The Count Florian von Banier, 1643-16581, popularly known as "Florian the Sunderer", served as a General in the Royal Legion of the Lawielczien Empire. Among the many feats attributed to this recklessly noble soldier, the most historically significant was his translation of the stories comprising The Book of Yelps and Growls. In the months that the learned nobleman was not scribbling away at various texts, he accomplished such glorious exploits as the conquering and burning of the bejeweled city Kharmstrenka, which was later rebuilt and named Dnipropetrovsk, the introduction to Austria and Prussia of the Japanese martial arts Daito-ryu Aiki-jutsu and Koppo2, which he learned during his travels to Japan on the Pirate ship Sivka-Burka, and the invention of a primitive form of regimental matchlock musket, as well as countless improvements to the tack and accoutrements of 17th (or 18th) century Lawielczien cavalry.

In fact, all of the count's writings were most probably penned during a two-year period, shortly before his travels to the Orient and his subsequent devotion to the martial arts that he studied in Japan. According to several sources, after returning from the far east, von Banier violently denied authorship of all texts attributed to him, claiming that the act of putting pen to paper (save for the purpose of drawing up military plans and diagrams) was an affront to both God, and all of God's thirteen sisters, whom, he could personally attest, were comely beyond all belief.

Though the well-bred youth was imprisoned for a time as a punishment for unnatural and unappealing behavior, he managed to escape by the means of a clever and imaginative ruse. While locked in his cell, the count noticed that a grey fungus flourishing in the fissures of his stone wall was curiously fire-repellant. Aware of the practice of the prison to heap dead prisoners onto the plague-fires to burn with the diseased corpses, he coaxed the fungus into the threads of his by now dirty and dank clothing and, when he was sure that the fabric was thoroughly sown with mold, played dead. For more than 28 hours he lay motionless on the floor of his cell, and was eventually carted out into the town for burning. The young count survived under a smothering pile of smoldering corpses until night fell and he was able to slip away under cover of darkness, suffering serious burns only to his scalp, face, and hands.

Von Banier was an ardent scholar of negative theology, and with his numerous writings on the subject, earned the respect of both the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church, the latter of which awarded him an honorary Cardinalship.

1. Most historical evidence points to these years, but there is a small possibility that the correct dates of von Banier’s birth and death were actually March 28th, 1780 and August 1st, 1798, respectively.
2. These were combined in Europe into was was known as Jitte, or the Gypsy Blade Fighting Style.