The Heroes of Loudwater
Farmboy turned town guard seeking justice, fame, and fortune through the glory of battle
Barant grew up living on a family owned farm a half days travels north of the town of Loudwater. His family had owned and worked the land for three generations. Barant grew to the age of 15 on the farm, learning the skills to be a successful farmer and manager of his family’s properties. He would occasionally sneak into the toolshed where his family kept his grandfather’s greatsword in a satin lined wooden case. He’d admire the sword, and pretend to duel monsters with it when he wasn’t busy with daily chores.
One night, in the waning days of Barant’s 15th summer, a small army of soldiers crossed through his family’s lands. They demanded lodgings and food, and claimed that they intended to hunt down a band of monstrous goblins that had been menacing the tradeways and sacking outposts. These soldiers were wearing polished scale armor and wielded blades of sharp steel. Barant’s family bid the soldiers a farewell the next morning as they set off to the north to search for the goblins.
The following evening as the sun was setting, Barant was in the fields harvesting the crops. He heard screams from the farmhouse, and turned to see two goblins running from the house with plunder and heading for the barn. Barant ran as quickly as he could towards the toolshed, to where he knows his grandfather’s sword is kept. The two goblins saw him running, and they set off in pursuit. He would not be able to reach the toolshed before the monsters got there first. The goblins attention turns, as Barant’s father screams out a challenge to the monsters…urging them to come after him instead. He was armed with a pitchfork, a tool not a weapon, but capable of inflicting great harm if need be, but the fight would be two-on-one – Barant had no time to waste. Barant proceeded into the toolshed and flung open the satin lined box that contained his grandfather’s greatsword. He grabbed the large blade in both hands, and took a few deep breaths.
Barant then ran outside, ready to challenge the goblins, hoping to help his father…but the sight before him was awful.
His father was slumped on his knees, with an axe wound to his abdomen. He stabbed in futility with the pitchfork, trying to keep the menacing monsters at bay. The monsters were just toying with him, mocking him. Barant charged forward with the large sword held aloft ready to cut down one of the goblins. The monster parried his clumsy attack and sent Barant to the ground on his rear. The monster raised its large axe high over its head and swung down in a mighty chopping motion. Barant managed to roll away from the attack but lost his grip on the greatsword. The monster’s axe missed Barant, but cleaved the grip of the greatsword in half. Barant quickly grabbed the much shorter grip on the sword, and with all his strength he slashed wildly in a horizontal swing. Barant’s attack struck home and he cut the legs out from under the goblins. The monster fell in agony having its knees severed, as Barant followed up the attack with a killing slash to the chest. Barant rose to his knees, with a hand and a half gripping the mighty sword, but all his valiant efforts were in vain, as the second monster’s axe blow split his father’s head. Barant rose to his feet driven on by vengeance. The vile monster backed off a few steps as it contemplated the fate of its comrade. A muffled scream from the farmhouse was all that broke Barant’s building rage. The monster fled off towards the fields as Barant sprinted towards the farmhouse. The sight inside was gruesome. His sister’s corpse lay on the floor in a pool of her own blood. His mother, with a leg split from her body, grieved at her side, wailing to the gods.
In one cruel night, Barant’s entire fate has changed. His father and sister were cut down and he gripped his mother in a tight embrace as she bled to death. Her dying words offered him nothing but contemplative thoughts that he would forever dwell on: “Son, this fate, too cruel, should befall no one.” Barant decided to dedicate the remainder of his life to uphold the meaning of those words. He would fight to prevent such a cruel fate from be falling other innocents. Barant sought guidance in town where he enlisted in the militia, he would defend the lands, and ride with the soldiers he had met whom fate had decided was a day too early to save his family. After 4 years in the militia and enough experience to learn the skills of a fighter, he is ready.