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Honorous Jorg Ancrath was the first and eldest son of King Olidan Ancrath, although he was disinherited from the throne when his father married Sareth ap Scorron following the death of his mother, Queen Rowen and his brother William Ancrath, and was given another son, Degran. Jorg later killed his half-brother by accident through the use of necromancy.

Biography[]

Early Life[]

Jorg's first memory was of leaning out from a high parapet in a storm, laughing, before having hands pulling him back. From then till age 6, he grew as familiar with the outside as the inside of the Tall Castle, residence of the King of Ancrath, and his home.

Jorg learned to read at three years of age, helped by his royal education.

Jorg once picked up a hot poker, burning his hands and leaving wounds that took a period of time to heal. This left a fear of fire that predated and was expanded by Justice's incident.

Jorg's younger brother, William, was once sick. Jorg whispered prayers in the Tall Castle's chapel in the dark after the holy men went to bed, making promises. When he crept back to their chambers he climbed beside William and held his head. William had been given potions and let blood by the friar, while Queen Rowen had applied ointment to his chest.

During Jorg's childhood, he played with his younger brother William (2 years his junior) and their large wolf-hound Justice. The dog would allow William to ride him, but not Jorg or both of them, shaking them off if Jorg mounted him.

The Tall Castle was a relic of the Builders, and Jorg's actions, like that of other inhabitants of the castle, was recorded through Builder lens (similar to CCTV). This data was of aid to the Builder data echo Fexler Brews, when he later sought to build a data echo model of Jorg, both to know if Jorg was suited to save the world and to serve as a suitable anchor for Jorg's will in the process of saving the world.

When Jorg was 6, he coveted a priceless snow globe given by Alaric Maladon to his mother, and kept by his father in the treasury vault of the Tall Castle. At night, he broke into the vault through an open window kept to allow the King of Ancrath to know when the door of the vault was open, and played with the snow globe. He then broke it to set free the figure from the unchanging world within it. However, he was caught during the return and awaited his father to receive punishment. King Olidan commanded him to break the legs of Justice, Jorg and William's dog, one by one, on threat of burning the dog, with a hammer. When Jorg at last refused to break the last leg, his father tossed a torch on Justice, burning him. Jorg, rolling away from the flames from instinct, threw the hammer at his father at a blow that would have killed him had he moved less quickly.

After this, King Olidan sent for Priest Gomst to undertake the education of his progeny to prevent similar incidents from occurring. Jorg's brother William urged and cooperated with him to kill his father in recompense, but convinced himself into thinking that his father had killed Justice for it to wait for them after death. Jorg, not truly wanting to kill his father, desisted upon the urgings of Priest Gomst.

Jorg read Socrates and Aristotle at seven, taking copies from his father's library. Lundist, his tutor, (a man from the Utter East and Ling, slave to Morrow) began his teachings of Jorg and William at least since William was 6, perhaps at Queen Rowen's request. Four days in seven Jorg's studies kept him at Lundist's side. Lundist was versed in and taught Jorg the natural sciences, ancient languages, history and statecraft, stick fighting, among other knowledge. He was brother to Luntar, a prominent alchemist and future-sworn magician, who supported the Red Queen's War to restore reality and preserve the world through two members of House Ancrath. This supports the proposition that it was not merely chance that guided Lundist to tutor Jorg and William, bringing them knowledge to survive and manipulate the world.

History[]

When Jorg, his mother, and his brother were returning to the Tall Castle from a trip, they were ambushed by Osson Renar's men on the Castle road while traveling near the town of Norwood. Jorg was stuck in a patch of thorns after trying to escape with the help of Jan and was forced to watch and listen as his mother was raped and his younger brother’s head was dashed against a milestone, shattering his skull, against the intermittent light from the lightning during a raging storm. Jorg eventually passed out. Sir Reilly discovered Jorg held in place by thorns and cut him loose before returning him to Crath City in a cart. Jorg's father didn't come to see him; instead Lundist and Gomst helped him recover from his wounds. Jorg, already wanting revenge on his uncle, asked his tutor if revenge was a science, or an art.

Jorg was hurt and enraged when Lundist later informed him that his father, King Olidan Ancrath, would not be taking vengeance and would keep the Army of the Gate inside Ancrath, and that instead he had struck a truce with Renar to gain control of the Cathun River. This lack of military action also caused the breakdown of the already weakened marriage alliance between Ancrath and Morrow, whose Earl, Hansa of Morrow, is Rowen of Morrow's father. Jorg, sickened, swears to some day kill Renar by himself. Time passed in Ancrath and Jorg was later told of a group of bandits in the dungeons who were scheduled for execution. Posing as a serving boy, Jorg meets with them and arranges to escape with them so they can aid him in taking vengeance against his uncle, incapacitating Lundist during the escape. He befriends an Afriquan man named Kashta, calling him "the Nuban" for his dark skin, taking only him in his journey to kill a person whom is not yet known to Kashta.

On the way, Sageous, a dream-witch, entraps Jorg and Kashta in dreams so as to be captured or killed by his hunter, possibly to gain favour with King Olidan or to eliminate another Ancrath. However, Jorg escapes his nightmares, wakes up, and wounds the man, his scream causing Kashta to wake up and kill him. Kashta acquires the hunter's dual-firing heavy crossbow, which he said was made by his people. Jorg then tells him his target is Count Renar.

Jorg and Kashta reach The Haunt, principal castle of Renar, where his target resides. He seeks an audience with the mage Corion, whom he identifies as Count Renar's strongest defence, to eliminate his protection of the Count, with Sageous' hunter's crossbow. However, Corion magically steers him from his pursuit of Renar, directing him to spill his need for vengeance as atrocity on the road before erasing the memory of Jorg's meeting with him. To some greater or lesser measure, Jorg's actions as a road Brother are henceforth affected by the mage, until he reclaims his will. Corion also enchanted what was now Kashta's crossbow, allowing it to break enchantments while also preventing it from missing, for Kashta to protect Jorg until he returns to confront King Olidan at Corion's direction and leisure.

As Jorg and Kashta explore the fringes of Orlanth in their wanderings, they are overpowered by a bandit group known as the Select, who, in the test administered by the band, have received the response "Select Mode" from a damaged Builder archway when they are within the archway, rather than ''Failure to Connect", where they are judged to have failed and are killed. The band take them for testing; incidentally, time runs faster within the testing space, as a result of damaged space or incontinent Builder machinery. After Kashta and later Jorg fails, Jorg steps back into the testing space (obtaining the second response "Select Mode"), and trailing quick-time, kills the band together with Kashta. He damages the archway with a rock and seeks a third 'judgement', receiving "Failure to Connect".

Upon rejoining the Brothers, Price attacks Jorg, his rage fanned through dreams by Sageous, who had discovered he had lost Jorg as a possible pawn to Corion. Jorg, unknowingly guided by Corion, throws three stones, killing him. Jorg officially joins the Brothers under the protection of Kashta and the temporary uneasy leadership of Burlow.

As the Brothers drew near the monastery of St. Sebastian, Jorg seeks to place himself as an undercover agent in the ward, posing as an orphan, to prove his worth. As his stay progresses, he becomes attached to his fellow wards and especially to Orscar, beginning to believe he can have a life away from the thorns and the road, dulling Corion's control and his survival instincts. The arrival of the Papal Cavalcade of Bishop Murillo heralds his experience of the underside of life in the monastery and of the Church of Roma, wherein he is drugged, bound, and raped by Murillo. Loosing his bonds silently, he kills most of the rest of Murillo's cavalcade and binds Murillo's ankles to a draft horse, before setting fire to the monastery and leading the horse out, with Murillo trailing behind on his shattered ankles. After the Brothers loot the monastery, they gather in a circle around as Jorg hammers 13 roofing nails, one by one, into Murillo's head, making Murillo forget his prior agony through terror before breaking down Murillo's mind. After this, Jorg consciously embraces his perception of his father's teachings (and Corion's guidance, not knowing of Corion or any external guide), faithfully spreading atrocity in the name of strength, in unconscious recompense for his pain.

During Jorg and the Brothers' travels, they recruit Kent, who had just killed 17 Kennick patrolmen who had sacked his home. He was covered in their blood, thus was afterwards called "Red Kent". Struggling against his killer's instincts ever since he killed a fellow boy in a childhood fight, the act was as much a resignation to his nature as driven by the need for recompense of his fallen home and family. He willingly joined the Brothers, temporarily at peace with his situation.

Some time after Makin Bortha, as Captain of the Ancrath Imperial Guard in search for Jorg, joins the Brothers, Burlow, uneasy of Jorg's growing authority within the brotherhood, organises a failed raid on the merchant Sol Tarron's house, refusing to consider Jorg's plan to capture the merchant and later, some town, by entering the enemy encampment as bait together with Burlow. After the raid, all the Brothers except Sim apparently abandon Burlow, leaving the two of them to enter Perryville, a neighbouring town, to restore themselves, as suggested by Sim. Burlow is immediately reported to the town guard by Elban and captured. Sol Tarron and Lord Hetton, feudal lord of Perryville, question Burlow but the latter is killed by Sim. In the chaos, the rest of the Brothers appear and easily eliminate the remaining authorities and most of the guards, sacking Perryville. In the revelry following the sack, Burlow is made aware of the deception and persuaded to yield the authority of the Brothers to Jorg, willingly relinquishing the weight of command, comprised of both threat and responsibility.

