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Born in Burtan-Barat’s Vermhaas region in UTC 707, van Pikken was one of very few survivors of a Vilarsen assault on his village in 721. Taken prisoner by the invading Vilarsen forces, van Pikken and other prisoners were brought into Vilarsen to be naturalized, in accordance with the Elfish tenets of war. Van Pikken would remain in Vilarsen until the conclusion of the Maadleber wars, at which time he volunteered for the Imperial military at the age of 19. He went on to serve at the borders of Maadleber for 12 years, eventually achieving the rank of Field Commandant and gaining his own command in southwestern Keskalors. After several years of exemplary performance, van Pikken was designated by the Emperor himself to direct the Imperial acquisition of Erdvoll from the Huuvnaram tribespeople, a task which he accomplished with less than two hundred Hesvolene casualties. This earned van Pikken a position as the Emperor’s chief military advisor, a position which he has held since, maintained under the Emperor’s successor.