Dietrich is of average height, and owns good strength in his upper body. His black hair, long and tied back, is shot with streaks of grey. When he was younger Dietrich had taken a blade in the left side of his face, leaving a deep scar of shiny tissue across his cheek and right down trough the jaw line. The jaw healed, cleft and deformed, twisting his face slightly. His face is sunken in around a lump of a nose and heavily wrinkled. He carries a rusty mail coat that offers protection for the torso and shoulders and down past his knees. For protection against the cold he wraps himself in a great cloak sewn together from dog skin. His rusty and tattered battle sword is sheated across his back in a massive leather scabbard. He also carries a net of weighted cords used to immobilize foes and a sword breaker.
Dietrich was born and raised amongst camp followers. A caravan of their kind always trail behind armies on the move. They are petty traders looking to make some extra money, war widows and corpse looters hoping to scavenge the battlefield. His earliest memory of childhood does not include neither his mother nor his father. In fact he was a bastard child running from woman to woman amongst the camp followers.
For Dietrich this was normal. He considered all of the women in the camp as his mother. Even as an adult he still has the extremely bad habit of calling every woman his mother. He just can’t seem to get rid of this reflex.
He lived on the edge until he reached the age of ten. Fighting for survival and scraps of food every day. The life in the camp follower caravan was brutal and strictly feudal. The weaker ones were left what they needed in order to survive and the strongest and most influential people like merchants took what little they could find of value. At the age of ten something unusual happened. A soldier took him in.
He did not explain why, he simply faced him and told him to follow him. He would take care of him. The soldier named himself Franz and did indeed take care of him. He fed him well and and taught him to fight with a sword.
But he never really talked to Dietrich about anything else than the art of swordfighting or tactics. Dietrich did not care, he had food and shelter and that was precious in itself.
The campfollowers did not speak anymore with him however, for them Dietrich was now something else. He had a bed to sleep in and food and they despised him for it. After six years of training Franz declared that Dietrich was old enough to be his squire.
Franz also told him that he had something to confess but it would have to wait until the next day. Proud Dietrich went to bed unknowing of what was to happen that night.
He awoke in early morning, hours before the sun would rise. It was a battle, in the camp. He could hear the clatter of swords and the anguished screams of dying men. Franz was not in the tent, Dietrich reached for his sword and ran out.
That battle was an ambush, he survived, most of the men did not. Dietrich stole most of Franz’s gear and became a drifter, then a mercenary. Not before he reached twenty of age did he realize that all those women in the caravan couldn’t have been his mothers. And at the age of twenty two it struck him that the soldier Franz could not have been any other than his father. It didn’t matter.
Coin and Cleave
Dietrich roared, stabbing his blade downwards to impale the naked child. Pinned to the ground, it bucked and writhed. Dietrich kept his grip on its hilt and worked the sword back and forth inside the screaming body until he felt the blade get between vertebrae. Then he twisted it. Crunching ensued; the child stopped moving.
Dietrich is a mercenary, make no mistake. He will do what he is payed to do without a flinch of the eye. The only weak spot he still has are women. He can never shake the feeling that they are his "mothers". Dietrich has been a Sword-for-hire for many years now, a grizzled old veteran who has seen the flower of youth shattered and cut down in battle.
Optimism, exuberance, that is for the young, the foolish. Life can be good. When the coin is to be had it is good. Gold buys wine, and a warm place to sleep, and sometimes some company in that sleep.
Life can also be hard, but a mercenary is always harder.
Dietrich comes across as gruff, but he actually cares for those few he bonds with and will do his best to protect them. But he often remains quiet in the company of others, preferring solitude. He is quite humorless and forthright. When he is not on the move he tends to pace back and forth quite alot.
I found Dietrich hanging out in my PM inbox. He was created as a character in a Coldforged game Ancient Gamer gamemastered "way back" where he died horribly. Well I kinda pitied him and thought that I would post him on the main page. In a game he is suited as a minor NPC, muscle for hire, that kinda thing, with a few quirks.