Dramatis Personae as of November 1225
Countess Liriana Ducharme, head of the house. Widow of Abelard, deceased; mother of three daughters, Elionore (28), Eliane (24), and Elisabeth (22). House Ducharme has purchased royal monopolies for the importation of certain rare dyes, olives and olive oil, teak, and mahogany, and is attempting to purchase a monopoly for a type of white pepper.
Elionore Ducharme, the eldest daughter. A beautiful young woman known for her dry wit, and seemingly a worthy heir to her mother.
Eliane Ducharme, the middle daughter. Lovely, although not as beautiful as Elionore or Elisabeth, Eliane seems a shallow young lady concerned more with dresses and cosmetics. Her tutors report that despite appearances, Eliane possesses a shrewd mind and could be a talented scholar.
Elisabeth Ducharme, the youngest daughter. As beautiful as Elionore and as intelligent as Eliane, Elisabeth's hand is ardently sought by various noble houses that hope her dowry would represent a valuable infusion of capital.
Cyril Nedeau, personal secretary and steward to the Countess. Cyril oversees the staff of the Ducharme manor near Coronale and jealously guards access to the Countess.
Sir John Rouleux, swordmaster to the House Ducharme, father of Thomas Rouleux. Sir John was knighted for bravery fighting Wild Men in the hinterlands of the Duchy of Burundy.
Thomas Rouleux, son of Sir John. Thomas quite obviously wants more than anything to live up to his father's legacy. He is a talented swordsman just waiting for his chance to prove himself in action. He is a young man, but tall, just over six feet in height, with a prominent brow and chin, an aquiline nose, and curly black hair.
Bertrand Morel, a shy young man who has lived for several years as a ward of the Countess. His past is somewhat mysterious: his father was supposedly a woodsman who died in the Countess's service. He's short, with wispy blond hair and a very pale complexion. His most defining feature are a pair of massive ears that his head hasn't quite grown into.
Leo Rhombus, a crazy old man who lives in a small cottage in the wooded Northern section of the estate.
Morgoth Manhue, tutor to the Ducharme children and advisor to the Countess. Manhue is an older man who is unfailingly polite, but the soldiers whisper that he is favored by God because he has a healer's touch. Scholar's garb, silver hair.
Sir Bernardine is a knight of the Temple who dwells from time to time at the estate, although no one seems to be saying why. He has a casual friendship with Master Manhue.
Abelard du Chevalier d'Sancres, an ordained priest and a minor nobleman, he frequently visits the Ducharme estate to press his brother's suit for Elisabeth's hand.
Lucius Valerius Avitus, a Tiberian swordsman brought in to assist Sir John with training. Has largely taken over the special training given to the more experienced Ducharme retainers, as well as instructing Bertrand and others in his own time. Friend of Thomas.
Brother Cedric, a blind mendicant who claims to have received a vision from God, he recently wandered onto the Estate and has begun to minister to the soldiers. Black hair, brown robes; milky eyes.
Etienne Vaillant, a storyteller extraordinare and an artist in the Countess's patronage. He spends much of his time in Coronale performing elaborate puppet shows and mummery, but is also an unsurpassed storyteller who often entertains for visitors to the Ducharme estate.
Xavier Pere du'Fronds, second son of the Baron du’Fronds of Orlais. The family lands are about a day and a half north of Coronale.
Jean, a groom.
Hugo, a coachman.
Jean-Pierre Martin, a guardsman.
Jean Chiasson, a guardsman.
Théodore-Louis Lanier, a guardsman.
Marina, Elionore's maid.
Louis Guerrier, a ship's captain who arrives in Blamont between the 7th and 11th of each month.
Albert, a coachman.
Alphonse, a groom.
Roland Lemaitre – wool seller, sells to the warehouse in Blamont.
Arnaud Beauchamp – Factor in Toledo. Brokers in Toledo steel.
AT COURT, COUER AU SOLEIL
The royal family, House of Badeu, Duchy Orlais
King Berndt I, called Berndt the Bear. Berndt is also the Crown Prince of the Principality of Utrex, in Western Almania, and the main rival of the Grand Duke Steier.
Queen Adelaide Nivette Badeu, daughter of King Adolphus, wife of Berndt.
Crown Prince Christophe Daniel Badeau, Duc d'Orlais, heir to the throne.
