Merideth the Great
This powerful and ruthless legendary leader amassed an army of Beastmen and mercenaries conquering most of The Six Lands. His rule was ruthless, treating the people of the lands as slaves. He took the resources he needed for his campaigns without regard for the 'sheep' left behind. He oppressed the people for nearly two decades before being overthrown by the Six Armies who march as One and the Sleeping King.
Note: Part of the Six Lands Set. Best read in full context with the linked submissions.
Surviving statuary, combined with surviving records showed that he was a handsome figure by most reckonings. He had flowing black hair, a well groomed beard and mustache, and piercing blue eyes. These traits generated much fodder for the bards. He also had a large hooked nose and square lantern jaw, but these elements did not detract from his looks, but added to them. Though he was good looking, he was every inch a warrior. He was highly muscled and had cat life speed and reflexes. Only a few scars graced his form, as he was that skilled a warrior.
Merideth was the bastard son of the Great House of Mondovant. He was acknowledged, but not accepted into the house. He was fostered out to several noble homes. Instead of learning chivalry and etiquette, he learned guile, intrigue, and all that is dark of the noble games. He did master horse, sword, and warcraft, acquitting himself well in tournament and a minor squabble between nobles he was involved in.
However, the stigma of his bastardship followed him. He was always second or ignored, even though his blood was of a higher tier. This chipped at him. Eventually he rode to the BadLands.
It is hard to say what happened there. When the civilized people heard his name again, he was the Great One of Beastmen legend - He who was to lead them against the people who took their lands (the Beastmen claim all the six lands as theirs... that others displaced them).
His Beastmen Army was more than the raiders of the past. As expected, they were totally ruthless and fearless when they are upon a target. What was not expected was the high degree of discipline, very good discipline - several grades higher than the low discipline one expects of Beastmen. As his coffers swelled, he attracted human mercenaries. Soon he began to take and hold territories in each of the Six Lands. He used the resources of one land to facilitate the taking of the next. Using the disunity of The Lands against them, he had managed to keep them quarrelling amongst themselves rather than working together to stop him. In the two decades of his conquest, he managed to hold on to most of the Six Lands.
Over the decades of his rule, Beastmen Slave drivers and Princes ruled over most the people of the lands. Human Quatrains (named for the famed Lord Quatrain who surrendered and then worked with Merideth) helped him hold his rule of the captive lands. There was limited resistance to his rule, with only some loose resistance (bandits mostly) against him. The remaining free cities and peoples were powerless to stop him and his horde.
It was only the coming of The Sleeping King that stopped him. The Six Armies who were One that he forged freed the peoples by systematically raiding and attacking Merideth's forces. Upon the final assault, and Merideth's death, were the Six Lands freed.
Of course, Merideth vowed to take back what was taken from him... and to have it all. Of course, that could of been the mad rantings of a man about to die. OR it could of been prophecy.
It is unclear if he was a magnus or not, or if he had magical powers from a magic item of great power. Reports are conflicting.
It is said that the torque he wore was the mythic Balewind Eyes (red stones in a gold setting). The torque is said to give dread powers, to see the future, to know death, to have immense stamina, and learn prowess (i.e. learn any weapon/ martial arts easily).
His sword and armor were reported to be magical, but of the minor types... simply charmed to increase their abilities (+1 mods).
This name now has the same meaning as Daemon Hellspawn. It is only used by those of the most strict upbringing as it is a name mentioned in the holy scrolls.
This man has confidence just a shade short of arrogance. Of course, he nearly managed to unify the Six Lands under his banner. (The Banner was Black and Red Raven, a play upon the White and Black Eagle of his blood).
He is keenly intelligent, highly perceptive, and highly learned. He could give an Italian Renaissance prince points on guile and manipulation. He is a master strategist and tactician. He does not let things like honor, fair play, or other restraints stop him from achieving his goals.
The Beastmen have slinked back to the Badlands. They await the return of Merideth or the Great One. They have also stashed away a great deal of the loot from Merideth, for uses in the future (preferably the Great One's return... but other uses might come up).
While totally abandoned, his castle is still there in the middle of the Badlands. Except for a few fallen stones and the final battle's damage (which was minimal except for the fire), it is eeriely complete. It is a place of such bad mojo that no one wishes to approach it. (The Beastmen tend to hunt and kill anyone approaching it.) His body was inturned in a crypt there by the Beastmen.
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? Responses (3)-3
The only problem that I have with him is that he has a girl's name. A solid historical character who would be held in the same light/contempt as Judas Iscariot, or any other traitor who turned against his own kind. I particularly liked the Quatrains, a nice play on Quislings.
It is the more masculine spelling, much like Loren, Kelly, and Guadalupe, which are both male and female with optional spellings.
Besides, it could help explain his 'evil anger', being tormented about his name over the years - his gender called into question or just being teased about his name. It set the seeds that grew.