Benvenuto Cellini is the name of a famous renaissance goldsmith, sculptor, draftsman, soldier and musician, among other things, as well as an occultist, necromancer and alchemist. Unbeknownst to most, he's also an immortal. Currently he tends to go by the name Sant'Angelo.
Benvenuto Cellini was born in Florence, Italy. His parents were Giovanni Cellini, and Maria Lisabetta Granacci. They were married for eighteen years before the birth of their first child. Benvenuto was the second child of the family. The son of a musician and builder of musical instruments, Cellini was pushed towards music, but when he was age fifteen, his father reluctantly agreed to apprentice him to a goldsmith, Antonio di Sandro, nicknamed Marcone. At the age of sixteen, Benvenuto had already attracted attention in Florence by taking part in an affray with youthful companions. He was banished for six months and lived in Siena, where he worked for a goldsmith named Fracastoro (unrelated to the Veronese polymath). From Siena he moved to Bologna, where he became a more accomplished flute player and made progress as a goldsmith. After a visit to Pisa and two periods of living in Florence (where he was visited by the sculptor Torrigiano), he moved to Rome, at the age of nineteen.
Unknown to most, he was also an occultist, and an alchemist with several colleagues- having worked on forbidden texts, rituals and arcana in his workshop in Florence. Four years later, working with a mysterious individual known as "Dr. Strozzi," he went to the colloseum at night, and initiated a dark ritual to summon Dante, who told him of how to achieve immortality, and opened the way for him to do so. It is rumoured that night, that a legion of devils were conjured up at that time, and he went into another realm. Whatever happened, he returned with bulrushes, a casket containing a pale green water, and a head in a sack, resembling the Medusa of legend. Working for a considerable number of hours wrought a silver garland resembling bulrushes, that could turn the wearer invisible, as well as a silver medallion depicting the head of Medusa on one side- with rubies for eyes, and a mirror/looking glass on the other, with some of the mysterious green liquid trapped inside the glass. When one looked into it on a moonlight night, it could grant them immortality, effectively making sure that for that person, nothing past that point would kill them. Not long later, he wrote a book called "The key to Life Eternal".
His first works in Rome were a silver casket, silver candlesticks, and a vase for the bishop of Salamanca, which won him the approval of Pope Clement VII. Another celebrated work from Rome is the gold medallion of "Leda and the Swan" executed for the Gonfaloniere Gabbriello Cesarino, and which is now in the Vienna museum. He also took up the flute again, and was appointed one of the pope's court musicians.
In the attack on Rome by Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, Cellini's bravery proved of signal service to the pontiff. According to his own accounts, he himself shot and injured Philibert of Châlon, prince of Orange. (Allegedly Cellini also killed Charles III, Duke of Bourbon during the Siege of Rome.) He also commanded the artillery that defended Pope Clement VII when he was under siege in the Castel St.Angelo, and he personally kept the three beacons burning every night, to prove that Rome hadn't surrendered. His bravery led to a reconciliation with the Florentine magistrates, and he soon returned to his hometown of Florence. Here he devoted himself to crafting medals, the most famous of which are "Hercules and the Nemean Lion", in gold repoussé work, and "Atlas supporting the Sphere", in chased gold, the latter eventually falling into the possession of Francis I of France.
From Florence he went to the court of the duke of Mantua, and then back to Florence. On returning to Rome, he was employed in the working of jewellery and in the execution of dies for private medals and for the papal mint. In 1529 his brother Cecchino killed a Corporal of the Roman Watch and in turn was wounded by an arquebusier (rifleman), later dying of his wound. Soon afterward Benvenuto killed his brother's killer – an act of blood revenge but not justice as Cellini admits that his brother's killer had acted in self-defense. Cellini fled to Naples to shelter from the consequences of an affray with a notary, Ser Benedetto, whom he had wounded. Through the influence of several cardinals, Cellini obtained a pardon. He found favor with the new pope, Paul III, notwithstanding a fresh homicide during the interregnum three days after the death of Pope Clement VII in September 1534. The fourth victim was a rival goldsmith, Pompeo of Milan. Of course, numerous others followed from time to time.
