Jure Grand

How many Proconsuls has Gast Academy had now? Thirty, maybe closer to forty? As far as I’m concerned, that number should be one. The world’s a sadder place without her.

-Jure Grand, Legate of Gast Academy’s Espionage Hall

Jure Grand (born June 6, 600 FA) is the first and only Legate of Gast Academy’s Espionage Hall. A nelapsi hailing from the state of Slavania, he is one of only a handful of vampires that have renounced human blood. Standing at 5’ 8”, one shouldn’t be deceived by his average height and slender frame. He is a master of shading, credited with the assassinations of multiple high-ranking kavi officers during the Peasant King’s Rebellion and the Sailor’s War.

Despite having been a Legate at Gast Academy for the entirety of the institution’s existence, his true history has mostly been lost to time, leaving only rumors and assumptions. Local stories say he was born into a poor farming family in the heart of Slavania, where he led an entirely unremarkable life. One year, a fungus ravaged his family’s crops, ruining the entire harvest. Their landlord showed no pity and demanded tax payments regardless, knowing full-well Jure’s family had nothing to give. Jure and his sister went to the lord’s manor, pleading for an extension until next year’s harvest, when they could try to recoup their losses. The lord’s daughter offered an alternative instead, demanding ten years of service at their estate to forgive the debt. The deal was unforgivably one-sided—ten years of servitude for one year of payment—but such were the times.

Jure and his sister, Tatjana, agreed. Unbeknownst to them, the landlord’s daughter had a sadistic side to her. She delighted in torturing the servants, beating them unconscious, starving them, mutilating them with knives and fire, and forcing them to freeze to death during harsh winters. Jure and Tatjana were no exception, but unlike the other servants, had an unusual resilience to the harm. They withstood the abuse for years, clinging on to life by a thread as their bodies were slowly whittled down into things to be pitied and put out of their misery. It became a sadistic game for the lord’s daughter to see how much she could brutalize them without killing them. Supposedly, by the time Jure and Tatjana’s lives ended, there was nothing left of them but eyeless heads and limbless torsos.

A few years after their deaths, mysterious reports began cropping up in the area. Peasants reported waking up in the middle of the night, dizzy and faint. Some claimed to see dark shadows lurking around homes, Jure and Tatjana’s ghostly faces occasionally visible under the moon’s light. It wasn’t long before the first bodies turned up: Jure’s father and mother, bled dry. More and more people died with increasing frequency, their dried husks found by loved ones in the morning. Then one night, the lord’s daughter disappeared, and with her the killings stopped . . . for a while.

Over the next year, body parts began showing up on the lord’s footsteps. First a foot, dainty and smooth. Next came a well-manicured finger, then two, three, and finally the mutilated hand it belonged to. The lord languished, realizing someone was sending pieces of his daughter to him. By the year’s end, the lord’s daughter had been returned in full; it was evident she had been made to live through the whole ordeal until the bitter end. The lord subsequently hung himself, and his lands were abandoned and fell into ruin—cursed, the locals claimed. Neighboring villagers avoided the land like the plague, and of the ones who dared enter—only a few returned, claiming to have seen Jure and Tatjana, now powerful nelapsis.

To this day, Jure refuses to confirm or deny this story, cited as saying, “My past is mine alone. Dig into it at your own risk.”

Jure’s history becomes more tangible during the Peasant King’s Rebellion. For reasons unknown, he gave up human blood to join Joan’s Gast Battalion, becoming one of her most loyal companions. Even after her eventual passing, he remained at Gast Academy as the Espionage Hall’s Legate, a position he will most likely hold until he is killed.