Or: Nymph-child Surimë Fisher
Joan of Arc was not stuck at the cross-roads... She chose a path, and went down it like a thunderbolt.
In Jelumite Surimë c(i)'Hisk; by his contemporaries known as ci Morne — the morning. In the tongue of the horselords of Uulsan Torall: Felmourne — the rising morn.
Felmourne is the Empire of Juraedon's great defender and champion, although in his younger years he threatened it with deadly force. He bears the famous crimson banner, which is long and narrow, and lashes in the wind like a whip. He is a famed and widely loved person across the Empire for his adventurous antics. Called the 'Nymph-child' for his strange green hair and greenish skin, Felmourne was born at Torp in Ránríki, probably on 6 January 1044 Year of Huraedon. He was born with the name Surimë, which means 'green-haired'. His complexion has been the source of many unfounded myths and tall tales. There is nothing to suggest that his parents were anything but human.
Common tales say that Felmourne was born under the Red Planet of Carûz at its brightest centennial extent. Carûz was exceptionally bright around the year 1044, and the influence of the star on Felmourne may have been extensive, and have blessed him with his famed martial skill.
Childhood and Family
Felmourne's father, in the north popularly called Abbasur but truthfully named Hols Jacqueson, was an absent figure in Felmourne's childhood. But that has not stopped stories from rising up, stating that it was vengeance against his father's killer that set Felmourne down his martial path. Felmourne himself denies this story.
He was raised happily by his grandparents — his mother died giving birth to him and his father was killed in a skirmish against a neighboring village. His grandparents — Jacque Jacqueson and Marie Jacqueson — were Wizards from Aemiride in the Kingdom of Seinis. They had been banished by a duke and resettled in Torp due to its closeness to the Mountains of Das EkLachen and the local EkLachen Dwarrow that lived there, whom Jacque wanted to study.
Felmourne grew up poor but not needy. His grandparents taught him to read and to write. He was always a physical child and was unusually large for his age. He would always win his fights against the local boys, and would be punished for roughhousing too much.
Nevertheless, the popular idea that he went off to battle at the age of six or seven, appearing as big as the men around him, is quite unfounded. No reliable witness can attest to it. Rather than speaking of his fighting skills, all witnesses spoke of him as a singularly pious child, grave beyond his years, who often knelt in the local church absorbed in prayer, and that he had great affection for the poor. Attempts were made during his rebellious years against the Empire of Juraedon to connect him to some superstitious practices supposed to have been performed around a magical tree, called 'the Fairy Tree' (Ci Aelf Hra). But these have never been founded in evidence or testimony.
The Blaze with Voices
It was at the age of twelve, in the summer of 1056, that Felmourne first became conscious of that supernatural manifestation which he afterwards called his 'voices' or his 'counsel', but about which he is intensely private. He has told that he had seen many of the saints, and also the appearance of Uziel Seat of Burning, but as to their appearances he refuses to be persuaded into telling, and he also refuses to tell how he recognizes them. "I have seen them with my eyes," he only replies.
It was these voices weighing on him for a year that caused him to leave his home and go to Eilmann's Cloister to become a monk. At the cloister he studied the finer points of Magic and Wizardry, and he was soon recognized as a prodigy of the subject. But he only stayed there for a year before he set off eastwards. For during that time the will of Vahan was being gradually revealed to him, and though at many times Felmourne would reply that he could not do as the voices asked, that he was only a boy, at last he yielded and traveled to the far eastern lands of Tizüb. He took with him a hunting spear.
The Five Years in the East
As is common with those people blessed with a great potential in Magic, Felmourne's learning and skill grew at extraordinary speeds. Felmourne quickly matured over the five years in Tizüb.
At the age of fourteen Felmourne joined with a company of nomads who skirted the edges of the Yellow Ash Plains. In the hot, white dunes Felmourne grew hardy and battle-ready. With his company, he explored and fought against the many underground monsters that lurked beneath the plains. It was here that Felmourne discovered the spear Nyslott, built by the Nelqorana, named for the hot river that flowed through Nelqora's evergreen Abo valley. The spear thundered with every stroke, its head glittered in the sun, and the shaft shone blue and gold in the day and white and silver at night. It was already a famed weapon before Felmourne bore it. But today its repute is beyond that of any other.
