Character's Full Name: Ursula Bähr
Created By: Mallory
Character Type: Immortal
Apparent Age: 30
Actual Age: 682
Additional Languages: German, French, English
Personality: Focused and disciplined, Ursula always strives for excellence in all aspects of her life. Although she was never formally knighted, she follows the chivalric code as best she can. Honor and loyalty are very important to her, and she considers it her duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Ursula hates the Game, but she will not hesitate to accept a challenge if she feels the cause is just. However, she usually spares her opponents, taking heads only when absolutely necessary.
Ursula enjoys pushing her body and mind to their limits, not just to keep in shape for the Game. She enjoys solving complex mental puzzles while engaged in strenuous physical activity. She’s been a professional athlete on several occasions, as well as a P.E. teacher and fitness instructor.
Although she doesn’t always agree with church doctrine, Ursula remains a devout catholic.
Any special skills: Professional-caliber athlete (basketball, boxing) medieval combat tactics.
Ursula was born in Germany in the Black Forest. Even as an infant she was abnormally large, weighing ten pounds at birth. Her mother did not survive. Her father Klaus had already been widowed once, and losing a second wife broke him. He was cold and indifferent to the newborn, and it fell to her older half-sister Gretchen to care for her.
Ursula and Gretchen were little more than slaves, tending the house while their father supported them as a woodcutter. Unfortunately, Klaus was also an alcoholic, with a tendency of taking out his frustrations on his daughters.
By the time Ursula was ten, Klaus began sending her alone into the forest to forage while he worked. On more than one occasion, she returned to find Gretchen weeping. Gretchen would never tell her sister why, but Ursula had her suspicions.
One day an English knight errant named Owain Hawke appeared at their cottage, requesting shelter for the night. Eager for the extra coin, Klaus allowed him to sleep in the barn.
Over dinner, Sir Owain offered to take the girls into his household as servants. Klaus refused to part with Gretchen, but gladly sold Ursula.
Once on the road with her new master, Ursula confided her suspicions to Sir Owain. He had picked up enough at their cottage to reach the same conclusions, and they doubled back. When they returned to the cottage, their heard Gretchen screaming within.
Leaving Ursula outside, Sir Owain charged into the cottage. He emerged with Gretchen sobbing on his shield arm and a bloody sword in his fist. After burying Klaus’s body, the sisters left in Sir Owain’s company.
Gretchen was already a woman grown, but a lifetime of abuse had left her broken and barely sane. Ursula and Sir Owain agreed that the best thing to do would be to leave her at a nearby convent, where the Sisters could care for her. Gretchen eventually took her vows and became a full sister.
Grateful to Sir Owain for saving them from Klaus, Ursula offered her services to him as a squire. Well aware that a girl would never be accepted as such, Sir Owain agreed on the condition she pose as a boy. Ursula cut her hair and changed her name to Ulrich on the spot.
Some time later, they encountered a mystery knight on the road. The knight challenged Sir Owain to a duel. Sir Owain accepted on the condition his squire be allowed to leave unharmed. The knight agreed, and Sir Owain ordered Ursula to ride on while he and the other knight disappeared into the forest.
Ursula ignored her master’s orders and followed them to a clearing, where she hid behind a rock. The duel was a close thing, but Sir Owain managed to decapitate the other knight despite receiving grievous injuries of his own. Much to her surprise, the fallen knight’s body released some find of magical power which Sir Owain absorbed. Although angry that Ursula had disobeyed him, Owain began teaching her the secrets of the Immortals.
Owain tried his best to avoid the tempestuous politics of the era. Instead, he followed the chivalric code by protecting innocents who were often caught in the middle of feudal wars. As his squire, Ursula fought at his side for nearly a decade. She eventually fell in love with him, but never worked up the courage to tell him how she felt.
Eventually, Owain met his end at the hands of the Immortal Canwulf. Ursula attempted to avenge him, but Canwulf knocked her off a cliff during their duel. Fortunately, Ursula’s armor protected her somewhat, and she survived the fall with only a few broken bones.
Ursula managed to drag herself back to Gretchen’s convent. After she recovered from her injuries, the Mother Superior allowed her to remain under the condition Ursula put aside her ‘mannish ways’ and comport herself like a ‘proper’ Christian woman.
Ursula agreed in order to remain close to Gretchen, who was all she had left. Ursula remained at the convent for the remainder of her mortal life. She started out working in the kitchen, but ended up doing most of the heavy manual labor due to her size and strength.
The Black Plague
Ursula helped the sisters care for the infected, even after the plague spread within the walls of the convent, killing several sisters, including Gretchen. After the plague had run its course, word came that all of Europe had been decimated, and there weren’t enough men-at-arms left to keep the peace.
Ursula encouraged the surviving sisters to fortify the convent, but the nuns chose to rely on their faith to protect them.
One day, a group of bandits raided the convent. Ursula took up her sword again, but she was grossly outnumbered, and died fighting. When she revived as an Immortal, Ursula learned that the bandits had not only taken the bulk of their winter stores, but several novices as well.
Ursula strapped on her armor and rode out after the bandits. She put them all to the sword, and escorted the novices home. However, the sisters were now convinced that she was a demon and demanded she leave.
After leaving the convent Ursula followed Owain’s example and used her steel to protect the innocent. She supported herself as a best she could, usually working as a mercenary or freelance guard.
