PLAYED BY: Zack Hawkins
CHARACTER NAME: Runar
GENDER: yes plz
PREFFERED PRONOUN(S): He/Him
HAIR: Dark Brown
OCCUPATION: A student and a Chair Maker
KNOWN SKILLS: Chair making, onion harvesting, heavy things carrying, fast swimming, afraid of the dark but good at the daytime
BIRTHPLACE: on an onion farm in nightriver territory
NOTABLE TRAITS: Happy. unless he is sad. Strong hands, but not so good feet. knees are okay
RELATIONSHIPS: Recently enrolled in the university at keys crossing
RUMORS: Good listener, but not great speaker. Also, good taster. Runar loves tasting. Smelling is good too
BIO / BACKGROUND HISTORY:
~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~
Gaia’s happy waters
Runar was born in an onion patch, 6 inches from the worms as his mother tells. Weary from her days labor, she didn’t quite make it back to their cabin in time to welcome him to the world, so he started his life in much the same fashion that he would spend his youth – naked and covered in dirt. His father says the spot where it happened is still where the best onions sprout, but Runar knows it’s more likely due to it also being his favorite place to make night soil.
His father would always say, “Runar! Never shit where you sleep!”.
and while Runar never completely understood the sentiment – “Who shits where they sleep? And does it happen so often that it needs to be a cautionary tale to children??” he DID suspect that perhaps this rule extended to where you were born as well, so he kept it to himself.
By his teen years, he had grown to wonder what was happening outside of his little family farm. His parents were wary of all outsiders and had a wild, usually scary story to defend against any of his prying questions about Mardrun and its other inhabitants.
“If it were just other Ulven here, we would love to let you romp around sowing your wild oats” his mother bellowed once, “But it’s not! There are evil, pointy eared baby eaters out there now.. and flat toothed round-ears with funny accents that are ALL diseased. If you go near them, you’ll die, and we can’t pick all these onions without you”.
His parents knew a lot about everything, so he heeded their warnings usually. He used to think they must be very wise to know so much about the world and all the things in it, but as the years went on, Runar did start to notice some incongruities in their tales..
He once asked his father while walking the riverbank, “Why does the water flow only in this direction, and never the other way around?”
His father smiled and explained,”It is because the river always flows from Gaia towards the Great Wolf, and when it rains, it is because Gaia is missing the Great Wolf and wants him near.. and when it STORMS, and the river overflows its banks.. It is because the Great Wolf has found her and is making her very happy”.
Runar loved that story and thought about it often. He always loved swimming in the river when it was raining, and it made him happy thinking about Gaia missing the Great Wolf and how he was somehow a part of that when he swam. But months later, as he was helping his mother work the dirt, the dark clouds of a storm rolled in.. flashes of lightning and the boom of thunder came right as the first drops of rain hit their heads. He started undressing and running to the river immediately, his mother running fast behind him.
She caught him before he jumped off the river bank, “What the hell are you doing Runar??”
“Swimming in Gaia’s love!!” He emphatically answered.
Turns out, his mother’s reasoning for the river’s flow was a lot different than his fathers.. “You’ve been reading those dirty fairy tales he writes haven’t you!”, she scolded. “I told him to hide them away where you could not find them. Is this why you always sneak out to shit in the onion patch too?? Did he write that it lures naked forest nymphs?!”.
But this was the way of it. He was still not totally sure why the river flowed one way, but he also didn’t let it stop him from swimming in the rain.
The years passed, and Runar found his joy where he could in life – he knew nothing else, so he wanted for very little.. Or so he believed..
When Runar turned 36, the most amazing thing happened to shake up his quiet existence..
His father broke his leg.
Well.. Runar was sure that it was not great for his father, but OH BOY.. did it mean amazing things for him. For the first time in his whole life, he was allowed to venture out from not just their farm, but out into Nightriver lands and to a settlement!! Once a year, his father would go to trade their sweet onions and chairs that he enjoyed making for various goods they could not grow or make themselves, and this year… THIS YEAR.. that day had landed not only on his birthday, but on the day his father fell off the cabin roof, and it could not be stalled any longer for winter was fast approaching, and if they missed the window it would be an entire season without their needed goods. His mother, being deathly afraid of diseases and mumbling something about colonial scum (two words whose meaning, Runar could not divine), made the executive decision to send him in his fathers stead.
