The Days and Nights of House Corinthyen
A smooth talking singer with a penchant for falling into trouble...
A somewhat tall, fair youth, Mattyw seems ever bright and alert, always with a smile playing across his face like his hands across his instrument. He’ll gladly talk for hours about any subject, and frequently recants tales both farcical and factual, depending on the bent of his audience. When he speaks, his voice maintains a quiet animation, but when he sings, it takes on a different persona altogether. Sad songs bring about a melancholy whisper, deepening his voice moreso than it already was. Joyous songs cause him to laugh and chortle, encouraging those nearby to get up and dance. Songs of history bring about a studious nature in his already curious face, whereupon he’s more than likely to launch into a tale or two after the song, sometimes related, sometimes not.
His mischevious eyes are a mellow brown, much like his hair, except the latter lacks the strange streaks of bronze. His face does not sport freckles like his sisters, but rather they hide on his shoulders, mostly out of sight. He is always eager, and willing. Often, he can be found in his embroidered forest green leather gambeson, theorbo in hand, playing some tune or other. When working, he always carries a tune with him, whistling, humming, or singing as the situation dictates.
From a young age, Mattyw Lews has been consistantly falling into trouble and having to talk his way out of it. The cycle began when he was but a babe – with his two older brothers. His family was far from wealthy, but his father, Larkyn Lews, had managed to squirrel away a bit of coin to get his wife, Adamina, a beautiful set of jeweled spectacles in celebration of the impending birth of their newest child – after two rambunctious boys and a third growing up, they were dearly hoping for a girl. His father was away, paying homage to the good Lord Aelius Corinthyen, when his brothers, and perhaps fate, set young Mattyw on his course. The two of boys were wrestling fiercely in his parent’s room while Mattyw was looking on in awe of their display of strength. When Errol shoved Brindon hard, he fell, arms flailing, and smashed the spectacles into a thousand fragments. Mattyw looked on, speechless. Their mother rushed in to discover what the fuss was about, stepping onto one of the crystalline shards lying on the floor and let out a fierce wail of pain and anguish, slowly sinking to the floor, searching out the frames of her beloved gift, her near-useless eyes welling with tears. His brothers moved to comfort her, effortlessly shifting the blame to young Mattyw, who was utterly devastated by his father’s reaction on returning home – he could barely move for a fortnight and didn’t see the inside of the house for at least a full turn of the moon.
Years passed, and Mattyw’s cold resentment of his brothers grew, but not as quickly as they did. Mattyw remained lithe, having more in common with his mother and little sister, while his brothers became muscular and strong. He became as an outcast in his own family – his mother refused to look him in the eye, his father shook in anger any time he drew near, and his brothers glared at him in contempt. Mattyw took comfort in his sister Cicely’s company when he could – he was often barred from visiting with her, lest he ‘corrupt’ her with his ‘evil’. One day, Mattyw found one of Cicely’s toys broken, a crude doll that his father had crafted by hand, by the entrance to her room. She was far too young to have broken it, but their father would not see reason – he went to beat her as he had beaten Mattyw all those years ago, but Mattyw opened his mouth. And lied. He lied until he was out of breath, until his father was so enraged that he forgot all about young Cicely and began to take his anger out on Mattyw. As he suffered, he saw young Cicely smile at him, a shy, quiet smile, that dissapeared quickly, and all regret vanished. He was forbidden to set foot in the house again, but they allowed him to spend his nights in a small hut they stored firewood in.
Still, every night, he’d creep to her room, or she to visit him, and he would softly sing songs to her, or tell her stories of splendor, kings and riches, of great lords and great battles. On into the night he would regale her and her eyes would grow wide, forgetting sleep.
So it went until one night they were discovered – the day Mattyw’s world fractured yet again. His father’s bellows echo’d throughout the hillside, and the bruises left on Mattyw made him wish for death – he fled, that day, to a town in southern Dorne, where he took on a job in a tavern, sleeping in an alleyway to save his pennies. He came close to death several times that year, of starvation, exposure, and thirst. Eventually he saved up enough to move on, and in his sister’s memory, purchased a theorbo and began travelling and singing, keeping off the street when he could, but when he couldn’t, enthralling the street urchins with songs to trade the best places to sleep.
More years passed, with Mattyw growing ever more verbose – he took to debating tavern patrons, and would often walk away from those events with a bit of extra coin in his pocket, though sometimes the patron would be none-the-wiser. Eventually, Mattyw saved up enough for a horse and some proper clothing, and made his way back up to Skycrest Hall to try his luck at the Court of Lord Aelius Corinthyen.
During his performance at the Court, Mattyw thought back to the face of young Cicely and stirred up all of the emotions that those memories contained, channeling them into his performance. Something about it must have stirred something within Lord Aelius Corinthyen, as he was granted a fleeting smile. After his performance, he sidled up to Otto Purser, seeking some minor recompense for his playing, and while doing so began a rather eager attempt to fast-talk the man into hiring him on as a Court Musician…
Otto was bemused by the young man’s forwardness, falling slightly for the brash young lad’s quick tongue. Words were exchanged, and Lord Aelius eventually hired Mattyw on, to entertain and perform other services as required.