The plots of Pier Luigi Farnese led to Cellini's retreat from Rome to Florence and Venice, where he was restored with greater honour than before. At the age of 37, upon returning from a visit to the French court, he was imprisoned on a charge (apparently false) of having embezzled the gems of the pope's tiara during the war, as well as heresy, since some apprentices he employed had apparently informed the church, and thus, the Pope, that he had dabbled with grimoires and black magic. He was confined to the Castel Sant'Angelo, escaped, was recaptured, and treated with great severity; he was in daily expectation of death on the scaffold. At one point, he was even poisoned, though of course, it didn't kill him. The intercession of Pier Luigi's wife, and especially that of the Cardinal d'Este of Ferrara, eventually secured Cellini's release, in gratitude for which he gave d'Este a splendid cup.
Cellini then worked at the court of Francis I at Fontainebleau and Paris. However, he considered the duchesse d'Étampes to be set against him and refused to conciliate with the king's favorites. He could no longer silence his enemies by the sword, as he had silenced those in Rome. As a result, after about five years of invested work but continual jealousy and violence, Cellini returned to Florence, where he continued as a goldsmith and became the rival of sculptor Baccio Bandinelli who died suspiciously a few years later in 1560.
During the war with Siena, Cellini was appointed to strengthen the defences of his native city, and, though rather shabbily treated by his ducal patrons, he continued to gain the admiration of his fellow citizens by the magnificent works which he produced. He was also named a member (Accademico) of the prestigious Accademia delle Arti del Disegno of Florence, founded by the Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, on 13 January 1563, under the influence of the architect Giorgio Vasari. He supposedly died in Florence on 13 May 1571 and was buried with great pomp in the church of the Santissima Annunziata. In Florence he had supported a widowed sister and her six daughters. Of course, his funeral was attendeed ironically, by himself, and he watched with the garland of invisibility, as the attendants paid tribute to a a man who was still alive. The person being buried in fact being a look-a-like beggar a long-time servant of his named Ascanio- who like him was immortal, had found in an alley in Florence, who was already going to die anyway. One thing Cellini remembered as he watched, was one of the attendants. A painter who had studied under Bronzino, one of Benvenuto's great and long-standing friends, stepped the to the edge of the grave, and after wishing "eternal peace to this immortal master, who has brought glory to Florence and beauty to all the world," let fall a spray of purple irises. If only the painter knew how fitting it was.
Cellini is known to have taken some of his female models as mistresses, having an illegitimate daughter in 1544 with one of them while living in France, whom he named Costanza. After briefly attempting a clerical career, in 1562 he married a servant, Piera Parigi, with whom he claimed he had five children, of which only a son and two daughters survived him. There was also a model, and lover of his named Caterina, who also became immortal- though he lost contact with her after some time, and apparently she had died in a shipwreck, fleeing the Duke of Castro's inquisitors. And the duchess Eleonora de Toledo, among many others.
Aside from his marriage, Cellini was officially accused or charged with the crime of sodomy once with a woman and at least three times with men, illustrating his bisexual tendencies:
-14 January 1523 he was sentenced to pay 12 staia of flour for relations with a boy named Domenico di ser Giuliano da Ripa -While in Paris, a former model and lover brought charges against him of using her "after the Italian fashion." (i.e. sodomy) -In Florence in 1548, Cellini was accused by a woman named Margherita, for having certain familiarities with her son, Vincenzo. -26 February 1556, his apprentice Fernando di Giovanni di Montepulciano accused his mentor of having sodomised him many times. This time the penalty was a hefty fifty golden scudi fine, and four years of prison, remitted to four years of house arrest thanks to the intercession of the Medicis.
In a search to recover the Medusa Amulet, which had been secreted amongst Papal treasures after the Duke of Castro stole it from him around the time he was imprisoned, he would end up chasing it for quite some time. Firstly, after witnessing his own funeral, he decided to become a Marquis, in France.
Centuries passed. Many things happened, including him being burnt at the stake at one time. At another point, he met the famously very attractive and flirtatious Princess Henrietta of England, and to put things simply, got on pretty well with her- despite the fact she was married to a member of French royalty, over the course of 1662 to 1670, when she unexpectedly grew ill. As Sant'Angelo, he secretly cured her by bestowing upon her immortality with the amulet. Since everyone thought she was going to die any time soon, despite her youth, and she preferred him over her husband, she used his help to fake her death on June 30th, at 2 o'clock in the morning, at the age of 26. That of course, ended up meaning she disappeared into the history books, in truth staying over with him at his castle, ignoring the passing of time.
