|HRH, Prince Michael,|
Grand Duke of Wolf's Crossing
Date of Birth
May 1st, 603 K.C. (Aged 21 years)
Jon Blackmorn † (Father)
Prince Michael Blackmorn is the youngest son of Jon Blackmorn and Elynn Whitehall. While in command at Rosegarde, he was severely wounded during the Tolvan uprising and although his remains were never found, it was believed that he was slain by Edwin Tolvan in single combat. The truth of the matter remained a closely-guarded secret, known only by Caterinia Soren-Whitehall until the aftermath of the Civil War of 623, which resulted in Michael finally occupying his father's Throne after being forced to mary Caterinia in order to restore peace to Wolf's Crossing.
Often clean-shaven, he appears to be somewhere in his early twenties. Average in height and somewhat slender, with steel-grey eyes and a perfect smile, he'd likely be considered a handsome young man. His dark, chestnut hair has grown long, easily reaching the middle of his back.
Although he is not as powerfully-built as some of his relatives, he has clearly dedicated himself to training in the ways of combat and has the physique one might expect of a career soldier. His posture and the way he carries himself would indicate that he was almost certainly a combat veteran.
His clothing is of the finest quality and he tends to favor loosely-fitted shirts, comfortable trousers and a pair of soft, tooled-leather boots. Known to favor the colors of his house, Prince Michael is often found in tunics of black or grey. He is seldom seen without at least a sword and dagger on his belt.
Born late in the Spring of 603 K.C. Michael was the third child born to Jon Blackmorn and his wife, Elynn. At the age of eight, Michael began his service as a page to Sir Varic Soren and would later serve as his squire. Unlike his elder brother, Michael's education was more focused on the martial aspects, including both strategic warfare and horsemanship. Groomed at an early age to lead men into battle, by the age of fifteen, he entered his first tournament and though he finished first runner-up in the joust, he won the melee against Sir Everett Gray, defeating the older Knight after more than five minutes of single combat.
At the age of sixteen, Michael was Knighted in a ceremony at Rosegarde and formally inducted into the prestigious order known as the Knights of the Rose Guard. He would later rise to a position of leadership at the age of just seventeen after proving himself numerous times in combat against the forsaken.
The Tolvan Uprising
Michael had been left in command of Rosegarde while the lords of Osric's Anvil lay siege to Stone Hearth. Furious at Edwin Tolvan's betrayal, Michael sent word to his elder brother and his Uncle, who in turn sent for more members of the Crimson Hart to ride to Stone Hearth and lift the siege. By the time the reinforcements arrived, much of Stone Hearth had been put to the torch and Tolvan's host was on its way to Rosegarde. What followed was a mockery of the code of chivalry and the ethics of warfare. Believing Tolvan and his son had come to discuss the terms of a possible surrender, Michael opened the gates and was immediately attacked by a number of Tolvan's Knights, and severely wounded. Despite the bloodshed that ensued, his sister, Princess Lorrain managed to escape the carnage and reach Chillwind point where she alerted their Uncle. Believing him dead, Lorrain's testimony sent Lord Edric Blackmorn into a rage, at which point he assembled a large host and rode South, intent on destroying the house of Tolvan for its betrayal.
Prisoner of War
Held for ransom, Prince Michael spent the next several days recovering from his wounds. When Edwin Tolvan received word that Edric had not been slain and was in fact marching on Rosegarde with a massive host, he ordered the Knight moved under escort to the dungeons at Osric's Anvil.
With his family believing him dead, Prince Michael would spend the next year and a half being moved from dungeon to dungeon by the handful of men who survived his brother's wrath. During the civil war in Wolf's Crossing, he was discovered by Whitehall loyalists--near dead from malnutrition in a small cell after the siege of Pinewood, a tiny village just sixty miles from Osric's Anvil. Taken to Leone, he witnessed his brother's execution from a tower cell, where remained for weeks.
Heir to the Throne
With his brother's son by Victoriea Holfmann declared illegitimate due to Darion's polygamy, Prince Michael became the first in the line of succession to his father's Throne and Caterinia Soren sought to use this to her advantage.
A Fragile Peace
In the interest of restoring peace to Wolf's Crossing in the aftermath of a bloody civil war, Prince Michael was forced to agree to wed Caterinia and rule the Crossing together, though not without several conditions.
