: Yen RolfsonCharacter Age
: 41Character Race
: HumanCharacter Profession
: Formerly a fisherman, then a bodyguard, now a hoboBackground
: Yen was born in Tetrarch on a rather normal day in the early summer, a week after the last snow. His father was a hunter who prowled the fringes of the Wilds, his mother a housewife and fisherwoman trawling the White River. Yen spent his early years in the prow of his mother's fishing boat, riding on the ferry, or crawling along the shore waiting for her return.
Life in Tetrarch was harsh. Fortunately the Northmen who resided there were harsher. Babies were weaned off mother's milk within months and fed mashed potatoes sprinkled with ground meat and egg yolks until they could chew properly. Children would run around stark naked in air that would freeze a Dar'Lukan's prick off. Many children died before their third birthday, but those who survived were hardy and durable. Many Northmen survived well into their twilight years, whittled and hardened by the brutal northern climate.
Yen himself grew from a large red-faced babe into a large red faced man, covered in coarse hair and standing several fingers over two meters, tall even for a Northman. He was boisterous and good natured, a favorite amongst his peers (especially the women). When his mother's joints were too swollen and stiff to pull in the fishing nets, Yen took over the boat at the ripe age of 14 while his mother retired to their house to raise his two younger brothers.
Tetrarch was a small outpost, and so the arrival of the 13th Legion when Yen was 29 was a momentous occasion. Yen lent his fishing boat to aid in ferrying the soldiers across, and his younger brothers joined as conscripts, working as laborers to maintain the massive baggage train that accompanied so many soldiers. Having saved up a small mountain of salted fish in anticipation of their arrival, Yen proceeded to make (what he considered) a small fortune selling them to the Legion.
Then the Legion left, with Yen's brothers and Yen's fish, and never returned.
The years passed slowly. Old men swung their canes and proclaimed that they knew the Legion was doomed the moment the first soldier stepped beneath the trees. No one could brave the Wilds. Formerly a stalwart purist, Yen began taking refuge in the bottle. His skill at fishing was undiminished, but he began developing eccentricities: moments where he'd stare off into nothing, responding to words that no one spoke, and the rare seizure. Once his wife found out, she left him, fearing that he was cursed by some affliction that she may catch. The rest of the town was more rational, but Yen slowly grew to become a recluse and an outcast.
One night four years ago, he vanished into the Wilds. Yen does not remember why or for how long. It may have been one of his "mindless" moments, where his body acted while his mind was absent, or perhaps he was simply drunk. Regardless, he was gone for three days. When he returned, he was subtly mad (although the seizures were gone). He no longer remembered how to operate his fishing boat, and even developed an irrational fear of the water. He slept with his eyes open, or perhaps simply stared into the distance for several hours; no one could tell the difference. Yen meticulously maintained a small bald spot on the front left of his scalp, a patch of ruddy skin amidst a tangled mess of red hair. "That's where [insert name of deity of madness/jubilee] put my mark," he would cheerfully chirp.
When prompted, he would talk about mad things: immense cities of sand inhabited by salmon, a clearing where the moon gleams above while the sun shines below, upside down trees, elementals made of snow and blood, a dragon the size of his thumb and yet larger than any mountain, and other fanciful nonsense. However, Yen was still functional. He could hold a simple conversation (although he wouldn't like it), prepare a meal (he uses so much spicing that anyone else would find it inedible), repair clothing (but he never remembers doing so), and perform other mundane tasks. He began training with a club, chasing down rocks and breaking branches over them.
The most pronounced change was in his mood. Some days he was talkative and amiable, others angry and insulting. Yen could be fighting a man in a tavern one moment, then hugging and crying on his shoulder the next, mumbling about how he was so sorry about the forks he stole from those squirrels. Paranoia was a constant. He would confide in people, animals, and inanimate objects that everyone was out to get him. "I'm only here for a short while longer, Chen," he said to the dead squirrel. "These Tetrarchian bastards won't get me. If you're wise, you'll come with."
Yen was not the only madman in town, but he was the "friendliest" to outsiders. Adventurers, explorers, and other would-be conquerors of the Wilds were often directed to Yen before they set off to the North. The townsfolk hoped that he would alarm them with his madness and convince them not to go. Instead, Yen simply begged them to go ahead with their plans with such urgency and frightening conviction that many gave up and turned back to the south.
After his foray into the wilds, Yen made a living as a bodyguard, protecting the merchant caravans that arrived to trade with the local hunters and fur traders. His large size and formidable strength made him intimidating, but his tenure was short lived. After a robber convinced Yen that he was simply a squirrel disguised as a human so he could recover his stolen nuts, no merchant would hire him again.
One consistency in Yen's madness has been his conviction that he would one day have to return to the Wilds in order to do... something. The something changed on a daily basis, often accompanied by Yen triumphantly announcing that he had finally figured it out. However, when invited to accompany someone has protection, Yen would always turn them down. "The past is not yet ready," he would say.
It was only when Connor arrived that Yen decided the past was ready.Personality
: Highly variable.Major Skills
- Skinning, tracking, fire making, foraging, woodsmanship, and other natural survival skills
- Clubs, hitting things with clubs, making clubs, and other club related skills
- Intimidation (often unintentional)
- Holding his liquor
- Preparing fishMinor Skills
- Endurance (cold, hunger, exhaustion)
- Cooking (just don't let him get his hands on any spices or salt)Innate Abilities
- Talking with squirrels (or so he claims)
- "Seeing upside down, inside out, and through nothing"Items:
Fairly heavy club fashioned from a pine tree branch
-- Standard set of winter clothes
-- A skinning knife
-- An "empty" burlap sackAdditional Information/Secrets