As boisterous in battle as he is in a tavern, Halgard is an unassumingly easy-going individual that is truly difficult to put in a dour mood. He believes that joy should be had where it can be found, though he has come to learn that not everyone can appreciate such an outlook on life. Halgard is often drawn to whatever is most exciting or intriguing at the moment, a trait which often results in him partaking in reckless activities on and off of the battlefield without much thought given to safety. He is quick to celebrate victories, no matter how small, and is eager enough to engage with all manner of challenges presented to him.
There are those whom find his mannerisms to be disrespectful or distasteful, and others whom simply view him as an annoyance and a source of aggravation. Halgard is even considered by some to be a liability and a danger to those fighting beside him. Certainly, his foolhardy thinking and occasionally borderline suicidal disregard for his own safety have rubbed more people the wrong way than even his near maniacal joy and brash taunting in battle have. The way Halgard sees it, however, is that it is better for him to act in such a way as to draw the ire of his foes in order to protect his allies. Once someone has made a friend out of Halgard, it’s not a bond that will be broken lightly.Brief Backstory:
Halgard was born of the union between Garran and Giana Raddatz - his father a noble from a minor house at the head of a merchant guild, and his mother an adept blacksmith whom had been afforded an opportunity to apprentice with a dwarven smith. As a young child, Halgard would watch his mother toil away and help her with any task she requested of him, and when he came of age Halgard joined his mother in the forge. He quite enjoyed the work. There was a certain magic to it. To take one thing and turn it into something else, something better. Then came the War of the Red Flag.
Halgard had, as any child, grown up hearing stories of great heroes of war. Stories that likened those wars to crucibles of the forge, and those heroes to ores for smelting into weapons of legendary order. He wanted to become something greater than he believed he was, and he believed that joining the war would accomplish this. His parents, however, did not view things the same way. They forbade Halgard from marching off to war, reasoning that they had important enough jobs to fulfill and that they needed their son to stay and help with the increased demand at the smithy. Halgard insisted he be allowed to fight, and eventually the two parties came to a compromise - he would help out at the forge and accompany the shipments of weapons and armor as a caravan guard. Fine. It wouldn’t be the crucible he expected, but Halgard figured that maybe he could still get lucky and get to see some proper action.
One day that dark little desire of his was fully realized. The caravan that Halgard was with got attacked in an ambush orchestrated by rebel soldiers, and plenty of blood was shed on both sides. The other members of the caravan would later recount that Halgard disregarded orders, and several would blame his recklessness for a few of the casualties and injuries suffered on their part. All Halgard can remember is the rush. That and, somehow, he had resorted to using his ‘lucky’ smithing hammer as a weapon. From that day forth, though, he never again considered it ‘lucky’ to see battle. Instead, he considered himself to hold luck’s favor, and sought to protect others by using himself as a shield.
By the war’s end, Halgard’s parents had arranged for him to study under an arcane blacksmith, hoping that in learning the art of rune smithing their son might forget about his more dangerous urges to fight. The training went well enough, despite several hiccups. Halgard’s master remarked that he was overeager and hasty, but surprisingly competent at his core despite his shortcomings. After a few months, though, it wasn’t enough for Halgard to be content with. He joined up with a local mercenary band for some side work and excitement, but was ultimately and primarily tasked with maintaining their gear as assistant to their quartermaster. Halgard did still see the occasional battle, and collected souvenirs from fallen foes, but for the most part he didn’t partake of too much fighting. Just enough to keep his limited combat training fresh in mind.
Halgard’s stint with the mercenary band would soon come to an end, however, when he tried to experiment with arcane smithing at their camp. The process backfired and ended up exploding, injuring quite a few people and giving Halgard a nice scar across his cheek. Despite being forced out of the mercenaries and receiving a good scolding from his smithing master, the event only seemed to strengthen Halgard’s resolve to be a shield for others. He expressed this desire to his master and, after some reluctance, she suggested he consider joining the Knights of the Iron Rose. She could refer him, of course, but only if he took his apprenticeship in arcane smithing more seriously and trained with a ‘proper’ combat instructor, for he would also need to accomplish a worthy task. Halgard agreed.
A few years on and Halgard caught wind of his old mercenary group preparing to move against a suspected bandit hideout. If the rumors were correct, then the hideout belonged to the “Red Reavers” - whom were led by a man that called himself the “Butcher Baron”. These cravens had been ambushing travelers and caravans traveling through the area for months, with increasing frequency and severity. The Butcher Baron started out just slaughtering the horses and livestock, but then he moved on to butchering their victims at random. By now, he would rarely leave any witnesses and was suspected of cannibalism, as well as of possibly encouraging it, and his men were becoming bolder and more daring by the day. Halgard rushed to meet with his old band before they set out, requesting to join them as a fighter and offering them some weapons and armor bearing minor enchantments - longer lasting sharpness, lighter weight, increased durability, and the like - in return. They accepted, hesitantly, and together they travelled to the hideout.
The ensuing battle was a bloody one, as the Red Reavers wielded cleaver-like swords and a manner of other chopping and hacking implements. It would’ve been far worse, though, had the mercenary forces not been better equipped than that band of thugs preying upon the unarmored. During the fighting, the mercenary captain was ambushed by the Butcher Baron and became separated. Halgard did his best to reach him, just barely managing to save the man’s life and finishing off the Butcher Baron alone. The captain had been seriously injured, but according to the healers would make a nearly full recovery. Satisfied with the knowledge he had saved the captain’s life and put an end to a rising threat, Halgard pressed on.Equipment: Eisenhaut armor:
Slightly lighter and more resilient armor.Wall Shield:
A scutum-type shield that can magically expand to the size of a tower shield and be placed down like a pavise.Trick Hammer:
A one-handed warhammer with a warpick spike on the back of the head, and a haft that can be magically extended to transform the weapon into a two-handed maul.Additional gear:
His ‘lucky’ smithing hammer and a rune etching chisel, a few medallions and trinkets of felled enemies, and a dozen or so failed or incomplete projects.Skills:
Generally proficient with one and two handed weapons, though certainly not extraordinary by any means. He is passable with a crossbow but struggles with traditional bows, and sneaking, roguery, or anything requiring stealth or tactfulness are out of the question.
Halgard is trained in both mundane and arcane smithing, allowing him to create regular weapons and armor as well as etch runes to make enchanted ones. The process of rune etching is prone to various extents of failure, however. It may take a decade or more before Halgard is able to avoid such complications, but for now his rate of success is at a level considered to be acceptable - that being roughly about half of his attempts.