Name: Serafina Ricasoli
Play by: Liv Tyler
Sexuality: straight(ish), as she enjoys Thurenza's company
A mixture of light and shadow, Sera's fair complexion is hidden beneath soft waves of dark hair, casting unusual silhouettes across her face, though her brilliantly blue eyes sparkle like twin gems, a feature that Sera uses to her advantage. A tall woman for the time, she is nearly larger than life at a stunning five feet and ten inches, without the shoes. Nothing terribly demure about her, she is happy to employ her height and other assets if necessary.
Calm, calculated and cruel, Serafina rarely raises her voice as she rarely has to. When she does, it means trouble. Matter-of-fact and blunt, she uses her sharp wit to cut a person down if they deserve it. Not a person for false flattery or simple platitudes, if she's paying attention to a person, that is a statement in and of itself.
Having climbed to the rank of Contessa, she still hopes to aim ever-higher.
One day, wines from her lands will be the most famous in all of Europe and the world.
Serafina always hated that her life could be measured not of her own accord, but that of her husbands.
The First Husband
deceased - presumed heart attack
Born to a hardly noticed Barone, Serafina had the traditional upbringing of nobility. Nothing stood out in her life and the idea of wanting for more was beaten out of her since infancy until she had come of age. There were, of course, certain protocols she had to follow and certain protocols she wished to avoid, but that was hardly in the cards for her. One such protocol was her first marriage, arranged by her parents, to a Visconte's spare son. It was a promising alliance, born more out of her parents desire to expand their lands toward more fertile ground, considering the man's age was seventy-seven . The then sixteen year old Serafina was wed to Giovanni Acardi who hoped to finally have a son after successfully married off six daughters, all older than his new bride, from his previous three wives. Luckily for Sera, the marriage did not last terribly long, as her new husband suffered a heart attack only a few days later while he was in the middle of attempting to ensure his heir. It didn't take, but with no other family to speak of, her husband's neighboring lands quietly joined the rest of her family's and Sera's mother sought a second marriage shortly after.
Valentino de Lucca, the Conte of Gaiole
The Second Husband
deceased - circumstances unknown
Finding a second suitor was difficult, despite Sera's young age and the family's renewed wealth. The vineyards were producing well, with the wine prices soaring, but the issue wasn't the family's fortune, but the lady in question herself. With her first husband's sudden death and her mother pressing for a quick engagement, rumors started to fly as to the nature of her husband's departure. Many speculated that Serafina poisoned her husband, given her affinity for gardening and some questionable actions taken during the week, aside from the advantage it gave to her family. It took two years for the rumors to die down as she entered into another marriage, this time to a much younger Conte - a man only four years her senior, who would have been sought after by many for his position and power, were it not for the rumors of his jealousy, cruelty and appetite for less than savory activities.
Despite the rumors, Serafina stayed with him for ten years, the silent and obedient wife. She became friends with Valentino's younger brother and the two shared quiet moments in her carefully crafted garden together, until Valentino found them one day together. Publicly accusing his brother of attempting to bed his wife, he disowned and exiled him. The scandal drove Sera to stay away from court and visitors for years, though rumor had it that her heart was truly broken as she was in love with the wrong man. Of course, other rumors suggested Valentino was purposefully keeping his wife under lock and key, but did that matter? She belonged to him, after all.
It wasn't until Sera was twenty-eight years old that she finally emerged from becoming a recluse. The rumors having died down years ago in favor of other gossip, she continued to perfect her skills at gardening, quietly using her talents to aid her family's vineyards to produce the most luscious grapes that had since passed under the Conte's control, joining his own. In time, she eventually bore him a son, finally fulfilling her duty as a wife. She never knew it, but Valentino had hired an assassin to finally be done with Sera, once and for all now that he had his heir. But fate was a cruel mistress and a prankster. Instead, it was her husband would disappear under incredibly mysterious circumstances. It was an open secret that the man had planned to kill his wife, but what happened to the man himself, many would continue to suspect for many years to come.
The Third Husband
deceased - lost at sea
Sera hadn't planned to marry again. She had a son, had buried two husbands, and had significantly increased her wealth. With whispers of her second husband's disappearance, many kept her in polite company, due to the nature of her station as well as the nearly famous wines that came with the de Luca name. However, many also hoped she might reveal any sort of hint as to what happened to Valentino, as they suspected the lady killer had struck again. Her garden boasted a grand number of exotic florals, including some deadly ones in the right doses, she would often tell her guests. Having grown weary of tedious company, she began a habit of telling the stories of her deadly plants over a glass of wine, leaving her guests to wonder if she'd simply poisoned them for asking too many questions.
Yet, there was one man she became smitten with and rumor (again) flew that she had instead concocted a love potion to win his favor. Piero Ricasoli, a very suave man who had gained favor with many, had caught her eye and soon, the couple eloped, with Sera citing her distaste for yet another lavish wedding. Some believed Piero married for her money, others believed she was simply marrying because of Piero's connections to trade or that she was simply bored and needed another husband. However, this one was different as she seemed entirely in love with him. For the first time in a long time, Sera seemed truly happy with someone. It was just bad luck that they only shared three short years together before she learned that his ship went down in a terrible storm off of Portugal.
And now? At least now she couldn't be blamed for Piero's death, but she had started receiving mysterious letters in black envelopes. No one knows what is inside, but the servants are whispering.
Hopefully, for any man's sake, it isn't the possibility of husband number four.