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Juan Montevittorio

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Character Sheet Player Profile
    Name: Laura
    Email: [Prefer not to put up publicly if that's ok?]
    Age: 30s
    How you found us: Recommended by historical RPG online friend
    What is your background and experience in roleplaying: Fantasy/sci-fi/historical RPGing online for years now!
    What themes do you wish to explore in our game: Court intrigue, mystery, adventure, discovery and also love
    What makes you excited to do in our game: Engage with other characters to get stuck in with twisting and turning plots!
    What are you NOT looking for in our game: N/A at present!
    Character Profile  
    Character Name: Juan [Luis Miguel de Sousa y] Montevittorio
    Title: Count of Alcobaca
    Estate Name: Palacio Alcobaca [in Portugal]; Bisham Manor [through his late wife, in England]
    Nationality: Portugese [of Spanish descent]
    Age: 45
    Gender: Male
    Eye Colour: Brown
    Hair Colour: Brown, turning to grey
    Avatar: Hugo Silva
    The First Impression & Physical Appearance 

Juan is of middling height, averaging at about 5 foot 7 in, but he is notably fit from a life of outdoor and athletic pursuits although this does not make him a muscular adonis! He has not yet adopted the particular fashion of wearing wigs but instead wears his own hair long, often tied back. This hair is chestnut brown although time has started to take its toll and it is, in places, laced with the first hints of grey. His complexion is darker than a typical Englishman given his Lusitanian heritage and Mediterranean history. He prefers not to go clean shaven, not least because his lower jaw bears a jagged duelling scar from his university days which he believes is unsightly. He therefore is mustachioed and bearded in the manner of the style which was prevalent in the earlier 1600s even if such is now quickly fading from fashion.

He does not pay much heed to the dictates of fashion. This is not because he is behind the times but rather because he believes it is his own distinctive brand to wear what he wishes to, rather than what the latest people in court are. Even if the cut of his clothes are not the most up to date, he still ensures that they are made from the best and finest fabrics, often preferring quite bold colours and he is not afraid to sport ostentatious jewellery to complement any outfit. 

He is often to be found in the company of his dogs, being an avid hunter and outdoorsman. 


Juan is charming in the Iberian manner. He has an easy way with people which comes from his own personality but also from years of service in different parts of Europe as a diplomat. He is not bigoted on matters of faith or personal preference and therefore can be quite easy to get along with if one is of the "middle ground". Religious or political zealots will not get on with him well as they will think he lacks an opinion or stance. Although he is easy going most of the time he is also quick to anger. A perceived insult is likely to result in the challenge to a duel. He is not a violent man by nature but he is possessed of a stern and furious side which, when engaged, can lead he to be cruel. 

He enjoys the fine things in life but his primary interests, besides politics, are socialising, hunting, music and women. He plays the viol and the harpsichord well although he is far from being a maestro. He has no aptitude for composition but enjoys and supports those who excel in this. He therefore regularly frequents the theatres and the musical recitations in whichever town he resides in as often as he can. A compulsive hunter, he is often found in the company of his dogs and is most comfortable on horseback or pacing a hunting park with his musket in search of hares or wildfowl. 

Age has tempered his ambitions and, after an early life characterised by regularly moving from post to post, he now prefers the pleasures of staying in one place and - given the delights and opportunities afforded by Engald - has elected to stay on in the country (in which he holds some lands through the inheritance of his late wife and on behalf of their children) rather than return to the more rigid and stifling attitude of the court of the Braganzas in Portugal, with its murderous rivalries, religious persecutions and political stagnancy.  

    Wealth Level :
   Above Average
    St Marks 

Above Average wealth 

Skilled in languages 



Scars on face 

[Although a Catholic I am assuming this isnt a challenge as he is a foreigner from a Catholic country and as a diplomat that should have some immunity?]



The Montevittorio are a family who have ended up many miles from where they started. The first recorded Montevittorio was one Giovanni, born in Italy in the year 1500 in the lands then owned by the Republic of Venice. The bastard son of a friar and a tavern serving maid (who died promptly after his birth), Giovanni was such a social outcast at the time of his birth to not even have a surname. He would later in life take the name "di Montevittorio" given that that was the village nearest to the humble wayside tavern where he had been born. Raised as a servant in a local monastery, for the first 12 years of his life the young orphan saw little of the world beyond the kitchen and grounds of the monastery. The monks' servants found the boy increasingly difficult to handle in his aggressive and wayward behaviours and, after a particularly heated bust up in which he was accused of theft, the young Giovanni fled the only world he had ever known and took to the roads as little better than a beggar. 

He took up with a band of roving mercenaries and, for the next thirty years, would work his way up in their number. These mercenaries were hired by the forces of the great Emperor Charles V and Giovanni was present at the sack of Rome in which the Pope was taken prisoner. This act of religious sacrilege was the very start of his family's upward ascent as, in the course of the violent battle and sack, Giovanni was able to take off with thousands of ducats worth of jewels and treasures, indiscriminately plundered from the palazzos of wealthy cardinals. 

