Due to the recent events effecting the Gold Coast since the Empire's fall, Carolus has been forced to cooperate with the newly emerged leaders of the region, including the invasive pirate queen Fortunata ap Dugal and Order of the Hour leader Primate Artorius.
Carolus is the son of an unknown sibling of Varen Aquilarios. Carolus' grandfather and Varen's father was a Colovian Duke. In his childhood, Carolus was quite close to his uncle, having idolized him. Carolus resided in Kvatch on the Gold Coast.
Varen left the Gold Coast with the Second Legion during his rebellion against the Longhouse Emperors. He built a wall around the Gold Coast, later dubbed "Varen's Wall," to protect his home domain from the Empire's troops. Carolus wanted to march with Varen to the Imperial City, but Varen instead instructed Carolus with the defense of Kvatch. Disappointed that he would not be fighting alongside his uncle, Carolus nevertheless accepted.
Shortly after Varen and a majority of the Second Legion departed the Gold Coast, Count Ephrem Benirus of Anvil sent troops to seize Varen's holdings. Carolus rallied the troops of the Second Legion whom stayed behind, as well as the Kvatch Vigilants, and briefly fought Anvil's forces. Anvil's troops were now greatly reduced, and retreated to the city.
After Varen successfully took the Ruby Throne in the final months of 2E 576, Carolus was officially recognized as the Count of Kvatch, and fashioned the symbolic wolf on the city's banner into his own title, after the city had been cheering him on as the "Wolf of Kvatch." Shortly afterwards however, Primate Artorius Ponticus began to challenge Carolus' rule, having ambitions to rule the city by his own hand.
The Pirate Queen
With Anvil's forces suffering from heavy casualties and defeats by Carolus' armies, Captain Fortunata ap Dugal sailed into the port. She and her army of pirates quickly took control of the city, with Fortunata becoming the ruling Provincial Governor. Fortunata then proclaimed that the Gold Coast would become its own separate state from the Empire, and began to pressure Carolus to join her. Carolus refused, swearing loyalty to his uncle.
After Varen's disappearance during the Soulburst in 2E 579, Fortunata exploited Kvatch's isolation and made her demands more forceful. With Carolus still remaining against the idea of a separate Gold Coast, Fortunata sent bandits and raiders along the roads and farms surrounding Kvatch. The Vigilants of Kvatch were dispatched, but failed to defeat the bandits who had escaped on the Strid River. They returned in greater numbers, resulting in refugees travelling to Kvatch for safety.
Despite the violent threats, Carolus refused to negotiate with Fortunata. Infuriated, the Pirate Queen sent out the Anvil Guard to formally annex Kvatch into her vision of the independent Gold Coast. Carolus responded by sending out the Vigilants upon the city's walls and sending a cohort to face Fortunata's armies. The opposing forces met at the Gottshaw Inn, and the cohort managed to scatter the Anvil invaders. However, the situation wasn't as it seemed, turning out to truly be a trap. Fortunata's pirates outnumbered the cohort six to one, with the latter being annihilated by the invaders in what came to be known as the Gottshaw Massacre.
With no choice left, Carolus relentlessly agreed to Fortunata's terms. Artorius managed to rise in power as well, establishing a more powerful foothold into Kvatch's politics, with the radicalist Order of the Hour dominating the religious make-up of the city. Carolus in turn became more of a figure-head of Kvatch, with his goals to keep the civilians of Kvatch safe crushed by the opposing leaders' threats.
"I have the gold required for payment, but I wanted to offer you something more. I can tell you who's been murdering your assassins."
I'm not here because of the ritual."You're not? Then why have you slipped past my defenses and entered my... Oh no. Fortunata sent you, didn't she? You're here to kill me?"
Fortunata sent me, but not to kill you. Marcus Scipio is dead. She wanted you to know."You murdered the Commander? I see. Another one of Fortunata's insults. Pay to weaken the Order of the Hour, but killing a Count is just a waste of gold. But you're one of the Brotherhood. And I performed your ritual. Let me pay you to kill her!"
That's not the way it works."Then pass along the message to your superiors. Let them know I have gold. And information. I can point you toward the person hunting your agents and―wait, who's that? Is he with you?"
<Remain silent.>"I'll take your silence as agreement. I don't care how, just make sure Fortunata dies. It's the only way I can protect my city. Do that and the gold and the information about the murderer are yours. I'm a man of my word. Wait, who's that behind you?"
"I'm not used to being ordered around by a clandestine organization, so let's get this over with. I'd prefer to conclude our business and forget all about that dreadful ritual I had to perform."
It's time to pay what you owe. Tell me about the Black Dragon."I've already told your associate everything I know. The woman with the dark hair and the staff. Mirabelle, I believe she said her name was. Do I really need to repeat myself to every assassin that slips out of the shadows?"
<Remain silent.>"If that's supposed to frighten me, it's working.The Black Dragon is the First Sword of the Order of the Hour. They're using the old Enclave of the Hourglass to amass an army. Siege weapons, new recruits—it's a threat to your people and mine!"
I need you to tell me everything, Count."Of course. I assume you don't know the Black Dragon is the First Sword of the Order of the Hour? My spies report they're amassing an army at the Enclave of the Hourglass. Siege Weapons, new recruits―they threaten Kvatch and the Brotherhood alike!"
Your contract is paid in full."If that's everything, I'd like to go back on my horse and return to Castle Kvatch. If I'm gone too long, I suspect Primate Artorius will go ahead and change all the locks."
