Youngest son of a youngest son of a youngest son... by the time you get that far from the main family line in Brevoy, there isn't much to tell a noble from a peasant, except the pride and the weapon. Arkady had his full share of the one, and a father and four older brothers who made sure that he never slacked in the others. After all, his only chance of fortune would be in his sword arm, since inheritance there would be none.
The nobles of Brevoy learn to ride well, to strike straight, and to tell the truth. It was the last that got Arkady in trouble, when he started spending time with the villagers. Truth to them about what his cousins were doing with their time and rents (partying instead of protecting the villagers); truth to the family about what was going on in the village (which his brothers didn't like). That he preferred the quiet sensibility of Erastil's local huntsman to the loud clangings of the family's chaplain of Gorum didn't help. Getting embroiled with one of his brothers over the favors of a village sweetheart ended up with a lot of bruises.
On his name-day, his father gave him a sword, newly forged. His mother gave him an embroided tabard to go over his armor and an amulet said to protect against the vile charms of the children of the forest. His brothers gave him an ultimatum: get out or fight.
He chose to ride away rather than kill. He'd always known that he would have to earn his fortune beyond the fields he knew. Several of the villagers gave him advice, and food. One girl gave him a saddlecloth for his horse, and a wreath of flowers. And one old man who had ridden in half a dozen battles gave him a captain's name in Restov.
In the forest to the south, night came on, and sleep. He dreamed of a white stag moving among the trees, bugling, warning of danger and darkness, and the need for light and hunters. He dreamed of village after village, led astray by dark enchantment, lost to bandits, sacked by rampaging soldiers, taxed into penury by greedy nobles.
He followed the stag, first on horse, and then when the horse died, on foot, stumbling, exhausted, but knowing that he was called to stand between. "Endurance Overcomes All," the family motto; he endured, stumbling after the stag into fight after fight, against desperate odds, again and again, barely in time. He followed, and in the last battle the stag bore him on its back.
He woke, exhausted and empowered. He knew the darkness of which the stag had given warning; he could, with effort, sense that some men were beasts and worse than beasts, and Old Deadeye's blessing was on him when he rode against them in battle. He saved three merchants from bandits on his ride south, and rescued a young lass from a black-armored knight, and stood between two brawlers in a wayside tavern when knives were drawn.
And now he has come to Restov, and the old man's captain was one of the Swordlords, who told him of a venture south beyond the borders, to keep safe the lands and make them ripe for settlement. He dreamed again of the stag, bearing him southward as the sun begun to rise, and returned the next morning to sign up.
ARKADY MEDVYED CR 1
Male human paladin of Erastil 2 (shining knight archetype)
LG Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +1; Senses Perception -1, detect evil
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, 4 MW chain shirt)
hp 16 (2d10+4)
Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +4
Resistances Nobly Born - Medvyed
Spd 30 ft.
Melee lance +6 (d8+6/20/x3, d8+11/20/x3 charging) or longsword +6 (d8+4/19-20/x2) or dagger +6 (d4+4/19-20/x2)
Ranged mwk comp longbow (+2 Str) +4 (d8+2/x3) or dagger +3 (d4+4/19-20/x2)
Special Attacks Smite Evil 1/day (+2 attack, +2 damage)
Str 18, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 15
Base Atk +2; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Mounted Combat, Cleave, Animal Affinity
Traits Poverty Stricken, Noble Born - Medvyed
Skills Diplomacy +7 [2r], Handle Animal +8 [1r], Ride +8 [2r], Survival +4 [1r]
SQ Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Smite Evil 1/day (+2/+2), Divine Grace, Lay on Hands (1d6 3/day)
Combat Gear lance, longsword, dagger, masterwork composite longbow (+2 Str) and 38 arrows; masterwork chain shirt
Other Gear light warhorse, military saddle, saddlebags, waterskin, 2 days trail rations, flint and steel
Aura of Good (Su) Your aura is equal to your paladin level
Detect Evil (Sp) Either as spell-like ability or on one target as a move action
Smite Evil 1/day (Su) +CHA to attack rolls, +paladin level to damage
Divine Grace - +CHA sacred bonus to all saves
Lay On Hands - (lvl/2)d6, (lvl/2+CHA)/day, standard or swift on self
Noble Born - Medvyed +2 Diplomacy vs. Fey, +1 will save vs. fey spells and supernatural abilities.
Arkady has taken the following into his service.
Son of a hunter (warrior 1)
AC 13, 10 hp, F2 R1 W1
S10 D13 C11 I9 W12 Ch8
Feats: Skill Focus: Survival, Weapon Focus: longbow
longbow +3 (d8/x3), short sword +1 (d6/19-20)