Full Name: Maximus Oldenveldt
Nickname/Alias: Old Max to close friends, The Nihilist to his old rivals and enemies, Count Oldenveldt to the populous.
Birthsign: The Lover
Pets/Familiars: None, though he has affectionately named his Tenmar Sugarcane plant Carriage, joking that it "sends him on trips".
History: Maximus was born poor in the Cyrodiil capitol. The son of a merchant who was too busy to tend to him, and a mother with a free spirit who never wanted the responsibility of children, he was mostly raised by his older sisters (and sometimes his brothers, though this just involved beatings). Maximus followed his mothers lead and (what few) lessons she threw his way, rather than looking to his often absent father for advice. While his siblings would try to teach him lessons of the divinity of the nine, they often fell on deaf ears, Maximus finding the ideals dull when he had more things to worry about. In fact, over time he began to take on a nihilistic view of the world, turning to artwork to escape the stifle environment his brothers and sisters accidentally caused. His brothers would harass him to worship the divines who helped their merchant father succeed or their warrior eldest brother return home day by day, but it only drove him further away from both family and faith, eventually leading to Max leaving the home entirely. Taking with him what he had learned of art from his free spirit of a mother (mostly by watching her, her actual attention to him next to nothing), he left the capital with his supplies to travel for inspiration.
Max became a traveling painter, using oils bought from merchants and horsehair brushes to paint anything that inspired him, though it was mostly landscapes and other things he simply saw. Even as a young man, he seemed to have no appreciation for things he could not see, merely seeing the world as art and having dark dreams of nothing. As if he had no imagination, his nihilism was expressed in his artwork; meaningless paintings of the world that captured a momentary beauty. Selling them for what he could get, he lived a meager lifestyle.
It was around this time he discovered Moon Sugar. Traveling often, Kajit caravans were common for him to bump in to. After hearing of their homelands and wanting to see the vast deserts of Elswyr for himself, he did so, and painted those landscapes as well, planning to take them to the people who had never seen such places and sell them for even higher prices (Max never forgot a single landscape he witnessed). But while in the land of the Kajit, Max also traveled to the sugarcane forests. Though outsiders were forbidden, his reputation for being a friend of the Kajit proceeded him, and he was permitted a brief entry with supervision.
It was here he sampled pure moon sugar. Skooma, the stronger form of the hallucinogen, wasn't bothered with in such a place, so the unrefined version was less potent. His addiction started slow. With his first dose, Maximus had a vision of something unreal for the first time in his entire life.
"As if my lifetime of missing dreams all caught up with me at once, there was nothing quite like my first breath of crystallized moonlight. I filled with energy, I saw the impossible, and I was inspired. Like this, I began to paint."
This sent Maximus from his "Realism" period of artworks into his surrealist period, a period where everything he painted was based on his hallucinations and fantasies.
Moving back to Cyrodiil many years later, he garnered more fame and wealth, bringing back a plant from the sugar cane forest and an addiction. His nihilistic views were influenced as well, saying that his now full blown skooma addiction had caused him to "Lose everything", forcing him to start from scratch and rebuild his entire style and philosophy. His paintings, inspired by dreams, moved people in ways his old art never had, and brought him more than he wanted in the first place. Money was spent on more canvases, and he spent all of his time obsessing over his art, over beauty, and over his hallucinations.
Eventually, his habits caught up with him, and in his middle years Maximus began to slow down. Locking himself in his house in the capital, guards keeping his privacy secure, he began to feel uninspired. In a room surrounded by paintings of his dreams and fantasies, he began to realize that faces repeated themselves. Two, specifically, began to appear in his artwork more and more. A woman, naked and holding flowers, and a man, dressed in a dapper and tacky suit with an insane expression. Like this, he fell asleep, dropping his pipe and falling deep into another dream.
In a field of flowers, he stood beneath a sky, half dark and half bright. The flowers at his feet, bright and a rainbow of colors on the bright half and dark and made of such things as eyes and fingers on the other half, seemed to divide right where he stood. And on either side of him, as if playing a tug of war with his soul, were the two beings he had seen and painted so many times. Though he couldn't hear much over the distant laughing that surrounded him, the feeling of awe permeated the whole of his being.
"All at once I felt inspiration fill me all over again, as if the sight of either of these beings could help me create the greatest, wildest, and most beautiful art in the world. I got the impression I was being directed by them.... or perhaps fought for."
When he awoke, Maximus entered his third period, and began to paint both unimaginably realistic paintings of scenes he had never seen personally, and of impossibly imaginative and unrealistic settings that carried the imagination away. His portraits of people seemed to show the colors of being alive, and his paintings of fantasies inspired every emotion possible. Maximus, now preferring his title Count Oldenvedlt, had become famous beyond any other arist of his generation.
Buying property in the country side of the capital, Oldenvedlt Manor is a mecca. His art is featured in galleries around the world, though his private gallery on his property is where many fans and aspiring artists flock to. A branch of the manor, he lives mainly in his studio.
