Birth and Early Life
Etienne was born to Virenna nine and a half months after her violation by her vampiric master, whom she shared a love/hate relationship with. Virenna ran away after she was violated and did try to kill the child when he was born, as he resembled his father, inciting an irrational hatred in Virenna, but she couldn't bring herself to take the boy's life.
Etienne was therefore raised by his unstable mother, who alternated between periods of warm, loving kindness, when she was not angered or had money and stormy, drunken insanity where he would be beaten, when Virenna had a bad day or lost money. He ran away from home when he was seven to avoid his abusive, bipolar mother.
Etienne was picked up by his father, Virenna's master, who started to train the boy in how to perform sword combat and cast powerful lightning magic, as he saw the potential in the child to become a great nightblade, like he was. Etienne used a dagger back then as he did not have enough strength to wield a sword without compromising his agility. Etienne slowly built up his strength and speed under the beatings and training of his blood-sucking father, whom he detested just as much as he hated his mother.
Eventually, Etienne had an altercation with his father and they battled. Etienne was defeated and thus he ran away, as far as he could, to preserve his own life. He was 15 then. He had no money or food, so he had to go home to his even more unstable and paranoid mother to get the last remnants of whatever they had left. Virenna at that time had lost her sanity fully. Etienne therefore had to find work to feed himself and his mother. He became a sellsword, using his mother's weapon to earn money, because he was best at killing.
Life as a Sellsword and meeting with House Lionheart
Etienne therefore began working as a sellsword to earn money. He started off quite badly, since nobody wanted to hire a 15 year old boy who looked skinny and weak. However, he distinguished himself at a bar room brawl, where he defeated a man much larger than him, snapping the neck of his opponent easily. He was hired to neutralize a possible spy by a customer at the bar. He killed his target successfully and left no trail back to his employer..
In the seven years to come, Etienne trained his skills on and off the field, turning himself into a highly skilled fighter and relatively powerful magic user. He learnt other useful skills like paralysis of his targets. He also began to use the fragments of vampiric abilities he had to aid him in his missions.
Etienne came to Skyrim to destroy a target, more accurately an Imperial who had a large enough bounty among those who gave him contracts, then left for Whiterun after he heard of Bretons congregating there. He met a lady known as Amarie on his travels after she fought a group of Stormcloaks and Imperials and they travelled together to Whiterun.
Etienne was eventually in the employ of Agrias, who offered to teach him how to deflect projectiles with his sword. He practised with Amarie after Agrias had more important matters to attend to and so learnt how to block projectiles with his blade, although he isn't a master at it.
Etienne also presented his design for a weapon that could change the tactics used in battles greatly. A wrist-blade that would flick out on demand, for assassinations, counters and stabbing motions, known as a "hidden blade". Amarie directed him to Elyssa to complete the weapon. Due to the difficulty of obtaining materials, the first, test blade would be made purely of dwarven metal.
Due to the invasion of Whiterun by both the Stormcloaks and the Empire, Etienne and Amarie had to put the construction of the hidden blade on hold. Etienne left Whiterun to repel the invasion. He killed a number of Stormcloaks and Imperials.
Etienne later received the prototype hidden blade from Amarie, employing it to kill the Jarl of Falkreath under orders from Agrias. He later killed an Imperial Patrol and found that Amarie appeared to be taken by the Imperials. He immediately rode off to look for her.
When Etienne reached Brittleshin pass, where Amarie was held prisoner, he proceeded inside and killed his way through the Imperial guards with mostly assassinations and tactically planned kills. Eventually, he battled the imperial interrogator and killed the man. He freed Amarie. That was when he truly began work under House Lionheart.
Personality and appearance
Etienne is relatively friendly and easygoing despite his harsh upbringing, since unlike his parents, he believed that nobody was below him and he didn't want to do unto others how he was treated when he was younger. Therefore, he personally made a vow to be different from his emotionless father and insane mother. He has a soft spot for pretty girls and is often distracted when he sees one. Etienne is more of a combat pragmatist after his experiences, since he was thrust directly into the most visceral of survival situations.
Etienne believes that harming innocents is an act of evil and thus he refrains from doing so, unless forced by the circumstances. He rarely protects others for no reason, though, since he does not believe in performing selfless acts. Etienne's reluctance to perform kind acts is a result of his upbringing, where he was taught to protect himself even from his mother and take what he can by the harsh circumstances of life.
