Caelwyn Ichiro Xiu-Feng Li Halan
Earl of the Twisted Spire, Lord of Sigil Rock,
Baron-Warden of Sa'frya
Honourable Lord General of the Glorious Forces
of the Kishian Quin-Long Li Halan
"It has been said, that one cannot control the universe until one controls the world, and one cannot control the world unless there is calm in the community, and one cannot control the community until one controls the dwelling, and the dwelling is chaos unless one controls the self. And this is true. For what needs of armies and weapons, of the transported wealth of worlds, of homes and ownership, if one is not the captain of one's soul? Let those who have wisdom, ponder, and let those who understand take heed."
Caelwyn possesses a grand-sounding mix of titles even for a man well past his fortieth year, worn down by the demands of his family, the service of the Pancreator, and the relentless pressure of three decades of war. Devout and intense, the Flavian Crusade has kept his inner torch burning where otherwise it might have guttered, and like many Li Halan, wherever he goes, a churchman is never far away: scholars, confessors, and political specialists. It is that faith in the Pancreator's manifest will that keeps him going, energises him, and drives him, and that sent him across the stars to Yathrib. His family estates lie on far-off Kish, providing both wealth and Ishwin Confederacy shock troops: these and his vassals, together with holdings on Midian and lands seized on Rampart during the occupation, are being bled of men, technology, production, and treasure, to fund the cause of Flavian's Crusade. The Pancreator's will is clear: Revelation must be returned to the arms of the Universal Church.
A veteran like so many others of the Emperor Wars, Caelwyn has risen from commanding his own regiment of levies through greater and greater responsibilities to his present rank. He participated in many battles and campaigns of the Li Halan during the Emperor Wars, from the Conquest of Rampart to battles against the Decados and even as a small contingent of Li Halan forces in the final battles of Alexius's final victory at Byzantium Secundus. His reputation is that of an expert grand strategist, able to plan wide-ranging military campaigns even at the planetary level with great skill, although his once formidable skills at command of smaller formations have atrophied slightly over the decades of high command.
The Li Halan style of battle, augmented by Hazat thinking in years past and still full of the lessons of Sun Tzu, combines deception and diversion with a willingness to spend the lives of his troops like water poured onto the desert when necessary, yet preserving them carefully from needless losses. Caelwyn's pseudonym of "The Thousand Flowers General" came to be from an incident during the conquest of Rampart. Rather than imprison, ransom, execute or impress any captured self-identified 'Leaguers', they were offered the choice of making a thousand origami flowers to be offered to the altar of the new Orthodox cathedral, and when that task was done, they could swear an oath not to return to the battle and be released back as productive members of the new society - albeit carefully watched ones. The cathedral in Sa'frya even now contains hundreds of thousands of preserved paper flowers, proof that even the techsophists can be changed to productive members of society by compassion and the care of the Pancreator.
The General returned for a year after the crowning of Alexius to participate in the ongoing pacification of Rampart, before beginning a tour of his fragmented, battle-won holdings that lasted only one more year before, on Midian, Flavius announced the formation of his Crusade after the discovery of Yathrib's plight. Pledging his sword, his men, and his holdings to this great Holy Work, Caelwyn gathered his troops and supplies from across his holdings, marshaling and preparing, recruiting and gathering support from vassals or nobles who could be persuaded by passionate argument, careful poems, or religious exhortations. When the time came, his forces, and those Li Halan crusaders who pledged their own resources and companies to him as their Captain poured through the Yathrib jump-gate in company with the others of the Flavian Crusade as the Dragon Legion.
After years of grinding island to island warfare, these territories are now secured, and with the support of Duke Maximino, the Lord-General has now taken the Legion north into the battle for the Holy City and the support of the Crusader State.
Of only middle height but serious demeanour, Caelwyn's features are browned and bitten by the light of far-flung worlds, telling of years of toil in the service of his House's military. A pronounced epicanthic fold hints to his Li Halan family origins, although the stocky man of middle years bears no scars nor marks from his career that can be seen on visible skin, not so much as a cut, only a swordsman's calluses.