Duc Eugène Louis Burundy, deceased. Was Earl Marshal of Couer au Soleil, died in 1192 J.R., leaving a widow and a son, Bertrand Eugène du Burundy.
Duc Bertrand Eugène du Burundy, third in line to the throne of Couer under King Adolphus, but farther away with the birth of the Crown Prince Christophe Daniel Badeau to the King and Queen. Although moving into middle age, is still known to be a deadly fighter. Only 12 years old when his ambitions for the throne of Couer au Soleil were snuffed out at the Battle of Long Shadows in 1198 J.R., the Duc was fostered in Coronale until he reached his majority. Although he was a moody boy, he rapidly endeared himself to some of the King's Sun Guard (who were rightly worried that they would be displaced by Almanian warriors if Berndt the Bear took the crown). Bertrand benefited from every day instruction from some of the best swordsmen in the Kingdom, and was also gifted physically.
Ana Maria Fleutte du Burundy, Duchess to Eugène Louis Burundy, mother of Bertrand Eugène, she retired to the Abbey of Cluny after her forces were defeated by the royal forces of King Adolphus at the Battle of Long Shadows. She has since left her retirement for parts unknown.
Edmund Jérôme d'Orlais d'Sancres, the Comte d'Orlais and one of the wealthiest nobles in Couer au Soleil. He is the third son of the Duc d'Sancres.
Sébastien d'Sancres, the eldest son of the Duc.
Duc Henri du Chabon. Rules the duchy from the Ducal seat of Mérignac in Southwestern Couer au Soleil. Duc Henri is a late middle-aged widower whose only heir was killed in a hunting accident in September of 1219; he has named his nephew Gilles heir to the duchy.
Gilles du Chabon, nephew and heir to the Duc. Gilles is related by the Duc through his mother, the Duc's older sister.
Nathalie Gallatin, engaged to be married to Gilles du Chabon.
The Duc Honoré Matthieu d'Estaing – rules the duchy from the Ducal seat of Lons-le-Saunier, in the South.
Juliette d’Estaing, the Duc’s eldest daughter.
Emiline d’Estaing, the Duc’s second daughter.
Théophile d’Estaing, the Duc’s son and third child.
Lise d’Estaing, the Duc’s third daughter and fourth child.
Charlotte d'Estaing, the Duc's fourth daughter and fifth child.
Minor Landed Nobles
Merlise du Balzon, daughter of the Comte Elan du Ilenne in Burundy, who reputedly seeks to marry Merlise to the lowly Honore Elees.
Honore Elees, whose father is a Baronet and little more than a jumped-up knight at that, but whose Baronetcy is located in Orlais and whose eldest son is serving with the King in Almania.
Sébastien Acord, from Orlais, a minor noble.
Roger Salvage, reputedly the bastard son of the Comte Soulier of Chabon. The Comte is one of the Duc du Chabon's most trusted bannermen.
Chretien Bataille, from Burundy. His father is a Burundian knight-banneret. Chretien hopes to follow in his father's footsteps, but it's uncertain if he has either the mind or the courage for it.
Cosette Niveaux, of the Sancres Niveauxs, a minor lady. She's at court for one of two reasons: in an attempt to marry up or to become a lady-in-waiting to someone more powerful. Her hatchet nose suggests option number 1 is unlikely to succeed.
Robert Niveaux, cousin of Cosette Niveaux.
Paulin Minaut – a 50ish Northern baron from Sancres. He's overweight and gouty, but actually seems like a pretty nice fellow. He was recently widowed.
Ghislain Leblanc, heir to the Marquissat of Carcassone in Estaing. A handsome and charming young man who has the misfortune to be followed by some unpleasant rumors about his preferences.
Jean-Louis Blondet, son of the Baron Emile Blondet, seeks a wife in Coronale. None doubt he will eventually achieve his goals, despite his family being disfavored as among those who were loyal to the Duchess in her failed attempt to secede.
Gildas Bidault, stepson of the Viscount of Nantes. His mother was the Viscount's second wife, and his stepfather had declined to adopt him, meaning that Gildas stands to inherit nothing.
Hubert Vignon, a Burundian noble who sheltered the Duchess when she left the Cathedral in Blamont. Noble Écuyer – nobility going back 5 generations, but does not possess a fief or a land-title.