Having risen to become captain of his band of mercenaries, Giovanni came into the paid full time employment of the Viceroy of Naples by the early 1540s and there decided to turn "honest." He invested some of his money into acquiring a small manor and married a local woman, the widow of a baron. Given minor administrative posts in the Spanish Neapolitan regional government of Puglia, he gave himself over to the life of a country squire and invested heavily in the education of his two sons, Giovanni the Younger and Ercole. 

The Younger Giovanni would remain in Naples and, from him, would descend the senior branch of the Montevittorio family. Ercole studied law at the University of Bologna and would initial see service in the chancellery of the Papal States before securing more lucrative employment in the Duchy of Milan, owned by Spain. His talents as an administrator and fiscal wunderkind would see those higher up take notice of him and he was again transferred, this time to serve in the unenviable task of trying to mitigate the damage done by Philip II's constant wars to the Spanish treasury. 

Ercole would become naturalised as a Spaniard and would marry into local Castillean minor aristocracy. After Philip II became King of Portugal by inheritance, Ercole used his personal wealth and connections at Court to secure the title to the lands of a now defunct Portugese noble family, the de Sousa counts of Alcobaca, who had died out several decades before and whose lands had returned to the Crown. Given the King's desperate need for money and the good words put in for him by members of the Court, the necessary deeds were signed and, for a princely sum, Ercole di Montevittori metamorphosed into Ercole de Sousa y Montevittorio, Count of Alcobaca. 

Ercole's descendents would continue to be loyal supporters of the House of Habsburg until the time of our current character's father, Count Juan (II). When the Portugese rose in rebellion against their Spanish overlords in 1630, Count Juan quickly threw his lot in with the new movement for independence. Whilst the early days of the rebellion were disfficult and characterised by reverses and bloodshed, Count Juan nevertheless still found time to marry and sire a brood of children, the eldest of which was also named Juan and who is our current character, born in 1633. 

Early Life

Juan's early life was therefore characterised by the local Portuguese struggle for independence. One of his earliest memories, clearly emblazoned in his mind, was the triumphal return of his father after having taken part in the crushing defeat of the Spaniards by the Portuguese at the Battle of Montijo in 1640. Portugal would only secure its formal independence in 1668, so the entirety of his childhood, teenage years and young adulthood took place under the shadow of the continuing conflict.

After an initial basic instruction at the hand of Jesuit priests in a local school for the sons of nobility, Juan was moved to the circle of noble youths receiving a classical education, alongside the necessary polishing for a noble upbringing, at the Court of the House of Braganza in Lisbon and on its itinerant travels. During this time Juan was exposed to the full range of characters, pursuits and preoccupations of court life. The cosmopolitan nature of the Court left a profound impression on the growing Juan. It was soon discovered that he had an aptitude for languages and, whilst serving as a Royal Page, his cheerful disposition, which verged on the acceptable side of cheekiness, won him many friends particularly amongst the noble women of the court who were cheered by his boyish antics. 

Although he craved, in his teenage years, the idea of winning glory and plaudits on the field of battle, it soon became clear that he was not well cut out for to be a soldier. His constitution was delicate and he was prone to frequent bouts of illness which left him confined to bed. Whilst his friends went out to serve in the conflict against Spain, Juan raged at being forced to kick his heels in Lisbon, feeling little more than a plaything in a gilded cage, with nothing to do save for make pleasantries and further petty intrigues and romances. For a time he studied at the University of Coimbra in a mostly dilettante fashion spending time here mainly for the sake of something to do rather than having any particular interest in the legal studies he had enrolled in. During this time he spent more time carousing with his fellow students and chasing pretty maids through the town. A young buck with something to prove, he frequently let his conception of personal honour run away with him, resulting in several duels taking place. None, fortunately resulted in death or serious injury, although one with a jilted lover of a mistress over whom they competed for the same favours, resulted in a glancing blow giving him a gash on his cheek and jaw which would scar over in a jagged, raised and red line. This would lead him to abandon clean shaving in favour of covering this up with a beard.

Finally managing to secure the necessary consent from his father (who would die in 1667) and those at Court, Juan was able to escape Portugal for the first time in 1652 at the age of 19. His first travels took him to Luanda in Portuguese Angola, recently retaken from the Dutch, where he almost died of a fever whilst travelling in the Kingdom of Kongo. At one time his life was despaired of but he rallied. A vision he had in the depth of his fever, of glorious light out of which a celestial woman's hand touched his brow, he subsequently held was a vision of the Virgin Mary herself and, ever since, he has been deeply devoted to her cult and considers her his patron. He rallied in time to take part (without any laurels) in the final expulsion of the Dutch from Brazil in 1654. He spent 2 years in Brazil, working for the regional viceroy on a range of administrative tasks and travelled some distance up the Amazon river. 

