Ekard of Tewood, D&D Character Background

artist unknown

My husband and I occasionally play D&D with some friends of ours. One such recent instance was at DragonCon in Atlanta. I thought my character background turned into an interesting piece of writing so here it is for all to see! Enjoy.
 

Ekard of Tewood

(ECK-ard -of- TAE-wud)
human, fighter, folk hero

 

“What we call luck is the inner man externalized. We make things happen to us.” -Robertson Davies

 
Everyone worshipped me, until they didn’t. My name is Ekard of Tewood, the one girl of six children, fifth in the line of my father. My younger brother Beryl was basically a girl too, the ponce. But anyway…

When I was eight, traveling the woods alone, an angel stopped me, I think her name was Tarthuriel or something, and blessed me with superlative strength. Really all she did was give me a fighting chance with all those brothers. Nonetheless, when I was nineteen, our village, Tewood, was under threat of flood. The spring thaws had effected the Readmar peaks a little more heavily than usual and turned the Brook of Appleraine into the Raging Rapids of Appleraine. We needed to sandbag the whole place to save our homes and thanks to my “strong as a couple of small ponies” gig, I tossed an inordinate amount of sandbags and plucked a couple of our people out of the river like trout when they happened to get swept into the rapids. People started to talk. I got quite the reputation in Elworth Valley and even beyond as someone trusted, true, strong, a helper of the innocent. There were parades. I mean, it was usually a single cart led by a donkey through a small village where a happy-go-lucky pub owner awaited me with open arms and open bar. I became a bit of an alcoholic, but my jewelry business boomed!

So now I’m twenty and doing great. My jewel business is thriving, I’m incredibly good friends with the local dwarves that mine a lot of our resources, including my gems, and my family is the talk of the town. Three of my brothers marry their teenage sweethearts and everyone’s looking to us like some kind of folk heroes. Tewood is flourishing and everyone thinks it’s because of our family.

Of course, that’s when it happens. I’m stumbling home through the woods one night —those dwarves can drink!— and before I ever reach the clearing around Tewood, I start getting hot. I think it’s just the sweats at first, the ones you get when you drink too much. But it gets worse and worse and then I see the flickering orange in the distance. Flames. Lots and lots of flames. I run as fast as I can, which is normally pretty darned fast thanks to my blessed strength. But with the drinking, I’m a little slower, wobblier, and fall-down-ier. By the time I get there I’m too late.

A red, demonic looking thing —horns, tails, the works— manifests some flame, throws it like it’s a dash of salt at our meeting house and darts away. I never saw him again. Everyone was dead. We hadn’t had enough water nearby to quench the flames. When we sandbagged the river, it had shifted course, slightly away from us.

I mentioned at the beginning that everyone worshipped me until they didn’t. Because they all died. Oh, the surrounding towns still thought I was the jam. They thought the forces of evil were sort of fighting back against my angelic blessing and good-deed-doing. I never told them I was getting drunk with the dwarves. And the dwarves never saw fit to mention it either. Maybe one day I’ll find that red bastard. But until then, I wander with no home, doing good where I can, protecting those who can’t protect themselves. Every time I see my jewel tools, I think of the jewel of the valley: Tewood. And if a local pub owner offers the Hero of Elworth Valley a drink, I punch him in the face. And then I may or may not take the drink.