John Buckingham "Weird Beard"
Name: John Buckingham “Weird Beard”
Likes: The Sea, Boating, Retribution
Dislikes: Metallic Objects, Violence, Hate, Greed
Prized Possession: Holy Symbol
Current Goals: Atonement
An alluring or sultry charm is often what comes to mind when speaking of magnetism. However, sometimes magnetism is simply the attraction of a magnetic object. While one side of a magnet has the power to attract, it’s the polar end that really has the ability to flip ones life around.
ROOTS OF EVIL
Perhaps piracy is not the most morally rewarding career path, but it does provide other obvious compensation. An orphan in the province of Laus, John Buckingham developed the rugged characteristics required for a life at sea. By the age of nine, he boarded his first pirate ship. At eleven, he landed his first kill. Fifteen years of age brought about the youngest pirate captain sailing the deadly seas; and a knife in the throat to the reigning captain was all that was necessary to strike fear and command loyalty within the crew. Thus begins a decade of ruthless bloodshed.
Buckingham became known as “Iron Fist,” for the metal clad glove he used to finish off captured naval officers. It became custom to bludgeon the back of the enemy captain’s skull with the iron glove. A single opposing crewman would be kept alive, forced to watch, then set free to tell the tale of Iron Fist.
The longer Buckingham ran unchecked and unchallenged, the more irrational and reckless he became. Never to back down from a foe, whether a creature, or…weather. Regardless how sturdy, if the sea covets it, a ship will be taken.
John finally met his match. He had done battle with many storms in his years, but this one was different. This was the perfect storm. A scream of lightning strikes Buckingham, sending him crashing to the deck. After a few seconds, a charred and smoking John Buckingham wearily rises to his feet. A single bolt of lightning could not hold down the fearless pirate captain. Angrily, John raised his iron fist to the stormy night sky, spewing curses into the darkness, only to have his iron glove race back towards him, impacting in the center of his chin.
John woke up to a clear and sunny day. After several minutes of confusion, reality set in, and he began to recall the events of the previous night. John was floating on a slat of wood, surrounded by a debris field of what was likely left of the ship, and other buoyant objects that were aboard it. Strangely, his fist was still firmly attached to the beard on his chin. John soon realized that it was the iron glove, not his actual hand that clung onto his beard. With some doing, he was able to pull the glove away from his face. Oddly, the hair from both his chin and the top of his head streamed out, trying to grasp at the glove. When he moved the glove left, his beard and hair followed. To the right, same result. Even his eyebrows and the hair upon his arms seemed to be attracted to the iron glove. Several minutes worth of experimentation later, John realized that there was another metallic object stuck within his beard. He reached in pulled out, what appeared to be a priestly holy symbol. Not a man of religion, John had no idea as to what particular god that this could represent. Observing the destruction and wreckage again, John decided that whoever this god was, they must have had something to do with his survival, as not a single other crewman could be seen, live or dead. Seeing that his crew was not floating about the debris, John paddled to shore.
A search of the small desert island revealed none of his crewmen. No one. Everyone was dead. With this realization, John dropped to his knees and shut his eyes. He clutched the holy symbol in one hand, the iron glove in the other, and began to ramble incoherently. First angry, then sobbing as he started to weep, while he assessed the tyranny that was his life. “Never again!” John said shakily as he gripped the glove. A sudden calm came over him as he opened his eyes and stared at the iron glove. Soon, his eyes shifted back to the holy symbol and John spoke again. “I don’t know who ye are. But you have given me a second chance. For that, I give ye me life. I dedicate the rest o me years to thee. I be ye servant. I will atone for me sins. Please guide me. I will atone.”
STEPS TO ATONEMENT
A months worth of prayer to an unknown god, calm seas, and a makeshift raft led to John’s escape from the island. Back home, John kept a low profile as he listened to the rumors of the wreck and Iron Fist’s subsequent death. The people were genuinely happy. John knew he couldn’t stay here. He didn’t want to hurt them anymore. John emptied out all of his secret loot stashes throughout the city and liquidated everything into a large sum of gold. This gold was then anonymously donated to the local temple, keeping only enough for himself to purchase passage across the great sea, and enough currency to get by for a short time upon arrival at his new destination.
What was once jet black hair, was now a silvery chromatic color, courtesy the lightning strike. John thought it best to shave his head, but this was easier said then done. His new magnetic hair took a liking to the very metallic razor. With his hair grabbing onto and hugging the razor, shaving his head was not going to work. In fact, he was having difficulty handling anything that was metal. It didn’t take long for John to develop a strong dislike towards anything that was metallic in nature. Leather, stone, and wooden items were perfectly capable of completing any and all tasks at hand. From this point forth, John shunned any and all metallic objects, save two. The iron fist, to serve as a memory of past deeds, but never to be used again. As well as the holy symbol, whoever it may represent.
John stood aboard the deck, as the ship departed the city, setting sail for the far away land. He thought about the reign of terror he put these people through, and a single tear fell from his eye. His departure meant that Iron Fist was finally dead. This made him happy. A child servant approached John with a mug of ale that he had requested after boarding. Upon taking the drinking vessel, it slammed into his face, as it was of course, metal. The small child starred curiously at John and said, “Mister…your beard…is weird.”