Friday, January 8, 2010

Grismeire Valley Campaign - Bretonnian Characters

Lady Aleena, Prophetess of the Lady
Lady Aleena is one of the most senior prophetesses in the land of Brionne, and as such she has acted as a diplomat and advisor to Duke Theodoric. For years she has been troubled by visions of an unknown knight that she felt was destined to do something great for Bretonnia. The Lady of the Lake has recently revealed the knight’s identity and has shown Aleena that going to Bastonne is the path that will lead her to him. Duke Theodoric has marshaled an army to go with Lady Aleena. With no real idea of how she is supposed to locate Sir Edwin, Aleena has brought with her several damsels of The Lady to be dispersed throughout the Bretonnian forces. They will all be seeking Sir Edwin so that Aleena can aid him in his destiny, whatever that may be.

Augustine Beaumont, Champion of Lady Aleena, General of the forces of Brionne
Having drunk from the grail, Augustine Beaumont is one of Brionne’s most celebrated heroes. Sir Augustine is a warrior of great skill, having proven himself on the battlefield time and time again throughout his life. Before he took up the quest for the grail, Augustine acted as a general and led several armies to great victories. An inspirational leader of men, there is none that would not follow him into battle. Since his completion of the quest for the grail, he resides in a small chapel that he built near the northern bank of the River Brienne where the Lady of Lake appeared to him. He acts as guardian of this sacred ground.

Upon learning that Lady Aleena was to leave Brionne, Duke Theodric charged Sir Augustine with the protection of the prophetess, as well as giving him command of the forces being sent to support the campaign in Bastonne.

Alexandre Fulke, Lady Aleena’s Standard Bearer
One of many knights that answered Duke Theodric’s call to arms, Alexandre Fulke of Carcasonne was chosen by Lady Aleena to be the army’s standard bearer. His quest for the grail brought him to Brionne, where Aleena sought him out to bestow this honor upon him. He accepted, as there was no doubt this is the path that the Lady of the Lake had chosen for him.

Frederic Theobold, General of the forces of Bastonne
Frederic Theobold of Bastonne is one of Duke Bohemond’s Nephews. Astonishing confident in his abilities, he is particularly gifted in the art of the joust. When compared to knights who do not have such close ties with a Duke, it would seem he has not had to work as hard to earn his knighthood. While he has performed courageous deeds, most of his renown has been earned from his performance in jousting tournaments and on hunts. With the growing number of beastman raids from the Forest of Arden, Frederic has convinced the Duke to let him lead an army to the north to crush the raiders. There is much speculation that he is only doing this to prove that he is worthy of his rank. Indeed, if the campaign is successful, his critics would be silenced.

Sebastien Lemond, Standard Bearer of the forces of Bastonne
A lifetime long friend to Frederic, there is no doubt that Sebastien Lemond has benefitted from his friendship with the Duke’s nephew. He has proven himself in battle often and is well respected as an honorable knight of Bastonne. His unyielding loyalty is his most worthy virtue. Keeping in good favor with Frederic, and in turn the Duke, is something that he obsesses over, and he is always trying to be noticed in their eyes.

Edwin Hammel
Edwin Hammel of Parravon is the youngest of four brothers. Growing up on the low end of the pecking order, it was usually the more mundane duties that fell to him. In his early teens, most of his time was spent leading patrols of peasants around the Hammel family’s territory. This gave him great report with the peasants, who looked at him as a hero of the people, a role that Edwin embraced. This was his life for several years, a time in which the need to prove himself worthy of knighthood grew strong within him.

His opportunity came when Archaon, Lord of the End Times launched his attack on the Empire. King Louen launched an errantry war to aid their allies to the east, and Sir Edwin was ever anxious to enlist. In the conflict Edwin fought bravely, primarily against orcs and goblins, and often alongside the dwarfs. His defining moment was charging to aid a dwarf cannon crew that was being assaulted by several orcs. Edwin skewered one with his lance before his warhorse was sliced open by one of the orcs, tossing him to the ground. In the fury of combat that followed Edwin had managed to kill three more of the monsters before the orcs fled. Two of the dwarf crewmen survived, and adding their firepower proved to be a turning point in the battle. For his bravery Edwin was gifted with an exquisitely crafted helmet from the dwarf runesmith Okri Grondnuk.

