Wyrd of the Kingdoms of Kalamar
A mysterious woodsman with a penchant for good deeds but a checkered reputation.
Vrydakker is something of a fixture in eastern Pekal, frequently seen in the River, Mounds and Kalokopeli districts, although never in one place for long.
Physically, he is a hard-looking human male of indeterminate bloodline. His wild, long, brown hair and beard, combined with the shape of his nose, point to one of Fhokki lineage, but many who have gotten a long look at his tanned face and ice-blue eyes say he favors Imperial stock. He is only ever seen wearing furs, which is only logical for a lone-wolf sort who makes his living as a trapper and trader in pelts and carved bone. He stands taller than most at just shy of 19 hands.
Nothing definite is knows about the “Fhokki Wildman,” as locals have dubbed him. Various rumors mark him as a disinherited noble’s son, a deserter of the Tokite army, or a disgraced priest. Still others paint him as a druid who was cursed for failing to protect his land or, more likely, simply a hunter who has lost his wits while living alone for so long.
Most agree that where he goes trouble soon follows, and some few even blame him for the recent rise in bandit activity throughout the Kalokopeli district. Not that anyone has been interested in accusing him of such to his face.
He has been wandering the wildernesses of eastern Pekal for at least a decade now, and reports of his actions and personality vary wildly. The following responses are typical of most Pekalese villages and hamlets, should one be of a mind to ask after him:
“He’s sommat of a quiet sort, he is. Never has caused me and mine any troubles, nor ever gotten far into his his cups. Always asking after anything he could do to help, too. Never runs a tab. Always eats what he’s ordered. I wish I had more customers like him, truth to tell.” —P’Balan, owner of the Beaver’s Log tavern
“I’ve known him to hand over wanted criminals for justice on occasion. And a few times he’s tipped us to the locations of bandits’ lairs in the forest. He’s very concerned about seeing justice done, that much I can tell you sure. But, there’s this aura of . . . I hate to say, ‘darkness’ when it comes to him so, maybe, danger? Yes, an aura of danger about him. I’ve never seen him rough up his prisoners beyond what was necessary, but I’m just as glad to see him pass on after a day or two.” —The Honorable Lieutenant Therin Fletcherson, Warriors of the Emerald Way
“T’at man…! Always wantin’ t’ know ‘ow ’e c’n ‘elp ya! Always there when some t’ing or th’ other’s gone awry! ‘E wants ya t’ t’ink ’e’s all good ‘n pure, t’at’s f’r sure ‘n all, but I knows better, I do! Sure ’n’ ‘e ’elps ya get t’ings all fixed up again, but once ’e’s gone sommat worse ‘appens, don’t it? ‘N t’ere ya are, worse off t’en if ’e’d ne’er ‘elped ya t’ begin with!” —Shelia of Elvishome Hamlet, Kalokopeli District
“One time, this was about . . . oh . . . five years back, mind you, but I can still remember it like it was just last week! One time I saw him confront Kellian Stoutarm. Kellian was our blacksmith back in the day, and a harder man you’ll not likely find. Well, Kellian liked to drink a bit much now and again, and rumor also had him drinking that imported stuff – tryllian? – anyways, Teribitha Jeridotter said he was flushed-faced and dull-eyed one night when he came a’knocking at her parent’s door.
“Now, she was alone at the time, as they were away to market at Thetukithedo, and she says he pulled her right out onto the porch, then flung her up over his shoulder and carried her off into the fields. She says she screamed to wake the dead, but you know Jeri’s farm is almost a quarter-day’s walk from the village, so no one could hear her. Once he had her away from the house, says she, he flung her to the ground, ripped off her dress and was trying to get out of his trousers when she managed to pull up a rock and hammered into his, ah, personal bellows, if you catch my meaning. She ran back home, locked the door, and was still a’sobbing when Jeri got home the next day.
“Kellian denied it, of course, and no one could find any evidence, so the local Honorable said nothing could be done; announced his findings in the village square in front of every soul and shade.
“Well, it so happens that the Fhokki Wildman was passing through that day and heard it all. He called Kellian out in that very same square and told him he would face trial by combat if not by law, and challenged him to a duel right then and there. Well, old Stoutarm ducks into his stall and comes out with his biggest hammer, swinging it for all he’s worth. The Wildman? He’s just armed with his walking stick. What happened next was too fast for a man’s eyes to follow, but as fast as that Kellian’s on his knees, holding his throat and gasping for breath like a landed fish! Before anyone can call for the druid, he turns this funny shade of purple and keels over dead, with the Wildman standing over him muttering something about ‘blind men seeing.’
“He went on to report the duel and the death, so no crime on his head, but he’s about the scariest creature to walk these parts nowadays.” —Forakel Herder of Kings Crossing, River District