In 1757, he ended up travelling to Moscow under the alias of an Italian sculptor, gold and silversmith by the name of Lorenzo Ricciarelli, he ended up coming up against a group of cossacks trying to look to easy victims. They seemingly cornered and short him, only to have him seemingly come back from the dead moments later. Complaining that it stung, he proceeded to kill the group who'd attacked him one by one. However, someone else was watching. It turned out that his immortality would be the spur for the murders that were to come, perpetrated by Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova. The next night, he'd end up seemingly by chance, meeting the said noblewoman, and end up becoming a victim; one of the first of that particularly sadistic killer's targets, and the catalyst for the Russian's secret obsession with immortality. And of course, it was neither quick nor painless. Nor was it a one off. It lasted of the course of five years, before things changed. The deaths of around 145 servants, or serfs, of Darya over the course of those five years hadn't gone unnoticed, and Tsarina Catherine II had her arrested, and two years later, sentenced to life imprisonment in the basement of Ivanovsky Convent in Moscow. Needless to say, Benvenuto regards that time as one of the nastier experiences he's had over the centuries.
Then things began to stir, in 1785. Owning as his home, the Château Perdu- built by a Norman Knight come back from the Holy Land in the 1200s, hidden away in the most remote corner of a vast estate, and perched on a cliff overlooking the Loire, it had been situated like a fortress, not a palace, and over the years, had acquired an unsavoury reputation with rumours of terrible and sacrilegious deeds being performed there. He went by the name of Marquis di Sant'Angelo. He often spent most of his time in the castle, only on occasion coming to Versailles. When he did come to court, he was often seen on the arm of Marie Antoinette. He'd first met her when she was 14, and had watched her over the course of 15 years, from an awkward girl, into a confident, even imperious, woman. Since he acquired it a long time earlier, many dark myths and legends abounded the area.
The locals tended to avoid it if they could, but they always did the bidding of the Marquis. It was generally ill-advised to be in the vicinity of the Château at night time. At that time, he was often regarded as a mysterious Italian nobleman, whose eye for things of beauty was celebrated far and wide, as were his powers in other spheres. Since wherever he went, over the years, he had acquired a reputation as a master of the dark arts. No one else, it was said, could have the courage to inhabit the notorious Chateau Perdu, or have acquired such wealth and position with no known forebears. It was rumoured that the marquis could read minds and foretell the future. It was a reputation that he neither encouraged nor dispelled.
To others at the time, there was always an impenetrable yet enthralling air of mystery to him. His fortune appeared to be great, but no one at court had ever been able to trace his family or guess where the money had come from. Although he had been recieved at court by the previous king, Louis XV, he had quarrelled with the king's notorious mistress, Madame du Barry- it had something to do with a portrait- and he'd soon found himself a close ally of the present queen, whose scorn for du Barry was no secret. Marie Antoinette had come to reply upon his taste in many things, especially questions regarding the fine arts, architecture, furnishing, and above all, jewellery. He was well known for his exquisite eye in such things, and many jewellers hoping to procure recommendations for their wares did a pilgrimage to the castle, hoping to use his patronage to persuade the queen to take an interest their collections.
During a talk with one such man- Charles Auguste Boehmer, the official court jeweler, he learnt that Count Cagliostro at Versailles, had possession of the Medusa Amulet. He went off to Versailles, to discover the validity of what he'd heard. Though the only reason he'd spent time in Versailles with the current king, was to visit with the queen. When Cellini and Cagliostro met, it was certainly something. They had both heard of each other before, and it was as if rival predators were squaring off, in the polite and sophisticated court setting of a French palace. It was of course, not unexpected that they clashed. From Cagliostro, he learnt that the man had gotten the Amulet as a gift from the queen, who in turn got it from Pope Pius VI, on the birth of her son, Louis-Charles, supposedly to protect the mother and child from the evil eye. The queen gave it to Cagliostro after wearing it to a reception for the pope one night, and having very unpleasant dreams- which as Sant'Angelo suspected, was actually her looking into it at night and becoming immortal. She told him to have it disposed of, but Cagliostro recognised its beauty, and kept it for himself. Cagliostro later on displayed some of his tricks, which were primarily just that, using some degree of alchemy, like initiating chemical reactions to make images appear in a vase of water, and silverware move with lodestones concealed in his cuff links. And then, one of his mesmerism performances. During which, he and Cagliostro ended up communicating mentally. They then challenged each other, with everyone else in the room in a deep hypnosis-induced sleep. Cagliostro summoned illusionary ravens to attack Sant'Angelo, and it seems that Cagliostro had been underestimated. To counter his ravens, Sant'Angelo summoned an eagle, which tore into them. In response, Cagliostro summoned a creature that resembled Anubis. And to counter that, Sant'Angelo conjured a massive lion, which defeated Cagliostro's thought-form. Shaken, Cagliostro was mentally subdued, and Sant'Angelo made him unable to speak of what had happened, in a way that would slowly drive him insane, his mind rotting from within like termite-infested wood. He then instructed the still-hypnotised audience to wake in a few minutes.
