Erica Snow is the daughter of an unknown women, and Fenrick Steinmare making her a member of House Steinmare but because of her bastard birth she carries the surname of Snow. Erica has two half siblings in the form of Dylan, and Martin Steinmare of which her brother Dylan is the heir to House Steinmare and took part bravely in the Invasion of Westbridge, while her brother Martin is very politically influencial even more so then her brother Dylan and he is married to Laera Griffon of House Griffon.
Erica Snow was born after a drunken mistake by her father Fenrick Steinmare with a girl that wanted a little more then just a good time. After finding out she had brought the child to term he took Erica from her, and silently had the women killed so that she couldn't spread any rumors about him. Bringing Erica into the house caused problems with his wife but he was old enough, and away enough that he didn't care. Erica would be raised by her adopted mother Melina Steinmare who had made up the story that she was in fact her daughter, and the twin of Dylan Steinmare so that she wouldn't be embaressed by people about her bastard birth, and this would eventually lead to her having her surname changed from "Snow" to Steinmare. This act took a lot of courage on the part of Melina and the two have always been close after her act of bravery, and the general love she has always shown to Erica. Erica Snow would become a member of the Order of the Dragon and a Dragon Priest within Steinmare for a time. Her devotion to the Dragon would make her known to the higher leadership of the province of Central Lucerne, and she was brought before the council and was eventally placed in a position of leaving her home to travel to Brill to work under Taylor Swift of whom was going on a pilgramage to Lorderon.
Erica Snow was born after a drunken mistake by her father Fenrick Steinmare with a girl that wanted a little more then just a good time. After finding out she had brought the child to term he took Erica from her, and silently had the women killed so that she couldn't spread any rumors about him. Bringing Erica into the house caused problems with his wife but he was old enough, and away enough that he didn't care. Erica would be raised by her adopted mother Melina Steinmare who had made up the story that she was in fact her daughter, and the twin of Dylan Steinmare so that she wouldn't be embaressed by people about her bastard birth. This act took a lot of courage on the part of Melina and the two have always been close after her act of bravery, and the general love she has always shown to Erica.
| A Steinmare in Lucerne|
From the moment they understand what it means to be a noble, its the dream of every noble boy to get the chance I got. From the moment I arrived in the capital I was determined not to waste it. I wouldn't come here and not leave with what I wanted. I would do what was necessary. I would make my dreams come true.
A Steinmare in Lucerne
During his youth Dylan Steinmare would be sent to Lucerne alongside his half sister and fake twin sister Erica Steinmare where she would join the Lucernian Academy while he would not technically join the Academy but became the squire of Draco Highmore of whom was constantly at the Academy due to being the main gaurd of William Lovie III. Dylan and his sister Erica had grown far closer then they had with their other brother Martin, and in truth the relationship between Erica and Martin was not simply not strong but it was in fact filled with a lot of anger towards Erica from Martin, and thus it was easy for them to determine that Erica should go with Dylan to Lucerne. Dylan and Erica arrived in Lucerne and were met by Draco, and his son Freddie Highmore of whom would escort them to their temporary homes with the Highmore's, and arriving there they expected due to the modesty of the Highmore's that the home would be rough but instead they found a luxurious home filled with the true wealth of the Highmore's. Dylan Steinmare during his time in Lucerne as the squire to Draco Highmore would become a well respected young man of whom befriended Jasper Hale, and through this friendship would become involved in some major things and also meet Laera Griffin. While escorting Jasper Hale, and William Lovie III. they were present when Hostella Hale was killed in the drowning accident, and as Jasper's friend Dylan took this very negatively towards Edward Cullen and would never forgive him for what had happened, but as the fight broke up he would remain behind with Freddie Highmore, and while they were guarding the scene with many other men at arms they were approached by Emma Bell of whom brought several of her friends of which one was Laera Griffin.
Emma Bell, and her friends were able to convinse Freddie to tell them what had happened, and after this Freddie said they would escort the girls back to their homes, and Dylan followed him, but veered off to take Laera home personally as she was staying with the Scarlet's and their home that she was staying in was in Lucerne Proper. Walking and talkign they got to be good friends, and she made sure to let him know that whenever she saw him she expected he would speak to her. This relationship would grow quickly over the next weeks from simple friendship to a sexual relationship of which obviously because of their non-marital status never was fully consumated, but they were both openly talking about a marriage between the two, and they both planned to tell their parents while their parents visited them at the Nortburg Tournament. As they waited for this Dylan would be forced to deal with a situation where his supposed twin sister Erica Steinmare was being harassed by a young noble named Dolan Tarbeck, and just as he was about to fight him over it he watched as Liam Greymane II. would step in and knock out Dolan Tarbeck with a single punch, before taking Erica away from the scene and leaving behind a crowd of hollaring young nobles.
It was at the Nortburg Tournament of 5122 that Dylan Steinmare, and Laera Griffin would finally get their chance at sealign their marriage prospects as while Dylan's mother visited quite often and knew of what Dylan planned this would be the first time that Laera had seen her mother and father since she had left for Lucerne. Dylan would escort his father, and uncle who had also made the trip alongside his mother to Nortburg, and when he arrived there he told his father that he had met the girl he wanted to marry, and that he would prove his value when he won the tournament, and declared her the Queen of Love and Beauty for the tournament. His father remained impassive, but nodded at Dylan before Dylan left to go and find Freddie Highmore and get prepared for his first joust. Laera would have much more success seemingly with her parents of whom jumped at the oppurtunity to marry a growing in influence young squire of whom by all acounts was friends with the crown prince.
The Jousts would go in his favor as he defeated Ian Trant, then his friend Emmett McCarty, and then his enemy Edward Cullen of whom he would embaress following the victory by taunting him after he had knocked Edward off his horse. In the final rounds he would defeat the very talented Franklin Brent, and then Logan Lerman and winning the tournament he would name Laera Griffin his Queen of Beauty and Love, and then in front of the entire crowd would choose knighthood over the dowry being offered to him by Catherine Bell. Choosing who would knight him he chose Draco Highmore, and he was knighted in front of everyone and Laera held his hand as he was knighted. Following this Laera, and Dylan's parents would meet with them, and both reavealed that the bethrothal would happen, and the victory in the tournament was never going to determine whether it happened.
