Wednesday, 3 April 2013

C is for Coachman, Jaswick Downhill

To meet Jaswick is to observe a study of contrasts. His stark white hair is punctuated by two pitch black eyes that seem to have no iris. He appears undersized for his oversized firearms: two Dwarven pistols sized for a human named for his mother and father, Wanda and Murder. The guns, as long as his torso, makes him seem much smaller than he actually is.

Jaswick Downhill grew up on the border's of Stirland and the Mootland in Sauerapfel. The first son of a prominent innkeeper and an awardwinning pie maker, Jaswick learned how to cook very early, but innkeeping and cooking did not sate a wanderlust. His parents died tragically in a fire that swept through part of Sauerapfel during the Mootland's famed Pie Week celebrations. The inn was lost, as were Jaswick's eyebrows--permanently seared in a backdraft during the fire--and Jaswick inherited debts and three much younger brothers.

Jaswick sent his siblings to live with a cousin in Averheim and set to handling his father's debts. His father had connections with several coaching houses that serviced the Mootland, Stirland and Averland provinces. Wörden Coaches hired him riding the unenvious position of footman. Standing on a springless steel pad at rear of speeding coaches was hard work that often started with tying oneself with thick cords of rope to the handholds so as not to fall off. Hours standing in thick oil cloth to protect himself the endless clouds of dust in the heat of summer, rain and mud in the wet season, and snow and mud in the winter was exhausting work. Yet it also allowed him to keep the fine clothing that his employer provided him mostly clean. A fact not unnoticed by the customers that were presented at there destination by a relatively clean footman.

Jaswick's small stature and position on the coaches would soon save him and his charge from a goblin raiding party that ambushed an otherwise empty coach, but one that carried a large sum of crowns being sent to Wurtbad. The goblins, riding mangy and vicious wolves, killed the driver with arrows. The coach slowed to a halt as the horse team, without instruction, came to a stop. The goblins did not see Jaswick on the footman's mount, covered in dust and mud, in the hustle to tear off the doors or attempting to steal the horses.

Jaswick took the opportunity to lift himself to the roof and retrieve the teamster's two pistols. Two dead goblins later, and the reins in hand, the coach was again speeding toward Wurtbad. The owner promoted Jaswick to full coachman. Only Jaswick's eyesight and expert use of pistol's made him the perfect partner to a larger teamster.

Today, Jaswick rides bodyguard for all of Wörden Coaches most prominent passengers or most valuable cargo.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:00 AM in d10

 

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