With old age, he has still not slowed, and spends his days seeking further inspiration and heights.
Residence: Oldenveldt Manor, in the Nibenay Basin. He pays taxes to Cheydinhal.
Facial Type: Narrow, with sharp and defined handsome features. Old age has left the impact of strong impressions and lines on his skin.
Eye Color: Dark blue
Hair Color: Steely gray, formerly black.
Hairstyle: cut short and neatly combed, it has thinned slightly, though it's still a full head of hair. He has a thick, but trimmed, beard and mustache that make him seem very well cut and groomed.
Skin Tone: Bronze
Build: Muscular overall, his old age seems to have utterly unhindered him, with a build that could match any soldier. He typically blames it on his strict dieting and exorcising every day, though his skooma habits left him a bit thin over all.
Height: Five feet, eleven inches
Weight: 170 lbs
Birthmarks/scars/tattoos: None, he has never fought a real battle in his life and never bothered with tattooing his own skin.
Distinguishing Features: Looking closely, one may notice that his teeth are fake. His habits and activities caused them to rot out many decades ago, since replaced with expensive replicas. They are indistinguishable to most, and made of a hardened calcium plant root.
His clothes, all expensive and nice, are often ill suited for the setting; he almost always appears dressed as if going to a sunny beach.
Memory: Although bad with details such as numbers, the names of spells or people, or other such things that do not interest him, Max has never in his life forgotten a vision that has moved him. Weather it was a drug induced dream, or a sunrise, he hasn't forgotten one moment that game him emotion.
Senses: His vision is well enough to be able to see the minute details of a scene in moments and analyze them effectively. With old age, his hearing has slowly gotten worse, though it's nothing noticeable just yet.
Allergies: None, but he jokes about being allergic to turpentine.
Handicaps: None, for all of his years he is quite spry and fit, more so than some of the people who linger around his manor, smoking skooma and idly painting.
Phobias: Going blind and losing his vision entirely, something even worse than losing both the hands he paints with. This sometimes manifests as a fear of darkness.
Addictions: Skooma/moonsugar, though he needs it less and less.
Mental Disorders: Hallucinations related to seeing things that are not there, actually inspired by a combination of skooma and of interference from other forces.
Grooming: Very well kept, he constantly trims his hair and nails, very nit-picky about it. He is surprisingly messy when it comes to his living condition though, with paint splattered everywhere in his studio.
Posture: With a very straight posture, he often crosses his legs or rests his elbows on tables or his hands on his hips. He comes off as someone with a lack of interest, but with good habits,
Habits and Mannerisms: Grinding his teeth when stressed will sometimes cause them to crack and break, falling out of his mouth.
Likes: Anything inspiring, he has no patience for people and settings who do not do so or who simply are dull. He has an enjoyment of games, to some degree, and a mild appreciation for books, but his true love will always be artwork of all varieties. Though he only paints, he adores architecture, statues, and objet d'art, filling his house with such specialties.
He has a love of hallucinogenic that cause dramatic scenes for him to see, and still sometimes indulges in skooma when bored. His pipes are made by craftsmen and are quite beautiful and expensive.
Dislikes: Dull people, especially international politics and men obsessed with simple money, drive him away as fast as possible. Utter darkness, where he cannot see the scene, is frightfully dull as he cannot experience with his eyes what was going on. As such he greatly dislikes blindfolds.
*Sense of Humor: He can appreciate most jokes, even a simple shocking joke can make him laugh. To him there really isn't much that is sacred, the desecration of works of art being the great taboo. He appreciates dry humor the most, with slapstick being rather unimpressive and usually just irritating.
*Pet Peeves: Disrespecting artwork and beauty. Desecrating the great works of art, such as the super-massive daedra and aedra statues, would be stressful enough to him to make him grind all his teeth to dust.
^Hobbies/Interests: Outside of artwork, he does sometimes indulge is games outside in his property with fans or servants, kickball games and other such sports. Along with regular diet and exorcise, its his way of keeping fit.
^Skills/Talents: Maxes ability to recreate scenes is second to none. A painting of a scene could look like the actual location, in full view through a window. Likewise, his ability to paint an unreal scene is also second to none. Weather it causes you to have nightmares, or makes you feel at peace, he could recreate an image of hell as seen through a diabolic vision or one of paradise seen in a wonderful dream, and all without very much time or effort.
Personality Strengths: Imposing and loud, his voice is rich with age and experience, his Imperial Blood combining with it to give Max an unparalleled charisma when speaking about anything he is passionate about.
Personality Flaws: Insensitive to a fault, his own shaky family ties have left him numb to many real emotions. Often, all Max does is borrow the emotions of a scene or of others, and recreate it in paint. Max himself is rarely emotional, and is rarely cautious to the emotions of others, instead being blunt and to the point.
