Again, I’m toying with the ‘historical biography’ format of presentation, as with Nial.
By all the accounts of legend, Bion was a man of remarkable proportion, even amoungst the early Ironspirit Clan. Believed to have been a full nine feet tall, and to weigh over six hundred pounds, all off it tempered steel muscle, it is easy to imagine his role in history. It is, after all, only fitting that one of the strongest men to ever live, should write such a chapter in war.
We know that Bion spent his childhood in the Ironspirit Enclave, when the land around it was still rough, and when many the nearby kingdoms did not yet have respect for the web of support its masters had delicately woven. It is hard to imagine such a childhood, where the birth of wonderous things was commonplace, when kings and heros would bend knee to a man you called only ‘grandfather’, despite his apparent youth. What we do know, however, is that one morning, Bion took from the Enclave a suit of armor par excellence, and set forth into the world.
As I stood before the shining silver man, a sense of wonder began to fill me, as I realized it was empty, a shell. Grandfather Adan had made a whole new body for a man, a body made all of metal, and all I needed to do was step into it. And then, I felt His hand, and He asked me, “Can you care for it, Bion, as you would yourself?” And I answered Him, my new man’s voice cracking, as I nodded my head. “Yes!” “Then, Bion, it is yours. Take it, and learn to use it.” And I climbed inside it, and the world I knew changed… I would live, it seemed, for the taste of the fight. Grandfather wanted me to fight!
For a time, Bion appears to have traveled with a mercenary company, hired to fill the unenviable position of point, due at least in part to his heavy armor. From there, he worked his way northwards, to the ancestral homelands of his family, where an old fighting art was in danger of falling exinct - The art of fighting with armor as a weapon.
I broke away from the company today, and continued northwards. I’d enough money for several years, if I was cautious, though the unshaven brothers of mine were loathe to see me leave them. In the lands of ice and snow, beneath the full moon, I found them, the clans of my fore-father. It was a long and hard effort to get old Borak to teach me, and I suspect the looks that his granddaughhter liked to give me didn’t help. All that honey blonde hair and the dimples probably didn’t help me train, either. I still learned quick, though, because that’s what Grandfather Adan wanted from me. He wants me ready for something, I think.
And to finish his training, he would travel southwards again, to the fighting pits of Nargok, where the lifespan of gladiators is measured in days. There he stayed for an unimaginable year.
Sixteen times, I had to fight today - I killed twenty-seven men, three bears, and some giant striped cat they never told me the proper name of. They tell me a princesses ransom change hands every time I kill. A good many damsels must be in distress then, for I fight enough to fill harems. I’m certain they’d steal my armor, had I not learned to sleep in it. Soon, I’ll be able to buy my way out of here, at least. Grandfather wants me to return home.
It was not to be. In the end, Bion was forced to fight his way from the gladiator’s pits, destroying the iron bars that caged him with his armored fists, and strolling from the arena, casually crushing the guards as they attacked. He had a goal. He would go home, as the demi-god requested.
And, it would seem, he would arrive just in time. Unwilling to allow his foe to have access to the goods of Clan Ironspirit, a warlord of the time had sent an army to dispatch this enclave of meddlers, and to bring the master of the forge before him in chains. Bion, it seems, made it there just days before he was needed.
The messenger has been dispatched, but there is no other to ensure that our allies will have enough time. I am the first warrior of Ironspirit. This is my duty. I have climbed the pass in the dead of the night, and they shall appear at first light. I am ready. I stand before them, beneath the fire of the dawn, and I shout, “This is the sacred land of Ironspirit! By the name of Adan, you shall not scale this pass!” Battle is joined. I feel the blows bouncing from my second skin, the crushing and tearing of flesh and bone beneath my hands. The pain is fierce as the barbed shafts pierce both my skins, but I stand, and I fight, as the sun rises high, then falls, then rises once more, and again, and again, and again. Ten times, I notice the rising of the sun, and I cannot count the lives I have taken, nor the barbs that have pierced me. Sometime between the eighth and ninth rising, my heart stopped, as did the pain. Only the divine fury drives me now. No, it cannot be… Yet more men?
The sea of men and swords before me roils in chaos, but my line is held. It is held, until an old face that I know well, though I knew it younger, appears before me, at the head of a glittering wedge of steel and soldier. Mother!
My job is done, I know. The divine fury leaves me, and I step from my skins, and Grandfather places His hands on my shoulders. “Thank you, Grandson. I am sorry that I asked so much of you.” I look at Him, and I tell Him, “For my Grandfather, anything.” He nods, gathering me into His embrace, as He says, “Then there is but one thing to attend to, and I will take you to My father.”
Bion’s armor was taken from him, before they buried him, and even today, though repaired, it is the armor of the protector of the Ironspirit enclave, and it is said that no man who stands in defense of the enclave in it falls before the battle is decided. Broken by Bion’s final stand, the armies of the warlord retreated, and in short time, was drawn into Ironspirit’s web of debts.
Armor of the Juggernaut - An elegantly crafted suit of armor, this set of full plate armor is both lighter, and more manipulable than a typical set. The full armor bonuses of plate mail apply to this piece, but wearing it occurs no motion penalty.
If the wearer of Bion’s armor fights in defense of his own family and homestead, then death will not stop him. He will remain concious and fighting until such time as he is victorious or until he is entirely obliterated. In all other ways, he is dead. If slain during the combat, he will die upon victory.
Much like his great-grandfather, Nial, Bion is a background legend. He is a figure for heros bracing for the orcish onslaught to pray to, a Hercules for a world that needs one. He is color, rather than a full NPC to be found.
PCs may encounter him as a mercenary foe - an exceptional defensive fighter, Bion must be avoided, ambushed, or outfoxed, rather than assaulted head on.
They may encounter him as a gladiator - prevent the plot to poison their patron’s favored gladiator, or free the slaves of the pit, and Bion along with them!
They may encounter him in the northlands, likely guarding some place or thing they seek access to. He may wish to send them on an errand that he cannot accomplish, to help him woo the hand of some northern woman. The PCs may be given writ of favor with Clan Ironspirit for this task.