He is wearing a grey camouflage pattern jacket and trousers, the trouser ends tucked into dark grey desert boots. Over this under layer is strapped a modern version of samurai armour, the black-enamelled kevlar plates of breastplate and backplate joining arm and leg protectors, shoulderplates, and gloves. His swords are fixed to a harness across his back, that also holds a blaster pistol in an alaskan holster riding the curve of his stomach rather than at his side, more easily allowing him to sit in vehicles. Trifle pouches, communications devices, and a water canteen hang from the back and sides of the belt, a heavy shield generator nestled against the small of his back in a socket in the backplate.
The only splashes of gold-embossed colour are the circle of stars on each side of his collar, the twin sigils of the Twisted Spire and the Li Halan cross over his left breast, and a shoulder flash patch on his left arm of a snarling sinuous Chinese Dragon coiled around a jumpgate cross.
- Grand Duke Maximino Li Halan:
A steadfast supporter but a difficult superior, always willing to further the goals of House and Church, but often in a divisively heavy-handed manner.
- Countess Eleanora Justine Amber Carlotta din Alt van Gelder, Countess Johburg:
Though their views of the ideal structure of society differ, both are equally firm on the need to ward, protect, and take responsibility for their lessers and avoid unnecessary suffering and atrocity in war, and this dedication to duty formed a bond between them - his iron code of morality and honour helped in this regard. His increasing frustration with the Crusader State's lack of direction has strained their relationship, but there is still a deep layer of trust, tempered by mutual understanding of what the dictates of honour and loyalty might require of a man.
- Count Renaud Germain de Moley, Count of Leon:
A vigorous warrior, although with an uncertain temper, his faith has wandered from the sheltering arms of the Church, and should be brought back there for his own sake.
- Conde Juan Antonio Corvado de Rolas y Vivar de Justus, del Hazat, Count of Oultrejouyeaux:
A man with no small amount of courage, but his blatant use of witchery in combat coupled with an abrasive personality makes him nearly impossible to work with.
- Baron Hugh of Justinian, Lord of Remle, Quarter-Castellan of the North:
Solid soldier that despises politics, and dedicated crusader, but may be dangerously over-focused on regaining his lost lands.
- Baroness Midare Kirin Rinzetsu Li Halan, Lady of Jopha:
Young and untried, but not lacking courage nor wits. Her feud with Momoko of the Hazat causes him headaches.
- Commodore Sofia Estefania Madalena Inez Guadalupe Eduardo Benignamin de Aragon, Baroness of Fenford:
A most atypical Hazat in the matters of social discourse, and a little tentative and self-doubting, but in battle brave and bold, and in peace kind and hopeful. Don Sans is a fortunate man, as are the people of Fenford.
- The Rt. Rev. Agravain van Gelder, Abbot of St. Palamedes:
Without doubt a most devout man dedicated to the Pancreator, but for one who has spent time on the Garden Worlds, he seems to lack the social niceties. Unfortunatly tainted with the stamp of the Curia-faction. Would make an admirable Abbot and Chancellor, or esteemed Inquisitor - but not both at the same time. However, as a representative of the Universal Church, Caelwyn has often supported the Inquisitor's efforts, even to the use of troops.
- Lady Linnea Torenson:
Devoted Companion, Spymistress, Essential Logistician, Ward and Daughter, Prize of War and Hostage. For this young woman's safety, and happiness, worlds would burn at Caelwyn's hand if needed.
- Lady Samina Fairuz Nouhad al-Malik:
The Songbird. While their Houses' emnity upon Yathrib makes them opponents, there is naught to be despised in the charming and culture-loving person of Samina herself, and much to be admired.
- Sir Cephus Justinian:
Bluff and no-nonsense, the Armsmaster of Remle is dependable, although Caelwyn's interaction with him is mostly as a result of his daughter Naima.
- Sister Naima bint Justinian:
A young idealist despite her chequered past, Caelwyn is honoured that she has come to see him as a mentor in both the convenational areas, but also in matters spiritual, which surprises him. He greatly values her trust, though regularly attempts to remind her that dark deeds may be ahead in war. Her visions and blessing from the Pancreator is worrysome, all the more so because the senior churchmen of Akko seem to have little time for the blessed amid the rough and tumble of politics.
