ALIASES Nic |
TITLES Nicolai of the Southern Range, Son of Edmund, Alpaca Whisperer, Protector of Southern Virginity, Wayferer of the Plains, Lord of Streams, Poacher of the Protected Wood, Braver of Heights, Champion of the Mill, Follower of the Long Road, Captain of the Lady Dog
REPUTATION Nic loves to gamble and owes many people money, though he always pays his debts
NOM De PLUME Cooper Gisselbrecht
RACE Race of Men
MARITAL STATUS married
FAMILY Edmund, Father. Alice, Mother. nine brothers. Letty, Wife. Silvy, Benjin & Katja, children
OCCUPATION Hired Sword, Swindler, Explorer, Doer of Unsavory Deeds, Sailor, Huntsman, Alpaca Specialist
HOMETOWN Southern Alpaca Range, Ruand
CURRENT RESIDENCE Wherever life takes him, though the wife and kids live in Thorpe
UNIQUE ABILITIES While the gift of magic has never really come to Nic, he has always been naturally graced with the ability to be charming and talk his way into and out of any sitation. He draws attention when needed and avoids it when not needed.
TRAINING Alpacca care and husbandry, sailing and captaining a sea vessel, archery, swordsmanship, daggerplay. He has also been riding a mount of some kind since before he could walk.
LANGUAGES Fluent in the common tongue. Speaks a little Dwarvish, a little Eastern Common. Some Caald, some Elvish, more than a little Norn. This is what Nic considers enough to get by, however he is no master linguist and he often times insults people.
TRAITS Cool, Outlaw Reputation, Lucky, Generous
IDEALS You gotta risk it to get the biscuit.
BONDS His children, ever since he had them he has found a new purpose in life.
FLAWS Addicted to gambling and adventure. Chivalrous, Corruptable, Impatient, Sore, Getting Older
Nic's personality tends to be fairly loud. He is smooth and cool under pressure, able to think on his feet in any situation and he is not quick to lose his temper. He draws people in socially. It may be because of his grand tales or his general personality, but people just want to be around Nic. They are like moths to a flame when he opens his mouth. His stories are usually hard to believe but they are also all true. He overcompensates with friends when he is away from home, so that he doesn't miss his loved ones too much.
Nic owes a lot of people money. This is usually because of his serious gambling addiction - he can't help it, he loves cards and bear fights. He is a junkie for adrenaline in any form, adventure, gambling, sailing, drinking, knife games, fighting a leviathan. However Nic remains very honorable. He will always pay his debts in one way or another, and he usually won't resort to unsavory means to do so. The way he figures, if he is doing the dirty work someone else has gotten themselves into for a hefty price, then that isn't really his dirty work and those sins aren't exactly on his hands. He's a man of technicalities.
He loves his children dearly - though he's never really felt a huge draw for his wife, it's a shame. His children are his strongest bond and biggest weakness, knowing the very trinkets and momentos of them he carries can put them in danger.
HAIR Dark Brown, graying with age
EYES light brown
MARKS He has a few deep scars on his torso and legs from various injuries and adventures, usually has a mustache
Nic is very muscular, in a corn-fed working the fields kind of way. He's never trained to be the biggest this or toughest that. His muscle tone comes from years of hard work. He is tall with dark features, just like all of the other men in his family and most people from Ruand. In fact his darker features are like a beacon in certain regions of Tyriedar of where he comes from. There may be a fair bit of Barbarian blood in his family line.
On his right shoulderblade there is a very gnarly looking scar from when he was once impaled by a Draktheod spear. It took a few weeks for him to even be able to move around properly and ride his horse back home to his family. Because he was not treated with magic or any kind of high medical procedures (a dirty shaman woman in a tent treated his wounds with a poultice of horse shit and some wild berries and greens), the scar is quite the sight to behild. In cold weather his shoulder aches. His body is also peppered with various other scars from his misadventures, but none so epic as that.
Most of the time Nic is in leathers and furs if he is anywhere near the North. He rarely buys anything for himself so most of what he wears he tanned and sewed upon his own, or he stole off of a victim. He has a pretty nice set of plate armor that he won in a single hand of cards that his son has been wearing around recently.
CLOTHING/ARMOR Usually leather armor and furs, his home is quite cold. Often seen in plate armor as well.
