The Fallen Times
Theoren Pfenning, Lord of Pfenford-upon-Eyre (sacked), Horselord of the Long Plains (exiled), Sergeant of the 24th Legion (defunct), Emissary of the Homlish Empire (collapsed).
Theoren Pfenning was twelve years old, and all those years had been spent in the Eyre under his father’s guiding hand. “The Pfennings are nobility, proud and distinguished,” but neither Pfenford nor the Eyre showed on maps of any importance. The Pfennings were proud, but they were poor. Any noble will tell you, that is not a happy marriage.
His father was Homlish Ambassador to the Long Plains, an office as empty as the Plains itself. Despite ridicule at the Homlish Court, Lord Arryn was a fierce patriot. “My blood for the Homlish, their blood for the Homlan,” he was heard to say. He raised Theoren on Homlish teachings – Homlan poetry, the glorious age of colonialism, the weaknesses of their enemies. Homlan’s was a rich and storied history that would stretch forever into the future.
Then the Empire fell.
Not a little at a time, but all at once. Before Lord Arryn could ask for help, the Long Plains had been abandoned. The Legion retreated into the south. The Horselords flared, out from under the yoke of the Legion, and the Long Plains burned. The servants and peasants of Pfenford-upon-Eyre fled. Lord Arryn kept his son close, and stood upon the great stone porch of Pfenford Manor, and waited. He would not flee. He was… too proud.
Theoren did not have time to mourn his father. The Horselords of the Hawk took him from a life of impoverished nobility to one of bondage. His adolescence was spent in servitude to those his father considered less-than-human. They are not even Terriens, his father would have said. They are as dogs.
Theoren was their dog now, but they treated him well, for he was a faithful one. He learned their customs, their language. And then one day, he was one of them. And then the next, he was the best of them. Finally there came a day when the colour of his skin and eyes could not and would not be ignored. He was given a horse, his bow, and quiver. Though it had every resemblance to the Horselord rite of passage, it was not. He could not return.
What did he have then but memories of his father’s memories, of the country his father loved? He had the Homlish look about him. He could not prove his nobility, but there was little the Pfenning name could have done for him anyway. What does any man of fighting age do, when he is hungry and homeless, stranded in a country that does not love him back? He joined the army.
He was glory-hungry. His skill with the bow drew too much attention too fast, his cunning mind kept their gaze on him. He could not insulate himself. When he investigated the massacre of the 24th by the Horselords of the Long Plains – The Legion found him out. He was a Pfenning, yes, but Pfenford – if it even existed anymore – was not Homlish any longer. The Fall had closed their borders to the Long Plains. His already distinguished career in the military came to a sudden end.
But Homlan does not throw away their tools so easily. And there were arms within the Homlish body that always had use for extra hands, especially ones so deft at making friends of enemies, yet so quick at drawing, notching, loosing. The Inquisition was not so proud as to turn away this man, who was not so young anymore, and who so much older in his eyes than anyone would believe. “To be of use to Homlan, you must be used,” the Inquisitor had said to him. Theoren had only nodded his head at each incentive. A home in the Homlan, a pouch of Homlish silver, a badge of office with the Homlish seal. This was what he wanted… wasn’t it?
His father would have been proud.
Theoren is currently working as an Inquisitor Emissary, given a Black Case File on Gibodo the Bastard – Legionnaire deserter, murderer, thief, wanted by the Inquisition for crimes against the Empire. He is working outside Imperial jurisdiction and his existence would not be acknowledged if he so chose to reveal himself. Upon closing of the case, he will be rewarded with silver enough to repurchase the Pfenford Estate and perhaps the lands surrounding it, called the Eyre.
Theoren and Billy met up with Da’at, Henri, Gorbad, Coraline, Noriko, Chen, and Dallia in Ahlan. Shortly after they met up the undead attacked the city and the group fled to Sultha. Shortly after that they took an airship (minus Dallia) to Shufu where disaster struck. The group was arrested for crossing the border illegally, but Theoren cut a deal with the clerk in charge, Minoru Maguro. All he, Da’at, and Henri had to do was assassinate the soon to be minister of agriculture Lord Daitora. However this didn’t go as planned and Theoren was killed in the ensuing battle, deeply wounding Billy.
His personal contacts are few, but some remain that he is unaware of:
Eric Samuel Vallance, the Pfenning gameskeeper/castellan/manservant. He fled Pfenford Manor during the Fall, but has been searching for Theoren ever since. He holds some shares to the Eyre lands through Lord Arryn’s will. He is the closest thing to family. He is family.
Sunlight-through-Green-blades, a Hawkish Horselord woman who was in love with the adolescent Theoren. She holds the personal possessions he lost when taken into bondage. They share fond memories of childhood, adolescence, and the end of both.
Captain Allen Seastale, his commanding officer in the 34th. He has nothing but respect for Theoren as a soldier and as a man, although he secretly feels guilty for pointing him out to the Inquisition out of a misguided attempt to help the boy. He is close to being a father figure for Theoren.
Inquisitor Harbord Quim, Deputy of Operations for the Northern District of Fallend, the northernmost city of the Homlish Empire (as it stands). He holds contacts to those who currently own Pfenford-upon-Eyre. He also has an exceedingly thick file on Theoren’s history in the Inquisition and the Legion before that. He is a bully and a blackmailer.
Ennio Leone, news scrip writer for The Fallen Times, a circulation popular in Crosston and Fallend. Theoren leaks stories to him so that public and imperial opinion can sway the Inquisition on cases they’d rather sweep under the rug. Ennio is a friend of Billy Buttry’s, and met Theoren through him.