonment, orphaned at an early age)?

My elder brother died from consumption at the age of 8, which shook the whole family, especially my father.

Briefly describe a defining moment in your childhood and how it influenced your life.

Getting my first art lesson. I knew then that this would be my destiny!

What stupid things did you do when you were younger?

I was probably a bit to reckless for my own good. Some would say fighting in the French Revolution was a stupid thing to do. Maybe they were right - it was bloody and horrible.

Where did you go to school? How much school did you have, and did you enjoy it?

I was schooled at home, with Parisian tutors. I found it enjoyable enough, particularly the art lessons.

Do you have any mementos of your childhood? What are they, and why did you keep them? If you have none, why not?

A few. Some early art work, a few simple toys. I keep them at home.

When did you decide to become a hero? Why? Did anyone influence you one way or another in the decision?

When I helped the Master Mage, Broken Crow, defeat a vile aristocrat and necromancer, Marquis de Necrome. Broken Crow took me under his wing at that point, for my parents had died in the Revolution, and I was somewhat without sail. He became my mentor and teacher.

Is the reason you give people for becoming a hero different than your real reason? If so, why?


Do you have any deep, dark secrets in the past that may come back to haunt you?

I did some...unsavoury things during the French Revolution, but times were different then. And war is bloody and brutal, and brings out both the worst and best in men.

Do you represent yourself as being different from who you really are? Why?

I probably come across as more irritable and brusque than I initially appear. But those who know me, know that I have a heart of gold. Don't print that.

If you do have these secrets, what do you fear would happen if the truth became known? How far would you go to protect those secrets?

Honesty is the best policy. In general. Deception has its place, mind. But I am old and wise enough not to get blackmailed. I never concealed my homosexuality.

Do you have any sort of criminal record? If so, is it public knowledge?



What are your biological parents' names?

Henri De Saens (father), Marie Marceaux (mother).

Were you raised by them? If not, please explain and describe who raised you.

Yes indeed. My father was the head servant of the Marquis de Flameaux, a powerful French Aristocrat. He was not a bad man, but got caught up in the blood of the Revolution. So I was partially raised by the "Family" of servants at the mansion.

What was their standing in the community? What did/do they do for a living?

My father was head servant, and much favoured - hence I got a scholarship for a school of art once my talent was discovered. My mother was a seamstress (the actual seaming kind, not the other).

Where are your parents now?

Dead. They died during the chaos of the Revolution, when the Marquis started panicking and opening fire on the peasants, my parents got caught in the crossfire.

Did your family stay in one area or move around a lot?

Stayed in one area, Paris.

How did you get along with their parents? How do you get along with them now (if applicable).

I got along with them very well, they were both kindly, wise people. I would probably get along well with them now - they were friendly and humorous.

How do your parents view you now, or how would they?

I imagine they would be very proud.

Do you have any siblings? If so how many and what are their names? Describe your relationship with them.

None alive. My elder brother, Jean, died when he was eight from fever. My sister, Florence, grew up and had an extended family. I have quite an extended family in France (and possibly elsewhere) but I don't keep track of them much. Florence knew of my magical bent and long years, and whilst we talked, we thought it best that our lives diverged.

What was your birth order in the family?

Jean, myself, Florence.

Where are your siblings now (if applicable)? Do they have families of their own? What do they do?

Dead. Florence had an extended family.

Do you stay in touch with them or have you become estranged?

No, as they are dead!

Do you love or hate one member of the family in particular?

I think I always loved Florence, as my little sister, the most. She was wise, but had a hearty love for life and laughter. And children - she bore six!

Is any member of the family special to you in any way (perhaps, as a confidant, mentor, or arch-rival)?

No, I don't keep in contact with Florence's family.

Are there any black (or white) sheep in the family (including you)? If so, please explain.


Do you have a notorious or celebrated ancestor? If so, please explain, including how it has affected your life.


Do you have a partner and children currently? If so, please describe them.

No, I haven't had a partner for decades! I am too old, too busy, and too...odd... for that nonsense these days!

If you do not have a partner or children, do you want them someday? How firm are you in your opinion on this, and what might change your mind?

Never say never, but I'm not looking. I suppose I would have loved children - that is probably my biggest regret.

What type of person would be your ideal mate?

Someone intelligent, passionate, and mature.


Do you have any close friends? If so, please describe them, and how you came to be close to them.