Girard Thibault d'Anvers – The famous second son of the Count D'Anvers, he is one of Couer au Soleil's greatest swordsmen, specializing in two weapon fighting with rapier and main-gauche. He is reputed to have fought over 100 duels without being defeated, and has rendered meritorious service to the crown in fulfilling military commissions. He was knighted in 1216 J.R. at the age of 24.
Comte Lorac Alven Arreviste, head of the merchant house Arreviste. House Arreviste has purchased royal monopolies for the importation of curry, coriander, ivory, and several other valuable commodities.
Devaine Arreviste, the first son of the Comte Arreviste, a merchant house and nouveau riche member of the court nobility.
Sir Jean-Jacque Tailleur -Jean-Jacques is a knight of the Royal Order of the Sun, Coronale's most prestigious knighthood awarded for for valorous services. Jean-Jacques was knighted for acts of valor in the Almanian campaign in 1215 J.R., but took a serious leg injury that same year.
Carole Tailleur – Wife to Jean-Jacque.
Germain Minot – Germain is one of the King's most important ministers – the contrôleur général des finances (finance minister).
Marie Minot – Wife to Germain. Marie is a lovely sandy-blond haired woman who is reputed to have several lovers outside her marital bed.
Jérémie Clavet – a middle-aged magistrate from Coronale who is in line to become the high judge when the current, elderly high judge retires. Clavet first gained his position when many of the Burundian magistrates were purged from the administration in the wake of the war of secession.
Andre Mancion, the heir of an up and coming Orlaisan knight, Andre lacks his father's charm, guile and skill at arms.
Other Orlaisan Aristocrats
King Louis-Hubert Thibault (167 – 229 J.R.) was the first post-Julian King of Couer au Soleil. In or around the year 227, the King became very ill and began to experience dementia. His heir was his eldest son, the Duke Prospero. His other children were Sebastian, Carla, Gustav, and Emilia.
Duke Prospero Thibault, Duc of Orlais, Comte of Picardy, Bourges, and Brest (195-240? J.R.) was the eldest son of King Louis-Hubert Thibault. He was supposedly a warlock of some power, and his brothers rebelled against his rulership of Couer au Soleil, resulting in the 227 War of Succession, which ended in defeat and exile for Prospero.
King Sebastian Thibault I (199 – 260 J.R.) was the second King of Couer au Soleil, having taken the throne in 229 J.R. when his father died. The first few years of his reign were marred by civil war with his older brother Prospero, but once the Black Duke was exiled, his reign was marked by a long period of peace and increased prominence for his nation in the wake of the Empire's collapse.
Prince Gustav Thibault – Earl Marshall under Sebastian during the 227 War.
King Adolphus Badeu (1143 – 1207 J.R.).
Catalan Kingdom of Iberia
Queen Ascension Arroyo de Isabella – Queen of the Catalan Kingdom of Iberia. She is in her 50s, and does not have an heir in her direct line.
Estrella Arroyo de Isabella was Ascension’s younger sister. She died when a ship bearing her to Albionia sunk in high seas; she was survived by her only son Gastón.
Duke Miguel Avila de Gonzalvo is the heir-designate to the throne. He is 24 years old, Duke of Murcia and Almeria. He is not directly related to the Queen, but can trace as many ancestors to the founder of the Dynasty. Has a 5 year old son named Conrado; wife Felisa.
Duke Dario Trevino, Duke of Franco, Count of Rousillon.
Count Edgar Pescariojo de Valladolid. The Queen’s Uncle (her deceased husband’s brother), he has an excellent royal pedigree. His 3 sons are in the line of succession right behind Miguel Avila de Gonzalvo.
Aureliano de Valladolid is the eldest son of Count Edgar and an ambitious climber who feels that he should be the heir rather than Duke Miguel.
Vincente de Valladolid is a bit of a wastrel – he rebelled against being told that he was third in line for the throne and has filled his life with wine, women, and song. He is racked with religious guilt over this lifestyle.
Bartolomeo de Valladolid was working towards ordination as a priest when his father recalled him to take up arms on behalf of his country.
