His ability to understand (Perception 2 ranks) and react to a situation is very refined (Improved Initiative +4). He is strong, quick and stout of body with the wit and capability to field dress a wound and has smartly prepared his travel gear for most contingencies. His current employment with the Priory has afforded him the opportunity to own a house in town and keeps him well fed. He admires the retired lawman, Ironside and is completely loyal to Prior Bevin and the village of Willowford. His experience in the militia makes him an ideal choice to keep the peace now that Ironside has set down his badge and is likely the only reason he did not immediately fall into the blackness of unchecked revenge.
Cristobol went about his life in a rather boring and monotonous manner. The 8-year war had nothing to do with the Paerth homestead. After all, it was the result of some uppity nobles with designs on the throne that caused the conflict that had touched so many in the region. That all changed in just one, fell night. He remembers it well. The dogs were full of anxiety that full moon night near three years ago. Cristobol’s father, Zed, had tried to shush them so as to not wake his mother, Kristine and the new baby, Corinth. The only one of the homestead missing that night was his eldest sister, already betrothed and sent off to marriage as was the custom. Perhaps he will one day see her again, after the sorrow of his loss passes into a dull ache.
The ache of loss brought upon the Paerth family when the war of the Nobles threatened the Crown enough that soldiers went about pressing able young men into service with the local militia. His father, having injured his leg in a plowing accident was not fit for such duties; therefore the responsibility fell to the remaining son. Sadly and with great remorse, Cristobol was led off to training camp. He did not fight it. For to fight it might cause more harm than good. From a distance, any onlookers would see the family of Paerth doing their duty to the Crown. It was this perception that Cristobol believes led to the deaths of his family. Vengeful Nobles, mistook his apparent lack of struggle with the soldiers as unwavering support to the Crown. They attacked and murdered everything Cristobol held dear. Father, Mother, baby brother, even the livestock were put to the sword. Yet, not a day was given for him to go and pay respects upon hearing the news. Such was the price of war. With his world gone, he threw himself entirely into the task of becoming a soldier. Deep within his soul, that corner of existence reserved only for himself, he swore vengeance on the people responsible for his family’s murder. He would find out who was responsible and exact the toll, in blood. But, for now…train.
Two years passed. In that time, Cristobol saw many skirmishes and became quite competent with the blade and bow. His ability to understand and act upon tactics made him a valuable member of his skirmish squad. He even briefly led the contingent when his squad leader was felled by an arrow during an ambush. It was Cristobol’s quick reaction to that situation that allowed an escape, though not without injury. It was during that skirmish that Cristobol earned his first “red badge of courage”. It was then, he realized he had the fortitude to make a living as a swordsman.
Since the end of the war, Cristobol has been in the employ of the Priory of Willowford, learning the way of the law under the tutelage of the retiring sheriff, Ironside. With trading caravans being the life’s blood of the town, it was his charge, under Prior Bevin, to keep the peace and ensure market day’s ran smoothly. Cristobol does his duty, and well. Caravan’s come and go without major incident. Occasionally he has to break up a brawl at the bar, but that is the extent of it. To a seasoned veteran of the 8-year war, it has become a very monotonous existence. Yet, in the back of his mind, Cristobol still harbors the anger and resentment caused by his family’s death. He continues to hope that the perpetrators of that heinous crime will slip up and make themselves known. Oh, he has suspicions of various noble families, but that is not enough to warrant death by his blade. He must be absolutely sure.
Now, something stirs within Cristobol’s spirit. A sense of foreboding, of change plagues his thoughts and dreams. Trusting in his instincts, he prepares his traveling gear for whatever it is that travels the threads towards his subconscious. Perhaps the monotony will be ending? (to be continued)