Jorg (aged 12) and the Brothers had a duration when they travelled with Elias Taproot and his circus, which was largely a front for Taproot's information gathering and reselling. Taproot was himself a Builder who periodically entered stasis (thus not having reached the limitations of his lifespan) and could connect to the deepnet and confer with Builder data echos. Notable events within include: 1) Rike loses to Ron the circus strongman in lifting weights and gives respect not shown to anyone else; 2) Jorg meets his first lover, Serra, a circus contortionist.

As leader of the Brothers, Jorg commanded Sim to undertake multiple assassinations, some of them high-profile, such as that of Dara, Princess of Aramis. This was accomplished through Sim's disguise as a storyteller, narrating the ~true story of his arrival as an assassin in the castle to Dara. Sim received a gold coin for each assassination but was as free to choose his path as he could be after each one, yet each time he continued to follow Jorg who gave him direction.

Prince of Thorns[]

Jorg's brotherhood loot the village of Mabberton and, in the process, kill its leader, Bovid Tor. This serves as a warning to Kennick, a local baron, telling him not to follow them down the Lich road towards Wennith on the Horse Coast. However, he does not explain this immediately to his comrades, and Brother Gemt doubts him. As a result, an irritated Jorg stabs him in the neck and orders Maical to take his head.

Ambush on the Lichway by Josiah Bancroft

Jorg is attacked by undead in the swamps

While traveling down the Lichway, the brotherhood encounters a gibbet with four prisoners hanging inside - two of which are alive. Jorg recognizes one of them as Father Gomst and they briefly converse before Gomst warns him to run. Jorg realizes they are being surrounded by undead coming out of the swamp. Jorg, defying Gomst, chooses to stand his ground.

They soon come to Norwood, finding it burned and looted - undoubtedly by the Count of Renar. Rike, furious that there was no gold to be found, began to come at Jorg. Never loosing his cool, he brought the big man to where a score of festival beer lay cooling their kegs, in his way, silently warning him to never doubt him. Gomst tells Jorg to just have Makin kill Rike, but he cuts him off. Rike, at last remembering how Father Gomst had called Jorg 'prince', demanded answers. Jorg tells him, how Makin is Captain Makin Bortha of the Ancrath Imperial Guard, how he is the beloved son and heir to King Olidan of the House of Ancrath, how that very day was his fourteenth birthday.

The Brothers toast to Jorg, drink and celebrate. In a little while, Jorg finds Makin, who informs him of the pyre he found - two hundred dead upon it, but unlit, and that the rogues were probably some days away.

Jorg tells the brothers otherwise and ordered them to set up an ambush. When the troops came up, Jorg knew what he'd suspected. It was men of Renar, led by Marclos Renar under the banner of his house. back to finish where they'd left. Jorg, knowing that they couldn't fight off such a large troop, calls for a truce under a white banner.

Jorg is searched for weapons before being permitted to approach, and comes forward without either arms or a plan. The Count of Renar's son asks who he is, as only a nobleman can call a truce. Jorg throws in a bit of cunning, slips a stiletto from his horse's saddle, and knifes him in the eye. He rode off with Marclos on the man's stallion to the outskirts of Norwood, then threw him off and made back to the brothers waiting in ambush. They broke through Renar's men easily, and soon few were left - only enough to take back the message: Jorg was a prince who would never retreat - who could beat a hundred men with thirty.

They had a prisoner, Sir Renton. He and Jorg had a nice long chat on niceties, and damnation; revenge, and threats of torture; at last, the knight told him all he wanted to know. Then, he was given to the peasants rescued from the men of Renar to be burned. After that, Jorg, defying Corion's compulsion, rode with his brothers into Ancrath.

At Chelny Ford, Jorg meets Captain Coddin, who accompanies him on his return to Crath City with two dozen riders. They travel through Bains Town, where Lord Nossar of Elm attempts to detain him to offer him hospitality, possibly on the orders of King Olidan, but is rejected. When Jorg reaches Crath City, he is directed to quarter his Brothers at the Low City, with only Makin Bortha and Father Gomst required in the Tall Castle.

King Olidan refuses to meet Jorg on the day of his return, and he instead is summoned to meet Sageous, who has instated himself as a court advisor, by Robart Hool. On the way, Jorg intimidates Robart and offers him the choice to serve him. At Jorg and Sageous' first face-to-face meeting, Sageous attempts to impress his power on Jorg through a preliminary examination and later tries sends him to sleep to manipulate him through dreams, or cause him to be vulnerable. Before Jorg collapses with exhaustion, he grasps Sageous' neck with idle wondering (possibly with the aid of Corion) and threatens him, afterwards leaving with Robart and commanding him to let Makin guard his room that night. The room itself was intended for low-ranking visiting relatives or merchants from the protectorates or outlying provinces, a studied insult to the heir of the King of Ancrath.

At night, not unexpectedly, he had a nightmare dreaming of his cowardice that held him trapped in the thorns, not dying with his brother or mother. The dream figures commanded him to jump out of the window, when he was in reality jammed against the door. Makin, who guarded outside his door, woke him up and sent him back to sleep.

The next day, Jorg woke early with the intent to visit the kitchen to have breakfast. He accidentally knocked the bell down, but even so, no servant came. En-route, he meets Katherine ap Scorron, initially accosting her without noticing her bearing. She accompanies him to breakfast, which prompts him to pay a compliment to Drane, even though Jorg had never thought of him once in all the years on the road. Makin finds them to lead them to the throne room, where they have been summoned before King Olidan.

During the audience, King Olidan attempts to humiliate Makin, and indirectly Jorg, through his failure to quickly retrieve Jorg. He then set Makin in a duel against Galen for the position of Captain of the Ancrath Imperial Guard, formerly Makin's position and now Galen's. As it becomes apparent that Makin is losing in the duel, Jorg pushed Sageous' glass-tree over, shattering it and interrupting the duel, also significantly weakening Sageous' power. Then he demands to duel with Galen, claiming the fight as his name-gift for reaching the age of majority (14).

As Galen approaches him, Jorg runs, luring Galen after him. Then, reaching the wall, he turned and fired Kashta's heavy crossbow at Galen, shattering his skull. This earns Katherine's shock and hatred at Jorg, seeing him as one that could hurt her loved ones. At this point, King Olidan dismissed his court, including Sageous. Facing Jorg one-to-one, he demands Gelleth, the strongest of Ancrath's neighbours and stronger than Ancrath, and gives him the Forest Watch, 200 men, untrained and unequipped in siege engines, to do so. This was a task 10,000 men, properly armed with siege engines, would have found difficult to accomplish within an year. Jorg tells his father he will also take his Brothers to accomplish the task.

Jorg and Makin visit the Falling Angel tavern where the Brothers currently were, and discuss the situation. Jorg reads books about Gelleth and the Castle Red, where Merl Gellethar, Duke of Gelleth has his seat while soliciting the services of the prostitute Sally. He gets an idea after reading a document from Builder times. Following this, he is escorted by Captain Coddin to the headquarters of the Forest Watch in Rennat Forest. This was made possible by some dissatisfaction emanating from the court concerning Coddin's recent actions, which caused him to be transferred to escort duty in Crath City.

Lord Vincent de Gren, Watch Master of the Forest Watch, had been notified of events between King Olidan and Jorg by Sareth ap Scorron and directed to stop Jorg. He questions the worth of the enterprise to Gelleth relative to the possible loss, but is then forced to demonstrate the Forest Watch's loyalty to him by ordering Keppen, a member, to be pushed over Rulow's Fall on the River Temus. When he fails, he is then pushed over Rulow's Fall himself by Jorg. After Keppen swears loyalty to the new Watch Master, yet to be appointed, under threat, Coddin is appointed as the new Watch Master. Jorg orders the Forest Watch to enter Gelleth, but not to approach the Castle Red, and orders Coddin to leak out that his presence is with the Forest Watch to inhibit further sabotage. Jorg instead plans to travel to the Gorge of the Leucrota beneath the Castle Red with his Brothers.

Returning to the Tall Castle, Jorg encounters Sageous who attempted to wrest him from Corion's control and replace it with his. He asked why Jorg didn't kill, or deeply harm, someone he had planned to kill when first leaving the Tall Castle after the thorns, then offered him freedom from the control. After collecting Father Gomst from the castle chapel, Jorg returns to find Sageous wanting to renew his offer of protection, but Kashta, carrying the crossbow that has been enchanted by Corion, reveals that he is the dream-witch that set the Brothers imprisoned and attempted to kill him and Jorg with his hunter, causing him to flee.

Jorg and his Brothers enter Gelleth, Father Gomst taking confession from the men with increasing reluctance as he hears more of the Brothers' crimes. A short while after they set camp in the Gorge of the Leucrota, they meet Jane and Gorgoth among the Leucrota, and agree to leave Father Gomst behind as the price of passage into the heart of Mount Honas, the mountain atop which Castle Red is built. All the Leucrota except Gorgoth, Gog, and Magog leave the Brothers at the edge of a vast lake, but before they go, Jane attempts to see into Corion's control, and also warns Jorg of Chella, leader of the necromancers on the path they take, telling him to run when he meets her.

