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Norman John Arminger was a professor of history, concentrating on the period of the Norman invasion of England. He was also a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism; his name within that group was Blackthorn of Malmsey. He had once brought an ox to an SCA tournament. He slew the ox with a single blow from the sword he still carried as Lord Protector.
In the aftermath of the Change, Arminger formed the Portland Protective Association, one of the few successful nations formed around a major metropolitan area. He brought slavery back to North America and conquered a substantial part of what had been the state of Washington. He attempted to convince Mike Havel to join the association, but was unsuccessful. His intial efforts to expand into the Willamette Valley were beaten back by the an alliance comprised of the Bearkillers, Clan Mackenzie and the Corvallis City State.
Norman Arminger was later killed in a duel between himself and Lord Bear Mike Havel.
Norman Arminger appears to be modeled on S.M. Stirling's friend Harry Turtledove, who later contributed the story "Topanga and the Chatsworth Lancers" to the Emberverse.