I am friendly with the curator if the Louvre, Doctor Francious Villon. However, he is in a new city. I am friendly with my next door neighbour, Jack RIverhouse, a Jazz pianist, and his two young sons who are both under ten. His wife died last year, from cancer, I understand. My housekeeper, Mrs. Trumpet, and I enjoy swapping insults at each other. It keeps us young, and we both know it.

Do you have a best friend? If so, how did they become your best friend? How close are you to your best friend?

I don't. Whilst I have many friends over the years (and many of them close and dear), my longevity means that these days I rarely have a best friend. Also, I move around a lot.

If you were to go missing, who would worry about you?

My friends, some art lovers and dealers. Mages who are sworn to protect the earth would no doubt be most concerned.

Have you lost any loves? If so, how did it happen, and what did you do?

Yes, through age and death I have lost several. It is probably why I haven't had a partner for many years, alongside the fact I am getting a bit too old for that nonsense.

Do you have any bitter enemies? If so, please describe them and their history with you.

Philistines! Philistines!

If you have enemies, how do you think they might attempt to work against you in the future?

I have acquired several mystical enemies over the centuries, and they might strike at me in any way. Of course, I do my best to ensure mystic protection at all times.

What is the worst thing someone has done to you?

Stabbed me in the back during the French Revolution. Gods that hurt, and I spent six months recovering. A close run thing too. The Aristocratic Swine! Don't let anybody deceive you. Pain hurts. And in those days, we didn't have fancy surgeries or painkillers. Or antibiotics. I still have a massive scar.

Where do your loyalties lie? In what order?

To liberty first and foremost. To art, a close second. Lastly, I believe in living a passionate, ethical and full life, free from dishonesty. Eat, drink and love well, enjoy life.

Who or what do you trust the most? Why?

I have lived to long to fully trust anybody. I trust people who tell the worst about themselves and work up from there. Anybody starts showing off or seeing life through rose tinted glasses I say pah!

Who or what do you despise? Why?

Dishonesty, callousness, and bad art. The first two often lead to the third.

What qualities do you admire most in other people? Are these qualities you possess?

Artistic temperament, people who make you laugh or sing, who have a passion for life. I believe I have those qualities, although I can be an irritable fractious old man too.

What qualities do you hate most in other people? Do you have any of those qualities?

Dishonesty, corruption, treading on your fellow man. And no I don't!

Do you have a secret identity? If so, who knows it? Do you hide it from people who are close to you? Why?

No, I have tried it in the past, didn't work out. For starters, you can get blackmailed.

Do you work well on teams and in groups? Are you a leader or a follower?

I have done. I was in the army many years ago and we got along fine then. Of course, I have "mellowed" with age, and I may be a bit irritable and grumpy these days. I am probably more of a leader than follower, but most of all, I am neither. I believe in everybody speaking up and speaking there mind.

Are you on a super team? If so, how do you get along with your comrades? Do you trust them, or do you have secrets from them?


Are you a member of any church, fraternal organization, club, committee, political party, or other group? How much time do you spend on that?

Pffft! Religion is the opium of fools. Viva la Revolution!!! I am a member of several artistic organisations however, most prominently the Louvre in Paris.

Personality & Beliefs

Who are your heroes?

Many artists, but Van Gough has to be the greatest. Fantastic man, although completely loopy. He gave me some great ideas when I met him.

Other than that, all democrats and libertarians. The founding fathers of America are the greatest people this country has produced. Other than Jazz.

Did you ever become disillusioned with former heroes or idols? If so, why and what were the circumstances?

No. But that's because I see them as who they are. Flawed human beings with flashes of greatness. As Oscar Wilde said, "we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars". Ah, Oscar. I miss him.

Do you like being a hero? If so, what is the most rewarding part? If not, what makes you keep doing it?

Pfft. Heroes are for fools. I just try to do the right thing.

Is there anything that would make you give up hero work, or even switch sides?

Never! Long live the revolution! Liberty and Justice for all!

What are your short term goals (what would you like to be doing within a year)?

Paint well, and learn. I am always learning, both in the mystic realm and the real world.

What are your long term goals (what would you like to be doing twenty years from now)?

Become as good a painter, and as good a mage, as I can be.

What is your greatest fear? Why? What do you do when something triggers this fear?

I am not sure. I have lived through so much pain and misery. I think suffering is my greatest fear, that civilisation would collapse, or loose its ideals, and that barbarity and evil reigns.

Is there anything you would give you life for?

Liberty, protection of the world. Maybe for art. I probably haven't got more than three or four more decades left in me anyway.

How do you feel about money and material wealth? Do you desire it or disdain it? Are you miserly with what you have, or do you like to share? Is it a mark of success, or a means to an end?

