Lord Zefarin LeBrun
Artwork by the magnificent Butterfly.Aliases:
Rin to himself and his sister, Mr., Monsieur, or Lord LeBrun to his employees, and various code names and pseudonyms to everypony else.Gender:
Dark red to the point where it is almost brown. Still enough to make him somewhat gingerish. Cropped and styled back into severe obedience.Tail:
Just as red and tamed as his mane. It falls to the insides of his knees in a perfect, slightly wavy fashion.Eyes:
Much like his younger sister, Zefarin's eye colour changes depending on what he is wearing, the lighting of the setting, or whether or not he is holding his umbrella in the crook of his front leg, believe it or not. They range from deep blue to blue-grey to just pale grey. Generally frightening in context, as they are sharp, steely, and intimidating to stare at for long periods of time.Body:
Coated in pristine, carefully groomed fur a rich, almost metallic shade of battleship grey. Rather tall and intimidating, but (as his sister gleefully points out, without fail, every single time they meet) slightly more overweight than he would like to be. Endless dieting plans just can't keep this politician away from the cakes, much to his chagrin and despite his best efforts to end teasing, and an office job doesn't give this aristocrat much time to exercise. It is usually well concealed in unnecessary but posh bespoke suits and waistcoats. Cutie Mark:
A rather ominous image of his black umbrella ringed in shadowy red magic. Age (Baby,adult):
Mid-Forties. Rin is seven years older than his sister.Personality:
The first word to come to mind when a learned pony meets Zefarin LeBrun is 'Machiavellian.' To one a bit more coarse, the word would probably be 'sinister' or 'manipulative.' However, Rin doesn't actively try to be as evil as is assumed upon meeting him. Despite assumptions, Rin is perfectly happy in his self-proclaimed minor position, unlike practically any politician in this day and age, and especially since ostentatious titles and names repel him. Old-family wealth and tradition is clearly written all over him, along with the subtle power that comes from working a self-invented position in a career genre that is made to exercise control over the commonwealth. Despite all of this, Rin is a subtle stallion. Working from the shadows gives him the advantage of having a name that isn't known and a network of underlings to protect those he loves.
That, fortunately for him (and unfortunately, in the eyes of a world defined by friendship), is restricted to exactly one pony of interest. If Rin was ever capable of displaying sentiment, a concept that abhors him, it would be towards his younger, wilder, less-cautious sister Ebony. Otherwise, Rin is outwardly incapable of emotion further than coolness and blatant boredom. Despite this, if the occasion arises, Rin can pull on an identity like a second skin and act his way, rather convincingly, into any situation.
Rin has been described as snakelike in his tendencies to slither his way into control. Much like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, an eloquent tongue, the gift of multiple languages, and the smooth charisma of a successful and pure-blooded aristocrat lead to Rin's control of the Commonwealth to the point that a pony under his influence usually doesn't realise that they are being manipulated until they are halfway through doing his bidding. The advantage of this skill is one reason why Rin has sunken his hooks into Equestrian society so deeply and why he makes himself indispensable, yet invisible, to the well-being and safety of everyday life.
The contradiction to this is that Rin is, naturally, an antisocial. Being in the company of more than a few ponies at a time makes him uncomfortable, though usually only in the form of irritation and disgust hidden very, very carefully behind an unassuming smile.
