Name: Njal Bugul
Alias: [b] Daisy, Bug,
Description: In outward appearances Njal Bugul appears to be a common traveler. Standing at about 1.8 meters he is above average height. His muscles are lean, and his shoulders are broad. He clothes himself in simple raiment, preferring an appearance that lends itself to anonymity.
Weathered and sturdy boots meant for long journeys are his favored footwear. Which often bare a fresh layer of mud, dirt, or dust. His pants are a simple canvas; baggy at the knee and tight from calf to ankle. He wears an iron buckled wide leather belt. His shirt is linen with a small stitched flower, sown into one side of its collar. He often rolls up the sleeves making the cuffs a bit baggy. When out in foul weather he wears an oil slick that has begun to tatter at the hem. Otherwise it hangs across the strap of his satchel.
A linen wrap hangs about his neck of an appropriate length to use as a shawl, hood, or mask. When laid out flat it appears to be an incomplete map of Marn, and its surrounding areas.
His face bears a few scars, representing a youthful mistake here or there. Though, he hides them with a scraggly beard that has a reddish warmth to its otherwise soft golden color dotted by the occasional graying whisker. His hair is cut short, but when not kept after it turns into a bramble of blonde curls.
About his neck, next to his skin he wears a hide thread with three baubles that hang from its length. Two are poorly polished beads of lapis, the third appears to be made of bone or ivory, carved into the shape of a woman holding a baby. Their brass fasteners have lost their shine from sweat, and the effigy has become stained over the years.
He carries with him a gnarled wooden walking staff, which he leans upon often. His back is laden with a small couriers’ backpack, a short bow, and three steel tipped arrows, that rest tightly bound in a primitive hide quiver.
Leather boots, canvas pants, leather belt, linen shirt, rain slick, 1 meter by 1 meter shawl, hide necklace (beaded), gnarled walking staff, short bow, three bodkin arrows, primitive quiver, couriers satchel, three apples, a loaf of bread, flask of clear liquor, smoked venison, skinning knife, grooming kit, three waterstones (rough, medium, finishing), two rolls of clean cloth, needle and thread, flint and steel, Small journal, Ink bottle, quill, one liter Iron Pot, Water Skin, and a hand axe.
Powers or Strengths:
“Gregarious” Though Njal has experienced many hardships in his life, it has not tarnished his desire to meet people and have a stimulating conversation. This usually coincides with a meal.
“Creative cook” Often times, when a meal is not quickly forthcoming, Njal is chewing on how best to cook odd items. You know that funky smelling beef you have hanging in your larder, he’s imagining a heavily seasoned stew. Wild Onion, Clover, Cattail root, asparagus, Dandelions, Plantains and more are all things he keeps his eyes open for when wandering the roads, ditches, and wilds of Thar Shaddin.
“Fast Metabolism” Njal has had a fast metabolism since he was a budding young man. He tends to recover from sickness, hangovers, and feasting 30% faster than average.
“Will to Live” – Njal is a stubborn man when it comes to the concept of giving up. He is highly motivated to carry on through injury and struggle doggedly through discomfort or sickness. Even when mortally wounded, he is apt to continue, though all hope may be lost.
“Lost Faith” - Due to a poignant loss in his life, Njal no longer worships Teodonis. This makes him more likely to seek out solutions personally rather than to pray for them.
“Farmer’s Education” – Njal lived and worked in the farmlands near Shim. When he wasn’t working on his parents farm he spent time working on the farms of his neighbors. This has given him a wide variety of laborers skills.
“Tradesman’s Education” – Njal received enough schooling to read and write, tally accounts, and make sales as a clerk for his fathers’ shop. He can read, write, and do simple math.
“Survivor of lean times” – Njal’s family would sometimes fall upon lean times. He has learned how best to utilize seasonal foodstuffs that can often be found in the plains, and forests near Shim.
Weaknesses and Flaws:
“Wounded Knee” – Due to an accident Njal’s left knee was broken. It was mended with magic by an apprentice healer. Unfortunately, this did not fully repair the joint. It returned functionality, but it remains stiff and uncomfortable when sitting for long periods of time. Remedies include walking, dancing, or other activities that put this joint to good use. Eventually this injury will progress into early onset arthritis. It is also more prone to having a recurring injury in the same location. (This never once made him think he should become a guardsman.)
“Hollow Leg” – Njal has a weakness for food. If he hasn’t tasted it yet, he will have a hard time resisting the temptation. This makes him susceptible to all sorts of not so good things. Just about anything from learning why you don’t eat some peppers whole, to avoiding the consumption of certain wild plants, or mushrooms are all possible shenanigans or problems.
“Fast Metabolism” Njal has had a fast metabolism since he was a budding young man. He tends to always be hungry, he can’t keep on weight without a consistent inflow of calories,
“Broken Heart” – See History – Two stones one grave.
“Lost Faith” -Due to a poignant loss in his life, Njal no longer worships Teodonis. This makes him a pariah amongst the faithful.
