Legends of Belerath
Haimon, Son of Feolfe, who the people call the Knight of Autumn, was heir to the Throne of Hisime and the Empire of the High Elves following the Third Rise. Haimon was named rightful ruler of Hisime after his father’s death at the hands of Leph Neckbreaker and Roger Worldsbane but never took the crown, remaining in mourning in Aduial after the war. Despite his reluctance to claim the throne, Haimon continued to hold the loyalty of the majority of his people, who followed his example and kept in a sort of societal stasis as they mourned the loss of life and the fall of the old days of the High Elves.
Haimon was born to Feolfe and his first wife during the height of the First Rise. Before the boy could walk, his mother had been killed on the frontlines. Before he could run, he was an orphan, his father slain by Knight-Cleric Eobard. Haimon, then just four years old, was named High Regent and Emperor of Hisime. He grew up in occupied Hisime, his kingdom a vassal state to Thrimichath. The child was trained by the Champion-at-Arms in martial technique and was given taught the ways of magic by the Archmage, Cirdyl Hellraiser. He showed especially great skill with the blade, and became a renowned fighter, using his magic to enhance his combat techniques. When he came of age, Haimon worked tirelessly to restore his people’s culture and prominence, and was instrumental in Thrimichath pulling out its garrison that the high elves could once again claim Hisime as a free state.
When Feolfe returned from death, Haimon rejoiced, and welcomed the reclamation of the throne by the father he never really knew, swearing to fight as his First Knight and representative in the field. Haimon served to update his father on the goings-on of the world in his absence, and father and son were united at last.
Haimon was close friends with Cirdyl, and spent much of his time as regent funding and aiding the archmage in his research to bring back so many loved ones lost in the war. It was not until hundreds of years later, after Feolfe’s re-installment as Emperor, that this research ever paid off, however. When Cirdyl successfully raised the first undead, it was Haimon who rushed to tell the Emperor the good news.
The Emperor, however, did not like what he heard. In a profane experiment that should never have been allowed to happen, Cirdyl had created a mockery of life beyond the reckoning of mortal man. Feolfe feigned joy at his son’s news, but infiltrated Cirdyl’s cult of followers and killed the elf where he stood, cursing his followers with a mark of darkness upon their flesh and casting them out to sea.
Having lost the father he never had to the father he never knew, Haimon fell into despair. For a long while, he forsook the practice of arms, and turned to writing to express his sorrow. During this time, he wrote many of Hisime’s greatest poetic works, and even authored a play, The Motherless Child.
When Hisime declared its War on Fallowhearth, Haimon refused to fight, instead locking himself away in the palace, not to be seen for a long while.
The Second Rise
Haimon emerged from his despair thanks to a woman named Arya, daughter of the renowned general Ophingond. He continued his writing, and became known as quite the poet, but once again took up arms to fight for his father and his people in the Second Rise.
Fighting alongside Arya, he became one of the greatest heroes of the Elves in those days, with the pair being instrumental in leading the deep goblin attack on Escar. Despite this, Haimon was a vocal opponent of the campaign. When later asked by Knight-Paladin Lawrence why he continued to fight for a cause he hated, Haimon famously replied “For all I hate in my Emperor, I would not betray my people.” Legend holds that it was that sentiment that caused Lawrence to spare his life.
The First Hishite Republic
After Feolfe’s second death, the kingdom established the First Hishite Republic, aiming to bring the nation into a new golden age of prosperity and cooperation with the world. Without the weight of rulership on his shoulders, Haimon married Arya, and for a while, all was well. But even the mightiest castles are sometimes built upon banks of sand, and soon the people rejected the idea of a republic.
With the huge debts owed to the First World Council as reparations for the damage of the Second Rise, the damaged national infrastructure from the invasion of Hisime in the final days of the war, and the lack of orc slaves from Karash Huruk, Hisime became impoverished. Arya convinced her husband to take up the crown once more, and proposed in congress that he be once again made emperor. With thunderous applause, Haimon returned to his throne, where he cancelled the debts owed to the Council, daring them to come and take their gold, and requisitioned magisters to expedite the rebuilding of Hisime. Soon, his father returned once more, and Haimon ceded the throne to his father. In the minds of the people, the son of the emperor had cemented his reputation as a hero.
The Third Rise
Haimon himself had little to do with the Third Rise. He remained at home as his father’s Steward, rather than going to war himself. There, he gained a reputation among the nobles for being a fair dealer and a patient leader. His wife, Arya, having mastered nature’s wrath, served as one of Feolfe’s Ten Mighty Generals, until she was felled by Knight-Paladin Reyson of house Fisher, whom they call the Dawnbringer.
After losing his wife, and then his father at the hands of Leph Neckbreaker, Haimon was left somber and broken. It is said he did not weep, but simply hung his head and nodded at the news, for Haimon was a main who knew all too well what horrors war could wreak, and a broken man too often forgets his own tears.
Knight of Autumn
Haimon signed the treaty presented to him by the third man to kill his father, the man who killed his wife, and the armies that aided them, ending the war in an unconditional surrender. At the signing of the treaty in Aduial, he gave the speech for which he earned his title as Knight of Autumn, saying:
For ones such as we it is easy to forget the natural order of the world. Many beautiful things grow in this world, and of them, Hisime has long grown green and true. But the warm summer of our time is over, and now it is that we fade, for the good of all. This is not a defeat, nor is it a failure. For in time, all leaves must fall.
Haimon went into mourning, and his people followed into their own Autumn. And his court, which they call the Court of Fallen Leaves, did not fight with wild fury to reclaim their country, as they had done in the past, but rather followed their heir’s example, and mourned for the losses they had sustained.