Griffon Zon Sykes
Sir Griffon Zon Sykes was a swordsman and knight of Winthrope.
Sykes was famous for his ruthless conduct and outlandish appearance. He qualified as a swordsmaster as a youth and campaigned on the continent for Albrecht (as part of Winthrope’s Pillar homage) for two eight-year tours.
Griffon began cultivating his unique appearance after the extreme facial scarring he sustained as a child prevented him from growing a full mustache and beard. The hairstyle required meticulous preparation and bizarre cosmetic techniques he had encountered on the continent, such as bleaching and beeswax. He claimed to have modeled his signature look by studying the ruined statue of an ancient Albrectian king, but given his unfamiliarity with continental history it was more likely to have been a philosopher-monk from the second century.
After returning from his second tour, Denin Zon Winthrope arranged for Griffon to marry the baroness of Gilet (an orphaned house under Winthrope’s care). Seven days later, the baroness petitioned to have the marriage annulled on the grounds that Griffon dishonored Royal Omens. Griffon, in turn, used a spy to expose her as an adulteress, then sued for and received her family lands.
Lady Gilet was banished from her ancestral manor. She fled in disgrace to the estate of her presumed lover and childhood friend, the neighboring baron of Letts. Letts, a former page of Heidotten, used an archaic legal maneuver to challenge Griffon to a “Ministers’ Duel.” In this duel, both parties devise a non-martial contest to challenge each other. If one party wins both duels, the matter is decided and no physical contest is required.
Griffon agreed, and promptly lost Lett’s contest, which involved reading old Gildannic from Griffon’s own family medallion. Griffon then challenged Letts to a contest of silence, in which both parties took turns noiselessly performing an action that the other must copy in kind. In the third round, Griffon produced two knives (from Lady Gilet’s armory) and sliced his own cheek open wide enough to stick his finger through. Letts balked at performing this act of self-mutilation, thus refusing Griffons’ challenge and forfeiting the entire duel.
Griffon then pressed to claim a fine from Letts,