Unlike what most people would think from how he was raised, Etienne is literate and can read and write Tamrielic flawlessly as he self learned literacy from a young age, realising how important a proper education is. He also has an over active imagination and enjoys dreaming out of contraptions, although his lack of skills in smithing means none of these contraptions will even be made by him. Etienne also enjoys reading both fictional and non fictional books and thus has a good grasp of many scientific concepts.
Etienne seems to have interest in Amarie, but he never ever reveals his feelings for her, due to his awkward nature with conversations about relationships. This is because he does not understand love very well, seeing the relationship between his parents.
Etienne has an athletic build, although he is not extremely muscular, he does still have considerable amounts strength. He has blue eyes that glow dimly in the dark, a short beard and moustache and black hair. His hair is not very long, except for his fringe, which might hang down and cover his left eye. His upper canines are sharper than normal, but not longer. Etienne has shaved several times, and occasionally kept a heavy beard.
Powers and Abilities
Etienne is a relatively skilled individual. He has considerable skill with sword and unarmed combat, using an iconic reverse grip for his longsword when he is not using two hands for it. Etienne prefers one handed, high agility combat and generally will not use his sword two handed, unless a slash requires more strength. He depends mostly on parries and dodges to get himself out of trouble, as he believes that blocking is inefficient, although using a shield is not below him.
Etienne also has considerable skill over the use of his electrical magic, which he learnt from both his parents. He always has enough magicka for a cast of chain lightning when he needs it most, due in part to his efficiency with electrical spells and in part to his careful conservation and monitoring of his magicka levels. He can also electrify his palms and weapons to add electrical damage to his melee attacks, allowing him to shock people that attempt to parry his blows. After a year of absence and continuous survival in a forest, which served as training, Etienne's control over electricity has increased dramatically, allowing him to cast spells much more efficiently and letting him tune the power of his spells, in short having close to full electrokinesis.
As a nightblade, Etienne also possesses some knowledge of illusion, restoration and alteration. He can heal himself with a simple fast healing spell. He can cast paralysis to allow him to capture rather than kill a target, or use fury to turn people against each other. He also can cast invisibility to make sneaking easier.
Due to his ancestry, while he is not a vampire, Etienne does have some vampire related powers (not all), namely vampiric drain and weakened vampire's seduction. He can see marginally better than a normal person in darkness and has an enhanced sense of smell. He can also feed on blood to heal his wounds, although this is not needed and he detests doing so. He ages slowly or not at all, being biologically immortal.
Etienne can sneak well and has good pakour skills, due to the demands of his job, which require agility and stealthiness to both initiate attacks and escape. He has considerable amount of stamina when running, due to continuous practice and training.
Besides his physical capabilities, Etienne is also a talented inventor and can put together most of the devices he envisions, if premade parts are provided for him. However, he is incapable of making the parts himself as he is poor at crafting items.
Etienne has a Stalhrim bastard sword forged by his father for his mother, named "Soulchaser". The weapon is extremely strong and hard, yet light. It is able to cut spirits, ethereal beings and flesh with equal efficacy. The blade never seems to blunt, weaken or dull.
Etienne also has metallic silvery armor made of relatively strong alloy that he wears over his robes, to protect him from damage. It is made with common metals and thus easy to repair, if needed.
Etienne has a pair of hidden blades which he rarely uses in open combat, since they do not prove very useful for anything except for assassinations. His left blade can eject the blade component at fatal velocities if required.
- Etienne's first name was inspired by the Marvel hero Remy Etienne LaBeau (Gambit). His surname was taken from his mother, which was randomly generated.
- Etienne's combat stances and trademark reverse grip are inspired by the Blind Justice stance in the game Warframe. He does use a conventional grip for stabbing actions and for some forms of sword combat, though.
- Etienne's armor is the Helmschmied Drachen armor skin from Assassin's creed. His appearance is based partially on Ezio (his lower face). Like Ezio, he does not kill innocents and stealth is only a tool for him to attack enemies, not a necessity, although it does help a lot...
- Etienne seems to have a fascination with tinkering, a trait he shares with Leonardo da Vinci, a real inventor/artist who was featured as a fictional character in Assassin's Creed.
- Etienne can be considered a Damphir, better known as a half vampire. His quest to kill his father is based on a folk belief that the only one who can kill a vampire is the Damphir that is the child of that vampire.