Gethurd Gaering is a wealthy but lowborn Wayrest banker affiliated with the Tault family.

Gethurd Gaering









More than anything else, Gethurd gives off the appearance of being broad. Not particularly fat or muscular, but stout and rectangular, with a barrel chest and sloping shoulders that give him an air of physical power. His hair, once thick and black, is now a receding charcoal stubble, thickest at the sideburns. These, along with his dark heavy eyebrows and a slightly greying goatee and moustache, give his face a weighty, expressive look, alleviating its otherwise bland qualities. Wide, staring eyes of an undecided hazel peer out from under his oft-lowered brow, cycling from target to target with an inquisitive glare.


Gethurd has been in the banking business for a long time, most of his life in fact, and it can truly be called his trade. Arithmetic, analysis, and clerical work of all kinds come to him easily, and he delights in the management and manipulation of money, goods, and power. He has a head for politics, but is not as smart as he thinks he is, often utilising the “brute force” of his considerable wealth and Tault connections in place of genuine political acumen. Primarily, he is an opportunistic climber blessed with the sort of low cunning that can take a man from top to bottom of the social ladder.


Most often, Gethurd Gaering may be seen wearing fashionable, although not overly ostentatious, brocades of dark, rich colours over a combination of linen and lace, his stubby hands only just emerging from his frilled cuffs, and a fine cravat or scarf connecting his broad chin to his shoulders. He favours knee high boots with thick heels, giving him an extra inch of height and a more imposing footfall. He wears just enough jewellery to display his wealth without being overly flamboyant – a few gold rings and one long chain.


“Gaering” is not one of the fine family names of High Rock. Only a few years ago, not even the lowest knight could have identified it. Instead, the Gaerings are (or were) a family of Wayrest cobblers; a poor old man, a poor old woman, and their poor little son, Gethurd. When he was eight, Gethurd’s father died of a fever, and Gethurd and his mother lost their cobbler’s workshop, and most everything else. Mrs Gaering was able to find work as a servant in a merchant’s house, but there was no cobbler’s shop for Gethurd to learn his father’s trade in. Instead, his mother’s new employer found him work at the Imperial Bank’s High Rock branch in Wayrest, then a powerful and influential establishment indeed. Initially, he worked as a runner, a porter, and a general dogsbody for the Imperial bankers, but every night without fail, the young Gethurd Gaering worked at numbers and letters, and within a few short years he had begun to be noticed as a “sharp lad”.

At age eleven, he was elevated to the lowest clerical role, scratching away at ledgers and tapping away on abacuses. He was even sharper now than he had been as a runner, and as he devoured his menial tasks, he continued to fuel his sharp and inquiring mind with every chance he got. In this fashion, the child rose quickly through the hierarchy at the Imperial Bank. He worked hard, and he got ahead.

At age sixteen, he learned the other half of getting ahead. Another young clerk of similar (though more fortunate) background was also making his mark at the Imperial Bank, and as their shared superior made signs of retirement, the unspoken question emerged as to who would succeed him. Certainly one of the young prodigies, but which? Gethurd Gaering, of course. He wanted the job, and all that came with it, and he would rather have died than seen that other clerk get it. It was no harder than arithmetic, as it turned out; Gethurd dropped a few rumours, spread a few lies, and blackmailed his rival with stories they both knew were false.

The path to the top had always been clear to Gethurd, but now it seemed so much easier. Ruthlessly employing his new-found talent, he soared out of the clerical ranks and could finally call himself banker. But it wasn’t enough; he knew he could climb higher. As the Third Era faded into the Fourth, the Empire began to crumble. It could not maintain its vast power structure, and the Imperial Bank in High Rock, like so many other institutions of Imperial might, looked to be following it. Its assets began to drain away as nobles and merchants abandoned ship. Its holdings were seized, requisitioned, or stolen, and Gethurd’s colleagues were (mostly figuratively) leaping from windows to escape the chaos. Now was his time to truly shine. He concocted a Machiavellian scheme with the master of the High Rock branch; Gethurd would act as an unassuming patsy, sacrificing his own credit to squirrel away embezzled assets for the master, who would of course emerge rich and smelling of roses.

Gethurd laughed quietly to himself as the master played into his obvious betrayal. As soon as the assets were nominally in his own grasping hands, he stashed the paperwork and had the master of the bank arrested for embezzlement (even though, of course, the bank’s entire physical wealth remained within the vault). Appointing himself as his replacement (with no real opposition in the flagging institution), he nominally dissolved the bank and had the good fortune to come into a considerable amount of property, which he proceeded to store in his newly established bank. Not a septim had left the vault, but he had stolen every one and had another man arrested for the theft. In short order, he “returned” these “lost” assets to those notable clients who could be trusted to keep them in a new independent bank, and found himself on top at last. The name of Gaering no longer adorned a cobbler’s shop, but one of the finest young banks in High Rock.

But despite his arrogance, Gethurd knew that his creation could not survive the still turbulent economic and political climate. There was only one establishment that could – the ever-growing giant of the Tault family. Gethurd knew their type (he was their type), and he knew that they were smart enough to shatter his impressive single-handed achievements. To survive, he handed it all to them, at least in part. The Gaering Bank would become a branch of the Taults’ impressive collective, merging its accounts, holdings and assorted wealth into the larger body. Gethurd, of course, would remain master of the branch, and one of the richest self-made men in the province.

Character SummaryEdit

Gethurd lives his business. From lowly origins to a point of considerable power, he has crept and climbed to the top, stepping on toes, hands and faces as it suited him. But men like Gethurd are never satisfied, and while he has the good sense to pick his fights, he is always looking higher. He will not tolerate any obstacle to his success if he has the power to remove it, and equally will not tolerate any challenge to his former successes. One thing guaranteed to bring out his explosive anger is any question of his status or power. His expensive tortoiseshell desk has cracked and worn pits from his continued habit of slamming his fists and palms on it, and his many household servants have learned to stay low and do as master says.

For the most part, Gethurd considers himself a calm, proper, and classy man, certainly more so than the arrogant lordly peacocks that look down on him. He perhaps underestimates his own capacity for strong emotion; his drive, which he sees as cold calculation, is in fact as much a product of unbridled anger and disdain. This gives him an undeniable inferiority complex which only further acquisitions can assuage, and he makes sure to buy the finest of everything, purely to prove that he can. He’s just that sort of man really.