The Quest for Haven
The executioner's son out to save the world
Growing up as the son of the retained executioner is a strange life. There’s a certain amount of respect, as there is for all public servants, but also an undercurrent of disgust and fear. This is the upbringing Arin Grenstrom had, and it is one he got used to. That is, until the time of the coup. When the government was overthrown, Arin’s father knew it wouldn’t be long before the revolutionaries came for him, as the public symbol of the oppression they felt the government was guilty of. Fortunately for the Grenstroms, not everyone was sympathetic to the revolution and they were able to get aboard a ship bound for a country where they would be better treated with several other minor public figures. Things were going fairly smoothly on the voyage when, with the ship in sight of a small harbour town, a huge sea monster attacked, with no warning. Despite the efforts of the crew, and the flashing axe of Arin’s father, the ship was sunk, and Arin found himself drifting into the strange harbour town grasping his father’s execution axe. Ten years later, Arin had established himself as a local in the harbour town he now knew was called Restharven, but he found himself yearning for the city life he had had as a child, so the next time the merchant Barakas came to town, Arin asked him if he needed a guard. Arin signed up for the chance to go to Sora’s Redoubt, but after a trip with Barakas, he realised that travelling through the natural world with a small group of companions held more pleasures for him than a city full of strangers. After a few trips, just when Barakas was getting used to having Arin around, on an overnight stop in the hills on the way from Restharven to Sora’s Redoubt, Arin disappeared. They went to sleep as normal in the evening, and when they woke the next day, Arin wasn’t there. Barakas and the others looked for him, but it soon became clear that he wasn’t going to be found without risking everyone else’s lives, so Barakas reluctantly carried on without him. Five years later and Barakas is called to the front gate of Sora’s Redoubt to see a huge Goliath standing there holding Arin’s axe and saying he is Arin. After a series of questions, Barakas was convinced that the hulk in front of him was the guard he’d lost all that time ago. In the next few days, Arin relayed what had happened to him in the intervening years, when he had been nurtured and trained by the nature spirits resident in the hills, how he’d learned not only how to use his father’s weapon more effectively, but also how to call the spirits of the world to his aid at his time of need. He also explained that he’d been told to return to the world of man because the land needs him.
The first thing that strikes a new acquaintance of Arin is probably the fact that he is a huge, grey skinned mountain of a man. The next thing, though, is his axe. His axe, inherited from his father, is that of an executioner with two differences. Firstly, there’s the sharp metal claw affixed to the handle near the blade. Secondly, there’s the series of 9 notches carved into the handle and inked in. If Arin trusts you and you ask him about the notches, he’ll explain that they were cut there by his father, who inked them with his own blood. He called them his marks of remorse. He cut one in each time he had cause to kill someone whose death he regretted and wished he could prevent. Arin has yet to add to the notches, but doesn’t delude himself that he won’t have cause to. The claw, Arin explains, is a curious addition that allows him to wring more effectiveness from the weapon at the cost of some pain.
Other than these two obvious factors, Arin’s appearance is unusual only in its unkempt and rural nature. From his pack to his scruffy leather armour, none of it fits in an urban environment at all.