Count Carolus, I have a few more questions before you leave."Oh very well. What's a few more moments when I get to spend it with a deadly assassin? What else would the Brotherhood like to know?"
Tell me about the Enclave of the Hourglass."My spies watch the Order's old headquarters from this camp. Saw supply crates start arriving a few days ago. If you want to weaken the Order, destroy their siege weapons and stop them from initiating more recruits. You'll be doing us both a favor."
Where are these new recruits coming from?"The Primate offered pardons to any Red Sails pirates who agreed to take the vows of the Order. Since Fortunata's death, they've been flocking to the enclave. I wish I knew what Artorius was planning to do with an army of priests and pirates."
I thought the Order of the Hour worked for you."Whatever gave you that idea? The Order is a company of warrior-priests dedicated to protecting the Cathedral of Akatosh. At least, that's how they started. Now they recruit anyone who can wield a sword. I agreed to expand their authority, but …."
You allowed militant priests to have free run of Kvatch?"My back was turned against the wall. Between Anvil's aggressive overtures and the rampant increase in murders, I needed help. Primate Artorius offered the Order and I reluctantly agreed. That was before I learned the Black Dragon was one of their number."
Is there anything else you can tell me about the Black Dragon?"Just that the Black Dragon is one of the deadliest warriors I've ever seen. Wears armor as dark as Oblivion and twice as frightening. Even makes the rest of the Order nervous. Right after I received the first reports about her, the murders began."
Any idea why a warrior of the Order would be murdering members of the Dark Brotherhood?"Not a clue. We only suspected that the murder victims were members of your guild recently, so my spies never even explored that line of questioning. No offense, but it the lot of you wound up destroying each other, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it."
<Remain silent.>"By the Ruby Throne, stop doing that! I've told you everything I know. The Order of the Hour has increased its numbers by offering pardons to Fortunata's pirates, and the Black Dragon can be found in the Enclave of the Hourglass. Now leave me be!"
Governor Fortunata ap Dugal: "Seriously, Quintus, I appreciate you providing a safe place for our meeting, but you couldn't have straightened up a bit before we got here?" Lord Quintus Jarol: "My apologies, Governor Fortunata, but there's no safer place south of Varen's Wall than right here―vermin notwithstanding." Count Carolus Aquilarios: "I don't know, Fortunata. This place seems to suit you." Fortunata ap Dugal: "That's no way to speak to your betters, Count Carolus. Speaking of which, when are you going to finally turn Kvatch over to a proper ruler? Your people deserve so much greater than you." Quintus Jarol: "My lord and lady, please! We have a more pressing concern and it affects us all!" Fortunata ap Dugal: "Careful, Quintus. I won't be spoken to in such a manner. But you're right. The Dark Brotherhood grows stronger and threatens everything we've built here." Quintus Jarol: "I forgot to mention. Primate Artorius sends his regrets, but Cathedral business forced him to remain in Kvatch. He indicates that he will support whatever we decide." Fortunata ap Dugal: "I rule Anvil with an iron glove, but you let that glorified priest walk all over Kvatch, Count Carolus." Carolus Aquilarios: "I govern while Artorius handles spiritual matters and the Cathedral's defenders, the Order of the Hour. I've allowed them to patrol Kvatch until the murderer is apprehended." Quintus Jarol: "Haven't the last few murder victims been suspected members of the Dark Brotherhood? Perhaps if we do nothing, this murderer will solve our problem for us." Carolus Aquilarios: "I refuse to allow a vigilante to freely stalk the streets of my city. That's why I allowed Artorius to expand the Order of the Hour's authority." Fortunata ap Dugal: "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you and Artorius were building an army. Should I be worried, my dear Count?" Quintus Jarol: "Count Carolus, can we at least get your assurance that the Order will return to the Cathedral once this threat is resolved?" Carolus Aquilarios: "Primate Artorius gave me his word, and I give you mine." Fortunata ap Dugal: "And why should I trust either of them, Quintus? What good is their word when I find the Order at Anvil's walls." Carolus Aquilarios: "That won't happen, Fortunata. We're not as ambitious and ruthless as you." Fortunata ap Dugal: "Despite his holy station, Artorius is a man. He has the same needs and desires as any other."
Commander Pelletus: "Lord Quintus! Intruders have penetrated the estate. We need to move the three of you immediately!" Quintus Jarol: "Do not be alarmed, my friends. We've prepared for any contingency. Commander, secure the halls. Make sure no one follows us!" Pelletus: "Of course, my lord. We'll find the intruders."
"Sweet Mother, sweet Mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear." – First encounter in the Castle Kvatch
"Did it work? Yes, it must have. I performed the ritual just as described, night after night. And now you're here." – When approached in the Castle Kvatch during the ritual
"I suppose there's no turning back. I have to go through with this, for the people of Kvatch. Fortunata must be stopped."
"First you show up, the another one? Maybe the Brotherhood heard my prayers after all." – After accomplishing Fortunata's contract, when Speaker Terenius appears
"I don't want to know the details. Believe me, if there was another way …. Just make sure the Pirate Queen dies. The fate of the Gold Coast depends on it." – After accepting his contract
"I've not forgotten the favor you've done. I trust our business is concluded and you will allow me to rule the Gold Coast as it should be ruled—free of Fortunata's grasping talons." – After completing "Dark Revelations"