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Bertram Pryce
Kana {{{kana}}}
Romaji {{{romaji}}}
Ethnicity (Iriniais)
Species Human
Age {{{age}}}
Height {{{height}}}
Weight {{{weight}}}
Element Flowers (as himself)
Fire (as Ankoù)
Hometown Belmarch, Blomrency
Role Ally
Origin The National Service Journal

Bertram Pryce is a young boy who lived prior to the events of The Tale of Ani Suring and The National Service Journal. After consuming a large amount of dragon's blood in a bid to gain magic powerful enough to realise the dream of building a magic flying machine with his best friend Augustine, his body was possessed by the anger and sorrow of the dragon from whom the fatal concoction was taken, and was transformed into a ghastly representation of death — the Ankoù. He was imprisoned beneath the ruins of the old Northanger Abbey, which, with the town of Northanger proper, was sunk beneath the earth following the many failed attempts at restoring the boy to his former self.

StoryEdit

Early LifeEdit

Pryce was born sometime before the exploits of Ani Suring in Greenchurch, Blomrency, and an entry from his journal indicates that his family moved to Belmarch sometime after his eleventh birthday, and that he was not especially happy to have to move away, though the diary does not mention many friends in either city. His parents considered moving him back to live with his grandparents in Greenchurch when it became clear that the children of Belmarch were gravely mistreating their son, culminating in a grave injury dealt him by Augustine Bennett that placed little Bertram in hospital for a week. Sincerely regretting his actions, Augustine went to visit his victim at hospital, and, to his immense surprise, was forgiven, and asked to bring books from the library. The two formed a fast friendship, which flourished when the two discovered that they shared a deep interest in magic-machinery. Augustine, who had no magical talent but a knack for building things, found the perfect partner in Pryce, a gifted mage who was physically rather clumsy and who was not especially good with mathematics. After his recovery, Pryce and Augustine began to build things together, and even attempted to make a mechanical phoenix that could take them around the world, but Pryce slowly grew ill from expending too much magic, and was returned to hospital the following year.

Illness and deteriorationEdit

Hoping to help his friend recover, Augustine began researching ways of restoring magical power. The doctors had revived Pryce with a solution known as an aether, but as he had already exhausted himself by magical overuse several times before, the damage was far more difficult to remedy. When he discovered that dragon's blood could help his friend, Augustine asked the doctors about it, only to discover that the substance was pure poison if extracted from an unwilling dragon. Saddened by the news, Augustine began to walk home, only to be met by a strange woman who offered him a phial of pungent liquid. She claimed to have heard of the plight of his friend, and had found a willing dragon who had agreed to help, but told him that he must hurry, or his friend might not live much longer, and that he must not tell the doctors, who would insist upon tests that would take up too much time. Unbeknownst to Augustine, the blood was not, in fact, extracted from a willing dragon, but rather one captured by the Margrave of Belmarch and put to inhumane experiments. The woman, Diadora Beaulieu, was the Margrave's own sister. Her plan was simple -- give the cordial containing the purified dragon's blood to a child who would soon die anyway and see what the result was. Her subject was, however, poorly chosen, as Pryce's condition was far less-severe than the doctors had suspected, and he would have recovered given the time and proper treatment.

When he drank the cordial, however, Pryce's condition began to slowly and then rapidly deteriorate, and, at the same time, he seemed to undergo a growth spurt, making him much taller, but also much paler and thinner than he had been before. He also acquired a fascination with fire that Augustine had never before seen in him, and so he went to confession, where a shocked priest rushed him to the hospital and bade him tell the doctor. When Augustine had done as was asked, several men from the Royal Armed Forces came to take Pryce away, and, after much protestation from his parents and his best friend, the tainted boy was transported to a covert research facility in the Northanger Abbey, a part of a ruined cathedral in the abandoned Town of Northanger. There, Professor Theodora Woodhouse, an expert in magical ailments, attempted every remedy that came to mind until she was left with but one final idea -- the flame of a phoenix was held to be able to purge the corrupted blood of a dragon, and so she wrote to Bloomingvale requisitioning the supplies. It was, however, too late, as a revolution that unseated the monarchy was begun, and would not be reversed for another forty years with the accession of Cecily IV de Wardes. Left with no other recourse, Professor Woodhouse ordered that the corrupted child's body be destroyed, and, were it not for the interference of Martin Elliot, the facility's commandant, her orders would have been carried out.

