Crusading Vanguard Nobleman
Kurt Ulhelm vo Tomsdale was born in 1232, second son of the Earl of Tomsdale, blessed under the full moon by the Arch Lector of Arissa. He inherited his looks from his father, a man who’s handsomeness was never left without comment by bards who had cause to mention him.
A large portion of his childhood could only be described as idyllic. Tomsdale was a small but prosperous town which did well from passing river traffic going to and from Asdelor. Kurt was a popular child who got on well with the townsfolk, as was his sister, Alicia. Sadly the same could not be said for his half-brother, Frenis. The eldar Ulhelm child had a bloodline that would have been enough for people to distrust him by itself; coupled with his sense of entitlement and various other unsavoury personality traits, he never expected a warm welcome in town.
It was in 1243 that tragedy stuck. A plague had spread across the country and, while it passed in time, it took many victims with it. Both the Earl and Earlessa were struck down by the disease. Elenia passed away shortly after becoming infected, but Dorgon survived, the scars left by the plague forever ruining his once handsome features.
It took time, but life returned to something resembling normality. Kurt found himself spending a significant amount of time in the company of Artimis, who had returned from a life as a mercenary to become the town’s blacksmith. With a combination of genuine interest in the man’s history, outrageous flattery and persistence, the boy persuaded the former adventurer to teach him swordsmanship.
As the second son of a noble family, Kurt Ulhelm vo Tomsdale was faced with a choice of two paths to take in life. While his faith was strong, he decided the priesthood was not for him. Two years attending Dawnhaven military academy saw him achieve the rank of Captain and head off to the Dragonspine mountains, serving under Lt. Col. Brogan Ravenclaw and Major Gias Emberoot. He wasn’t ready.
The academy had taught him a lot of drill, the theory of tactics, and shiny buttons, it had even turned him into a capable swordsman but it hadn’t conveyed just how different things would be in the field, when you are standing in the rain waiting for the moment that you charge forward and try to stick your blade in a horror before it opened your guts up with it’s claws.
Ravenclaw was an experienced military officer, and Kurt got on well with him. Emberoot on the other hand, was a blue blooded, impatient thug who resented his orders to gain some experience under the Colonel, a man of lower rank amongst the nobility. Disaster was almost inevitable.
It was during this time he met Lucas Andromeda, the regimental chaplain, who was possessed of a voice that could be heard across a battlefield and a talent for keeping men’s spirits up.
It was during their fifth month in the mountains that the ambush came, timed to coincide with a storm. A horde of orcs accompanied by strange and twisted beasts descended into the valley and set about slaying the humans who had invaded the lands they had overrun. While Ravenclaw attempted to organise a defensive position, Emberoot cried “Charge!!!”. The men didn’t know what to do, some followed Emberoot, others and a good number were paralysed with confusion. Kurt stayed with Ravenclaw but, without the support of many of the troops, their position was soon overrun. Kurt saw an orc wielding a viciously jagged blade cut Ravenclaw down moments before feeling a sharp pain in his side, which was followed by a flood of warmth and then unconsciousness.
He remembered little of the next few days as he drifted in and out of consciousness. There wasn’t much light, Lucas had dragged him to a cave and tended to his wounds, helping him eat in those moments when he was lucid enough to do so. By the time he had recovered enough to stand, it was winter, and travel outside could only take place during the brief periods of calm weather between the storms.
On one such expedition, the pair found their way back to the battlefield. The corpses of both man and monster were just starting to rot, their decay slowed by the snow that had begun to burry them. Death filled the valley but, despite the temptation to immediately return to their cave, Kurt had the presence of mind to say a prayer for the dead and retrieve the regimental colours before they did.
Survival in the mountains was difficult at the best of times, but Kurt and Lucas were trapped on their own by a winter that came early. They appeared to be doomed. It was sheer luck that saved them in the end. During another brief lull in the storms, as they took the opportunity to forage for food — they knew if they dug through enough snow they would be able to find some roots that were edible, if only barely — they were discovered by a group of dwarves of the Ironhand Clan, who were crazed enough to venture out of their Hall for a midwinter hunting expedition.
They wintered in the Hall (where I might put some sort of incident and other general fleshing out later).
(Also: Insert Jim here)
With the Spring thaws, Kurt and Lucas made they way down from the mountains and returned to civilisation. The first order of business was to report to Fort Adams and return the colours. Then, Kurt wanted to see how the last year had treated his family.