I feel it is nice to be comfortable and own good art, but to be honest I am a little uncomfortable with it. I am, in principle, a socialist and feel the wealth of nations needs to be distributed. Whilst I am superficially a grouchy old irritable miser, I do, in fact, give away money quite freely (and discreetly).

How do you generally treat others?

An irritable but charming exterior. A warm and charming interior.

Are you a trusting person? Has your trust ever been abused?

I am too old to fully trust people, and am a good judge of character. Yes, I believe peoples sincerity, but so often people are not honest with themselves.

Are you introverted (shy and withdrawn) or extroverted (outgoing)? Do you have a lot of self-confidence?

Neither particularly. I am very self confident and never shy. I suppose I like being the centre of attention, but I don't go round socialising either.

How do you act around attractive, available members of your preferred sex?

I would probably say they are very beautiful, or charming, and then get on being myself.

What are your most annoying habits?

Grumpiness, impatience for fools.

Do you feel contempt for any general category of people? Who are they, and why?

Idiots. Or rather, clever people who do not match intellect with insight. People who do not appreciate good art. Like my art. Philistines!

What is your favorite food? Do you prefer any particular type of food? Do you take the time to enjoy your food, or do you eat as fast as you can?

French Cuisine, of course. Finest cuisine on the food. Pfft! to your American "Burgers" and "Hot Dogs"! you wouldn't know a gourmet meal if it was shoved up your nose.

What is your favorite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?

Red Wine. Claret.

What is your favorite treat (dessert)?

Creme de Brulee! mmmm!

Are there any specific foodstuffs that you find disgusting or refuse to eat?

Processed, cheap, nasty food (or wine). Pfft! disgusting! how do you shove that rubbish down your throats?

What is your favorite color? Are there any colors you dislike?

All colors are magnificent if done artistically!

What sort of music do you like? Is there any that you hate?

I have grown to like Jazz recently. My neighbour has introduced me to it. I like classical too, of course, but Jazz seems very youthful and exciting.

If you have a favorite scent, what is it?

Roses. Reminds me of my youth.

Do you have a favorite animal?

Cats. I have two rapscallion felines in my home. The beasts!

What is your most treasured possession? Why?

My easel, of course, and painting apparatus. I also have several very valuable works of art at home I am fond of. My easal has been with me for 150 years however. She is like a lover.

Do you enjoy "roughing it", or do you prefer your creature comforts?

I can do, and have done both. At my age, I prefer creature comforts, but it doesn't have to be too fine. A good bed, some sunlight, and reasonably warm is plenty . I like good food and wine, however.

Is there a job or a task you would absolutely refuse to do?

Not absolutely, but I would kick up an awful fuss these days about menial manual work. I am an artist!

Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? If so, how do your beliefs affect your life?How important is it to you?

Pfft no. But it depends what you mean. I am an ethical personal, I have strong morals and codes, and a way of life you might consider "spiritual". I meditate, and my mystic powers means in many sense I may be considered "spiritual". If you mean blind faith, crystals and aromatherapy, I say pfft - free your mind!

Was your faith influenced or molded by anyone special?

Broken Crow, my parents.

If you belong to a religious organization, how often do you attend? Do you have a specific place of worship, or friends within the organization? How much do you agree with the beliefs of your organization?


Could you kill? Have you killed?

Yes, I could. Although I value life, sometimes you have to kill. And I have killed - much blood is on my hands from my time fighting in the Revolution.

What circumstances led to you forming that conviction, or taking that action?

My experiences in the Revolution. We were fighting for justice, for something that we believed in, for the good of our country and the good of the people.

Are there circumstances under which you believe it is permissible to kill? What are they?

When you have to kill to save a life. It is understandable, possibly even excusable, but never permissible, when passions run high.

How would you react to watching someone kill another person? Would your reaction be different if the killer was a friend or an enemy of yours?

I have seen it before. I would be sad, but... I have seen a lot of death and suffering. It would, of course, be more sad if the killer was a friend, and more enraging if the killer was an enemy.

How would you react if something important was stolen from you?

I would probably be furious and seek to reclaim it to the best of my ability. I would probably calm down after an initial outburst.

How would you react to public humiliation?

I am to old to have much pride. If somehow I did get humiliated, I would probably seek to repay the favour.

How would you react if a good friend or relative were purposely or accidentally killed? Has it happened to you?

It has happened to me, and bloods run high. Age and experience has tempered my spirit however. The prevailing emotion would be sadness at another life lost, but I acknowledge I would be angry too. One must not deny ones emotions.

