PHILOMENA AQUITAINE - THE A -Z OF GRIMNEY
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Arabella Frexienet is half-elf and half-human. Orphaned in the massacre of Lymar, she was raised to be a lady’s maid. She was hired by Lord Devron Karn to be Princess Philomena’s maid and persuade her to marry his son Sir Zevron. She was unsuccessful as Philomena was already in love with Kalvos but became devoted to her mistress. Arabella is sharp-tongued, opinionated and loves to gossip. She is loyal to Philomena and doesn’t believe any of Philomena’s lovers are good enough, she constantly criticises Kalvos but secretly likes him as a person. She is very fond of a knight called Dravenore although they constantly bicker and is sometimes teased by Philomena about this as she caught them kissing. Arabella is very bossy and sometimes clashes with Meadow.
Philomena Aquitaine and Gwenllian sometimes help Urat run Holmes Tavern and are referred to as the Holme’s Tavern Barmaids.
Kane was a notorious womaniser and gambler. Always trying to swindle money, he was never the less fond of Urat and the Holme’s Tavern barmaids and fought with them in the Siege of Holmes Tavern. It was presumed he was drowned in Philomena’s storm, but this was a ruse to fool his creditors. Kane was captured by Slayvern Kursk who threatened to torture him to death unless Philomena returned Jezebel Tyne.
Kane was bitten by a neathlin when looking for Kalvos at Philomena’s request. He helped Vortigern Jett even when he became a rotting undead corpse.
Elios is a half-elf and half-human knight of the Queen’s Elite. He was brought to the tavern by Kalvos to stand against the Black Pillar. He greatly admires Princess Philomena, and sees it as his duty to protect her when Kalvos is not present. He dislikes Meadow Goblinglitter, and likes to call her Sharda Lymar (see section on Meadow) to annoy her. Unlike most knights, Elios enjoys reading and has a good knowledge of Grimney politics. He is a follower of the prophet Manus Talus.
Evarne is Philomena’s aunt and one of the three Great Sea Witches. She is controlling, interfering and hates Philomena getting involved with humans. She was sent to Grimney to break up the love affair between Kalvos and Philomena but has been unsuccessful. Philomena persuaded Evarne to take a vow that she would never harm Kalvos and she is bound to that. Evarne has tried to drug Philomena to return her to the Dudrassa Sea but has been thwarted by Kalvos and Gwenllian on different occasions. She despises Kalvos more than any of Philomena’s previous lovers, including Vortigern Jett.
Garli is the last of the vorte species. She is vain, flirtatious and affectionate, because of this she spends hours with Philomena discussing clothes and make-up. She was a wizard’s apprentice and knows the name of the wizard who can find the North Road. Various agents wish to capture her due to this knowledge but she was protected by Vortigern Jett who sent her to Philomena for protection. She was captured by the vampires of Mora who wished to drain her blood for its special possibilities but was rescued by the famous duellist Killigin Stark.
The daughter of Rhinos, the Wizard of the South Seas, Gwenllian is Philomena’s dearest friend and often the voice of reason. A powerful warrior maiden, she ran through Slayvern Kursk in the Siege of Holme’s Tavern. Both her and Philomena refer to each other as sister, and she is treated by Urat Holme as his daughter. Gwenllian prevented Evarne from kidnapping Philomena and took her to safety in Sir Robert Pearl’s cottage. Her favourite activity is getting drunk with Philomena and singing bawdy ballards. A talented poet, Gwenllian has been touring the far lands with an acting troupe but it is hoped she will one day return.
Quiet and reserved, Kalvos has a reputation for being a kind, thoughtful and reasonable knight. He loves looking at the stars and writing in his journal. He is highly principled and speaks out against the torture of prisoners, despite being shy Kalvos is not afraid to stand up to Philomena when he feels she is taking the wrong course of action. He was taken from his family around the age of 9 and was trained to be a knight by Lord Darius Rackham, he faced his first battle at 13. He is rumoured to be the illegitimate son of Lady Isobella Frampton.
