Armand St Just (I)

Name: Firyafinwë Armand St. Just

Gender: male

Age: 30 (b. 1 June 1770)

Between The Scarlet Pimpernel and Eldorado: An Adventure of the Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy changed Armand's age from about 8 years older than Marguerite (32 in 1792) to younger than her and "not yet five and twenty" in January 1794. Exact date not canon. He was approaching 25 when he arrived at the Mansion in the spring of 2005.

Fandom: The Scarlet Pimpernel (novel)

Journal:

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Canon History

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Armand was born in Paris, France, around 1770. His sister, Marguerite, was only a few years older than he. Their parents died when they were young children. Marguerite embarked to the provinces to begin pursuing a career on the stage, chaperoned by her young brother. The year Marguerite turned eighteen, the St. Justs made a triumphant return to Paris. Sponsored by their famous cousin, Louis Antoine Saint-Just (the political crony of Robespierre), Marguerite embarked on a dazzling career at the Comedie Française. Armand soon started at the University of Paris, studying law with the intent of entering public service. He devoted his life to his sister and his studies.

During the first intoxicating months of Marguerite's career, Armand met by chance Angele, the Marquis de St. Cyr's daughter, and fell in love. He knew his cause was hopeless. The scion of French nobility wouldn't be allowed to unite with a lowly born plebeian such as Armand. However, Armand wrote Angele a poem. The next day a gang of St. Cyr's men waylaid Armand and beat him severely. He was long in recovering, and his outward calm about the injustice was more marked than Marguerite's. Armand never spoke of the incident except in veiled terms to his sister, who knew the details.

As conditions under the Ancien Régime worsened for the poor, the siblings took advantage of their new found affluence to enter the world of political discussion. Marguerite, as the rising star of the theater, hosted salons at their apartment on the Rue de Richelieu while Armand mixed with his fellow students and politicians all over Paris. Her approach was more intellectual; his more enthusiastic. Both, having known the struggle to bring themselves up in the world, were staunch republicans and supported the early days of the revolution. He could not claim to be intimate with the brightest stars of the revolution, but Armand knew most of them in passing.

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Then Marguerite suddenly married a rich English baronet, Sir Percy Blakeney, and emigrated to England, leaving him behind in Paris to watch the horrors ripen alone.

The summer of 1792, he foolishly let his altered opinion of the revolution become known to the more famous Saint-Just, who eagerly watched and taunted the earnest Armand. The politician didn't have concrete proof until Armand broke under the strain and wrote to his sister, begging her for help to get out of France. The intercepted letter was used to trap Armand. Only a heroic effort on Percy's part enabled Armand to escape to England before the autumn.

He stayed in England for several months, but eventually had to return to France to take care of some family business. By this time, Armand had learned of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel but not that his brother-in-law was their chief. Just before his departure, he wrote Sir Andrew Ffoulkes a letter requesting his sponsorship to join the League. This letter was stolen by Chauvelin, a special agent of the French government. Armed with Armand's letter, Chauvelin confronted Marguerite at the opera.

At Lord Grenville's ball, Marguerite learned enough to successfully set Chauvelin on the trail of the Scarlet Pimpernel, not knowing that it was her husband. When she discovered her error, she followed Percy and Chauvelin to France, where Percy made a narrow escape from a personal encounter with Chauvelin. Then Percy contrived to get a message to Armand and the other men he was trying to help to England, so that they were able to escape. Percy then rescued Marguerite, and they all boarded Percy's yacht The Day Dream to cross the English Channel back to home.

Nearly two years later, Armand persuaded Percy to participate in a League mission. Percy's plan was to rescue the young Dauphin who'd been imprisoned at The Temple since the execution of his royal parents. However, immediately upon his return to Paris, Armand nostalgically agreed to a night at the theatre with an old acquaintance, the Baron de Batz, who had designs of his own on the Dauphin and no great liking of the Scarlet Pimpernel's English interference in French matters. Armand accidentally confirmed he had ties with the Pimpernel, and just as unwittingly, fell under the spell of an actress, Jeanne Lange.