Marriage and a New Life
Following his victory at the tournament, and the admission by their parents that there betrothal was accepted by them it was openly made clear by Dylan that the two didn't wish to wait any longer to be married. Laera's father Lucas Griffin was resistant to this as he knew that Dylan had befriended many powerful people and he wanted to host a truly amazing wedding that everyone in the Kingdom of Lucerne would be amazed at, but Dylan would speak to Lucas and in no uncertain words reveal that unless the wedding happened soon then he couldn't promise there wouldn't be a bastard birth in their future. Afraid again of what Dylan might do Lucas attempted to have Laera return with them to Griffin's Castle but when Laera this was the plan she snuck out of the home her parents were staying in and found her way to Dylan. Seeing that they couldn't hide their daughter until the wedding they set a date of three months from them, and Dylan was able to dissuade some of their fears when he revealed that with the wedding being held in Lucerne it would be attended by William Lovie III. and his Shadow Council.
The wedding would be held at the Aerene Temple of Lucerne, and was attended as promiced by Dylan's friends in the Shadow Council outside of Edward Cullen of whom he refused to accept at his wedding. Laera also had many friends and they would come alongside much of their families making their wedding one of the most influencially attended weddings of the year, and for several years afterwards. Following their marriage they abstained from the bedding ritual, and stayed the night in their own house which had been prepared on the Steinmare estate, and for the first time they would be together physically.
| The Start of the Faraday Conflict |
My brother is dead. I demand justice from the royal family.
Death of Joseph Faraday
Main Article : Death of Joseph Faraday
It was around the time that Freddie Highmore and Emma Bell were beginning their full fledged secret relationship that Joseph Faraday and his own personal level of depression would cause a massive problem that would eventually spread into a household rivalry. Joseph Faraday had been betrothed to Emma Bell for a time but this had ended after Emma had become smitten with Fredrik Highmore and had convinced her mother to end the betrothal. Unable to tell the Faradays the real reason they had offered their younger daughter Hanah Bell of whom while younger was still a prime match, and for Charles Faraday this was seen as a fair trade, but in the case of Joseph Faraday this was a terrible insult. By this point they had begun to discuss the idea of telling Emma's beloved cousin William of whom was also Freddie's friend, but at that point had not fully worked up the courage to say anything yet, and it was under these pretents that they went to a tavern in Lucerne proper to be alone together. The two were having a great time until Freddie went to the tender to ask for a refill of the drink that Emma had come to enjoy and when he did the situation would drive out of control. When he left Joseph Faraday would use this moment of departure to attempt to seduce Emma Bell of whom he had been watching for some time from across the tavern. Where once his natural looks had allowed him to get any manner of girl that he wanted, as his reputation had spread so to as a result had the number of women interested begun to dwindle. As he had become used to resistance he had also become used to forcing his way on girls and using his noble birth, and money to bribe off any trouble after the case, and thus when Emma told him she was with Freddie, and that she was noble born he saw this as the same rejection and he started to get more forceful in their meeting. When Freddie came back to the table and found the situation he attempted to remain calm and simply advise Joseph who was much older then him to back away. This calm approach did not go over well and Joseph reacted with laughter before punching him in the face knocking Freddie momentarily down, but he quickly got up and following this the two would become involved in a scuffle of which Joseph would lose causing him to request a duel with Freddie Highmore.By this point Paulo Snow entered the tavern after finally catching up with Joseph, and by this point he found Joseph tauning young Freddie into a duel, and because of the large crowd Freddie was forced to go into the duel even though he knew that Joseph wouldn't stand a chance. Joseph Faraday would taunt him into the street and then took out a sword threatening Emma of which caused Freddie to sadly take out his own sword, and the two fought although with Joseph nearly falling over drunk it wasn't much of a fight as Freddie knocked his sword aside and shouted for him to surrender. Joseph refused and charge Emma with a dagger forcing Freddie to stab him through the back to stop him, and killing him nearly instantly. Paulo took out his sword and tried to attack Freddie of whom he was able to fight breifly before guards from the nearbye House Elbertson led by (Ser) Underian of House Elbertson would step in and stop Paolo of whom watched screaming as Freddie left the scene carrying the crying Emma Bell. Following this Emma would wake up the following morning surrounded Alice Lovie, and her aunt Catherine Lovie of whom let her cry and held her before finally telling her that a trial had been demanded by the Faraday's over the death of Joseph Faraday. At that point she begged to know where Freddie was and they said he had been taken and placed in the Lucernian dungeon awaiting his trial, but when she became irate that he was in jail for basically defending her they revealed this had been decided only after he had returned to the House Highmore estate and the Faraday's had attempted to kill him in the courtyard leading to Desmond Faraday also being imprisoned awaiting trial. Dressing quickly she accompanied Alice into the courtyard where they were met by some twenty House Lovie guards including Giblert Fouline, and James Junnsworth of whom escorted the group to the King's Keep where Bella Swan was preparing the court for the arrival of the group. With King William in the Port of Stormwind celebrating the foundation of that city while this was happening it did fall to the Councillors of Lucerne, and the Queen to determine the court, and under these circumstances Bella would prepare ahead of the time and had recalled many of the most influential in the Lucerne Court. The trial would have five judges as was the way in Lucernian courts in the form of Cersei Lannister, Bella Lovie, Brandon Starke, Liam Greymane, and Mace Tyrell of whom would listen to the words of the plaintiffs first in the form of Desmond Faraday who had been released from jail alongside Freddie. Weaving a tale of lies he argued that Freddie had killed Joseph in blind rage using Magi and trickery. The Faraday's brought forward several men who were not present at the fight of whom told the court that Freddie was a well known pedophile and had also been found killing children in Nortburg years before, and while Brandon Starke on the council would openly laugh at the truthfulness of these stories, it wasn't until the defense led by Lysa Highmore called as their witness Underian of House Elbertson that the case was completely ended. Underian as a witness and a knight testified that he saw Freddie attempt to stop the fight and even after defeating Joseph attempted to resist hurting him, but Joseph had brought death upon himself when he tried to kill Emma Bell of whom took the stand next and as a princess of Lucerne her words would end the trial when she agreed with Freddie, and Underian.
