Weaker than the average Nordic troll, Birger still stands at an imposing 2.3 meters and is powerfully built in comparison to any human. He wears his greying black hair long and loose, allowing it to freely fall where it will. His goatee reaches to his chest but this he braids with animal bones and wooden rings covered in runes. His pale grey eyes unnerve most who fall under their gaze, for it is difficult to tell if the swirling chaos one sees within them is a reflection of the viewer’s soul or a window to Birger’s. Quiet, calm, stoic and focused are a few words that have been used by the locals to describe the druid whom nobody seems to recall ever having being a child.
Wearing only a simple heavy wool robe and cloak to warm him in the far northern lands of the world Birger can be seen always clutching his gnarled and use-worn smooth quarterstaff. Occasionally he entertains others with a song or two on his recorder, but usually he remains isolated in his home in a cave a few miles away from town.
Birger Engström is indeed mortal despite the belief of most villagers that he is not; this superstitious rumor circulates amongst locals due to Birger’s age: at 48 years old Birger is an “elderly” troll. Birger’s prowess in the healing arts, rune casting and the occasional display of magical prowess combined with his caring and selfless nature have made Birger something of a local celebrity as everyone within twenty miles knows to bring a sick child to him for a cure or to ask his counsel if you wish to have the most favorable outcome in a personal matter.
His time as a youth is a great secret and favrite topic of speculation with the commoners and even a few local lords. While most feel he was either like any other youth and a very few think he is immortal (since he was an adult when their parents were children) there are some who attribute both his longevity and his power to a pact with fell beings. Birger denies any claim to that effect, but remains steadfast in his unforthcoming demeanor when an explanation is requested.
His past is in reality a tragedy any skald, minstrel or bard would love to uncover. Orphaned before the age of three, Birger has only a few fleeting memories of his mother and father. When his elder brother Alric left to find and rescue his elder sister Greta (younger to Alric) Birger was taken in by a local hedge wizard. Birger was taught how to harness magical energies after mastering natural healing. When he reached manhood Birger was instructed by his mentor, Torsten, to murder the son of a local lord that had been brought to them for healing after a hunting accident. Forced to decide between remaining loyal to the man that had raised him or to his moral and ethical instincts Birger helped the young man escape by giving him a powerful sedative and then healing him in secret after “disposing of the body”. The reappearance of the young man caused great turmoil politcally and forced Birger to flee for his life as both Torsten and whomever he had served wanted Birger dead for his interference.
Birger is dedicated to defending and helping the weak and downtrodden, but more than anything else he seeks to impede if not eradicate evil and injustice. Trust is something Birger struggles with, but once it has been given he will give his life to defend that person. The recent dream premonitions and rune castings he has experienced has led him to seek the companionship of an unlikely group.