"How'd he manage to piss you all off?"
"He didn't do it overnight. Richars isn't that heroic. It's taken him years of persistent effort.
―Ivan Vorpatril and Byerly Vorrutyer[src]

Richars Vorrutyer (vor-RUT-yr) was a scion of House Vorrutyer. He was the eldest of several sons of his father, who was a younger son of the ruling count of the Vorrutyer's District. He was an unpleasant child, and once attempted to rape his twelve year old cousin Donna Vorrutyer. After she fought him off, he drowned her new puppy. When she attempted to inform the adults of the family, he convinced them she was hysterical.

Richars married, and had at least two sons. While his cousin Pierre Vorrutyer inherited the district, Richars was next in line and coveted it for himself. He sabotaged his cousin's marital plans twice so that Pierre would die heirless. The first fiancée was bribed into calling off her marriage, and the second was shown Pierre's medical records. A third fiancée was suspiciously killed in an lightflyer wreck, although Richars was cleared of complicity in a fast-penta interrogation. Distraught, Pierre avoided doctors due to the incident with the medical records, and he died in his fifties due to a heart ailment.

Countship attempt[edit | edit source]

"He managed to bring me down to his level in astonishingly short order."
"Richars does have that effect on people sometimes.
―Miles Vorkosigan and Dono Vorrutyer[src]

After Pierre's early death, Richars counted the countship as his. However, Pierre's sister Lady Donna Vorrutyer filed a motion of impediment and left for Beta Colony. She returned as a man, and with the cooperation of Pierre's Armsmen sought the seat under his new name Dono Vorrutyer.

Richars initially did not take Dono very seriously as a threat, but set another of his many cousins, Byerly Vorrutyer, to spy on the challenger. However, Byerly was secretly both an Imperial Security agent and loyal to Dono, and took covert actions to help Dono's cause while pretending to be one of Richars's partisans. During a party hosted by Count Boriz Vormoncrief that both Richars and Byerly attended, Richars helped concoct a slander against Lord Miles Vorkosigan that Byerly reported to his superiors and Vorkosigan's cousin Ivan Vorpatril.

Richars then approached numerous counts and their deputies to secure their votes. One of those he spoke to was Miles Vorkosigan himself, who was Count Aral Vorkosigan's voting deputy. Vorkosigan was not initially willing to support either claimant, but after Richars threatened to charge him with the murder of Etienne Vorsoisson, Miles claimed to agree to support him. Actually, however, Vorkosigan's true actions were to throw himself whole-heartedly into backing Lord Dono's suit. Richars also manipulated lovesick Alexi Vormoncrief, who had been present at Boriz's party, into convincing Ekaterin's relatives that she and her son, Nikki, were in danger from Lord Vorkosigan.

Downfall[edit | edit source]

"There is an unwritten rule among us, Richars; if you attempt any ploy on the far side of ethical, you'd damned well better be good enough at your game not to get caught. You're not good enough."
―Falco Vorpatril[src]

Prodded by Byerly, Richars hired thugs to castrate Lord Dono on the night before the Council vote, thus negating his claim to manhood. However, By's machinations went awry when the attack occurred on Count Vorfolse's property instead of his prearranged site. Fortunately, Ivan Vorpatril and Olivia Koudelka successfully subdued the goons, thanks to Ivan's military experience and Olivia's martial-arts training from her mother, a former Imperial bodyguard. Byerly's testimony as an Imperial Witness implicated Richars as the mastermind of the plot, causing the lead Conservatives whom he'd counted on to back his petition to turn on him.

Influential Conservatives Count Vorhalas, Count Vorpatril and Count Vorkalloner, as well as the offended independent Count Vorfolse all voted against Richars at the final Council vote, confirming Dono as Count. Thus in an ironic twist, Richars effectively engineered his own demise, as it seemed likely that Dono would have lost the vote if not for Richars' machinations. He was removed from the council chamber and arrested by Lord Vorbohn's Vorbarr Sultana municipal guards for the assault on Dono.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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