This week's Indines In-Depth subject was chosen by the BattleCON Subreddit! If you haven't found out about this group yet, go check it out and discuss strategy with your fellow redditors!

Sorry for the delay on this one coming out--I had a few technical issues with my machine at the office, so this one is showing up a bit later in the day that I would prefer.

------

 "The paths to power, wealth, and fame are all the same. You must stand victorious, every time, against any odds, and no matter the cost or the course required. After all, history only asks us one question: Who won? The rest, we can write for ourselves." - From Gerard's Memoir, "The Price of Victory"

"If you had the stomach to do it yourself, you wouldn't call it criminal. A king decides what makes a crime, after all. If your pride keeps you from making the best moves, then your subjects will be paying me tribute all the sooner." - Gerard, to Baron Rufus Zane

 

Background

Gerard is the "Mercenary King" of Relecour (the Eastern nation in Indines). The country is officially run by barons who guard their fiefdoms, but wandering bandits, mercenaries, and all other manner of thugs rule the wild lands between established cities. War is an important business for these bandits, and while the small wars between barons and petty robbery are enough to keep the coffers full, international wars pose an even greater opportunity for them–an opportunity Gerard aspires to take advantage of, with the resurrection of the Overlord Rexan and the impending war that he has incited Alexian and the majority of the Relecan Barony to engage in.

Gerard’s Fortress is known as Blackspire, a massive and ancient tower forged of charred steel that twists ominously up to the sky. Previously overrun with aberrant creatures, the mercenaries under Gerard’s command slaughtered them all where even organized armies had failed, and made Blackspire their own. Still, the lower levels of Blackspire remain sealed, and the secrets beneath it, and the other spires of Indines, remain unknown even to Gerard, but he hopes to acquire the power necessary to fight through the horrors within its vaults and find whatever treasures lay buried there.

Plot during Devastation

Hearing rumors of the resurrection of the Overlord Rexan, Gerard sends his close confidant, Antine Frass, to spread whispers of war and incite fear among the people of Jeffreys and Relecour regarding their southern neighbors. At the same time, Gerard himself travels to Gesselheim, to confront the overlord and ransom the entire nation. Set against caving to Gerard's demands, Rexan prepares himself for war and diplomacy as a new conflict prepares to sweep his nation.

Plot during Fate

The fortress of Blackspire has stood since ancient times, before even the war between the gods and the dragons. Sealed within its depths is one of the great vaults. With the keys to these vaults only recently discovered, Gerard sets off alongside his company to capture the vault keys and claim whatever treasures lie within the vaults for himself. 

Later Adventures

As Gerard's military successes and wealth grow, he sets his sights upon becoming the King of Relecour, in deed rather than merely in name. With his schemes in place, and the barons of Relecour growing ever weaker in their holdings and military power, the time will soon come for the rise of a new kingdom in the World of Indines...

10 Facts about Gerard

  1. His left eye was sliced out by the former Blackspire Company commander for insubordination. Gerard returned the same fate after seizing the company through mutiny a year and a half later.
  2. His parents were servants to one of the barons in Relecour. Gerard ran away from home as a teenager, stealing a bunch of things from his parents' master when he did so. When he returned, he found that his parents had been hanged for thievery.
  3. Gerard does not use any form of magic, but he has an uncanny to manipulate people by using their vices against them.
  4. Gerard seized control of the Blackspire Company by mutiny after an unsuccessful campaign in which the mercenaries were not paid for their work. After making an example of the previous commander, Harris Vorske, Gerard assumed command of the mercenary company.
  5. Under Gerard, they company carried out a huge raid on the previously monster-infested fortress of Blackspire, thus securing themselves a fortress, name, and a deadly reputation.
  6. Gerard collects antiques, and has a vault of them at his fortress. He has a keen interest in historical relics, though not necessarily relics with any kind of mystical power.
  7. Though he had primary schooling, and learned to read, write, and speak. Gerard has no formal training in trade or higher education, and learned most of his skills from his fellow mercenaries.
  8. Gerard's left leg was badly burned in a fight with a dragon, and never fully healed. The metal plating he wears protects this weak point from attacks, as well as adding stability to his weaker leg.
  9. Gerard never fights with magical or enchanted weapons or armor. He considers these tools a crutch, and wants to make an example to his company that tactics, strength, and combat discipline are more powerful than magical tools.
  10. Gerard has written a comprehensive manual on swordplay, military tactics, and wartime leadership, though it hasn't been published. The working title is: "The Price of Victory"