A tall, strong peasant, with broad shoulders and sun-weathered skin, wearing a wide-brimmed worker's hat, and a long coat.
They call him Opilio, or “Shepherd.” It seems like he’s always been in the small farming village of Abesci. He had no family in the area, so he wasn’t actually from Abesci, but no one could really remember a time when he wasn’t around, though. It was probably because he kept to himself – you didn’t really notice him when he WAS there, so it was hard to remember when he wasn’t.
Opilio is a big man, broad shoulders, with a thick beard. Quiet, too, though always nodding hello to his neighbors and strangers who were just passing through. He had a small plot of land at the edge of town where no one else farmed, the one with really rocky soil that faced the sheer, rocky hills. It was good dirt, though, but no one could really work it. Too much back-breaking labor to do so. No one, except Opilio, of course.
He built row after row of wooden frames, pulling the huge stones out of the ground and building the slowly-growing wall around his land with them. On the frames grow rich, beautiful grapes. Opilio also keeps a small herd of sheep, with a few big old surly rams looking on. His land, though, small, produced a modest crop of grapes, wool and mutton. Opilio never was a very good businessman, and everyone agreed that he usually sold them too cheaply, especially for a man with the dream he had.
You see, Opilio loves his land. He says that, in some way, it’s part of him. Part of his soul. He’s one of those peasants who could be perfectly content to just work his land for the rest of his life. But the land isn’t his, you see. It’s been bought and sold several times since it’s been his, and his landlords have realized that, time and again, the best resource on that land was Opilio himself. So, they often coerce him into helping them in various ways – traveling with valuable messages, protecting packages or goods, acting as a bodyguard and other such tasks.
It used to happen all the time when he was young, but even now that he’s settled down with a wife, and a nearly-adolescent daughter, they still call on him. Most of the time, he manages to find his way out of the tasks, but sometimes there’s nothing he can do. So, he kisses his wife and daughter goodbye, rubs the curving horns of his rams for good luck, and inspects the vines of his grapes for bugs one last time, and then he goes, a wide-brimmed hat on his head, a pack on his back and speed to his step. The sooner he finishes, you see, the sooner he can come home to his land.