What do you consider to be the worst crime someone could commit and why?

Murder. Of people or art.

If your life were to end in 24 hours, what five things would you do in those remaining hours?

I would probably paint, write some good bye notes to a few loved ones, eat the most expensive meal I could buy that evening, read through my diaries, and then kill myself. I would go out on my terms.

Career & Training

Do you have any special training in your hero skills? If so, where and how did you get it?

Broken Crow taught me almost everything. At least, he started off my education. I have picked up further teaching from books and other mages since, but Broken Crow kicked it all off.

Who taught you the most about your heroing abilities? What was your relationship with that person?

Again, it was Broken Crow. My mentor. He spent four years teaching me.

Do you have any particularly unusual skills? How did you acquire them?

I am a skilled artist. I have learnt many skills over my many years, but have forgotten most of them too, having not kept up the practice of them. However, I surprise even myself sometimes when those skills come back to me, decades later.

Do you do something besides hero work for a living? Have you ever done anything else, or do you plan to?

I am an artist and art dealer, and have been most of my life. I have done a few other odd jobs, including manual labour as a farmer, when I was young. I was captain in the army during the French Revolution.

What is your preferred combat style?

Make them think I am a helpless old man, work out what their weak spot is, then hit it. Brains over brawn.

Have you ever received any awards or honours?

Several minor artistic ones, a medal of honour for gallantry during the French Revolution (lost it ages ago, don't want to be remembered for war anyway).

What skill areas would you like most to improve in? Is there anything you can't do that you wish desperately you could?

Art. Art. Art. That is all.

How do you act around people who are more skilled than you in areas you'd like to improve? Are you jealous, or do you try and learn?

I would probably ensure that I can pooh pooh in public them whilst also admiring them and learning as much from them as possible.

Lifestyle & Hobbies

What is a normal day for you? How do you feel when something interrupts this routine?

Wake up at midday, walk down to the cafe at the waterfront for coffee and lunch, walk back, paint. May give neighbours sons a short walk or art lesson. Either cook my evening meal or eat out. Then more painting. This is peppered with mystic duties, trips to art galleries, dealing in art, and other related activities.

Do you have any hobbies, or interests outside hero work? What are they, and where did you pick them up?

I like Jazz music (and classical music) and will attend any such events. Anything broadly artistic I will have an eye on. I like good food, good restaurants, and good cooks. I read a lot.

What do you do for fun?

Paint, eat, go for short walks. Talk politics.

Do you have a costume? What does it look like?

No. I would ensure I am wearing my robe of mists, and talisman of protection if I thought I would be involved in some threat.

How do you normally dress when not in costume?

Rather variable, although I often wear a beret. I prefer comfort, but like good quality loose fitting and warm clothing. I dress in a French / European style.

What do you wear to bed most nights?


Do you wear any special jewelry? What is it, and what does it look like?

My talisman of protection, which is a circular bronze disc tucked under my clothes, sculpted with arcane symbols.

Do you have a special place where you keep your valuables?


What's your preferred means of local travel? How about long distance?

By taxi. Mystically, I would take a picture of my destination (I always carry one of home with me), and with my mystic brush, paint myself onto that destination and thus end up there.


Have you ever made a will, or tried to make arrangements for your death? What provisions did you make?

I have made a will, donating all my goods to the Louvre. I have made, however, some special mystical and legal arrangements for my death, because it may not be the end...

If your features were to be destroyed beyond recognition, is there any other way of identifying your body?

Physically no, mystics would recognise me, however.

What would you like to be remembered for after your death?

A great artist, a great man. A man of passion.

Do you believe you pose a threat to the public? Why or why not?

No, a believe in the public. A threat to the government, perhaps, if they do not listen to the public.

What do you perceive as your greatest strength?

My wisdom, age, and experience.

What do you perceive as your greatest weakness?

My creaky bones aren't what they used to be. I can get a bit too fired up about things at times.

As a player, if you could, what advice would you give your character? Speak as if he/she were sitting right here in front of you. Use proper tone so they might heed your advice...

Remember the responsibility that comes with your mystic power, no matter how hard that may be. Your age is a boon, not a burden, and you are not as physically powerless as you imply. Sometimes, your passion may serve you well - you are experienced and wise enough to let you control it, not let it control you.

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  • 5 months later...

20 Questions

Rene de Saens, mystic painter, stares almost blankly into a swirl of colour on his latest canvas. Before him, the shapes dance and contort. To his attuned senses, he can form from the chaos the shapes of ancient beings. He knows not what they are… the fates, the Gods, the spirits of the Master Mages. Perhaps all at the same time, or none. What he realises is that he is being questioned, and judged.

