I was born at Ten Towers, the stronghold of the Harlaw family in the Iron Isles. Not matter what other doubts there may be relating to my birth, that is not questioned by anyone. I am Ironborn, and so, for the record, are my parents. Whomever they happen to actually be.I should explain. My mother was Hild Nares, hard working saltwife and I'm her only child. I'm told it was a difficult birth and that’s why I have no siblings. My father though? Well, thats where things start to get more interesting. My mother was married to a raider helmsman called Sven but the commonly held belief among those I grew up with does not peg him as having done the deed. It's true that we did not look at all a like when I was a child and he was killed in a botched raid against Banefort before I had a chance to grow into enough of a man to truly compare. Still, there was one man in Ten Towers whom I could almost be the twin of, and that is Esben, heir to Lord Harlaw. I told you that this was the interesting bit. Now, Lord Harlaw himself denied it, still does, and my mother refuses to comment and will change the subject if it is brought up in conversation. As for me? Well, in truth it doesn't matter much to me either way. I've grown into a strong, capable warrior, sailor and smith.
I'd always been an alert child. I'd be the one who sensed a change in the weather, it would be me who first heard the approaching hooves of horses and me who could spot a sail on the horizon before anyone else. Needless to say, when I was old enough I was quickly snapped up by a raiding crew. Lookout in the bows was my first job but as I grew I learnt navigation and the basic sailing skills that all of my kind master. Raiding became second nature, my sword began to be more an extension of my own hand rather than a simple tool. I learnt to sleep in mail on the deck of a heaving boat. Now you might say that that’s a sure way to drown, but I reckon that if go overboard then I'm drowning anyway, may as well make it quick.
My armoursmithing had started as a simple attempt to become less reliant on others. When actively raiding, armour gets damaged, and I figured that being able to repair it myself could be a useful in the future. Turns out I was good at it though and would work in one of the local forges between raids. Meant my sword was always sharp and my armour strong and helped give me that edge on raids. That and impromptu repairs.
It was on one such raid that I met the Lady Kathryna Harlaw, or Kate, as I knew her. Don't get me wrong, I'd seen her around but we'd never really got to know each other. That changed. I won't claim it was something world ending, but it was enjoyable while it lasted. I reckon the Riverlanders might be upset by how much younger than me she is, but I didn't care, and neither did she. We celebrated the spoils of victory long into the night. Made a habit of it for a while but the flame died after a while and we went our separate ways.
My breakthrough came in the war though. We didn't go fight, not in the way that anyone from the mainland will tell you they did, but we took advantage. When wars start, everything just goes crazy. I mean everything, including shipping. They were good times to be a raider. Military logistics meant any means of transport were utilised, including shipping. Oh, those were the good times, so many ships, so many settlements left undefended by levies. I was acting as a senior hand on a raid, ironically, on a small town near Banefort, when the Captain got killed. I wasn't going to miss that opportunity so I rallied the men and we had a very successful day. From then on, the boat was mine. Son of the Lord or not, I'd proved myself. Now, with the world being what it is, that didn't make some people particularly happy. They waited though, they waited five years, until I started to feel I was safe, before they made their move.
'They' in this case, being a couple of the younger son's of Lord Harlaw. Sigurd and Oddr to be precise. They're younger than me, yet to prove themselves enough to have their own boats. Oddr is probably best described as the runt of the family, but he's got most of the brains. If it had just been him then I'd have been okay, but Sigurd can only really be described as a brute and with him backing his brother's brains I was in trouble. A couple of weeks ago, shortly after the Lady Kathryna headed to the Riverlands, I put out to see to harass the shipping routes. It was a routine sail, we weren't expecting anything big but rumour had it that there was some form of convoy passing by and I figured it was worth sticking our noses out of dock to take a look. Turns out, the merchants we were expecting were actually packed with sell-swords, bought and paid for by Oddr and his brother. I spotted them but we were too close and we were over run. One ship did get away before engaging though, the one Sigurd was onboard. He was learning his navigation from one of the old Masters and had asked if he could join the hunt. Now I know why. Needless to say, by the time my boat limped back into port, Sigurd's tale of events was spread far and wide throughout the island, and I was the upstart nothing who tried to piggyback on -his- family's strength and had lost it all to a simple merchant.
And that how I also found myself in the Riverlands, along with Kate. Although we didn't know the extent of our work at the time, we were playing a vital part in King Balor's plans for the Riverman's coast. We made polite (ish), we learnt the layout of the town of Terrick's Roost and then, when the word came, we destroyed their early warning system and spiked their gate open. Our two weeks as rulers of the town were glorious, and the news from up and down the coast was even better. Lannisport sacked, the golden fleet destroyed, Seagard sieged. Sadly, the Frey levies meant to relieve Seagard came to the Roost instead and we had to withdraw for a while, but I do not see the King sitting back. Tall Oaks was riased and so shall fall the Roost. We just have bide our time.
As for now? Well, I'm on Pyke. I took a few wounds in the fighting but seem to have made a reasonable impression on Prince Maron all the same. As for Kate? She fell, she was weakened by her stay in the Riverlands and did not survive the fighting, but that is not my story to tell. When I'm back on my feet I want to get back into the fight, at Banefort if I can and if it's still standing at that point, one of their's tried to use me as an archery butt recently, and I intend to even the score.
The clean shaven man stood before you is about three of inches short of six foot. His hair is brown and slightly sun-bleached but kept well in check in a practical cut. His eyes are also brown and stare out onto the world in an attentive manner. His brow is lined and his face shows the general wear and tear associated with years at see. It's not only the wind and the rain that's left it's mark though as a scar runs diagonally across the bridge of his nose as a constant reminder of a particularly close encounter. His shoulders are broad and it's obvious that his life has involved a lot of physical labour. He has the muscels of a man who works hard and the bearing of a man who has confidence in both himself and his abilities.
He's dressed in wellworn, but also well maintained leather boots and trousers. A long sleeved, knee-long tunic can just be seen under a short sleeved arming jack and mail halberk. A deep blue woolen cloak is afixed across his shoulders and a re-enforced swordbelt takes some of the weight of the armour off his shoulders. The Sword that hangs from his hip is no noble's blade, but it's solid and the hilt shows that some effort at least went into it's manufacture.
Allies and Foes
- The Cover
- House Harlaw
- House Greyjoy
- House Banefort
- House Terrick
- House Mallister
- Other Noble Houses
- Topics of the Region
"We laugh at distant journeys, nor care how far we go. The further that we are from home, the nearer to our foe"
(anais belle evangeline event hardwicke ingryd jacsen kell liliana logs muirenn nares patrek raffton)