De Batz then reported Armand's presence in Paris to Heron, a government official, emphasizing his connection to the Scarlet Pimpernel. So when Armand met with Jeanne at her home the next day, they were interrupted by Heron come to arrest Armand. Jeanne was able to ward the official off temporarily with the clever lie that Armand was a theatrical cousin of hers from out of town. The danger cemented their love. When Percy revealed to the League their mission to rescue the young Dauphin, Armand balked because Percy required him to leave Paris immediately so he could not keep his promise to Jeanne to see her the next day. After the meeting, Percy guessed the reason and, rightfully angry at Armand's reluctance to follow his oath, barely refrained from calling the young man "a liar and a cheat." When the full danger was revealed, Percy urged Armand to trust him, follow orders, and leave Jeanne's safety in his hands.

The next morning, Armand found out Jeanne had been arrested, and forgetting all caution, ran straight to Percy again, who already knew and again promised he'd take care of her. At nightfall Armand, anxious that Percy had not sent word, re-entered Paris. Unable to find Percy or news of his beloved, he consulted the prison rolls. He found Jeanne's name and her location in the Temple prison. To be near her, Armand tried to get himself arrested, and instead ran afoul of Chauvelin. Armand offered to exchange himself for Jeanne, but Chauvelin, out of favor, took Armand to Heron, who would have bargained had not the "escape" of the Dauphin been discovered. Armand was released with certain restrictions.

Despite being compromised, Armand contacted Percy, assuring him it was safe to meet, and asked him to come to his rooms. Chauvelin, Heron, and many soldiers ambushed Percy when he arrived. Before losing consciousness, Percy shouted to Armand that Jeanne was already free. Percy was sent to prison and tortured to get him to reveal the location of the Dauphin, and Armand was freed unconditionally in reward for his betrayal.

When Marguerite, having heard of her husband's arrest from the papers, arrived in Paris, Chauvelin offered to let her see him. Percy sent her back out with letters. As far as the League was concerned, Armand had vanished, but Percy was certain that Jeanne would know where he was. Marguerite went to Jeanne's flat to ask about her brother. Armand arrived shortly thereafter. Percy's letter comforted him and gave him a new purpose in waiting for orders on how he could help gain Percy's release. After nearly two more weeks, Percy apparently gave in and, by Chauvelin's dictation, wrote Armand that he required help to lead Chauvelin to the Dauphin. Chauvelin delivered this letter to Armand himself.

Obeying Percy's first letter, Armand set into motion the plan that Percy had prepared by sending Marguerite and Ffoulkes, who was chaperoning her during her stay in Paris, a copy of Percy's new letter. They, in turn, followed their own instructions from the first set of letters. He also warned them that Chauvelin arranged for Marguerite to accompany them as a second hostage, but Ffoulkes was not able to get her to flee in time.

By necessity Marguerite and Armand were ignorant of any further details of Percy's plan to free himself, and the inclusion of Marguerite with Armand as hostage visibly upset Percy. Still, he came up with a plan that involved replacing Heron near the end of the journey, so that he'd be free to rescue his wife and brother-in-law. In disguise, he ordered that "Percy," bound and gagged, be left in a church crypt while he drove the St. Justs away. Marguerite, frantic for a final glimpse of her husband, sent Armand to try to free the prisoner. Thinking he had nothing to lose, Armand fought hard but failed.

After subduing Armand, the soldiers dumped him back into the carriage beside his sister. Both were put in irons, and the disguised Percy ordered the carriage away, riding with the driver himself. During the drive, Percy disposed of the remaining guards, then revealed himself to the dazed siblings. Marguerite was so depressed and physically worn by then that she thought they'd all died. All three returned to safety in England. Percy threatened to smash Armand's head if he tried to tell her the entire truth, so his forgiveness was implied in their shared conspiracy to keep Marguerite ignorant.

Physical Abilities

Armand is a normal human male. He is fairly adept at languages and in addition to the English and French (likely with smatterings of Latin and German from his studies) he arrived with canonically, he now also speaks and writes Sindarin and Quenya. He's slightly more fluent in Sindarin, because of how he learned it. He was trained (twice even) by Lucivar to use knives to fight, since he never got the hang of using a sword. He knows a little carpentry and likes to garden.

Superhuman Abilities

None.

