Gaufred Fidentius (born Gaufred von Berlichingen) was a former Knight of the Silver Hand who answered the Ashbringer's call to crusade during the Third War. A devout disciple of Alexandros Mograine, Gaufred joined the Scarlet Crusade upon its founding. Gaufred quickly rose through the ranks as a Scarlet Inquisitor, eventually earning himself a place of honor in the Crimson Legion. He has long since been a loyal member of the Crusade, despite the contested circumstances of his master's death. Today he leads a reformation within the Scarlet Crusade known as the Poor Knights of Mograine, who herald back to the traditions of Alexandros Mograine and the agendas of the original Crusade.
Gaufred’s sculptural face is noble, deeply tanned by multiple sunlights; though his expression never changes. His countenance is downcast. The hard edge of his thin mouth perpetually remains in an unbending snarl of disapproval. His mournful face rears out from the dark, fixed in an expression of frigid disdain. His eyes are dark and intense, locked under a low ridge of a forehead, as deep and mournful as a hunting dog’s. The doleful cast of his bold eyes often settle upon those before him with extreme scrutiny. Unshorn hair, red as flames, cascade to shoulder-length, much akin to a lion’s mane. He is bearded like the pard, wearing a fulsome fleece which masks the imperfections of the face.
His skin is leathery, grimy, and heavily tanned, the skin of a man who spends little time indoors. Mighty arms, each the girth of a lesser man’s thigh, wield his blade with efficient, murderous grace in combat. He is a hard, dour, humorless fanatic. Yet behind the austere of his solemnity is an Aurelian ardour. He is steel. He is doom. He is the stoic stone of the Templar; the remorseless and fearless manifestation of the Undead Slayer.
The Scarlet Crusader stands out from a time of legend, clad in the lurid armaments known as the Dreadnaught Wargear. The armor is comprised of Dark Iron plates, imbued with nexus crystals and enchantments of various arcanic resistances even as the metals were cooled in the Black Forge. Its properties are such that it not only can absorb physical damage with outstanding expediency, but it can also reflect most forms of magic. The dark iron has therefore made the Dreadnaught armor a shadowy gray color, appearing more like charcoal than metal, and if struck, will give a flat instead of a dull metallic clang.
- "The first suit of Dreadnaught armor was made exclusively for the Scarlet Highlord Mograine. Whilst donning the full suit, the Highlord looked himself to be a demon from the depths of the Nether.
- Aye, 'twas quite a sight to behold as Mograine would wade into a hundred Scourge, Ashbringer held high, and come out on the other side in a cloud of dust and flames - enemies left in ashes beneath his feet.
- It was not until after his controversial death that the knights and warriors of Lordaeron would wear similarly fashioned suits in honor of their fallen hero. While the death of Mograine was a great victory for Kel'Thuzad, the resulting martyrdom would be felt until the end of the war.
- Where one did fall, many would rise..."
As an elite Knight of the Mograine’s cause, Gaufred can be recognized as a member of the Crimson Legion by his tabard, which is notably different from those worn by line members of the Scarlet Crusade. This demeanor impresses that Gaufred is an upper echelon member of the Crusade, allowed to wear such a tabard as a symbol of his status.
Another noticible feature on Gaufred would be the spring-loaded, clockwerk mechanized gauntlet which has been meticulously repurposed into a prosthetic hand. Gaufred wears a system of pulleys all the way up his arms, sensitive to the muscles along his humerous, radius, and ulna, which sympathize the movements of a regular hand. A fine signiture of Gaufred's mastery in engineering. The hand itself fashions the likeness of a gothic style Gauntlet, honed out of dark-iron metal and engraved with baroque markings.
Various tools adorn what is an intense belt of utility, equipping Gaufred with the weapons necessary in combating the armies of the living dead. A Tome of Divinity is linked by a silver-chain, bearing immaculate depictions of holy-symbols across the leather-bound cover. An exorcism censor runs to the gird of his loins, a device used to contain undead-spirits upon their defeat. Beside a single penny-pouch appears to be a vial of a fluorescent blue liquid, presumably Holy Water from the City of Stratholme. A monster’s slayer kit fits snugly across his torso as a sash, with four sheathes leading down to a satchel. The first three slots contain silvered throwing-knives, while the last holsters a collapsible silver-stake. The Satchel itself contains Holy Mightstones, which when shattered, empowers one with holy power against the undead; Scarlet Insignia's and Sigil's proving token of rank and membership; a Mark of Faith often used as a Rosary in prayer; a Hallowed Brazier which can reveal the visible forms of incorporeal creatures; unlit torches and vials of oil; reagents including a Symbol of Divinity, a Symbol of Kings, and a small-box of sacred candles. Likewise are kept a menagerie of armor polish, Wizard’s Oil, sharpening stones, A blacksmiths hammer, a rivet set, a pair of pliers, and spare buckles as well as leather strips – A good Knight is one who always keeps his equipment well maintained! For one to encounter Gaufred is for one to encounter an agent of retribution worthy of being called an Undead-Slayer.
These conventions prove useful in dire situations, but it is the massive Truesilver Axe upon which Gaufred trusts in battle. Its aesthetic design is with likeness to the Ashbringer, but in the form of an axe, though it does not superimpose any authenticity of the kind which might be considered poor-taste. The legends say that the Axe was crafted by the Scarlet Sorcerer Timolain, as one of many products of weaponry he conjured for the Crusade. The Great-axe is named, “Absolvo,” an archaic word meaning, “Absolution.” The Truesilver dweomer of this weapon makes it a deadly fierce weapon when raised against the undead, leaving behind trails of righteous fire in its wake. Though a very minor weapon in comparison to the almighty Ashbringer, it is certainly an armament to be revered.
