Sir Jean-Pierre d'Armagnac, Chaplain of Faith and Morale and head of the Knowledge Chapter of the Disciples of light, or Pierre to keep it short, is a young man around his twenties. His frail built and lean face are almost as iconic as his nervous and sometimes shy appearance.
Pierre was born in Lakeshire, on the Armagnac farm from his family, the second son and child of father Jean-Claude d'Armagnac and mother Marie. Unfortunately, complications during his birth had left his mother injured. Weakened from the complications, his mother died of a simple flue only days later. This event indirectly determined Pierre's fate.
The truth behind the unfortunate death of Pierre's mother was as all too eagerly reminded to him by his father. It developed a strong fear in Pierre of any disease and injury, and a desire to be able to undo such injuries. It eventually pushed him to grow hopeful towards the Light as a saviour to undo the tragedy that had befallen his young dreams, unable to understand this was something the Light could no longer change.
Claude grew ever more bitter over the loss of his beloved wife and found none other to blame for his pain than Pierre. Being held responsible for the loss of his own mother was a burden Pierre never managed to master. Confronted with a father that, above all, preferred to see Pierre fail than succeed slowly pushed Pierre into the frightened, shy boy he is today. Eventually, it weighed through on his social development, as he lacked the confidence to stand among fellow town children.
Throughout his brief life in Lakeshire, he experienced the attacks by the Orcs and grew fearful of them, having never had any means to stand against them. During the assaults, Pierre would hide in a concealed room along with his older brother who'd whisper comforting words in his ears. The fretting during these assaults led Pierre to the nervous tick of fiddling his clothes.
To the Church!Edit
At the age of nine, Pierre's father, Jean-Claude d'Armagnac concluded he no longer had the means to sustain his farm and therefor Pierre. Deemed an act of mercy by his father, Pierre was sent to live in the Church and be raised as a priest. His father sold the farm to live of what money he had left and could muster as a traveling handyman. Till this day, Pierre did not hear from his father since.
In the Church, Pierre found a home with a peace and quiet he had rarely experienced at home. Able to isolate himself fully from the world along with the other clerics, Pierre grew fond of the little things he could do within these safe walls. Books, and to lesser extent herbs, became his passion as he found in them friends that never failed him.
Under the guidance of the clerics, Pierre studied and mastered calygraphy, philosophy, herbalism and to lesser extent nursing. His practice as nurse was restricted to herbal treatments and tending to the patients, or bringing them some comfort with words of the Light. Pierre often lacked the heart to deal with anything more severe than a few bruises and scratches, hindring his progress in the medical field.
Marvelling the beauty of Light's Virtues, he became profoundly knowledgeable on its philisophy. Unfortunately, it never translated to a skilled mastery of Light's powers. His failure to produce any results in this discipline was deemed to be caused by his lack of confidence, or his fear to having to move away from his secured environment to put it to use. Unfortunately, this lack of progress added to his lack of confidence and an acceptance that he wasn't meant for great things.
At the age of eigtheen, Pierre set out to see the world outside the walls of his small Church... under order of his superiors, of course. His first stop was Stormwind, but that held more adventure than Pierre dared handle. Shocked by the images of the city, the great number of people, the loose women, the drunken barfights and the far from polite manners of the citizens, Pierre quickly took refuge in the Cathedral between the trusted walls of faith.
But he also found luck on his road. His expertise with writing, numbers, books and papers found him a stable income as calygrapher and writer, sometimes as an accountant for his innkeeper. Meanwhile he continued his priest training, focusing more on its literature than the practice.
By odd chance he was discovered by Therese Smondle, a young and more accomplished priestess, while reading a book on Light methods. Through her help, his social circle expanded to a few known faces - about three, which was far more than he was used to.
Unfortunately, after merely two weeks he learned the life of his friends was far from safe and peaceful. Confronted with the inability to help them, or indeed save them, he turned to the only source of hope he knew: the Light. He sought out an order of the Light that could harbor him, and safeguard his friends. This is when he heard of the Disciples of Light.