To answer what he felt was a slight to his house's honor, before signing the betrothal, he demanded the right to challenge Sir Willem Poole in single combat to the death. In addition to the duel, it was agreed that Thorn's Reach must be restored to the house of Thorn and Jonsport would pass as intended to Jhorin's son, Henry. Desiring that only a child of his blood would succede him, Michael demanded that Caterinia's daughter by her first husband was removed from the line of succession and would instead inherit Leone. He also demanded that his sister's son's title and inheritence be restored, and that until their marriage produced a male heir, Tytos Charles Blackvale II (Lorrain's son) would be made first in the line of succession. Caterinia reluctantly agreed to all his demands.
The duel took place at Leone on the morning of October 5th, 623 K.C. Poole made the mistake of choosing swords and daggers--a style Blackmorn had trained in since his youth. The duel lasted less than a minute and Poole was slain after being wounded twice. Light's Justice was reclaimed for the house of Blackmorn and would be held in trust for future generations. Immediately after the duel, Blackmorn signed the betrothal and summoned the entire Wolf's Crossing Peerage to Saint Varyk's Cathedral, where he and Caterinia announced the end of the civil war and their betrothal.
The Marriage That Shook the Kingdom
Prince Michael reluctantly wed Caterinia on October 13th, 623 K.C. in a small ceremony at Leone's Chapel, and a reception was held in the Castle's great hall just hours later. Many of those who were invited did not attend, including Erryk Thorn and Lara Tolvan who were rumored to have formed an alliance. Despite the tension in the air and the awkwardness of the ceremony itself, Caterinia was satisfied with having secured her future. Known to favor men much younger than herself, the Grand Duchess was rather pleased to have wed the twenty year-old Prince. Michael was said to have been so intoxicated by the time he and his bride left the reception that guests doubted he would be up to the task of consumating the marriage.
Despite his reluctance to do so, Caterinia forced him to consumate the marriage and is said to have kept him under lock and key for the first month of the marriage in the interest of conceiving a child. Despite this, the marriage produced no children. It was later discovered that the wound Caterinia sustained during the battle of the Black Forest had damaged her reproductive organs.
Despite the peace their wedding has brought to the Crossing, many wished to see Caterinia brought to justice for both the murder of Darion Blackmorn, and for stripping the lands and titles from many of his supporters, and bestowing them upon her own. Tensions rose between the two factions when Erryk Thorn wed the daughter of a traitor, Lara Tolvan. Thorn began using her dowry to arm the tenants of Osric's Anvil, and later hire mercenaries from Stromgarde. When it was later discovered that Thorn and his soldiers had reclaimed the ruins of Castle Thorn, Caterinia drafted a bill of attainder and a summons, forcing Michael to sign both. Thorn was ordered to surrender himself at Castle Blackmorn within a fortnight or be branded a traitor, but regardless of his answer, Caterinia intended to execute him for high treason.
The matter of Erryk Thorn was the source of much discontent between them, but matters came to a head when a letter from Thorn to the Duke of Jonsport was discovered. Fearful of a plot against her, Caterinia lured the Duke to Castle Blackmorn under false pretenses and ordered him slain by her guardsmen while Prince Michael was out hunting. So disgusted by the dishonorable way in which the Duke had been so brutally murdered, Sir Jerrod Whitehall slew the guard who had struck the final blow and later arrested Caterinia at his own peril.
Blaming himself for his cousin's violent end, Prince Michael arranged a funeral ceremony biffiting a Royal Duke and had Henry's remains laid to rest in the family crypts beneath Castle Blackmorn. Less than three days after the funeral, he put Caterinia on trial for high treason. She was tried and convicted by a jury of three and the verdict had freed him from the bonds of his marriage. Declared "No fit consort for our beloved Prince" Caterinia was excommunicated and the marriage was declared null and void.
Balancing the Scales
With the Crossing once more under his control, Michael lifted the exile Caterinia had imposed upon his sister and Princess Lorrain was asked to return to Rosegarde. Much to everyone's dismay, Prince Michael ignored his sister's advise to spare Caterinia's life and had her beheaded on the afternoon of May 10th, 624 K.C. Her death has since incited a number of riots. The Bartells, the Cressons and a number of minor families have begun assembling a host with the intent of deposing the Prince and abollishing the Blackmorn Monarchy.
On the morning of May 20th, Prince Michael traveled by portal to Stormwind, where he is said to have requested an audience with the King and his Council. It is believed that he intends to swear fealty to Stormwind as his sister had urged numerous times in the past. It is unknown whether or not the negotiations have concluded.