Kalvos came to the tavern with Gideon Drake to investigate rumours of outlaws staying at Holme’s Tavern. While staying at the tavern, he fell in love with Philomena Aquitaine but the vows taken as a knight meant that to love anyone apart from Queen Eleanor was considered treason. Kalvos survived an assassination attempt by Slayvern Kursk and the Chaos Engine despite being mortally injured, due to the magic of Philomena’s kiss and the tears of a fairy called Eve Naïve. When he was recovering from his injuries, Slayvern Kursk and the Chaos Engine demanded that the Barmaids hand Kalvos over. When the barmaids refused, Kursk laid siege to the tavern but was eventually defeated. Once he recovered Kalvos went to the Majoras to ask Gideon Drake for assistance against the militia who were persecuting the krogs, on his return he gave Philomena a blue rose and they had their first kiss but he did not reveal his feelings for her. Kalvos was asked to investigate the murder of Oswald Cripps, during his investigation he was shot with a crossbow and taken to Toraz Hospital. Philomena paid him secret visits, despite being in a relationship with Vortigern Jett, and he wrote her a letter disclosing his feelings for her. When Philomena was poisoned by a magic comb, Kalvos saved her and they have been in a passionate relationship ever since.
Kalvos brought five knights to the mire; Leeandra, Elios, Trylax, Nace and Keeler. Keeler had Kalvos arrested for his involvement with Philomena, just after he found out Philomena was pregnant. Kalvos was thrown into Macewind Prison and only released after Sir Robert Pearl intervened. He had to face trial by duel to obtain his freedom from the Queen’s Elite so he could marry Philomena. He was allowed to accompany Philomena to the north river to give birth to Karina before the duel. Kalvos is a devoted father and passionately in love with Philomena who he intends to marry despite the opposition of the merpeople of the Dudrassa. He has survived an assassination attempt by the Guild of the Poison Blade (mermaid assassins) and has finally secured approval by the mermaid Empress to marry her granddaughter.
Kalvos won his duel but was badly injured and sent to convalesce at Farfell Abbey. When he was released from the Queen’s Elite, it was revealed that his full name was Venn Rand Kalvos.
Philomena’s illegitimate daughter born in a river in Grimney. Both Kalvos and Vortigern Jett believe they are her father. She is currently being raised by her mermaid grandmother Onedine in the Crystal City under the waves of the Dudrassa.
Keeler is a knight of the Queen’s Elite that is seized with religious fervour. Drunken and lustful, he made several attempts to seduce Philomena and became suspicious of her relationship with Kalvos. Keeler became increasingly unbalanced on the death of Leeandra, a female knight he had known as a child and took to whipping himself. Keeler is obsessed with purifying the Queen’s Elite and believes he is the Hand of the Zoriat. He arrested Kalvos for treason and tried to have Philomena arrested only to be told by the High Council that as a Princess of Dudrassa she had diplomatic immunity. He has teamed up with the Brotherhood of Shadows and its attempting to find the North Road.
An elf who secretly married a knight called Nace. She was protected by Philomena as this marriage was seen as a crime, and quickly became part of Philomena’s surrogate family. She was murdered by two men from the militia. Philomena partly blames Kalvos for her death as the militia were trying to kill Kalvos as part of a feud.
A mirror witch who works for Slayvern Kursk. She was captured by Philomena after she tried to kill the mermaid and exchanged for Darius Kane. Tyne grew concerned when the Black Pillar lost its power and surrendered to Philomena. She is currently being held prisoner in the cellar of Holme’s Tavern.
Meadow arrived in Grimney after the Siege of Holme’s Tavern. Philomena found her wandering around the mire disorientated and confused, the mermaid took her to the tavern where she stayed ostensibly as a mermaid.
Meadow has a terrible memory, rumours started to circulate that she was really Sharda Lymar a city judge from Lymar who had taken revenge for her family being murdered by razing the city – and its inhabitants to the ground. Sharda Lymar is a shape shifter and dragon caller. The fact that Meadow can call dragons adds weight to the theory. One of the theories is that after Sharda Lymar realised what she had done, she made an arrangement with a mirror witch Jezebel Tyne to take the ‘evil’ part of her soul that had committed the atrocity, resulting in memory loss and mental instability as her soul is fragmented. Meadow insists that she is not Sharda and gets upset when people address her by that name. Meadow has been on many adventures with Philomena, helping her steal Pergine’s sword, kill a necromancer at the Black Pillar and beating the crowds in the New Year’s sales in Toraz.
Her character swings from being light-hearted and ‘dippy’ to being extremely ferocious. She is insecure and often gets jealous when others get more attention than her, as such it is difficult for her to stay friends with Princess Philomena.
