So, I signed up for LCC a lonnnnnggg time ago, but because of a lot of issues with housing, just got back to this. So here is my long overdue character introduction for Harald the Vigilant, of the Outlaws.
Harald the Vigilant is an odd fellow. He dresses immaculately, enjoys cleanliness, but lives a mostly Spartan life amongst his men. He began life as Lord Harald, inheriting his father's estate at just the age of 6, somewhere in the remote reaches of Lenfald where no tax collector or any representative of army conscription had visited in many generations. Mostly, his hold, named Roundrock, lived an autonomous existence away from politics of the age. At 22 he married his wife Elga. They had trouble conceiving an heir for many years, but on Harald's 30th birthday, Elga surprised him with the news that she was pregnant.
The last three years at Roundrock had been tumultuous. The holding, which numbered over 1000 souls had had a rash of murders. Gruesome murders where a young child would turn up in only bits and pieces. It was soon whispered that some evil spirit lived within the woods and was taking the children of the town. Harald had put together a team of warriors (there was very few men skilled in warfare, as Roundrock had not known war in over 100 years.) and set to hunt the spirit. Still the spirit eluded him.
Upon the birth of his child there were screams from the midwife. Harald bust into Elga's chamber to find a baby of ruby red skin and fiery hello eyes in the arms of his wife. A guard drew his sword, but Elga extended her arms and burnt the man to a crisp with a fireball. In some sort of unearthly hiss she said "my child." Flabbergasted, Harald could only ask in a small voice "Why?" He knew immediately what had been eating the children.
"I did this for you, my love." Elga replied. "I could not bear to leave you without heir. So I went to the forest and found my true essence. Magic is within me, and now it is within our son."
Harald sighed and went to embrace his wife and baby -- only to thrust a dagger deep in her back as he hugged her, eyes full of tears. As for the baby, it was locked deep in the dungeon of Roundrock. He announced to his people that a demon had taken his wife, and from this day forth, all magic of any kind would be seen as an attack on his authority, punishable by death. Then began the questioning.
A year passed, and over thirty men and women lost their life to the flame for having some connection to magic. On the birthday of his spawn, a sudden fire broke up and engulfed the keep and the surrounding town. There was little anyone could do. Most of Roundrock was fast asleep in their beds at the time, and had no warning. After the flames died down, Harald, who barely escaped his caslte, found that only 100 survivors remained. Harald preached the evils of magic that had destroyed their fair town and the men rallied to Harald's new cause - a complete and total war on magic.
Seeing nothing left for him at Roundrock, he took what was left in the treasury and boarded a small ship with his 70 volunteers and their family. Harald knew where he needed to make his new home. Not away from magic, but in the heart of it. Somewhere in Blackhand Bay lies an island, upon that island - now named Clarity Rock, Harald made his fortress. For the last five years the members of his order, the Knights of the Natural Order, have quietly roamed the mainland looking for others who have been touched by magic. Sometimes taking action where needed, but often recruiting new brothers into the order. Many times establishing chapter houses in some of the faction's largest cities and towns. These templars work outside of the local laws, often fleeing the authorities if need be. Harald refused to become associated with any of the factions, because he felt that none of their laws were strict enough against users of magic. For this reason, the great fortress at Clarity Rock is his home, and the Knights of the Natural Order answer to no one.
Below is Harald on a small recruitment trip in Loreos. (Sorry, very small MOC... but wanted to leave the story MOCs for freebuilds). The order does not really have an official crest, when in battle they pick up whatever weapons they need. When out recruiting, they often dress in local fashion to pass off as locals. It is not uncommon to see a knight of the Natural Order picking up heraldry that is not his just to pass by a checkpoint. On the field, as an organized force, they often wear black and white. Harald, and a few of the Roundrock survivors still use the old boar crest of the hold. DSC_1891
, on Flickr