WEAPONS A longbow covered in carvings and symbols, named Celeste. An Elven made greatsword. Two Barbarian Shortspears. Six dwarven daggers of varying sizes.
CARRYING Canteen of water, illegible notes about what he owes people, dragon scales, paper to write his daughters
COMPANIONS 1/2 of a pair of icefield steeds his brother raised named cinder, his wife has the other named dandy. the horses were given to nic and his wife as a wedding gift.
Nicolai was born twenty or so years into the Fifth Age, not that his parents were really the type of people who paid attention to that sort of thing. They were common folk, hard working folk, the type of folk who kept themselves out of politics and the lives of nobility. His mother thanked the Gods the moment she saw him, her second boy and her second child to be born healthy and strong. Nicolai and his older brother Tomas were just the beginning of a long line of strong and hearty boys Alice Blackmont would pop out over the years. By the time she told her husband Edmund that if he so much as whispered the thought of having another baby she would cut his manhood off (she was always a colorful lady, but then again so were most women in Ruand), she would have birthed ten boys. Ten. She gave birth to every one naturally, with no aid from the Spirit Talkers out on the Eastern plains, and just a very tired old Midwife. The Blackmont boys were their pride and joy and they kept the Alpaca farm going for years. Even though she was usually heard complaining about how they never kept the home neat and orderly or were always eating so much food, these young men, all ten of them, were her pride and joy. Not only that, they were all a bunch of Mama's boys, ever single last one of them! Any time any of them felt even the slightest ounce of pain when she was around, there they were back in her arms, seeking the love only a mother could provide.
Of course that wasn't to say the Blackmont Boys of Southern Ruand were sissies. In fact they were all far from it. The oldest two boys, Tomas and Nicolai were always leading their brothers on some kind of adventure, or misadventure rather. They were constantly fishing, rough housing, pretending that half of them were invading Barbarians from the East and the other half were Ruand Riders. At the time they were using Alpacas as their mounts, but this was quite the game for them. In their minds they were the Royal Guard of the Queen or they were the black Hoarde. What they really were was a constant rowdy mess of energy. In fact Ruand Riders vs Barbarians was banned in the home eventually and the youngest two boys never even got to play it in the proper sense. All because Nic and Tom had this predisposition for getting a little too into it and one of the fences on the outer pens would always get destroyed.
Ever since he was a boy, Nic had a fascination with the open road. Being raised in Ruand, he knew it was expected, something that was in their blood. He was always looking for some kind of adventure to go on. He was riding Alpaca before he was walking, and riding a horse before his mother taught him to properly read. And the family loved to travel the plains, far and wide, he and his brothers looking for something to get into and foraging for food. He always felt the most alive when all he could hear was the wind in his hair and the beats of hoofs beneath him. When he was old enough, or maybe not quite yet, he started to take off from the family homestead and ranch for days at a time. Those days turned into weeks and before Alice knew it, another of her babies had left her, as he followed in Tomas's footsteps toward the North.
One thing his mother made sure to teach her son before he left, was the importance of an education. In fact she taught all her boys how to read and write very early on. A secret she would always guard close to her chest was that their father had actually been mostly illiterate when they were wed. He wasn't the man she would have chosen for herself, but she realized he was kind and humble, and hard working. He cared for her very much and she cared for him just the same as she taught him all about the written word. Nic took to it very well, quickly learning more than just the common tongue. He learned whatever his mother could teach him and when he left home he always came back with something new he could say from some distant land. He also loved to write letters, something he still does to this day. No matter where he goes he still sends letters home to his mother via raven, just to lether know where he is, what he is doing. And he does the same with his children now as well.
Nic's first adventure was with the Riders of Ruand, the elite royal guard who protected the borders of their nation. He'd dreamed of joining them as a child and when he applied to become a part of their ranks he was immediately rejected. Nic had no formal training on a horse. He was just a simple Alpaca Farmer and they viewed him as such. Yet it was obvious he could ride circles around them. He spent much time around the capital of Aeredale, finding work where he could, always trying to find some way to pay for official training so that he could finally join the Riders. Eventually he traveled south to Farwater where he worked as a farmer among the Halflings. He'd seen Halflings before, but never spent any considerable amount of time with them. They were generous and kind, just like his family and he felt right at home, even sending for his mother to come stay a few months with them. One night Farwater fell victim to a Barbarian attack and Nic, along with a small outfit of Halfling farmers, held off the attacks at the famed Farwater Mill. He was commended by the Queen herself, and invited to join the elite Riders. Nic turned them all down and instead traveled to Mirerenna with the steed he had been given as part of his commendation.