Gorgoth leads the other two Leucrota (intended as sacrificial tribute to the necromancers) and the Brothers to The Great Stair, where he intends to leave them behind. On the way, Jorg names them Gog and Magog. When they meet Chella, not having arrived at The Great Stair, Jorg recalls Jane's words but is unwilling to be pushed to flee, allowing Chella to mesmerise him. They watch a fight-spectacle between Magog and a summoned skeleton, and when the skeleton prepares to deal Magog the death blow, Kashta shoots the skeleton's hand, breaking Chella's spell and allowing Jorg to hit her face with a skull he had in his hand.

Chella, taken by surprise at this blow, nonetheless was able to move away from Jorg's subsequent blows with his sword and exerts her necromantic powers, bringing the deadlands to their surroundings, which mass reanimates the surrounding skeletons with just the surrounding environment and gives a below freezing grave-cold that would kill the living with time. After fighting for some time, Jorg leaves the defensive perimeter to kill Chella, driven by his hate together with the realisation that she was the only one who felt pain. Straining to hear her, he smells oil of cloves and follows the scent, finding Kashta restrained by Chella in an opening to a very deep Builder shaft (probably underground lift shaft), having had his blood just sucked by Chella, restoring her power. Jorg picked up Kashta's crossbow to the side, leading her to place Kashta in front of her as hostage. Chella offers Jorg life as her subordinate, but as he considers shooting her through Kashta, he receives his tacit forgiveness which Jorg could not bear, leading him to shoot them. The two fall into the Builder shaft, neither of them screaming, taking a period of time to hit the bottom.

Jorg returns to the Brothers, freed of further attack, who reproach him for running in the fight. Jorg tells them of Kashta's demise, leading Rike to say it served him right as a coward for running. Although this was a typical comment concerning a dead Brother which meant he was remembered, Jorg hit him in the throat without considering the consequences, leading to an unarmed fight between him and Rike. After several ineffective blows, mostly on Jorg's part, Jorg succeeds in making him stumble and raises Kashta's crossbow on top of his fallen body, threatening to crush his skull unless he retracted his comment about Kashta, though mostly to uphold his authority now. After Rike concedes, Jorg accepts Gog into the Brothers, seeing how fiercely he fought for his now dead brother Magog, and burns the dead to prevent them being reanimated.

After they reach The Great Stair, Cellan, a necromancer and Chella's older brother, appears. He tries to block their path but is beheaded by Jorg before doing more than say one sentence. Jorg splits his sternum and cuts his heart out, taking a bite out of it, following the example of a tribe in Nuba as told by Kashta, to gain his strength. After he does, he hears angry, indistinct whispers of ghosts, leading the Brothers to quickly climb The Great Stair. The last to ascend, Jorg sees the ghosts coming, directedly stealing warmth with grave-cold, and laughs at them, hurting them with his new-found necromantic powers. He then orders them to die, causing them to burn in ghost-fire and scream, which prompted both Jorg and Makin to flee up the stair.

After the Brothers ascend the stair, Jorg acting that his knowledge of the way is a result of royal intuition, directs them to the Builder bunker beneath the Castle Red, the positioning of which he found in the Builder document he had perused back at the Falling Angel. They find their way barred by a large Builder-steel door, and sets his brothers to gouging a hole through the Builder-stone. Finding a compartment, he speaks with an AI which had been trapped for 1,111 years and breaks the machinery housing it by its request in return for it telling him the large door was unlocked.

The Brothers enter the armoury, which is thought to contain the toxins that twisted the Leucrota and painted inhabitants of the Castle Red above red, within geometric solids piled, stacked, or otherwise placed within the vault. Makin and Elban resist the plan to open all the 'boxes' with a slow fire, which at last convinces Jorg to take only one sphere and set it higher for the fire to crack it open. He believed it to contain poison that could kill through the air, whereas it was actually a Builder's Sun. Although the rocket transport and explosive capability had its fuel degrade with age to be unusable, the 'trigger' (implosion) could still be activated, and the fire successfully melted the implosion (maybe long-lived fissile) components into a critical mass, causing a partial ignition of the trigger that would light a Builder's Sun. The explosion leveled Mount Honas and the Castle Red on its shoulder.

By this time, the Brothers had successfully retreated to a relatively safe distance, thrown non-fatally onto the ground with the impact. As Jorg lies unconscious, he hears the players and watchers conversing with the power he took from the necromancer's heart, awakened by the death and maybe radiation. Among them are Sageous, Chella, Corion, other unknown persons, and Jane, the last of which helps him to visualise them (half-success for Corion's case due to the seal on/attempted erasure of Jorg's memory). Jorg learns that both Chella and Jane are buried under Mount Honas, the latter close to death. Jane asks him to look to Corion, the one who guided him during the lost years on the road, without naming him, and also asks him to take care of both Gorgoth and Gog for her, the two now the last of the Leucrota. Sageous warns Jorg not to come home, while Jorg tells him he might not be caught if he runs now. Sageous then tells Corion not to send Jorg against him since it would go ill.

As it was, it occurred that Gog had awakened his fire-sworn powers from the explosive blast, and maybe radiation, of the Builder's Sun. With the Brothers and the last of the Leucrota, Jorg heads back to Crath City, lacking their horses including Gerrod (Jorg's mount) and Firejump (Makin's mount), which were left in their camp in the Gorge of the Leucrota, now almost certainly dead or dying.

During the journey back to and across Ancrath, Jorg reminiscences his early childhood and Justice's death that ended it, which he currently saw as one of necessary hard lessons taught by his father of pain, loss, and sacrifice, culminating in the recent destruction of Gelleth, victory without compromise, mercy, or hesitation. He would thank King Olidan for his instruction, giving his results, and he is thought to approve of them.

Jorg orders Kent to take the Brothers back into the Low Town, with only Makin Bortha accompanying him into the Tall Castle. Queen Sareth and King Olidan attempt to humiliate him, believing his expedition had ended in failure and asking an account of the rout. He recounts the paltry losses of the Forest Watch and implicitly declares his victory, prompting Sareth to state he has not assaulted the Castle Red. King Olidan, also disbelieving his expedition, recounts his order for Jorg to assault the castle, leading Jorg to give a demonstration of his results. With the court including the King still disbelieving his victory, Jorg publicly requests King Olidan to give him his birth-right and command his armies, threatening his dignity, authority, and control of Ancrath, and perhaps an attempted coup, currently raising support among his court. Olidan, to resolve the danger and also unable to accept Jorg to which he had not fulfilled his responsibilities, stabs Jorg in the chest, reaching his heart in a wound that would have been fatal had he not consumed the necromancer's heart.

Makin Bortha, seeing Jorg stabbed, attempts to reach him but is overwhelmed by too many Ancrath Imperial Guards. Jorg's body is commanded to be carried away, and before he lapses into a coma, he hears Lord Nossar, thought to come to carry him away, ask if he will lie by his mother's tomb.

Jorg angel

Jorg meets an angel

Jorg meets an angel in a dream. The angel offers him salvation and entry into heaven, and asks him to let go of his sins and the wrongs that shaped him, saying that he would be happy if he did that. Feeling her pity and her assuredness of success, he rejects her, saying that it would be a different Jorg that would be happy. After the angel targeted his pride, he held onto it as a partial excuse.

Semiconscious, besides his mother and brother's tomb, Jorg hears Katherine visit him, telling her body servant, Hanna, that she didn't know men had so much blood. She then explains that she had wanted to see Jorg die for what he did to Galen, and Hanna adds that Olidan should have slit his throat, but Katherine tells her only a cruel man would take a knife to his son. When Hanna asks Katherine's permission to kill Jorg out of mercy, Katherine refuses, telling her that they should let him fall only when he is ready. Later, Katherine took charge of his body and commanded him to be carried to a chamber in the castle, perhaps feeling some unfocused pity and that he would be in danger if he remained in the tomb.

Some time later, Jorg recalls his meeting and his diversion from revenge at the hands of Corion, perhaps due to the angel, a figment of imagination. He begins to wake, which prompts Hanna, who was besides his body, to attempt to throttle him. Driven by instinct, he successfully throttles her, then fully realises it was Corion who had directed Renar's ambush which had killed his brother and mother. Someone then arrived to open the door, and he managed to stand up before the door opened. Katherine had come to speak with Hanna again, finding she had gone alone to his chamber and worried that she had killed him, and was furious to see that he was alive and had killed Hanna.

Katherine calls him a murderer and pulled a knife on him, telling him that she will finish what his father started. Katherine then hesitates, not having killed a person before, her eyes dropping to Hanna's corpse. While she looks away, he hits her hard on the head with a vase by the side, knocking her unconscious. Jorg considers to kill and rape her, driven by Corion and the thorns, but eventually decides against it, choosing to pursue his uncle and Corion instead, having shaken loose the mage's enchantment.

Jorg returns to the dungeon to free Makin and lead him on his journey for revenge, but finds he is in no condition to do so. Thinking that Corion's pawn wouldn't have ventured into the dungeon, that his father would have left him dead, and what he would do, he hesitates to kill him, giving Makin the opportunity to knock him unconscious and later join him in the escape.

