- "Putin, the Ratcatcher! May his name be cursed forever! We've heard about how he's dealt severe blows to many thieves throughout the region with deadly efficiency."
- —Tara Merrier about Vladimir Putin
Major Vladimir Putin, also known as the Ratcatcher, is a covert ops specialist in the Proninist Party. He persuaded various Libaterran gangs and thieves guilds to join the Crimson Coalition during the Second Great War and exterminated those who refused. His ruthless actions led to a violent skirmish with the Union Workers in Etheril in 1017 AE which left one third of the city a mess. He is presently the leader of the city under the title of Commissar.
Vladimir Putin worked as a soldier in Remon, fighting against the country's enemies wherever he was needed. By the time the Great War ended and the Cataclysm shook the world, he served various Remonian barons but felt disgusted by not being able to share their wealth. However, he quickly garnered a reputation for being uncompromising in his methods to wipe out anyone who stood in his way.
When the Proninist Party was formed and rose to power thanks to the actions of Chairman Andrei Pronin, Putin was among the war veterans who joined him, wishing to become wealthy and topple nobles in the process. After Pronin's demise, Putin remained one of the top members of the Party even after the Party joined the Crimson Coalition. He rose up the ranks and became a major in the army, earning the nickname Ratcatcher due to his brutal and rather effective methods of wiping out any thieves who didn't join the Coalition.
- "The Order intends to expand its area of influence to the north, and the Coalition's little campaign gives us exactly what we want."
- "That can't be the sole reason, or you wouldn't have bothered coming here in person, let alone in such a grand fashion accompanied by some of your finest men. What do you really want from General Lain?"
- "Focus on the matters at hand, major, and let me worry about the rest."
- —Koschei Dravaris and Putin
Putin had been weeding out various criminal elements in Libaterra while serving the ambitions of his Party and the Crimson Coalition who wished to conquer all of Libaterra in the Second Great War. He was sent to Etheril in 1017 AE to deal with the problem posed by the Union Workers, who had refused to side with the Coalition, and to keep order in this new Coalition-affiliated city while General Leopold Lain would lead his army south to conquer the central lands held by the Magicracy of Alent. He also talked with Duke Koschei Dravaris of the Order of the Black Rose about how to go about eradicating the thieves, somewhat aware that the duke had ulterior motives.
Putin began a violent campaign to make the local thieves look hostile while encouraging the populace of Etheril to rat out anyone they knew were associated with any thieves and assassins in order to build a more secure Etheril for merchants and everyone else. He was partly goaded to doing this by a beautiful and mysterious elfess, Naga, with whom he'd had an affair. He followed Naga's suggestion of escalating the conflict with the Union by increasing attacks on the thieves.
The Union didn't take Putin's actions kindly, and retaliated with force. When Putin received word from Naga where to locate the Union hideout in Etheril, he sent an extermination squad there. However, he faced more than he had bargained for when the Union set the district on fire and sent attack dogs on the unsuspecting Proninists.
Putin realized too late that the map detailing the Union's hideout didn't in fact have all the information and had led his men astray, and he soon figured out that Naga had actually been playing him all along and had goaded him into sending his men to a certain death. He tried to search for the treacherous elfess but soon found out that Naga was nowhere to be found; he assumed she had fled the city shortly after the fighting began.
The skirmishes between Putin's forces and the Union lasted for a while in Etheril, but finally Putin was able to drive out or capture the majority of the Union's people in Etheril albeit with heavy losses as well as losing the city's Baron Jeremiah Seneron whom the Union had kidnapped from the Seneron Manor during the fighting.
With the city now relatively secure although Putin knew that the Union would still likely have some thieves in the city to keep an eye on him, he was put in charge of the city in Baron Jeremiah's absence. However, he knew that his new position was in fact a punishment from his superiors for screwing up what would've been a relatively simple takeover of Etheril and for having turned the city into a mess thanks to being fooled by the Union and Naga.
Still, Putin managed to turn his rather embarrassing blunder into a moderate victory by putting the blame on all the fighting and the fires on the Union, thus turning the people of Etheril against the thieves pretty much overnight; after all, seeing the charred remains of homes was a good motivator to goad the citizens to hate the Union.
Treaty with the FraquidEdit
- "You coming here couldn't have happened at a better time. We could use more warriors and mages to finally bring peace and prosperity to this wartorn land. This conflict concerns every Libaterran, including your tribes up north, and I hope you'll consider my offer. It would also be very beneficial to your people to choose the right side: us. The Coalition never forgets those who have aided it."
- —Putin to Mabale Andalu
After becoming the Commissar of Etheril, Putin received a personal bodyguard and advisor from Dravaris and the Order of the Black Rose: an assassin named Florian Gagnon. Putin wasn't fully trusting the man, but he saw how useful Florian would be to him in the long run, so he let him stick around even though he knew Florian's ultimate loyalties lay with the Order.
Putin received word that Fraquid delegates had entered Etheril recently and their leader requested an audience with him. Although Putin was swamped with paperwork, he let Florian lead the Fraquid envoy into his office in the Seneron Manor. He was irritated by this sudden interruption, but he was also curious to hear why these seclusive northern elves had decided to pay the city a visit now, considering the elves hadn't been seen outside their territories, the Traquine, since the Cataclysm.
