About Dragomir Vuk
Fort:+5 ;Ref:+2 ;Will+0
Carrying Capacity 100 lbs. or less/101–200 lbs./200-300 lbs.
Total Gold - 380 (prev roll on 5D6 was 23 and +150 trait) / Remaining - 12gp, 7sp
Armour - 250gp
Weapons - 98gp
Equipment - 19gp, 3sp
Notes on Consumerables
A looming man of stature and girth. His massive arms and shoulders speak of great strength but it is the strength and build of a worker rather than than of an athlete as evidenced by a rounded belly and lack of toning. His hair is black, and cropped short against his scalp, appearing as if it had cut crudely with a knife.
His face is scared and battered with a nose that has no tangible shape, and has been clearly broken many times, his ears puffed and swollen from many blows. His complexion is sunbrowned and weather beaten, the results of hard living causing the glow of youth to fade, making him seem older than his years. It is his eyes that are exceptional - they are eyes much older than the man himself, as if they had seen a lifetime of struggle. Old they may be but those same eyes also speak of an inner strength and personal magnetism. Dragomir has a simple convivial charm but also is naturally intimidating and, by choice or when angered, can radiate a palpable menace.
Irrespective of whether his is wearing his armour or not, he carries a dagger in his boot and a large fighting knife in the small of his back, tilted sideways so its hilt protrudes to the right side and ready to draw. When not armoured he wears simple study clothing favoured by the common people of Ustalav.
When prepared for combat he carries a wide heavy meter longsword belted at his waist instead (as men of a smaller stature would) across his back. His equipment is scuffed and worn but carefully tended.
"You think you've got it tough? Being born in Kavapesta is tough... being born to a farmer in those blighted lands around Pharasma's Chosen City? Where every stunted turnip only seems to grow because some sort of stubborn will to live? That's just miserable. Being born to an Alcoholic father whose idea of fun was making you guess which hand he was gonna hit you with and a Pharasma-fearing, husband-fearing Mother on a scab of a Farm in Kavapesta? Priateľ [Slavic: Friend] - I'd rather chew on glass than go through that again.
It makes you hard on the inside, watching your Father, waiting for that one bad night, followed by a few days of relative peace... and he was a nasty old bastard too, whose moods changed with the winds.
Bah, I've met many who had the same hardships growing up... now pass the bottle".
"My problem is I've always been big - attracts trouble sometimes.
On a farm that makes you the first pick to haul sacks, dig holes and chop wood. I didn't eat so good then so I think I looked like a beanpole but I was as strong as any field hand by the time I was 12. Papa figured that he could make a few extra copper by hiring me out to the neighbours as well. I didn't mind so much except when a few of them decided to get their money's worth by hurrying me along with bit of birch or willow. Papa didn't it find it so easy to find work for me after I broke Blaschko's jaw and stuck that Switch up his arse. Also ruined any chances of me getting taught a trade or apprenticed out.
I'll give Papa one thing though, he never did give up on what he thought was a good idea. After I'd been beaten within an inch of my life he handed me over to one of his drinking cronies for a silver and I spent a month working in a fornicating tin mine... funny thing was, only time I really prayed as a kid, and wouldn't ya know it, it was the only time Mama stood up to Papa and sent him to fetch me back.
Being big has gotten me into a lot of fights, either from me bein' cocky or with some other sod being cocky. I've had enough time dealing with a bruised head, broken ribs or stitches though. I don't welcome it but I ain't so old yet that I fear the pains that come with a fight. I must be starting to take some of the brains that older, wiser men have tried beating into my skull because I've learned to avoid fights... most of the time. It helps if you've learned to spot those who are spoiling for a fight."
Life as a Sellsword
"It beats grubbin turnips for a living"
Thats what I said to myself after I saw Johan's crew start to pack wagons to haul outta Kavapesta. They'd done an escort run from Caliphas with a buncha pilgrims and were headin' for somewhere greener... forget where that was exactly but it seemed like paradise compared to Kavapesta. Anyway, I hung around a spell, then just pitched in and helped them load and pack - Johan gave me a look that told me I'd better be real sure I was faster than him if I was fixing to run off with anything but he was good enough to offer me a copper at the end of it.