Jorg and Makin arrive at the shadow of The Haunt, seat of the Count of Renar, where a joust is just to occur. They encounter Alain Kennick, heir to the Kennick baronetcy, and his small escort, frightening the escort with tales of the Fight for Norwood. They flee, leaving Alain behind with a broken neck and Jorg in possession of his armour and builder-steel sword. Hearing of the Forest Watch being sent in action (mostly to hunt Jorg down) from a wandering hedge-knight, Jorg gains a condition for their loyalty through a deal with Watch Master Coddin where the Brothers who are with the Watch will listen to him and follow him to hold the gates of The Haunt until the Forest Watch (unable to infiltrate the tournament) arrive, and their temporary loyalty to do so.

Jorg joins the Grand Melee, killing most of the participants, then rushes at Count Renar. Corion stops him with magic, overwriting both his necromancy and will, and many of the Brothers are cut down in the intervening period before the Forest Watch arrive, some defending Jorg. Fatalities include Elban, Liar, and Burlow. A fortuitous wild kick from Alain's horse hit Jorg's back and thrust the dagger he held into Corion's chest, maybe affected by Jorg's will or prophesised fate. Jorg then completes killing him and cut off his head, intimidates the House Renar soldiers coming at him, then runs towards the main gate of the Haunt, where Gorgoth is still preventing the portcullis from lowering. The Forest Watch's finest archers shot down any potential assailants.

Gog has burnt up anyone who ran at Gorgoth, and when Jorg entered, he found himself facing Count Renar and his personal guard. Renar orders him to be shot, but as the crossbowman lifted his weapon, he was burnt to death and his ghost given a voice with necromancy, greatly demoralising the guard. Jorg then ran at Count Renar with his sword, not killing him, and accepted the surrender of Sir Hebbron and the rest of the guard, taking the throne of Renar.

Jorg took Corion's former dwelling in a high tower as one of his rooms and kept his uncle in the smallest of dungeon cells, not killing him. Everyday, he visited him to let him ask for death. He also thought to let Renar to have the end he seeks once he had finished writing, but this did not happen up to Jorg's own death.

King of Thorns[]

Jorg explored the Haunt and its staff of serving maids, suppressed his nobles, and ransacked his treasury for his first three months as King of Renar. He also limitedly travelled around the Renar Highlands, finding God's Finger, a spire of rock in the Matteracks mountain range four hundred feet tall, which he failed to climb seven times and succeeded on the eight time.

Early in Year 99 Interregnum, mere months after Jorg had taken Renar, Gog, the fire-sword mutant child, was the subject of controversy amongst the closest of Jorg's circles. Gog's powers were obviously becoming uncontrollable, burning his surroundings when he had a bad dream given by Sageous. Thus, Jorg resolved to travel North to the Heimrift, towards a volcano where they believe a powerful fire-mage to reside. He planned to meet him with Gog, so the fire-mage could advise on taming Gog's power or take his power and its side effects from him, leaving Gog with a healthy life. To travel incognito, preventing political disputes, hassle, or danger, Jorg again posed as a bandit, taking the Brothers he needed with him: Kent, Row, Grumlow, Sim, Maical, Rike, with Makin Bortha, Gorgoth, and Gog. Before they left, Jorg took two Builder artifacts, a watch and a wind-up clown. He wound up the latter before their journey, making the gathered Brothers laugh, the last good moment for the remade Brotherhood when all the Brothers were present.

Just as they were leaving on the edge of spring, they received news of the cavalcade of the Prince of Arrow. Planning to meet the Prince of Arrow and his brother on the road, Jorg posed as a bandit and did so, gaining a first-hand impression of Prince Orrin's charisma, ability, and ambition to unite the Broken Empire. In their meeting, Orrin saw through Jorg's disguise, and knew how many of the Forest Watch were around them, before giving reasons why Jorg would not kill him, logically responding to Jorg's improvised actions with an element of humouring him, viewing Jorg as a conventional half-grown child and Feudal Lord of the Broken Empire by his own inclinations and unable to deeply experience others' motivations due to his maintenance that only his own path was justified at every moment, seeing Jorg as a rival in his suppressed subconscious. He also believed his attitude in seriously treating him, while showing his own reasons for uniting the Empire, would cause him to submit. However, Orrin was a believer in his own path and underwent continuous self-reflection. This meant that although he wasn't able to deeply discern the motivations of his acquaintances due to his subconscious judgement unlike Jorg, he was able to hold himself to his ideals and apply rational judgement on most matters more conducive to them. He also had a strong sense of himself and was not easily turned from his path which was the thing he most treasured. This was why he appeared the best suited potential husband of Katherine ap Scorron, when later he married her, at least superficially on a rational basis.

In the same vein, he later showed the incapacity of Jorg's reasons to become Emperor and demonstrated his reasons for doing so. This attitude was also displayed when Jorg later challenged Orrin to a sword duel, where he would submit when next Orrin came to Renar if he yielded. Orrin acceded to the duel, and easily overpowered Jorg as a master swordsman; however Jorg used the same reason as Orrin why he would not kill Jorg, causing him to leave without Jorg yielding, disgusted at him for his own lack of gain or acknowledgement. Jorg, throughout the encounter feeling a sense of inferiority, granted him passage to the High Pass in an attempt to assert some authority, and told him he would decide whether to submit to him then. The entire encounter marked a significant, yet informal, diplomatic meeting between the Princedom of Arrow and the Renar Highlands, prompting strong reflection on both sides, which would have its sequel in four years' time. It catalysed Jorg's search for new horizons and better reasons to claim the Empire for him to match the Prince (also said by Jane), and later his experiments in indulging his own compassion of humans, exemplified as a partial motivation of his actions at Hamada. It also prompted Jorg's training with his sword in the intervening four years, by which his attainment is implied to have exceeded Orrin's.

Jorg was concussed during the duel. Makin offered him clove-spice (probably an opiate) which he had been taking, to ease the pain, but was rejected. Jorg later fell off his horse and was carried into the house of Marten and Sara and their children Janey and Davie five miles within the border of Renar, the latter killed when Ancrath troops annexed the land and started to fire the buildings. Jorg also heard how Marten did not attempt to save or hold his son when he was cut down, responding that he did right in justification for his own failure. Janey was incurably sick and would soon die in agony, so Jorg left her the clove-spice for an easy, painless death, and the wind-up clown to make her laugh in her last moments. Marten later came to the Haunt with Sara at his side, becoming the best and most loyal of Jorg's captains, because Jorg had given him salvation, a second chance to protect his family.

When Jorg returns to Ancrath, on the way, with the superficial intent to kill his half-brother Degran, perhaps nudged by Sageous' dreams, Katherine meets him by the cemetery of Perechaise and was used as a tool in an attempt to stab him by Sageous. He gains the information that Friar Glen was the one who raped her and infiltrates the Tall Castle, first entrusting Katherine to the Brothers temporarily, continuously indirectly led by Sageous, who was present but was able to dream-walk away. After having killed Friar Glen and accidentally killed his half-brother, Jorg stumbles back to the Brothers, filled with madness by Sageous. Katherine, knowing of Luntar and his ability to remove unhealthy pieces of his patients' mind to remove madness (such as that of her Great Aunt Lucin), does not want that for Jorg but in the end tells Makin Bortha about him, and the directions to Thar, where he resides. As a result, Jorg's memory of this trip to the Tall Castle is sealed in the copper box by Luntar. After that, the ghost of the baby whom he accidentally killed accompanies him until he opens the box and gains full realisation of his deeds.

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Jorg is acknowledged as Red Jorg

On the journey, after Jorg possesses the copper box, Sageous tried a second time to kill him with Gog's dreams. Later, Maical was killed by an arrow from a fort near Remagen on the River Rhyme, causing Jorg to kill all fourteen of the fort-men and earn the title "Red Jorg" and set their heads around his cairn as a honour guard. It surprised him to find that he cared, but he did. The heads turned to watch Jorg after he had finished, mouthing the title "Dead King".

The Brothers entered Remagen and had a reunion with Dr. Taproot and his circus. Dr. Taproot is known for having the most reliable of information, and a vast amount of circus flair. Jorg and the brothers had met the circus before and were quite friendly with its members, such as Ron and Serra, Later, Dr. Taproot reveals himself to be of significant use. During their confluence, Gog created a fire-homunculus with fire-magic, while Jorg pulled a pin and set a lion free for Kashta. Jorg learns Kashta's name and gains more information on interest in the Prince of Arrow's among the players, including Sageous, The Blue Lady, Luntar, and Skilfar, but forgets to ask about the Dead King. He learns from Gorgoth that it is a new power, risen in the deadlands, who made the necromancers listen and submit through fear.

Jorg and the Brothers then visit Endless. Sim played songs in the tavern including "Merican Pie" (descendant of the song "American Pie") after the rest of the Brothers had retired, but was later set on by five men who beat him up, sexually assaulted him, and stole his harp. Jorg gathered the Brothers but the reckoning would have to be left until tomorrow, since it was in the night with an enemy archer. However, Gorgoth was shot, inciting Gog's fury. Jorg took Gog's hand and together they burned the perpetuators. If Gorgoth had not knocked aside Jorg and snatched up Gog Endless and the forest would not have any trace remaining before they stopped. They recovered Sim's harp, twisted by the fire.

Shortly after Jorg and the Brothers entered Maladon, where the Heimrift was, they met Sindri Maladon, who led them to the court of Alaric Maladon, his father and ruler. Liking him on sight, Jorg asked Alaric whether he wanted to have a friend in the south. After hearing that Ferrakind, the fire-mage who resides in the Heimrift, had caused the volcanic eruptions which suppressed Maladon's strength, Jorg told him his reason for coming was to go there. While Sindri offered to guide them there, Alaric prohibited him. He had four sons born alive, and the eldest three had burned in the Heimrift. Jorg leaves Makin, Rike, and Kent to improve relations with Alaric's men.

