Jerrod, Palatine of Asareux, later known as the Last Duke of Quenelles, was for the longest time a proud noble of Bretonnia. He became Duke of Quenelles during the End Times after Tancred and his sucessor, Anthelme were slain in combat against Krell and a plagued Chaos Blade respectively. Jerrod would prove to be a vital hero during the chaos invasion, slaying many powerful foes and aiding the Empire in its last stand. He lead the Companions of Quenelles during the closing days of the Old World.
During the battle which saw Tancred's heroic end, Jerrod fought alongside his cousin. Alas, at the battle's height, his steed had been struck with terror and borne him far afield. By the time Jerrod had mastered the beast once more, Tancred had been slain and his knights scattered. A similar fate had befallen his cousin Anthelme, who had now inherited Tancred's dukedom.
Jerrod's blood boiled with the need for revenge: he and his cousin prayed for guidance, and sought council of Elynesse, a Prophetess of great renown. The scrying was a troublesome affair. The waters of the future had been befouled by daemons, and the Lady's voice drowned out by the laughter of the Chaos Gods. For three days Elynesse took no food, and teetered on the precipice of madness. Then, at last. the Lady appeared in the prophetess's fevered dreams, and revealed that the unliving were marching upon La Maisontaal Abbey. With the undead legion's location finally known, Jerrod gathered what knights he could and rode north with all haste.
Battle of La Maisontaal (Autumn 2523)
Jerrod lost much in the weeks leading up to the Battle of La Maisontaal, and that loss perhaps made him reckless. Certainly he didn't give thought to his own mortality, so determined was he to avenge his fallen cousin Tancred. Of course, recklessness is not always a bad thing in a warrior, as many knights errant have proven.[1a]
Jerrod and his knights had ridden hard under mournful skies, and, seing their countrymen sorely beset, roused one last effort. Jerrod rode along the south road, retracing the same soute Arkhan's host had trodden just hours earlier. Ghouls scattered at the onset, zombies were trampled beneath iron-shod hooves, and Jerrod plunged deep into the heart of Krell's skeletal legion, his knights following after him...
The Lady was with Jerrod that day. His horse had been slain, and although he was caked with ash and blood, he would live to fight for Bretonnia again. Jerrod watched the enemy ranks reform with a pain that had nothing at all to do with his many battle wounds. La Maisontaal was lost. So much was certain: no good could come of fighting on. Raising a voice choked by dust and shame, Jerrod ordered the retreat.
Siege of Averheim & One Last Charge (Spring 2528)
Jerrod had lost much, he wished deeply that the burden he now bore was not passed to him. That his cousin Anthelme had not perished in Altdorf, victim of a plague-stained blade. That Tancred, Anthelme's predecessor, had not fallen to the black axe of Krell. That he, Jerrod, was not the last of the line of Quenelles.
Though Jerrod had not realised it at the time, he had borne witness to the opening battles of the End Times, when Bretonnia was plunged into civil war. Since then, the former Duke of Quenelles had fought on many battlefields – even in defence of an Empire he had always held to be an upstart foe. With Bretonnia a plague-ravaged wasteland, and his king long dead, Jerrod fought on only because he believed it his duty to do so. Faith in the Lady was all that sustained him, but it granted him purpose enough to confront the blood-mad horrors of Archaon's horde.[2a]
Prior to the Siege of Averheim and the Companion's last true battle on Imperial soil, Jerrod and his knights retreated into a spiritual asceticism, eating little and spending the lulls between fighting in fervent prayer. Some amongst the Imperial soldiery dared to mock them for their strangeness, but never after witnessing the Bretonnians in battle. They were wholly unlike the Flagellants of the Empire, who overcame their foes with rampant zeal. instead, Jerod and the knights became more focused in battle, a locus of eeries silence amongst the timult, which in no way lessened the tithe of unclean creatures they reaped for their blessed Lady.
Soon Jerrod was fighting upon Averheim's walls. Oaths to Sigmar, Grimnir and the blessed lady rang out as he and his allies strove to clear the rampart, but they enemy were too many. Now it was the turn of the northlanders to wreak slaughter, for few amongst the defenders could match a Skullreaper's battle-fury. Only where the Dwarf Slayers and Jerrod's noble knights fought, did the onslought slow. With each moment that passed however, more of the northern wall fell into the northlanders' grasp. The trickle of Skaramor upon the walls became a flood, Duke Jerrod, his sword already slick with Skullreaper blood, cursed his ill fate and ordered the retreat from the walls.
Jerrod and his knights shielded their allies' retreat. They repeatedly harried the northlanders, holding the horde back with steel and lightning. Each charge cost them dear. Knights were dragged from their saddles and hacked apart. Jerrod was unhorsed twice, saved once by the sacrifice of his old comrade, Taurin the Wanderer, and a second time when Deathclaw's talons raked through a warband of skull-helmed knights. Little by little, the shrinking band inched back, knowing that to give into panic was to invite death.
As Jerrod's knights set their spurs, a ghostly figure was silhouetted against the weeping clouds, her arms spread in shelter about the bold knights of the sunward realm. Then the prayer faded, drowned by the thunder of hooves obn cobbles. Lances were lowered, swords were drawn, and the killing began. Jerrod lost all track of the lives he took during the battles wild, opening minutes. No matter how many warbands of northlanders were scattered the Bretonnians charge, there was always another between the knights and their foe. Worse, the deeper into Steilstrasse the knights rode, the more the alleyways and side streets opened up their flanks.