Following Emma Bell's words the judges would briefly speak together before Brandon Starke spoke giving the words of the judges in the form of stating they had come to terms with the fact that Freddie Highmore was innocent of murder, and then proceeded to verbally attack Desmond Faraday and several of the Faraday retainers who had wasted their time with this hearing. Desmond would at first remain silent but then responded with great anger shouting and trying to get to Freddie of whom stood stoically as the House Lovie guards took Desmond away where he would spend the day and night in the Lucerne Dungeon. While Desmond was imprison again Bella Lovie, and Alice Lovie would take up court at the Keep and would summon Charles Faraday of whom they would have a long conversation with about the events of the day. Charles made it very clear that he was demanding consequences against House Highmore and that unless there were consequences there was going to be reprisals against House Highmore. Once Desmond was released his father was told by James Junnsworth that until William Lovie III. returned and he was on his way that nothing more would be done in the matter, and grudgingly Desmond agreed as he believed that the King would punish Freddie. Following the departure of Charles Faraday she would meet with Cersei Lannister and the two have a nice conversation before Cersei unknowingly slips that Lanna Lannister had traveled to the Port of Stormwind and realizing that Jasper is a liar about not seeing Lanna anymore she says a quick goodbye to Cersei and goes to find Dylan Steinmare. Finding him talking to Emmett she has him excuse himself and following Alice the two return to the Cloud Tower where without any real words of what she is thinking she seduces Dylan and the two sleep together. Following this the two discuss there futures and Alice all but pleads with Dylan to tell her to not marry Jasper, but despite proclaiming his love for Alice he knows he cannot divorce Laera Steinmare who he loves as well, and she must marry Jasper Hale for her brother, and although she has come to hate Jasper she knows this is the case. It is following this decision by Dylan that an angry Alice would begin the plot to have Dylan removed from Lucerne and sent back to Castle Steinmare as she had lost faith in him.
Return of the King
Following the court decision the situation remains in a holding pattern as the Faradays await the return of the king of whom they strongly believe will reverse the decision and they will get their vengeance. When William Lovie III. arrives back at Lucerne following the debacle that was the death of Joseph Faraday and trial of Freddie Highmore, and upon his arrival he is met at the gates by Alice, and Bella of whom accompany him back to the Cloud Tower where upon their arrival they tell him about the trial and he is quite shocked but is proud of his wife, and sister for their handling of the event but despite agreeing with their decision he is forced to meet with Desmond, and Charles Faraday of whom ask for punishment against Freddie Highmore. Tired from his trip he tells them that the law is concrete and there is no changing the decision, and unknown to him the Faradays take this as meaning that he is saying they must get justice themselves and while disappointed they see this as an opportunity to get their own revenge on House Highmore. Following his conversation with Desmond, and Charles he returns to the Cloud Towers and has a long conversation with Alice, but despite wanting to and Alice pressuring him to reveal the truth of Brooke he refuses to and the two siblings say goodnight and William goes to his room with Bella where he sleeps with her. Waking up after sleeping with Bella he is overcome with sadness over being apart from Brooke, and despite having Bella's arms around him he feels no better, and leaving his bed with Bella he goes to Alice's room where still overcome with emotions over being apart from Brook he finally reveals the entire truth to Alice that he is in love with Brooke. The two siblings argue for some time as William reveals the true scope of the relationship, and only after this does Alice truly come to understand that William's feelings are more then just lust. Revealing the scope of the relationship leads Alice to go through the endless list of potential problems it creates, and emotionally exhausted and unwilling to let his sister be mad at him he agrees to Alice's demand that he break things off with Brooke.
Removing Dylan Steinmare
With Alice stressed about everything that was going on between William, and Brooke she would allow her anger towards Jasper to grow, but without any way to resolve that her anger turned on Dylan Steinmare. Dylan had failed to be the escape from Jasper that she had wanted him to be and thus in her anger she begin a plot to have him removed from the capital despite his close relationship with William. Another growing part of his removal was due to the relationship that Alice begin to have with Laera Steinmare, who Alice begin to become quite close friends with. This friendship made Alice feel worse becasue she had betrayed Laera and slept with Dylan. With all of this in mind Alice would send a letter to Fenrick Steinmare of whom in the letter she asked to send for Dylan and then begin arranging for the why when she had Dylan named to the Order of the Red Dragon and made a general in the order with a plan of founding the 7th Waffen Steinmare Division. As a part of this move it was Alice that conspired with Edward Cullen in order to block what Alice knew would be the eventual attempt by Dylan to have William step in and stop Dylan's removal, and with Dylan being openly hostile to Edward it took little convincing to gain the assistance of Edward. As Alice plans the removal of Dylan she decides to bring Edward into the plot as she knows the two are at eachothers throats and also wants to make Edward loyal to her and not fall into loyalty of anyone else leading her to summon Edward to speak with her at the Cloud Towers. Edward arrives that night at her summons and the two have dinner in what is an all but empty cloud towers and Alice plays on the lonliness of Edward to gain his assistance in the plot against Dylan making it out to seem to Edward that it is more Dylan than Jasper that is responsible for Edward's isolation. When Dylan was told of this he attempted to resist this assignment seeing it as little more then exile, but his attempts to until William returned to the capital were opposed by Edward Cullen of whom confronted Dylan. During this conversation it was the two long time rivals that finally bared their true anger with Edward revealing the extent of the plot against Dylan and the invovlment of Alice which was a shock to Dylan. The moment that Alice's involvement was discovered it was Dylan who understood that he was without real options and accepted that he would be going to Castle Steinmare and also that he had possibly ruined things with Alice of whom he had true feelings for.
Wolf in Lucerne
Following the victory at Castle Stragnarax Liam Greymane would be sent a letter from William stating that when he returned from Westbridge he would be knighting many of the young nobles that took part in the Battle of Castle Stragnarax, and this would lead to Liam sending his son and heir Liam Greymane II. to Lucerne to have the honor of being knighted by William Lovie III. Liam went to Lucerne with a detachment of forty men at arms from House Greymane as well as accompanied by several other houses of whom were sending men, and young nobles to be knighted, and the large group made their way by the road to Lucerne. Arriving at Lucerne Liam was shocked at the pure size of the city, and as he stood in awe of the city he was met at the gates by Freddie Highmore of whom led them into the city, and made it clear that he was aware of the situation that the Greymane's suffered from and Liam was to make sure that nothing of danger happened to anyone. Staying in the large Aerene Palace grounds in the northern section of the city he would be escorted around by Freddie Highmore, and Emma Bell of whom he learned had married Freddie recently but was still a blood member of House Lovie.
Demons on the Loose
Main Article : Lorderon Civil War
| Demons on the Loose |
Arthas was the source of so much evil, and we had just allowed him to walk around in front of us.
