Sven is a good looking guy who people say smells nice. A little like musk and tuber. It’s pretty much all he has going for him. He can smile and be nonoffensive in a closed in space. With the threat of his looming dark side always there, he’ll take what he can get.
On this day, under a cloudless blue sky and whispering leaves in a soft breeze, the youth is on his way to becoming a soldier, because he has no other options.
Footsore and miserable on what is turning into a week-long journey he has been having trouble finding contentment in this choice.
Firstly there is a war on. A war where metal clashes against metal and limbs get severed and mud is slept in. A war he couldn’t give one shit about.
This is also made worse by the fact he earned this outcome for himself.
He could have followed his family heritage and started a pottery shop, but in another town then the one he grew up in, so as to not compete with his father and older brother’s shop. He would have needed to buy into the local guild there and compete outright with the shop already in town, maybe pay off some street toughs to break windows and set fires. Maybe the street toughs turn on him and demand payment to keep their mouths shut about what they did to help. Maybe they die violent sudden deaths. Maybe one of the local criminal bosses doesn’t look too kindly on losing the low-level muscle who actually earned for him. Maybe that’s why Sven has pushed himself until his feet are raw and he is down to his last morsel of food and drop of water.
Thinking of which he decides he can’t wait any longer and breaks out the bread and boiled pork loin he brought to eat while traveling. He opens the waxy sack and tears the bread open but before he can make his lunch a small bear cub run into his picnic area grabs the pork and darts into the treeline.
Sven moves before he thinks. His hand finds a decent sized tree limb as if the club was meant to be wielded by him when it fell from the tree above. He stalks after the cub while practicing with his weapon for the bloody deed to come.
He spots the cub tearing into his only food and prepares to kill it with one mighty swing, but a giant roar startles him from his task. He turns into and flinches as the saliva spewing maw of a mama brown bear releases another bellow in his direction.
Sven studies the beast whose hide hangs loose and Sven knows it just woke from its winter hibernation and thinks he is sorely needed calories.
The bear charges with a snort of derision.
What happens next Sven prefers the telling from the songs of bards.
But soon enough his heroics yield a dead bear.
Breathing hard and covered in bits of bone and dripping viscera he looks up to see a man in a purple robe and a long auburn beard. He covers a disturbed face with long delicate fingers. Behind him is a man in rusty dented armor with a gleaming sword held ready. Beside him, a retching elf maiden with a golden bow in her quivering hands.
Sven shrugs, dismissing them and turns toward his lunch, dripping club ready.