October, 1793, disguised as a priest, and an apparent revolutionary, Sant'Angelo planed to rescue Marie Antoinette, and had already witnessed over the previous days, the deaths of many of the victims of what he regarded as a chaotic rule of terror in the form of a revolution. He hated how much blood had been spilt by the perpetrators, and how many baseless accusations had been flung against Antoinette, among many others. Armed with a harpe - a distinctive short-sword notable for its notched end, he kept Ascanio nearby, ready for a quick escape with a carriage not far away. Sant'Angelo was sickened at the "festivities" and the holiday mood that seemed to permeate Paris in such grim times. For all their talk of revolution and reform, he felt that the likes of Danton and Robespierre and Marat had plunged the country into even greater turmoil and despair, into war with neighbouring countries and abject poverty at home. If these self-appointed leaders did not keep the people aroused with calls to preserve the Revolution, or to defend it from one imaginary foe after another, then the people might shake themselves awake from the trance that they were in and begin to question the very men who had drenched their streets in blood, and made France a pariah among the civilised nations of the world.
Sant'Angelo gained access to Antoinette's prison cell and past the guards with the use of letter of authorisation from the Tribunal, which he had forged several weeks earlier and signed in the name of Fouqier Tinville, the principal prosecutor of the case against the queen. In the outer area leading to the cell, he encountered Jacques Hébert, a man whom he regarded as the worst amongst the bloodthirsty wolves of the Revolution, and the one who had published the most defamatory and revolting lies about the queen. Despite some attempts at persuasion Marie seemed consigned to her fate, even knowing Sant'Angelo's magical prowess, and his garland of invisibility.
Even as Hébert and his men dragged her away, Sant'Angelo decided that he wouldn't abandon her. With that garland, he rendered himself unseen, and followed the queen and her coterie. He hid himself on the cart, and watched a seemingly endless throng along the way showing their hatred for Antoinette. Sant'Angelo did whatever he could, blocking what projectiles he could without giving himself away, and once, when one of the savages tried to leap into the cart, kicking him in the face so hard his teeth exploded like sparks. The man, of course not knowing what had happened, staggered back into the street, blood gushing from between the fingers he held to his stunned mouth.
He followed her to the guillotine, using magic to create an physically manifested illusion of her- that would be physically existent so long as the onlookers believed it to be real, whilst rendering the real her unseen temporarily. He whispered to her about the immortality she'd gained, and how it would be rather bad for her if she was beheaded, though of course, she would end up regenerating. She would later escape, hiding in Paris with the help of Ascanio. Sant'Angelo went to the Tavern of the Guilotine, and followed Hébert and his two accomplices, a man with a bloodstained feather in his cap, named Octave, and a writer, or printer named Jerome. He followed them to the Conciergerie, and invisibly taunted the writer, whispering "Wouldn't you like to wash that ink off your hands?" unnerving the man, before grabbing him by the scruff of his neck and dragging him to the stone parapet above the riverfront. Flinging him over and to his death, Sant'Angelo ignored the protestations and screams of the man, stepping to the side as Octave and Hébert ran to his calls. Of course, they saw no one. He slipped behind Octave, murmuring. "So, do you like your souvenirs?" After which he ripped the feather from the man's cap, and ignored a wild shot from the man, before raising his own sword, and slicing Octave's hand off, as the prisoners watched from captivity.