The love of her life is Morton Balthus a very handsome wizard who has accidentally turned himself into a clam – a womanising clam no less! Meadow was very upset to discover that Morton was already married to four other women, and became even more upset when Morton married his ex-wife Zevaline for a second time and then tried to claim Meadow was his soulmate.
Once a great friend of Philomena they had a big fall out after Meadow witnessed a murder at the blue dragon. The assassin was Slayvern Kursk a notorious and heartless villain who was in cahoots with Sharda Lymar. Vortigern, Philomena’s other love interest got the blame and Philomena could not forgive Meadow for telling silly jokes to Kursk who then got angry and murdered an innocent bystander, and letting Vortigern get the blame. (Yes, Meadow’s jokes really are that bad!)
Morton is part of the Balthus family, a powerful family of witches and wizards. However, the handsome wizard Morton spent more time chasing beautiful women than he did on concentrating on his wizarding studies and managed to irreversibly change himself into a clam. Morton has powerful visions if he can wrap his tentacles around an object belonging to a person, he once warned Philomena that Vortigern was about to be lynched and she managed to rescue him.
He has been married to five women: Kiki, Fulvia, Zevaline, Hellia and Carmanda as well as being engaged to Meadow Goblinglitter. He divorced Zevaline in order to marry Meadow, then absentmindedly married Zevaline again and left Meadow heartbroken.
Morton enjoys hanging upside in a privy, pickling onions and making vases.
Philomena Aquitaine, Princess of Dudrassa is the half-mermaid half-human granddaughter of the Empress of Dudrassa. She was raised as a mermaid, and finds it difficult to accept she is partly human. Philomena is incredibly beautiful with the usual vanity and promiscuity found in mermaids. Due to her beauty, she is nicknamed the Grimney Rose, which is an apt epithet due to the thorns that hide beneath her lovely face. Philomena is passionate and strong-minded, she is extremely loyal to her friends and kind to those who need her help. Philomena is a Storm Maiden, a mermaid who had very powerful magic including the power over storms. She is rather afraid of her own power and usually only uses it to protect those she loves. As a mermaid she has powerful curses that she uses when she loses her temper. She also spent some of her early years with the Sirens of the Sea of Lost Souls and as such plays the harp beautifully and knows many magic songs that can be used as weapons against humans.
Philomena’s father is Carados, Duke of Zoltar and Queen Eleanour’s nephew. He was attacked by enemies agents working for certain members of the High Council, who tied him up and threw him over a cliff into the Dudrassa Sea. He was rescued by Onedina, daughter of the mermaid Empress and they fell in love. He married Onedina and fathered Philomena but decided to take revenge on his attackers. He made Onedina swear an unbreakable vow to love him faithfully and he promised to return to her. Each year on the same day that she rescued him, Onedina returns and sings a song so mournful that any creature who hears it longs to cast themselves off the cliffs above. Philomena came to land in order to get her father to release her mother from her unhappy vow. She sent Silas Shantee, a trusted sailor friend, to retrieve him from Vorgania.
Little is known in the mire about the time Philomena spent in Gollema, but there are rumours that she was involved with a married nobleman who murdered in wife in order to marry her and that Philomena fled the city to get away from him. Philomena spent some time living with her cousin Cassandra in Grimney Lake, where the outlaw Vance Scarab used to go to watch her combing her hair at sunset. She grew fond of Urat Holme and when he was investigated by the Red Hand she pretended to be a barmaid for his sake. The handsome knight Kalvos was posted to hunt outlaws in the mire and there was an instant attraction between them. When he was wounded Philomena spent hours at his side nursing him and fell in love with the injured knight. Although he was also in love with Philomena, as a knight Kalvos was unable to admit his feelings and she started an affair with Vortigern. Philomena eventually chose Kalvos over Vortigern but she has strong feelings for both of them. Kalvos is the love of her life and she destroyed the Kanaran navy to keep him safe. She became pregnant and got secretly engaged to Kalvos, which eventually lead to his arrest. When Sir Robert Pearl learnt that the mermaids of the Aquitani were trying to abduct the Princess and return her to the Dudrassa, he assigned knights to protect her. Philomena had a daughter Karina who she is raising with Kalvos.
