Andrei Whong (Etrandish: Andrei Whong; IPA: [ɑndɾeɪ̯ ʍɔŋ]) or Andrei of Werron (Etrandish: Werronen Andrei; IPA: [wɛrːɔnɛn andɾeɪ̯]) was an Etrandish nobleman, philosopher and linguist, active during the reign of King Cairbré I of Etrand, with whom he was personal friends.
He was known for being able to speak an exceptionally high amount of languages - Etrandish, Etrancoasti, Classical High Elven, Vernacular High Elven, Wood Elven, Neressan and Lizardman. He is credited with developing a new alphabet for phonetic transcriptions.
Early Life Edit
Andrei was born on 725 AEKE, 3th of Moribel, the eldest and only son of Carolus II of Werron, also known as Carolus Whong or Carolus Whong II. Being born to a region of Etrand that was one of the least developed, least populated, least urbanized and most agricultural, Andrei's father Carolus sent him to the capital city to study at the Royal Academy of Etrand. That is where he met the future King Cairbré I of Etrand, with whom he would become friends. Having been sent to the academy two years earlier than Cairbré and having to study more subjects ensured that the two would graduate at the same year - in 741.
In 744, Cairbré came to power, becoming the new king. Whong was given work in the royal court as the court accountant to let him gain experience before he would return to his father's estate. Being a nobleman working for the royal court ensured that Andrei had a lot of free time he could devote to his passion - linguistics. Additionally, he was part of the King's armed retinue, which also came with a great deal of prestige - being an armoured man with sword who is compelled to accompany the king meant a good deal of honour.
In 750, his father's health started getting worse and worse, which compelled him to return to his father's estate and rule it in his stead. He expected Carolus to recover and re-assume his de facto position, but that never happened - Carolus died in 751: Andrei was the new grand count.
Grand Count of Werron Edit
After assuming his title as Grand Count of Werron, he was given financial support by the King, in order to help to refurnish his castle and develop the land. At first, the young grand count had to deal with his unruly vassals who have grown de facto almost independent under his father's not-so-competent rule. For that, he once again received royal aid - obey the Grand Count or face the wrath of the King, who happened to be the Grand Count's personal friend.
After that, Andrei began his next ambitious project, which involved fortifying the borders by erecting walls to keep out uninvited visitors. The main motivation was the apparent paranoia about a war between Etrand and Dragoc, in which the Grand County of Werron would have been pretty close to the frontlines.
While building the ambitious line of primitive fortifications, many of the builders came across Ancient Lizardman-era ruins that still had intact treasures and artefacts in them. To the dismay of the labourers, Andrei claimed them all for himself, but compensated those labourers who found the treasures by granting them unlanded honorary nobility, which meant being entitled to housing and food provided by the grand count himself, in exchange for military service.
During this time, Andrei wrote his most famous book, Sounds of Artograch, where he elaborated his own phonetic featural alphabet that included symbols for all sounds that existed in the languages of Artograch. He also phonetically described the currently spoken languages on how many phonemes they had, which phonemes they had, what letters represented those phonemes orthographically, etc. This book of his became the start of Linguistics as a field of study in Artograch.
During his final years in 780's, he invited a limited amount of Wood Elven Druids to his court, promising them food, shelter, a well-paying job - and pretty much anything else they can ask for - on the condition that they would make no attempts at all whatsoever at converting anyone to their religion - their job was to create an Elven garden near Andrei's court, one with a pond, trees and plants native to Dragoc: the Grand Count's health was worsening, and he was told that "the air of an Elven garden" would restore his health to the same state as if he was young.
In the late 780's, it seems like Andrei's health was improving, but...
...Andrei would die on 791 AEKE, 20th of Anarkalina, apparently of natural causes. It is said that he went to sleep, but never woke up - he was found dead in his bed, laying down with closed eyes and a closed mouth, as if he was sleeping.