Gemma Cullen would be in a meeting for Order of the Blue Dragon alongside her cousin Edward Cullen when she was told that a letter had arrived at the Tower labeled for her. She would remain for the meeting and not immediately get the letter but following the meeting with the Order of the Blue Dragon she had received a letter from a Magi from the Kirin Tor that she had met long before named Medivh and had wished to known if she had an audience with the King. He asked her that if she did have an audience with the king that she needed to use that right away to give him word of something terrible happening in Lorderon. When Gemma responded questioning why Medivh wanted to speak with the King, and what terrible thing this was that was happening in Lorderon he would respond with the truth. He told Gemma in the letter that Arthas had lost his mind, and was forming a chaos cult of which was growing more powerful each day within the walls of Lorderon, and that unless he was stopped he was going to destroy the entire state.
Gemma was moved by the letter but she knew that she had no business speaking to the King of Lucerne even if she had been rather friendly with him during their youth. She knew that this couldn't be left unsaid so she responded to Medivh that she couldn't help him but if he talked to Edward Cullen her cousin then he would be able to tell the King himself. She would go to find Edward, and when she did she showed him the letters, and when he saw who they were from he too believed their content. Knowing they were in a very tricky situation Edward would leave immediately with Gemma for the capital where he would attempt with all that remained of his clout with William to do something about this situation.
Edward Cullen following the meeting with Medivh would go to Lucerne to meet with William but when he arrived he discovered that William had traveled up the mountain to meet with the dragons. Most believed they had seen him for the last time based on the tears flowing from both Alice and Emma, and so he made the decision that he couldn't sit idle while his friend risked everything to save the people of Lucerne. He would travel alongside his wife Tanya to Hilary's home and while there they came up with the plan of going to Lorderon under the pretend mission of growth of Dragonoph while in fact investigate the supposed chaos worship of Arthas Menathil. During this time his relationship with Tanya is collapsing, and she shows him little to no affection of which he responds to Gemma he isn't surprised about. Meeting as well with Alice Lovie, and Emma Bell they would make the suggestion that Taylor Swift be the one they use as the center of plan, as she was known far and wide for her Dragonoph beliefs and would be more accepted then the very influential Edward Cullen. Alice would later in a discussion with William admit that she was trying to distance Taylor from the romantic drama she was beginning to have with Emile Hirsh in Brill, but she didn't want them to know that was a major reason for her being sent. Also realizing they needed more Dragonoph involvement they went to Erica Steinmare of whom Edward knew of from school, and they got her to lead a contingent from House Steinmare to Brill where they would then move to the Port of Stormwind on their final stop before they went to Lorderon. Erica Steinmare agreed to go, but her brother forced himself into going as her brother hated Edward as he was a close friend of Jaspers and he also took his wife with him of whom had always wanted to see Lorderon and the massive Rhine. Alongside this would also be Emma Bell who would travel with Edward to give their Dragonoph mission further credence as she was a member of the royal family as the cousin of William Lovie III. and joining Emma would be a force of some thirty House Bell guards, and her husband Fredrik Highmore.Taylor Swift would make her first appearance in Westros when Edward Cullen, and the group would arrive in Brill and when they did they would immediately travel to the Brill Keep where they met with Timone Swift, and John Swift and they would explain to the two that they needed Taylor for an important mission and this would be agreed to and then they were told that Taylor was at the Temple of Brill praying. It would be while praying in the High Temple of Brill when she would be approached from behind and was shocked to find those who had joined her in prayer were none other then Emma Bell a member of the royal family, as well as Dylan Steinmare and Edward Cullen two man who she had never met before but she knew to be extremely promient members of the kingdom. Continuing to pray now joined by this group her mind would be overcome by questions of what could have brought such a group to her temple, and after fifteen minutes of prayer she finishes and at her ending she and the group finally speak. Emma tells Taylor that she is being tasked with leading a Dragonoph contingent to Lorderon where they will be attempting to make further inroads into converting the new state to the Dragonoph, and when she questions why her they are reluctant to give her a straight answer instead Emma hands her a letter directed to her signed by Alice Lovie who is the acting regent of the Kingdom of Lucerne while William is away. Anna Kendrick would be watching through the window of the temple as Taylor speaks to the group, and she is disgusted that Taylor is being given such an opportunity while she is once again passed over for Taylor. As she continues to watch she is discovered by Freddie Highmore of whom she talks with for some time, and eventually is able to convince Freddie to put in a word for her to travel with them to Lordeorn. Following this discussion Anna would return to the Freddie Highmore does put in a word for Anna but this overruled by Emma who was aware of the situation between Taylor and Anna and did not want the trouble of those two being together. Following this conversation with Freddie she returns to the Kendrick estates where she convinces her brother Tyson Kendrick to travel with her to Lorderon where she uses his desire to regain his honor following his failure at the Nortburg tournament during the events of the Journey, and with this hope he jumps at the opportunity. Following this she returns to the keep and finds Freddie Highmore of whom apologizes to her telling her that she cannot come as Emma had indicated the group was full but clearly there was more to it and Anna takes this as Taylor interfering and thus decides to go around Emma Bell to Dylan Steinmare of whom she had known during her time at the academy. Finding Dylan spending time with his wife she feels sadness at how happy they look and longs to see Orival again which shocks her that she doesn't think of Josh Hirsh for even a second when she sees there happiness. Speaking to Dylan she is able to trick him into taking her with them offering her families forces in assistance against Edward if the chance arises, and he agrees to not tell Emma about this as the two conspire that they will keep it a secret until it is too late for her to go back, and Anna promises to Dylan that she will support Dylan if the opportunity to kill Edward Cullen arises. Lole where they would take a boat all the way east to the Port of Stormwind in order to make the final part of their trip to Lordeorn. When they did arrive in Lole they discovered Tanya Cullen awaiting them in the city, and she refused to be left behind, and while this should have been a happy moment for the married couple instead they just argued along the way from Lole to the Port of Stormwind as there marriage had clearly fallen apart. While in the Port of Stormwind Edward would be joined by Candice Anthor of whom would say that she had been planning a trip to Lorderon in order to arrange a series of trade deals, and this would be the perfect opportunity. Convinced by Hilary, and Gemma that the more people they brought with them with civilian purposes the more real this whole thing looked he would agree to have her come, and Candice brought with her a large contingent of troops on six ships from the Port of Stormwind.
