Name: Nicholas Pavlovich Romanov
Play by: Gaspard Ulliel
Nickname: Nic, Nicci, Romanov
Nicholas is a sleek and relativity athletic noble, with a body honed by horse riding and long walks rather than fighting or weapons training. He is not exceptionally tall, standing at around 175cms ( 5’9”) and has is always well-dressed and neatly groomed. His dark brown hair is usually kept to his chin in length, though he is easily influenced by fashion and does not stick to a style.
Looking very much like his mother, Nicholas has grey-blue eyes and pale skin, common in most people from his snow-capped nation. Nicholas is not particularly expressive with his body language, choosing to keep his hands clasped behind his back most of the time.
Nicholas is a man of two distinct sides, the public personae and the man he is in private. Raised to be a proud, confident example of the Russian Imperial family, he can be articulate and confident with ease. He is polite, closed off and with manners which have been drilled into him throughout his long education. At first impressions, those who met him when in an official capacity, would call him cold and distant however this is how Nicholas feels he is expected to behave, not because it is natural for him to do so.
In private, Nicholas is far more relaxed, quieter, with a sharp sense of humour and generally positive outlook on things. He is easy-going, although is prone to bouts of sulkiness when he feels as though he is facing insurmountable odds. Nicholas does not like not being given a choice and can become frustrated easily when he faces something he cannot change. His frustration and his temper are directly linked, causing a great many slammed doors and broken glasses when his gets fired up.
Overall, he is an intelligent, well-educated young man with a good sense of who he is and how he fits into the world, or at least he had until his father’s decision to send him away. As a result, Nicholas has discovered a new fear for the future and a new vulnerability of which he is not at all fond. He worries more than he should and he obsesses over small things, much to his own annoyance. Due to his limited relationship with his father, Nicholas endeavours to make him proud, despite not particularly being fond of him as a person.
Nicholas attempts to abstain from, or at least consider abstaining from, sin and vice. Unfortunately, he inherited his grandmother's love for life and can be impossibly pig-headed about things he loves and enjoys. When it comes to wine, conversation and art, Nicholas can hardly get his fill.
On a deeper, more personal level,Nicholas wants to feel as though he belongs and is wanted, his upbringing as the third son with distant parents, combined with his father ordering him away, all insinuating that he was never truly wanted. It is not a conscious realisation, but rather a major motivator in how he deals with the people around him.
Above all things, Nicholas wishes to make a name for himself, specifically one he can be proud of. At this stage he has no idea how he will make this happen, but
believes his time apart from his home will allow him to grown and learn. Despite not having a close relationship with his father, the current Russian Emperor, Nicholas does want to make the man proud, while also proving his position in the family, just as his older brothers are.
Nicholas would would like to have people he can call his own (not in the slavery sense!). Due to his position, he has had very few friends or companions which were made naturally. He would like to have companions, people he can trust and rely on - people who will not be bought or swayed by his father.
Parents: Paul I of Russia & Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg
Maternal Grandparents: Frederick II, Duke of Württemberg & Margravine of Brandenburg-Schwedt
Paternal Grandparents: Peter III of Russia & Catherine II of Russia
Siblings: Multiple Grand Dukes/Duchess of Russia - Including the Tsarevich, Alexander I
Born in the midst of a particularly warm summer at the Imperial family's Saint Petersburg estate of Tsarkoye Selo, Nicholas was the third son to the Tsarevich, Paul Petrovich and his wife, Sophie Dorothea, joining two elder brothers, Alexander and Konstantin. Despite his father's position as heir presumptive to the Russian Empire, Nicholas' upbringing was dictated by his domineering grandmother, Catherine II who, despite being of German descent, had remained Empress long after her husband's assassination. Upon her command, her grandsons were given a classical European education, learning Latin and French, along with the history of the entire continent. Catherine the Great's open-mindedness was reflected in the boy's education and in turn helped create Nicholas' view of the world, as life experiences for a Imperial Prince were somewhat limited.
While Alexander was intended to be Emperor of all the Russias and Konstantin was aligned by Catherine the Great's lover, Potemkin to become 'Emperor of the East', Nicholas was given no such epithet. When it became clear the Empress intended to abdicate to Alexander, skipping the boy's father completely, Nicholas was further disenchanted and for the first time, found a degree of common ground with his father, whom he hardly knew. Despite having new found common ground, the relationship between adolescent Nicholas and his father, Paul, was difficult, with the Tsarevich well known for his eccentricities, mercurial temperament and troublesome nature. Beneath the shadows of such large personalities, Nicholas discovered standing in the darkness was often far more comfortable than being in the light.
While Nicholas was not of a military mindset, he was often volunteered by his grandmother to tour the front of recent conquests, which lead him to experience many months abroad in the Crimea, Caucasus and the Ukraine. Gaining a fondness for travel, Nicholas was the guest of the Swedish and Prussian courts on a regular basis, however he did not often venture further west.
The tsarevich, Nicholas' father, was an unpopular man. Despite being faced with multiple detractors, he had grand plans to reinvigorate the nobility, which he saw as corrupt and decadent, when he became Tsar. Fortunately, at least as far as Russia saw it, Catherine the Great persisted as monarch of the Imperial Court, leaving her son Paul to grasp at power where he could.
One of these attempts at securing his foothold came in Nicholas' surprise engagement to a German Princess, Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Juliane was a miserable, sour and humourless woman who did little to endear Nicholas to the idea of marriage. While Nicholas was under no preconceptions he would ever marry for love, he refused outright to wed a woman he detested. Despite the tsarevich, his father, insisting the union go ahead, Nicholas instead openly disobeyed the command and refused. There was an uproar in the strict Imperial Court, the though of disobeying one's prince and father was simply treasonous in the eyes of many. Nicholas quickly gained a poor reputation, his manners and behaviour taking the blame for the broken engagement.
Thankfully, his grandmother was on hand to sooth the situation and proposed another, if somewhat temporary solution. Under the guise of punishment for his actions, Nicholas was ordered to visit with a distant cousin residing in Venice. While Nicholas sees the order as punishment, he is unaware his grandmother feels the 'banishment' may allow Nicholas to get some of the spirit and childishness out of his system, before being able to return to Russian to wed.