Gastón María de Pilar Manzanares is viscount of Cantabria and was formerly assigned as a young Catalan diplomat with a message for King Berndt, and who hoped to be attached to his court. He was kidnapped by parties unknown. He is the Queen’s nephew, her younger sister’s son. Wife Marisela.
Ignacio de Vega – An Iberian sword master who teaches his students to fight in a flowing circular style very different than the straightforward attacking style of Gerard d'Anvers, one of his biggest rivals.
Eréndira – a hedge witch in the poor section of Toledo known for providing herbal cures to young women in trouble.
Principalities of Almania
Prince Emerich of Steier, the Grand Duke of the Steiermark and self-proclaimed emperor of the reborn Julian Empire, in Almania.
Tsar Peter Naryshkin, ruler of Oksandr empire; reputedly a tyrant.
Podomykh Bar'ischa Petrovich, Ambassador of Oksandr to Couer au Soleil.
Ira Yalisaveta Batalova – The teenage niece of the Oksandr ambassador to Couer au Soleil. She is possessed of a transcendent beauty that can best be encapsulated by the phrase "ice princess," with silvery blond hair, ice blue eyes, and nearly snow-white skin, tinged with pink.
Kingdom of Albionia
Queen Bre'Mabia, former Anriya (High Queen) of Albionia; was deposed by her son Hector in 1199 J.R. after the 1197 Proclamation and the disastrous war of Burundian succession.
Anri (High King) Hector, ruler of Albionia.
Bento Rossi, the Venn “Ambassador” to Couer au Soleil and a leading figure in the Venn Circle of Open Hands.
Giancarlo Rossi – a Peninsular dandy; his father is an ambassador of some kind.
Massimo Rossi – second son of Bento Rossi.
Herynon – a Venn adept looking for something in the royal library in Toledo, he is accompanied by a mysterious servant named Draugion. Member of the Circle of the Codex.
Shiorchio – member of the Venn delegation to Catalan. Member of the Circle of the Codex.
Agolguri – member of the Venn delegation to Catalan. Member of the Circle of the Codex.
Magunexen – member of the Venn delegation to Catalan. Member of the Circle of the Codex.
Ibaldon – member of the Venn delegation to Catalan. Member of the Circle of the Codex.
Jokosear – member of the Venn delegation to Catalan. Member of the Circle of the Codex.
Hyssumar – one of the leaders of the Venn Circle of Interdiction, he is noted for his talents at defensive magic. He was present at the Long Shadows Intervention.
Vanguti – member of the Circle of Interdiction, he is known for subtle invocations that cause elemental damage without creating flashy effects.
Ezre the Unweaver – member of the Circle of Interdiction, she is so named because of her great proficiency unmaking the magic of others; she is skilled at unleashing the energy in unmade spells.
Thoun the Binder is a member of the Circle of Binding.
Isidor Purishkevitch, also known as Psyre-Arghutta, is the foremost Binder in the Circle of Binding; he has made a number of impressive innovations in the Binder’s art.
The Church Proper and the College of Archons
Bishop Malaver: An Orlaisan bishop.
Bishop Henri Harcourt: The Bishop presides over a diocese on the Western coast of Couer au Soleil in Sancres. His church is in the city of Vienne-Charentes. Harcourt narrowly avoided an embarrassing situation in or around 1217 due to his profligate spending of Church funds, and is currently attempting to stave off a recurrence that would likely destroy his political ambitions.
Gauvain Ferrand is an officer in Bishop Harcourt’s guard. He has the reputation of being a “fixer” for the Bishop.
Father Landry Paillard is a priest in Vienne-Charentes who serves as an aide to the Bishop and acts as a gatekeeper for access to the Bishop.
Archbishop Emilien Gaucher is a Soleilan Archbishop and an Elector in the College of Archons who is in contention for the Prelacy.
Archbishop Rodrigo de Marco Rolas is the Archbishop of Toledo and close personal adviser to Queen Ascension. He has overseen an era of historical prominence for the Church in Catalan.
Father Enrique Maria Reynes is aide to Archbishop Rolas in Toledo.
Sister Celestina – Leader of the “Church of the Holy Font” in Venedig, one of the de facto leaders of Venedig’s remaining survivors.
Bishop Edouard Barrier: Bishop in Blamont.