Notwithstanding, Sindri caught up with them and guided them around the volcanoes. Gorgoth, seeing some caves, finds the trolls, a genetically-engineered species made for war. They have the ability to communicate via telepathy with each other and Gorgoth. Gorgoth subdues one and is acknowledged by them as their leader before they return to Alaric's hall.

After they return, Ekatri, a volva, calls for Jorg to meet her because she was told to tell the runes for him years ago. She told him not to stand before the arrow and to open his gates, or not, also telling him not to play with fire, or he'll get burnt, and that the Prince of Arrow would take the throne, the prophecy told to her by Skilfar. She also asked whether he would to stay, transforming into the image of Katherine. Jorg fled from the tent then, taking the Thurisaz rune, symbolising the thorns, with him.

Jorg discussed the prophecy and their respective response to the Prince of Arrow with Duke Alaric, also touching on the trolls and Jorg's Leucrota companions. Gog transferred fire from a spill to the hearth, prompting Jorg to confirm his conception of visible fire as pieces of the only true fire (energy), and that all fire-magic was transferring that energy. It is also revealed that Alaric thought it strange that the trolls found did not serve Ferrakind, with Gorgoth explaining that the trolls served him out of fear of burning and that a few hid from him.

Jorg leave with Gorgoth and Gog to meet with Ferrakind after reimposing his authority on the Brothers, a measure of which had been lost since his madness prior to the copper box. Jorg found a place where there was a frozen channel into a lake, and after Ferrakind stated his inability to take the fire from Gog so he could live, trying to consume Gog after the negotiations failed, Jorg directed Gog to transfer his heat into that channel and melt its ice, bringing the lake to quench Ferrakind. When he dived at Gog to save him from the water, who was consumed by the fire-magic duel immediately prior, Gog broke into fragments with some finding its way into Jorg's left cheek, burning it. Gorgoth carried him outside to the mountain and said he would stay in those caves, in the Heimrift, making arrangements with Jorg that he would bring the trolls southward to Renar as their permanent home. Sindri, who was with them, was told that both Gog and Ferrakind were gone.

After Jorg was carried back to Alaric's hall, he was delivered salve for his burns (which anchored fire-magic) by Elin Maladon, daughter of Alaric, from Ekatri, and also a powder to consume to fight the necromancy still persisting in his blood. With friends in the north, Jorg's thoughts now turned towards Wennith and its ally Morrow, the seat of his grandfather Hansa of Morrow and most of his remaining family, to gather support from them, to recall memories of his mother, or just not be yearned to be killed by someone he could call family. He had travelled to the Heimrift for Gog, but found allies instead. Elin told him to visit them in winter.

With Ekatri's ointment, Jorg's burns congealed into a mass of scar. The Brothers are left subdued after the loss of Gog, and Jorg, with reduced appetite for "sacrifice", gave Makin permission to warn him if he set himself or them on too harsh a path.

After a seer approached him in the town of Rye, saying that the Gilden Gate would open for the Prince of Arrow and that he, as Prince of Thorns, could only go on such a path, Jorg stabbed him and beheaded him, then kicked his head into the crowd, emotionally down from his injury and Gog's loss.

The Brothers then reach the town of Hanver where there was a festival with a church torture and execution session planned for a woman and her girls, for witchcraft or invention, the Church's antipathies driven by some of the Builder data echos to prevent them and the world wielding excessive power, of belief or technology. As the priest was about to flog the first girl with a spiked cane, Jorg strode on to the stage and compelled him to free them on threat, half-hoping that the crowd would fight against him and that he would plunge Hanver, which had been untouched by war for a generation, back into bloodshed; but they remained silent.

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Chella accompanied by dead Brothers, accosts Jorg

The land transitioned from spring to summer as they rode. Jorg sparred with Makin, as he did almost every day after his encounter with Prince Orrin. As they sparred, he caught the strains of the sword-song, the old pain of his burns seemed to reignite with exertion, and his sword became hot enough to blister with its speed, at last leading him to beat Makin at sword fighting.

As they were on the point of reaching Cantanlona, they were diverted from their planned route by a broken bridge. Jorg could smell a hint of something rotten beneath the current with his necromantic powers, perhaps the perpetuator of the destruction and to prevent the Brothers from crossing, probably a creature of Chella. As a day passed while they travelled along the alternate road they were diverted to, they reached a domain where Chella had disgorged huts from the surrounding swamp, and populated them with some of Jorg's ghosts of Gelleth, a tortured renactment of the destruction of Gelleth (at the periphery) for his benefit. However, during the process, Jorg found that ghosts could not physically harm the living. Chella had practiced her necromancy here for some time, by order of the Dead King, who wanted to bring Jorg before him.

Chella had overwritten Jorg's necromantic power, making him unable to sense her necromancy. Due to her master forbidding her to take Jorg's life, she played with Jorg for pleasure and to weaken his will along the prior example above, summoning ghosts, raising the bodies of dead brothers, making quick-dead to catch him and killing his brothers (Row and Sim), also compelling him to marry her, witnessed by the aforementioned ghosts and corpses.

However, Chella had manifestly not summoned all his ghosts, and the ghost of Friar Glen stabbed a reanimated body, her playing and his stalling giving Jorg the time to put together the knowledge that ghosts (who could not hurt the living) could hurt raised corpses, and the motive to summon them. With his own necromancy, he summoned the absent ghosts of Gelleth at the heart of the conflagration, destroying Chella's congregation with the ghosts' fire. There was no sign of Chella and her creatures remaining.

After reaching Barlona, Jorg planned to take ship to Castle Morrow, leaving behind the remaining Brothers: Makin Bortha, Kent, Grumlow, Rike. This was both to minimise the remaining casualties among the diminished Brotherhood and because he wanted to arrive incognito and anyway didn't want to visit his family accompanied by the Brothers. Jorg left behind his horse Brath, which was later sent ahead to him. Jorg negotiated passage on the Sea-goat with Captain Nellis, but before he left, he bribed the port authority to steer Makin and the other Brothers, who were tailing him, northward.

Jorg disembarked at Arrapa, two miles north of Castle Morrow. He sought service as a guard but was initially rejected by Greyson Landless, a wall guard, which he nicknamed "Sunny" for his disposition and claims of fatherhood. However, he had forged a recommendation letter from his mother Rowen of Morrow telling that he, naming himself William, is honest, brave, numerate, and literate, which led him to be accepted as a house guard under Lord Jost and Captain Ortens, by Lord Robert, her brother and his uncle.

Qalasadi, a Moor and undercover mathemagician in service at the castle, visits him, let known that he is numerate. When testing Jorg's mathematical knowledge, Jorg revealed more knowledge than should fit his station due to pride, giving Qalasadi the means to deduce his lineage and name. Qalasadi gives him two magic numbers, the first three and the next fourteen. In the first number lies the magic, with several possible solutions[1], while in the second number lies the calculation of probabilities that allowed Qalasadi to deduce Jorg's identity (14 is Jorg's current age).

Later, Jorg meets Shimon, the sword-master. He believed Qalasadi had told his grandfather Hansa of Morrow who he was, so he showed his swordplay in the practice duel with Shimon with the sword-song all around, making a thing of beauty. Jorg continued with his guard duties, now to guard Lady Agath. After she sent Jorg to fetch wine from the cellar to prevent delay, Jorg found a spiral staircase descending to the machine that projected the data echo Fexler Brews, who looked similar to Shimon. He told Jorg that the Builders had changed the world constants, weakening the barriers between thought and matter, which Jorg didn't yet understand. Jorg was then bitten by a poisoned spider and was late with Lady Agath's wine.

The next day's food for the shift for guards was snails, saffron, and rice. Saffron was extremely expensive, the honour to eat it bestowed by Earl Hansa. Recuperating from the spider venom, Jorg took only the smallest bite of saffron and rice. It later became known that the saffron was poisoned and intended for Earl Hansa and his family. Since he was the only one who appeared not to be poisoned, he was seized and taken to the dungeons, suspected to be the poisoner. After Lord Jost unsuccessfully questioned him, Jorg learnt his supposed crime. When the jailer came to deliver his meals, Jorg fed his greed with his watch and took hold of him through the feeding slot, accidentally knocking him unconscious. He then took control of a dead rat he had just killed with his thrown dagger with his necromancy, giving himself the key ring then unlocking himself.

After he locked the jailer into his cell and escaped to the rooftops, Jorg thought again of what was the poison and what was the motive of the poisoner, eliminating the snails through knowledge that he was poisoned, albeit mildly. He only partook of the saffron and the rice, but the poison on the rice would likely be boiled, soaked, and drained away. That left the saffron, the spice for kings. However, that would be have to be delivered on supply, from ships. The required calculation on probabilities that a particular consignment would end up on Earl Hansa's table made him think of Qalasadi.

Jorg then reached a window of the Great Hall of the castle, swinging into it when he saw the lords were about to partake in a meal. He was noticed, and as Earl Hansa mentioned his false identity's namesake, his brother William Ancrath, Jorg revealed his identity, then threw his dagger at the centremost platter. After coming down, he revealed that the meal was poisoned by saffron, and that Qalasadi was the perpetuator. It was revealed that Qalasadi was absent, in fact having left the castle once news of the guards' sickness had reached him.