On the Path of a Demon
Edward, Taylor, Hilary, Tanya and a small entourage of troops from House Swift, House Steinmare, House Kendrick, House Hirshe, and House Cullen would join the six strong fleet of Candice Anthor and her large force as they traveled to Lorderon and after making the trip from the Port of Stormwind, and Edward would set Tanya to the task of making Taylor believe that she was actually there for the purpose they told her she was. Tanya was by this point nearly constantly fighting with Edward, and Edward knew that barking orders at her was only going to make it worse, but a part of him knew the marriage was over and really just wanted to save lives. While Taylor and Tanya visited several Dragon Temples that were under construction in Lorderon, it was Edward and Hilary that visited the Kirin Tor. When they arrived they were met by Medivh and several of his loyalists and they went about the conversation of how to prove Arthas's madness. Medivh told Edward that in his investigation he had discovered the existence of a group calling themselves the Sons of Lorderon of whom were being portrayed to the public as a revolutionary group wanting independence for Lorderon, but under the surface he discovered that in fact they were a chaos cult founded by Arthas. Edward needed more proof and so Medivh took him and Hilary to a small Kirin Tor Magi tower south of Lorderon where he kept one of the cultists captive.
Taylor, Tanya, Anna, Josh, Emile and the Steinmare's would travel throughout the capital visiting the different Dragon Temples on their first day, and during this time Taylor and Emile would sleep together nearly the first moment they had alone, and Anna was nearby and she confronted them on it, and neither would even apologize and she would leave shortly after with Josh in tow. With those two gone they were met by the Steinmare's of whom Taylor watched look with amazement at the newly constructed Temple, and in that moment being held by Emile she knew she had to tell them the truth, and she would reveal to them the true purpose of the trip to Lorderon. Dylan would leave to go find Candice Anthor in order to warn her, and the rest of them would decide they would make the best of it, and expand the Dragonoph as much as possible. Taylor Swift would reveal to Erica Steinmare that she wasn't going to continue with the marriage to Josh Hirsh and planned to marry Emile while the two were here in Lorderon, and Erica gave the two space and left to go and find her brother in the port. Anna would get into an argument with Josh and went off her own finding herself in the Lorderon market where followed by Emma Bell she and Emma who had for so long fought to keep Anna out of this whole trip found Anna crying and finally saw the real person beneath the rumors. The two would discuss openly the situation and for the first time Emma heard about the lies that Anna believed in regards to Taylor and revealed the truth to Anna of whom would be horrified to know what the truth was and how horrible she had been to Taylor over what now amounted to nothing more then her mothers manipulations. Emma would tell Anna that she was heading north to Westbridge and knew that Orival Crane was there if Anna wanted to go with her, but Anna would politely refuse saying now that she knew the truth she had to make things right with Taylor and once she had done that she would end things with Josh and go north to find Orival.
While the main group was looking into the cultists or working to expand the Dragonoph influence in the Lorderon capital Candice Anthor was working at her trade agreement in the port itself. When she begin making her deals and talks with the leading houses in the port she begin to feel that she was being followed, and watched wherever she went, and this led to her going to find Edward of whom she found while he was on the way to the Kirin Tor tower south of the Magi fortress, and he was dismissive wanting to go quickly, and thus he lied to Candice and told her nothing was going on. This made her feel like she was being ridiculous in thinking she was being watched, and thus she let her guard down as the cultists - who were actually watching her heavily as she had brought a large military force into the port - spied on her, and prepared for an assassination attempt on her. During this time though her cousin Hedrin Tolhmave II. would become concerned after he saw several men watching Candice and he followed them, and watched them enter a tavern of which he followed them into, and when he did they entered a back room which after following them led him into a large tunnel system where he would have to kill both of the men after they discovered him following them. Leaving the tavern as quickly as possible he met Dylan Steinmare on the street and together they raced to find Candice Anthor and arrived just as cultists attempted to assassinate her.
The cultists had surrounded the port with nearly thirty men, and once Candice arrived they killed several sentries watching for violence, and then with the way clear they would move forward. As the cultists went to attack Dylan Steinmare, and Hedrin Tolhmave would arrive and scream to the guards that cultists were about and an attack was going to happen, and realizing they had been discovered the cultists would let off a horn and charge forward into the maelstrom. The fighting was intense but the guards now aware were able to repulse the horribly outnumbered cultists of whom had been relying on the shock of their arrival to succeed and Dylan captured one of the cultists but as they were taking him away the man was shot with an arrow from another cultist on a rooftop of whom then was able to escape.
Arriving at the tower it was Medivh, Edward, Hilary, Gemma, Markus Flowers, and several of Medivh's men and Medivh would lead them as they moved to the top and discovered a single man chained to the floor and roof. Medivh explained to him that this man was evil, and that no matter what he believed after talking to the man he needed to understand that fact alone. He told Edward that everything in life was a choice though and he had the decision to make if he was going to be the man that was tricked by evil, or if he would be able to see evil in all of its forms and be able to defeat it.
Edward would be told by Medivh where Tilder's wife lived and the group would leave the tower and go to find the women that Edward silently had no idea what would happen with. On one hand if she was truthful then he would know Medivh a liar. If she was a liar then he was a fool who had been tricked by a demon. On the way to the wife he spoke with Hilary who told him that she felt a horrible taint coming from Tilder Meanist. She wondered how he did not feel it, and he wondered why he was unable to sense what clearly so many around him were feeling. Medivh told him that his demon wasn't revealed yet, and when Edward finally understood he would know exactly why he couldn't see what was just beneath the surface.
Arriving at the house Medivh forced Edward to wait until thirty men from the Menathil's arirved, and then he allowed Edward to enter the home. Entering the home he found the skinned bodies of untold number of people all over the walls, and the decaying bodies of a young women, and two children sitting a table in the middle of the home with a giant hole in the ground. Medivh said he would explain everything after the ambush, and moments after this happened cultists came through the roof and a fight broke out which ended with the death of the cultists as the reinforcements were too much for the weakly armed, and trained cultists. Medivh would then explain as they carried away the bodies to be buried that Tilder was once a Magi of the Kirin Tor but had been removed due to the reading of banned Magi's and this had eventually led him to becoming possessed by a demon which had then proceeded to murder his wife and children and become a dangerous serial killer of whom killed dozens in Lorderon before the Kirin Tor finally caught up with him and took him under their custody.
