Real Name: Charles Carter, of House Calfherd
Nicknames: The Wanderer, Lovell
Race: Cursed Human (wolf)
Hair: Grey (fur)
Height: Approximately 5'8"
Role in the Keep: Court Poet
As the court poet of Metamor, Wanderer is always ready to captivate audiences with a rousing tale, a stirring poem or a rollicking drinking song. Skilled with both voice and lute, equally at comfortable in royal courts and bawdy taverns, Wanderer is a true bard and an entertainer extraordinaire.
Charles "the Wanderer" is the descendant of a minor branch of House Calfherd, one of the noble clans of the Sathmore Empire. While many of the Calfherds were, and are, politically powerful in the Empire, they came from a completely different part of the family tree. Charles's father was a wainwright; his father's father was a chicken farmer.1
Charles was a small and spindly boy, very unlike his father. His mother had died giving birth to him, but throughout his childhood Charles was told that his mother had "gone away" — a phrase that planted a deep-seated neurosis in his mind, a fear of abandonment that would grow pathological over time.2 His mother's stepfather treated him kindly, teaching him to love and appreciate music, but it wasn't enough to overcome his feelings of alienation.
Charles' lack of physical stamina, quick wits, and desperate need for approval led him away from his father's profession and into the entertainment business. He became a traveling bard and worked for some years plying his "wit and wind" around the Sea of Stars. His quick temper got him into a lot of trouble, but his glib tongue usually got him out again relatively unscathed. When there was no work for a bard, he hired himself out as a scribe, a messenger, and even a sellsword in order to keep food in his stomach.3
When Charles the Wanderer heard that the court poet of Metamor Keep had been killed in a battle in 699 CR, leaving no heirs, he jumped at the chance to audition for the role. He was surprised when the wild stories of the Curse that he had heard on the road to Metamor actually turned out to be true, but even that wasn't enough to stop him from petitioning Duke Thomas for the job. After a tense initial encounter with Jack DeMule, Wanderer was accepted for the job and welcomed into the ranks of the Keepers.4
Wanderer is phenomenally insecure, a fact that he hides through bravado, charm, and an extremely quick wit. He is loud, boisterous, and clever, an extrovert par excellence, but all of this is driven by a deep need to be liked and a desperate fear of being alone.
It is because of these aspects of his personality that Wanderer decided to offer his own service as a substitutionary payment for Christopher to be healed by the goddess Akkala5. So desperate was he to help his friend, to be proven useful to him, that he actually lied to Raven and Akkala about having Christopher's permission to accept the goddess's geas on his behalf — a reckless gamble that resulted in him being trapped in the body and mind of a wolf for approximately the last 3-4 months of 706.6
Wanderer is slowly learning to accept that he can be loved for who he is, apart from his talents or usefulness; the Communion ceremony that he and Raven secretly undertook in February 707 helped him to understand that his concept of love was, at best, insufficient.7 Through his growing relationship with Raven, he is learning how to love and be loved, and how to simply live in the moments without having to continuously prove himself.8 Still, he has a long way to go to overcome his neurotic obsession with being useful to people.
One other aspect of Wanderer's personality that must be mentioned is his short temper. This has gotten him into trouble on numerous occasions, beginning in childhood when he beat a nobleman's son senseless with a tree branch for tormenting him in school.9 Young Charles's life was spared through the intercession of the town priest, but this incident earned him the nickname Lovell, the Wolf. Wanderer has brought his temper under better control in recent years, but it remains a defining aspect of his personality, even if it is one that his audience rarely sees.
Friends & Allies
Wanderer's closest friends are Christopher, whom he befriended soon after coming to Metamor,10 and Raven, whom he flirted with and romanced for years before she finally dared to truly return his affections.11 He is also on generally good terms with Lurene, though that relationship may have been strained somewhat by the time that she was forced to take care of him during his stint as a beast. Wanderer does not seem to have close friendships with very many other members of the Keep — perhaps because, until recently, he had so little idea of what friendship actually means. Wanderer is the sort of fellow that a great many people like but few people actually know.
Wanderer's hands are not fully humanoid; he has to use a sort of prosthetic thumb, attached to his wrist, in order to be able to grip and hold most objects. His feet are digitigrade, like a wolf's. Unlike Raven, the hair on the top of his head is as wolfish as the hair on the rest of his body; he doesn't have a "head of hair" that is distinguishable from his fur. In most other respects, his body is humanoid in shape, slender in build but physically fit.
When he is at the Keep, Wanderer tends to dress foppishly, as befits a court poet. When he is sent out on patrol duty, he favors light leather armor that allows him to make use of his agility and avoid getting hit.