Ahead to his right, Jerrod saw a monstrous spawn - all flailing tentacles and gnashing teeth - come reeling out of one such alleyway. Fortunately the beast was too slow, its uneven gait leaving it easy prey for the lances that converged on its leathery hide. At the same moment, smoke billowed from an alleyway on Jerrod's left, a savage warcry echoing close behind.
Crimson-armoured Skullcrushers of Khorne thundered out of the darkness in ambush, their lances and the sheer brute force of their daemonic steeds spilling Bretonnian knights from the saddle. Jerrod hauled his reins with one hand, yanking his horse clear even as he brought his sword around in a shining arc. The blessed blade shone white as it bit down through a skull-runed shield, then blazed with fire as the Duke leaned forward in his saddle to drive the point deep into the armoured warrior beyond. The rider bellowed once, and then slid sideways from his saddle, but his daemon steed came on, snarling and goring at Jerrod's horse. Staccato coughs sounded to Jerod's right as Empire bordermen joined the fight. They had ridden in Jerrod's wake, their guns primed for firing. Caught between the fury of Imperial gunnery and Bretonnian steel, the last of the red-armoured knights fell. Before the limp smoke had cleared, Jerrod was spurring onward through the rain.
Jerrod eventiually came face to face with the mighty Skarr Bloodwrath, favoured of Khorne. The Bretonnian Lord hacked down at Skarr's head, the blade of his sword a silver flame in the crimson dark. The first strike bit deep into Skarr's axe-haft, the second clove down into his armoured shoulder. The blessed blade sliced through the champion's knotted sinews, and deep into his ribcage. Bloodwrath was dead before he hit the ground.
The daemon had been lurking in the shadows as Lileath, goddess of the Elves, revealed to Jerrod that she was the Lady of the Lake. The Lady explained how she had been creating another world, known as the Haven, inhabited by all who had supped from the Grail. Jerrod found himself rocked to the core by what he saw as a betrayal. Lileath tried to explain to the enraged Duke that she had chosen his forefathers to serve a greater goal, that she had risen them up from a tribe of horsemen, that she had given them a purpose.
Jerrod could not be bandied by words however, his rage at the goddess grew. Drawing his sword and taking it in a two-handed grip, he levelled the point at Lileath's neck. Jerrod never truly knew whether he would have gone through with this act of murder. Certainly the fury and sense of betrayal rushing through his blood urged him to do so, but some semblance of honour held him back. His sword wavered, then steadied. It was at that moment that Be'lakor - fearing that his prize was about to be slaughtered before him - burst from the shadows. The sight of the daemon at last forced Jerrod to a decision - or at the very least drove the Duke's instincts to take over.
Be'lakor bore down on Lileath, writhing darkness trailing behind him. Jerod took a long step to stand between them, dropping his sword down into a guard pose as he did so. Be'lakor did not slow, but lashed out with his shadow-sword, thinking to cut down the arrogant mortal who stood before him.
Jerrod's blessed blade gleamed as it intercepted the stroke, shining steel clanging home against a sword of misey and deception. The First Damned swept his wings back, climbing briefly away. Then he drove back down with a sibilant hiss, his shadow-sword outstretched like a spear. Lileath attempted to send bolts of light lacing towards the daemon Prince. They passed through him like arrows punching through fog. Ignoring the goddess, Be'lakor swept towards her protector.
Again, Jerrod parried, turning aside a strike before it could pierce his heart. This time however, Be'lakor lashed out with his free hand. The talons raked across Jerrod's exposed face, ripping three bloody lines in across his skin. The Duke slammed into the ground, skidding through the mud. Blood streamed from his wounds, and from an eye that would never see again. Jerrod moaned with pain and tried to stand, but his arms had lost their strength and he collapsed into the leaves.
Be'lakor dropped to the ground beside the injured Duke. The First-damned regarded him for a moment, then brought a clawed heel down upon Jerrod's left calf. The Duke screamed as the force of the blow buckled his armour, pulverising the flesh beneath and snapping the bones.
Be'lakor turned to the godesss this time, she attempted to banish him, but the First-Damned was older than any exorcism, and could not be so easily cast into the Realm of Chaos by the young magic of the Elves. The shadow-sword lashed out, cutting deep into Lileath's forearm. Be'lakor lunged forward to seize the stricken goddess, his claws brushed her arm, but did not close. For at that moment Be'lakor screamed in agony. Behind the daemon, Jerrod released his grip on the sword he had thrust deep into the daemon's back, and collapsed once again, this time lapsing into a fevered unconsciousness. Be'lakor gave another bellow of pain as he twisted the Bretonnian's sword free, a spill of dark blood flowing from the wound.
Jerrod had bought-much needed time. Soon, the injured Be'lakor was forced to flee from the forest, or face destruction at the hands of the now oncoming Incarnates. The Duke of Quenelles lived, though without the skill of Athel Loren's healers, he would surely have died. With his immediate injuries tended, the Duke was borne like a hero back to the vast glade where his knights and the other refugees of Averheim were encamped. At first, there were no voices raised in exultation at Jerrod's deeds. No truer test of chivalry could there be than to stand against a daemon in a damsel's defence - even if that damsel were an Elf. However, these voices were quickly stalled as the one-eyed Duke recounted the truth of Bretonnia's founding.
The bandaged and scarred Duke Jerrod was later told that Abhorash and Gilles le Breton were holding a last stand on Bretonnian soil, and so he and his knights rode forth, back to what remained of their homeland...