Phil's Island World
A dashing young man of athletic build who is always seen with a sly grin on his face.
A tall young man stands before you, tanned of skin with black hair. Fitted in new leather armor that is studded with iron buttons and stamped with the Sigil of Rikal, he has an inordinate number of daggers strapped about his body as well as dual short swords and a couple of saps, one of which has a dark red stain that catches your eye for an instant. He seems relaxed and excited at the same time. A sly grin that just won’t leave his his face greets you honestly. He speaks with barely contained enthusiasm about the voyages to come, how he feels that we are all going to go down in history as some kind of heros. If you greet him with anything other than an overtly hostile manner he begins asking all manner of questions about you, “Where are you from? Do you have family? What do you hope to get out of this adventure?” Etc., etc., ad nauseum. If anyone looks bored he offers to play a game of chance with them, cards, dice, or dominoes, he has them all.
Life began simply for Solomon. Born on the 15th of Medd, during the 7th year of our grand Emperor Anthen Sictan VII’s reign, to a family consiting of two young, loving parents, Hallin and Veronica, and his older brother, Antoine. His parents were commoners in the city of Verigio, the capital of the Rikal, a middling province of the empire, situated on the south-eastern shore of Selthak, whose main contribution to the Empire came in the form of raw and refined coal, copper ore, and iron ore along with some fish exports. His father Hallin had worked as a copper miner since he had been old enough to carry a pick, and his mother Veronica found work as a scullery maid in the House of Duke Carlmond Verigio, later working her way up to Head Cook during Solomon’s adolescence.
Both of his parents were very loyal to their Duke and to their Empire and he spent his young life following on his mother’s apron strings, or running wild in the streets with the other children of the district, hearing tales of our great Emperor and being taught of the citizen’s duty to the Empire. So Solomon came to regard our Empire and its rulers as magnificent people of honor, courage, and cunning. Leading the common folk into the future for the betterment of the Empire as a whole. That every citizen, from the greatest of the Barons to the lowest peasant, shares in the troubles and triumphs of every other citizen and that we are all made better, greater, for the sharing.
It was was a time of great excitement and pride for the Empire and Solomon, for it was during this time that the empire was beginning to reach out into the world surrounding them. Constructing greater sea vessels than the Empire ever had before and sending them beyond the horizon, seeking knowledge and riches. It was not long after his seventh birthday that the Isle of Light was found, and first contact was made with the kingdom of the Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Halflings. These were some of the most formative years of Solomon’s life, and it was on that great day that he swore he would do whatever he needed to in order to become one of the great explorers that he had spent all these years hearing stories about.
It was during this young man’s fourteenth year that tragedy struck. An earthquake shook Selthak fiercely that fateful day, causing the mineshaft his father was working in to collapse. Forty-two men working that day lost their lives. The Duke gave a moving eulogy for the those who had died in the mines. He always did. However, it was not enough to quiet the pain Solomon felt deep down. Angry at everything and nothing at the same time he lashed out, became reckless, picking fights he couldn’t win just because he could. Until one day he picked a fight with the wrong man and nearly lost it all. He was bed ridden for four months while he healed and unable to leave the house for another six. In order to help pay for his brothers medical expenses, Antoine was forced to seek out work in the very mine that had so recently killed their father. Solomon’s mother, distraught over the path her youngest son was taking, beseeched Duke Carlmond Verigio to help Solomon find a better life. He agreed to help her and her family as she had been a loyal, hard-working cook for him for many years. He saw spirit in the boy, and intelligence. A bright mind, quick body, and bold spirit, and so gave him over to Halthor Carreros, his Master-At-Arms, to train him and put him to good use.
Solomon took to his new purpose with enthusiasm. He felt an immense amount of guilt over forcing Antoine into the mines to help support their family and swore he would never be a burden to them again. He studied hard and practiced every night. He was paired with Avery Burghess, a sly man with quick fingers and piercing eyes, and went out with him every night, learning his trade. How to stick to the shadows, how to step so you are not heard, how to “feel” the pins in a lock when they fall home. During the day, he and Avery went around visiting the Duke’s various interests to see to it things were going along as he wished. During these visits Solomon learned how to spot a lie and feel out a half-truth, how to haggle, barter, and persuade or to simply speak with authority, to command attention and obedience with body language and words.
Avery taught him much and he learned quickly. He began to be seen as a rising star under the tutelage of Halthor, and was careful not to damage his reputation in the eyes of the Duke or his Master-At-Arms. It was on the day of his seventeenth birthday that his most sought after dream came true. Shortly after he and his family had finished their dinners and exchanged their gifts, Halthor Carreros came knocking at their door to inform Solomon that their was to be an expedition to seek out and explore new lands in the name of the empire, with the aid of the Elves, and that Duke Carlmond Verigio would like him to represent his interests on this voyage. Whooping for joy Solomon accepted on the spot, swearing to do all he could for his Duke, his Province, and his Empire.
Solomon has only just begun to enter his adult years, and is even now beginning an adventure that will shape the course of his life to come. Let us all watch and see how these next events unfold together, with bated breath.