Kalas al Delsin
Who am I?
You are Kalas of Clan Delsin. You will be twenty-two years old this year. You had work at Novelim Manor until early in the winter when your cousin, Blyr, returned home with his wife.
Who are my family?
Your father is Symon al Delsin, a yeoman from the village of Yeashim; you barely know him. You were his third child and first son by his first wife, Janyth. Your mother died birthing you. Soon after your birth, you were taken from Yeashim to Novelim and fostered with your uncle, Oldron, and his wife.
Where am I from?
You were born in Yeashim in Asolade Hundred, part of Oselshire in the Kingdom of Kaldor. You were raised by your Uncle Oldron and Aunt Sheryel. You regard your aunt and uncle as your parents; you have no memories of Yeashim.
Novelim is an ancient settlement which currently consists of twenty-four households. Three of the households are guildsmen: a metalsmith, a miller, and an ostler. There are also four yeoman farmers, including your uncle who is also the village beadle. The remaining residents are peasant farmers, good folk in the main, but tied to the land. For four years, you have worked as a guardsman in the manorhouse. You have accompanied the Baron of Novelim, Sir Terris al Doulzarn and his family on several journeys. Last year you went to the summer fair at Tashal, the furthest from home that you’ve ever been. However, three months ago your cousin, Blyr, returned home with a pregnant wife. He had been working at Jedes as a guardsman, but left when he married. Under pressure from your family, you left Sir Terris’ service to allow Blyr to take the post. You traveled towards Jedes as winter was settling in, but never made it.
Who are my friends?
Harlin al Kleve is the same age as you. You have known each other since he arrived in the village seven years ago to apprentice with the ostler. He taught you to read and write. Your uncle thinks that the time you’ve spent learning this has been wasted, but you’re sure that it’s a useful skill. In return, you’ve helped Harlin with his spear and shield drills. He’s now better than the rest of the village militia, but that’s not saying much. The only time that you two argued was three years ago when you fell out over Belysa al Marish, the pretty daughter of one of the villeins. You stopped talking to each other and both spent everything you had buying her gifts. Then she got work as a servant in the manorhouse and married the chamberlain who was twice her age.
When you traveled towards Jedes to find work, you saw a man fall in the River Kald. You plunged in and hauled him out. He was a hunter named Gorrys al Lunn and he was alive, but barely. Wet, freezing, and caught in the middle of a fierce blizzard, the two of you struggled on to Yalen. You both spent a month in his father’s house recuperating.
While in Yalen, you met Gorrys’ twin sister, Aledra, and her childhood friend, Lysha al Rakath. They’re both unusual women – Aledra is a hunter like Gorrys and Lysha, a yeoman’s daughter, wants to become a soldier. You’ve seen them both shoot – they’re good archers – and they seem like practical young women. You like them.
What can I do?
You’ve worked on your uncle’s farm all your life; you know the seasons, the crops, and the animals. You can forage for food and build shelter in the woods. You can identify the achievements (clan arms) of all of the nobles of Asolade and a few more besides. You can identify many tracks, you can take care of your weapons, and you’ve got some basic healing knowledge. You’re skilled with the spear, shortsword, dagger, and roundshield. After some struggle, you’ve learned your letters and you can read.
What do I own?
You own the clothes that you’re wearing: a quilt cowl and gambeson, a wool tunic and breeches, leather bracers, gauntlets, and knee boots, and a halfhelm with a nasal made from kurbul (boiled leather). You own several weapons: a spear, a shortsword, a dagger, and a roundshield. You carry a sack containing Sir Terris’ letter of recommendation, a flint and steel, a blanket, and your spare clothes, another wool tunic and breeches. You have three silver pennies in a leather pouch tied to your belt.
Where am I going?
You tried to find work in Jedes over the winter, but with no success. It’s spring and you’ve recovered from the chills of winter. Now that the snows are gone, people are on the move once more. There may be work in Jedes now. Tomorrow is market day – a good time to find work.
(Sketch and additional information: Kalas al Delsin)
© Neil Thompson, lightly edited by JS.