– Boris Todbringer (Before the infamous Khazrak duel in which he lost his eye)
Age: 57 (As of 2512)
Description: 6’1, medium strong build. Thinning brown hair with a great bushy yet groomed beard.
Title: Elector Count Boris Todbringer, Graf of Middenheim, Grand Duke of Middenland, Prince of Carroburg, Protector of the Drakwald, Warden of the Middle Mountains, and Beloved of Ulric.
Nicknames: Boris the Stern; Boris the Red (on account of his fierce temper, ‘Seeing Red’)
Father: Bertholdt Todbringer (deceased)
Mother: Birgit Nikse (Nordland family) (deceased)
First Wife: Maria von Richthofen, died in childbirth (Stefan Todbringers mother)
Second Wife: Anika-Elise Nikse, died in the first half of 2512.
Children: Heinrich Todbringer (Eldest, born to a ex lady-at-court), Katarina Todbringer (Lady-at-court), Stefan Todbringer and Heir (Son of Maria von Richthofen).
The Todbringers of Middenheim – (The following lore is derived from official sources, with some creative brushing to fill in blanks. In addition – This lore concerns only the Boris Todbringer of 2512, and not his future canon appearance/derived lore of 2522+)
The Todbringers are a prestigious family that can trace their ancestry all the way to Magnus von Bildhofen, more commonly known as Magnus the Pious – regarded as one of the greatest heroes of the Empire, and a mighty warrior. They are a proud family, and many members of their family line including their ancestors have played a crucial part in the formation of the Empire, leading to their bloodline being known as the Wolf Emperors during the Age of Three Emperors, a civil war that tore Sigmar’s realm apart.
Son of Birgit Nikse and Bertholdt Todbringer, previous Grand Duke of Middenland, the Todbringers have ruled over Middenland for over three decades. Prior to this, the Bildhofens ruled before their dominance came to an end with the marriage of Bertholdt and Birgit Nikse, daughter of Graf Ludwig Nikse, former ruler and Elector-Count of Nordland. The Bildhofens of today have not vanished into obscurity however; Duke Leopold von Bildhofen rules over Carroburg, and owes his allegiance to Graf Todbringer. Although people say that Heinrich Todbringer is the real power in Carroburg, who has a very large estate there.
The Todbringers have strong ties to Nordland (their northern neighbor) through marriage. As his father did, Boris Todbringer also married into the Nordland Nikse family. The ever beautiful daughter of Graf Werner Nikse; Anika-Elise became his second wife. Unfortunately, the marriage received very little support back home in Nordland. The marriage was meant to strengthen ties between Middenland and Nordland. However, many saw the marriage as a threat to their sovereignty. Anika-Elise was the daughter of the ruling Elector-Count of Nordland, and while he personally saw no threat to the sovereignty of Nordland, many within his court were most displeased.
In particular, Theodric Gausser, a prestigious family whose ancestors were rulers of Nordland. The marriage was all the excuse he needed and what resulted was a almost gentlemanly like bloodless coup; the Gaussers wanted to avoid the wrath of Todbringer, so they opted to using the people who were unhappy about the marriage ties with Middenland to grow discontent and rout out Graf Werner Nikse. As such, the ruling family abdicated when the nobles turned against them, wanting to avoid a civil war.
Boris Todbringer was furious. Yet his anger was not directed at Theodric, whose family now ruled Nordland once again, but towards Werner Nikse, his wife’s father and his father-in-law. Upon hearing the news while sitting in court one day, he was heard saying towards his wife, “Your father has stepped aside meekly. He has lost his castle without one utterance of defiance. A disgrace. He shall not step one foot in my land and he will never get to see you again. He gave up that right. The coward!”
The news of the abdication shocked the court and before long, every tongue in Middenheim was wagging with the news. It was said that the marriage of Todbringer and Anika-Elise became a less happy affair after that. Others whisper, but dare not suggest it, that Anika’s true demise came about through depression. Regardless of the circumstances, after 10 years of marriage, Boris’s beloved wife had passed onto Morr.
The passing of his wife hit him hard. It was unexpected and sudden; Boris’s tempers grew worse, and he became increasingly moody, bitter and a recluse from court affairs, leaving much of his administration in the hands of his advisors.
