Gideon Northwold, 10th Baron of Northwold, is the current lord presiding over the barony of Northwold. Previously seen as an opponent during the lead up to the Containment of the Forsaken as well as one of the primary antagonists during the Northwold Civil War, he has since been convinced to support the Crown's presence in Northwold as a means of stabilizing the region.
As a man of many years, Gideon's personality is one that has left some sore for the meeting and many better for the association. His heir, following the Northwold Civil War, has been named as Godwyn Northwold, a legitmized bastard come of his nephew and his captain, Alhertine Moreau.
By all accounts, Gideon is a man of scathing humor and little patience. Prior to becoming infected with the Worgen Curse, he was a man of advanced years that had been forced to watch the younger, lesser members of his barony aspire to greatness he felt thet did not deserve. This built within him a strong sense of entitlement and a stronger sense of disdain for his perceived inferiors. Though not outspokenly classist, he clearly believes in the necessity of roles and seeing them adhered to. Because of his quiet nature and unyielding principles, he is often viewed with distrust by the gentry and common man.
Despite his brusque nature, Gideon is a shrewd man and is quite capable of outflanking many foes in political machinations. His cunning is often formed in action over words and he relies little on factors he cannot directly control. Advanced in years though he may be, the Curse has seen his eyes returned to sharpened clarity and a body once in decline restored to a greatness that he did not know was possible.
He appears, by all accounts, to hold family as a sacred concept even if at times it does not work in his favor. He openly denounced Queen Madelynne when she insulted his nephew and never did actually make an attempt on his nephew's life.
Born the younger son and youngest child of Gottfried II Northwold, 7th Baron of Northwold, and his lady-wife, Francesca Devereux-Tarrant, he is the younger brother to Gottfried III, 8th Baron of Northwold and thus the paternal uncle of his son, Godryc, 9th Baron of Northwold. As a young man, Gideon was bookish and withdrawn, quietly shying away from attempts to garner attention as his brother's magnificence and strong personality often overshadowed him and their eldest sister, Evangeline, captivated the minds of many around them. It was Evangeline's favor, however, that saw him come to appreciate wit, for he became readily apparent that though his sister's beauty was without compare, her mind was often overlooked. When Evangelined died of a sweating sickness, Gideon became colder for it and realized that a wit without some power behind it was of little use in the world.
The studious and bookish nature that he knew gave way into soldiering with ease. Obsessed with perfecting that which was given to him, he poured endlessly over strategy manuals and listened to the counsel of his superiors. His brother, naturally destined to become the baron of Northwold, busied himself with all manners of politics while Gideon found himself winning quiet acclaim as his second. When Gideon's name began to find tongues more readily than his brother's though, their father thought it best to send him to the border so that the matter of succession need not become messy. For a young man who had only wished to know some respect from his father, being slighted for the very craft he'd learned to impress him was crushing. Gideon suffered the wound to his pride quietly, but did not allow it to be forgotten. Over time, that festering ulceration would become his reason for living.
To further complicate matters, Gideon found himself madly in love with his brother's becoming wife, Lady Violette, whose nature quite reminded him of Evangeline. A woman of red hair and an easy, though never inappropriate smile, she spoke with him on several occasions and even ensured that he was eating properly and often. When he was on the border she wrote him several cordial letters, which he treasured and kept in a sealed container. Aware that he had no real talent for romance, but filled with desire for her, he looked to several books and wrote what he could with what he perceived was the formulaof romance. The poetry was largely amateur and unimpressive, though filled with great sentiment. Shame drove him to burn many of these poems though and desist in what he perceived to be their flirtations, as he knew that he could never ask her to betray his brother and she would never consider a man so beneath her station. Bitterness only grew all the more in him and saw the brothers at odds: Gideon, naturally, felt it unfair that Gottfried should have not only the barony, but the woman of his dreams.
Succession of the Barony
After his father's death, his older brother accepted the barony. Gottfried III's reign was a steady one that maintained and for that, Gideon was forced to accept his brother was of considerable skill. However, while out hunting with his companions an assassin's arrow claimed the good baron and saw him taken to bed where he suffered for several long weeks until finally he expired. His son, an untested youth named Godryc, was thus positioned to take the mantle of baron. Though Gideon's commanders from the border wished him to move upon the vacant seat, he did not act immediately and instead waiting for the weight of leadership to crush his nephew.
Quite unlike his grandfather or father, Godryc was a brash and courageous young man given to all manners of frivilous pursuit. He had a sterling reputation and a winsome smile, which quickly charmed those that had become fatigued with the stagnant nature of Northwold's nobility. More importantly, Godryc considered his uncle's treatment an unfortunate affair and saw him promoted and granted several honors for dutifully protecting Northwold's borders. This caused Gideon some inner turmoil, as he felt it almost belittling that his nephew should think to congratulate him so and yet, it had been a lifetime of quiet servitude that saw him to that point. For the time being, he abandoned any conspiracy against his nephew and became one of his most prolific field commanders.
To show that he trusted his uncle in all things, Godryc placed him in charge of the barony when the Second War called for allies to march together. Godryc and his friend, Magnus Albrecht, 5th Viscount of Blackmarsh proved themselves brilliant heroes before the latter was killed during the Assault on Blackrock Spire. Godryc vowed to his friend that they would be as though brothers prior to his death, something that would later come to haunt Gideon.
