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Eugene Benedict was a trained medical doctor from Eltenia. He served as the royal physician to King Tristan Stirling of Apicarta. Upon his failure to save Tristan after he was shot by an assassin, he was demoted to court physician and relegated to Carthmere Castle.

He is best known for having been the secret lover of Queen Laura Stirling, and potentially the father of her daughter Eleanor.

Appearance and Personality

At six feet five inches, Eugene is tall and lanky. His complexion is pale and he usually has dark circles under his eyes from lack of proper sleep. He has wavy auburn hair, an unduly handsome face, and a perpetual smirk.

At first impression, it has been remarked that Eugene looks and sounds less like a doctor and more like a lawyer. He has a strong sense of right and wrong and loves justice, but is not religious or spiritual in any sense of the word.

While he isn't promiscuous, he will use his natural charms on women to get what he wants. However, his ability to manipulate people is surface-level at best; he himself is quite easily manipulated into doing the bidding of others through guilt and blackmail. He is also useless in a fight, particularly due to his having only one eye, and even if his vision weren't impaired, he would be a coward. But he accepts this flaw in himself with good humor: "a healthy amount of cowardice is a vastly underrated attribute".

Eugene's true value, both as a doctor and as a person, is in his capacity to shoulder burdens and play the role of trusted confidante. He may not be able to cure every ailment, but he has an excellent bedside manner, an easy acceptance of the idiosyncrasies of others, and a willingness to do anything to help those in need. This, more so than any other allure, is what makes him endearing.

His nickname is "Gene", though only a few people call him this. To most, he is known as "Dr. Benedict".

Biography

Early Life

Eugene Benedict was born the son of Jules Benedict, an Eltenian war hero turned landowner, and his wife Verna. He has two sisters, Charlotte, who is two years younger, and Hera, who is about six years younger.

Eugene was a studious child. His father arranged for him to be taught by a private tutor, and he later attended the Saranian Academy, the most prestigious school in the country. He excelled in his classes and was set to graduate early, but his high marks began to suffer as he slacked off in favor of partying. He was kicked out before he finished his senior year following an incident with a female professor.

Unable to finish school, he boarded a ship and set sail for Melekess, where he received medical training. In the city he was introduced to a group of transhumanist magicians who sought to use magic to improve humanity and make people's lives easier. Gene was attracted to their ideas, but after seeing their methods and the results of their experimentation firsthand, he became fearful and cut all ties with them. Even so, he clung to the basic ideas of transhumanism despite knowing it is unrealistic and something he will never see within his lifetime.

While travelling as a ship's doctor, the ship was attacked by pirates. Eugene survived because the pirates needed a doctor; the rest of the crew was killed and their property was taken as spoils. Eugene spent an extended amount of time with the pirates, primarily because his attempts at requesting his father's help were either ignored or never reached their destination. He eventually escaped while they were docked at the port town of Overbay in Apicarta, but was forced to flee deeper inland to Carthmere after he became concerned he would be recaptured.

Royal Physician

King Tristan was looking for an experienced physician to serve him and his family. Having been disappointed by previous doctors, he discovered Eugene by chance and immediately employed him.

As the royal physician of the king, Eugene accompanied Tristan wherever he went. While the king was visiting the house of Lord Gavin Zosimus, he was shot by an assassin. Eugene was not present at the scene because he had spent the previous night drinking at a local tavern. The delay caused by his hangover wouldn't have made much of a difference, as Tristan's wounds were mortal, but that didn't prevent Eugene from being partially blamed for his death by Tristan's son Aldous, who inherited the throne.

Aldous still liked Eugene enough to keep him employed, but he demoted him to "court physician", a role far less demanding and with a significantly lower salary and status. While Aldous was away during the War of Succession, Eugene remained at Carthmere Castle, where it was his duty to attend to the various members of the court there. (He couldn't fight due to his only having one eye and therefore wasn't included in the draft.)

For the duration of the war, he tended to the servants and courtiers at Carthmere. Shortly after the arrival of Laura Zosimus, however, he was approached by Princess Helen, Aldous' sister. She had received news that Aldous intended to marry Laura after the war was over. She wanted to get to know the girl better, but they had gotten off on the wrong foot and Laura was now avoiding her at every turn. Thus, Helen tasked Eugene with befriending Laura on her behalf and delivering information about her to the princess. Eugene was reluctant to accept, but agreed in exchange for Helen providing his sister Hera with a job at the palace.

It soon became apparent that Helen's intentions were more nefarious, as she intended to use the information Eugene gained as leverage to manipulate Laura. Likewise, his attempts at gathering data had resulted in him becoming emotionally involved with the girl. Thankfully, Laura was a devout Vormundist, and thus was willing to end their relationship before things got out of hand - at least, for a time.

As the War of Succession began to wind down, Laura became increasingly fearful and desperate for a way out. She turned to Gene with a strange, out of character request - that he either perform a procedure or sleep with her, either of which would cause her to fail an upcoming medical examination meant to determine her virginity. Gene assured her that it was unnecessary and warned her against lying about her maidenhood.

Once his enemies were defeated, Aldous returned to Carthmere and married Laura. But it wasn't long before he embarked on another military campaign, this one an invasion of Exekias. Dubbed the Fifth Exekian War, the conquest had genocide as its goal and was deliberately timed to coincide with the Exekians' kluuda, or mating cycle. While many people, including Eugene, were horrified by it, Aldous garnered enough support to launch his planned invasion, dragging the pregnant Laura along with him. Concerned for her well-being, Eugene joined the war party as Laura's personal doctor.

~More to be added later~

After a meeting with Princess Lucia of Thun, Laura changed her mind and decided to consummate her love for Gene in secret. The affair was only discovered after their deaths, as the couple were found lying in bed together after falling gravely ill during a vacation in which Gene accompanied the queen as her personal physician. Gene caught a sickness from one of his other patients, and subsequently transferred it to Laura through sexual contact.

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