Time with the Disciples of LightEdit
Jean-Pierre d'Armagnac offered his services to the Disciples of Light on March 7, year xx, as an aspiring priest and accomplished calypgrapher. During his recruitment he expressed a great desire to learn how to save and help his friends and the people he loved. The Disciples offered him a great opportunity: a more thorough training as priest and in medical expertise. Pushed to a rarely seen moment of bravery, he accepted the offer. But Pierre was also mislead by his own words. Helping friends and innocents had a far greater meaning among the Disciples than Pierre's small circle of friends. While he did expect he'd have to help others save their friends in return, he wasn't aware he signed up to defend all of alliance's citizens.
Apprentice of Priestess, Lady Shariah LonghillEdit
Upon arriving in the Disciples of Light, Pierre soon found himself under the wings of Priestess Shariah Abigail Longhill, a promising Chaplain of the order at the time. Shariah Longhill was uncomfortably stern for Pierre, and he could feel her eyes scrutinizing his every step. But it held a level of care and dedication to him, quite unlike anything Pierre had witnessed before. Even though the thought never shaped in his mind, he found in Priestess Longhill a care for him which he dearly missed in his childhood. A highly respected friendship and loyalty developped between them.
Under Shariah's care, Pierre's abilities and wielding of Light advanced with an unprecedented scale. At least to Pierre's standards. It was under Shariah's teachings that he summoned the Light himself for the first time. His overenthusiasm when he succeeded almost causing him to knock himself out.
But in time, training made summoning Light, and a few elementary spells accessibe. Despite these masteries, Pierre never managed to fully learn how to heal with the power of the Light under Shariah's care. Keeping it as his main drive to push forward in his training, he still follows the methods she taught him to train.
Unfortunately, Priestess Longhill was reassigned to a mission that would lead her away from Stormwind... and Pierre. While he kept to his training, and every word she ever spoke to him, his development as a Priest slowed once more. Their loyalty persisted, however, and lasts till this very day.
Under the spervision of Priestess Longhill, Pierre managed to prove himself worthy of his first promotion. His final test comprised sensing a technique of the Light used by Priestess Longhill and managing to see through it. Whether or not he truly proved apt in it is unclear to Pierre. What is certain is that his heart took courage and tried for the first time to celebrate accomplishment. With this newly found bravery, Pierre began to add to his own training and dedicate more thoroughly to Priestess Longhill's directions.
Apprentice of Doctor, Sir Rentarn FinjeEdit
While still learning the ways of the Priest under the care of Priestess Longhill, Pierre was also assigned to Doctor Finje for his medical training. Doctor Finje didn't spare Pierre one bit and made clear right of the bat the level of dedication Pierre would have to show. It worked. Pierre, almost fearfully, kept detailed notes of his lessons and put himself to study harder than ever before.
In time, the teachings of Doctor Finje made Pierre able to perform a great deal of treatments on his own. While he is in all respects still his apprentice, there seems to be a growing trust in Pierre's abilities.
Doctor Finje's stern methodologies and leadership proved a cornerstone in Pierre's personal development, demanding behavioral adaptation to difficult situations and patients. His unmoving stare, cynical remarks and nervewrecking silence could make Pierre stumble in even the simplest of tasks... but it also prepared him and forced Pierre (in a least elegant manner) to control his nerves over time when it mattered.
Seeing potential in Pierre's work, Doctor Finje also started teaching Pierre basic alchemy.
Demonstrating his dedication to his teachers, his order and his work, Pierre earned the rank of Gallant. It became clear to Pierre that he had walked a long and difficult path. This realization granted him confidence but at the same time made him more reserved about progression. Despite his improvement, his tutors had more faith in him than Pierre had in himself. It left him unwilling to progress for the time being, untill he was sure he could bear the responsibilities already weighing on his shoulders.
The Pestilence and Adabella NightshadeEdit
The chapter in Pierre's adult life that is both brightest and darkest is perhaps when the city of Stormwind was in the grip of a pestilence. A cult organisation, identified as the Hand of Nightmares, spread a dark and mysterious pestilence amongst the population. Pierre's showed great determination to save these people and combat a disease. Yet his works proved fruitless at first.
