The Coldfall Sanction
Lord Cyril Blathing, 7th Earl of Gavilshire
A British Lord and Folklorist
Cyril is about 50 years old, but despite his years and white beard, he keeps in good shape. Before the war, he would frequently go out hiking or hunting in the foothills of southern Dalmatia and Montenegro. His shotgun skills, though practiced, were not the best, as he often would return with no quarry to show for his efforts. His face is quite wrinkled, and his eyesight is not what it used to be. He would often be dressed in a very British suit and tie, but on his hikes will occasionally don more local attire.
Lord Cyril Blathing is the 7th Earl of Gavilshire. Cyril was born on 30 June, 1866 to Archibald Blathing, 6th Earl of Gavilshire, and his first wife Mary. Cyril was the oldest son, but has an older sister named Catherine, and a younger brother named Thomas. Throughout his childhood, Cyril would read veraciously of folk and fairytales from all parts of the world.
In education, Cyril excelled at Linguistics, learning Latin and Greek by age 12, and over the course of his life learned German, French, Turkish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Romanian. He attended Cambridge University.
In 1887, Cyril traveled to Greece and Turkey, and began living in Istanbul, immersing himself in the Orientalist attitude. He wrote a book about traditional Turkish folklore and in 1889 met his future wife, Ianthe, a Greek native of Istanbul.
In 1891 Cyril’s father passed away, and he returned to England. The same year, he married to Ianthe, and the two had a Daughter, Penelope.
From 1891 to 1906, Cyril managed his estates and wrote several books about British Isles Black Dog folklore, and Slavic Vampirs. It was in this time that Cyril became good friends with Captain William Henry Hall, with whom he shared an interest in the Balkans.
In 1906, his wife grew ill, and the two moved to Ragusa (Dubrovnik) to help her recover. Cyril was asked by Lord Hall to write him regarding local folklore and became something of a spy for the British. Ianthe died of tuberculosis in 1909 at age 40. In 1913 Penelope married a promising barrister named Robert Wise, and they had a daughter Kathryn.
Cyril remained in Ragusa until the outbreak of war led to his departure for Cetinje, Montenegro. He acted as a liaison between the British and Montenegrin governments while still researching Balkan Folklore for Captain Hall. When Austro-Hungarian and German forces captured Montenegro in early 1916, Cyril fled with the retreating Serbian army to the Greek island of Corfu.