Bowyer / PaymasterAppearance:
Godwin has an utterly drab appearance - average height at around 5'7" and eyes that a poet would describe as "dun". He has sandy hair that changes color depending on the season (lightening in the warm months, darkening with the first snowfall) and skin tanned from working outside. Like most longbowmen, he has broad shoulders and arms, and back is well-defined, though one shoulder is larger than the other. He normally wears simple garb, but sometimes dons a thick gambeson vest, which laces onto sleeves on his sides, and extends down to his thighs. He has a similar padded hood that can be laced into the vest. Personality:
Boastful and fiery in his early life, Godwin has had his fair share of personal victories, though is not the worse for it. His personal sense of pride and honor has been worn away over the preceding years, though he clings to a sense of kinship that he wishes to recover. In general he is quite personable, and has the mental acuity that comes with precise bowmanship. Like a longbowman's draw - shifting heels into the ground as the hips thrust into the bow's draw, just long enough to send an arrow flying before the bow explodes under pressure - Godwin is precise and controlled, yet has an edge to him. He has a good relationship with his clients and is often quite jovial and well-tempered, particularly when drinking wine.History:
More than a century preceding the ascension of King Adalmar II, a charter of rights had been granted to the archers and crossbowmen of Old Neystead. Given the right to carry themselves throughout Westar, the guild-brothers of Acton of Notte were recognized for their good service to the old capital, and permitted to wear Neystead's livery. While the guild's roots had been established in a suprising victory by urban contingents in the battle of Notte, a small town within the vicinity of Neystead, the feeling of power following such victories did not stay. The number of archers and crossbowmen fluctuated throughout the coming century, rising with the familiar call of war, and waning in times of relative peace. Though Neystead was relatively safe, bounded on two sides by waterways, the guild was uncharacteristically large, many of the members serving in personal retinues linked to nearby lords. Granted permission to bear arms across Westar and exempted from some taxes, the guild brothers lived well.
Godwin grew up in a small village outside of Neystead, called Caistor. His father was a bowyer as was his father before him, so it was natural that he grew up entrenched in Neystead's archery guild. In his youth he attended the yearly guild celebration, dressed in the livery of Neystead. There, the guildbrothers held their annual drakon competition, so named for the clay dragon pendants they would shoot at, exploding into fine powder upon an accurate shot. They would pray for their dead, blessing them with good tidings from Saint Wymarc, who famously slew the great dragon of Helston. After celebrating the drakon's winner, who was then deemed a forester, they would retire to the guild hall and gorge themselves on meat and drink. All of his friends were guildbrothers, and Godwin himself inherited the honor of his fathers as a reliable bowyer within the guild. He was a skilled craftsman - transforming staves into selfbows in little time - but more importantly, was honest in his dealings with others. As such, he was elected to be the guild's constable, in charge of organizing the guild, record and peacekeeping - promoting a shared sense of duty and responsibility among the guildbrothers.
The ascenscion of Adalmar II and the peace that came with it hurt guild membership, as joining required entrants pay a fee and come with their own arms. The war preceding peacetime had left many soldiers without a livelihood, and while the guild provided an opportunity to be employed in retinues of local lords, it was more attractive to join a Hood. Particularly in Old Neystead, the paramilitary "Hoods" were attractive to join - members were allowed to forcibly keep peace. Otherwise, weapons were prohibited within the walls of the old city. While the guilds of Neystead had a relative peace with the sometimes treacherous Hoods, this came to an end with the death of Adalmar, as lords of Westar grappled for power left in the late king's wake.
The guild crumbled in the time around the king's death - the Adalmar line now dead, the charter that the group was built on was now meaningless. The chaos in the old capital was overwhelming. The Hoods, ill-funded and of little moral standing in the first place, propogated disorder by violently quelling any sign of protest or dissent within the city. Each funded by some miserable well-to-do official who wanted their own shot at power. The guild had been dependent on work from local lords during peacetime, and the group accordingly fractured as the brothers were bound to serve the powerful lords in the heart of Westar. In the time of peace following the king's ascension, there was a relative lack of well-trained bowmen - and bowyers, even moreso. Godwin was urged by his friend and guildbrother, the son of the lord of Holt, Reynard, to join in his father's cause - and be paid handsomely for it. He happily agreed, eager to maintain the sense of kinship that was splintering around them. And few men can resist the allure of power and coin.
They were accused of conspiracy by the Lord of Kenswick, one of the dubious 'coffers' of their guild. Barred from taking up personal allegiances as a guild constable, and having pledged to "guard and defend the body and honor of" Neystead and Westar, Godwin was quietly dissolved of status within the guild. It barely mattered, as the onset of the Anarchy of Adalmar had plunged Westar into a state of Chaos. Not long after did Godwin join the so-called Band of Fools, fearing his place in Neystead and bitterly divorcing himself from the fractured guild in its wake. Skills and Abilities:
Bow-Crafting and Fletching -- Trained from a young age to a bowyer, Godwin is exceptional at making bows. He knows how to select wood to make staves, meticulously spining arrows and bending pieces of yew over racks, carefully wrapping fine string around cut feathers to fletch arrows tipped with hard bodkin points. He has an excellent understanding of the body's mechanics, and his favorable reputation in part came from his trained eye - understanding the way his men's bodies move, and making weapons that fit them.
Management -- Tasked with managing members of his guild as a constable, Godwin is skilled at conflict resolution as well as recordkeeping. Weakness(es):
Sentimental -- Godwin clings to memories of the past, and years for the kinship of his youth, sometimes resulting in him being overly-trusting. He also has a thing for dragons, and has some odd beliefs about the merits of using dragon-teeth instead of horn. Equipment:
- A trilaminate longbow tipped with horn, 95 pound draw-weight at 28 inches, tillered to 30 inches of draw (at which it is about 120 lbs draw-weight. Handmade tapered needlenosed arrows, with fletching in decent condition.
- Bowyer's equipment, including racks for manipulating bows, rulers, drawknives, a handaxe, scrapers, fletching, resin, horn, and the like.