Andre Mancion (196 – 261 J.R.). Mancion was the bishop who built the cathedral in Blamont. He is said to be buried in the 7th and lowest level of the crypt. Notable in life as a supporter of Sebastian Thibault in the 227 War of Succession – he purportedly mobilized popular support against Duke Prospero Thibault in Sancres and Northern Burundy with his fiery proclamations that the Duke was a warlock of fell powers. He was posthumously awarded the rank of archbishop.
Sister Josephine Brun – one of the sixteen sisters who was captured and forced to work Siegler's iron mine. She seemed more level-headed than the others.
Sister Gabriela – personal confessor to Queen Ascension. Trained at the Abbey of Santa Teresa, where she was noted for her literacy and her interpersonal skills. Became confessor to the Queen some 10 years ago when the Queen for some reason became uncomfortable letting the Archbishop act as her Confessor.
The Theurgic Council
Father Simeon Malveux: He wears the black frock and white collar of a priest of the Church, with the crimson trim at wrists, waist, and collar that indicate that he is a member of the Theurgic Council. He also wears what is obviously a divine focus-quality symbol of the Church, an embossed sun with seven pointed rays. He he has a rather hooked nose, small eyes, and is bald along the entire top of his head, with oily black tufts of hair above each ear, as if he is compensating for the other missing hair.
Sister Marie Jousseleau, the Prime Theurge of the Theurgic Council.
Sister Valentine Miron, member of the Theurgic Council; serves as Secretary to the Council.
Sir Anselme Firmin, an inquisitor appointed to the Theurgic Council; a possible rival to Sister Joussealeau. Anselme is a former priest with an upward trajectory; noble born, but not so nobly born that his presence in the Church was a political pretense for his family; built like a giant, rugged, a little too handsome, and possessed of penetrating eyes that seemed to see too much.
Brother Guillaume-Thibauld de Vichiers – Grandmaster of the Knights Templar.
Brother Francis: A Templar of typical Soleilan appearance: light-skinned, blonde, with blue eyes. Wears a massive greatsword and a white tunic emblazoned on the breast with the device of a crimson kite-shield that features a golden disk in its center. Brother Francis enjoys an importance in the Coronale chapterhouse disproportionate to his rank due to a bequest to the Order promised by his father, a Comte.
Sir Sinclair Lefevre, a knight templar. Got really sick when he was temporarily assigned to House Ducharme in relief of Sir Bernardine.
Brother Francis Delorge: A Templar of typical Soleilan appearance: light-skinned, blonde, with blue eyes. Wears a massive greatsword and a white tunic emblazoned on the breast with the device of a crimson kite-shield that features a golden disk in its center.
Brother Lionel Bidault is the highest ranking templar stationed in Blamont.
Brother Jacques Labrousse – head of the chapter house in Coronale, he is responsible for the Knights Templar's largest chapter in Couer au Soleil. He is a man in his early 60s who looks more like a secretary than a warrior, with a nearly-comical fringe of white hair around his bald pate.
Brother César Potier – head of the chapter house in Ebia.
Inquisitor General Angelito Hernandez Ortiz is the head of the Inquisition. He is based in Tiberium, but spends a great deal of time at the court of Grand Duke Steier.
Deputy Inquisitor General Lewis Diefendorf.
Robert Babineau – a knight lieutenant in the Inquisition near Chalon. Fourth son of a mid-rank noble.
Alonso Miguel de la Rodilla – head of the inquisition in Catalan.
Berto de Ávila – an inquisitor.
Igualde de Moresco – an inquisitor.
The Sainted Sisterhood
Anne-Nadine Simard – A member of The Sainted Sisterhood and talented Theurgist.
Sister Temperance – Originally named Noemie Marchand. She is a member of The Sainted Sisterhood and talented Theurgist. One of the Seven Sisters (named for one of the Seven Virtues attributed to one of the original Sainted Sisters) who lead The Sainted Sisterhood. Sister Temperance is considered by many to be the next leader of The Sisterhood.
Sister Patience – Originally named Claudette Poitiers. She is a member of The Sainted Sisterhood and talented Theurgist. One of the Seven Sisters (named for one of the Seven Virtues attributed to one of the original Sainted Sisters) who lead The Sainted Sisterhood. A fiery red-head who’s faces is always covered by a sheer red veil.