See Also : Capture of Jaina MenathilArthas by this point was being told by his leadership core that the Kirin Tor had captured Tilder Meanist and with his capture any hope of keeping the Lucernian contingent from discovering the truth about The Scourge gone he begin plans to leave Lorderon for the north, and his true goal of getting Frostmourne. Gathering his commanders to him he would decide on leaving behind Elu-Kael Thuzad and it would be the objective of Kael to delay the forces of Lorderon and cause as much chaos as he possibly could, but then to make his way north to link up with Arthas who would wait for Kael at Fornost. Over the days that followed this decision they gathered to him his entire command structure outside of those who were staying and travelled north out of the city during the night keeping it as secret as possible, but unfortunatly despite this attempt there departure was discovered by the Dragonoph loyalist Per-Ruenya Menathil who would without delay bring this information to Sur-Talia Menathil. Arthas had left being information that he had travelled north in order to assist Marcel Lovie and thus when Talia went to the throne room she found this note detailing where he was saying he was going, but Talia had seen the change in her brother and didn't believe it instead sending Karl Donovan to bring information to the Lucernian contingent of what had happened. Karl Donovan would travel to their ships where he found the Hirshe brothers there and told them that Arthas had left the city and they both realized what this meant and thus they moved without haste to tell Edward about this. As this was happening Arthas as he moved out of Lorderon had a large fleet of dozens of ships transporting his men and in this movement they would travel to Kul Tiras where Arthas had unfinished business with his wife Jaina. Arriving with his fleet just south of Boralus they had slipped by the naval defenses as they were inside what was seen as safe waters when they left Lorderon and thus landed on the coast south of Boralus without alerting anyone to their presence. Landing his troops there he channeled a spell with his Magi leadership which gave him the location of Jaina who he discovered was located at the Tower of Toralus located west of Boralus, and with this knowledge he would march on the Tower of Toralus. The Tower of Toralus was lightly defended as it was a sort of estate for House Proudmoore and thus when Arthas's several thousand strong army arrived it was Jaina who sensed that it was Arthas and ordered her men to flee the tower before they were killed, and then she waited for Arthas to come to her. Arthas came to her alone inside the tower and seeing him clad in the evil armor he had been crafting for some time she prepared herself to die and refused to speak to the man in front of her as she knew in her heart that this was not her Arthas, but he did not strike her down instead he took her staff from her and placed Magi restraints on her restricting her magi abilities and then summoned troops who took her hostage. With Jaina in his hands he would return to the ships where by this point the troops of Jaina had not yet warned the main Boralus forces of what had happened and thus when Arthas's fleet passed Boralus they were not resisted by the large Kul Tiras navy thus allowing Arthas to escape with Jaina.
Following the discovery by Edward that the cultists controlled the massive Great Temple of Lorderon he and his group would travel with Medivh back to the capital where they planned to attack the temple. As this was happening Taylor Swift and the Steinmare's would be told by a Dragon Priest that several Dragonoph worshipers had come to him to admit that they had been members of a cult in Lorderon and that the Great Temple of Lorderon was their headquarters of sorts. Disgusted that a Temple would be used for this purpose and despite the attempts by Dylan and Erica to stop her she would travel to the Great Temple and alongside Laera Steinmare would enter the Temple and using key words learned from the traitor cultists were able to enter the Temple. Entering the Temple they went through a recruitment process of sorts, but things begin to go bad after the cultist leading them around attempted to rape Laera and she stabbed him through the eye killing him and forcing them to hide his body while they escaped the Temple. Finding there way out wasn't easy though, and outside Dylan would meet with Edward telling him what had happened, and learning from Edward how serious the situation was they believed they had the proof they needed but Emile, and Josh Hirshe arrived to tell them that Arthas had left the city with a force in order to supposedly help Arnor, and Marcel Lovie. Edward told Emile, and Josh to go to the keep and force them to recall Arthas, and at the same time attempted to send word to Marcel Lovie of what was happening, but unknown to him the cultists were watching them, and the letters, and ravens were all intercepted meaning Marcel was not warned.
Taylor Swift, and Laera Steinmare at this point would finally make their way out of the temple, but as Laera exited the door Taylor would be knocked on the head and the gate shut causing a siege of sorts as they attempted to break there way into the Temple. Forcing their way into the temple using the troops they had brought, they would fight against dozens of cultists of which forced the involvement of more troops and a battle broke out, but despite victory after the dust had settled they also found that there was no sign of Taylor, because she had been taken to the real home of the cultists of which was a large tunnel system beneath the temple itself. By this point the cultists were aware they had been discovered, and they would begin plans to launch the overall assault on Lorderon, and those traitor cultists would in these last moments release this information to the Menathil loyalists, or the Lucernians, or also in many cases the Magi of Kirin Tor.
Captured by the cultists Taylor is forced to endure captivity for hours, as the cultists by this point are simply stalling within the tunnel system, and Taylor witnesses the leadership of the cultists flee the grounds to safety, while the few that remain behind in order to show resistance are weak old men, and ones they question the devotion of. During this torture she is somewhat protected by a young cultist of whom stops an older man from raping her, and she is saddened as he tells her of his life, but despite her attempts to get him to surrender he sees no life past this, and leaves her as Edward's force finally breaks into the tunnels. The cultists that are left are weak and are easily defeated leaving Edward in control of the temple, but as soon as he releases Taylor's mouth coverings she reveals to him that nearly all the cultists already fled, and those left were expendable to them. With the cultists destroyed Taylor reveals that the cultists are a part of a chaos cult led by Arthas Menathil of whom has not taken any true forces north to assist Marcel but is in fact taking monsters and demons of whom are planning great destruction. As they attempt to make their way out of the temple they find the route blocked by design, and they are unable to escape by means of the entrance, and instead must make their way through ancient tunnels out of the city. After days of travelling through the tunnels they find themselves in the fields far to the south of Lorderon and a note is left on the edge of the entrance on the body of a soldier with the sigil of House Scarlet on him.Edward became infuriated by this and the realization that it was already well to late to save Marcel, or to do any of the good things that he knew in his mind he had to do in order to regain what he had lost. The army of Arthas had left nearly a week ago, and he knows that a raven will never reach Arnor in time to do any good, and he breaks down crying for his continued failure. Eventually calming down the group gathers themselves and make their way to a nearby village where they receive horses and make their way back to Lorderon to warn Arnor of the coming chaotic army. Back in the city Laera, Erica, and Dylan Steinmare retreat to the Menathil Palace, and rally the Lucernians to their cause as well as sending out word of the what everyone now knows will be a very large attack on Lorderon by a unknown amount of cultists. Kul Tiras in order to have them send aid, and it is this quick thinking that would eventually save the city, as noone in Lorderon had been willing to ask Kul Tiras for help due to the bad blood between Lorderon, and Kul Tiras as of late. It was at this point of the city coming under siege and the port preparing for the arrival of reinforcements that Anna Kendrick and Josh Hirshe of whom had come to hide within the keep in the docks would come to have an honest conversation with Anna admitting that she loved Orival Crane and Josh was just a distraction, and Josh admitted that he actually hated Anna and only was with her to cause embaressment to his brother. Josh would as their conversationd devolved into an argument demand that she sleep with him but she resisted not wanting this but despite her resistence he forced himself on her but just as he is about to rpae her she grabs his knife and slashes his face before also stabbing him in the shoulder and fleeing from the keep to the docks themselves.
