General Guy Xamander
Stoutly built with white hair, a strong nose and a well groomed moustache, this old soldiers steady gaze is unnerving to some and inspirational to others.
Wearing the waistcoat and coat of a Heidelen officer, a battered tricorn hat that has seen many years use, well worn high boots and leather lined riding trousers, this vision of an old soldier walks with a limp and his once broad shoulders bow slightly from the weight of years, but by the god sir, time will not be the better of him any time soon. His hands obviously cause him some discomfort when he flexes and moves his fingers, but he seems damned if a little pain and discomfort will deter his movements. His eyes can appear flinty or, when the wealth of lines around them crinkle, be alive with mischief and good humour. Surprisingly spry for a 66 year old man, but time will have its say one day, as each year winter reminds him.
A soldier grown old, General Xamander is something of an institution in the Heidelgard Army, for he is the longest serving officer still holding a commission and by willpower and sheer determination has fought off every attempt by High Command to pension him out into his dotage. He made his name as a young Lieutenant at the age of 20 serving throughout the 6 year long War of the 3 Barons between Heidelgard, Serroya and the various minor realms in the Midland Duchies. The hero of the Battle of Breaker Hill, where he led the final charge at the head of his company to force the breach and hold it long enough against the Serroyan army for the Heidelen coalition forces to reinforce and ultimately win the battle; the Defender of Fort Tralesk, holding out for 2 weeks from sustained assault with his command; all these and more achievements and honours earned saw him rise from young Lieutenant all the way to Colonel at the age of 26 by the Wars end, heavily decorated and feted for his part.
Since those days he has served in other engagements and campaigns, even the ill fated venture known as the “Bleak Crusade” of 483 AC to most but known to the Society and a number of nations officially as the 13th Northern Crusade; a military expedition pushed upon many reluctant nations by the Society to try and take a chunk of Amarkacha as a supposed psychological blow to the northern barbarians. The expedition was a disaster and spelled the end of Heidelgard and Schwereinn involvement in Society military expeditions, but cemented his own reputation as a Great Captain, through brave acts, competent and inspired leadership of his forces and the maintaining of proper moral standards (backed with some Hand Paladins, he refused to commit genocidal orders on Amarkachan civilians). He managed to perform a fighting withdrawal in good order alongside Schwereinn jaegars and Hand Paladin forces, covering the somewhat dishevelled and panicked withdrawal of the rest of the Crusaders.
Since those days of glory, he had remained as a general in the Heidelgard forces, though barred from advancing to Marshal rank due to a combination of Society pressure (the Bleak Crusade is not soon forgotten by them) and also his natural intransigence. After refusing retirement at the age of 60, he has now spent the last 6 years as commander of the 10th Army Battle-group, a slightly antiquated force which still has pike battalions within it (despite his efforts to have them refitted in a more modern style). Regarded as amongst the least prestigious branches of the military and seen by some as a slight for his cantankerous refusal to retire, he has instead seen this posting as his last great battle, to have these men and women properly outfitted and respected by High Command and the country.
He never married, though some salacious rumours have it that he was especially close to the Hand Paladin Amelie Sandrine who was also on the Bleak Crusade, rumours that were not dissuaded when she became the Hand Commander in Heidelgard City shortly after the end of the Crusade, and remained so until her death in 502 AC.
Nowadays, he spends his time maintaining his army’s readiness, training the new recruits to the best standard possible, coming up with new strategies and tactics for what he has and fending off attempts to have him removed from his last command. Throughout his career and now, his troops have loved and revered him, and his foes and allies alike have largely respected and admired him. The esteemed and legendary Marshall Arnaud De Valuac of Serroya regards him as his greatest, noblest and best opponent and the pair of old soldiers have met on a number of occasions. He is regarded by the commonfolks and many of the nobility as a national treasure (to his chagrin), and the only reason statues haven’t been erected to him and his glories is because he has worked damned hard to stop such foolish (to his mind) things happening.