Hundred Years War
When Ursula heard of the army rallying around Joan of Arc, she set out for France to offer her services to Joan as a bodyguard. However, she never got close. Near Orleans, she found a French knight in the process of becoming Immortal.
The knight had been dragged from the battlefield by his horse with a lance in his breastplate. Ursula removed the lance and watched over him until he revived. The knight identified himself as Philippe Bouchard.
Ursula explained the situation to him, but Bouchard was desperate to return to Joan’s side. Ursula rode with him, but by then Joan had already been turned over to the English. The two Immortals mounted a rescue mission, but were unable to prevent her execution.
They traveled together for a time, and eventually became lovers before parting ways. For centuries, Bouchard remained one of Ursula’s closest friends.
Ursula continued to work as a mercenary and bodyguard, sometimes openly, sometimes disguised as a man. During the reign of Elizabeth I of England, she traveled to England and was accepted into Her Majesty’s service as a bodyguard.
However, members of Elizabeth’s court found the hulking German woman intimidating, and the mere idea of a female warrior offended quite a few. Ursula was ultimately assassinated, and fled the country to avoid exposing her Immortality.
Women began to take up boxing for the first time in Europe, and Ursula eagerly joined them. Unfortunately, the matches were largely unregulated, and she was forced to retire after sustaining heavy injuries during a match. Of course her injuries regenerated within hours, but she had to disappear to avoid exposing herself as Immortal.
Ursula and Bouchard travelled to the New World together. Bouchard, now a physician, set up a practice in New Orleans, and Ursula lived with him for a time. However, she found the climate unbearable and moved north.
During the American Revolution, Ursula and Bouchard joined a militia in New York. The men were reluctant to allow Ursula on combat missions until Bouchard convinced them to give her a chance. She more than proved herself during a skirmish with British forces.
Eventually, her unit captured an Immortal British officer named Martin Dobbes wandering aimlessly near their camp. Dobbes had recently been hanged for treason, but had no idea why he’d survived. Ursula and Bouchard helped him escape in order to preserve Immortal secrecy.
They both offered to train him, but Dobbes refused to trust either of them any further. He was especially offended that a ‘mere woman’ could teach him anything about combat.
Eager for a new challenge, Ursula journeyed to St. Louis and joined a wagon train going west. She held a variety of jobs, including ranching and
stagecoach guard. She took up boxing again, but had trouble finding fights.
Ursula’s big break came when a carnival promoter named Roscoe Bean caught one of her exhibition fights. He signed her on to his show, and at every stop offered a reward to any man (or woman) who could defeat the “She-Bear”, or at least survive three rounds.
Although no laws were being broken, Bean was often lambasted for having a female boxer as part of his carnival. Some people accused Bean of exploiting Ursula, others suspected she was actually a man. After several communities banned his carnival altogether, he was forced to let Ursula go.
Ursula began teaching Physical Education, moving from one school to another when it was time to change her identity. She also began competing in most of the sports women were allowed to participate in (except for golf, which she finds boring).
She remained in America during both World Wars, choosing not to get involved directly. During WWII, she briefly worked in a munitions factory in Chicago. When her foreman sexually harassed herself and other female coworkers, she complained to management…and was ignored. She was fired a few days later on the flimsiest of grounds.
She encountered her foreman a few days later in a bar, and the idiot made a pass at her. Ursula responded by breaking his jaw. A fight promoter witnessed the incident, and enticed her back into the ring. Ursula boxed competitively as long as she dared before changing her identity.
During the fifties and sixties, Ursula participated in the civil rights movement while teaching P.E. in an integrated school. Concerned that women were still being sidelined, she joined the National Organization of Women and focused on gender equality.
Despite vast social improvements, Ursula became annoyed with the way women were being treated in boxing gyms. When the popularity of women’s boxing exploded in the 1990’s, she founded the Iron Maiden Gym in Chicago, and moved into a loft on the upper floor.
Of course local crime syndicates tried to take over, but Ursula resisted. They soon learned to give her a wide berth after repeated intimidation attempts failed.
Eventually the popularity of MMA cut into Ursula’s business. However, she continued to keep the Maiden open, even when she was operating at a loss.
Martin Dobbes began buying up the neighborhood as part of a development project. Property owners who refused to sell were often intimidated, often violently. Thanks to his power and connections, the authorities turned a blind eye to Dobbes’ tactics.
Ursula helped her neighbors resist, which ultimately led to a showdown between the two Immortals. Ursula fought Dobbes at night at one of his construction sites, and ultimately took his head. Unfortunately, his Quickening drew the attention of the Chicago PD, and she was forced to flee the scene before she could finish cleaning up.
Chicago PD investigated, and found enough evidence to link her to Dobbes’ death. A background check with Post-9/11 resources revealed all of Ursula’s public records were falsified.
Detective Nick Wolfe, a fellow Immortal, showed up at the Maiden. Instead of arresting Ursula, he warned her to leave town.
Ursula made it to New Orleans, where Bouchard was helping her start over when the plague hit. They were separated during the ensuing riots, and Ursula felt him lose his head. However, the city was too chaotic for her to find his killer.
Ursula buried Bouchard at his cabin in the bayou, and stayed there for several days before she started having dreams about a house in the corn…
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