After that, Jorg visited his grandmother, mother of his mother Rowen. Jorg had his window into the world he had forgotten, and his grandmother sang the songs that his mother had played on the piano in the Tall Castle, setting songs to music that he could remember but couldn't hear. She also reminisced how he and William were both hard and clever, the time she met them. That night, the faintest traces of the notes reached him, the first time since the thorns.

Two days later, Jorg was summoned to consider an alliance with Morrow. Messages had been sent to Wennith, and Kalam Dean, its lord and kinsman to Earl Hansa, had arrived bringing his eldest daughter Miana with him to make an arranged marriage, the sealing of which would seal the alliance. Jorg agreed, and he and Miana had their first meeting. She was 8 then and self-conscious about her dolly, which she maintained was her younger sister Lolly's. Kalam Dean was reluctant to marry his child to a monster, but promised the fire-sworn ruby as Miana's dowry. Miana told Jorg to remember her, but Jorg forced the unwanted memory of the negotiations into the copper box, only keeping Miana's name and the details of the arranged marriage and the alliance in his mind.

The next day, Jorg took himself back to visit Fexler Brews. Fexler gave him the control ring, with only the functionality for viewing locations through Builder lens, some on satellites, known to Jorg, and helped him to link his fire-magic (from Gog) and his necromancy into the copper box. Without his help, they would have pulled him apart in the near future. This was to convince him to end him, which he could not do himself. Later, Fexler also told him about the prophecy that two Ancraths together would end the game and the manipulations of some of the players to prevent them from happening, also revealing to him the means (through will) to prevent Sageous from leaving, which would prove of import. Later, Jorg spoke to his uncle Robert about Rowen, Jorg's mother and Robert's sister, also idly discussing unequal division of gifts between siblings. Jorg then monologued Gelleth and its lessons, then stated the breaking of his long held hopes of Robert's coming to reclaim him after the thorns, thinking that if so, there would be no Gelleth, no years on the road, no dead child watching him, his memories of it trapped in a copper box. Nearly losing control of his emotions, Jorg ran from Robert, scared to find the blood of another uncle on his hands. The next day, they layered over the hurt, but the wound was still there. Jorg didn't speak of the past with him, but spoke of the reckoning against Qalasadi and Ibn Fayed who sent him as a diversion.

Jorg attempted to visit Fexler in the cellar after their last meeting there, knowing he wanted something from him. Although Fexler could not directly tell him what he wanted, he directed Jorg to travel to the badlands to the west of Castle Morrow via the control ring. After learning about the terrain, and that the Iberico are Promised Land, still filled with radiation, perhaps from the remnants of Builders, Jorg conferred with Lord Robert, his uncle and obtained his unwilling consent to journey there, he also telling Jorg to visit Carrod Springs first to buy pills preventing radiation poisoning.

Jorg then had a meeting with his grandfather Earl Hansa, speaking of his future revenge against them and their deeds. Hansa, weighing Jorg's chances of success lower than he valued his kinship, tried to dissuade Jorg from seeking revenge. Jorg dissimulated his intention, choosing to believe he saw him as the son of his daughter. During the meeting, Jorg's intention to leave for the Iberico was also conveyed.

Hansa then commanded one of the wall guard to accompany Jorg on his trip. He was Greyson Landless/"Sunny", the guard who had initially rejected Jorg's entry to Castle Morrow, reaching him just as Jorg was provisioning Balky, the mule he took with him (not taking a horse into such danger). They walked inland to Albaseat, the region's main town, along the Coast Road that wound some distance on the bank of the River Jucca, a journey of 50 miles along fertile terrain. Jorg looked over the city's prosperity before they visited the Lord House, meeting the provost and telling of his intention to visit the Iberico, leading her to believe she wouldn't see him again. He also wished to procure a better map that that copied from Castle Morrow's scrolls, to be given at Albaseat's North Gate at first light. The provost's granddaughter Lesha heard of their planned expedition and decided to guide them herself. She had been burned from the Iberico's fires from a prior expedition, and decided she had nothing to lose now. Her first, fruitless expedition was driven by her thirst for the remnants left by the Builders in the Iberico.

The next day, before Jorg and Greyson reached the North Gate, they saw Jonas, a smith, kicking then trying to end one of his apprentice boys. The boy was golden-haired like Jorg's dead brother William. Greyson, unable to bear his conscience, strove to stop the smith. Jorg hitherto had resisted his conscience, disliking its goading, but now stepped in, offering to buy the boy to prevent Greyson being disabled by the smith as both an excuse and a reason, with a contest that would determine whether he would pay a ducat or nothing for the child. After the smith proposed lifting his anvil overhead the longest, and prepared to do so, Jorg hit him on the temple with one of his hammers, severely wounding him. They left the smith and the boy there, since the boy could not walk, and in any case taking him to the Iberico held more danger than his entire apprenticeship.

At the North Gate, they met Lesha, who told them her identity and the fact that she was going to take part in the expedition, also clarifying the Provost's assessment of the expedition had remained unchanged, and her reasons for coming, in response to Jorg and Greyson's questioning. After knowing of her wounds and its history, Jorg encouraged their desire for forbidden knowledge and exploration, feeling empathy.

At camp, Lesha also told Jorg that the Moors wanted to return, and the wealth of their legacy on the Horse Coast, in contrast with religious and political doctrine. Greyson there reminisced the events of that morning, finally telling Jorg that he was slow to save the boy. Jorg told him that his actions were to save Greyson, who was of use, and that he would let the boy die. He then asked Greyson's motivations for saving the boy, telling him not to live by half measures, not letting his actions be dictated by accidents which place some children in front of him and others not: either make saving them your life's work, or don't save or even see them at all, displaying Jorg's inability to forgive his actions in or move past the thorns, his strained attempts to justify his actions since then, and his current guilt-laced resignation to relative peace with hidden hopes of growth and improvement. This was more clearly displayed when Lesha then asked him to confirm that he would save them all, consoling him, where his response was that he would do so, if he didn't know better.

With Lesha's guidance, they entered Carrod Springs, meeting and purchasing pills from Toltech, a resident seller of pills made from refined salts extracted from the surrounding springs which prevented radiation poisoning when consumed, essential when venturing into the Iberico. Toltech told them he would accept relics of the Builders, potentially giving them their silver back, also telling Jorg that the Builders are not gone and not to be trusted. Lesha clarified by saying the Builders had become spirits written into the elements, Jorg keeping knowledge of his encounter with a data echo to himself. The former was a path taken by Aslaug and Baraqel, who were projections of former Builders now trapped in myth. Jorg shared information about how the Builders had changed the world to make men's thoughts and fears matter, prompting Greyson to share his experiences with a rock-sworn mage, Arron formerly working in Castle Morrow, who sank into the rock one day.

That night, they made camp close enough to the Iberico that there were no cicadas around emitting sounds, deterred by the lingering radiation. Towards the dawn, they were surrounded by bandits, Perros Viciosos, whose approach was detected by only Jorg among the three, the other two having slept too long in safe beds. Perhaps it was the lack of cicada sounds that alerted him, although there was a greater possibility he would have heard them in any normal environment with his time in the Brotherhood. Greyson and Lesha woke up grumbling questions, unlike the Brothers who would have sprung armed and ready, or frozen alert and waiting. Jorg threw his knife at the closest assailant, wounding its new owner and convincing them to leave.

Jorg needed Lesha as the guide, but she had fallen behind, too stiff in her burn-scars to run fast. He accosted Greyson and they ambushed her pursuers, then caught up with her. She hadn't had time to get to her horse, her only chance. It then occurred to Jorg that they were being herded by their pursuers. Greyson then fell into a fissure that served as their pit. As Jorg teetered on the edge, Lesha hit him from behind and they fell inside together, on thatch that broke their fall. After Jorg asked Lesha who they were, and for a suitable knife for throwing (with no positive response), he pushed Lesha into clear space, planning to kill her to spare her from torture, because she wasn't of help in a fight, and to dampen the thatch, the pit's purpose for burning occupants observed from the charred walls of the pit.

Just then, a large man, Sancha, with a torch looked over, planning to gloat before letting fall his torch. Jorg decapitated Lesha and threw her head in his face, knocking him into the pit, before catching the torch which he had held and setting it in the sandy soil where it would provide illumination but not burn the thatch. He ordered Greyson to spread Lesha's blood around to dampen the thatch. After holding him as hostage to stall for time, Jorg cut his throat and sprayed the blood spurting from it, further dampening the thatch. This allowed them to stamp out the burning patches from five torches which had been thrown in. After that, they waited for some time before the Perros Viciosos threw two more torches in, blowing poisoned ghoul darts at them from the other side when they moved to stamp out the fire (revealing themselves and preventing them from retaliating), temporarily paralysing them and allowing ropes to be lowered in the pit and them to be lifted out. Before the venom overcame him, Jorg attempted to throw his knife (taken from his hostage) at the face behind the blowpipe but missed with the numbness spreading across his right shoulder from where the dart had hit.