While he was in command of the barony, Gideon found power an easy thing to manage. Many of his issues could be handled directly and uniltaterally, preventing tedium and increasing his ability to right what he felt was wrong. Finances were greatly overhauled and debts brought to the fore. His companions, the Lashleys and the Stocktons, proved excellent debt collectors and soon Northwold was proving a bustling and promising economy. But then Godryc returned and he was forced to surrender control to a man who seemed more interested in frivilous pursuit than justice.
Northwold Civil War
Gideon was a proponent for building the wall, something his nephew disagreed with. Nevertheless, when the Civil War occurred both fought under the royalist banner with great distinction. Gideon several times saved his nephew and was himself saved. This did not greatly endear him to his nephew, but he did respect his martial prowess. When the Worgen Curse became an epidemic, Gideon was tasked with protecting Northwold's borders. As a result, during an ambush he was bitten and found himself and his good companions afflicted with the curse.
It was at this time that men such as Byron Bankston, Byron III Bankston, Lord of Birmingshire]] entered his nephew's confidence. Byron and his kind saw little reason to appreciate the perceived threat of Gideon's cohort and quickly set to dismissing it. As a result, the barony slowly began to decline into an uneasy state of civil unrest. Godryc, believing his uncle's people absurd for their inability to accept the edicts proposed, turned to his advisors for council. When they suggested military action, Godryc refused and instead called for a meeting with his uncle. Gideon, at this point, had been injured in a border skirmish and could not attend to his nephew. His advisers took it upon themselves to insult Godryc, claiming that Lord Gideon would not meet in private quarters with a man known to enjoy the company fother men. Though this was a prevailing rumor for the time, Godryc was understandably offended and in turn, denounced his uncle and the petty creatures that served him. He returned to the city in sour moods and called for a meeting. Not long after, an ultimatium was called that forced the civil unrest to become strife.
Gideon, normally a staunch supporter of law and order, was convinced to forgive many indebted lords and low characters for the sake of building his forces. With his veteran soldiers he marched on Northwold and several swift engagements revealed that though outnumbered, his men were of great quality. After failing to take Northwold once by the brilliant generalship of his nephew and his captain of the guard's shieldmaidens. A second attack was planned, which would see the city fall surely, but it was then that Godryc's allies from Lordaeron arrived. Led by Viktor Romel, the Queen's Gilnean Legion bolstered Godryc's forces considerably and saw him claim a resounding victory at Lorne's Point. Many of Gideon's commanders were killed and those that escaped abandoned his cause.
The War of the Light saw Gideon granted his chance at claiming the barony, as his nephew was killed during the Siege of Silverlight Keep by a bullet from Anne Fowler, Lady of the Sticks. Though many accused Gideon of killing his nephew, Gideon has stated that he had little reason to do so and seems, in some regards, adverse to the notion of kinslaying. As the war ended, Gideon thought to move to Northwold but Byron Bankston proved a staunch detractor and the newly returned Captain Moreau and her shieldmaidens took position in Maiden's Cross. With the barony forming into small cliques, Gideon began hiring mercenaries among which were the Bloodhounds. His nephew, Godric Tarrant, was also called to action.
In what became known as the Northwold Civil War, Gideon refused to allow any of non-Northwold blood rule in his place. Having suffered a lifetime in the shadows he made his claim and intended to march, but was kept from doing so in any great number by Maiden Cross' precarious position. The keep was difficult to take and housed a great artillery, which he was wary of. Alhertine's insistence that she would not enter the war complicated things and soon, Gideon was forced to winter his men in the Dogswood and northern territories, while the Silver Fist took position in the east at Lorne's Point, and the western portion of the province fell to Byron's tedious rule. Byron's great system of moneylending had seen many owe him loyalty to avoid debt and as a result, the four sides to the conflict were formed.
Throughout most of the war Gideon bided his time until Byron, eager to see the battle ended and himself named baron, sent Viktor Romel and the Queen's Gilnean Legion to attack Maiden's Cross. It was at this time that word reached Gideon of an intriguing fact: Godryc had seen a bastard sired upon Alhertine Moreau, making the child a rival claimant. Certain that this was why Alhertine refused to meet him, he prepared his men to assault the keep when the time was right. As the two sides fought, Gideon's men began down from the Dogswood. It was then that the Forsaken attacked, forcing many sides to band together. Rhosmera Evethier, carrying young Godwyn, fled uwittingly toward his men in the forest. As his men prepared to waylay her, Viktor and his companions arrived to aid Rhosmera.
What should have been a bloody affair became a pact, then. The Duke of the Grasp offered Gideon the barony if he would name Godryc's son as his heir. Gideon agreed after some consideration and soon, the pact was sealed. In exchange for his aid against the Forsaken, he would be made baron and the war could come to its end.
At the Battle of Harrow Downs, Gideon and his men suffered considerable casualties, but matched Forward Commander Zevir as the Royal Army led by Queen Madelynne broke the Forsaken's hold. With the Forsaken vanquished, a terse conversation between the queen and baron resulted in peace being declared in Northwold.Gideon now seeks to set to right the barony. It is his fondest aspiration that with what years he has left, he can see it made strong again so that when his nephew comes of age, he will not be forced into so weak a position as those that were before him.