When Archaon was defeated and the war came to an end, Sir Edwin travelled westward back to Bretonnia. The journey was a grim one as the knights marched though a land that was in shambles after the brutal war. Upon his arrival home, Edwin found himself as one of hundreds of knights errant who had earned ascension to a Knight of the Realm. For months Edwin returned to his old duties as the Dukes in Bretonnia struggled to find enough land to divide amongst the knights. The war had given him a taste of real battle, but still Edwin yearned for more. The thought of returning to patrols that rarely found and enemy worthy of him was not something that interested him. He wanted to prove himself in battle. Edwin was granted permission to lead a small army back into the Empire to aid them as they rebuilt their home. Sir Edwin marshaled a force of peasants and a few fellow knights to join him, and he headed back into the Empire.

For years Edwin’s army worked alongside Empire forces clearing small pockets of resistance leftover from the war. Edwin was not incredibly well versed in military tactics, but usually outnumbering his opponents, this was not an issue. Battle after battle he began to learn more. He took every opportunity to learn what he could from the Empires generals. Edwin had become a competent general by the time the Empire was once again thrown into the war. As rumors of the Nemesis Crown being located circulated, the armies of the world invaded the Empire once again. Sir Edwin led his army into battle, and to what would become the defining event in his life.

His scouts had located a force of the undead near a burial site. Sir Edwin had never faced the unholy forces of the undead, and was all too eager to prove himself against them. Edwin took his normal position, on foot leading his people. He was to lead the peasants up the middle into the clearing and bring the undead to battle. Sir Bertrand, his childhood friend and ever loyal standard bearer, was to lead the knights around the left flank and smash through the enemy’s ranks as Edwin held the line. The battle was a complete disaster. Edwin faltered in the face of the undead and was nearly killed by a mighty vampire in single combat. He was dragged down and knocked unconscious as the peasants fled the field. When he awoke he found that most of the knights where dead or injured. Amongst the dead were Lady Arianna and Sir Bertrand, who was struck down by an evil cursed weapon. His army in disarray, Edwin gave orders to the most senior surviving knight to lead the survivors to link up with a nearby Bretonnian army. He then gave Sir Bertrand a proper burial, personally digging the grave. He took into his care Sir Bertrand’s warhorse and rode off, unsure of where life would bring him.

For a long time Edwin was a very somber individual, driven by anger and revenge. He had lost everything that he held dear and did not know how to handle such great loss. He wandered around the Empire back toward Bretonnia seeking death in battle, but never finding it. Eventually, as he began to deal with the grief, Edwin finally began asking himself a question that would change his life. He began to wonder why he had lived. It was his fault that the line had faltered. It was his fault that the battle was lost. It was his fault that Sir Bertrand and Lady Arianna were dead. Why should he have lived? The answer finally gave him the comfort that he sought. Surely the Lady of the Lake had gifted him with life. Edwin was meant to do something important, he was not meant to die on that battlefield that day against the undead hordes. After he came to this conclusion, he gave his life completely to the Lady of the Lake. Drifting around the land he began to think of everything as fate. Nothing was of his choosing. Wherever circumstance took him is exactly where the Lady wanted him to be. He would eventually find the Lady of the Lake or die in the effort to follow her will. In truth he cared very little which would happen, as, either way, it would be what the Lady wanted for him.

Years after the battle against the undead horde, Sir Edwin has found himself back in Bretonnia. He is currently in the land of Bastonne where fate has swept him into a conflict with the very vampire who had nearly killed him so long ago. He, of course, is unaware of these facts. He is just simply following the will of the Lady.

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