Codex Entry: Ithildir Merethil

‘It is difficult to realise the true Way just through sword-fencing. Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things.’

Miyamoto Musashi

Saint Ithildir

 


Ser Ithildir Merethil was the deadliest swordsman of the prestigious Imperial Guard’s history, hailed as the greatest Prime Knight to have ever lived. Tragically, his failure to protect Emperor Thorgrim from his former apprentice led to his official disgrace and self-inflicted exile.

Reviled by Imperial propaganda and hunted down by the Grey Knights, he is a beloved smallfolk hero and is remembered by friends and foes alike as a true knight. Dubbed the God of the Sword, he was not only the best swordsman of his time, but also the last known dragonglass blacksmith.


He was the last scion of the Merethil dynasty and, therefore, was the last living descendent of the Lord Founder himself. Named Grandmaster of Prime Order named by Ragnar Hammerfell during the Schism War following Grandmaster Otto’s desertion, he faced Otto in a trial-by-combat to avoid a useless battle at the Frederich Fields. After an immense duel in front of all the grandmasters of the time, of Emperor Thorgrim, and their remorseful teacher Ragnar, Otto ran out of stamina, bleeding heavily, and accepted his defeat, dying honourably at Ithildir’s hands, both reconciling in the process.

Offered a promotion to the Imperial Guard, Ithildir believed to be done with the Prime Order, and accepted with his master’s approval who regain his grandmaster position. Ithildir recommended Richard Frates as grandmaster, but Ragnar believed him too wild to command.

As the Imperial Guard, he became known as God of the Sword, being a Merethil he could forge dragonglass – also known as obsidian – and forged the nine dragonblades, one of which, Blackscale, fell into Emperor Arius possession. He wrote treaties on swordplay and became a renown duelist, acting as champion for the Imperial Court during times of diplomatic feuds, preventing three wars by winning trial-by-combats. One of his most famous victories opposed him to Darkhan of the Slayers order from the Free City of Anvil, where he entered the archer’s reach before he could even touch his arrows, spearing the young archer life so he could perfect his art. Ever since, Darkhan holds a visceral grudge towards Ithildir.

During the Slaying of Kings in 1455, Saint Ithildir faced an unstoppable foe in Richard Frates, and the God of the Sword was unwilling to strike his former student even though both knew he had the technical advantage.

Shamed at his own weakness, Ithildir resigned from the Imperial Guard, and Saint Rohan branded him an ‘oathbreaker’, named the ‘Man without Honor’ and the ‘Masterless’, accusing the disgraced swordsman of being an accomplice of the Kingslayer.

Ragnar is said to have shed a tear when the Red Cloaks wrote Ithildir’s name in the Book of the Erased, not believing his best student capable of betrayal, and he vowed never to train anyone ever again, for he failed his two disciples.

Eventually fading into obscurity, Ithildir’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

His double swords style is still practiced today, amongst its practionners are Richard Frates and Norman Daegoln, whom he took as squires in their youth, showing great promise in them. In particular, he was the childhood hero of Norman Daegoln, who cannot believe Frates bested him in combat.


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