The Six Stones of Korandel
Traxus Syka, the Rogue
Body for hire, all about the benjamins
STR 16 (+3)
DEX 14 (+2)
CON 12 (+1)
INT 11 (+0)
WIS 8 (-1)
CHA 10 (+0)
AC: 14 (Touch 12) (Flat-Footed 12)
Speed: 30. ft
Equipped: Shortbow, Short sword, Dagger, Leather armor
8 Move Silently
4 Profession (Woodcarving)
An old orphanage in a town nearby Crossroads. It is night. A knock of the door. The ring of the bell. A middle-aged maid answers the door. Before her stands a young maiden in a cloak with a baby boy in her arms. Under the hood, she is beaten, bruised, bleeding. Who or what could have caused this to such a beautiful thing? The maid questioned not.
“Please,” the fair maiden moans weakly. “Take him.”
The maid accepts this baby. There is a small note with him. The maid opens it. There are two words scrawled on the parchment. A name: Traxus Syka.
The maiden turns away and takes a step before promptly collapsing on the stairs. The maid goes to help, lowering the hood on the cloak. She analyzes her condition. The wounds are deep, the bleeding profuse. She was losing blood. She was dying.
The maid cries for help. More of the orphanage’s employees come to her aid and carry the maiden to an available bed. But it is all to no avail. By the next morning, she is pronounced dead.
The boy grows up. By the time he is nine, the town is raided by bandits. Riches gone, food gorged, buildings pillaged. But these bandits weren’t in it for the money or the food; they were in it for the enjoyment of it all. They go further. They rape whichever women they find. They burn buildings. They kill because, hey, it’s fun.
The boy runs, despite the grown-ups’ advice against it. He runs for his life, sticking to the shadows to elude these horrendous beings. By the time he has any time to think, he is already five hundred feet from the town. He looks over his shoulder. The town is ablaze, people screaming and running about. And then he sees it: his orphanage in flames. It becomes clear to him now. He can never go back.
He flees to Crossroads. By the time he gets there, he is starving. He hasn’t had food in days, and his prospects aren’t looking good, for he has no coin. He asks around and manages to get morsels, but It becomes evident that he needs to do whatever is necessary to survive, even if the law deems it questionable. He steals in the night and sleeps during the day. He knows not to take too much—just enough to feed himself, that’s all.
But then a local guild of thieves finds him. They take him under their wing, and together they find food. They teach him how to defend himself with a dagger. They want to steal gold. They wound or kill, if necessary.
The boy looks at what he is to become. He is becoming like those bandits he ran away from. How could he do such things? So he sets off to find somewhere else to settle. In return for the ride and food, he ratted out the thieves.
More time passes. He travels the land, not knowing where to make his home. He learns how to use weaponry, particularly swords and bows. He now no longer needs to steal; he hunts. He takes up woodworking as a temporary occupation wherever he goes. He is a changed man from when he was a nine-year-old lad.
But no matter where he goes, no matter who he meets, he always thinks back to the bandits that raided his town. Why would they do what they do? What could drive them to such madness?
But it isn’t just them. His travels always led him to meet people who did bad things. He always knew how horrible people could be, and as he matured, he just saw this more and more. He never fully trusts anyone, and while he knows there were gods, he believes that any god willing to condone or turn a blind eye to the things people do are unworthy of worship.
He always felt he had to do something about it, but he knows that simply bringing these people to justice isn’t enough. Sure, they can live their lives in prison. Why not give them a chance to escape the law? The law isn’t good enough, he decides. But it wasn’t until he hit his twenties that he found out what he could do. It was staring him in the face all this time! He is good at hiding, sneaking about. He had become proficient with weapons, particularly the shortbow. His vision is great, and he is wary. Something had to be done, and if no one else will do it, he will. And if he needs to stoop to levels that these people are willing to stoop to, then he will. His idea: He’d become a mercenary, a bow for hire, doing the jobs that no one else will, putting arrows in the heads of those who needed it.
He begins switching from general woodcraft to bowmaking, as knowing how to make his own weapon and how to repair it are good skills to have. He subtly advertises his new services in addition to his woodcutting jobs wherever he goes. He gets jobs. He gets them done. He gets paid.
As time goes on, the boundaries on his jobs become more and more blurred, but he’s willing to do them if he deems it necessary. One job involved sniping a corrupt priest of St. Cuthbert. Another (blah blah blah, I haven’t really thought of specifics yet.). It’s said that he’s even willing to kill children if he thinks it’s needed. If the money is good, he’ll consider it.
Is this the man he wants to be? He never asks himself that question. Besides, the money is good. At least he’ll never have to steal again.