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Daniel van Nassau
Reputation: «...Daniel van Nassau Breda, heir to the Count of Breda, is a reserved honourable soldier in the employ of the Prince of Orange. While considered trustworthy and friendly, the ladies also find him at times dramatic and confusing, where as the gentlemen never forget that he's unfortunately Dutch...»
First Impression and Physical Attributes
Daniel has cropped red hair that changes from light to dark with the seasons. His shoulders are broad while his waist is quite slim. His body is toned, but it doesn't show. The pale complexion of his skin, even though freckles turn up all over, makes the choice for indoor pastimes quite easy.
Daniel's overly straight posture betrays his military background. His deep set eyes in combination with his usual frown give him a dark look which is mistaken for anger most of the time. He's usually present in the background, keeping to his motto of "observe and learn". Usually quiet, he only speaks when spoken to, or when there's a chance to profile himself.
Daniel usually keeps to himself, speaking when spoken to mostly. The boy can be flirtatious, but not in spoken words, unless it's in private. He tends not to show his emotions and would rather write them down into poetry, which often finds a woman, whether or not he loves them. His fear of water makes him avoid large bodies of it as much as he can, especially interaction with it. A sudden splash of liquid in his face might also be enough to trigger a panic reaction from the former officer. He will do most anything to get his hands on rare volumes or original writings of master poets. His life is important to him, but justice is what he served for and is also what he would pursue in his life. Justice and truth, two things that have the greatest impact on his moral compass.
Recess 1676: Late April – Early October
The first weeks of his return to the Provinces had been horrendous. The wound in his shoulder wasn't properly healing, it even started to fester soon enough. It would leave a big scar to say the least. His father was still ill and hardly every lucid, his heart was, for what it seemed to him, broken by the Charles Rex. Meanwhile, he left London with an incapable sod of an ambassador in charge, and to make things worse, his own regiment had marching orders to go to the front lines and there was no way in which he was capable of joining them.
His father had been surprised upon his return from England. His only son had taken the time to come home from his duties abroad to support this sick, old man. When the young Captain arrived, everything was being readied for him and his father was making sure that he was awake at this moment. It came as a shock for him when he saw his son, who had shed off the covers of his torso in order to minimize the pressure on the healing wound. It took away part of the pain still residing in his shoulder. Daniel didn't know what hurt his father more, the fact he had been so badly wounded outside a war zone, or the fact he hadn't come home to spend time with a dying man.
The rest of that month was spent with his father's manservant, who showed to be a capable steward for the estates during his father's illness. Daniel had to know what was currently going on, and if he could be of any help to the man who not only tended to the estates and his father, but also saw the misery that the heir of the Graaf was in. Days and days did the Captain spend in the Rekenkamer going over the administration of the estates, and writing letters to Dutch acquaintances, his family, and a few of his friends in the cavalry. His shoulder was so badly damaged, that he could hardly use his right arm anymore. Every day, however, he would dictate several letters to his manservant, which subsequently were crumpled in his left hand and cast into the fire. The only thing the servant had written on those were "Dear Lady,". The young man never got any further than that. Something about this lady had been bothering him.
During this time the wound had gone from bad to worse. An inflammation and the festering made the work hard on the doctors that were called for, and the outlook they gave him on recovery was minimal. Given the nature of his station in the dragoons it angered Daniel to no extent, and more than once his manservant was called upon to clean up a room that was thrashed in rage. The use of his arm was severely limited, and would stay that way according to the doctors. While Daniel could not accept it, he did what any good soldier unfit for duty should do: he dictated two letters after failing to write them himself, one to his regiment commander, and one to William. Both explained his situation and that no longer he could give the Dragoons what he should be able to, and that by this letter he resigned from his position. It was a good thing that he had been practicing his fencing and shooting for a while with his left arm before he was shot. He didn't master it at all like he used to with his right, but with the help of a fencing master and a lot of training in the coming years, he could get to be as good as he was before and let off some steam. Relief from the anger that built up inside him was the best thing he got these days, he only had to look for a fencing teacher, or at least partner, now to train with instead of his manservant who couldn't give that much of a play anyway. He couldn't shoot a rifle anymore, and he got extremely frustrated whenever he tried to reload a pistol, let alone that he was actually able to.