1 From Whence do you come, painter?

I come from France, Paris, born in the year 1777. I have travelled to the new world only last year.

2 You are old then, very old. How do you yet live?

I am old, it is true. And so I look. But I have the appearance and vitality of a man less than a third of my age.

3 What brings you to the world of the Coil, the magic realms?

In my youth, I hunted down a necromancer in the revolution. And in doing so, I met my master, Broken Crow, who had travelled to France for the very same reason.

4 What binds you to the world of magic? How do you use it?

I am an artist, trained in Paris, and a master of my craft. It is through this that I weave sorcery, painting onto the mundane world with my mind. Like a brush stroke, mystical fire, light, and even feelings manifest onto the canvas of the world.

5 And what do you use magic for, painter?

I use it to protect and heal the world. There is evil enough in humans, it is true, but also from things that should not be here. From magic and beasts that come from beyond!

6. What fills your life that you cherish the world so? What is your love?

Art! Art above all! It binds humanity and makes us feel. I confess to the love of fine food and fine wine.

7. And what fills your life with hate?

We all have a part of us that is evil, this I know. Ignorance and fools displease me, the madness of men frustrates me, and the tyranny of men fills me with fury. No man is slave, and no man is master. Masters of men, I hate.

8. And your soul – what tortures darken it?

I am happy now, as happy as I have ever been. I remember the violence of the revolution, the cruelty and horrors of war. Even now, I am plagued by it. More so than the horrors from beyond.

9. From who do you take inspiration and courage?

From Broken Crow, his wisdom enveloped and guided me. It was he who taught me the values of man, who swore with me to protect this realm. This was as important as his tuition in the ways of the arcane.

10. What do you wish to achieve, with your power?

My ambitions are humble. My greatest love is art, and I wish to paint. I know the folly of craving power, it only leads to more craving. Give me peace.

11. And yet, the world is full of chaos and strife, do you not wish to change it?

It is what it is. It is human, with all the weakness and insanity that comes with it. The rough must be taken with the smooth. It is all the imperfections that make it so beautiful. And one cannot master, or enforce change. One can but hope for growth.

12. To what then, do you have loyalty to, but to yourself?

That is true. Bit I reply I have loyalty to my friends, both present and gone. And I have sworn to protect this realm.

13. And, loyalty to love? To lovers?

Yes, those past ones. I loved them true. In those days, love between men was not as accepted, but we held fast to our love. I am too old, now, I think. I have no absolutes, but I know I would not be easy to live with. I have lived to long on my own, and relish its freedoms.

14. And loyalty to family?

They are all since dead – Henri, my father, Marie, my mother. Both killed in the revolution. My brother Jean died as young boy from a fever, and my dear sister Florence lived to a very old age, with lots of children and grandchildren. I honour their memory, they were close to me.

15. And to the Gods?

Pffah! The Gods are just the same as the rest of us. Worse sometimes, for they crave the mastery of men. No, I owe them no loyalty. I know the weaving of fate affects me as much as the next man, and I am favoured by fortune.

16. You are alone then?

No, I am not. The mystics of Freedom City have formed a circle, and we work together in times of threat. We have housed ourselves at the Parkhurst hotel. The circle is strong.

17. Where do you live? Alone?

Yes, alone. I live by the Riverside district of Freedom City. A very nice old house in a very nice part of the City.

18. You are wealthy with the gold of men. How?

I am a very good painter, known as one of the best. My masterpieces sell for a lot of gold, although I try to make sure money does not corrupt my artistic integrity. I have some fortune, and some fame.

19. And how do you spend the gold of men?

On fine food, and fine wine. And taxi’s, as I haven’t driven horseless chariots for fifty odd years. I always preferred riding. I am generous with my money. I am not Spartan, I enjoy my wealth, but I am not excessive or ostentatious about it, I live modestly in comparison to my wealth.

20. Artist, tell us what is Art…?

It is a connection between the substance and the soul, between artist and viewer. It speaks to us all, connect us together, defines us apart. It cannot be fully defined. For me, my favourite Art is impressionism, but I love all art. My neighbour is a Jazz Musician, and he has introduced me to the Joys of Jazz. I prefer things loose and free, than rigid and conformist. Viva la revolution!

Rene's gaze refocussed and the painting changed to a mundane canvas and paints. Perhaps he had been judged, perhaps not. Perhaps it was all a dream. But Rene had a good feeling in his heart.

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