Verrin Stoutheart

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Verrin is the eldest son of Korlan and Fayri, successful halfling merchants who transport goods from the coast to inland communities. Because of their frequent travelling, Verrin spent significant time with an old dwarven caretaker named Bhaldor while growing up. Although his family had earned some respect for what they did for him by taking in the old curmudgeon of a dwarf, his general feeling towards halflings was not great since halflings are not well known for any accomplishments dwarves take notice of. Bhaldor became a private tutor in all things for Verrin but each day was a day of harsh work and he was pushed exceptionally hard. He would have to bear the put downs from the ancient dwarf regarding how halflings were not really smiths or fighters and could not really build anything worthwhile or perform any great deeds. This only made Verrin more determined to prove him wrong. Bhaldor even trained him in the use of axe, hammer and war pick, traditional dwarven weaponry, and ran him through soldier drills. Often he would ask Bhaldor how he knew what he knew but each time he received a stern glare and no answer. Life went on this way until he reached adulthood when he joined his parents on one of their monthly trips out of the village. He became single handedly responsible eliminating a group of robbers that found the secret route his parents would take. His parents were so impressed with his ability to handle himself that they took it upon themselves to use their contacts in setting him up as a squire to Sir Baras Greycastle, knight of Lord Balian Uryene, at the town they would market their wares at.

Sir Baras was not particularly pleased to have a halfling squire but followed the request of his lord. Verrin followed him on every task from assisting in tournaments to combating bandits and other threats to the area. It took years before Verrin earned even the slightest respect from Sir Baras. Eventually it would happen that Sir Baras would meet his end. An attack by a horde of barbarians on the Lord’s keep resulted in the life of the Balian being threatened by the leader of the barbarians who had him engaged in combat. Sir Baras rushed to save his lord during the battle but was brought down by a ray of fire from the barbarian shaman. Close on Sir Baras’ heels was Verrin on his pony. Verrin scooped up the lance Sir Baras had dropped and charged forward to impale the leader through the chest. As the leader collapsed, the leverage of it pole vaulted Verrin forward and sent him to a flip. Rolling with it, he hurled his dagger to impale the shaman through the eye. The completely improvised but daring maneuver and loss of the two leaders resulted in a total breakdown of morale by the barbarians who fled. As a reward for turning the tide and for saving him, the Lord Balian Uryene knighted Verrin.

Verrin’s parents were so proud of their son’s knighthood that they commissioned a special suit of armor and shield just for him which he now always wears as he roams the countryside, seeking his own fame and fortune. The time on the road has served to help change some of his perspective on life by enjoy carousing with the commoners and life on the open road where freedom is paramount. His service to the realm has earned him some good standing with folks on the road who have been very honest and open with him as any deed they have asked of him, he has suceeded at. He spends as little time within any major metropolis as necessary because he finds people within less pleasant and more prone to political manipulation. He has come to understand how those games are played and has engaged in them himself when necessary due to his knightly training but unless his duty calls him there, he has stayed on the open road where he can do the most good. As a result of this, when the time came for his oath to be sworn as every paladin does, the choice felt obvious. Beneath a centuries old great tree, he bowed his head in service to the ancient god Obad-Hai in the hopes that one day he will be able to not only found a halfling community, but one that will be prosperous and work with natural world that will be recognized by all and made to follow their example.

Verrin Stoutheart

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