As a fortnight had passed, Daniel was once again called away for duty, completely against his expectations. This time, however, a tailor was called for to take measurements for a new uniform. William, the Prince, had once again called on his cousin and ordered him to field headquarters as soon as possible as an addition to his own strategic staff, as he didn't want his cousin to sit out the war after the dragoons of Bylandt had been such a big factor in the victory of Seneffe. Here he could at least still make a difference, especially with the field experience he had. It also meant that a promotion would be dealt with as soon as he arrived, as all in William's direct staff were majors or higher, save for a few majors who were there only to assist the flag officers. It lightened his mood as he had the horses readied for departure and his bags packed for campaigning, even if he were just to sleep in a luxurious tent or, God forbid, an actual building. When he arrived he was happy to see he wasn't the only one with a physical ailment, although he did think that the loss of an eye or an ear was far less worse than not being able to make a difference on the front lines. First and foremost he was a soldier, as he had learned while he rose through the ranks, he needed the exercise. He needed the use of his arm. The days were long and boring, but at least he was dealing himself a good hand here.
The 18th day of July, before dawn, William entered Daniel's quarters unasked in order to wake the now Lieutenant-Colonel up himself. The news he brought was grave, for both had lost someone dear to them. As the news of the death of his father settled in, Daniel refused to return to Breda before his work in the field had been done. William, knowing that his cousin was no use, if anything would take him off his game, ordered the new Graaf to go home for two weeks and make the necessary arrangements and leave the estates in good care. With peace talks opened in Nijmegen, there were a lot less skirmishes, let alone battles.
The world was different now. All he had got destroyed in a few months time. A young man with a love he could not marry, a military life ruined, and the only person connecting him to his home dead. Daniel was now officially the Graaf of Breda, not any more the son of a nobleman who could do as he please. Things were expected. It was already questionable that at this age and with a title he wasn't married, at least for someone with such close family ties to the Prince. Word of these events and the funeral had certainly reached English shores, but Daniel wasn't interested in sentiments from the Kingdom. He would be what was expected of him: a close friend of William, a member of his family even, and take on the responsibilities that his father had. No more could he fool around and the world became business more than pleasure. Everything he did now not only reflected on him (or his father), but also on William and possibly the Republic.
Daniel took his time to get acquainted with the workings of his duties whilst delving more and more into Marius de Vries and his status in England. The ambassador had been most unwelcome to Daniel, who was nobility unlike De Vries, who was sent to London by the Staten-Generaal. Peace with France was being negotiated and had attracted Monmouth and Danby as mediators between the parties, both having supported a different side. Several trips were made to Nijmegen where Daniel would speak to Danby, both personal about his time in London, as well as as a liaison for William. The downside of him taking over the estates and the title coupled with his, by his useless arm induced, depression were of a financial nature. His situation was better than it had been before, of course, but the sums of money that were now at his disposal were a danger. It didn't make him a big spender, but after having been coerced into a few silly bets by fellow noblemen, the blood began to flow. He was about breaking even on his bets, but the few pounds a bet it started with was on the growing side still. He was sane enough not to lose too much, but the longer his father was gone and the more frustrated he became with his arm, the more liberty he took with his money.
The Staten-Generaal did it's work, but, from the reports Daniel saw and the missives sent by the guards of the Dutch embassy in London, De Vries seemed to take his position for personal gain as well as so border lined within the frame that the Staten-Generaal had given him, that he hardly seized any extra opportunities. It made the officer angry, especially after the falling out he had received from De Vries as he had offered medical help in the embassy proper when the fire was raging in London. There was enmity between the two before, but ever since that event De Vries and Breda exchanged niceties so cold that they could freeze over the eternal infernos of Hell. Daniel wanted to get back in the saddle, so to speak. When he was in London, he did all he could to find something to have Marius sent back to the Republic, and it was one thing he couldn't let go of. It should've been Daniel in England, operating the embassy, not a person like De Vries, a merchant of sorts, not a nobleman, let alone diplomat, at all.
As August came around the corner, Daniel started attending more and more social events within the noble circles, including short stays in Germany and Denmark, and even a week in Sweden. He made sure that he was seen at the most popular and important events. This not only had a social and political reason, but he had also made sure that it was known in rumors that he was a bachelor and in need of a wife, especially if he were to have offspring eligible to his title if he would ever pass away.
Alcohol made his tongue loose, and his mind free. Quick to a bet, quick to flirt, and quick to agree to things he shouldn't. There was talk of him taking liberties with servants, possibly other women, but not yet had it been told as truth. However, apparently he did do something bad enough that he was challenged to a duel. While his skills were lacking, he had all the luck in the world as his opponent's skill was even worse than his own. The shameful matter of a public duel did not only speak for the Graaf, but also for his family, most notably William. It didn't take long before William sent Daniel off to England again, banished until the Dutch nobility would hardly speak of it anymore. The name of William and the Oranges had to be cleaned from the actions of Daniel, and in England he could be set loose with a set of strict rules as well as a purpose. Windsor would be the next place he would stay
- Father: Engelbrecht II van Nassau-Breda (d.18 July 1676)
- Mother: Johanna van Nassau-Breda (nee Van Polanen) (d. Feb 1676)
- Siblings: None