Joachim (yow-AA-kim) Blackart started life as Joachim Grey, the eldest son of Gunter Grey. Gunter was a Peddler who was a prominent master of magic within his clan and the strongest mage of their family wagon train. As a young man, Joachim was destined to be great as he showed real promise in magic, making his father proud. But Joachim resented the Peddler ways of always pretending to be poor yet faithful churchfolk. Calvinist, Lutheran, or Catholic, depending on which the locals prefered. He wanted to walk about as proud in his magic as a craftsman was of his crafts but his father always forbade it. Still, he would boast of such things with the local boys his age. This often led to ridicule and fights with those boys. He won more of those fights than he lost and was often driven off by someone's father cursing him for being a lying bastard. Then, one day, he got in a fight with a bunch of youngmen for the same thing. One of the boys he beat up was the son of a priest and Joachim was arrested for spreading witchcraft. Before he could be burned at the stake the next day, Gunter had begged for leniency for his son. He swore Joachim read too many fanciful tales and dreamed of writing such stories for himself. That he always attended church every Sunday. That was true, as attending church was an important part of the Peddlers' pretending. Leniency was shone and Joachim was instead given ten lashes for his sins and sent home with his father. The family elders, however, were not pleased with this latest bit of trouble Joachim had gotten into and banished him from the family for breaking their One Rule. Joachim did not hold ill will to his family, but he hated the churchfolk. Because of them and their brutal faith he could never live as himself. Because of them, his back would be forever scarred. Because of them, he would never be taught the greater magics. Once his father said good-bye and disappeared from his life, Joachim swore that the churchmen would pay ... in blood.
An Unquiet Life
Joachim worked hard planning and plotting with little idea of where to begin until he overheard a couple men at an alehouse. They were palace guards discussing who they had to be watching for and one of those was a the valet for the emperor. Later that night, Joachim, from his camp outside the city, worked some magic to learn where this new valet was and then planned an ambush. Three days later, he murdered this young man and took his place as the new Valet of the Emperor. As Emperor Matthias' new valet, Joachim began to poison him. Slowly at first so as to mimic a disease, his poisoning weakened the king. Nothing the priests or doctors did helped and the Emperor died. The emperor's cousin, Ferdinand, was his successor, and Joachim was thrilled. Ferdinand already had a reputation as a fervant Catholic. He had purged his county of Protestants and not in a kind way. Joachim used his magic to cast whispers that fueled Protestants fears of what Ferdinand would do to them. He also cast whispers upon the Catholics, stirring up their purity furvor as well. He worked hard to get both sides to fight. They did fight, in the Battle For White Mountain where Joachim continued his whispering spells so they would kill as many of each other as they could. His plan cared little about which side would win as all he wanted was churchmen blood to spill. After the battle, Joachim went on fueling more conflicts between Protestants and Catholics in what became known as the Thirty Years War. He gathered other bitter-souled Peddlers who has also been banished from their families. Together, they cause untold torment and misery as the years of fighting destroyed entire realms and killed civilians with starvation and the predations of the armies on both sides. Million died, innocent and soldier alike. Some realms were left devoid of life.
The Fall of Joachim
Joachim proved a master of knowing when to leave before he was discovered, and absolutely brilliant at disguise magics. He could be anyone anywhere if he chose and was not adverse to abandoning his followers if he felt it was time to slip away. The Dragonfly, a great wizard named Johan, spent years hunting down the Blackarts, a new family name Joachim had given his band of bitter and banished Peddlers. Only near the end of the war did Johan finally confront Joachim, by then the last Blackart, and destroy him in a magic duel to the death. With Joachim dead and no longer faning the hate in both sides, the thirty years of war finally withered into peace.