The black umbrella so often found in the crook of his foreleg or cradled between his hooves is deliberately a part of his image and personality. Whether or not its presence makes him appear more distinguished or imposing may or may not also be on purpose, but Rin's personal being is inexplicably defined by that brolly to the point that a picture of the staff-like object propped up against a wall/table/door is usually used in place of a signature or nametag when sending missives among colleagues. When asked if a pony knows who Zefarin LeBrun is, most would have absolutely no idea. A certain number of these ponies would recognize him instantly if provided with a picture of this umbrella, and that makes all of the difference in the world. Whether or not this umbrella is also some form of self-defence weapon or not... well, nopony really knows for sure, and nopony really wants to find out.Orientation:
This description is only here because it's complicated. A label to be placed upon Rin would best be an aromantic demisexual with bisexual interests within those parameters. However, beyond speculation on the topic, Rin has no idea; especially since his opinion of the general population is low to the point where he laughs in the face of any idea of a relationship. The contradiction to this is that he is not afraid to use himself to worm his way into situations, no matter the cost of the manipulation as long as it can be disposed of after the instance. Quite cold-hearted, on his part.Likes:
Comfortable luxury, decadent and wholly unhealthy cakes, the infamous umbrella, involving himself in the affairs of those he deems important, subtlety, well-brewed tea, sharpness and intelligence that can be controlled, the assistance of his technology-obsessed PA, his sister, and (surprisingly) the Princesses' rule over Equestria.Dislikes:
Legwork, unnecessary noise, the general population, power-hungry politicians with an incorrect sense of self-worth, being a little flabby, naivety, interacting with ponies, dealing with his petulant sister, and genius that cannot be corralled. History:
When Zefarin LeBrun took his first breath, the rain was falling in Canterlot with no sign of stopping anytime soon. A rather sombre beginning to this stallion's tale, but also quite the fitting introduction. Unlike most ponies in this day and age, Zefarin's birth was planned very, very carefully. With an old, pure-blooded Prench family like the LeBruns, it was imperative that this line be made and kept as blue-blooded as one could possibly keep a family without breaking any of society's laws. To say that this colt had been born with a silver spoon in his mouth is a gross understatement.
Mr. LeBrun was head of his estate. A powerful bureaucrat in a society with only one ruler and a wealth of information, Honoré LeBrun considered himself very well off, even for a member of the higher society. His wife, Victoire LeBrun, had a liking for extravagant and flamboyant trinkets, which was the reasoning behind Zefarin's long, arduous, and frankly ridiculous name.
As expected of all young, first-born heirs, Zefarin (or Rin, as he started referring to himself as, but always Zefarin to his parents) took on the responsibility of being brought up with the expectation that the LeBrun estate would one day be his. Rin's foalhood was virtually nonexistent, which, under normal circumstances, would have been a tragedy for an ordinary colt.
Rin was no ordinary colt.
There was something wrong with him. At least, that's what his parents thought. He showed absolutely no sign of ever wanting to interact with other colts; to run and play and dance in the sun. Rather, Rin spent most of his time shut away in the vast estate, buried nose-deep in a book about the Princesses or law or other things that a colt still in the single digits of age should never, ever have to worry about. He was apathetic, cold, and unaffectionate to the point where Victoire began to suspect that her darling son had begun to show signs of sociopathy.
That all changed on the day that Ebony LeBrun
was born. Aristocratic and whimsical Victoire, after six years of enduring her unloving son, desired nothing more than a little filly to dress in frilly pink gowns and to cart around to her parties. That was why, when Zefarin had been seven for barely a month, a squalling little baby was placed into his hooves. Of course, Honoré and Victoire were watching their children very, very carefully. Rin had shown absolutely no sign that he cared at all whether or not he would be having a sibling, and due to his approach towards any living, sentient being, their concerns about placing their tiny child in his hooves was understandable.
But then Rin did something absolutely and completely unexpected. With eyes wide open and shimmering, the little colt placed a gentle kiss on Ebony's tiny forehead with as much tenderness as any brother could have.
With the reassurance that Rin was, indeed, not a sociopath, one would have expected LeBrun life to go back to being as normal as any upper class family. However, Ebony was only an enigma in Rin's attitude towards the world, and he remained in isolation for years. It was unfortunate for Victoire that Ebony, after all, was not interested in the frilly dresses and abhorred the color pink. It was to Victoire's dismay that Ebony was taking after her quiet and brooding brother, who, despite showing fondness for his little sister, was clearly the dominant child in their relationship. Without any interaction with other foals, Rin and Ebony only had themselves to work upon, and it quickly became clear to them that Rin was the smarter foal, and, therefore, Ebony had to be stupid. It was only when they were forced to interact with other fillies and colts their age that they learned that, after all, their individual intelligences surpassed that of all of their peers combined. After that particular fiasco, both foals retreated back to their home and silently decided that they far preferred each others' company over that disaster.
Despite the inevitable sibling rivalry that cropped up between the two fiercely competitive LeBruns, Rin adored and cared for his sister more than anything in the world.
