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Sonnenwende Mondfeur


  • Novice: Sonnenwende as a young man.
  • Competent: Sonnenwende at the beginning of the Nine Arrows Great Faring.
  • Veteran: Sonnenwende as he was before being slain by Kor-Daen clansmen deep under Wundrak.

Sonnenwende came to get his unusual name by being born under a strange sign, a full lunar eclipse on a day that also happened to be the winter solstice, a very rare event that occurs maybe three times in a millenium. Most believed it to be a bad omen, to be born on a day of darkness and grim winter winds blowing down across the plains from the uplands, but his mother Marna believed otherwise and said her son's warrior spirit was so strong that his first cries frightened the moon back to its proper place. She dubbed him Sonnenwende Furchesen to mark the occasion but the locals more or less mockingly took to calling the boy Mondfeur and it stuck.

Marna herself had grown up a bit wild in Dunn Betrieben without a mother for most of it, only daughter of the Thegn Weizen who was then and still remained a leader among the Huarthmunn Laird's Huscarl, who are known as the Hearth Gaurd. Weizen came to find his freespirited daughter too much to manage as she bloomed into womanhood, so he set as good of a dowry as he was able and put the idea around to eligible men in the area who were interested in a wife who was easy to look at but not much for domestic work. An older but well established farmer named Furche, a widower, with a steading on the middle banks of the Unien river a bit less than a days ride south of Dunn Betrieben came forth as a suitor, and without much ado the matter was arranged soon enough. Marna was not terribly keen on the idea, but her reputation was such that prospects were limited to just the one offer and in a rare exercise of conforming to expectations she grudgingly agreed to the union. Sonnenwende was born a mere eight months later.

Furche was an emotionally distant man who fulfilled all of his obligations to the letter but nothing more, while Marna over-emoted every thing and doted on her only son as he was literally the primary focus of her life. This disfunctional dynamic resulted in a strange, pampered child somewhat disconnected from reality. As childhood gave way to boyhood Sonnenwende still much preferred flights of fancy with his mother or daydreaming or playing in nearby copses of woods to working the farm as he was expected to. Furche was endlessly displeased with his son's ability to focus on practical matters and attend to his chores on the steading, and if the truth be known had quickly come to regret his decision to wed Marna whom he found to be far too irresponsible and entirely lacking in wifely virtues. Sonnenwende was just a daily reminder of his mistake, a son who was too easily distracted and unreliable to succeed as a farmer season to season year to year...despite Furche's constant efforts to pour the fundamentals of horticulture and agriculture into the boy's fool head. There was also the lingering doubt in Furche's mind as to whether the boy was even really his.

As Sonnenwende approached puberty his relationship with his father was at an all time low and Furche finally kicked the man-child out of the house in a final fit of disgust after Sonnenwende once again left the corral door unlatched and allowed the pigs to wander off for Furche to have to wrangle up. Beside herself, Marna snuck her prodigal son a pack and told him to seek his grandfather at the Laird's seat in Dunn Betrieben. Cast out into the world for the first time, Sonnenwende did as his mother told him. He made his way to the Dunn after some minor misadventures and tracked down Weizen, whom he had not seen since he was much younger.

In the years since his daughter moved away, Weizen had risen to high station. He had successfully completed the Huarthmunn Clan's famed trials known as the Profungdebod, an intensive six month training program with a very high fail rate. Very few people complete the program; most years only a few pass and some years none do. The curriculum of the training is broad and atypical for Machtig warriors, as beyond just weapons training it also covers basic military discipline, small unit tactics, general athleticism, survival techniques, infiltration, how to conduct and react to ambushes, and intensive unarmed combat training. Those who complete the training are honored with the title Soldat and special consideration for higher station within the Huscarl.

And so it was for Weizen. He was first promoted to the rank of Oberst commanding a spaltig of ten Huscarl, then to Allgemein commanding a fenzig of fifty men, and then to Befehlgeber commanding a hunderfenzig of one hundred and fifty men. Finally he came full circle and was promoted to be the Befehlgraf (commandant) of the Profungdebod, a uniquely prestigious position within the Clan and a high honor. He commanded a cadre of Huscarl and was responisble for managing the Profungdebod to turn out the future elites of the Clan's warrior caste.

Weizen was not overly thrilled to have another teenager to raise but unlike when he was raising his wayward daughter, he felt no compunctions against teaching a mollycoddled boy via physical discipline. Most days, Sonnenwende found himself stuck at the training camp where his grandfather could keep an eye on him, put to work straightening gear and being a gofer. Sonnenwende seriously considered running away daily, but had no where to go. And good that he didn't as with the passing of his youth from awkward teen to young man, he began to learn a very many useful things indeed. His grandfather made him run when the trainees ran, and do the Hindernisgarten (obstacle course) as a punishment, and thus he became quite nimble and athletic as well. And Weizen set aside two hours each day to personally teach Sonnenwende the warrior way, despite the boy's initial disinterest.

Eventually, after over a year of miserableness had passed, Sonnenwende metamorphosed into something resembling a warrior. As his skill grew, his relationship with his grandfather improved, and as their relationship improved Sonnenwende's desire to please his grandfather by mastering his lessons also increased. Within a few years as his sixteenth winter approached Sonnenwende was still a bit of a "woolgatherer" (as Weizen repeatedly put it), but when steel was drawn his focus was second to none. Skilled at fighting multiple opponents, the ambidexterous and nimble Sonnenwende weilded two short swords by preference, with which he was supremely capable. Despite being a youngling and not yet a recognized Thegn, his skill was such that he was often used as a challenging sparring partner for the Profungdebod trainees.

Named a Thegn the day after his majority by three Befehlgebers (commanders) of the Hearth Guard, it was expected that in the following summer Sonnenwende would enter the Kreigwerb and gain acceptance to the Hearth Guard himself by right of skill, as is the custom of the Huarthmunn Clan. But it was not to be.

A zweiblich before the summer solstice a Druid called Eandorol came to Dunn Betriebenn. Appearing in the great hall before Laird Brengreifer and the present commanders of the Huscarl, Eandrol declared himself to be on a mission of urgency. The Druids believed that an ancient ealdgeweorc prophecy of great importance was coming to pass, and it spoke of a hero whom the Druids interpretted to be of the Huarthmunn Clan. The Druids had been vigilant for the emergence of this child of prophecy but to no avail. The portents warned that the apotheosis of the prophesy approached with the summer solstice, and thus the situation was becoming dire. Eandrol requested that the Laird mobilize his Huscarl and Reeves to scour the Clanhold to find the one spoken of. Eandrol then spake the verse of the Winter Moon, and silence filled the hall as those present mulled over the riddle.

After a moment, Weizen cleared his throat and put forth that his grandson Sonnenwende was born on the winter solstice eclipse sixteen winters back, furthermore had been disowned by his Thrall father, and had come to live with and be trained as a warrior by Weizen himself. The young man was sent for, the Druid read his geas, and declared Sonnenwende to be prophesy-touched. With Laird Brengreifer's permission for Sonnenwende to go on faring, they two departed for Fallenheim the next day and soon enough the Nine Arrows were set upon their quest.