During this struggle with the disease, he became acquainted with Adabella Nightshade. She showed a stubborn and headstrong character, capable of both councelling Pierre as well as taking his advice. Charmed by such a proud and headstrong woman that handled kindness and determination with equal ease, they developed a great understanding that helped them in this difficult time.
With Adabella's support, among others, Pierre managed to develop a cure for the disease. Unfortunately, the disease would not stop the cult from lanching another attack. The Disciples gathered for a battle against the cult, and stopped the production of the pestilence succesfully. Unfortunately, during the battle, Pierre himself was inflicted by a new, experimental version of the pestilence.
Left without time to find a cure, Adabella sacrificed herself in a holy ritual to save Pierre. The strength of her heart flowed in a pendant that holds a drop of her Light and Pierre keeps with him. This guardian spirit brought Pierre's salvation of the pestilence. Passing through death and shadow, he rid himself from the disease and emerged anew and practically unharmed, guided and protected by her Guardian Spirit.
Pierre still mourns her loss till this day, honoring her spirit in his prayers. Left without chance to speak and debate with her, he is left without choice but to follow the last promise he made to her: to take lead in his progress, and that of others so he could fulfill the great destiny she saw in him. It is a promise he never stopped following, and he dedicates his accoplishments to her in his prayers.
Following his demonstration of Compassion to the people inflicted by the pestilence, Pierre had fulfilled the requirements to become a Knight of the Disciples of Light. However, doubt gnawed at him as to accept such a title, a doubt that haunts him till this day.
Still he accepted the promotion to Knighthood, more as a tribute to Adabella Nightshade, her sacrifice and his debt to her than as a personal merit. Driven to follow this path she laid before him, he declared his intentions to be Knighted and to aid the leadership of the Disciples more directly. Against his own expectations, the leadership agreed to his requests faster than he had expected.
So, Jean-Pierre knelt in the Cathedral before Aarian Northlight and spoke the oath of Knighthood. It received more attention from the public than Pierre had expected and dared fear. As a result he suffered another nervous attack during the ceremony.
Lieutenant of Faith and MoraleEdit
Sir Aarian Northlight acknowledged the intention of Pierre to take lead in some matters. Pierre offered a hand to the leadership of the Disciples, expecting he'd be granted an assistant position. Sir Aarian, however, immediately promoted Pierre to Lieutenant of Faith and Morale, under supervision of Sir Rentarn Finje. Despite his surprise of this unexpected climb in the ranks, Pierre accepted it. He started working with other Disciples, and would sometimes dare venture outside the close knit social circle of the Disciples own members. His main stimulus for searching outside the boundaries of the Disciples, despite the discomfort of meeting new people, was steered by his faith that Adabella had prepared him for some trial that would exceed his own person in importance. It is unclear if this was Adabella's true intention, granted by some foresight, or if it is Jean-Pierre's reluctance to accept she had sacrificed herself for his sake only.
Chaplain of Faith and MoraleEdit
Following his first months of work as Lieutenant, Pierre was promoted to Chaplain of Faith and Morale of the Disciples of Light. Pierre's promotion was can be attributed to his work as Lieutenant... and the lack of candidates. Merely nineteen years old, he would be placed among the younger Chaplains ever to have served the Disciples of Light, and perhaps the least talented one at that.
Pierre's approach to leadership are marked by mistakes one can expect from a leader of his age. Rather than exerting his rank, he would try to become befriended with all his subordinates, who tend to be older and more experienced than himself. Instead of issuing orders, he would request their contribution. Decisions come with difficulty, or follow an emotional reaction. For better or worse, Pierre dedicates himself to this rank but can not escape the conflict between his rank and age.
This conflict became more apparent when Priestess Shariah regained active duty among the officers. Personal reasons witheld her from complete dedication to such rank, and she accepted to be Pierre's Lieutenant. It could be noted that this hierarchy was rarely ever applied in practice unless it were Priestess Shariah Longhill's silent acceptance of Pierre's ideas. Only recently has Priestess Longhill left the, not so prominent, shadow of Pierre's leadership to regain her position as a Chaplain. But the relief from this awkward situation was brief, as soon after High Priestess Lady Alexandra Blackraven decided to join the Disciples of Light and, per rule, was welcomed as a recruit.