Unusual or Magical Possessions

Despite his mild manner and appearance, Armand is always armed with two small knives crafted by Feanor. They are made of silver with inlaid wooden hilts. The blades are slightly curved and fit easily into a hand. He keeps one up his sleeve and one in the top of his boot. There is a small blue stone embedded in each that provides Armand an aura of confidence. The knives, if taken from him, cannot be used against him or anyone in the house of Finwë. He also has a small set of throwing knives, made by Celebrimbor, which will work on anyone (we're looking at you Curufin). Unlike the fancier knives, these are designed to be thrown, though he can usually hit his target with both kinds.

Also, in addition to his wedding ring on his left hand, Armand wears two other rings on his right hand. One was a gift byDraco Malfoy and protects against most wizarding magic. This ring is a well-made but plain band. The other was given to him by Lady Jaenelle Angelline and shields him from almost any kind of harm, triggered by his fear or pain or a magical attack. This silver ring is set with a tiny chip of Ebony Jewel that links it back to Jaenelle.

His blue cloak and clasp, described below, aren't magical but are slightly unusual. He isn't likely to wear the clasp this winter, but the cloak will remain a favorite of his until it falls apart.

And the coronet originally made for him by Feanor was sent to Celebrimbor to be remade into a pair of bracelets in the Feanorian style for Armand and Karla to wear as a couple..

Appearance

Armand is slightly built and below average height, even for his own time period. He often keeps his long, black hair tied back with a hair ribbon, often blue. His eyes are a stormy blue-gray. His structured cheekbones and long, straight nose recall his sister's famous beauty though there is nothing feminine about his features. His back is crossed by scars from the beating he'd had by St. Cyr's men, though most people won't see these because he's exceedingly conservative in his dress. He mostly wears modest suits from his own time period, preferring blue or sometimes brown. His favorite waistcoat is yellow. When he's working, he sometimes wears loose trousers and a smock like laborers from his time, though he's resorted to some of the more informal elven wear he found at the bottom of his chest of drawers. His wardrobe has expanded to include elvish robes of various levels of formality and a long, fur-lined blue wool cloak with the crest of the House of Feanor as a clasp. This is one of his most treasured possessions. He sometimes even braids his hair elven-style. It had grown much longer since he refused to cut it, so that he could sit on the ends of it, but recently, he cut it back to shoulder length.

Baroness Orczy describes him:
"His cheeks were glowing, his eyes sparkled with enthusiasm. He looked very young and very eager. Armand St. Just, the brother of Lady Blakeney, had something of the refined beauty of his lovely sister, but the features though manly—had not the latent strength expressed in them which characterized every line of Marguerite's exquisite face. The forehead suggested a dreamer rather than a thinker, the blue-grey eyes were those of an idealist rather than of a man of action."

Personality

Armand is naturally passionate and chivalrous, often giving into the impulse to be generous to the point of foolishness. He will leap to the defense of those he sees as weaker than himself even when he's clearly outmatched, simply because it's the right thing to do. His idealism is firmly rooted in compassion, but he's too much in the clouds to base his dreams on the practical. When his strong loyalties force him into conflict, he tears himself up no matter which he chooses, always doubting his own judgment. He grew up in the shadow of his sister's cleverness, trusting her to make the difficult decisions, so he has little confidence in his own abilities, leading to self-fulfillment of his own doubts by making numerous bad decisions over the course of his adult life.

He strives to overcome his tendency to let anger and pride get him into trouble, but he's not caught on that the heart is as treacherous a leader. His temper tends to crest in a heartbeat and dissipate just as quickly if he's not provoked further. He's not as stupid as some would have him but woefully ignorant in many regards, and often too hot-headed to use what intelligence he does have before he's already in the water with the sharks. He longs to do what is right, and when he falls short of his own standards, he pines, physically and spiritually, though his stubborn nature clings to the hope that his follies won't lead to permanent misery.

Over the years, he's changed some, mostly in behavior and habits, though all can be traced back in his basic personality. His high-strung nerves and strong reactions to trauma led him to numerous physical illnesses mostly linked to his inability to eat much when he's stressed. He now eats very little red meat, drinks next to no alcohol and prefers peppermint tea over black. If he's extremely upset and has eaten recently, he throws up.

