Fluffington, Baron of Rigvar from 1789 until his death in 1795 Reformed, was a large and often cross Eluvian Longhair cat. He was elected to the office of Baron in an attempt by the nobility to render the office powerless and assume greater control of the city. This plan backfired, as various attempts to wrest control or shift policy were thwarted by the fact that, due to the intricacies of the law, the needed changes could not be made without the approval of the Baron and only the Baron had the power to change those laws. Unable either to bribe or remove Fluffington, the former because he was a cat and the latter because of his immense popularity, the nobility found themselves more powerless than they had been with even antagonistic Barons. Allegations that he was assassinated by the nobility have never been proven, but persist into the modern day.
Early Life Edit
Lord Baron Fluffington was adopted by a leather worker named Feilidar, and lived in his shop under the name Fury. Among Feilidar's patrons, he was famous for being unusually picky about who was permitted to interact with him, which had led to his name. His selective and aloof manner caused a running joke that he would do well in the nobility, and he acquired the nickname 'Fluffington'. The desire to be found worthy by Fury was enough of a draw on the people of the neighborhood that Feilidar incorporated Fury into the shop's image and logo. He started selling a line of leather clothing which incorporated decorative elements of black fur, and these are sufficiently rare that the remaining pieces are highly prized collector's items today.
Baron of Rigvar Edit
One of Feilidar's regular patrons was Miranon, head of the Adventurer's Guild. Miranon greatly enjoyed the fame surrounding Fury, and was fond of purchasing the black fur pieces for himself and guild members as trophies or marks of station. As a member of the nobility, he was also part of a growing contingent that wished to limit the power of the Baron and claim greater control of the city. When Baron Narcilus died in 1789, he noted to his colleagues that there were no rules demanding the next Baron to be human, and proposed the idea of placing an animal in the seat. It was felt that this would make the office essentially powerless, and give the nobles freedom to restructure the system to their liking and prevent future Barons from having the power to oppose them. Fury was selected for the position, with Feilidar listed as his chief servant, and official records listed him by his nickname, Fluffington.
This plan did not go as the conspirators expected. Lord Baron Fluffington had little patience for the nobility or the work of his station, and would regularly attack nobles who tried to petition him. His refusal to vote on interguild treaty disputes, disinterest in social gatherings of nobility, and denial of any nobles as advisors on serious discussions served a dual purpose: he both stagnated the political process, and became a popular figure among the working people of Rigvar. These two factors played against each other well, causing the guilds to revisit many of their treaties to find ways to keep the process running smoothly and forcing them to find ways to appease a populace that was quickly turning against them in favor of Lord Baron Fluffington. The result was that a significant amount of power over the city was actually lost by the guilds during his reign, bolstering the power of a Baron who seemed largely disinterested in actually using it.
Lord Baron Fluffington is one of Rigvar's most peaceful Barons, keeping the city out of conflicts and general world politics for the entirety of his short reign. He is only overshadowed on this front by Baroness Junia, and this only because his reign was shorter and he made no public statements regarding a pacifist worldview.
Vote of Non-Confidence Edit
Realizing that their scheme had failed, the nobility announced in 1792 that they would have a vote seeking a declaration of non-confidence in Fluffington, thereby removing him from office. This resulted in a massive uprising by the working class, who largely viewed the cat as their greatest ally among the nobility. Fearing for their safety and the continuation of the guild system in Rigvar, the nobility voted in Fluffington's favor.
While no laws were changed or passed during the reign of Lord Baron Fluffington, he is considered to be the source of significant reform in Rigvar's history. The limitations the nobility faced during his reign forced many of them to make concessions to one another that were largely disadvantageous but helped preserve the city and the structure of the guilds. Many of these treaties have never been fully repealed. Similarly, the following Barons have taken note of how much simple silence from the Baron can alter the city, and have learned to be much more patient and removed from the machinations of the nobility. As such, Barons since Fluffington have been far more reserved and willing to consider the average citizen, rather than being bogged down by politics within the assembly.
Continuing Popularity Edit
Lord Baron Fluffington was not only highly popular during his reign, but has continued to be popular among the people of Rigvar ever since his death. This was attributed both to his feline nature, and to his tendency to attack nobles who tried to address him directly during assembly. He has at least two public statues in the city, one in the city square where many Barons have erected or destroyed statues to themselves and others, and a life-size one that sits on a cushion next to the seat of the Baron in the room where the nobility holds assembly. The latter is maintained both out of tradition and, according to Baron Tellig, "as a reminder to the nobles that their most clever attack on this seat was nearly their own undoing." He is also a common source of inspiration for souvenirs from the city, making him, in the eyes of many abroad, the mascot for Rigvar.