Cedric Ralcaide Belcarthe is a Gilnean national who has gone forth into the world's conflicts since the days of the Northgate Rebellion by way of the Gilneas Brigade, acting as one of many would-be heroes alone or lost in the crowds of numerous calculating strikeforces.
Across the world, and in some regions beyond, the man has endeavored tirelessly for an end to the threats set against Azeroth, Gilneas and the Alliance that holds the remaining lot of humanity together. Time and again, the Horde has cast its hand in with those threats, and has been addressed accordingly.
Though the man has noble heritage, it has gone against his nature to boast or preen over his rights by birth or surviving the other unfortunate members of his family. Devoted to the people throughout Ellingsdale and his growing March, he utilizes the resources at his disposal to ensure the settling and re-establishment of Saelborough and Duchy Ellingsdale, all while endorsing a Gilnean presence abroad.
Cedric suits the Gilnean stereotype of being as tall and sturdy as a mountain when he takes the guise of Man. His pale skin is left all the more striking by the long, black hair and dense beard framing his face.
The man moves with a fluid ease and a surety of purpose few possess in this trying age. A lack of sunlight is typical, and his features are strong and harshly angular like sharp-hewn rock. Steel-grey eyes hold a keen, haunting watchfulness over everything around him.
Despite having a warrior's build, his vestments betray his deep pursuit of magic in its varied forms. Elegant embroideries and jagged, sweeping elements cast a grim silhouette.
On his person are several accouterments of his craft. He keeps a spellblade of one sort or another sheathed at his left hip, and a heavy spellbook hangs at the other from iron chains.
Closer inspection reveals his armor to be worked and interwoven with engineering in mind, more reminiscent of something nearly Titanic over the works of goblins or gnomes.
A series of tightly-bound belt pouches plot their way across his hip, their contents unknown. The strand is bound together with a bandolier cradling several obsidium bolts, all joining an ornate boltgun in a tooled leather holster on his thigh.
Noteworthy for its simplicity is a worn golden band on his left ringfinger.
As a worgen, the man's features find a parallel in the creature aspect. Daunting, looming and thick-limbed, a hunched posture even earns him an equivalence to most Kaldorei men in height.
Little can be said of a man who's nature is better witnessed than written of. Intellectual pursuits and fascinations are sacred to him, as is his particular faith, distant as it is from the Church.
He enjoys feats of culinary, artistic and literary expertise, as well as fine brewing, with a particular fondness for heavily spiced dishes, aged bourbon and horror novellas - a guilty pleasure of his being the oft-derided penny dreadful, contrary to his discerning tastes. To this day he struggles to find a decent tobacconist, and the Curse has only seemed to spur on his fondness for these things, especially music.
Before the Curse, Cedric was methodical to a fault, only becoming decisive when all potential outcomes were resolved and considered. His temper was all but nonexistent, and his emotions were only permitted to show in the close company of certain family members, friends or close colleagues. He had a keen wit and a sharp tongue, and the man's quips were chiding at worst. His craft was also a highly guarded affair, even among like-minded arcanists.
After becoming a worgen, his calculating mindset works more with how things unfold and which directions to take. The heart for pleasant retorts and high-brow banter has become a tendency to snap back with ruefully negative observations, often edging on cold, brutal honesty with little regard for rank or station, delegating the man's life to one wrought by merit over honeyed words and socializing. Now, moreso than ever, he has an unshaking loyalty and obligation to the people of his region - one of the few overtly positive affects of his new state.
Cedric remains a resolute man in either form, and one with a mind and will like an iron tower. He satisfies the needs of his creature-self by way of running wild through the forests and over rooftops, as is its apparent wont, and sometimes permits himself to hunt elk with little else than fang and claw. Rather than struggling to fight his altered mindset, he works to accommodate his humanity into the worgen state, and vice versa, without letting one overshadow the other.
The effort is a struggle, despite any apparent ease others may contrive from encountering him.
Beyond his curse, the touch of Felmancy had been present in the apparent heaviness of Cedric's demeanor before abandoning that baleful element. Humor was seemingly lost on him, and kind acts were received with internalized warnings and second guessing more often than not.
War, just as much as anything else, had left him jaded without the obnoxious arrogance cynics often entertain. He expects the worst, prepares for working with the situation at hand, and usually abandons the notion of hoping for a vague "best."