Relationships

RP Canon

This is almost a novel unto itself…

When he first arrived at the Mansion, Armand was up to his ears in the canonical personal feud between Chauvelin and Sir Percy Blakeney, getting his butt kicked by Chauvelin on a regular basis (unless Percy or Marguerite were around to save him). He didn't seem particularly concerned with previous events, because his new situation seemed so unreal to him. Most of his actions were driven by a need to prove himself to Percy and Marguerite.

He was introduced to the delicate Victoria Wotton, wife of Lord Henry Wotton. They were settling into a nice amiable flirtation when Chauvelin kidnapped Victoria! She was eventually rescued, and the pair went on vacation to modern France. After their return he saw very little of her for many weeks due to illness, so he filled the time trying to make friends and playing matchmaker. During this time, he met and got on extremely well with Admiral Alistair McKeon of Manticore. He ran afoul of a wizardly revenge plot against Aragorn, and was killed by one of the Lestrange brothers.

When he recovered, Armand joined the alliance against Lord Voldemort as an armor test-dummy, trying to learn combat from Elrohir of Imladris. Wizard magic fascinated him, especially its varied fast forms of travel, and he also developed friendships with a few young wizards and witches. His determination and willingness to learn impressed Fëanáro, High King of the Noldor and the leader of the alliance. Jeanne Lange arrived in the community about the same time that Armand learned that Victoria miscarried their child. He very reluctantly broke it off with her to be with Jeanne, since he felt he had no choice. His previous misdeeds had finally caught up with him.

Not long after this, Armand was kidnapped and brutally attacked by a dark wizard, assisted by another. When a broken Armand was returned to his own room, his friends and family tried in their various ways to help him. Because of a long acquaintance with Marguerite, even Chauvelin showed sympathy. During this, Feanor officially adopted Armand as his youngest son, naming him Firyafinwë (mortal Finwë). It also soon came to light that Alistair McKeon also considered Armand his son. So suddenly the orphan was surrounded by family, and the former Republican became elvish royalty. The wizard was caught, tried by his peers and executed by Admiral McKeon when wizarding law wouldn't dictate the villain's death. Armand actually attended the execution as a woman (Loki had changed his gender and then seduced Armand — this kind of thing happens all the time at the Mansion), hiding in the midst of his new adopted family. The accomplice was found by Feanor and tortured to death in private. Armand didn't approve, but Feanor didn't ask him. Except for the friends he'd already made among them, Armand now deeply distrusted of wizards and their kind of magic.

In the following months, Jeanne Lange was not as available as Armand would wish a fiancée to be. It took more than a month for him to be able to give her the engagement ring. When they finally set a wedding date for late December, Armand was ecstatic, but the relationship was already doomed. The lonely and still very depressed Armand started spending an increasing amount of private time with Christopher Wren, who was devoted to him and could make him smile and forget his ills. Complete devotion is hard to resist, and Chris was one of the most gentle and timid people Armand had ever met. Eventually he realized he was in love with the other young man. He confessed to Jeanne, who threw plates at him and broke off the engagement. The heart-broken Armand hid with his new love even more. He and Christopher hoped to marry the next summer, even though Feanor disapproved.

The new year had enormous and controversial rocky patches. Aornis Hades played some of her memory tricks on Armand, which eventually culminated in a controversial suicide attempt before Armand admitted he couldn't handle the problem himself. Lord Irmo drove Aornis out of Armand's mind and restored his entire memory to him, even things he'd forgotten from childhood. Still, in many ways, Armand continued fading away, vaguely depressed and unhappy and only able to rise above his problems when trying to help others. He formed a strong friendship with Lady Jaenelle Angelline, which restored a bit of his confidence. It didn't help that he continued to confuse the lines between romantic love and friendship and almost lost Chris due to sleeping once with Bertie Wooster while trying to help him with a personal problem. The wedding was moved up to late April, which was the soonest Feanor could complete building his new house.

