Thedrials Three Picture

Some of you might remember Eric Thedrial had brothers, wa(aaaaa)y-back-when during his normal lifespan? They spent many years fighting duels for their lost sibling's honor whenever claims flared up that Erick had actually been the monster that crashed his twenty-eighth birthday festival, destroyed the castle courtyard, swallowed the feast and some of the guests and, so the family were adamant, their dear Erick himself.

After a good decade learning to control his new self, Erick, who had indeed been cursed to swap into a monstrous form as punishment for being a self-satisfied greedy blob, bucked up the courage to return to the family castle and visit his quite elderly parents, to set many things straight with them. That he was alive, that he was a monster, that he was sorry and sorry it'd taken him this long to say so. His parents had always been super chill and were utterly on his side from the moment they saw their long-lost child walk in the room. In fact they were furious with Jessabelle and Aiden for their hand in the cursing of their eldest, but after some explaining warmed up quickly to Jess in particular, when they learned their son had finally settled down with someone and she wasn't a first cousin.

His brothers took a little longer to sort their feelings, but in the end the whole Thedrial family got to be merrily together for some years and their parents went to their rest in peace. Yes, Erick would've still been quite the vast and ugly monster thing at this time, whenever his curse was up and active, so all the more incredible that his family were able to focus on their child and brother through the fangs and excess limbs and heads.

But rewind to before all that, and you have the three Thedrial fellas here as they were in 1654.

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Many a joke was cracked about the brothers looking so unlike one another or their parents, but that was in fact the family mark. Humour. Their parents inherited late, married late, had children late, and maybe this series of lates led them to be very relaxed people or perhaps it was the other way around. Or perhaps endless wealth and personal comfort had something to do with it. Maybe it was spoiled rotten laziness. They were quite friendly folks but we can't be too kind. They did raise the man who'd become the incarnation of gluttony, after all.

Speaking of which. Front and center we have our own Lord Friderick Thedrial (who was never called by his given name unless he'd just dropped something priceless out a fourth story window). Unlike his brothers he was never much interested in sword play and hunting, although he would cunningly take an older horse on outings ("to give the dear thing air") so he could lag behind and chat with the chicks. He was a surprisingly graceful dancer for his girth and it was again an occasion to bow charmingly and kiss dainty hands and make honeyed conversation. Erick got along very well with the ladies. If we know his vice, then his virtue was kindness. The young lord always had a warm if lazy smile and ready grin, an easy inclination to laugh, some bit of wit on his tongue and a sparkle to his eye. His brothers, dogs to his cat, adored their big brother for his charm and charisma, his clever mind, andhis mastery of all things courtly.

Erick's greatest talent, and to be honest his only talent beyond handsome speech and clearing banquets by himself, was his flair for music. He picked up everything from the cello to the flute with ease, although his favorite, remaining so to this day, actually, was the harpsichord. He had a small group of musicians among his playthings for and with whom he used to compose chamber music. He was something of a local musical celebrity.

Erick stands at a good 5'4", and while he might insist that "we were shorter back then, k?", he was still on the vertically-challenged side for the day. Leo and Johan were 5'10" apiece. They liked to introduce Erick as their little big brother and to lean on his head and otherwise fondly pester him.

Leopold and Johannes had only a year between them and grew up like twins, back-to-back and nose-to-nose. Where their older brother was rarely toppled from his lazy cloud of general satisfaction, they were pugnacious and excitable with spring-trap tempers. What they had in courage, energy, and physical skill balanced them with their far more eloquent sibling. Probably they got along so well with Erick because they overlapped so little in terms of interests and abilities, and so were never in competition or envy with or of one another. Rivalries between the younger two were ever only playful.

Leopold was the family swordsman. He was obsessed. There was a whole hall and two galleries in the castle housing his precious collection of rare or curious or famous blades to which he attended with monastic devotion. He designed and forged not a few himself. Leo could frighten, or bore, the pantaloons off any normal person within five minutes of one of his animated, even rabid, monologues on swords. The history of swords, the mythology of swords, the importance of the sword in modern life, the vitality of the sword in the gentleman's life, superior makes and materials, master swordsmiths of the ages, and so on. However, all eyes in the room would be glued to him when he'd shut up (finally) and draaaaaw his blade, with just the speed and just the slowness to make it sing out against the sheath, racing a piercing note around the hall and a shiver up every spine. Depending on the circumstances, what might follow could be a heart-pounding display of his favorite sword tricks performed on tabletop, or a fairly one-sided duel to the death.

He had a tendency to be over-bearing and over-loud, but you couldn't wish for a more loyal friend or stranger in a pinch. Maybe it was from all the mucking about with noble blades and sacred chivalry that Leo saw himself as protector of the weak, and held the sincerity of his word precious above all things. It was possibly safer to offend Leo as a peasant than a noble, because a peasant wasn't worthy of a deadly fight for honor, maybe just a good crack in the teeth. Afraid to say Leo killed more than a few young men in his day. Duels were an ordained thing back then.

Absolute crap with women, Leopold. Wished they were more like swords.

Johannes was a hunter. His first love was for falconry and his second home was out in the mews where he kept a small flock of everything from a golden eagle to goshawks for hunting, an eagle owl and vultures for show, even a talking raven. The falcons and hawks were for taking birds and rabbits, while his beloved eagle would accompany himself, his horse, and his hounds after larger prey. Johannes Thedrial and his beasts were pretty much the reason wolves disappeared from the Gammon region, and probably a dozen other species.

Eric now says Johan missed his calling in life: interior decorating. His portions of the castle were loaded with trophies, pelts all up and down the walls and furniture and floor, skulls and horns and antlers on everything, collections of claws and teeth, and zillions of feathers from his birds.

Johan was either socially clumsy because he spent so much time with animals or the reverse. He often seemed distracted or distant and it could take some work, and quite a bit of wine, to get him talking and enjoying himself in a group. Erick was often his protector in social situations.

While Johannes was fierce master to the hounds on the hunt, back at the castle they melted to idiot puppies around Erick, who loved the crap out of them and spoiled them rotten with his considerable table scraps. Sacher Castle was also home to a never-ending series of terriers which Erick also pampered and which Johannes liked to threaten to use as quarry for his birds.

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The next time the boys met after Erick's disappearance they were in for all kinds of surprises. Of course, the monster business was the main hurdle, which was probably never quite cleared, also seeing their older brother looking a decade younger than them. Erick had lost a hundred pounds and Johannes some more fingers and Leo most of his hair, and Erick found that against all odds his brothers had married and that's he'd now got a small horde of nieces and nephews. They'd all matured a lot personality-wise by then, and it took a while but the brothers were able to recognize each other and drop back into their good old camaraderie.

Four hundred years on, Eric has been known to apologetically have to stop and chuckle and snuffle and collect himself when telling friends tales about Johan and Leo, so long, long dead.
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Thedrials Three
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