World of Kharros
John-Boy (Vovek Brightheart)
Vovek Brightheart experienced his first storm at only 3 months old. His first memories not yet seared into his brain, but fear for his future very much seared into Nimea’s, his mother.
Born premature, his skin had not held the same cold slate hue of his father Stark Brightheart and he was remarkably small for a goliath at only just over 24 lbs.
None of this would matter tho, as Mage hunters had spread far and wide to stop all magic, even moving as far as the mountains of Dragonspine Mountains to where the Clan Thunukiala had peacefully roamed for generations, meditating on the spirits of the wilderness for guidence. Their battles with the Mage Hunters had been fierce, but the small tribe had fought their last.
Stark was outnumbered and slaine when Vovek was not yet seven months old whilst fighting a group of the (NAME OF A NOTORIOUS MAGE HUNTER GROUP) to cause a distraction so that Nimea and Vovek might escape.
Nimea spent several weeks on the run with Vovek, but all the time felt the presence of the (NAME OF THAT MAGE HUNTERS GROUP AGAIN PLEASE) like a branding iron on the back of her neck. She was tired, hungry and was slowing from the hunt.
With no other choice, she wrapped Vovek tight in his blanket and placed him at the door of a small farmhouse. She prayed to the spirit of the wolf that Vovek find his pack. Then she dissapeared, exhausted into the night. Vovek made no sound, even as he heard the distant jeers of the (MAGE HUNTERS GROUP AGAIN PLEASE), and the dull thunks of the axes.
Winters on the Cotter’s modest tenant farm were harsh and the storms made tending the land especially challenging, but John and Marie could not let a child go hungry. They raised Vovek as one of their own, naming him “John-Boy Cotter”.
They schooled him when he had finished on the land and fed him what they could. At twelve years of age, John-Boy was 5 foot 3 and 18 stone. Able to uproot the family’s root vegetable crops by himself and help neighbouring farmers. He was well liked and well mannered. He had also garnered a bit of a reputation in the small village of Beafields for his prowess in hand to hand combat, competing and unbeaten among their bare knuckle fights. An act which earned him a small fee, which he used to help his parents with their rent. Even tho, initially, John and Marie were reluctant to let him compete. At age thirteen, he also garnered more favours and free meals when he defended the local tavern from 2 armed robbers with his bare hands.
But ultimately, John-boy wanted to help the (OREDER OF MAGE HUNTERS HERE PLEASE MAYA). As long as he could as he could remember, the storms had racked his parents and neighbours with fear. They had destroyed crops, ravished the land and started an etheral fire that had killed one of his best friends. John-Boy’s life was reasonably content but was not a happy one.
At fourteen, he created a group, consisting of him and six friends, known as the Beafields Defence Battalion, or the BDB. Although not at age to become bounty or mage hunters, they sought to prove themselves worthy of the post by helping protect people from the storms, clean up after and provide aid to those who needed it.
The locals applauded the BDB and the BDB walked the small area with growing reputation. The small group grew to 20 members and, with John-Boy at the helm, felt invincible.
John-Boy was just 17. He stood at 6 foot tall and weighed 26 stone. His bright blue eyes, clean shaved head and thick beard cast a look of aggression and his leathery, sun damaged skin was pale and riddled with small scars from his fights and heroics.
Although ultimately disorganised and often unruly, the BDB’s and John-Boy’s fearsome reputation grew. The locals felt safe with the mage hunters catching the mages and the BDB defending them, and the rage against the mages, within John-Boy grew. Fuelled by the growing adoration of the people he defended. Until one night. When it crumbled.
The BDB headed out. There had been a mild storm. A small electrical storm over the Abdale’s farmhouse, just outside of Beafields. John-Boy and five of the BDB set out to check on the old man who lived there. They had all heard of and some had seen Mr Feller at market, but he was a reclusive man. If he was hurt or in trouble, the BDB would help.
When they arrived, the house was quiet. They knocked and shouted for the old recluse, but there was no answer. They walked around the back of the small brick cottege to see if they could peer through the window. There, in his cottege, kneeling on a sheepskin rug in front of the fire was Mr Feller. mixing leaves in a pestal, chalk marked a circle on the floor, as he murmered in a language John-Boy didnt recognise and throwing the ground leaves onto the fire. John-Boy couldnt be stopped.
Mr Feller was found by the guard the next day. His head was crushed. His body limp.
John-Boy was arrested. The state declared murder. He was questioned and his blood and beard hair was taken to be examined by the state’s reader. An act which John-Boy thought of as verging on mage’s work.
But the village locals and the five witnesses all corroborated his story. This was merely an act of defending Beafields from a dangerous menace. An act that could have saved many lives. An act of someone who would make a fine Mage hunter and even an act of a potential member of (NAME OF THAT NOTORIOUS MAGE HUNTER GROUP AGAIN). As suc, John-Boy was placed under house arrest until his trial. a guard was placed at his door and he was confined to his small room in his cottege.
As he sat one night in his room, he heard a commotion. He heard shouting. His picture was in all the local papers, his story had even reached outside of Beafields and its borough, so a furore was not unusual, but this one was. This was members of the BDB, and by the sounds of it, all of them.
He heard the guard’s warnings. He heard the Guards body hit the floor as the violent mob he had once called allies overpowered him and cut him down. He heard John’s pleads, then he heard something he would never forget.
A loud and assertive voice. “He’s not even human. You looked after the blight. He’s one of them. He’s born of goliath cunny, its come from (INSERT SOME SORT OF CAPITAL CITY NAME HERE MAYA). He’s a mage, a filthy rat. you harber rats, Cotter. Not no more tho.”
He heard his mother scream as he fled from his room, scrambling to fit his bulky frame through the window. He ran. He ran until his lungs burned and his legs moved no more. and then, for the first time since he could remember. he cried.