At the age of sixteen Felmourne went to the northern Altaic country, searching for a northern pass into the legendary Yan empire through the treacherous Alretez Mountains. Here he befriended the Altaic Elves, who live in homesteads on ice floats. Felmourne went to the city of Illum and there he did one of his most acclaimed deeds. There had been a White Dragon plaguing the homesteads near the city. Felmourne gathered a small band of warriors and went to kill the dragon. The resultant battle spanned leagues and crossed westward seas. During an ocean-bound duel, Felmourne's crew and ship were smashed against rocks and Felmourne was left adrift. He later woke near the Altaic homestead of Toftír, and stayed there for half a year resting. It was then that Felmourne heard that the dragon had taken up residence near Toftír and had accrued another hoard. He rallied another band of warriors and finally slew the drake in its cave. There, Felmourne found a tome dictating the means to bind ancient magicks.
The voices told him to return westward, and Felmourne thought that he was to at last return home. But instead he was directed to one of the great warlords of the region, Aelmourne. At the age of seventeen, he broke into the chambers of Aelmourne and pledged his services to the Gral. For two years, he served as an attendant, and caused great havoc across Uulsan Torall. Aelmourne renamed Surimë: now he was Felmourne; and it was not only a name but also a title. He would be as the rising sun to all his man-at-arms and cohorts.
At some point, Felmourne raided an ancient depository and recovered a mechanical suit of armor made of black steel and dark glass. Then, with spear in hand, tome bound to his back, bearing his dark and glittering armor, voices of the saints in his mind, Felmourne stormed the city of Volk and conquered it on April 16th 1062 Year of Huraedon. He wrested control of the Holy City from the Naharaim. He then instituted the Knights Defendants of the Venues of Volk, which became his personal vanguard. He discovered many of his closest friends in that Order. Ondosto, the last Paladin of the One-fold Order, was a Knight of Volk. Felmourne's name became a household thing; everyone knew of Aelmourne's fiery black dog.
Blood Brothers and Emperorship
On Felmourne's nineteenth birthday, he saved Aelmourne from an assassination attempt by those of the Shae Order, sent by the Empire. In gratitude to his attendant, Aelmourne gave him the title of Gral-kin: the Brother of the Gral. And this was sealed with a blood pact. Their relationship has only deepened over the years.
Around this time the nobles of Juraedon began to plot to install Aelmourne on the imperial throne, and crown him Emperor of Juraedon. They intended to peacefully annex the vast eastern lands into the Northern Empire. Messages were sent to the Gral requesting him for Emperorship, though Aelmourne could not decide.
A Question of Lovers
I did not betray Disiri, although I know Disira expected me to.
Felmourne has never had an affair with a woman, either illicit or acceptable. Some like to say that he'd found love with a fairy woman, and that she had, as a sign of her favor to his pledge, blessed him with unnatural growth and great bodily strength. Still others claim that Felmourne had brokered a deal with a succubus to satisfy his urges and to grant him strength. But the most sensible understanding is what Felmourne himself has told us: he has taken a vow of chastity; he has devoted his body to Vahan.
The Seven Years in Erub
Suddenly seized by a great melancholy and longing for home, Felmourne implored for leave from his brother. He wished to return to the highlands of EkLachen, and to visit his village again. Though Aelmourne wished for his brother to remain near him as he decided whether to take the imperial crown, he gave his consent, and Felmourne departed, declaring that he would return in seven years. Whether this sudden longing was due to the voices he heard is not confirmed. Felmourne only tells that he wished to see the fjords again.
Felmourne returned to Torp. His grandfather had died, though his grandmother still lived. He rested in his village for three years before he set out again. This time he went southward. He intended to travel throughout the Empire of Juraedon to study under the great masters of Magic. He traveled with only his most beloved twelve of the Knights of Volk, and he went about in disguise to remain incognito in the Empire.