Born Gaufred von Berlichingen, the renowned Crusader was born upon the third day of Midsummer, in the Year of the King's Calendar, 578. He was the son of a Landsknecht and his Troßfrau, who received ample pension for years of mercenary service in the wars between Stromgarde and Alterac. They settled in the City of Brill in Lordaeron, where Gaufred enjoyed a peaceful childhood.
By the age of twelve, Gaufred was expected to per sue a trade profession. He began remedial work as a cowan for a Stonemason by the name of Giuseppe Palladio. By the time he came of manhood at sixteen years old, Palladio offered Gaufred an official apprenticeship within the Stonemason's Guild. However, his connections to the Guild not only provided him with the secret tools and methods of operative masonry, but also the speculative aspects of fraternity. Whatever secrets are in the possession of Gaufred remain undisclosed, and will remain with him to the grave. What is known, however, is that Gaufred quickly rose to become a Journeyman in less than a year.
It was during this time, that Gaufred mysteriously disappeared from Lordaeron. There are some rumors which suggest that Gaufred was admitted passage to the Great Halls of Ironforge, (a place thought only be humans to exist in myth at the time), to continue his esoteric education under the Royal Stonecutter's Union.
When Gaufred von Berlichingen returned to Lordaeron, he was viewed as a man of Renaissance. He was instantly commissioned to carve a statue for Bischof von Strahnbrad, which was regaled as a masterpiece. He was thence made a Grand Mason, and well sought after for his skills. Over the years he had developed an impeccable sense of geometry, which contributed to his abilities in drawing, painting, and engineering. The schematic for his now-prosthetic right hand, was one of many projects he had begun in his prime.
Gaufred quickly became popular among the bourgeoisie, and often represented the rights of suppressed individuals in the hierarchy. He promoted a proletariat which made him immensely favored by the peasant and noble class alike. Though Gaufred's first true love was to the Church of the Holy Light. He was raised devoutly religious, and his piety was often the motivation for the majority of his works. Though he charged excessive prices from Nobility for commissions, his works for the Church were done at entirely no expense. This was also a matter for Gaufred of avoiding the indulgence of hypocrisy, for to demand a price from the Church, would ultimately mean taking from the tithe of the common man. He considered his works a gift to his fellow man.
At only twenty years old, Gaufred was one of the most demanded artisans of the region. He oversaw the construction of Palaces such as the Palazzo Bencardi-Montarti, fondling hospitals such as the Ospedale delgi Innocenti in Capital City, and everything from the bass relief, statues, and domes of various Cathedrals. He proposed marriage to a famed painter from Caer Darrow, with the maiden name of Miriam Refray. The two were quick to fall in love and were wed in the Great Cathedral of Capital City. They built a marvelous home for themselves in the city of Caer Darrow, where they also ran the Berlichingen Botegga, a Studiolo for the Arts where Gaufred and Miriam mentored many apprentices.
In his prime, Gaufred was tremendously wealthy, reputable, married, and talented. Many jested that he was the, "Dogue di Darrow." He had it all, until his life was forever changed by the Second War.
The Second War: Rise to Paladin-hood
No sooner than Anduin Lothar and the Refugees from Stormwind arrived on Southshore, did the newly founded Alliance of Lordaeron begin preparations for War. As a patriot of his country, Gaufred von Berlichingen left the Berlichingen Botegga and his commissions behind to help quickly build and repair the necessary fortifications for the Alliance forces.
Fate was forever changed for Gaufred on the day that the Horde landed on Southshore. During the siege, Berlichingen saw to the reinforcement of the walls with his fellow Stonemasons. But, during the battle, a section of the wall collapsed from heavy artillery and his workmen were overran by Orcs. As his team was brutalized, the Grand Mason desperate to protect the life of his compatriots grabbed a near-by sledgehammer and called upon the power of the Holy Light to assist him. With divine aid, Gaufred smote down his foes long enough for the Vanguard to repatriate the section of wall. However, just before this happened, an Orc Blademaster fiercely confronted Gaufred, and severed his right hand! The Alliance soldiers were able to secure the position and retrieve Berlichingen before death.
Gaufred survived the battle and the critical bleeding, but without his right hand, he was rendered handicapped and his life as an artist and inventor swiftly came to an end. He was no longer even able to properly draw the designs for his workmen upon his trestle-board. The incapacitated Gaufred was dismissed, and returned to the Berlichingen Bortegga were he frantically began construction of his last project: an iron hand.
Berlichingen had been developing a schematic for robotics. When he was in Ironforge, he had also ventured into the Kingdom of Gnomeregan, where he received some minor instruction in Gnomish Engineering. He was by no means a master in their art, though for years he had attempted to replicate their processes. He had only succeeded in developing the blueprint for a hand, which could be fashioned from a gauntlet. This gauntlet, quickly became the prosthetic appendage of Gaufred von Berlichingen. Though its spring-loaded design allowed him to move each finger, he would no longer be able to create a masterpiece. And with War so close to home, Gaufred returned to Stratholme City, to enlist into the Alliance military.
Though rumor quickly enveloped Gaufred's feat of strength at the Southshore Wall. And with the founding of the Knights of the Silver Hand, all of humanity grew quickly enamored at the concept of the Paladin-Warrior. Gaufred was nominated by the Alliance military as a candidate for the new-found Knights of the Silver Hand. The heraldry of the Order was something that Gaufed could personally relate to; a hero who sacrificed his right-hand in the cause of righteousness.
(Rest to come soon!)