In the wake of successes upon Draenor and a return to a reasonably normal life, and in becoming a father as he found a sense of family again with his son and the people throughout Saelborough, Cedric had abandoned using Fel magic. The overt dourness and gloomy element about his person waned dramatically as a result.
Cedric's history is checkered; not for a mix of misdeeds and goodly acts, but for the harrowing shifts in stability, peace and war that tend to cause no small amount of upheaval in the man's life.
Cedric was born to the Baron Morgan Belcarthe and his wife, the Lady Evayne, on the grounds of House Belcarthe's ancestral home within the Barony of Saelborough, tucked neatly away in the Headlands' forests, which were bisected by the Greymane Wall's construction.
Morgan had followed the family's arcane learnings and practices, and had given several lectures on Applied Arcane Theory throughout Gilneas during his career as one of the Crown's court astrologers and civil engineers. Evayne Cordesse hailed from an unassuming but well-regarded noble line and had worked as a barrister within the Gilnean courts, but then settled into teaching law after the birth of her first child.
Cedric had three siblings; two brothers, Edryd and Mandrane, and a sister, Deliah. Cedric was the youngest of the four children, and thus destined for the least to receive from the Belcarthe estate. While the two older brothers vied for supremacy of inheritance through Gilneas's military, as well as societal pursuits to climb the ranks of nobility as best they could in their father's shadow, Deliah's pursuit was taxidermy and zoology.
While ranging on her twentieth birthday in pursuit of an albino bear said to live within Saelborough's jurisdiction, she was mauled by one of the local black bears. The animal was slain, but her small entourage was too late in coming to her defense. Edryd and Cedric mourned their sister's loss alongside their parents, but Mandrane could barely contain his contentment, as relations between the two had always been strained.
Some years later, Morgan had fallen ill with a disease of the blood and passed away. His estate was willed to his wife Evayne, which had thus estranged her from her sons, save for Cedric, who would be unaffected by the shift in claim for the foreseeable future. Years later, when her own health began to fail from the use of leaded cosmetics to maintain appearances before the public eye, Edryd finally had his wish - Saelborough was his, along with numerous militaristic accolades from fighting abroad.
By then, Mandrane had begrudgingly settled into a waiting game, but from behind the scenes continued to attempt to undermine Edryd's hold over House Belcarthe and Saelborough by ways of petty politicking and installing agents to create public disturbances rallying against several contrived reasons as to why Edryd was unfit for his task.
Moreso, as the brothers bickered, Cedric had long-since begun his pursuit of the arcane within Greymane's court, and had left Gilneas entirely once the first of many failed assassination attempts had begun between Mandrane and Edryd.
Despite the politics and conflict between his siblings, Cedric's least order within his family afforded him the grace to pursue his own ends away from the urgency of one day acquiring Saelborough and the mantle of House Belcarthe. He was close to Deliah throughout his upbringing, and she had taken the boy under his wing as a curiosity more than anything else. Unbeknownst to her, she had instilled a fascination for anatomical sciences, biochemistry and zoology within her younger brother, and more importantly a desire to go out into the world and see these otherwise book-bound subjects in action.
Morgan saw Cedric's budding interests and took him away from Deliah's influence before he had what he considered two oddities in his direct bloodline instead of one. From the time he was six years old, Morgan began a battery of intensive lectures on Cedric to bring him up into the learned circles of the Arcane, the House's true heritage. He had also instructed the boy on the faith of the old ways, hearkening to a druidic past among the Gilnean people.
Cedric had received countless lessons under the twisting boughs of the Blackwald, and performed his first sacrifice of a black ram when he was eight, for the bounty of Saelborough and the House, and to maintain a covenant between the Belcarthes and those spirits of old that Morgan claimed to go back to the first days. Whether valid or not, it was a belief that Cedric's father maintained vehemently.
On His Majesty's Service Edit
By the time Cedric came of age, he had surpassed his father's expectations and quietly maintained the interests that Deliah had instilled in him. Morgan, vocally proud of his youngest, brought Cedric before the standing powers of Gilnean beaurocracy and had him officially signed on as an apprentice within Greymane's circle of court arcanists, a group that consisted of astrologers, mages, mystics and a scant handful of those with darker persuasions kept on retainer out of necessity for knowledge following the First War.