Njal Bugul was born to a Craftsman and trader named Jian Bugul, and his wife Tessa. Their little family lived on a sheep farm near Shim. Jian was about often and would teach his son many things. The man had a fondness for wood, clay, and stone. When Njal reached his 8th year, his father would take him hunting into the Virdara. It became a tradition the pair would repeat until his father’s death. Life on the farm was a hard education, but extensive. He learned much of how a farm functions, the seasons, and crops. When it came time, his father set him to the task of making his own bow and arrows.
Excerpt “The Bowyers Son”
Njal’s small hands held the cut stave. It was odd, he had held all manner wooden bits before. He had even carried his fathers bow before, when they were out watching over the flock. But this piece of tree seemed foreign in his small hands.
“It’s time lad, it’s time to build your own bow.” His fathers words filled his unbelieving ears.
Bowyer, Archery, Fletching,
Homesteading, simple homebuilding, gardening,
Excerpt “Two Stones one Grave”
“Live for me!” She whispered through her paling lips. A final breath drifted from her mouth as smoke from a chimney and Njal watched the light fade from her eyes. Her hand that had held his so fast loosened and she was gone.
Yet he could not let go. It was as if his denial was strong enough to keep her alive but a few seconds more. His bloodied hands clasped hers in a grotesque sticky mess. Convulsively he slapped at them trying to feel through the truth he perceived as a lie. It was a truth as crystalline clear as a mountain spring. He didn’t want it to be, he didn’t want her to go. The gasp of pain that threatened to escape the vault of his heart was momentarily quelled by the wail of his newborn babe.
The midwife pulled the weeping girl from her mother’s womb, the deadliest determination on her face that one good thing would come from this bloody mess.
Njal placed his wife’s hands upon her breast and reached for his daughter. A great burning agony in his heart, and the desperate hope that his child was alright. When he held her close to his chest, he realized just how small she was. A gossamer life. A glimmer of potential.
For a the briefest of moments she barely opened her eyes. They were the color of freshly tilled earth, dark and rich. His eyes flashed from his newborn babe, to his dead wife, and back again as he held the child as gently as he could imagine.
Yet, something wasn’t right. The child was quiet. She did not wail, or kick. She simply seemed to struggle. As if proving Njal’s fears real the child closed her eyes once more, gave a weak quiver, and became still.
The breath seized in his chest, and the loathsome wail that he desperately wished he could release would not come. It all felt so unreal, so impossible. A cold numbness set into his limbs, and chest. He gasped and gulped for air, like a fish on the bank of a great river; flung there by a fisherman. The world was cold, hard, unforgiving, and unfair. But this felt impossible. Finally, a muffled sob escaped his nostrils and his breath became ragged.
He hadn’t cried for years. Not since his father had past. He fell to his knees at the bedside of his lost love. The lifeless infant in his arms, and it felt now that truly there was nothing left for him. His heart was sundered and crushed to naught more than dust. It was as if someone had disemboweled him and left him bleeding. He felt sick, and lost, like there was no one left. He was a foundation with no house above it. A Shell.
He was unsure as to how much time had passed. He wasn’t sure how long he’d sat there clenching his dead family in his arms. He couldn’t tell when he had laid his dead babe into his wife’s arms, only that he now clung to them both. A coldness laid root in his heart, more icy than the corpses he embraced.
“I’m sorry,” He heard at his shoulder. The pitiful cough he made in response, only gave rise to bout of quailing sobs. The Midwife’s arms wrapped about him, and she rocked him back and forth. Just as he had desperately wanted to do for his daughter. The Midwife held him fast. “Its not your fault.” She whispered in his ear. “it was gods will.”
The statement cut him deeply. They had been devout followers of Teodinus all their lives. How could he have abandoned them in their time of need. What had they done? How could they have deserved this?
Njal’s arms and legs felt shaken and weak. His chest sore from the constant loss of breath, yet he tried to speak. “Why would it be the will of God that lives such as these, so innocent and pure, would leave this place?” He croaked. “Why would they-“ his words died in his horse throat.
With a desperate wheeze, he tried to stand. The midwife did her best to help him to his feet, though she did not let him escape her tender embrace. He looked upon his family, cold and bloodied on the bed before him. He sniffed back against the metallic taste in his mouth. In the dimming light, they looked almost peaceful. Were the sheets not stained with blood he would have assumed the pair were asleep.
He felt bizarrely grateful. They were together. He prayed, nay, hoped they at last met one another in the undying lands. His wife had so desperately wanted to meet their child. Perhaps, now they had that chance.
“There is nothing to forgive my love.” He whispered softly, as he touched his wifes hand one last time. The midwife stood at his back, and laid her hands on his shoulders comfortingly. “Wait for me.”
“You should wash up Bug and try to get some rest. I’ll take care of them. I swear by Teodinus.” Her words drifted to him like the rustle of wind in the leaves of a tree. Yet, he knew that she would do her best.
His soul felt destroyed. Shattered. He was in no shape to argue. Silently he nodded and walked out of their bedroom and into the parlor. He sat down in his father’s old chair and laid his head in his hands. He rested that way a long while. He could not be certain. He knew only that two things. His family was dead, and he yet lived.
Where was the fairness in that.