Callipgrahy and InscriptionEdit
Pierre still works as calligrapher, if time and duty permits it. Sometimes he can be found teaching new writers the tricks of the trade. Outside the military operations, it still is Pierre's main income.
What started as a hobby, turned into a passion. Pierre found in inscription a means to combine his love for the written word and his love for the Light. Focusing on ancient and new symbols, Pierre researches and develops holy runes and inscriptions. Unfortunately, he lacks guidance and expertise in the matter to truly develop his hobby.
Pierre's fascination over the Light rarely calms down. Finding more words than willing ears, or courage to utter them, Pierre turns to books to write down new views, or ways to explain the beauty of the Light. Driven by a passion to preach, he also tries to reach out to a broader audience with his books, rather than limit it to the clerics of faith.
Pierre always delivers a copy of his works to the Disciples' Library and the town of Lakeshire. A list of his works include:
- Prayers Of The Light, a collection of prayers Pierre heared or discovered, enriched with some of his own.
- Three Wise Men And A Boy, a morale story for young and old.
- Introduction To The Light, written as assignment for his promotion to Knighthood and a brief glimpse of Pierre's view on the Light.
- The Light Is For Everyone, a booklet designed to bring the Light closer to the people, outcide the clerical castes.
- Love, Chained By Shadow, Freed By Light, a book Pierre wrote in honor of Adabella, and his acceptance of letting her go.
- Warriors Of The Light, a book Pierre reconstructed from old writings and remnants.
- A Farmer's Tale, a novel written to reveal the harmony Light brings, and how its healing power rests in everyone's own hands.
- Words From The Heart, Pierre's personal songs and poems.
During his travels, Pierre preaches if time permits. When he returns, he will openly share his new found knowledge of his journeys in open preaches. But he is also interested in converting people to the Light. Not so much in a strict manner, but rather to bring them the merrit and harmony that the Light delivers.
His sermons are usually brief and to the point. Pierre believes that more words would spoil the point, and hopes to keep his speeches inviting to a more in depth discussion. Some of his preaches are recorded and kept in the library
While Pierre's abilities in surgery and medicine have stagnated without Doctor Rentarn's teachings, he still practices that which he knows with great dedication. He even teaches the methods that were once taught to him.
When choosing a name, one has to wonder, where on earth does one get inspiration? To find him a name, I was googling alcoholic drinks and stumbled on Armagnac. I loved the taste and sound of it. If I were to choose him a new name, I'd probably pick something more appropriate, but as you may have guessed by now.. I wasn't in a very serious mood when I started roleplaying Jeanpierre.
I didn't choose a priest by coincidence. Nor did I choose the character and stereotype before choosing the class. After playing intensively with a priest for 4 years (5 now) I felt a soft spot for a more in depth priest experience but found the game's options lacking. After abandoning a pretty hefty raiding habbit, priest RP was the first thing I set out to do!
In character I wanted Pierre to have a rock solid philosophy, one of the few strengths he has, and this meant he needed,
- An answer to many questions
- A clear goal ahead of him so he can't be tricked with words
- A clear view of what things mean and what they don't mean
Furthermore Pierre writes a lot, in prayer, in preaching, in books and stories. And if he is to have such results in character, then someone has to produce them out of character. This inevitable link between the player and the character has forced me to come up with a philosophy that could be wielded by Pierre... and one I had to like if I were to keep up with Pierre's IC passion for it.
The inspiration came from Paulo Coelho. While I never read a work of Paulo explaining his philosophy in detail (and I would refuse to), I found his works inspirational. Not only do I love his work, but I also found it was easy to work in the Three Virtues and the Light in the style set out by Coelho. The search for one's happiness is a recurring theme in Paulo Coelho's works, and the similarity with Light's utopic views isn't thus far off. As a bonus treat, Paulo Coelho's 'Fighters of the Light' is a direct inspiration for Pierre's Warriors Of The Light. While the book was written from a blank page, it follows an identical, but wow-ified, style