Armand and Chris married in late April 2006 with much hoopla and elvish frou-frou, and due to fairy magic, Chris spent many months female and pregnant. (Much of the next several months were also wrapped up in issues concerning Jaenelle's Dark Court, most of which was retconned the next year since it ended in soul-breaking disaster.) The child, Etienne St. Just, was born in March 2007. Feanor had already disappeared after arguing almost continually with Armand over his poor health, risky choices, desire to return to Paris someday and lack of control over Christopher's actions. Despite not truly feeling safe or approving of it himself, Armand refused to publicly chastise his husband for his dangerous choice of friends and lost many of his own friends as a result. Armand stayed close to Draco Malfoy, even trying to help Draco learn to be friendlier and less nasty to outsiders.

Immediately after the birth, Armand traveled to Paris via the magical plothole and returned with no memory of his time at the Mansion. He got it back in bits and pieces, fully recovering as much as he would of it by fall. He realized that most of his elven family had disappeared during this time. He deeply mourned their loss, especially since many of his friends had also disappeared. Armand forged new friendships with Jaenelle and many of her friends. It was she who finally solved the issue with his nervous stress-induced nausea and inability to eat when he felt upset. He grew closer to Lady Karla, one of Jaenelle's First Circle, and Lucivar. Lucivar helped retrain him in using double knives and eventually learned enough of Armand's past (as Armand remembered it himself) to understand times when Armand was brave or stupid or tearful. This made Armand trust Lucivar implicitly so much that even the witches started coming to Armand to help soothe the volatile Warlord Prince.

Later that fall, Armand developed a serious romantic attachment Karla, which met the need that, although he's quite emotionally attached to Chris, he's predominately heterosexual. This was with Chris' fullest blessing as they tried to see if a stable threesome would work out. Over the winter though, Armand realized that he wanted a more tranquil life than could found at the Mansion where one's age and gender (and many other things) could be changed at the whim of any wizard or god or even accidentally. Using skills he'd learned helping Feanor and trading for as many magical favors as he could get to speed the process, he built a house for the three of them in the woods near Feanor's old house and moved there in March 2008. Residents of the new home included Armand, Christopher, Lady Karla, Etienne, Marigold (a pet brown rabbit who used to be a pot of flowers) and Lord Sir Scruffy (a puppy). Eventually a cat moved in with them, too. They planned eventually to return to Paris and open a restaurant and bakery to indulge in Chris's love of cooking.

Approximately a year and half later, Lucivar arrived with the terrible news that one of the Ambarussa had been killed in a fire. He said Armand was needed so he came back to the Mansion. Except for the twins, none of Feanor's other sons remembered Armand or his adoption, so he was barred from the surviving twin's bed for much longer than he liked. There were words. When Curufin arrived, even more trouble erupted, because Armand's frustration at his non-acceptance by his adopted brothers had grown into a grudge. Even though talking to Finrod and Irissë were starting to help soothe ruffled feathers and smooth the way to acceptance, Armand has been operating under the impression that it would be best if he gave up his claim. He doesn't really want to do it, and no one seems to want to agree about who the head of the family is now anyway, but he keeps trying.

He's still not getting along with Curufin, and likely never will. There was some difficulty about Armand loaning Irissë Jaenelle's ring, but as the gesture was made in earnest good faith and concern over the elf lady's well-being, that seems to have settled some. He gave Irissë the Coronet of Doom, which she passed onto Celebrimbor to be re-forged into something less regal and royal, likely bracelets. Feanor's return, not knowing him, upset Armand a great deal. He did manage to speak to Nerdanel and come to a similar familial tie with Galadriel, though he's working hard not to let it get such a strong grip on him.

One day, shortly after Etienne's third birthday, the path back to his house and Christopher vanished. So Armand is now looking to live at the Mansion with Karla. He's been introduced, through Galadriel, to the other Armand, and through him, to Marguerite, so he has plenty around him to help with the grief.

Etienne
Etienne St. Just is Armand and Christopher's son, born 10 March 2007. He's about four years old now with dark hair and blue eyes. He's very inquisitive and loves playing in the dirt. He's not particularly shy unless he's flirting with someone. He's often with Armand or being looked after by one of the many relatives and pseudo-relatives Armand has. He also plays with or talks about Lord Sir Scruffy, his dog or Marigold, his papa's pet rabbit.

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