Sunday, August 22, 2010

Valdrid Jaeger, Reiklander Scout

WHFRP 3rd Edition Character Backstories:

Valdrid Jaeger, Reiklander Scout:

You grew up in the town of Stormdorf, most famous for being a rain-lashed backwater in the south of Reikland just north of the town of Ubersreik. You are the oldest of two boys born into a modest but secure life as the children of a local innkeeper, Boris Jaeger. You and your younger brother Vigo spent the better part of you early years working in the families coaching Inn just north of town called the Three Feathers which had been purchased at a steal by your grandfather a few decades back, though nice enough the cellar has always bothered you as a child but you never could put your finger on why. Your mother Gertrude acted as the Inn’s cook and housekeeper, and your best memories involve her guarding the larder like some Greatsword in the service of a Graf from you and Vigo’s sordid attempts to get your grubby paws on cakes or some other sweet. Right up until the day she died not once to your memory did either of you ever make it within 10 feet of that larder without her soupspoon finding your hand, or you took a cuffing you never had a chance to see coming.

When you were 17 the Graf Von Jungfreud called for men to serve Sigmar and the Empire in the Northern provinces and being that you were of age, it was your duty to your god and country to answer the Graf’s call to arms. The morning you left for Ubersreik was the last time you would see your brother alive.

During your time as a scout in the Emperor’s Army you witnessed things no man was meant to see, the only way you’ve kept you wits about you in the face of the horrors of war and the terrible northmen was by taking things a day at a time, and as an extension of that you learned to look at even the most terrible situations analytically. In the last weeks of the fighting you and five other scouts were sent north of the main camp for reconnaissance. On the fourth night you came upon the enemy who had occupied the village of Vitebsk and had enslaved the settlements population. What you and your comrades witnessed that night was too horrifying for words, so much so that two of your fellows ended up killing themselves two days later rather than live another day after witnessing the debased violence the northmen inflicted upon their poor captives. Even to this day you aren’t entirely sure how you managed to put the sight of the mutilated corpses out of your mind, but you did, and you survived the last battle which occurred on the Ostermark border three days later, one of only a handful that did.

During the aftermath of what would become known as the Battle of Vitebsk Ford you met a dying soldier wearing the distinct blue and crimson of an Altdorf regiment, a fellow Reiklander whose leg had been cleaved through to the bone. The man was older than you but not by much, his scarred face covered by a thick black beard. He called himself Otto Tolzen and his last wish was that you bring word of his death to his wife and daughter in Ubersreik. Naturally you agreed to do as he asked and he gave you a small silver ring, his wedding band to act as proof of your story.

The return trip south to Reikland was relatively swift, you caught a riverboat in Krugenheim which sailed south down the River Stir into Altdorf, capital of Reikland, and all the Empire. From there it was a simple matter of a few days on foot to the taproom of the Three Feathers. You spent a month at home with your father and your new-found sister-in-law Bella. It was then that you discovered that your brother Vigo had joined the roadwardens a year after you had left and was killed in duty two years ago.

 It was only once you arrived home that the true toll of your time in the north caught up with you. With all those years learning to cope with the hardships of war, you couldn’t simply slip back into your old life, and with the news of your brother’s death the Three Feathers just wasn’t home any longer, nowhere is for men like you who have seen too much. So it was that you decided it was time to fulfill the promise you made to a dying soldier in the cold wastes on the edge of civilization, and so you set off south with your bow on your back and your old sword at your side to let a woman know she was a widow and a daughter know that she would grow up fatherless, but at least he died valiantly protecting them from the horrors of the northmen. Closer is something after all even if it’s only just that.

When you arrived in Ubersreik it turned out to be fairly easy to find the fallen soldiers family, his wife Ludmilla had died during childbirth just after Otto departed leaving his oldest daughter alone in the world. Luckily for you the young firebrand Adel Tolzen had made quite a little name for herself as an agitator and disturber of the peace. Her most recent and by all accounts vehement display of activism in opposing the so called “Feather Tax” had earned her four days in the stocks and a fine of 20 silver shillings, this of course being her fifth offense in the last year, prior to which she had spent a total of 4 weeks jailed for tax evasion, one day in the stocks for petty theft which she claims was to prove a point about the disparity between the classes, and been fined the grand sum of 10 silver shillings for damages caused when she painted “The Feather Tax is Foul” upon the façade of the excise office doors last Sonnstill day. Upon being released you told her about her father and how he died, Adel took his death as yet another way the aristocracy walks on the backs of the common folk but soon the news sunk in, not so much that he had died as after a few years without word she assumed he was dead, but rather that she had actually had a father all this time thinking about her, someone who cared. After a few drinks the two of you parted ways, expecting not to see each other again…

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