~~~~~\ ~~Part 2 ~~~~~~~
The Great Wolf’s Heavy load
And there he was!! Strolling down the path with a huge hiking pack full of onions and strapped with 4 homemade chairs, whistling a merry tune. He walked all day and thought about walking all night just because he was SO excited to reach the market and see the mysterious outsiders his parents hated so much, but as the sun fell below the treeline, the woods took on an eerie calm. He felt watched, although he could not tell why. He remembered a story his mother had told him about creatures that come out at night.. Strange shadow beasts, with tiny yellow eyes that glowed bright when they smelled little boys nearby. He thought he might see some of these eyes up ahead on the path..
HE IMMEDIATELY PANICKED.
Breaking into a run, Runar made it ten paces before tripping on a root and falling to the dirt, the weight of his overloaded pack, bulging with onions and 4 wooden chairs haphazardly strapped about it driving him face first into the soil.
Blinking, bleary eyed and seeing stars.. No.. yellow lights in the distance growing larger… and closer..
“Fuck”, he thought to himself. “First and last adventure”
He closed his eyes tightly and waited for his doom.
But it did not come.
Instead.. Soft footfalls.. And then an even softer voice.. “Well met. I am Hjalvar, the Wolf’s Priest”.
After assuring Runar that Shadow Beasts were not a threat, the Wolf Priest helped him gather his spilled onions, and offered to set camp with him if he wanted. They built a fire, and Hjalvar put a coney on the spit he had trapped that day, offering to share with him in exchange for some onions. They supped and found themselves happily trading stories of recent adventures. Runar felt a bit inadequate as his stories mostly dealt with local badgers or river otters and the shenanigans and hijinks associated with, while the wolf’s priest had grand tales of the road and his extensive travels. Turns out, Hjalvar was something of a prophet, and Runar sat wide-eyed as he spun his tale of a first hand experience with the Great Wolf..
“There I was, falling from a scaffold. Next thing I know I’m on my back and my vision is fading out and my lungs are filling with blood. I close my eyes. Then suddenly I feel totally fine. I open my eyes and I’m standing in a forest and off in the distance I see the hulking shadow of The Great Wolf as it stalks its way toward me. Naturally I freeze in place. Then I hear a voice, low and rumbling like a growl barely escaping the throat of the great beast, ‘I do not know you yet you intrude on my forest?’ the beast called to me, ‘Without a name, you are nothing to me. Nothing but a morsel.’ Then the Great Wolf turned and began bounding toward me, his maw open. I tell you the likes of it I have never seen. When he opened his mouth, by Gaia’s grace his mouth so large it could swallow ten warriors without thinking, I saw the stars inside. I saw the very cosmos itself, but at the center of it all, I saw something that scared me more than any of the rest of the experience. I saw nothingness; a void of pure emotionless, nothingness. I screamed…and then I was back. And I swore that when the great wolf saw me once more, He would know my name!”
Runar lay awake that night incapable of finding sleep. He stared up through the trees into the great cosmos above wondering what else his parents had left out when educating him about the world. He believed the Wolf Priest’s story entirely.. he had no reason to distrust the man – he had shared a rabbit with him after all, and what else do you need to know a person really? The Great Wolf had placed a heavy load on Hjalvar it seems, allowing him to return to this realm after seeing into his maw.
By time the sun rose, he had made the biggest decision of his life – He would not be returning home. This was the sign he had been waiting for.
Packing up camp, Runar asked Hjalvar for advice on where a young man with onions and chairs to spare might go to strike out into the world and see what he could learn of it. The Great Wolf’s Priest said he had no idea how onions would get Runar ahead, but that there was a University in Key’s Crossing he could try. “I think it would be a fine place for an open minded Ulven like yourself to get an unbiased education, but even if they do not admit you to their classes, it stands to reason that they would at least purchase your chairs, schools usually need lots of chairs”
And so it was, that Runar and Hjalvar parted ways, and that he happily trotted along on his way to the University at Key’s Crossing to begin his education.