For the most part Nic flourished in Mirerenna. He was only twenty years old, but the world was at his fingertips. Yet he soon began to fall victim to one of the more unsavory vices in the capital: Gambling. Nic loved the rush he got as he won and lost all sorts of gold. He never quite came out ahead and was usually far behind, owing men in nearly ever tavern at least a little bit of gold. It was then, when he was desperately trying to make ends meet to keep the bookies off his back, that Nic heard the royal navy would be fighting a great beast in the ocean. Sure, he thought, he could do that. At least then if he died, he would die with honor and no one would need to be paid. Of course Nic didn't know even the first thing about sailing, but he learned while he was out there. He was a deck hand on one of the lesser ships, but when he'd fallen off the deck and gotten left behind, he was picked up by one of the most massive royal warships he'd ever seen. The rest, of course, is folk history now. The prince, who would soon be king, rallied the men when they were down and used the weather to their advantage. And there was Nic, right beside the man in victory and taking him his share of eyeballs and tentacle meat.
Nic once again sold his prize money, and this time paid off his debts and spent the money wisely: he bought a boat aptly named the Lady Dog. He spent years as a fishermen, traveling between ports in Mirerenna and even up past Viking territory. During this time he met a young woman named Gwyn. She was a beauty, with striking black hair and soft white skin. And more importantly, she wouldn't let him get close to her. The fact that she refused his advances and made him work harder than he ever had before, made her even more attractive to him. He would spend weeks at sea just thinking about the enchanting beauty from Highgate. She was out of his reach, noble, kind, and high class. Every time he came back to Highgate he brought her some sort of trinket of his adventures, promising that he would some day prove his worth to her and make her love him. Yet one day he came back into port and things were different, Gwyn had been betrothed to a knight and she was to be married by the week's end. Nic told her he would take her away, take her back to Ruand and love her for a lifetime. She fell into his arms and finally admitted that she'd fallen in love with him. That night on his boat was magical. However that magic was fleeting. In the morning Gwyn returned to her real life, told him some bullshit about duty over self, the same sort of thing everyone in Mirerenna always said. She married the knight, and Nic's heart was broken.
He fell into his gambling and drinking ways worse than ever, and eventually lost his boat because he was spiralling out of control and that was the only way to pay off his debts. Eventually Nic returned to the Alpaca Farm with his tale between his legs. Yet, fate had an interesting way of working out. When he arrived there he met a young girl from over the hill named Letty. She was taken with him instantly, she hung on to every word of his stories and treated him like he was some kind of celebrity, like he was one of the very nobles he'd gotten to know. Their romance didn't take long to bloom, she was pretty enough -- not many girls from Ruand had red hair, he would note. She was originally from Dalry. She was also kind, smart, generous. She was a lot like his mother. So when Letty told Nic she was with child, he did the right thing and married her by the end of the week. Sure, he wasn't passionately in love with her, he'd never felt for her like he felt for Gwyn, but it was his responsibility. He understood what she meant when she mentioned duty over self.
For a few years Nic was a normal family man, raising his children in her home kingdom of Dalry. They moved far north to Thorpe where Nic worked as a fisherman, a skill he knew all to well. She bore him two children right away, a daughter named Silvy and a son named Benjin. From the moment he saw his children, he instantly knew real, true love. They were perfect, innocent, and amazing. He taught them to read and write and even taught them about the places he'd traveled. But by the birth of his third child, another girl named Katja, Nic was itching to return to his old ways. There was word in the East of dragon's to be slain and adventures to be had. He left home but promised to return, reminding his wife that he never broke a promise. Soon he found himself traveling the world again, with old friends and new. He always returned home with some kind of trinket or treasure for his family.
Now, in his 40s, he still travels frequently, yet he stays home with his family as well. He is able to take care of them by selling whatever he finds on his adventures instead of trying to make ends meet catching fish that don't like to bite. His home is modest on the outside, but on the inside his children are spoiled with lavish things like their own bedrooms, feather bed matthress covers, multiple coats and shoes. And he is proud of himself, proud of his family and his life. Though he still owes quite a bit of money from his gambling debts.