The Adventures of The Stonelanders
First Sword August Hart-Stone of the Purple Dragons, Retired.
In his youth, August had a close relationship with his mother, and somewhat to his father’s disappointment, had no interest in trade or wealth. Instead he liked to spend time outdoors, tending a the villa’s garden, exploring the surrounding lands, and helping his mother in the temple at Bospir.
When he was of age he left home to become a priest of Lathander. He was accepted as an acolyte, and soon showed an aptitude for language and literature. He made friends easily but rarely grew close to any, elected instead to spend time in the library, or going for walks in the gardens. He lived quite happily for a few years before he began to have problems with one of the priests, whom August felt was far too strict and would constantly punish him for even the smallest of infractions. Until one day August had enough and got into an argument with the priest, which grew into a shouting match, which grew into fisticuffs. The following day August tried in vain to defend himself, the priest claiming he had been attacked without provocation. August was promptly expelled from the temple.
Too embarrassed but unable to think of an alternative, August returned home. Being the first born, his father took to teaching him business and accounting, both of which August found trite and boring. Fatefully, through his father’s business contacts, August meet a whitesmith who specialized in jewelery and was looking for an apprentice. August found the idea of detailed minutia work surprisingly alluring, as well the thought of leaving behind stacks of ledgers and ink-stained fingers.
So then, he moved to the outskirts of Arabel, churning out cup after pewter cup, and on happy few occasions piecing together clasps and fittings and polishing intricate gold designs. And for a few years life was quite good; in the evenings August would venture into the city, wandering from tavern to tavern, making friends, and having a few short-lived romances.
When he was 23 years old, his mother died in a tragic accident. Grief stricken, August got into a fight with his father, about his apparent apathy towards her death. In a fit of well-disguised anger, his father coldly informed him that his marriage had been one of convenience. Furious and heartbroken, August left Bospir on poor terms. He didn’t speak to his father for nearly two years, before he learned of his father’s re-marriage to some street performer, which only deepened his resentment. With little outlet for his building frustrations, August found that careful detailed work no longer suited him.
As an act of misplaced anger, August enlisted in the Purple Dragons. Lacking the strength and constitution to wield sword and shield, he was relegated to being an archer. Again, he made friends easily, and was quick to enter into their off-hours revelry. But still, when he was afforded some free time he would read through whichever books he managed to get his hands on, and grew fond of tinkering with his crossbow; the careful engineering of the levers and pulleys, and well oiled gears were fascinating. Over the years he grew content, rose to the rank of First Sword, and learned to appreciate the company of his comrades, the simplicity of military life, and the satisfaction of bolts let loose and piercing his targets.
Until one evening, in late-Eleint, August received word that his father and his new wife had been killed in a fire, and that the children had gone missing. He left immediately for Bospir, leaving only a scribbled note to his commanding officer. Once he arrived and was appraised of the situation, he gathered a party together and went into Hulluck Forest, where the children were rumored to be. Within days he was able to find his youngest brother and sister, where he found they had set up a makeshift encampment and were caring for their young half-siblings.
After the initial teary-eyed greetings, August was surprised to find that they had no intention of leaving the forest, that the children were too terrified and mistrustful to want to go back, or to be taken in by strangers. It was then August first learned that the fire wasn’t an accident, but that his father had been murdered. The news washed over him like cool water, and the steam went out of his arguments. He relented and allowed for his bother and sister to continue caring for the children.
Returning to Bospir, his ears ringing with white-hot justice, August set out to track down the men who killed his father. Over the course of a year, and with the aid of his brother and a ranger from the Dalelands, they managed to track down and capture the Zhentarim thugs who were directly responsible, at the cost of his brother’s life. August was unable to ascertain why the thugs had killed his father.
Returning to the Bospir, his body and soul weary, August found he had been discharged from the Purple Dragons. And where normally he would have argued the point, would have made a case for himself, all the bluster had gone out of him. The Daleish ranger, who had grown to know August, offered to take him under his wing and teach him how to survive in the forests, and continue to fight injustices. August accepted.