Today, the people of Middenheim wait patiently for their much loved ruler to gather himself, hoping that the grief he suffers will soon pass.
Many rulers surround themselves with advisors on all matters so that may govern efficiently and effectively. Todbringer is no exception. His advisors include the following:
- Chancellor: The Chancellor of the court is his most senior advisor, and often the man that says “No!” to everyone else on the Grafs behalf. His role is to administer the Palace staff, deal with foreign dignitaries wishing to see the Graf, resident nobles seeking for an audience and all matters that directly concern the court and that of the Graf.
- Law Lords: There are three Law Lords in the Middenheim court. These are the highest authority in Middenheim on law of every type, from taxes, to property law to trade law to criminal law. Most of their duties get delegated to the Lawyers Guild, however they have the final say and vote on any laws that get passed. Once they agree on a law, it is presented to the Graf for final input. The Graf has final word on everything; after all, these are his advisors, nothing more.
- High Wizard: The High Wizard, or rather, the court wizard, is the reigning High Wizard of the Guild of Alchemists and Wizards who also advises the Graf on all magical matters. He is rarely in attendance and his presence is usually premeditated with a summons from the Graf.
- The Midden Marshals: The Midden Marshals are the highest authority on military matters. Like the Law Lords, there is only ever three. There is the Commander of the City Watch, the General of the State Troops and the Marshal Strategist.
- The Ar-Ulric: The Ar-Ulric is another advisor rarely at court, and only usually present if summoned. The Ar-Ulric provides the Graf advice on all religious matters and is considered to be the next highest authority in Middenheim due to his influence.
In addition there are various sub-advisory roles but these are of usual insignificance, although some do get a vote on matters that concern the council.
It is safe to say that Boris Todbringer has a pretty dim view of the reigning Emperor, Karl-Franz. The animosity however goes far back in the family line, all the way to Magnus the Pious. After the golden age that was Magnus’s reign as Emperor, and his subsequent death, there was the matter of succession and who would replace him. Many had pegged his brother, Grand Duke Gunthar von Bildhofen. And indeed, he was the clear favorite to succeed his deceased brother. But Gunthar’s religious beliefs was not well known unlike that of his devout Sigmarite loving brother, Magnus. This remained the case until Gunthar openly spoke about his love for Ulric and his devotion to the Wolf God. This would end up costing him the throne. The Grand Theogonist’s vote meant a lot for who would sit on the throne. And the Theogonist at the time did not want an Ulrican to become Emperor.
So the vote was cast, and instead of Gunthar von Bildhofen becoming the next Emperor to succeed his brother, Leopold von Krieglitz would succeed him. This would prove disastrous later on as it was Leopold’s grandson, the infamous incompetent Dieter IV, who would become the Emperor, and eventually give Marienburg its independence due to a hefty fat bribe that enriched his treasury.
The Todbringers, particularly Boris Todbringer II, is well aware of the history and significance in the Grand Theogonist’s vote on who sits on the throne upon the election of a new Emperor. Both the Ar-Ulric and Todbringer share their animosity towards the Grand Theogonist for this fact alone, and Boris believes that history repeated itself when the Theogonist had thrown in his support for Karl-Franz, over Boris’s own claim.
A young, inexperienced noble was chosen over the mature experienced Graf Todbringer; and in the eyes of Boris, only because of their different beliefs. Boris sees Karl-Franz as an upstart that has yet to proven himself.
Baron Heinrich Todbringer
Born out of wed-lock to a lady-of-the-court, Baron Heinrich is the eldest of the Todbringer sons at the age of 41. By all accounts he is the most ideal heir for Boris; very tall (6’11), handsome, powerful build with dark auburn hair, blue-grey eyes and in prime health. Heinrich is a giant of a man, and his intelligence and intuition are no less intimidating than his physical size. Yet he is known for being diplomatic, courteous but also very forceful in his appearance – this man can say very little if nothing at all, and still be intimidating.
