Tomas Xerxes

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Tomás Xerxes (b. 733), Bishop of Mordeaux, Archbishop of the Unified Western Church was born to a poor family in the city of Périgueux and orphaned at a young age. He became a ward of the Michaeline church and was raised in the Order of the Knights of the Sword of Michael.

Xerxes was a promising student and showed not only the martial skills expected in the Order, but also a talent for organization and fostering co-operation between the many sects and orders within the church. He was ordained unusually young at 18, and by his mid-20s was serving with the Inquisition, and active in investigating Black Mages and demonic cults in Mordeaux and Ranke.

Tomas Xerxes overseeing reconstruction of Novalar cathedral

He served in a number of capacities through his 20s and 30s, rising to the rank of Chapter Master in 769. He returned several times to the Inquisition, eventually being selected as Inquisitor-General by the Conclave of Bishops in 778, one of few Michaelines to lead that order. When in 782 the Bishop of Mordeaux died the Conclave granted the post to Xerxes, and only eight years later the Conclave of 790 honoured him with the the mantle of Archbishop.

Although seen as acceptable to the hard-liners (and even extremists) within the Church, Xerxes has himself always held to a firm but more moderate position, and been instrumental in pulling a number of wayward orders back into a more main-stream position through canny negotiations and strategies.

During the Baronies War Xerxes worked tirelessly to hold the Church together as factions sided with their temporal lords against their co-religionists, but did not shirk direct confrontation when necessary. At the start of the war, he lead the Order of Unmatched Tempering into battle at the Siege of Drakenburg.

After the war the Archbishop was deeded the See of Novalar, and Xerxes oversaw the reconstruction of the city's cathedral, making generous donations from his lands in Mordeaux to aid in repairing the sacked city.