The emergence of AnkoùEdit

Disaster struck the facility when the physician, Stella Dashwood, called to give Pryce a final examination, approached the case containing the boy's corrupted body, which was grown into a tall, wan, twisted shadow of its former self that the doctor hardly recognised as human. At her approach, Pryce's bonds were broken by the powerful magic forcibly taken from the dragon with its blood, and which became raging flames that flickered and burnt at the slightest whim. Unable to contain him any longer, Professor Woodhouse ordered the evacuation of the facility and the creature was unleashed to wreak its havoc upon the surrounding lands. It crossed the border into the neighbouring Kingdom of Southerly, where it wrought havoc for several months before being forced back to Northanger and buried under the abandoned town by Ani Suring and Kanang Langkoi. Even this was not enough to contain the rage and sorrow carried by the dragon's curse, and Ani was nearly ritually sacrificed by her own people to prevent his resurrection. Although it appeared for generations that the sacrifice was a success, Ani was secretly rescued by Professor Woodhouse, who sent her to Whitebloom, Blomrency, where she lived out her life with Kanang in peace and happiness. The sacrifice, as Theodora well knew, would not have stopped Ankoù from reappearing until he had meted out justice to the one who ordered it -- to the descendant of the expelled Lord Belmarch -- Daedalus Beaulieu.

To prevent his ever arising from his tomb, the entire town of Northanger was plunged, with the abbey, catehdral, and mayoral estate, beneath the ground, and there the three responsible for the Ankoù's escape wrought seals of magic to bind him forever. When Augustine, who had, by this time, taken holy orders in an attempt to atone for his own mistakes and to save the soul of his best friend, finally found the site, it was only just plunged beneath the earth. He resolved to stay with the other three, carving a seal of his own, to pray for the soul of his friend. Unbeknownst to the remorseful Augustine, his prayers were answered, and the mind and soul of Bertram Pryce came to occupy a part of the old abbey, where a seal of his own working checked the darkness that overwhelmed his body. It is later revealed that Pryce was rendered unconscious by the dragon's blood, and has no memories of the atrocities comitted by the Ankoù, indicating the two to actually be entirely separate people. His lingering sentiments allow a shard of his soul to be summoned by Aimée once he speaks with her. He possesses the ability to use powerful Light-elemental magic and basic healing spells, in addition to the ability to prevent the Ankoù from appearing wherever he is summoned. Pryce appears to have some control over the Mortmains himself, which he can pass in a limited manner to Aimée when summoned.

At the end of the tale, if Aimée has spoken with Erroll about acquiring a phoenix's flame, the boy will be restored and the deaths caused by Ankoù will not have happened, as the thread of time will be restored. In the normal or bad endings, however, Ankoù will be defeated by Aimée, who, in the former, will plunge him into the lake at the centre of the town of Point-Neuf, and in the latter will defeat him only to be overwhelmed, at which time he is physically ripped apart by Erroll de Wardes, who, as a dragon, is able to suppress the creature's anger, but whose brutal physical attack renders his body irreparable.

Entering the CloisterEdit

Unlike the previous four, the cloister associated with Echo Company has already been opened regardless of events prior. When spoken to, Pryce implies having spoken with Erroll de Wardes, and reveals that the dragon whose blood he consumed is still alive, and that he wants the dragon to forgive him. If Aimée has collected the sheets bearing the four altered poems erased from the stone slabs rather than having to ponder them herself, Erroll will reveal that the dragon was, in fact, his grandfather, and that he is also the one responsible for the curse upon the descendants of Lord Belmarch. The old dragon regrets what he has done, however, and wishes to forgive and remove it. If this scene is viewed, Erroll is shown to telephone his grandfather later that night, and, after a long conversation, tells Aimée that his grandfather has sent phoenix fire for her, and that it will enable her to overcome the Ankoù.

The poem she finds was as follows. It has been reproduced here with the permission of the author under the terms of the following license:

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z55/oneskyfriends/post/cc.jpg This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Tales tell of a castle, deep in the night –
There children dream in shrouds of moonlight;
Far and away, cross great fields of white –
There children dream in shrouds of moonlight.

The traverse there is so very far,
Through the great forests, where wonders yet are.
All who would reach it travel so far
Through the great forests, where wonders yet are.

Its windows twinkle across the mere
With a sound that the innocent hear;
The lights call those with pure hearts to come near
With a sound that the innocent hear.

The sound grows stronger at the front gate,
Where none who come are e’er made to wait;
They all are bid in, for the hour is late,
Where none who come are e’er made to wait.

Within its halls, the soft moonlight glows,
Where feather-beds are all laid out in rows;
Sweet dreams await all those who would doze
Where feather-beds are all laid out in rows.

And when the bell of a dawning day tolls,
The children play on warm, grassy knolls.
When, from the fields, the mist, sighing, rolls,
The children play on warm, grassy knolls


This poem is notably lighter than the other four, and does not possess an altered version.

TriviaEdit

  • His name is derived from those of Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram of Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park as a part of a recurrent theme appearing in the names of characters associated with the research facility located in the abandoned Town of Northanger. He is the only character in this group to use an alternate spelling, which was chosen largely for aesthetic purposes, and also the only one to combine the names of two different characters.
  • Pryce's cloister is the only one not to be opened with a riddle presented as a poem. It is implied to have had one, but to have been opened by Erroll de Wardes prior to Duchemin's arrival. A piece of old paper bearing something that could have been the poem guarding the entrance is found by Duchemin after she departs the cloister, though whether or not it is, in fact, the one she would have found when entering, is unconfirmed.
http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z55/oneskyfriends/post/cc.jpg This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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