Flames and Steel: The Chromatic War
Neiosis “Neo” Sporn
Neo was brought up in a small town of not more than a couple hundred people to the southwest of Trinity, barely known by anyone except for travelers who may have passed through it if they got lost moving off the path between Trinity and Varalon. His upbringing was very uneventful but strict. His father worked as the town’s guard captain his entire childhood while his mother stayed at home, raised him and taught him. Because of this he never became scholarly or learned about magics, but he was constantly training in simple one-handed weapons combat. He was taught the values of valor, camaraderie, honesty, bravery, and as his father said “… to be a shield for someone in danger before being the sword that strikes another down.”
Despite being just in between two human cities, Neo was born of elven and human blood. His mother had traveled away from her elven home after becoming disenchanted with the elven customs and traditions. She never really talked about her adolescent and teen life to her family and because of how small and friendly the town was, she was always accepted without question. The only small piece of elven information that she shared with her husband and son was the language, preferring to live and teach almost solely in the human world that she was now a part of.
When Neo was fourteen his father was struck down by a group of four bandits that had attacked the small town. They would have been caught and brought to justice, but his father’s partner who was supposed to aid him that night had abandoned him when the bandits drew their weapons. His father was one of the few guards in the town that ever felt pride in his position. His father’s death, while devastating to him and his other, did not cause him to become sorrowful. Instead Neo took it upon himself to replace his father as a guard, though one of the other competent guards replaced his father as captain for a while. At any time, the town never had more than maybe five guards and usually only two or three patrolled at one time. This meant teamwork and trust was essential to his job because if you could not rely on your partner you likely would not survive an encounter with more than one enemy.
Because of his father and his station as a guard, Neo became very set in his ways and beliefs. When in a group, he believes that everyone is responsible for what they do. When one person makes a mistake they must take responsibility for it and stand up to the consequences rather than try to push it off on others or to run away. He also believes that if you are part of a group, your personal goals are less important than the group’s. He feels everyone should try to help each other and becomes angry towards members of a group that either sit and watch without offering aid or that keep vital information to themselves.
While he already has trust issues with those that hide in the shadows (because he believes this mimics the actions of thieves and plunderers), no one is immediately in his confidence. Everyone must gain his trust and if they do not act in a way that he believes is ‘helpful’ or ‘good’ he will not give them said trust or respect. It is often in battle that he gains respect for people but outside of it that he gains trust. He doesn’t like entering battles with people he doesn’t trust, again because of what happened with his father. However, if there is a person in danger from an evil being, he will still attempt to protect them whether he likes them or not. He willingly places himself in the middle of danger for anyone who, while not his friend, is not his enemy.
When Neo hit about twenty years old his mom pulled him aside. She told him abruptly that she felt he needed to leave the village and visit the larger cities. He was startled and argued, but she knew the only reason that he stayed there was for her and because of his father’s previous commitment as a guard. He thought it over for a few days and after realizing that she was right, he decided that it was time to move on, though he promised to return with some news of what he saw. Before he left, the old bartender and consequently the oldest person there, over seventy years old, gave him a large but portable container of his best ale. Neo spent many hours of the part of his adult life in the tavern enjoying the drink which the old man confided in him before was crafted by combining several different methods that he had discovered while traveling the world for fifteen years. The bartender, grinning, gave Neo a challenge: to create a mixture better than the one he had made without resorting to flavorings or making the mixture too strong. Neo eagerly accepted this challenge.
Reaching the capital of Varalon, Neo realized that he would need better equipment in order to travel the world. The blacksmiths in his town weren’t exactly the best at crafting powerful weapons and armor. So he found a job as a guard for a rich noble in the city, impressing him with his displays of commitment and honor. He used the wages that he received from the noble to replace his equipment with his war hammer, full plate mail, and tower shield. The only downside to this was that it made him much slower, but also much more difficult to harm in battle or get passed in tight hallways.