The Prelate’s Council
The Prelate Henri I: head of the Church, the Prelacy is based in Tiberium. This has had the effect of reducing his direct control over the Church, as Tiberium is a city under siege.
Father Jacques Vignon – A priest of the Prelate's inner council, he advises the Prelate and is often responsible for carrying his messages to the rest of the Church. He is optimistic and cheerful. He is also a talented theurge in possession of the relic known as the Star of Michael, and may be associated with the shadowy group known as the Nephilim.
Father Bendert – an Almanian priest in the Prelate’s inner circle.
Father Basso Marchesi, a priest from Siena, a young and charismatic priest and the leading hope of the liberal factions in the Church, particularly the Sisterhood. Father Marchesi was spirited out of Siena by the parish priest in 1199 J.R. just before the city fell. He was a twelve year old altar boy at the time.
Father Roderigo de Mora Domingo, a priest from Toledo and cousin to the Queen of Catalan. A young and charismatic Catalan priest, he is one of the leading candidates to succeed to the Prelacy from the conservative factions of the church.
Father Rodrigue-Joseph-Marie Denis, a Bishop from the Soleilan province of Uthe. A conservative generally associated with the Soleilan faction of conservative archons.
Father Simon Perez Sainz, Archbishop of Aragon, Valencia, and the Baleares. A conservative archbishop from Catalan of middle years.
Father Alighiero Esposito, nominally the Bishop of Venedig.
Father Rodrigue-Joseph-Marie Denis, a Bishop from the Soleilan province of Uthe.
Father Jean-Louis-Bellamy Théry
Father Alexandre Marchand
Father Edzard Knesebeck
Father Gotthard Bachem
Adolphe Kaynard – an official from the mason's guild.
Luc Jean-Charles – an official from the mason's guild.
Colombe Allender – an official from the mason's guild.
Maxime Nason – Grand Master of the metalworkers' guild in Coronale.
Emeline – innkeeper's daughter at the Northern Bell inn.
Émile – a courier and outrider for the Soleilan army.
Sylvie Agathe Sainte-Bayard, deceased former proprietress of the Honey Spring inn, in Chalon. Her husband is a beekeeper, and her inn is famous for its honeycakes.
Thierry, a stableboy at the Honey Spring Inn.
Hilda Arnulfsdottir, a wild woman.
Arnulf Bjernsson, a chieftain of some kind among the wild men.
Geldar Ulfsson, son of Hilda and Ulf.
The Norn, a mysterious wise woman from the Wilds.
Ingrid, a woman whose husband left her because she was barren. She sought out the Norn to become fertile in hopes that he would take her back.
Gunther Bosch – a soldier in the employ of the Duke of Steier undergoing a frightening change.
Stefan Strecker – operates pottery manufactory in Western Almania.
Aline Métisse – Perhaps the most famous courtesan in Coronale. Rumors have tied her at various times to the Comte du Orlais and to the Crown Prince, as well as numerous lesser aristocrats and wealthy bourgeois.
Bodolev Stedul – A mysterious and powerful Theurge living in Tiberium.
Fiore Liberi – A Peninsular master of the hand and a half sword more common to Almanian fighters. Although Master Liberi's reputation has traveled far beyond his native Tiberium, little is known about him, save that he was instrumental in saving the City during the larger crisis that has engulfed the Peninsula over the last few decades. Word of his prowess has traveled by sea to Southern Couer au Soleil.
Sir George Goldman – An Albionian master who wrote an influential treatise on the style of fighting with broadsword and shield. Though the style is disfavored on the continent, even the Couer and Peninsular masters acknowledge that Goldman is a formidable fighter. Goldman is a veteran of the Burundian secession war, where he was knighted after successfully guiding most of his men back to Burundy despite lacking rations and a number of the men in his charge suffering from crippling or debilitating diseases.
Didion – a painter of some repute.
Sandro Milano – a sculptor originally from the Peninsula.
Lionel Devereaux, a young gentleman of Coronale.
Khai-Azurgon, a powerful being bound near the Catalan dynasty stone.
Nadezhda – a young Oksandr girl kidnapped by parties unknown.
CORONALE INNS (just because)
The Northern Bell – a middle class type of inn located in Coronale, it has become known for its talented young entertainer.
The Artisan's Well
The Gilded Sun
The Sleeping Dog