Felmourne visited the great universities of the continent, and he brought with him a cart of books drawn by a mule. He would collect and read tomes as he traveled. He first visited the University of Juraedon, in the capital. It is said that when he crossed the horizon and saw the city's tall white walls under the rising sun, he knelt and praised Vahan, and declared that he had found his country — here were his people, civilized. But make no mistake: the sight of the city certainly stirred a love for his country, but he has never had great care for Empire as a concept, with its width and spread. He loves rather the cold lands from which the Empire sprung, and it is to these tundras and its people that he pledged his services. Soon after he declared his pledge he implored his brother to accept the Emperorship of Juraedon. This was the tipping point, and Aelmourne relented, and the proclaimation was sent throughout the Empire.
In Juraedon Felmourne met Simon, who was still Premier Candidate for the position of Archmage. So began a constant, though tumultuous, relationship.
Felmourne then went to the University of Lille, in the city of Lille. It was six years into his retreat from the Gralthrene that Felmourne was informed of Aelmourne's betrothal to Brigg Cour da Lione. The Emperorship was definitively to be handed to Aelmourne, and the marriage with the first daughter of the most powerful Great House in the Empire assured both parties that the exchange was to be done peacefully.
The Rage of Deleri
It was at that moment, when the phantoms had vanished, that Grengarm turned his terrible head toward me, craning it upon a neck a thousand times mightier than any crane's, and opened his maw wide. And I, staring into it as into the face of death, understood certain things that had been hidden.
By the end of the seventh year of Felmourne's retreat, he began his reluctant journey back to Aelmourne's side, who had become increasingly frustrated with his dealings with the nobility of Juraedon and implored Felmourne to return.
But for many years there had been news of trouble in the Western Mountains. Metallic Dragons of many hues had collected on the vast plateau and were becoming agitated. When the kingdom of Kninholr was assaulted by those dragons, Felmourne immediately turned towards the Western Mountains, eager for battle. He sent his apologies to his brother, saying that he was obliged to serve both Empire and Gral, but at the moment the Empire was at greater risk.
It is notable that Felmourne broke his vow. He was always strict with his word.
So Felmourne went to the Western Mountains with his twelve beloved knights. He learned that there was a mad Gold Dragon called Deleri who had incited rebellion against the hierarchy of Metallic Dragons. Deleri came to his brethren as a divine prophet of Gevurah Seat of Judgement, and he wrought long-lasting destruction throughout the region. For a year Deleri spread his wrath, and Felmourne could not catch him. But at last, on Febuary 20th 1071 Year of Huraedon, Felmourne caught Deleri and his fleet in a trap, and he set upon the dragons the full might of his knights and two Imperial Hosts.
The assault lasted a day and a night. Fire and thunder shook the mountains, and the Dragons flitted about the Hosts like lightning above red clouds, flashes of gold, silver, and brass, a terror unstoppable as the tide. And throughout that night of dark doubt, neither dragon nor man could claim the upper hand. But at last the sun rose and the last of them was slewn by Nyslott, gripped in Felmourne's fist. Felmourne lost three of his knights. Their names were Domren, Gilson, and Elram. He buried them and mourned for seven days before he set off for Uulsan Torall and Aelmourne.
As Felmourne returned to his brother, he was suddenly struck with an epileptic fit, and experienced an intense vision of the saints reclining on a broad green field with Uziel Seat of Burning laying beside Hod Seat of Glory, both at rest. Then Uziel boomed and told Felmourne to rest and to make firm the foundations of his brother's rule. His duty now was to better the reign of Aelmourne, and the time of war was at an end. But! Uziel suddenly prophesized, in four years' time there would be a war in the east, and the Empire must be prepared.
When Felmourne awoke he could hardly move his body. He had to be assisted in everything he did. For one such as him, who had absolute mastery over his body, it was humbling. Felmourne later after would show especial love towards the disabled, for he had a small taste of their troubles. Felmourne would never fully recover, not even Magic could help him, and his strength was forever diminished.
When Felmourne returned to his brother they had been apart for nine years. The meeting was long and full of tears. They discussed every matter they could think of, and their conversation extended into the dim hours of the morning. Felmourne spoke of his mission of peace and rebuilding, and Aelmourne hearkened.