Yet Heinrich is not the heir; his illegitimacy is well known, but that alone is not a stumbling block. The Graf dotes over all of his sons, but it is murmured that his favorite is surprisingly Stefan Todbringer. This might be to do with the fact that Stefan is his only son who was born to him by a wife. Regardless, the Graf has so far been mute on the subject of naming Heinrich as a potential heir, despite the mental affliction confronting Stefan. Whether or not that changes in the future remains to be seen.
Baron Heinrich’s current role within the family is in the form of diplomatic ambassador to Middenland; his father has given him the task of traveling the provinces in his name to meet with noble courts and to conduct business on behalf of Middenland. He has gained a reputation as a suave courteous yet imposing diplomat, and despite his reputation for being a ladies man at court, he is not known for his passionate indulgences as his father is. Heinrich is currently engaged to Princess Prisca Bottari Pietraroia Crisante, a Tilean beauty with royal ties who he met while on his voyage to recruit famed Tilean physician Luigi Pavarotti. Boris has yet to meet the young Tilean bride, but is believed to have given his blessing on the marriage. She is currently residing in his estate at Carroburg.
Rumors circulate within the city that someone overheard Baron Heinrich say, in response to a question whether or not he’d be presenting his young bride to his father, “Not at this time. I fear if I do he’d be inclined to bed her behind my back…” The rumor has little merit, and the Baron made sure they didn’t travel far enough to reach his fathers court.
Stefan Todbringer is the youngest of the sons at the age of 40. And he is the most unfortunate. Standing at 5’10 of medium yet muscular build, mousy brown hair and brown eyes. Stefan possesses none of the qualities that his older brother possesses. Presently he has been confined to his bed, but often times he is a shocking sight to behold; a drooling and palsied invalid subject to unpredictable fits of extreme violence and mania. He was, for a time, prone to self-mutilation that has nearly all but destroyed his own left hand.
Stefan’s condition has deteriorated rapidly over the last few years; his mother, Maria von Richthofen, was said to have had a calming effect on him, but with her now out of his life, Stefan has gradually gotten worse.
Growing up in the palace was tough, not just for Stefan, but for his minders as well of which he went through quite a lot. Many would come and go, citing reasons such as personal safety or stress. One infamous incident saw a visit from the resident priest of Morr who came to the Palace upon Stefan’s tenth birthday to prophesied his dooming.
It didn’t go well.
Stefan was deeply curious concerning the little feathered friend that the priest of Morr had on his shoulder; a raven of Morr. It was tradition in the cult of Morr that any priest wishing to conduct a dooming must have a raven present with him at all times during the process.
So when Stefan asked if he could pet the raven and hold it gently, the priest granted his request, a request he would normally refuse but this was the son of his ruling Graf, and he dared not refuse. Unfortunately the priest was unaware that Stefan suffered from violent tendencies, which was just emerging at this age. Without warning, he stuffed the birds head in his mouth and chomped down, biting its head off. The young priest was absolutely horrified and in his anger slapped the boy.
Lets just say that Stefan got in less trouble than the priest.
The Graf’s only daughter, Katarina Todbringer is regarded as the ‘Jewel of the North’. At the tender age of 19, the Graf dotes over her; anything she wants, she gets it. At 5’5 of slender build, dark hazelnut hair, light blue eyes, she is a treasured beauty that many suitors have come to try and win her hand, but have only left in disappointment.
She is regarded as a sweet and kindly soul, with a refined aesthetic sense and love of architecture. She loves music above all else, and frequently attends the Royal College of Music in Middenheim. Katarina is very cultural, admiring sculptures, gardens and loves history; she has a personal tutor who teaches nothing but history of the Empire and that of other lands.
Katarina is not very political however; often being sighted in the palace court yawning during court sessions or at worse, asleep. She dotes over her two siblings; Steffan and Heinrich. Heinrich is exceedingly protective of her, and when he is in court or in residence within the city, many a visiting suitor will often find themselves facing a giant of a man before they get to even attempt to woo Katarina.
When she’s at Steffans bedside, Katarina is said to have a calming effect not unlike that of his mother. She often sings to him, be it a northern lullaby or a favorite song from the past and this tends to calm down Steffan whenever he’s in a mood.
- That’s it! Hope you enjoyed the read!