The following years were particularly uneventful for Cedric, despite his family's ongoing complications. When his father passed, Cedric was burdened not by matters of inheritance, but by concerns of filling the man's proverbial boots; those in the court looked to him as a successor, while his own family disregarded him. Cedric turned his focus fully to his craft, and had received accolades and commendations for his services in Greymane's court through addressing astrological complications and magical concerns within the kingdom alongside other court arcanists.
Having his own wealth and access to the Royal Libraries, Cedric began to pursue other avenues of science, technology and magic away from astromancy, dimensional theory and astronomy. Chemistry, engineering and several hushed tomes concerning black magic were at his disposal, increasingly so as the years went by and the boy became a man in body and studious progression.
Cedric made a name for himself in the royal court. He refused to perform lectures and lessons, citing a reasoning that because he wasn't a full master of his skillsets, he was in no position to educate others. In truth, it permitted his selfish pursuits in acquiring more knowledge on increasingly esoteric or guarded topics. His growing investment into darker magics came to the fore when he summoned his first familiar, an imp named Piprin.
It, too, was eventually sacrificed along with the rams to House Belcarthe's yesterdays.
The Gilneas Brigade Edit
Prior to the Northgate Rebellion, land conflicts were escalating within Gilneas as several noble houses had become recalcitrant following Greymane's growing isolationist policies toward the Alliance and within Gilneas. With his heart in Crowley's court, Cedric had volunteered to accompany the Gilneas Brigade - a detatchment of nationals who joined Lady Proudmoore's expedition to Kalimdor. This, he felt, was preferable to shedding the blood of his countrymen.
Although he was only one face out of many within the Brigade and the Expedition, it afforded Cedric the opportunity to travel abroad and to interact with worldly events. He was no longer under the direct service and observation of Greymane's authority; in fact, the act of going forward did more to brand him as a rebel in a nation that wanted nothing to do with the outside world.
Cedric went were he was needed, fighting back whatever foes brought themselves to bear against what seemed like the last vestige of the Grand Alliance. Here his mind mingled with elves on the matter of magic, with dwarves on the subject of solid engineering and with the scant handful of gnomes who lingered behind the scenes to provide potent alchemical solutions to aid in the war effort. Though he was a stranger in a strange land, Cedric had also found brotherhood and camaraderie among the Expedition's soldiers, which had been something he had found wanting back home.
He may have even found love with a fellow arcanist, Chiara, but their affairs were fleeting through the years.
After the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Cedric had several wounds to tend to, and no small degree of mental exhaustion. Knowing he couldn't return home, he made his residence within Duskwallow Marsh and the growing holding of Theramore. This home, however served more as a base of operations - above all else, the man was overwhelmed with wanderlust, a desire to advance his scientific pursuits, and a growing addiction to practice the full force of his magics in all of their forms.
A World of War Edit
Despite the harrowing accounts of the period following Archimonde's destruction to the present day, Cedric's story largely follows that of the shifts in power, presence and pyrrhic victories for the Alliance and life on Azeroth. War unending had taken him across Azeroth, along arcane pathways to Outland and back, and abroad through the ungodly snows of Northrend to fight the Scourge and worse things lying in wait beneath the world's churning, archaic engines.
One thing that can be said of his travels is that he had a bewildering exposure to varieties of magic on a cultural level. Away from the academia of Man and Elf, he was exposed to the black magics and dark alchemy of trollkind, and to the shaman-like ritual invocations of orcish warlocks. From afar, he was able to witness the druidic rites of the Kaldorei and hearken back to some of his father's teachings, and the dwarves had introduced him to hypothetical Titanic origins, along with measured rune crafts.
Worst were the horrors beneath Ahn'Qiraj, of which Cedric had only seen the surface, and the full, nightmarish brunt of what dwells beneath Northrend to this day. The presence of the Old Gods, and an odd dance with understanding their magic and presence while simultaneously fighting them, would become a continued effort for Cedric from then on.
While it was all fascinating, Cedric's interest and ongoing practice continued to center upon Felmancy. Over time, and as others had proven themselves worthwhile to the cause of continued survival, the overall regard for the left-handed path had permitted Cedric some small degree of open practice. This was further buttressed by the man's own efforts for the Alliance's causes.