"No sir", I told him, bold as the brass on the doors on the Cryptgate Cathedral, "Price is you take me with you and let me unload those wagons at where ever it is you're going". Johan was a good enough sort but he needed an untrained lad as much as those hemorrhoids of his, but when he tried to run me off with a clip over the ear, I stood my ground. He gave me a good one around the side of head... I just looked at him and when he punched me in the guts, I just puked once and then just stood up again.
They say that Pharasma is the Goddess of new births... well, she must have been smiling me. Johan took me on and I left that day and never looked back.
He was a hard man, Johan but he was fair - he gave like for like and he taught me that a man's got nothing as valuable as his word. You honour contracts and you get fed, you get a reputation that keeps you from the jobs so bad that only the desperate and witless take to keep from starving. You gave your best that day? He made sure you got your fair share from the cooking pot, even if it meant he had to tighten his own belt a time or two... because he also lived by the contract he had with us - 'Be loyal and do your best, and I'll take care of you'. He was a good teacher - taught me everything he knew including how to read and write and do numbers, though it was mostly about supplies and pay rates.
While my father was as changeable as the weather and Johan as constant as the seasons, they were both quick to lash out if you stepped out of line, and Johan and the crew were fond of a random punch or kick to make sure I was alert and on my toes. The hard lessons make for valuable experience.
Johan also taught me that when it comes to blood on the soil, us mercenaries are thrown to the wolves as oft as not. You never ever completely trust your employer - You honour your contract but its a fool that expects they'll always honour theirs, especially when a dead man needs no payin'. Given what a wiley sod Johan was, its damn shame he took an arrow to the chest in a bandit attack on one of the caravans we were guarding... bigger shame that a few of those bandits got away when the rest of us went berserk and tore into them.
I've learned a thing or two - pain is a good teacher, and its taught me not to fight unless I had to. Sure, I'm paid to put it on the line but any time its you and not the other guy bleeding? You aren't earning enough. When you are on your own time? You're not earning at all.
There's actually no secret to it - There is a certain stink that comes from growing up hard. It's a rot that comes from constant exposure to violence, death, alcoholism, viciousness and bloodshed - It's a certain hardening of the soul that comes from living years with putting it to others before they can do it to you. Add to that the paranoia of looking over your shoulder, lest vengence-minded people you have done wrong, slither out of that shadow you just passed. It's reflected in your attitudes, your speech, how you deal with others and how you look at the world. You learn to recognise it in others and you learn to use it to cloak yourself.
You don't need to tell people if you're 'hard' or not - You just are... and its enough to keep all but the idiots away.
I've had people threaten to kill me and I've had people actually try. From this experience I can tell you that there is a world of difference. And one of the biggest one is when someone is actually trying to kill you they ain't talking about it, they're doing it.
Name calling and a tough guy swagger is just like kicking up dirt, you get to where you don't notice it. Problem is those idiots who want to take it to the next level are just cowards at heart - trying to prove something to themselves.
I can tell you - because I'm still not so old that I've yet learned to avoid the odd hotheaded episode- that I've seen a WHOLE lot of wide-eyed "ohshitohshitohshit!" expressions on these mouthy bastard's faces. I'd be walking away and they'd say something that would either bring me charging back or even dumber, they'd decide to follow me when I walked away. When I whipped around and charged them on my way to handing them a beating, all I ever saw on their faces was fear. Fear that had often driven them to mouthing off or coming after me. While they might have been working their way up to beating someone up, they weren't ready to fight. But then again, when I came roaring back, I wasn't there to fight either, I was there to hand them a beating.
Its the guy who stands there and looks at you like you're just an obstacle that stops him from seeing the end of the day that you need to pay attention to. And those are the warriors you put down first, because when those are gone? You're left with those too scared, too angry or too dumb to run away.