Greyson and Jorg were bound to torture posts at their settlement, three hundred yards away, before the poison wore off. Several men reached for the copper box at Jorg's hip, but always their interest fell away. Greyson was selected to be tortured for the group's entertainment by Mary, an old specialist, perhaps due to debate about Jorg's fate about whether to ransom him or not (him carrying gold and a valuable watch). Jorg tried to fool himself into believing himself part of the audience, among road brothers, to escape his fear. He partially succeeded but reflected on the similarities of the occasion to those in the past, where he had been among the audience. Gretcha, a young girl bearing similarities to his early role among the Brothers brought him mutant insects whose unnatural parts she would break off and once, Fexler Brews' robotic scorpion which had been sent to free him, whose origin was deduced by Jorg.

After the completion of Greyson's torture with his blinding and the scorching of his mouth by Gretcha, she was called to put one of Jorg's eyes out by Billan (an authorial member of the band), who disliked how he was looking at him. Jorg attempted to get Gretcha to free him by recreating the scenario when he had freed Kashta; however he scared off Gretcha. After Rael took over, he attempted to burn Jorg's burn wounds, but Gog's fragments reacted to the heat, causing the rod to heat up with fire-magic and burn Rael's hand. After Billan attempted to know what Jorg did, Jorg spat the blood from his just-bitten tongue at Billan's face, scalding him and blinding him with the necromancy in his blood, which reacted more strongly to Jorg's want.

Billan and Rael called from the torturer Mary to come back. However, in the process, Fexler's robotic scorpion cut through Jorg's binding ropes while he stalled with time through mocking Mary and calling for a new type of torture. The surrounding Perros Viciosos did not notice the ropes falling, intent on the coming torture, allowing him to retrieve his sword from Manwa's lap and start the slaughter. Jorg strode to the middle of the Perros Viciosos, keeping them disorganised and close without recourse to their bows or darts. Since there was no ally remaining, he had the freedom to swing all around him while the Perros Viciosos had to target a single individual. Besides, the Perros Viciosos were intoxicated from their revels and initially unsuspecting that he would be freed, some not even gaining their weapons while others were hardly able to swing them with any effect. Besides, Jorg had trained hard in sword fighting that he experienced the sword-song, causing their eventual deaths, apart from one who escaped. There was a second who tried to escape, but Jorg threw a hatchet at him, killing him at range.

Jorg then killed Gretcha, seeing her similarities with the past him, to save the world a lot of trouble and her from his life. Feeling Greyson's suffering with his necromancy, he ended him, then released it into Mary, his torturer. Her heart could not take it, and she died soon. After Jorg found Fexler's scorpion had deactivated, he buried Lesha and Greyson. Hearing the dead Rael mouth the word "Dead King" with the incidence of necromancy, he decided to dismember the corpses, in the end just taking off their hands and feet. The necromancy did not persist, the Dead King perhaps only wanting to leave a message. That night, Jorg slept badly, haunted by Greyson's screams and prodded awake by each small noise.

The next day, Jorg prodded the horses and Balky before him to avoid the areas with high radiation concentration, before discovering he could see them as a shimmer with his left eye ringed by Gog's burns. To justify his intuition, on a stray thought he took the Control Ring and looked at the world through it, which showed a more detailed 3D overlay of radiation concentration. Allowed by Jorg's question on what else the ring could do, Fexler Brews was projected into the overlay, walking in front of Jorg and indirectly showing him the way.

On a Builder-stone lid, Fexler stopped and vanished.

Quite unfortunately to Jorg, the day he was to marry Miana, a (at the time) 12 year old girl, was also the day the soldiers of Arrow marched to besiege his castle.

Miana revealed herself to be quite cunning and assertive. The first words from her to Jorg were suggestions that matched Jorg's exact thoughts. Instead of waiting in the castle for the enemies to attack, she proposed to bring the fight to them.

Miana's dowry was a ruby. The gemstone was said to be imbued with immense power, notably of the fire type. That was proven when, mere moments later, Miana threw the ruby at the incoming enemies and reduced over six thousand men to ash. Others, including her own soldiers, were caught in the blast and by the shrapnel and larger segments of torn walls.

Emperor of Thorns[]

Timeline[]

See also: Timeline

This timeline details important events in Jorg's life. All years are in Interregnum, unless after the Broken Empire is reunited. In that case, starting from Year 1 (year of reunion), Year "n" will be called R (Reunion) "n".

84: Jorg is born in early autumn, as Crown Prince of Ancrath, to King Olidan and Queen Rowen.

86-87: Jorg's brother William Ancrath is born. Implied to be edge of winter 86.

91: Justice is killed, just before Jorg's 7th birthday.[2]

94: Renar's ambush occurs in late summer, near Norwood.[3] His mother Rowen of Morrow and his brother William are killed.

95: Jorg escapes the Tall Castle to the road in spring. Murillo's maiming occurs in autumn, before Jorg's birthday.

96-97: Makin Bortha finds Jorg. Jorg takes command of the Brothers. The Brothers meet Elias Taproot's circus.

98: Jorg kills Marclos Renar, returns to Crath City in early autumn. He leaves to destroys Gelleth, then returns. After being stabbed by his father, he escapes Ancrath, takes the Renar Highlands and becomes King of Renar. Osson Renar, perpetuator of the deaths of his mother and brother, is kept in torturous confinement at least until early winter 104.

99: Jorg takes Gog to the Heimrift. He accidentally kills his step-brother Degran Ancrath, gains the copper box. Gog and Ferrakind are ended, while Gorgoth is left in Maladon to rule over the trolls during spring, with an agreement to take them southward to Renar (which started in a few weeks). Jorg's second confrontation with Chella during summer, in the Cantanlona Swamp. He visits Castle Morrow in summer, then travels to the Iberico via Albaseat. Birthday on voyage from Kordoba to Maroc in Afrique. Travel to and from Hamada in Liba to Afrique coast.

100: Travel from Afrique coast to Mazeno Port, then to Vyene, by early summer. Attends 32nd Congression on the edge of winter. Travel to and being trapped in an isolated Builder facility in winter, sleeping to summer 101.

101: Trapped in an isolated Builder facility until summer, whereupon wakes up due to Katherine ap Scorron’s dream-magic. Return to Renar.[4]

101-102: Jarco Renar's Rebellion in Renar, which affects Hodd Town.

102: Rowen of Scraggy Oak is born.[5] Battle of the Haunt and marriage to Miana in winter. Counter-offensive into Prince of the Arrow's domains.

102-103: Capture of Arrow.

103: Subjugation of Normardy and other northern territories in spring. Start of damming of the River Lure in autumn.

103-104: Latest consummation of marriage with Miana. Probably around start of October 103 (Miana's 13th (pretended 14th[6]) Birthday).

104/R1: Subjugation of Orlanth and the City of Towers in summer. Prolonged stay in the Haunt until birthday. Last journey to 33rd Congression. Son William II Ancrath is born. Is elected Emperor, reunites the Broken Empire, stops the Dead King, is killed to save and reunite with his brother, together restoring reality (erasing magic), in edge of winter. William II Ancrath becomes Emperor.

R7-R8: William II Ancrath is 6. Jorg's data echo surfaces in Vyene Imperial Palace. Implied to be around 6 years later (i.e. late (edge of winter) R7).

Character[]

Appearance[]

Jorg is tall and lean with dark hair -- a notably typical look for his Steward lineage. His encounter with Ferrakind left him with burn scars on the left side of his face, while his body, and particularly his back, is severely scarred from the thorns he was caught in during Renar's ambush, as well as weapon and other wounds in countless fights and skirmishes, though he is still considered to be attractive. He is described as strong and corded with muscle. He is described to have his father’s eyes, though his are darker.

Even at 13, he was 6 foot tall and considered tall among adults. At 20, he is over 6 foot 1 hand tall.

Personality[]

"There’s a reason I’m going to win this war. Everyone alive has been fighting a battle that grew old before they were born. I cut my teeth on the wooden soldiers in my feather’s war-room. There’s a reason I’m going to win where they failed." - Jorg

The troubled upbringing of Jorg has left him amoral and ill-tempered. He is rather quick to anger, although usually maintains a collected facade. He sometimes makes on-the-spot decisions that could be deemed impulsive, but somehow work out in the end. He can be cruel, never fighting fair, and believes that honour results in death. However, Jorg is redeemed slightly by his charisma and wit, and respect for some people. Stubborn and resolute, he is never afraid and refuses to be held back by fear. He is cunning, well-versed in strategy and tactics, such as taught by Sun Tzu, and always finds a way to get what he wants and succeed, often where others have failed. As well as being able to scheme and plan far ahead, he can improvise very well. Although he is seldom unnecessarily cruel, he is very good at being cruel.

He never fights fair and he has creative and ingenious ways to turn the odds in his favour. He, and justly so, believes that honour, in battle, more times than not will bring you death. An example would be the death of Sir Galen, shot by him with Kashta's crossbow in a duel.

He is stubborn. He'll do things that he's afraid of just because he refuses to be held back by fear. If something pushes him one way, he'll push the opposite way, even if himself was the one doing the pushing. This trait was most apparent when he visited Liba and Maroc in northern Afrique. He met the so called mathmagicians, including Qalasadi, the man who attempted to poison his Grandfather and Uncle, but only succeeded to incapacitate their guards.

Jorg is willing to learn, courtesy of the strong foundational education offered to him by Lundist, who educated him on ancient languages, mathematics, biology, and many more. This knowledge allows him to find things he can use to his advantage, even when odds are heavily against him. He is also a strong-minded leader, whose charm, abilities and his way with words make people want to follow him and even be deceived as to his experience, despite his young age.

