Judge Thaddeus Grimm
A tall, stern man with wide shoulders and a gaze like ice.
A massive hulk of a man steps out of the shadows and into the busy Don-Tonian street. His black full plate, and grandiose shield emblazoned with the symbol of Talib, call all eyes to the towering figure. Stares are full equally of fear and wonder at how such a man could just materialize in the streets of Argyle’s busiest city.
Thaddeus knows these streets. He knows Don-Ton. His gaze has all the knowledge of a patriarch surveying his home. He is looking for something out of place. His order must be upheld, and a firm hand must be used to keep that order. The street seems to proceed in frames around Thaddeus, as he makes his way through his house. A nervous silence becomes almost deafening as this man who is well over six foot, and has an aura as grim as his demeanor begins his daily routine.
The man wears his black and red helm, its visor blocking out the mans eyes, leaving only his pursed lips to betray what he might be thinking. His shield is always held high, ensuring that all around knows who he is. The man wears no blade, no club, and no bow. Only a small rod, holstered tight to his chest, a clasp keeping it securely in place.
The man is Judge Thaddeus Grimm. Defender of law, unbreakable, unbending.
Thaddeus Grimm was born to Vitoli and Selana of the Grimm family. A once respected, wealthy and noble house of Don-Ton, the sizable Grimm Estate now sits as an eye-sore in the midst of many younger, wealthier family estates. Without the wealth to afford landscaping, or to continue their once proud business of mortuary services, the estate lands are now filled with overgrown brown brambles, and unkempt gardens.
As if a representation of the family’s status, even the estate is slowly decaying. Archaic styles of gothic architecture have become weather worn. Once fierce gargoyles have been mutilated by the slow degradation of water and wind. Worse still, the foundation of the family manor has begun to fail, as sections of the estate’s west wing are beginning to give way to structural fractures that should have been repaired long ago.
All of this is made worse by a chemical accident that scarred the land over 200 years ago, when a long dead family member, Anatoly Grimm, attempted to create a new embalming fluid in the basement of the manor. His paranoia of competitors caused him to fail to take proper precautions, and when his alchemical components spilled over and ignite upon the burner below, it set of a chain reaction that damaged the west wing’s foundation and spilled dangerous chemicals into the land below the manor. Although those chemicals became inert a couple decades later, they made the ground around the Grimm manor barren, grey and cracked, like some unholy site.
The cause of the Grimm family’s wretched situation is the same as the fortune of so many younger houses. The Great War that tore Argyle asunder. Over four hundred years prior, the Grimm family was a strong, wealthy house, with great prestige and political power in Don-Ton. The Grimm manor was then referred to as “The Necropolis” or the “City of the Dead”. This was not a cruel name, or an evil omen. It was in reference to the beautiful sprawling gardens and ornate mausoleums which decorated the large majority of the estate. It was here that the wealthiest and most fashionable houses of Don-Ton honored their lost family members.
But all this was lost, when the demons, devils and aberrant hordes arrived. So much of the nobility was wiped out in the following decades, as families were destroyed, lands were raided or corrupted, and wealth was slowly bled out of the country. Soon no one had money to spend so frivolously, and burying and caring for the dead became less about fashion, and more a necessity. And so began the fall of the house of Grimm.
It had been a business partnership between Thaddeus’ grandfathers, Vlad Grimm and Gavrill Gale that had saved the family from absolute ruin. Together these two friends began a business of artefact recovery and sale. Gavrill, a student of history, realized the countless battles around Don-Ton would have left great caches of weapons, armor and other trinkets scattered around the country side. Much of these treasures would have been scavenged long ago, but so many more would have been covered up by the earthshattering spells which sculpted and disfigured the land, or by the marching of hordes of demons, devils and aberrant that would have looked down their noses at mortal magic.
So it was that Gavrill, armed with his knowledge of history, and Vlad with stores of old alchemical components and tools, restructured the Grimm business into artefact recovery. For a short time, it looked as though the Grimm house might rise again to a subdued, but still honored noble house of Don-Ton.
Yet, this was not to be. Once word of this business got out, merchants, adventurers, and even peasants began searching the countryside. The once charming industry became seen as dirty, and low-born. The craze lasted almost two decades, with the Grimm family refusing to give up their new business. But it was not a sustainable plan. Slowly success became less and less likely, as all the artefacts imbedded in the land were found, or lost to new expansion by more successful families.
Again the Grimm family was left with a business that was failing. The Grimm family had the historical notes of Gavrill, and the technical knowledge compiled by Vlad to continue, while all others left this industry. But still, the business became harder and less fruitful every year.
This is the house that Thaddeus Grimm was born into. This was the house of his father, and his father before him, and many fathers before that. A proud family unable to give up on their once great status. Cursed with the longevity to see themselves fall so far from grace.