The Red Empire
Haaken The Bloodyfisted
A tall but rangy North lander, with long black hair and the start of a beard.
Although the armour he wears is well worn and his shield is covered in scratches and well notched, Haaken looks like he may only just be out of his teenage years. His dark beard is still thin and somewhat patchy, and he lacks the obvious scars and other battle marks of the rest of the named men.
His long black hair frames a thin but determined face, often set with a hard expression expect when he thinks no one is watching or he lets his guard down, at which point an easy smile and almost carefree look graces his face. He seems determined to impress those in the party who are older than him and will often try to come up with plans of action, but more often than not he just jumps onto the ideas of other, wiser heads.
Like all named men, his soubriquet comes with a story, and one that he is happy to share. Being the youngest of his siblings since his mother died when he was child, he has always fought to be respected by his older brothers, throwing himself into fights that he would be unlikely to win, and often proving very little than he couldn’t in fact win the fight. This changed when he was in his late teens when an argument broke out over who could sit where in the drinking hall and one of his brothers was knocked unconscious by a blow from a drinking vessel.
Seeing the opportunity to improve his reputation, Haaken jumped into the fray but was quickly knocked to the ground by someone much bigger than himself. Sensing many eyes on him as he once again looked from the ground at his victorious opponent, something changed in him for a few moments and he grabbed the closest thing to hand; a shard from the porcelain jug that had shattered over his brothers head. He took a large chunk and rose quickly, striking into the belly of the man above him over and over again, not noticing that the sharp edges were cutting into his own flesh almost as much at the stomach of the other man.
When the struggling stopped, Haaken quickly regained control of himself and set about cleaning the blood from his hand as brothers and other tribesman clamped their hands on his shoulder, patted his back and thrust drinking horns towards him.
It would be some time before the blood was gone however as something had gotten into the wounds of his right hand and prevented them from fully closing for over a month. By the end of the first two weeks he was a sickly wreck and still the blood oozed from between his bandages. It was only as the new moon rose that the wounds finally sealed and he was able to hold a sword or shield again.
The call came not long after that to join the army fighting the empire, but Haaken was still compared to his older – and much bigger – brothers and sent to join a scouting party instead of the main shield wall. Although the brother he fought for offered to assure him of his place, Haaken refused, determined to gain renown on his own merits, instead of trading off the name of his brothers.