The story of Rin's black umbrella is one that shaped his life. It was a gift from his father when Rin was ten; a true gentlecolt's instrument to be used when making an impression. Rather than using it purely for these affairs, Rin carted the thing around with him everywhere he went to the point that they became inseparable. He gained his cutie mark in a foalnapping, where a shadier member of the household staff decided that taking Rin for ransom would be better than working for the LeBruns until he died. When the frantic Honoré and Victoire found their son, it was with him towering over the unconscious stallion with his umbrella held tightly in the dark red of his magic and a new image on his flanks.
When it became prudent for the foals to attend a proper school, Rin quietly utilised his natural charisma, his genius-level intelligence, his father's example, and all of those lessons about the world he had learned locked away in his books to build himself a formidable and completely hidden hierarchy within the social world of the school. A little favour given to a well-feared bully, such as a free homework assignment, and a little request such as don't touch the spindly ginger unicorn
turned into respect the LeBrun colt
, and then Zefarin LeBrun's word is gospel.
It was an unspoken grip on the student body; the rules there were respected, if not entirely understood, and, as such, Rin's hold was invisible and therefore foolproof. Rin was surrounded by peers who thought they were his friends but were really just insurance.
This hidden power of his really had no use to him other than insurance until Ebony showed up back at home after school with bruises blooming across her sides. Rin had his suspicions beforehand that his sister was being bullied through verbal insults, but, as it apparently wasn't harming his big-headed sibling, he had turned a blind eye. It was this one mistake that drove him to realise that Ebony was really all he had if it came down to it, and his actions were driving her away. It was a coolly furious Zefarin LeBrun who tracked down his sister's tormentors and quietly ended their reign of terror. Exactly how he did it remains a well-kept mystery, but that was the end of Ebony's problems in school.
The day he spent in university were both uneventful and catalytic. Rin built for himself a new following with the intent to study law, and move into that career field, but he quickly realised that his talents were better used elsewhere. When school ended for him, he quickly made himself useful by dropping hints at a minor politician as a freelancer, which ultimately resolved a crisis involving the representatives from Saddle Arabia. Assured that his intentions towards the government and the crown were solid and hardly dubious, these ponies he undoubtedly saved from the end of their careers built for him a solid role in the undergoings of minor, yet key, parts of Equestrian society. When politicians or advisers get out of their depth, they consult Rin, and the crises are averted for yet another day.
Honoré passed on when Ebony was in uni and Rin's career was just beginning to become significant. As he was raised, Rin slipped into the role of patriarch seamlessly and became the head of the LeBrun estate. As a result of this and his influence on the political world, Rin takes it upon himself to attend events in the place of his mother and build up alliances with nobility and ponies of influence.
Having contacts all over Equestria and a reasonably large staff of assistants, observers, and agents makes it easy for Rin to observe the goings-on of his sister. His disapproval in her choice of career in law enforcement was not something he hid, but once he realised how happy she was in her role of inspector, he let her know that he would be happy with her choice. Example RP segment:
A secret admirer confesses his/her love to your OC. Given your OC’s personality, compose a brief narrative in which your OC identifies and addresses the situation.
It was his unenthusiastic PA who hoofed the envelope to Rin over his desk. The frown that creased his brow when he observed the curly writing that spelled out his name over the expensive stationary was out of contempt and foreboding. A quick look-over of the envelope showed him that the stationary had a Neighponese origin, probably from the esteemed colony of paper-making ponies high up in the mountains. That eliminated a few possible senders almost immediately, for most of his colleagues had no interest in something so subtle and exclusive. With a careful slice, he opened the envelope and scanned over the letter, written in a flamboyant, curly hoofwriting characteristic to the upper class. That, combined with a few carefully chosen words, narrowed Rin's subject field even further.
It was a love letter in his hooves; proclaiming undying adoration to a stallion who neither loved nor cared in the manner implied. Of course, he preened under the light that a pony somewhere out there, most likely a mare, had praised him so highly in this letter. He had half a mind to send a reply so that he might meet this mysterious secret admirer and to strike up a true alliance.
That was when his eye caught on a singular hair caught on the seal. Closer inspection brought a resigned annoyance to Rin's demeanour as he set the letter on fire and tossed it into the fireplace. His assistant hoofed him a different missive with scarcely a batted eyelash and continued to read her own letters with gusto.
As Rin scanned over this next summons to a meeting in which he wasn't particularly interested, he wished that Ebony would stop endeavouring to make him look like a fool. It wasn't going to happen any time soon.