Meridian

Background

Born as third son of a wealthy merchant for rare goods (mostly books and artifacts) in the upper levels of Minas Tirith, Meri wanted to learn the trade from his father Margathon Gallador early on, though his mother Yashyel (Dunedain) as a Priestess of Nature had an even bigger influence on his development.

At the tender age of 6, Meri discovered hints that big brother Minosh (8 years senior) would probably inherit his father´s trade. An alternative career needed to be discovered. And becoming part of a circus crew (fire-eaters are great!) was as stoically rejected by his parents as his plan to join the Dwarven Engineering Guild in order to invent a device for flying. Life sucks at that age.

Meri´s second brother Rainald (5 years senior) had already joined the Gondor Rangers, and that would have suited Meri´s love for mud and climbing trees perfectly - but alas, the Rangers accept few, and only rarely more than one person from the same family. His two sisters Samatheya (3 years senior) and Lyara (2 years senior) were a great influence for NOT following the footsteps of his mother, since they simply were way too… girlish… girls. Right. And anyway, after about twenty extremly tolerant and patient approaches of his mother at teaching Meri how to cook a potion, prepare a salve or at least a fried egg, even Yashyel, Priestess of Nature, had to concede that Meri might rather have other talents.

Being way too lively and inquisitive for a Novice of Nature anyway, but with an obvious talent for magic and mischief (often heard yells in House Gallador: “Where is the cake?” ; “Meri, are you listening behind the curtain again?” ; “Meri, come down here this instant!”), Margathon and Yashyel Gallador called in a favor from (back then) Magister Loramas Dienwil, from the High University of Mentalism, Minas Tirith.

Magister Loramas took Meri under his wing, and soon found himself in the position to desperately call in a favor from his school acquaintance and warrior monk Sifu Mandibel… for young Meri still needed to be tamed, in order to be able to listen to magical theory. Thus Meri grew up studying Mentalism with Magister Loramas, travelling Gondor with Sifu Mandibel (and getting beaten blue and green by more dedicated novices, most of the time), and talking himself out of problems his bloody curiosity had gotten himself into. Concentration exercises taught by both Magister Loramas and Sifu Mandibel could be applied with astonishing ease to aiming with a bow. Thus it beacame Meridians favourite weapon, though he also bade Sifu Mandibel to train him with a sword. The sword has two major advantages over hand-to-hand combat for Meridian: First, he looks really dashing with a longsword at his hip. Second, after switching to sword-training, his continuously renewed facial bruises receded (every day with Sifu Mandibe meant sparring adepts concentrating on the art almost every day of their life - unlike Meri, who did so only on excursions from Magister Loramas´ desk or the university auditorium…), and hey! That made Meridian look even more dashing!

The interest for ancient artifacts and mysterious books persisted as well, though, heightened by his studies. …The smell of old scrolls and beeswax-candles… mhmmm. The mystery of forgotten languages, symbols and runes! The secrets of old, stories of lost treasures! …And Meridian Gallador became a well-trusted and rather (outwardly) fearless messenger for the University and …other, better paying customers… which led to a rather tragic misunderstanding, because of which Meri became a wanted criminal for theft in Harad at age 20… A pivotal point in his life, where Meridian learned to his own surprise, that wearing a borrowed plate armor on a ransomed Haradian steed did not only keep arrows from making more than “pling, clong” sounds (REALLY useful when you enjoy living!), but still allowed him to use his trained mentalism skills. A rare feat it seemed, since all his life he had been taught the opposite. It somewhat kept him from further developing his martial arts fighting skills - but it had been more fun to concentrate on adrenaline and meditation skills, anyway.

Well, traveling to Harad was not an immediate option anymore, and unfortunately most of Meridian´s customers needed him to use that route. So he once again concentrated on Mentalism, made more friends at University, and even came to know slightly cumbersome and good-natured Tevmar. Magister Loramas became High Mentalist at University, and the bond between Meri and his teacher has grown continuously to a strong mutual family-like fondness. Meri is still his Protegé, though High Mentalist Loramas already sent him on rather… informal missions… in exchange for rather informal magical knowledge.

Meridians family is still his family, and the relationship is good. Minosh and his wife Halda are running the business with father Margathon very sucessfully, Rainald is a rarely visiting Ranger, but when he is present, Meri and Rainald are closer than ever and brawl and brag like teenagers. The love for adventure, nature and mysteries runs deep in both, to the utter contentment of still young-looking mother Yashyel. Samathea followed Yashyel´s footsteps, she is a full-fledged Priestess of Nature and married the famous Trader Tyshaman of Osgiliath. Lyara chose to study elven magic and culture. She is a well-respected and welcome long-term visitor in the Mirkwood. She brags that ONLY people who are welcome can stay in the Mirkwood, or pass through. Meri is inclined to test that, sooner or later ;-) Rainald preferably accepts missions to vicinity of the Mirkwood, to stay in touch with Lyara. …Recently, he seems somehow to be able to visit the Mirkwood more often…