His first memory is of the flag proudly displayed on the wall of his and the matching blanket used to cover his tiny bed. The vibrant colors and evocative design of the crossed stars awoke in him a feeling of belonging and pride. Jon-Joe learned at his daddy's knee all about the cruel soldiers who savaged and murdered women and children, stole their land and food, and took everything of value they had, then burned what was left behind the as they ravaged the land. By the time he could form words into complete sentences Jon-Joe knew that the damn Yankees had raped his land and his people, forced them to live according to laws that had no meaning to them, and crushed them when they tried to gain their independence. Still were doing it, for that matter.
A good Southern boy, Jon-Joe grew up eating southern food and listening to Southern music, especially that of the King, Elvis Presley. Though Elvis dies before Jon-Joe was even born, his legend loomed large over Memphis, Tennessee, and Jon-Joe willingly surrendered to the magic of the King of Rock'n'Roll.
Undergoing his Chrysalis in a blues joint off of Beale Street, Duke Florian of House Ailil didn't change too much from his mortal life as Jon-Joe Somers, but he fully embraced his fae heritage. Where once he had been a normal, if chauvinistic and angry teenager coming of age in the capital of the Debt Blues, Florian discovered that he was now entitled to rule that region. Since his Chrysalis drew every Kithain from miles around, he had little trouble identifying who it was he was to rule. Most were commoners and several were black. While Jon-Joe's father disapproved of "coloreds mixin' with white folk," Jon-Joe had gone to school and played on teams with blacks and had no problems with them. His bigotry was reserved for Northerners, not fellow Southerners of a darker hue.
It didn't take him long to discover that the western part of Tennessee was lumped in with the Duchy of Appalachia and to assert his independence. He wasn't surprised to find out that once again the South was in thrall to a High King who ruled from his Northern stronghold. Further, his own house of Ailil was considered to be a lesser house, somehow tainted so far as the others were concerned. Hoping the Southern king Meilge would be reasonable and sympathetic to his claim, Florian declared he region's independence. Meilge answered that Western Tennessee was still part of his kingdom, but that Florian could be the duke of the region if he was able to locate a suitable freehold for court functions.
Overjoyed, Florian quartered the city and began hunting for a suitable spot. Several places held promise, but none seemed wrong enough for a ducal freehold. The mid-August heat was brutal, and he only realized after several minutes within their midst that he had stumbled into an enormous crowd of people. He felt the tingle of Glamour as he looked around, for the first time aware of his surroundings. he found himself standing just outside the gates of Graceland on the anniversary of Elvis' death. Potent Glamour poured from those assembled to remember the King. Florian had found his freehold.
It didn't take him long to enchant several members of the staff and construct a secret entrance into areas of the mansion that the public doesn't visit. The Duchy of Graceland was born.
Florian is fanatically anti-Northern, and that includes wanting to overthrow the High King and split Concordia into different regions. He has recruited a number of like-minded Kithain who form the inner council of the secret society known as the Southern Cross. While he pretends to give fealty to Meilge, Florian tries to make his duchy as autonomous as possible and to expand its borders; all with an eye to eventually become king of the Southern fae himself.
He encourages every project in Memphis that brings more Glamour to the city. The refurbishment of Beale Street, sport for the National Civil Rights Museum that preserves the balcony where the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, and promoting more tourism to Graceland for the Glamour it brings to his court are just a few of the projects he supports. Florian also encourages musicians of every type: not just blues players, but country-western and rock artists, Southern boogie bands, folk purists, New Wave minstrels, goth-punkers and aficionados of more conservative music sucks as musical theatre and opera produce the styles he wants Memphis to enjoy. he is very annoyed whenever bands from the North are scheduled to play in Memphis and boycotts such concerts.
While he is well-loved by his subjects, Kithain traveling from other areas (Northerners being "damn Yankees," Mid-westerners the "lapdogs of the damn Yankees" and Westerners the "dumb wannabe damn Yankee") find a less-than-warm welcome and southern hospitality in the Duchy of Graceland.
Florian is a marvelous musician himself; able to play several instruments. He is quite skilled in networking, especially with his support of the arts. His mastery of Sovereign is evident in court, as is his skill in Soothsay. The duke excels at planning raids carried out by the rank and file members of the Southern Cross against Northern Kithain and their sympathizers. For a member of House Ailil, he is very straightforward, with a knack for praising his underlings that wins him their unswerving loyalty.
In mortal seeming, Florian looks not unlike a young Elvis. He has dark, slightly wavy hair and large brown eyes. his full lips crook into the half-smile half-sneer the King made famous. In fae mien, his face lengthens slightly, his hair becomes a wild jumble of dark curls, and he always wears deep midnight blue; right down to the suede shoes he affects whenever he holds court.
Florian hides behind being an Elvis fan, even going so far as to wear blue suede shoes (tacky, but effective in getting his point across). As the leader of the Southern Cross, he is far more than what he seems to be. It's time all the Kithain realized how downtrodden Southerners of all colors are by the power structure of the North. If they think it's obvious in mortal life, they ought to understand the control the Northern king holds over the disenfranchised Southern changelings. Color, social standing, or kith... these don't matter. The true battle is to kick the Yankee exploiters out of the South once and for all and to declare it the newly revitalized Kingdom of Dixie.