| Darkness |
|Appearance(s):|| Into the Darkness|
Out of the Darkness
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
Bembo was an Algarvian constable from the town of Tricarico in eastern Algarve. He was chubby, lazy, and prone to taking bribes, whether monetary or sexual. He made several efforts to court Saffa - the attractive, highly independent and hot-tempered sketch artist employed by the constabulary - but was always roughly rebuffed (as were other male fellow police officers who tried). Bembo contented himself with prostitutes, from whom he got sexual favors in exchange for not arresting them.
Far beyond his position as an ordinary constable in a provincial city, and without really intending to, Bembo had a considerable effect on the initial stages of King Mezentio's anti-Kaunian policies. He had arrested Balozio - a young man of Kaunian origin who was sexually harassing a woman in the street. In itself, this was not an offence which male Algarvian officers took very seriously, but Bembo decided to keep the man in prison indefinitely as a suspected Jelgavan spy - solely due to his blond hair - though there was no evidence of any kind against him. Like most Algarvian Kaunians, Balozio was completely assimilated in Alagarvian culture, his Kaunian origin evident only in his physical features. Bembo's decision was approved by his superiors, thus contibuting to the process in which Kaunians became fair prey simply for because of their ethnicity.
Later on, it was Bembo who visited the hair-dressing salon owned by the Kaunian couple Falsirone and Fiamenta (with whom he had actually been on quite amicable terms before) and discovered that they - and many other Kaunians - were painting their blond hair red (a very Algarvian characteristic, and ensured to disguise their Kaunian origins). He reported this and his report went to the highest echelons in the capital - possibly even being seen by the King in person. It directly precipitated the first systematic raids on and mass detention of Kaunians, as a preemptive act before they could disguise themeselves and melt away. Bembo also took part in these raids, regretfully foregoing a bribe offered by a well-known Kaunian restauranteur, as he knew that his actions were subject to strict inspection and that the policy set by the highest echelons was to arrest all the Kaunians and let none escape. Bembo did not know what would happen to the Kaunians he arrested, and did not show great curiosity about it.
When Algarve occupied Forthweg, Bembo was sent to serve as a constable on the occupation force - and to participate in rounding up Kaunians, who were sent to their deaths as part of King Mezentio's "Special Magecraft". Bembo never refused to take part in such acts, though unlike his fellow constable Oraste he did not relish them.
On one occasion, Bembo helped the escape of the parents of Doldasai, a Kaunian girl forced into prostitution by the conditions of Algarvian occupation. He was immediately rewarded sexually by the grateful Doldasai, who said "For this you deserve the very best".
In the later part of the war, as the Alagavian Army's situation grew desperate, constables such as Bembo were drafted into front-line combat duty. He was severely wounded in battle, and sent home. This turned out to be very fortunate for him, and he avoided being captured by the Unkerlanters and being sent to the harsh Mamming Hills mines, as happened to Oraste and other constables.
Bembo's act of saving Doldasai's parents turned out to have also saved Bembo's police job, in the conditions of post-war, Kuusaman-occupied East Algarve. His act of conscience - however opportunistically motivated - was telepathically confirmed by the mage Illmarinen, who authorized Bembo's continued service in the police, making Bembo an exception to the general Kuusamian policy of purging the Algarvian police of officers who had participated in the occupation of Fortheweg and were implicated in the killing of Kaunians.
When Bembo came back from the war wounded and miserable, Saffa softened, took care of him and eventually consented to start a relationship and move in with him. However, when Bembo proved unfaithful and had casual sex with a prostitute (a story which immediately became a major item of the police force's gossip) Saffa was extremely angry and severed the relationship forthwith.