- Master Zaed:
While he sullied the honour of Caelwyn's tourney with his witch powers, he served out his penance. However, his reticence to re-enter combat and professed loathing for battle does not mesh with his urge to gain glory for love, nor should it be countenanced while the Heretic threat remains so strong.
- Brother Miles Fortius, Apprentice of Brother Battle:
This young brother has performed excellently well on several operations under Caelwyn's orders, although not under his direct command. If youthful enthusiasm is tempered by the growth of wider world-awareness, he will go far.
- Verity Iolanda Winters, Entered of the Supreme Order of Engineers:
Scatterbrained and lacking decorum, but a clear genius and may go far in the Engineers - if she survives the broadening of experience to rid her of her naïveté.
- Dame Trisje Miep van Gelder, Knight of the Company of the Phoenix:
A skillful and seemingly reliable investigator-agent that clearly has much of her House's training within her - in all aspects.
- Dame Anja Torenson:
Cool, collected, and poised - just as one would expect from a Torenson.
- Captain Sir Zakaria Haidar ibn Yunus ibn Hakim al-Bahri al Malik:
While certainly brave, the flamboyant Al-Malik privateer has earned Caelwyn's emnity, but so long as he works towards the defeat of the Kurgan, matters will lie, even though Fallingfire and Hydessos are far from friendly competitors.
- Brother Moroko, Acolyte of Brother Battle, Vicar-Commander of Prior's Ford:
An expert warrior, but not the best tactician or strategist, and despite his offworld origins, appears to have become wedded to the Yathribi De-Moley cause. Nonetheless, a man to be relied upon to do his work in battle's clamour.
- Baroness Lysandra Justinian, Lady of Claudius' Tomb:
A determined woman, Caelwyn has a great deal of respect for Lysandra, even though he is fairly certain that despite her moves between Justinian and Decados, it is the Mantis' claws that are deepest embedded. Her ascension to Constable resulted from being one who has least offended any faction, at a moment when her opponents seemed to suddenly crumble - not the best foundation for a solid premiership.
- Baroness Chiaka Iulia Theodosia Justinian, Lady Avenal:
Often a political opponent due to her natural but frustrating concerns with the North above all things, Caelwyn nonetheless enjoys his games of Go with the noblewoman who appears to cherish her Li Halan heritage. She seems brave but frail, a curious combination for a successful space privateer.
- Baron Hassan ibn Abd Al-Haww ibn Al-Malik, Lord of Helborg:
A friendly young nobleman who has no idea of the reality of war, or the impact of the shells he tosses about. He'll learn or be deposed.
- Baron Arkady Ivanovich Decados, Lord of Margat:
Amber seems to think much of Arkady, despite the initial reports that he was at best a dilettante warrior. Still, the Mantis are never what they appear to be.
- Isabeau Meeks, Freewoman:
An odd mix of innocence and intensity, her devotion to her protector Zaed had her approach Caelwyn on several occasions, despite the social gulf.
- Abiku of the Guild of Courtesans:
Curiously reticent for a woman paid to put people at their ease, there seemed to be more to the Courtesan than met the eye.
- Geoffrey de Moley, Guardian of the Crusader State:
A noble man, and a man of honour, but a weak and vacillating leader. Left it to his vassals to make a stand against an overbearing abuse of authority.
- Baroness Alysenne [Katerine] De Moley, Lady of Josselin:
Attractive but severe for such a young noblewoman, Katerine's willingness to essay dangerous operations in battle if the reward was worth the risk drew Caelwyn's attention.
- Sir William Hawkwood, Knight Grand Gross of the Swords of Lextius:
His attempt to sieze power was conducted with hands far too rough and grasping. A renowned soldier but lacking enough political nous to ease the transition and instead caused an ongoing riot. Caelwyn has in recent months been moving more and more towards his line of thinking, however - the State is a crippled mess, and strong, unified leadership may be the only way forward. However, it might be siezed without such -foolishness-, and returned to the bosom of the Church.