Following the return of Edward Cullen to the city after his destruction of one cell of the cult that Arthas had formed it became clear to the leadership that Arthas had formed it in order to destroy Lorderon, and thus they went about dealing with the cult for the first time. After the conversation between William and Edward the decision is made to make Talia Menathil the new Lord of Lorderon, and she is given this immediatly after thus removing the taint of Arthas somewhat from Lorderon. This transfer of power doesn't go completely according to plan as during the ceremony for her gaining the title of Matriarch of the family, and the Arch Lord of Lucerne position the site is attacked by a force of cultists and many demons that a Magi with the cultists summons into the area. Edward, Gemma, and Hilary lead Talia out of the building and fight there way through waves of cultists, and are nearly trapped until a counter assault by Imlad Menathil breaks the attacking cultists and allows them to return her to the keep of Lorderon with her new power.
Talia would recall her sister Talia to her side, and alongside Imlad Menathil they formed a sort of Menathil council for the leadership of the land alongside Edward of whom advised them as best he could. Realizing the situation they were in they knew they needed more forces loyal to them in the city, and thus they decided to call the vassals, and ask for assistence from the nearbye Lucerne forces. As they begin to recall Menathil forces from the smaller villages, and towns they begin see that the cult had become aware of the situation and the cult summoned nearly its entire force into the capital and begin besieging sections of the city and ambushing and murdering loyalists to the Menathils. Sending word to the Riverlands, and Kul Tiras, and then the main Lucerne army south of Lorderon in the Scarlets, and the Cleganes they would beg for assistance saying that the streets were becoming a battleground.
As fighting broke out in the streets Kael'Thuzad would abandon secrecy and led his command structure into the city where he and his other Magi would summon the dead to their side adding thousands into his ranks and causing great destruction. As this happened the citizens of Lorderon begin fleeing by boats in the dock out of the city, and those men that couldn't and the old would retreat into the Menathil Keep in the center of the city. Arming these citizens the defence of the keep would be expanded knowing they were defending to the last man. Edward Cullen, and Imlad Menathil led the defences with Edward using his Magi stone to alert the forces south of the wall of what was happening and making sure they knew they had to do something soon. Kael'Thuzad would raise buildings, and go about damaging the city, while he sent his commander Lord Gnarls eastward towards Kirin Tor where he was to capture the fortress and bring its knowledge back to him so that they could then leave for Arthas northward. Fighting would break out heavily in the port as the Cult would attempt to commandeer boats in their eventual search to escape, and they would be resisted by the navy of Kul Tiras of whom had sent many ships to blockade the city, and provide support.
Battle at the Docks
Ras Frostwhisper would come to the dock and summoning hundreds of giant sea creatures that had long laid dead at the bottom of the sea outside Lorderon, and used these creatures to assault the fleet of Kul Tiras and push them back. The fleet was forced to pull back or risk destruction as these ancient creatures pulled entire ships under the water when they got close enough, and they were only able to destroy a dozen and lost nearly twice that number of ships in return.
Battle of Kirin Tor
Main Article : Battle of Dalaran
Led by a mysterious Magi named Lord Gnarls the cultists would send a force to Kirin Tor as well in order to sack the Magi castle, and attempt to steal its stored knowledge for Arthas, despite the near impossibility of this task and then getting north. During the initial movement towards Kirin Tor turncoats within the fortress of Kirin Tor would murder several high ranking members of the Magi organization including the high leader in Antonidas leaving the council shattered and left with three of its members with Jaina also believed to be in the capital and not inside Kirin Tor. With their leader dead, and the council reduced Medivh would stage a sort of coup using his own forces and took control of the Council of Kirin Tor and would imprison the remaining members of Kael'Thuzad's family including his son who attempted to murder him when he took him prisoner. Medivh would lead the forces loyal to Lucerne in defense of the Kirin Tor and was able to use the superior defenses of Kirin Tor to massacre the initial wave of Cultists supported by demons that assaulted the fortress. As the battle reached the second wave though numerous Magi would turn to the side of Chaos, and the fighting got dire as the chaos cultists used these turncoats to enter Kirin Tor and were able to sack parts of the library.
As Kirin Tor became a battleground Saiden Scarlet would send Illen Purne one of his vassals alongside Kren Scarlet to relieve the Kirin Tor with a force of Kul Tiras, and native Lorderon troops. Arriving at the scene they found the cultist army flowing into Kirin Tor, and they would attack them from behind where the cultists were killed in huge numbers but managed to keep the Lucernians away for a time. Inside Lord Gnarls made his way through Vault after Vault inside Kirin Tor attempting to make his way to the deepest and most powerful infortmation, and as he did this Medivh would lead a skilled force of Magi and elementals behind him defeating Lord Gnarls luitenents one after another until both were nearing eachother. By this point Trimier would complete the summoning spell, and this allowed several dozen Blue Dragon Magi and their support troops to enter Kirin Tor, and they asisted in stemming the flow of cultists while the main army was defeated outside by Kren Scarlet, and Illen Purne.