Although she is generous and compassionate, Philomena can be rather stubborn and self-righteous, she has fallen out with Meadow on several occasions. She has a fiery temper and a ruthless streak that she blames on her royal blood.
Known as the Knight of the White Rose, Regar was picked to fight in a duel against Kalvos. He was spared this when Philomena asked for the intervention of Remus Casson. Regar finds Philomena very attractive and wears a white rose that she gave him from her hair.
Casson is the Field Marshall of Grimney. He used Philomena’s assistance in defeating the navy of Kanara in an exchange that Kalvos would be kept back from the field of battle. Remus Casson is a bloodthirsty, powerful and lustful man. Casson is very wealthy and sends Philomena presents, he encourages the rumours that the beautiful mermaid is his mistress and she has stayed at his castle. After Philomena flirted shamelessly with him, Casson helped her by switching Regar in Kalvos’ duel with a very old knight and believes he will be repaid by enjoying Philomena’s favours.
Kursk is an evil assassin who has been defeated by Philomena and her friends on more than one occasion. Kursk was originally hired to assassinate Kalvos but was thwarted by the barmaids of Holme’s Tavern and run through by Gwenllian’s blade. He was returned to power by the necromancers but again underestimated Philomena who killed Nyla Jenua thus breaking the power of the Pillar. Kursk He exploits Philomena’s love for Kalvos and has tried to kill him on numerous occasions. It was rumoured that he was once Sharda Lymar’s lover. He is fascinated by Philomena who he sees as fighting evil with evil and would destroy an entire land for the love of one mortal. Kursk is at the centre of an unnamed rebellion in Grimney, planning to wash Grimney in blood and destroy any that might oppose him.
Black-hearted villain Jett was a former knight and friend of Kalvos. He left the Elite and joined the militia but left them too. Jett is handsome, rebellious and dangerous but there are many contradicting stories of him. He does nothing to dispel rumours as he is an outlaw it is safer to be feared. He was asked to spy on the tavern by Nyla Jenua a friend and necromancer of the Black Pillar, went he went he was seduced by Philomena (or her seduced her depending on whose account you believe) and it was the start of a passionate affair between the pair. Despite the fact he was secretly working for her enemies, but Vortigern and Philomena fell in love and she saved his life from the militia. He tried to persuade her to leave the tavern and join up with him but after she refused he helped protect her and the tavern from Kursk’s henchmen. Their relationship was passionate and rocky, made worse by his suspicion that Philomena was in love with Kalvos (she was).
When Philomena was poisoned by a magic comb he rode to Toraz Hospital and kidnapped a nurse to help her. This was reported to the authorities and earned him a high price on his head. He returned to discover that Kalvos had saved Philomena and saw that she had chosen Kalvos over him. Despite this, he stayed at the tavern for some time over and was still involved with Philomena, which she references when she says there was an ‘overlap’ between Vortigern and Kalvos. During this ‘overlap’ Philomena became pregnant and Vortigern is convinced he is the father of Karina, despite her insisting otherwise. Philomena killed the necromancer Nyla Jenua and Vortigern tried to stop working for Kursk. He was once burnt by Meadow when she thought he was going to hurt Philomena.
Vortigern kidnapped Philomena when she was pregnant and threatened to shoot Kalvos, but Philomena still defends Vortigern and says his heart is not as black as everyone says. Vortigern has repeatedly said that he will only help Philomena if he gets her in return, but he is in love with her and helps her anyway. He obtained the ‘List’ from Keeler that had the names of the knights that Keeler wanted to remove and gave it to a messenger to give to Philomena, this was his only bargaining tool for his safety. He has also protected Garli and sent her to Philomena to keep safe.
Although he states that Philomena has made her choice in Kalvos, he loves her and there is still a connection between them. Vortigern always plays on as many sides as he can.
The fat and lovable barman of Holme’s tavern, Urat has lived in the mire his entire life. He sees Gwenllian and Philomena as surrogate daughters (and they love him back in the same way) and is very fond of Meadow Goblinglitter. Urat has been kidnapped by various outlaws but usually is treated very well as most outlaws are friends with him. He was seduced by a witch named Monica Drew who dosed him with love potion and tried to marry him, but he was rescued by Gwenllian and Philomena. During an altercation in the tavern, Urat was stabbed with a poisoned blade and has been an invalid ever since.
© Grimnian 2011