Aelmourne was crowned and dignified on April 1st 1073 Year of Huraedon. He was crowned at the stairs leading up to the façade of the Imperial Palace. There was a crowd of thousands that listened to his sermon and proclamation for peace, calling for rebuilding from the reigns of men such as the Emperor Trechik. At the time, the common people loved Aelmourne, though eventually those attitudes would change as his foreignness became more apparent. Fortunately for Aelmourne, the popularity of Felmourne as a great warrior and defender of the Empire did much to boost his popularity, and it seemed that while most remembered Aelmourne's days as a Gral of Uulsan Torall most had forgotten Felmourne's part in the matter.
The next two years were ones of simple politics and rulership. Felmourne became a spokesperson for the Imperial Person and State. While Felmourne had a small hand in the actual legislations of the Empire as well, he was, for the most part, unconcerned with the finer details of ruling. He was glad to lend his reputation and quick tongue for his brother, though. During these years, Felmourne's voices quieted.
The War in the East
The war against the Near-eastern Elves began with a sudden attack on the Holy City, but when it was repelled the Naharaim began a series of small skirmishes. A few Imperial Hosts were mobilized and sent to Uulsan Torall, but the Empire, despite Felmourne's pleas, was not as concerned as it should have been.
The war escalated in the year 1080, and the Naharaim began to field large armies that razed the villages of Uulsan Torall. The Empire responded with teleporting large contingents near the Naharaim homeland, and committing themselves to devastating strikes into the homeland territories. Felmourne attended many of these incursions, although all of them were eventually pushed out and back into imperial territory. Quickly a line of battle was created at the easternmost point of connection between the Empire and Atoraya-Kaldea, the Naharaim empire. The point of connection was a series of hilly terrains that lay just southwest of the Alretez Mountains. It was only a small, and narrow, contact point.
The Imperial Hosts used their War Wizards to dig entrenched areas where spell-slingers could safely destroy any assaulters. The Naharaim responded with their own entrenchments, using the ranged efficacy of their brass machines to target the Wizards from a distance. Coupled with these entrenched forces at important positions were the more usual pitched battles, usually with small forces, used to surround enemy trenches or to respond to attempts at surrounding one's allied trenches.
Felmourne quickly took up the position of Chief-Asklja — a temporary position that granted him supremacy over all other generals. Under his command the front lines soon pressed into Naharaim heartlands, but when Felmourne was struck with a second epileptic fit, where he was told that his duty was not in the Atoraya-Kaldea but on the Island of Tete, he speedily headed there. So Felmourne left his position, and the resultant decision has been detrimental to the Empire, and the Imperial Hosts have been pushed back to their original frontiers.
For fifteen years the war has stalled, and Felmourne has not returned.
I'm afraid you can't quite know what I'm doing. It would only cause me no end of trouble. It deals with Magic, of course; and it deals with strange places which the Eminence Burchard has discovered. But don't worry, I hate secrets as well. Soon as I can, I'll give you a full quotation and piece.
We are not privy to Felmourne's current work. He is secretive, and only shares what he knows with the closest of his friends. We do know that he has labored for fifteen long years on his project, he has traveled across the Two Empires for it, and he has shared his work with all the Archmages, all of whom share in his grave treatment of the subject. Felmourne has also requested an Imperial Host to be sent to the Island of Tete, but it is anyone's guess as to why.
Felmourne is often called the exemplar of chivalry. He is a brave person, ferocious in battle but meek in the hall and at the table. He is a swift minded person, slow to speak but quick to act. He can be brash and over willing to put himself into bodily danger. He is quick to decide and is sure on his destination, although he is never sure of his route. He is a pious individual who loves the natural world and all her creatures. He is concerned with theology, and his great desire is to glimpse the plans of Vahan. He is fond of romantic poetry. He is a patriot and loves his brother dearly. He would kill for his loves, but his battle-fury has mellowed as he has aged. He is a troubled person. He is troubled over his visions, and he says that, ever since his brother's coronation, he now hears two voices, and they conflict at times, and he cannot decide between the two.
So the authors of this article declare that Felmourne is one of the great men of our time. He will be remembered well for years to come. His crimson banner is the standard for all brave and sturdy men; long may it rise and lash in the wind.
- Imperial Second
- Emperor's Brother
- Retired Lord of the Knights of the Venues of Volk
- Explorer of the White Ring
- Defender of the Empire
By the grace of God I will serve my brother and my Emperor.