Amber

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Eleanora 'Amber' van Gelder
Castellan and Countess of Johburg, Standard Bearer of the Holy City, Lady of Gulf and Sea, Head of House
Former Chancellor of the Crusader State

Van Gelder.png

Motto

He who does not stand firm on principles and has neither wide knowledge nor penetrating judgment is not worthy to be a companion
~~ Mo Tzu

Basic Information

A former troubadour and privateer, who has risen to both the leadership of her House and to hold Great Office in the Crusader State - but her renown as a defender of her people's lives and traditions has put her at odds with the more radical, bloodthirsty, and land-hungry elements of the Crusade.

During her disreputable youth a teenage marriage contract was terminated amidst a scandal, before she toured the Gulf as a troubadour. Comparative responsibility was achieved by undertaking one of the family professions and going to sea, though even there she served as a privateer rather than a 'conventional' naval officer. And her hedonism remained pronounced - her sole surviving child (and heiress), Nathalie, was born out of wedlock in 4985.

Over time - and especially as more of her elders in the family died - she came to assume greater responsibility, participating in the failed defences of both Rabaq and Tyche (though in the latter, she helped to secure Taifa status for the Barony of Lattakieh), and the short-lived success of the Golden Season.

Her current reputation is mixed: though a heroine to her people (and the participants of Count Joscelin's Crusade) for tying up a Kurgan army throughout 80 weeks of (unsuccessful) efforts to take the fortress of the Johburg from her, she is also known as a kinslayer - having killed one of her elder brothers after accusing him of treason and complicity in the Betrayal.

Politically, she is a firm supporter of the Crusader State's laws and traditions, and is reputed to be devoted to her liege, Geoffrey de Moley. She also appears to have ties to the Imperial contingent on Yathrib (not least via the Imperial-administered refugee camp located on her land), and though she's been declared an enemy of the Chainer faction of the Muster (for supposedly opposing slavery) her family tends to have close relations to the guilds, especially in the Free City of Rotdam. Though she is at odds with the 'radical' wing of the Crusaders, she has been vocal in her support for the rights of the Inquisition - publicly clashing with both Sir William and his radical supporters over their efforts to usurp Inquisitorial powers.

Personally, she has had great success in rebuilding her County from the results of years of occupation and combat, though it suffers continually from attacks from the two most potent Kurgan raiding fleets in the region, and the area of Teldam in particular remains an active target for renewed Kurgan expansion.

  • Full Name: Eleanora Justine Amber Carlotta din Alt van Gelder
  • Social Traits: Heroine; Kinslayer

Description

Tall, elegant, and striking, she favours military uniforms, often wearing an anonymous grey one without insignia other than the House sigil, though formal dress uniforms are used for official occasions. Gowns are worn when she is acting solely as a social hostess, though with Johburg constantly under threat these instances of the Countess overtly setting aside her martial role are rare.

Tanned, fit, and the beneficiary of at least a couple of anti-agathic treatments (rumoured to have been 'acquired' from an Hydessan al-Malik tribute shipment prior to their liberation from the Kurgans), she appears both much younger and more active than might be expected - by looks alone, she is far more likely to be taken for a thirty-something officer on active service rather than a mother in her late 40s.

When she speaks, her voice is richly musical - a vibrant alto, only slightly roughened by years of command.

  • Physical Traits: Striking Looks; Beautiful Voice

Contacts

Active

  • Agravain Van Gelder: cousin separated by a thousand years
  • Anja Torenson: personal aide and trusted deputy
  • Arkady Decados: entrusted with both her precious air force and her cousin Sonja
  • Caelwyn Li Halan: talented general, trusted friend; sadly the vassal of a crude thug
  • Cephus Justinian: hero and comrade returned to life, frequent guest
  • Hugh Justinian: talented general, frequent guest, fellow veteran of the State's wars
  • Isabeau Meeks: seer, purveyor of warnings, conveyor of grief - holy and protected
  • Lysandra Justinian: fellow scholar, and admired participant in Joscelin's Crusade
  • Naima bint Justinian: admired Amalthean, frequent guest, moral preacher
  • Raoul: personal bodyguard, and project in civilisation and education
  • Renaud de Moley: highest-profile ally and fellow supporter of Geoffrey
  • Samina al-Malik: fellow (and superior) musician, allied emissary
  • Seraphine de Moley: nee van Gelder; cousin, friend, ally
  • Valentijn van Gelder: sole surviving sibling, dear friend, and trusted deputy
  • Zakaria al-Malik: daughter-rescuing vagabond, headache, friend, kindred spirit, and ally

Inactive

  • Abiku: Courtesan, in the Countess's employ
  • Anselm Morrot: master duellist, gentleman, Thana, long-term guest
  • Aureliana Harmon: protege, loyal friend, recently-deposed mayor of Rotdam
  • Linnea Torenson: moral and civilised diplomat; friend
  • Lucien LaGrange: war-colleague, friend, Prior of Saint Claude's
  • Roshan Keddah: writer, provider of precious offworld books
  • Sophie: beautiful Grimson; bodyguard to Nathalie and her guests
  • Zebediah Hawkins: friend, Prior of Saint Claude's

NPC

  • Fredo Hawkwood: formal ally, fellow Count, admired participant in Joscelin's Crusade
  • Geoffrey de Moley: beloved liege
  • Godric de Moley: the heir who must be protected
  • JJ: a ward of Lysandra's, residing in the Johburg with Nathalie
  • Nathalie van Gelder: headache, daughter, heiress, hope

Logs

Reformed Buccaneer

Countess, Head of House of the van Gelder
Amber 02.jpg
Date of Birth: 1st of December, 4953
Homeworld: Yathrib
Home County: Johburg

Height: 5'9"
Weight: 135lb
Physical Effects: Striking Looks; Beautiful Voice
Status: Unwed mother


Gallery

Soundtrack

On those who sing the lore of life: Killing Me Softly, by Lori Lieberman
He sang as if he knew me
In all my dark despair
And then he looked right through me
As if I wasn't there
But he was there, this stranger
Singing clear and strong
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Killing me softly with his song

For Johburg and her people: The Greatest Flame, by Runrig
This is our life, and our time
And nothing is ever going to break us
Now we're on our own
This is our place, in our lives
And no one can ever change this moment
Or pull this mountain to the ground

For the pain and beauty of honour: Nothing Else Matters, cello cover by Apocalyptica

For Nathalie: Forever Eyes of Blue, by Runrig
Forever you'll be eyes of blue
In the circle of your youth
Picking every blade of truth
Down the new-town road

For those she calls "friend": Sit Down, by James
Those who feel the breath of sadness
Sit down next to me
Those who find they’re touched by madness
Sit down next to me
Those who find themselves ridiculous
Sit down next to me
In love, in fear, in hate, in tears

For the rest of the world: Crazy, violin cover by Jimmy Chaos

For herself: Come Undone, by Duran Duran
We'll make it all right to come undone
Now we'll try to stay blind to the hope and fear outside
Hey child, stay wilder than the wind and blow me in to cry