The lingering guilt of Jorg, especially concerning his cowardice in not leaving the thorns, leaves him unable to accept his immoral actions, but the same scars and situations also cause him to be unable to take concrete steps to become a better man in his eyes, leaving him ‘broken’. His love for Katherine is tied to his desire to become a better man, while his love for Miana is tied to acceptance and condonation of his current ‘flaws’. However, to the end, he could not change himself to something that he was not nor forgive himself, unable to fulfil their and his idealisations. The reason for this impossibility is clearly expressed in his meeting with Chella, where he told her that he and she were broken in a way that Miana (and also Katherine) were not.

Relationships[]

Relationship Character(s)
Parent Olidan Ancrath, Rowen of Morrow
Sibling William Ancrath, Degran Ancrath (half)
Other Relative Osson Renar, Hansa of Morrow, Robert, Jarco Renar, Marclos Renar, Kallos Ancrath
Love Interest Katherine ap Scorron, Miana, Chella, Elin Maladon, Gwenith of Scraggy Oak, Serra
Child Rowen of Scraggy Oak, William II Ancrath
Benefactor or Follower Kashta, Lundist, Makin Bortha, Marten, Coddin
Friend Greyson Landless, Lesha, Yusuf
Pity Object Justice, Magog, Gog, Gretcha, Orscar
Brother Kent, Rike, Sim, Grumlow, Row, Burlow, Gains, Gemt, Maical, Emmer, Price, Liar, Hendrick
Ally Alaric Maladon, Sindri Maladon, Hansa of Morrow, Robert, Elin Maladon, Kalam Dean, Ibn Fayed, Gorgoth, Katherine ap Scorron, Fexler Brews
Enemy Olidan Ancrath, Osson Renar, Murillo, Corion, Sageous, Chella, Orrin of the Arrow, Egan of the Arrow, Ferrakind, Dead King, Sareth ap Scorron, Jarco Renar, Marclos Renar, Gretcha, Marcos Onstantos Evenaline, Michael, Friar Glen

Skills and Abilities[]

"Death and flame blossomed about me in conflagration, and men died, in tens, in scores, in hundreds, in stinking, steaming, screaming heaps." - Jorg Ancrath

He is clever, witty and sly. He will find ways to get what he wants and succeed where all others have failed. He can improvise as well as plan far ahead.

Jorg is very skilled with a one handed longsword, being proficient in the first book but honing his skills to deadly perfection after being beaten by Orrin of the Arrow, to the extent he had stably reached the sword-song. He is implied to be second only to Egan of the Arrow in sword fighting when aged 18 at the Battle of the Haunt. He is very strong as well, and has beaten Rike in a no-weapons fight. He is skilled with a staff after learning from Tutor Lundist. He has learned many skills from his outlaw brothers such as knot-tying, lock-picking, archery, etc.

Throughout the books, Jorg gains various magical powers. He gains necromancy from eating a powerful necromancer's heart, and fire-magic through absorbing the remnants of Gog after his fight with Ferrakind. He uses these powers throughout the series for torture, fighting large groups of enemies, etc. The necromancy and fire-magic cancel each other out after the Battle of the Haunt. After he is elected Emperor, he can wield the belief in Holy Empire to amplify his will, whether in confronting the Dead King or in restoring the world's reality with his brother, as the root of all magic is will or belief.

Moreover he is intelligent and willing to learn more. His tutor Lundist gave him a great foundation for learning more by teaching him (ancient) languages, mathematics, biology, etc. His knowledge makes him good at finding things he can use to his advantage, and he is known for beating heavy odds against him. His abilities and his charm make him a man people will follow, and he has a way with words. Jorg knew six languages fluent enough for conversation and another six well enough to recognise when spoken.

Analysis[]

Mistake and restoration[]

Jorg's biggest mistake in his life was not to climb out of the thorns and die with his younger brother due to his fear of death. He believes this, because with this he has not fulfilled his responsibilities to his loved one, which was witnessed and understood by the other party. At first, this was not what he had the most emotional attachment to from the night of thorns and rain. It was just that in the future, he thought further and realised his family would not be able to come back. He sought to believe in his mind that if he could compensate for his mistake, everything could be restored. So a big mistake is what he on the surface feels the deepest about, with his lifelong desire to restore the family hidden deep inside. As another example, he accidentally killed his infant half-brother and ultimately was haunted by it overtly as his own fault/mistake, not by some sense of loss or acknowledged mistake, even though his motive in not intentionally killing him was to restore his family. In his mind, erasing mistakes is restoration, with the vice versa also true.

"Secondary" ideals and relationships[]

He couldn't bear this big mistake, so he wanted revenge on his uncle (the utility of which would be spent as the ideal of restoration grew more distant). But unable to seek revenge, he embraced the thorns with his father's teachings and cut away his weakness. Thorns are teachers, not the reminder of his unacceptable faults. In the early days, there were also opportunities to forget mistakes and replace families (the monastery). But the weakness he dislikes is also like a thorn that hooks him, indicating that the object he dislikes also includes thorns and his shortcomings. There is a necromancer Chella who is as broken as Jorg. A big mistake is irreparable, one can only move forward step by step, deceiving oneself, but also being unable not deceiving oneself, similar to Jorg who couldn't walk this path in the end, always lost. Their relationship and interaction are based on mutual understanding and the need to escape.

Jorg's love for that princess, Katherine, is also because she represents an opportunity for him to change himself and compensate for his mistakes (for example, when they had breakfast together, Jorg praised the chef he had never thought of on the road and said he had been thinking of him. His monologue stated she made him want to become this kind of person). This leads to him admitting to being (not very importantly) wrong in his actions. Even more so, because he had not been completely detached from human nature. His hope and possibility for change is also the reason why she loves him. But he was broken and, in the end, couldn't walk this path completely.

Jorg's wife, Miana, represents another ideal of erasing mistakes/returning to a family. She demands and accepts the Jorg brought by harsh reality: to win on the battlefield, one must kill one's own people, and to protect the lives of children, one must kill passersby. She gave birth to Jorg's son. Jorg loves her by loving her current self and family, forgiving his unredeemable faults. But he was broken and couldn't walk this path completely in the end.

Moreover, at the simplest level, his father, uncle, love interests, and other important characters also replace his deceased family and dog. He loves children from all over the world, and so do dogs. However, the above ideals are not only secondary to Jorg's restoration of major mistakes, but also the characteristics of human nature. Jorg's road is not solely defined by the thorns and would be different if not for the thorns.

The Dead King[]

The Dead King is Jorg's younger brother, William. But in this world where belief has become real, coupled with the intensity of Jorg's belief and wish, how could he be purely a self-contained person? Jorg wanted to correct his big mistake and willed his brother to come back, and he did.

Outcome[]

So, in the end, Jorg must sacrifice himself and save the world, which cannot be separated from his restoration of the big mistake and family.

He sacrificed himself to prove that he will not make the same mistakes as before towards his family and not have the same fault of self-preservation when facing what is more important, but also to make up for his own shortcomings and not harm his existing and unattainable family. He also believes he can save and reunite with his brother. He also seeks the opportunity to correct his mistakes, in the act and later;

He chose another choice when facing his big mistake, to prove that he will not make the same mistakes as before towards his family and not have the same fault of self-preservation when facing what is more important (leaving the thorns, entering the fire), also with motives including those listed above and below;

He saved his family by reclaiming his faults towards them, restoring his own family, and maintaining his current family;

He saved the world by wanting to be a good person and children from all over the world serving as a substitute for his loved ones, for him to make up for his mistakes. Also, just like how he restores big mistakes, he restores mistakes in the world.

He wanted this opportunity, so he made these decisions, including the Dead King and his younger brother (but the appearance of the Dead King is mostly to restore his own big mistakes).

Besides, he was also somewhat weary of being bound to one life or another (by their attractions or otherwise), whether with Katherine or Miana. This was partly why he visited Chella, besides feeling that he would not fulfil their ideals.

Notes[]

Gallery[]

Quotes[]

"Tell me, tutor. Is revenge a science, or an art?"
—Jorg to Lundist

"Some tell it that "sorry" is the hardest word, but for me it has always been "help.""
—Jorg's thoughts

"Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you'll find an edge to cut you."
—Jorg's thoughts

""No half measures. Some things can’t be cut in half. You can’t half-love someone. You can’t half-betray, or half-lie.""
—Jorg to Lesha

See also[]

References[]

  1. "Three steps outside? Three in the carriage? Three women that will love you? Three Brothers lost on your journey?"
  2. Father Gomst started to instruct Jorg in his seventh year, which in Know Thyself is shown to be immediately after the killing of Justice, when Jorg was six.
  3. Jorg is 10 by the following spring. Also, Robert, on his first meeting with Jorg in Summer 99, reveals that the event occurred 4-5 years before their meeting.
  4. "Two years away from your throne..."; also, logical date of birth of Rowen of Scraggy Oak.
  5. By logical date of birth.
  6. Miana is 8 in Summer 99, thus 12 in Summer 103, turning 13th in 103. She has her birthday one month later than Jorg. She is said to be turning 15 in 104, but instead, she is turning 14 then.
  7. Mark Lawrence on Goodreads
  8. Mark Lawrence Reddit AMA
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