For Hébert, he took off his garland, revealing the attire of a black cassock, which he still wore. Bloody sword in one hand, he faced the clearly shaken and surprised Hébert, who recognised him as the priest he'd seen earlier. Futilely calling for guards, Hébert was pushed back, clearly outmatched when it came to swordsmanship, close enough to the prison bars as to be touched by the prisoners. He tried to slash at the arms then confront the marquis, but Sant'Angelo easily disarmed Hébert, even as the guards finally arrived and attempted to shoot him. Putting a hand against Hébert's chest, he thrust him up against the seething wall of fingers and hands, hundreds of them, all intent on tearing him to pieces. Like a pack of harpies, they grabbed hold of him, rending his clothes and ripping out his hair, scratching at his flesh, digging in their nails like claws. An old man gnawed ferociously at one arm. A hollow-eyed girl inserted a knitting needle into the back of his neck as delicately as if she were making lace.
Slipping his garland back on, Sant'Angelo faded into thin air even as the guards surged towards him, horses whinnying, muskets swinging this way and that. And thus, he disappeared into the night, meeting up with Ascanio, Antoinette, and vanishing into the countryside.
Centuries later, in 1940, the Nazis, knowing the occult and dark mysteries surrounding Château Perdu, ended up investigating the place. At that time, yet another person, a young woman named Celeste Guyot, had also been made recently immortal. A column of armoured cars approached, along with 15 men of the SS, who seemed rather inquisitorial, in the main hall. At their command, was Heinrich Himmler himself. Alongside him, a professor of the occult and an archeologist- a man named Dieter Mainz, who had often aided the Nazis in their search for occult artefacts. It seems that at Castel San Leo, the Nazis had discovered the insane scribblings of Cagliostro, where he had resided before he died. Since after fleeing Paris, he ended up in Rome, where the pope accused him of blasphemy, burned his books, and imprisoned him in Castel St. Angelo. Before he was moved to San Leo. Among the writings, one could read "The eye of the pyramid sees into all things," "The master of the lost castle prevails," with a glyph depicting a jackal with a broken neck. As well as that, "The Master of the Lost Castle possesses the secret of secrets," and "The immortal Gorgon belongs to Sant'Angelo." It was effectively a road map for the Nazis to Château Perdu. Indeed but an hour later, Hitler himself ended up appearing. As they grew closer and closer to his secrets, he initiated a black magick ritual that drew upon some of the energy the castle had acquired over centuries, and summoned a host of shadowy demons. Whilst they dealt with a majority of the SS soldiers in the castle, tearing them to pieces, Sant'Angelo killed Mainz by sending him to his death, flying over the balcony and off the side of the castle. Himmer escaped, as did Hitler, after a mental battle of wills between himself and Sant'Angelo, which exhausted the fuhrer and showed that despite his inhuman will, like Cagliostro, he wasn't a match for Benvenuto Cellini. After that, the Nazis kept away from the Château, avoiding it like fire.
Now, in modern times, Sant'Angelo continues to reside at Château Perdu, the locals as loyal as ever to their mysterious and un-aging master. From time to time, he travels out into the countryside, and sometimes to other countries for short periods of time. Whilst the woman he once knew, Caterina, is unknown to him, somewhere in America, as a member of one of Chicago's most recognised families, the Van Owens, under the name Kathryn.
Somewhat arrogant yet complex. Artistic, obviously, and generally outspoken. Considerably bold, he isn't afraid to confront people, nor is he worried about the impression he leaves since he's simply being himself. He has no qualms about killing people, yet he is not above doing good deeds, such as rushing to a fire or donating some money. Of course, he is still ruthless and can be vengeful to an extent. He as a slightly jaded, cynical outlook a fair amount of the time, and isn't too sane. There's also something "enthralling" about him, and it's more or less impossible to get the complexity of his mind. Like quite a number of other people from the renaissance, he has quite the interest in women, and that hasn't really changed over time. Though he's possibly bi, he has a very considerable interest in women, and that hasn't changed despite the passing of centuries. He can have a dry, ironic, and dark sense of humour, and is sometimes cold, yet warm and cordial at other times. Can be prideful, and at other times, wrathful. Of course, there are many other facets to his personality, and few have ever managed to grasp more than part of his mind.
Immortality- his body doesn't age, and any damage his body takes regenerates/heals after a small period of time. He's also a master of Dark Arts/Alchemy. As for weapons, he often uses a silver-skull topped sword-cane, and a harpe/sickle-sword. A gun he often keeps with him is a model 1873 Chamelot-Delvigne revolver.