*Theme Song: Self Rehab www.newgrounds.com/playlists/v…
^Mood: Neutral and uninhibited, he often speaks like a teacher or a professor
^Attitude: Usually the elder, he tends to give unsolicited advice, or blatantly tell people what's wrong with what they're doing. It can come off as condescending, but he's usually right, and more often then not seems like a great teacher, even when pushing things like the abandoning of responsibilities or inebriation.
^Expressiveness: Usually hiding it, the most expressive he becomes is when under extreme emotion, usually brought on be a scene. Screaming, laughing, crying, he shows a wide variety depending on what he's exposed to.
^When Happy: Gently smiling, or warmly smiling.
^When Depressed: Cries uncontrollably, gently sobbing quietly as tears run down his cheeks and into his mustache and beard.
^When Angry: Clenches fists and grinds teeth.
Character Fashion and Possessions
Wardrobe: Almost always dressed for warm and sunny weather, he prefers a tunic with a deep laced neck, the laces gone exposing the upper part of his broad chest. His pants are usually rolled up to the calves, and we wears flat ankle-shoes with no socks, preferring it that way. His most precious paint brush is kept in his pants pocket. All of his clothes are very high end, despite being simple, with his shoes alone being worth hundreds of septims. He treats them all quite badly anyways.
Equipment: He possesses all varieties of painters tools. His money is carried in a coin bag, along with a pen and book that is filled with specialized papers. By signing it and writing a number upon it, it becomes a promise of that amount of money. A legally binding IOU used for large transfers.
Accessories: With gardeners tending to his flowers, he often wears them in the breast of his shirt or in his pockets, and is often sporting an Amulet of Dibella.
*Trinkets: None. His nihilistic history left him unimpressed with material goods.
^Home: Oldenveldt Manor is sprawling, with a massive amount of land under its watch. Open to the public but patrolled by loyal guards, his gallery is often visited. His lawn is filled with well maintained grass and blooming gardens where he walks or runs, and his main home, a large mansion, is largely unused by him. The kitchen is manned and feeds the servants and himself, but his meals are all very simple and nutritious. With his home being so much larger than needed, it is a display of art in and of itself, designed by professional architects with every single chair, window, door, and floorboard being beautifully crafted and maintained.
His studio is heavily guarded and is filled with his most recent and secret projects. It is where he spends most of his time.
On his property is a public shrine to Dibella, who he pays tribute to as the Aedra of art and beauty. Citizens are permitted to visit and pray, and the priest who runs it as well as all of the guards assigned to this area are female, something he agreed to when he first asked the right to build the shrine in the first place. A super massive painting of Dibella by Maximus, as well as a surrounding dome of stained glass, are the main features. The area itself is under the strict scrutiny of the priestess who runs it, and who is given free domain by Max.
Beneath the shrine, however, under a secret stair case that only Max is aware of, is a secondary shrine dedicated to the Daedra of art, Sheogorath. As Max credits both of them for his inspirations, he thought it unwise not to worship both, though Daedra worship must be done hidden from the world. He allows rumors to spread and invites people to come in to the shrine if he trusts them. The shrine itself houses a painting of Sheogorath, and is unguarded, though many "regulars" loiter around it day by day, going mad from an unseen force and painting imaginative things.
Occupation: Oldenveldt originals sell for thousands. He does not do commissions for just anyone, but the right price will turn his head eventually. It's hard to refuse a chance to improve upon his shrines. Still, he will put no effort into anything that does not inspire him.
Work Ethnic: Passionate to a fault, he will offer to paint people who inspire him for free sometimes, while at the same time refusing to paint a pompous jarl or king who gives him no inspiration.
Rank: High, he is often invited to large parties of wealth, though he holds little political power outside some land and property. He's something like a celebrity.
Income: Massive, he will never be short on cash. People want to own his paintings either to admire and adore them, or to show them off as status symbols.
Wealth Status: High, he falls short of "king" levels of wealth while maintaining an incredibly luxurious lifestyle.
Experience: A lifetime of travels and hard work, and personal visions granted by forces from beyond have made him wealthy in experience and skill.
Organizations/Affiliations: Dibella and Sheogorath worshipers and sympathizers.
IQ: He has never taken an IQ test, but his low patience and tendency to get bored and leave a situation would cause him to score low.
Education: While very well versed in any field he has touched, including history and literature, he is uneducated on the finer points and the details of almost every subject, and has never so much as begun to understand anything he is unaffiliated with.
School: None, he traveled and learned without proper education.
Intelligence: Moderate in all fields, he spends some time reading, seeking some amount of inspiration he will not find in the world of worlds.
God(s)/Deadra(s) Choice: Dibella and Sheogorath
*Morals: (What does your character find morally right or wrong?)
*Crime Record: The worship of a Daedra and the construction of a hidden secret shrine dedicated to Sheogorath.
^Motivation: Emotional scenes and beautiful visions
^Philosophy: Although he constantly seeks new inspiration and works to paint, Max does understand that his biggest years are behind him. He now seeks students and apprentices who share his ideals and who do not test his patience. Most of his time is spent working with such people and tourists, if not in his studio working.