Battle of Lorderon
Main Article : Battle of Lorderon
Following the defeat of the Cultists at Kirin Tor two shadow council members would arrive in the form of Emmett McCarty, and Leven Martell of whom brought with them thirty men each from their houses and the most elite men they both had. The cultists had barred the main gates into the city and were defending them with great strength, but many smaller gates were less defended and it was through these gates that Leven, and Emmett would infiltrate through avoiding the gaurds through the assistence of several Violet Dragons that were still in the area. Now inside the city Leven, Emmett and their sixty men would fight their way to the keep where they found the Lucernian loyalists holding out within, and thousands of citizens hiding inside the walls for protection. Kael'Thuzad would marshal nearly his entire remaining force and pulled many if not all forces from the walls and brought them to the keep where he launched an all out assault. Thousands of demons and cultists charged the high walls of the keep, and the defenders led by Emmett, Leven, and Imlad would hold out against the inital assaults and cause horrendous casualties to the unprepared cultists attacking the walls.
As the attack of the Cultists failed all over it was Kael'Thuzad that went to the eastern gatehouse himself and using Magi alongside his commanders would shattter the entire gatehouse destroying it and leaving a massive gaping hole in the defences. Losing a significant amount of defenders Leven pulled all the reserves from the keep, and alongside her men and Emmett's men she and Emmett would charge into the breach and attempt to hold off the attacking cultists. The defenders were hardpressed to hold the massive numbers off but the untrained barely equipped cultists were cut down in droves, and this led to Kael'Thuzad ordering in several of his commanders including his second in command in Lord Voren of whom would kill many in front of him but was confronted by Leven Martell. Leven and Voren would fight one on one as the defenders slaughtered the cultists forcing many to attempt to retreat but these retreaters were killed by Kael'Thuzad of whom sent in Lord Savryn to deal with the situation. On the western gatehouse Imlad would murder the commander of the attacks there and charged his forces through the gatehouse and massacred hundreds of cultists forcing them to retreat southward, and allowing him to send several scouts to make the Lucernians come quicker.
The scouts reached the Lucernian forces of whom were assaulting through the weakely defended outer walls, and moving slowly fearing it was a trap. Meeting the scouts Saiden Scarlet would understand it wasn't a trap and commanded all forces towards the keep with all haste, while he sent Mathew Clegane and his forces against the dock to deal with Ras Frostwhisper. Kael'Thuzad getting word that the army was only minutes away knew he had to move quickly to take the keep and then murder the population, so he waded into the battle himself. Fighting his way through his own forces he reached the front just as Leven, and Emmett killed Lord Savryn and pushed back Lord Voren. Smashing Emmett McCarty with a blast of Magi he flew back uncontious leaving Leven to fight against Lord Voren while Kael'Thuzad sent Magi blasts into the defenders of the breach killing dozens. Sencing Kael'Thuzad enter the breach Edward had left the southern gate and mvoed to the east where he reached the fighting and was able to block a spell that would have badly injured Leven. Fighting against Kael'Thuzad he and the Liche would battle for minutes until Lord Voren fell destroyed and Leven charged him as well turning the tide of the fight. Kael'Thuzad attempted to flee but was struck through the back by Leven's sword and destroyed. At the port Mathew Clegane would overwhelm Ras Frostwhisper with the support of Gemma Cullen of whom overpowered the tired Ras Frostwhisper but he retreated using a stone and disapeared alongside several of his commanders.
With the death of Kael'Thuzad and the defeat of Ras Frostwhisper the skeletal elements and demons fizzled out of excistence, while the human elements of the cult were swiftly either killed or surrendered and made to live out the rest of their short lives in prison before they were executed. With Talia Menathil now Lady of Lorderon the population shifted back to the capital but was diminished from the numbers before as some one quarter of the city had turned to the cultists and were basically all dead while another quarter had died during the fighting leaving half the city dead. It was following the clean up that a letter came into the keep adressed to Edward Cullen, but it would be read by Leven Martell and the rest of the commanders inside the keep.
Return of Riley Scott
William travel to Forks on their way back to Lucerne from Fairmarket. On the boat ride back after a long talk with Morrigan, she takes matters into her own hands and finally reveals to William that she wants him in what ever way she can have him, and despite his marriage he sleeps with Leven. Arriving in Forks they are met on the docks by Charles Swan of whom they talk with for a time, but this ends when Riley Scott arrives alone on horseback, and wishes to return with them to Lucerne for a time. Riley reveals to him that Dan Scott is conspiring to make him and heir and he loves his family and doesn't want to see them come to harm through the menipulations of Dan Scott. Leven goes with William as he talks with Riley, and after Riley leaves with Thomas for a while he tells her that he is amazed at the changes in his son, and as they watch as he spends time with Thomas, and longs to see his three oldest sons become friends. Leven once again talks to Morrigan of whom congratulates her on gaining William in the way she did, and Leven shocked to know Morrigan knew begins to take Morrigan into her confidence revealing the arrangement she offered William and he seemingly agreed to.
| Meeting a Daughter|
I am so sorry my daughter. I would have never abandoned you had I of known.
Meeting a Daughter
Following the attempted Coup in Stor Roslin Stor XII. would return to the capital with Lucie Lovie of whom told her everything she could about her life, and everyone was called to a council where they were told that they had the oldest child of the King of Lucerne in their hands. Following this discovery there were many in the council who begin saying they should barter her to the Lucernians, and this charge would be led heavily by Terad Ereham who had been implicated in the Coup attempt but had returned to the fold after its defeat. Roslin argued that if they did that William had shown he would never forgive the slight, and the weak willed Terad wilted under the pressure of Roslin's words and agreed with her idea of simply giving Lucie to the Lucernians asking nothing in return. The failure here of Terad to gain anything would further poison the mind of his son Tristifer Ereham III. to his father and would be the final straw which led to Tristifer turning completely on his father and taking control of House Ereham.
While Lucie Lovie was being sent to Storhold and the letter was on its way to Lucerne the situation in Lucerne would be quite peaceful as the royal family prepared for the birth of another child of the main branch through Bella Swan and William Lovie, but as this was happening the lessening of the corruption of Morrigan would lead to a major reveal. William
Arrival in Westbridge
Running From a Monster
Arrival in Fairmarket
Leven and William await with many of his children as the boat of Lucie Lovie pulls into the Fairmarket dock, and she consoles him as he gets nervous about seeing her. As she arrives before he can say anything of any real substance she is taken into a hug by Ashley Lovie of whom is followed by Thomas, and William also hugging her but Riley stands back beside William and is unwilling to hug this new claim to the throne. William decides on the advise of Lucie that they will return to Lucerne as quickly as possible and Leven and William stay the night together and then after that returning by caravan back to Lucerne. The second half of the chapter is their journey back to Lucerne.
Return to Lucerne