In the events of the Shattering, word had come to him that the Wall had fallen. Cedric's immediate effort was to see to the condition of his homeland. What followed was the revival of Saelborough and of House Belcarthe, as Cedric rallied the town's scant survivors and lead them away from the doomed nation in the wake of the Forsaken onslaught.
Unfortunately, Cedric had found himself stricken with the Worgen Curse, the sole survivor of his family, and a barony besieged by the Forsaken. The whereabouts of his brothers were unknown, and remain so to this day.
After Belcarthe Manor had been re-established and a reborn Saelborough glimmered in his eyes, Cedric and his then-lover and longtime companion, Rinnaelle Ravensald, travelled along a northern pass to avoid Forsaken territory in Lordaeron on a roundabout way to Gilneas, only to wander unknowingly into Myrwood. Here the two were intercepted by Andre Davol and a contingent of mounted soldiers.
Davol had taken them to the newly acquired keep of Starkholme, from which Cedric and Rinnaelle had a starting point to work within the kingdom. Cedric's interests had taken him to pursue the Queen's Gilnean Legion within Stranglehold, which had thus far lead to a growth in the region's industry, as well as more sorcerous pursuits within the Ebonloch Hold.
Within the past months, Cedric had withdrawn from Lordaeron to tend to Saelborough's growth in the wake of the Cleansing of Myrwood and the fall of Garrosh Hellscream. In this time, he and Rinnaelle enjoyed a quiet marriage and honeymoon, though she had returned to Ravenwood in Lordaeron shortly thereafter to pursue her training as a paladin.
Shifting between one kingdom and the other, Cedric had returned to active pursuits among both regions until contentions escalated throughout Blackmarsh between the kingdom and the Argent Crusade. Unwilling to fight the Argents, he and Rinnaelle were taken by a contingency of Crusaders to Hearthglen.
Into Draenor and Back Edit
The events that transpired in Lordaeron, along with the toll they had taken on the Belcarthes, all but destroyed them. Cedric was pressed to cloister himself amidst his people and the growth of Saelborough, as his wife found solace at the bottom of a bottle and the day to day operations of the barony's guard.
In the distance between them, and the growing pain of several miscarriages, the two withdrew from one another, despite their best attempts at weathering the storm. Cedric found comfort in his mistress, Chiara Bellafiore, and in losing himself further into the pursuit of fel magic.
The rise of the Iron Horde and its invasion drove Cedric to a breaking point, fearful that the events of the First War would repeat themselves. Gathering his barony in Saelborough's town square, he announced his intentions to assemble a force to join the Alliance in standing against the invaders. While he was joined by Chiara and Dr. Lucan St. Croix, a longtime friend, colleague and begrudging "contingency" should the Fel or Curse ever fully take him, the barony's civilian population and half of its guard remained behind.
After the initial push, Cedric settled his incursion force between the western mountains and forests of Shadowmoon Valley, just shy of Talador. He called the hold New Saelborough, and soon began to receive slightly-above token support from the Alliance. Though the garrison had weathered several attacks and survived, its resources had been taxed throughout the war. Chiara was sent back with her and Cedric's newborn son, Abraham, along with Lucan to keep watch over them.
Concerned with the prospect of needless casualties and a direct assault from Legion forces from the west, he ordered his people to withdraw and return home. Once they arrived, families were united, and Cedric reclaimed his son. Tragically, Chiara's chronomancy swept her away into the timeways, leaving Cedric to raise the boy alone.
With Rinnaelle absent, the task of reviving and growing Saelborough fell solely to him. Through political workings and past merits, his petition for serving as Margrave of a largely abandoned Ellingsdale was heard and satisfied. As a result, the man pushed Saelborough's borders and began to reach out further into the duchy to secure it.
A New Horizon Edit
As the dust settled on his return and the effort of pushing Saelborough forward, months had passed since Cedric even humored a presence in the world outside of his Manor and March. Only then, on a chance trip to Stormwind City, did he encounter Rinnaelle again.
Seeking to continue their good work, the two looked to old allies and past acquaintances, stirring in the dust of what was left in their attempts at finding others for the cause of reviving Gilneas. They sought out Berenal Grayblade for just that cause.
The decision galvanized Cedric's pursuits. Should Ellingsdale become re-established in the northeast, and with the Ashen Coast to the southwest, the resettled territories could push inward through Gilneas and along its borders to secure it once more.