Thick As Thieves
Long-limbed elven veteran of the War.
Long-limbed, tall, and sinewy. Dirty-blonde hair kept in a loose pony-tail, and a wild and unkempt beard. Loose-fitting peasant clothes underneath well-worn (and well-cared for leathers.) Watchful blue eyes and a smile that can be as cruel as it is mirthful. A bow of horn and sinew. A dirk as long as his forearm, the hilt polished bone.
It’s been a very, very long time, but Kunail remembers The War. The clamour of steel scraping steel, the shriek of dying men, the stink of spilled guts, the mud and filth and blood churning beneath your feet. He was a scout. A tracker. A hunter, only what he hunted was people. And he was very, very good at it. Emerging from the forest, deep in enemy territory to slit an enemy commander’s throat in the night – or to place an arrow in their eye from across a crowded battlefield. They spoke of him in whispers. Called him “The Woodland Ghost”, “The Talons of the Owl” “The Grey Spectre.”.
But the senseless horror wore on him. More and more, Kunail began to wonder if he was on the right side. If there even was a right side. The War ground on, with no end in sight. So he made an end. Abandoned the War to return to the harsh tundras of his homeland, where life was simple.
Except life wasn’t simple. The people from his village were strangers to him now – and they to him. No one could meet his eyes anymore. Maybe they saw something they didn’t like. And his former commanders came looking for him. The army took a dim view of deserters.
So Kunail went on the move, living off the land, roaming from town to town. He tried to live an ordinary life – but somehow everywhere he turned, injustice cried out. Wealthy nobles and scheming gangsters and nefarious monsters, all taking more from folk than they could give. If Kunail couldn’t find peace – maybe he could find atonement.
Now they talk of him in whispers again. The old monikers still apply. But some new ones, too. Kunail, Beast-Slayer. Kunail the Avenger. Those suit him better.
What Changed Him
The straw that broke the dragon’s back was when Kunail was assigned to ambush an enemy commander travelling to the front. Simple enough. He’d done it a hundred times. What he hadn’t been told was that the commander was travelling with his family. It was too late to rescue them once their carriage was ablaze. Kunail slew the man who loosed the arrow – slew his whole squad – and deserted the Army that very day.
A fellow veteran of the wars, employed in a similar fashion. Constant Evaron now lives as a humble barkeep in an out of the way town. They keep in touch by letters.
Escape From Warren
During his escape from the Warren, High Warden Share struck a fatal blow against Kunail. He died. When his eyes opened, he had been… changed.