Tryvaard is a tall, lean warrior who always appears in his late 30's, but his dark brown eyes appear to be at least twice that. His dark brown, nearly black hair is streaked with grey. His face is always free of hair, save the eyebrows - the roots killed with hot needles, like all adults from his island.
He wears a finely crafted and inlaid bronze breast-plate, a Corinthian style open-faced helmet with red-feathered crest, and a metal-reinforced leather kilt. He is generally armed with a a broad, gladius-like bronze shortsword, and a simple, well made shortbow.
Much of Tryvaard's early history can be found in the legends surrounding the spear that bears his name. (see Tryvaards Longspear), but in brief, Tryvaard traded his services for a magical spear he used to slay a Cyclops ravaging his people's island. The Capricious Mountain Spirits of Tyos took Tryvaard into their service moments after his triumph over Skyeheld the cyclops.
Until his return twenty year later, nothing was known of his fate, only that he disappeared moments after his triumph over the Cyclops.
Intending on using him as a Champion in the Spirit Wars, the mountain spirits took him into their hidden realm and subjected him to 5 years of trials to forge him into a warrior of great skill and power.
The Spirit Wars are ritualized battles between various spirit groups which are used to resolve disagreements as well as to provide for their entertainment. The spirits almost never directly involve themselves in the wars except as spectators. Generally the battles are fought between chosen human Champions and various beasts.
In many cases, the causes of the disagreements can be over the smallest of trifles. In the case of disagreements between individual spirits the 'wars' are simple duels, but when the disagreement is between groups of spirits, then the battles are closer to being real wars. The spirits also tend to chose exotic locales for the battles, well away from settled regions.
To teach him for his task, they retrieved the spirits of powerful warriors from the Cold Plains (the Afterlife) to instruct and fight Tryvaard. From these he learned many a hard and brutal lesson.
The fifteen years of battle he experienced as a Champion developed his fighting skills to near perfection. The Mountain Spirits of Tyos became the dominate faction of spirits in their region largely through Tryvaard's efforts. When his agreed period of servitude was over, the Spirits were loath to let him go. However, he was let free, but they have still made great efforts to make life difficult for him. Somehow they took offense to Tryvaard not wanting to carry on in their service.
This shadow of chaos that follows him has led to Tryvaard travelling well away from civilized regions - both to hunt Spirits, and to keep the effects of their harassment away from his people.
Interestingly enough, when Tryvaard returned, he made no attempt to retrieve the spear that carries his name. Instead he has a number of Gifts from the Sprits.
Akhos, The Sword of Weight
The bronze Gladius Tyrvaard carries has been enchanted by the Spirits to be very heavy to any but the wielder. Tryvaard (or any others who use the blade) will find the sword light and easy to wield. Those on the receiving end receive a strike as if made by a much larger and heavier blade. For such purposes (damage, ease of parry, breaching armor), it strikes as if it were a two-handed sword of great size. The blade, being spirit-forged, is also extremely durable, well stronger then normal bronze.
Psychon, Helm of sight
This Corinthian-style helmet is bronze and heavily figured with battle scenes between human warriors and various chimera. The helm is topped by a crest adorned with Phoenix and Cockatrice feathers. Exceedingly durable, the helm's main power is to allow for all manner of illusions and phantasms to be seen through by it's wearer. In the Spirit Wars that Tyvaard fought in, this was a critical advantage.
Cold-Iron tipped Arrows, Spirit Bane
His only other item of note is a quiver of cold-iron tipped arrows. These arrows he made himself, tipped with metal he recovered from a vanquished warrior during an especially large and extended War. This war was notable also for the fact that some of the Spirits played a direct role in the battles, and in the fact that some actually were destroyed in the conflict.
Although essentially a bronze age figure, he can 'return' at later age simply by having time in the Spirit Realm pass much more slowly then that in the normal world. His 20 years service could translate to any desired amount.
Wherever Tryvaard goes, the Spirits act against him, causing strife, odd plagues and the occasional magical beast to appear and raise havoc. Incensed with his treatment, he is forever looking for ways to strike against the Spirits and for new allies in his fight against them.
Tryvaard has returned many a time to the Mountains of Tyos, but has never been able to find any of the Spirits. The fact that the Spirits have not cooperated with Tryvaard, and never directly act against him has been no end to frustration to him. Why they simply do not destroy him is somewhat of a mystery, but the most likely scenario is that they simply like tormenting him. Another possibility is that there are different factions within the spirits who serve to temper the attacks, preserving him for future use.
At this point, Tryvaard is a prisoner of his hate of the Spirits as anything else. The Spirits stay within their own territory, and Tryvaard could simply travel far enough away to be free of their influence.
Every society has their stories of mythic heroes. King Arthur. Hercules. The Monkey King.
Sometimes villians also get in on the mythic status action: Professor Moriarty. Sauron. Jack the Ripper.
In the end, every game world needs a fine assortment of larger than life people, if only just the stories of their exploits.
So this month's quest is Mythic/Historical NPCs.
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? Responses (6)
I like it.So that's what happened to him after he got dragged into another realm.
More interesting than the spear's post. Nicely executed and fairly direct character.
This one works for me. He is straightforward, as Moon mentions, but has a nice touch of nuance.
The legend that can easily come back. I like this guy, and the politics of the spirits.
Old school feel to it. There was something about it I found very engaging and nerdiously arousing
Very Jason-and-the-Argonauts-y. I assume that's intended, since you specifically call him a bronze age hero. It's a well-done outline of a classical character.