The Fraquid envoy introduced himself as Mabale Andalu and had a rather polite discussion with Putin, explaining his reasons for coming to the city and asking for the major to fill in what had happened to the Fraquid's previous business partner, Baron Jeremiah Seneron, and what had been going on in the rest of Libaterra lately. Putin quickly realized that the elf was far more cunning than he seemed and already knew some of the things he was asking. He nevertheless answered Mabale, hoping to learn what the envoy was really after.
Putin also thought that if he pulled this conversation off well enough, he might be able to sway the Fraquid to join the Coalition, thus gaining skilled elven warriors and mages into the Coalition's ranks, which would hopefully redeem him in the eyes of his superiors and give him a chance to leave Etheril behind and put some other poor sod in charge of the city.
Massacre in UkrainiaEdit
Ultimately Putin's efforts bore fruit, and the Fraquid chose to fight for the Coalition in the war against Alent to preserve their autonomy from the expanding influence of the magicracy. As their first assignment Putin sent his new Fraquid allies to the town of Ukrainia where one of the Union's few remaining pockets of resistance in the north still resided. The town had refused to side with the Coalition and openly supported the Union thieves, so Putin wanted an example made of them to show what happened to those who defied the Coalition or harbored enemies of the Coalition.
The Fraquid company, led by Mabalu's associate, Captain Canyatir Malufind, did what was asked of them with cold precision. Canyatir's elves forced the town to side with the Coalition and killed anyone that resisted. Thanks to the Union's stubbornness, it led to a massacre with much of the population of Ukrainia perishing to the Fraquid's spells and swords.
After Ukrainia had been dealt with, the Fraquid were ordered to join the northern Coalition army in the Siege of Alent. Although reluctant to let such an effective fighting force go, Putin had to follow orders of his superiors and bid farewell to the elves. He spent the next weeks consolidating his rule in Etheril with the Nightstalkers, thieves who had openly sided with the Coalition, and his rule was quite egotistical as he finally had what he had wanted: power, wealth and women.
A Nasty Pest ProblemEdit
Putin enjoyed his time wrestling shirtless in the falling snow with weakened bears brought from the north. He genuinely believed this act would make him look heroic and masculine in the eyes of Etheril, but little did he know that the citizens secretly snickered behind the Commissar's back while whispering how ridiculous his macho bravado really was.
During one such wrestling match in early winter, something huge emerged from the ruins of a manor that had once belonged to the now fallen Whitehawk Estate. The beast was the hydra, a beast mentioned in ancient legends. The hydra's sudden appearance caught the Proninists and their Coalition allies completely by surprise as no one had expected something so terrifying to dwell in the ostensibly abandoned ruins.
The hydra rampaged through the city which had been slowly recovering from the fires the Union had set months earlier. It came across the Commissar who was still wresting with a bear and decided to devour the bear whole while also taking a chunk off Putin's ass in a manner that would've seemed comical had the beast not been so terrifying already.
Putin survived the ordeal, albeit barely, while the hyrdra returned to the wild as quickly as it had appeared. He would be blamed for causing yet another catastrophe in Etheril even though he didn't understand why the appearance of a legendary beast would be his fault exactly. Putin would live with this shame and his now half-ass for the rest of his life.
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- Putin's title after he was put in charge of Etheril after the Crimson Coalition's takeover.
- His military rank in the Proninist Party.
- What he is called because of his brutal yet (mostly) effective methods of weeding out thieves, assassins and other elusive outlaws during the Coalition's campaign.
A bald man with sharp features and an even sharper nose, his eyes are cunning yet somewhat brutish. He rarely smiles. He's dressed in a Proninist uniform which has a mix of gold, black and red.
Personality and TraitsEdit
He's a ruthless man, willing to do anything to win, and possesses a cunning enough mind to deal with underworld factions. However, he's occasionally somewhat gullible and delusional especially as far as women go because he sees himself as a macho man whom all women should worship despite him being bald. This is why he failed to see the honey trap set by Naga who deceived him until it was already too late, and he still curses himself for falling head over heels for her and making a fool out of himself in the eyes of his superiors.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
He's a decent enough tactician and knows how to use a sword in battle. He also knows how many thieves think after having hunted down several thieves guilds in the past.
Putin grudgingly respects his bodyguard and advisor Florian although he still doesn't trust the mysterious assassin fully. He understands why Florian's presence is necessary to not only protect Putin from assassins but to also offer him counsel on various matters on the Order's behalf. Florian sees Putin as a rather irritating, short-sighted man but tolerates him for the greater goal the Order has in mind.
Putin fell head over heels for a beautiful elfess who called herself Naga. While being infatuated and having an affair with her, he failed to see that Naga wasn't what she seemed and was in fact only manipulating him, leading to the brutal Union/Coalition conflict in Etheril during which both factions lost several good men. Putin realized too late he'd fallen into a honey trap, and cursed himself for his stupidity. Naga seduced Putin as he was a mere means to an end to her, and deliberately led Etheril into a conflict which would weaken it so it'd be easier to conquer by Naga's masters.