A sundry of tattoos flow down his face, diving under a well-groomed beard, woven through horse-bone beads and charms. The color seems to be absent from his eyes; they’re only hues of grey, black and white. Jerel is tall and muscled, with hair the colour of old oak logs, and hands coated in calluses.
Ter, Jerel’s large, magical falcon, has plumage of brilliant blue, orange on the underbelly, and white around the eyes. Small feathers stick up either side of his head, looking like horns or ears. His tail feathers are long and trailing. Personality:
Jerel is slow to anger and slower still to judge. His inquisitive and curious nature takes him far afield or long into books in the mazes of libraries. Happy just to explore and learn, Jerel often scratches notes into travel books when the day has drawn to a close. Despite his affinity for solitary activity, he is quite sociable and as much at home among people as he is alone. He holds a view of knightly virtue coloured by romanticism, and tries his hardest to uphold that. Brief Backstory:
In the vast grassy seas of Velt, Jerel was born in his family’s tent. They were the leading family of a nomadic tribe, their wealth was horses, and they roamed to graze and water them. As early as Jerel could run, he was being taught to ride. He learnt the language of horses, told through their ears and eyes and breath, how they move, and the sounds they make. Hunting was vital, and he would ride out with the more experienced hunters to learn from them, how to first shoot a bow, and then where to shoot to kill quickly. At age five he claimed his first life: a young deer that was still alive and helplessly frantic by the time they reached it, unable to do anything but watch with wild eyes as its life pooled around it, staining the grass red. Simple traps were set up every night near the camp, and every child knew how to make these from a young age. By age six, his father had gifted him a rare falcon, a gift from a mountain lord after a great trade, and he named it Ter. The falconers in the tribe taught him how to hunt smaller prey with it, too skittish or small for the bow. Watching Ter fly filled Jerel with awe and envy.
His father and many others taught him skills to keep the tribe safe and the herd well-fed: how to read the land, the animals, and the weather through all manner of interlinked subtleties. The dangers of men were taught to him, as were how to spot, avoid or deal with them; swordplay and archery from horseback were among these, though Jerel took a far greater shining to the latter. He battled a handful of times with rival tribes, though these were small skirmishes in his earlier years as a time of peace settled upon the plains after new agreements were made at a decennial meet. Fletching and craft were taught to him. He learnt how to play a two-stringed instrument. His mother made him memorise simple herbal remedies and which plants were good to eat and which would turn you ill or kill you from the inside. He loved his tribe and their traditions, but every time they came close to civilisation he was filled with a curiosity that wove tightly inside his chest at tugged at him.
On his seventeenth birthday an opportunity came, dressed as a man in blood and abandon. Jerel found him whilst out with Ter, huddled by a dead horse, raving. He brought the fever-clutched man back to camp, and after he was nursed back to health it transpired that he was a knight. Jerel asked his father and the knight to leave and journey with the man, and surprisingly, both parties agreed.
After that he travelled a while with the knight, Sir Lored. They shared stories, Sir Lored intrigued, Jerel amazed. The virtues of knighthood sparked Jerel’s imagination like flame to dry grass. They saw all manner of towns and cities, and Jerel was educated, often harshly, by the world and its people.
Battles with bandits and monsters reinforced frequent training, enough to become proficient but never masterful with the blade. The bow, however, was at home in his hand, and he taught his teacher in turn some of its many secrets.
They spent some time in Thaln's capital, where Jerel learnt to read and write whilst Sir Lored was on business there. When they left, Jerel was officially Sir Lored’s squire. It was at this time Jerel discovered a new love: books. Stories and history, trapped in paper with ink, was as much a wonder as the magic of the realm. Sir Lored paid for a few enchantments on Jerel’s bow, “an investment'' he called it.
It was not until the War of the Red Flag that Jerel truly cut his teeth in combat, beholden to the horrors of war on a scale he’d never seen before. It was also here that Jerel distinguished himself at the battle of Three Rills, venturing into the woods to convince a powerful fairy to aid a losing battle by creating an illusion of reinforcements charging in, for the price of the colour from his eyes and a favour in the future. The route of the Phoran Cal forces that day was solely due to his bargain. For his role throughout the war he was knighted, and awarded a small stead in Thaln.
Since then, in the time of relative peace, Jerel has taken full advantage of his access to vast libraries, consuming books whenever can find the time. He hunts, trains, travels, and meets with Sir Lored on the odd occasion. He also tends rookeries at the Iron Rose Knights’ base in Thaln’s capital, and is involved in communications, mostly non-magical, because of that. Though he understands these birds less than he does Ter, he still has his favourites and names for each of them. Equipment:
Bow (Enchanted) - A recurve bow of horn, sinew and red oak. Two runes are etched in gold and lacquer, above and below the grip; tapping one will imbue the next arrow fired with increased power and speed, increasing range and lethality, tapping the other will cause the next arrow fired to explode upon impact.
Armour - Jerel has two sets of armour: a basic platemail with scant decoration marking it as of the Iron Rose Knights and a helm styled after a bird, and a set of leather that he wears far more frequently.
Basic equipment - Jerel has access to a variety of unexceptional weapons and gear, such as swords and quivers.
Animals - His three horses and falcon, Ter. Ter has rune-etched collar made from a thin strip of leather that allows Jerel to sense the bird’s surface emotional state. Skills:
Archery and Horsearchery - Jerel is an exceptional archer, and is able to fire from horseback and retain control of arrow and horse, a skill passed to him from his tribe and honed by time.
Hunting and tracking - Skills again passed on at first by his tribe, and them from Sir Lored. Jerel can track animals for leagues and move stealthily to avoid startling them. He can dress his kills with expertise.
Animal handling - Interacting with horses is almost second nature to Jerel, and his bond with Ter as deep as the ocean of the night sky, and from this Jerel has a mostly accurate intuition when dealing with animals. He is a master horserider and falconer in part because of this.
Melee - Jerel’s skill with melee weapons is just about passable for a knight, since he trains with other knights not quite as regularly as he should.