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Hieronymus Gaunte
Gaunte.png
Hieronymus as drawn by player

Race

Undead

Affiliation

FIrst Light

Age

25 at death, 39 presently

Profession

Medical alchemist

Family

Isambard Gaunte (father) ♰ Rosamund Gaunte (mother) ♰ Maximilian Gaunte (brother) ♰ Gwendaline Gaunte (sister)

Hieronymus Gaunte is an undead medical alchemist previously affiliated with the Argent Crusade, now a member of First Light. Due his neutral faction loyalty he is played Horde-side as Gaunte, and Alliance-side as Gauntt for occasional cross-faction storylines.

Appearance

It’s obvious at a glance that although Hieronymus may be resigned to his undead state, he hasn’t made peace with it. At all times he leaves only his face visible, dressing meticulously in concealing garments out of a wish to appear if not alive, then at least as inoffensive as possible to those around him. His complexion is bloodless and drawn, and an eerie yellow glow fogs his once-blue eyes -- but otherwise the extent of his body's deterioration is difficult to guess. The alchemical elixirs he uses to preserve himself give him an astringent odor, and he can be observed imbibing these potions throughout the day on a strict schedule.

Even in life Hieronymus was not a tall man, and death has further stooped his frame to an unimpressive five and a half feet. He has a stuffy, fussy, indignant air, as though someone has just forcibly evicted him from a broom closet in which he’s spent the past week hunched over scientific treatises, which usually isn’t far from the truth. However, despite his uptight mannerisms, he is uncharacteristically friendly looking for a member of the undead and his hesitant smile radiates genuine warmth and compassion.

History

Hieronymus affects an upper class accent so perfectly that no one would ever guess he grew up in the slums of Lordaeron City, the eldest son of an impoverished family of five. His parents were often absent, and he shouldered the burden of raising his younger siblings—especially his baby sister, Gwendaline. As Gwendaline grew old enough to care for herself, he set his sights on earning a scholarship to study medical alchemy at one of the city's prestigious universities. Upon acceptance, however, he found that he needed to conceal his poverty-stricken origins to avoid censure, and has donned a nobleman's airs ever since.

By the time of the Third War, Hieronymus was twenty-five years old and had established a small practice in Brill. He was among the first wave of civilians infected with the Plague of Undeath, cutting short his desperate attempts to find an alchemical cure for the strange illness spreading across Tirisfal; perhaps a mercy, in a way, as he never witnessed his stricken patients rising from the grave. When he regained free will under Sylvanas's leadership, several years had passed, and he had only fleeting recollections of his time as a mindless Scourge pawn. Purposeless, wracked with guilt, and believing his family dead, he returned to his abandoned laboratory in Brill to pick up where he left off, a shadow of his former self. He has never resolved the troubling question that began plaguing him then: is he really the same person as before, or just a corpse going through the motions? Stripped of physical sensation and human connections, he often feels as though he's only behaving the way he thinks Hieronymus ought to behave out of habit—maintaining his ethical code through obligation, or perhaps desperation, but not genuine humanity.

Though Forsaken principles never sat well with him, he knew what came of those who spoke out against the Dark Lady, so he kept his head down and focused on his lonely work. Yet after Wrathgate, his embattled conscience no longer permitted him to continue on as a Forsaken alchemist. Inspired by Leonid Barthalomew and other "redeemed" undead, he offered his medical services to the Argent Crusade. He first served at the Argent Vanguard in Icecrown, by then a less popular assignment in the months following the Tournament's establishment up north, and an ideal place to test a new recruit. Upon returning to the Eastern Kingdoms he was granted a humble workshop on the grounds of Light's Hope Chapel, where he has lived through the events of Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, and Warlords of Draenor.

He discovered after enlisting that Gwendaline survived the plague and served as a paladin in the Argent Crusade in Northrend, only to leave the Crusade after being grievously injured at Wrathgate, narrowly missing his own arrival. Having finally uncovered her whereabouts years later, he has begun corresponding with her (see "Writings" below).

Miscellaneous

  • When he's upset, Hieronymus's upper class accent sometimes slips, revealing a hint of the lower class accent of his childhood. He also has a tendency to swear vociferously when overcome by nerves, a habit he always apologizes for and is attempting to reform, with no success.

Storyline

Leading up to and during Legion, Hieronymus will face the fact that while his alchemy offers powerful healing once fighting has passed, there is little he can to do help his friends in the thick of battle. Seeking a more immediate way to protect them, he will explore the Holy Light and transition into priesthood, dedicated to his cause even though channeling Holy magic causes him excruciating pain as undead.

Writings

Having discovered that Gwendaline is living in Daelin's Landing, Hieronymus sends her a letter, but cannot initially bring himself to inform her of his undead state...

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