In 1658 he travelled to the Indian subcontinent, arriving in the then Portuguese possession of Bombay but was unable to find employment there. After visiting the neighbouring states, including a short by memorable trip to the Court of the Great Mughal, he returned to Portugal on an extended and roundabout trip, travelling via the Red Sea, across Sinai and, after a stop in Palestine to pray at the Christian shrines in Jerusalem, took ship in Syria for Venice and, through North Italy, through southern France and back to Lisbon via sea travel across the Bay of Biscay, to avoid having to travel across Spain. 

First Time in England

His travels made him something of a curiosity and celebrity (for a short time) at Court. It was determined - based solely on the assumption that travel broadened the mind - that he would be fit to serve well in the diplomatic corps of the nascent, revived Portuguese state. His first posting would be in 1661 to England, to serve as a deputy to the formal ambassador to the Court of St James. He would spend the next 9 years in England. In 1663 he met and fell in love with Elizabeth Hastings, the daughter of a baronet (who had been born a commoner but made a fortune as a London merchant and bought his minor title and, with it, lands in Hampshire. Emancipated from the control of his father, now deceased, and the Count himself in his own right, there was nothing to stop him from following through on his desires to make a love match with the beautiful Elizabeth. Fortunately for him the match was made somewhat easier (for him at least) by the fact that her family were crypto-Catholics which meant there were no disputes on religion to come between them. 

Elizabeth's father died the year thereafter and, as their only child, become the sole heiress of their lands. Count Juan and Countess Elizabeth would have four children between 1663 and 1670. The eldest, Juan-Carlos (known to the family as "Carlito", "Little Charlie", was born in 1664. He was followed by a sister, Elizabeth in 1666 and twins, a boy and a girl, Ercole and Juana in 1669. 

In 1670 Juan received orders from Lisbon to transfer to Rome to assist the Portuguese ambassador to the Holy See. The family arrived in Rome in 1671 but this promptly met with tragedy when Countess Elizabeth contracted, and ultimately succumbed to, a fever in the unsanitary city within months of their arrival. Distraught and bereft, Juan was forced to send his children to the care of his Neapolitan distant relations whilst he battled with his grief in a series of monastic retreats and self-destructive drinking binges. The weight of the loss of Elizabeth was something which has never left him. Whilst he was able, by 1673, to adopt a more measured mindset which allowed him to return to business, he wore a miniature of his late wife on a silk chord around his neck, under his shirt, from then on. He would have romantic affairs and sexual encounters thereafter but these have all been attempts by him to fill the gap left by his wife and none have succeeded in doing so yet. 

The Widower Years

He took his children back with them and, in the absence of their mother, attempted to ensure they had the best education available to them. However, the changing nature of his job in the subsequent years required the family to travel and be unable to set down roots which naturally had an effect on everyone. Between 1673 and 1678 Juan would be posted, in relatively quick succession, to assistant diplomatic posts in Vienna (1673-74), to Venice (1675), Tuscany (1676), Savoy (1676-1677) and finally a brief posting to assist the ailing Portuguese ambassador in France (1677-1678).

In late 1677 he heard that a position, in a quasi formal role, was open in the Portuguese embassy in England. Despite their differences in religion, the two countries had maintained a close alliance for centuries now, unaltered by the subsequent Reformation. They shared geo-political concerns about the wavering of the great Spanish Empire and the ambitions of the French King and Habsburg Emperor. Not only this, but the two nations had deeply interlinked trading relations from the Caribbean to the Moluccas, from the Bay of Bengal, to Brazil and Benin. The two states therefore maintained sizeable diplomatic corps in each other's nation. Juan hoped that a return to England, with its fond memories for him and which was part of his children's heritage, would so his family good. The Montevittorio family was well off in terms of wealth. Investment by preceding Counts in sizeable plantations in Brazil were returning a bountiful harvest financially through their production of tropical wood, cocao and, above all, sugar - white gold. Mountains of the stuff. Their estates in Brazil ran to the size of a small English county. No member of the family had ever visited them but these estates nevertheless funded the family's lifestyle. It allowed them to maintain a sizeable residence in Alcobaca but also a large proportion of these funds were now channelled, via their international bankers, into restoring and expanding the lands in England that Juan now holds in trust for his children. His personal vision is to see his eldest son, Carlito, inherit his Portuguese lands and he will leave his mother's English ones to Ercole who will start an English branch of this multinational family. The main problem, however, with this is how to best establish his son's future in a Protestant state. A devoted Catholic himself, his status as a foreign diplomat gives him a degree of immunity from the public prohibitions of English Catholics. Yet is his younger son is to become an English landowner, Catholicism is going to be nothing but a bind on him. Realpolitik would dictate that it would be sensible to raise him in the local faith but Juan's devotion to the Virgin overrules this in his mind. It is something he continues to wrestle with as he settles himself and his family back into life at the English Court and as he prepares to do his duty in cultivating the great and the good, politically and socially, to further the interests of the Court of Lisbon.


Cultivate relationships with members of Court to improve their opinion of Portugal and its interests

Make a circle of friends socially to further his interests in sport and music

A remarriage is not off the cards!

Find a match for his children

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