And the funny part? Apart from those one of those bandits who did for Johan, I've not killed anyone, well... not anyone who died in front of me at any rate. I've fought more in bars than I ever have in the field during the five years I've been selling my sword.
One day it may be me who eats dirt and if it is, there won't be much in the way of ill feelings, other than regret I hadn't gotten them first. At the end of the day, that's how I earn my bread and beer."
It's not often that you see a well dressed gentlemen in the 'Hanged Man', but not so rare that it raised many eyebrows. Normally Merchants looking for caravan guards either hire down at the Markets or through an agent but every now and then you'd get someone who thought they'd get better price negotiating with the men while they were drinking... or someone with some other mischief in mind. While I didn't go in for it, 'thug work' was always about, and normally paid for by those who didn't want to dirty their own hands. "Damn smart of them", Johan had always said.
Unlike others of his ilk who had ventured into my temporary watering hole, the Professor seemed at ease. He even greeted one or two of the regulars, stopping to clap hands with them and smile as he laid down a few coins in response to loud insistence that he drink with them. I then turned back to my drink and mentally counted out my current funds against costs of the next few days... aided in part by scrawling on the bar with some spilled beer. It didn't look good.
Johan had been the glue holding our little band of sellswords together and after a few months of growing discomfort and disputes around the campfires we'd all gone our separate ways. I had a decent enough reputation and some savings but without a band I could never seem to negotiate the same sort of money that Johan could and it seemed foolish to work for less... and so I'd let my funds run down as I kept looking for work. It was beginning to dawn on me, as I worked through the ale fumes and wrestled with the numbers, that it was foolish of me to expect the same sort of money that Johan did. He had ten years more experience, had garnered a lot of goodwill and trust and bought his own crew with him... while I, on the other hand...
I nearly brained him with my beer jack when Lorrimor told me I forgot 'to carry the one' from the stool besides me.
He'd slipped right in next to me so smoothly and quietly that I hadn't realised he'd be there and looked at me somewhat surprised by my hasty response but was smiling nonetheless.
Fortunately for us both, the Professor was looking for a blade but was familiar enough with the trade to ask around. My name had come up - Pharasma keep Johan on his path for all that he taught me - as someone who could be trusted and who hadn't worked in a while. The job was simple, albeit long - an armed escort to Ravengro. He told me he was travelling quietly and that I'd be his protection for the journey, with the best part being a price that more than even Johan would have commanded. I figure that he thought a scholar and his 'Guard' wouldn't attract enough trouble to be worth any major players taking note and be too much trouble for any small timers who would.
He was chatty, there was no doubt about that. He'd ask about me about where I grew up and he'd end up giving me an hour long lecture on Mother Kavapesta, and the background of the philosophies today known as the Pharasmin Penitence... but unlike my Mama or the Priests who spoke at the services I'd attended as a lad, he was interesting. He was worth listening to, which is what I did a lot of on the long carriage rides. I've listened to what seems a life time of men 'Pizdet' around different tables and campfires but if the speaker actually knows what he was talking about, and I could tell by the confidence with which he spoke that he did, there is huge difference. Can't say I absorbed it all but he did get me thinking about the Lady of Graves again. He appeared devout enough and we stopped our journey a few times to attend worship services and was happy to talk about any questions I had on the sermon or The Bones Land in a Spiral, Pharasma’s holy text.
The trip took about a month all told... I was paid on time, which is the main thing but he seemed reluctant to end the contract. I told him that unless the Grain Caravans were coming any time soon, I'd have no chance of finding decent work and I figured he was light on coin because he let it go at that. We shook and I told him that I was heading for Lepidstadt to see what sort of job I could land. Thats the last time I saw him. A good man, Lorrimor, - I'll drink to him any day"
OOC Personal notes
level 2 - power attack, Knowledge Religion - 1, Diplomacy - 1, not sure on last skill... percept? /// Have not leveled HPs
Future feats? - Eclectic. Extra Traits - Corpse Hunter and Indomitable Faith?