Harper

(Played by Sam)

God: Tyr (Justice, Honor, War)
Alignment: Lawful Good
Appearance: Medium skin tone; grey eyes; light (dyed) hair; just shy of 6 feet tall, scar on left side of her face.

Harper was born with a different name (Vera Adarard) to a well off family of slavers in the southeast region of Pargun. While growing up, she was an only child surrounded by a loving family and regular meals. She knew what her parents were, but she saw the situation as normal; she was taught that the hierarchy was just a way of life. Those around her in everyday life tended to be nice enough, however, she always felt an odd mistrust of the nation's leaders. She knew she could not speak up to her family or even her closest friends though, as she had regularly seen the cruel punishments for those who spoke ill of the ruling party.
In her childhood, she had many interests. Her favorite hobby was reading, but the one she partook in most often was hunting with her father. Even as a young child, her dad taught her how to shoot a bow and use blades. He taught Harper how to play the role of predator. She enjoyed the rush of adrenaline and feeling as though she has control. This feeling only lasted during the hunt, however. While she enjoyed the chase and spending time with her father, she couldn't help but feel a tinge of guilt after the pair had killed their prey. She tended to brush it off though, and would soon go back to practicing with her dad.
When she reached her teenage years, border wars began to pick up between Pargun and Lyonya, as well as with some elves of Ladysforest. She had sprouted to a height much higher than most human women in this time, and her parents enlisted her in training for the army. She had known that with her build and experience in hunting, it should be a natural choice to join the army. She could not protest their decision either way, but she had accepted it for herself. It was a position with reputation that would repay her family for the comfortable upbringing they gave her.

At the beginning of her training, she showed her officers that she was disciplined and motivated. She enjoyed this portion of her time in the army; she gained strength and mental clarity. Her officers thought highly of her, and decided with her build to train her as a warrior. As training and sparring continued, Harper pushed herself for several months.
After about one year, Harper still held up physically with the rest of her group, but was beginning to question more and more of what she saw around her. She realized she never really considered what the war she would soon be partaking was or why it was happening. She saw the officers' slaves and servants constantly mistreated and even killed, and for the first time in her life, she began to question the true nature of the classes she ignored as a child. She had overheard rumors of the general and his worship of Liart, as well his potential assaults on some of the new officers he believed were slacking. Most of her comrades talked about this in a bragging or nonchalant manner, and Harper played along. However, this confirmed her mistrust of those that lead her government and army.
As the new group of soldiers had trained for a year, the general had ordered some of his well known officers to escort them to the large, underground camp near the borders of Lyonya and Dwarvenhame to be placed into different squadrons. On the march to the camp, Harper was reminded of hunting with her father. While she had hoped the training lead to the feeling of adrenaline, all she could feel was the proceeding guilt she had always known. She was not sure if she could kill for a land she did not trust, but she knew leaving at that point meant death. Once the squad of new soldiers had reached the camp after some time travelling, the officer who often talked to Harper approached her. She brought Harper to one of the highest officers known in the nation, and told him of Harper's discipline and hard work. He had a very grim face but smiled at her, and said that he will think about bringing her into his platoon. This would be an honor to anyone else here, but Harper could not help but feel unsettled.
As a few days passed, Harper worked under this new officer. He updated her on the general attack plan and set up that his squad uses, and had her train with the rest of his soldiers. One night, however, he had asked Harper to meet him in his quarters.
When she entered his room, the officer held his young, human boy servant by his arm. The boy could not have been more than 13. The officer said that Harper showed great promise, but if she wanted to be welcomed into his highly ranked squad, he must know she can do more than just fight. He gave Harper a large knife, and told her to cut out the tongue of his servant. The officer had caught the boy speaking ill of him and another highly ranked officer. Harper was frozen, and just stared at the boy and the officer. She realized now that she could not do it, but she knew that it would be her head or his tongue. The world around her seemed to blank out, but she could hear her officer chanting in the background. With much hesitation, she closed her eyes and sliced off the boys tongue. Harper held back her tears as her officer congratulated her, and she headed back to her quarters for the night.

When she got to her bed, she knew that she was wrong, and must leave now. Death was better than serving a will you do not believe in. She knew she would disgrace her family, nation, and officers, but she knew if she stayed she could not live with herself. She always had loving parents, but resented them in the moment as they may have been the ones who gave the boy to the officer.
She could not easily leave the guarded underground camp, but had heard of several boxes of food and aid supplies getting shipped out of the front lines. She put on a cloak, entered the camp's docking area, and managed to open a large box of meat, and closed herself in. She awoke the next morning to the motion of a wagon, surprised that she had managed to get out. After what felt like many years, the wagon came to a halt. She was unloaded with the rest of the supplies, and stayed hidden until night. It took some time to quietly open the box, but she freed herself. The campground was still very alive, but also very populated. Removing her cloak, she fit in well with her basic leather on. She was not the best sneak, but she managed to scour the area in search of conversation. After several hours, she managed to just barely grab a map from a fellow soldier, and overheard of a possible enemy camp that had entered Pargun. They had sent out scouts. With only a small idea of where this was, if it even really existed, this was the only opportunity Harper had to leave the nation. She would most likely be killed, but some chance at seeing the rest of the world was worth it.
With little on her besides a short sword and a small amount of food, Harper used the map and details she overheard to get towards the southern Lyonyan border. Hiding in the shadows, she moved as fast as she could. After about 3 days, she came across a sight she had never seen: tiny people and short, burly men off in the distance. The ground was wet, and she was not sure how to approach, so she waited for nightfall. She had been unsure of how to approach the situation. They would most likely kill her instantly. Finding a way out from the camp would be hard, as supplies would most likely be coming into the camp instead of going out. On this night, she carefully approached the camp, with the intent of trying to look into any maps, plans, or supplies she could find. However, her large build did not help her. A large, dwarven man and a lanky human found her while she was in the kitchen. They dragged her to their officer, who was a dwarf. The army was largely Dwarven, but included some half-elves and humans from Lyonya. Their officer looked down at Harper, and asked her many questions, as she realized he must think she's a scout. She could not answer them, and decided to ask for their help on escaping. The dwarf officer went silent, and seemed to begin a small laugh at her request. One of his soldiers approached Harper, and swung at her. With a quick reflex, she tried to block his blade, but it hit her face. While she was bleeding, another dwarf ran forward, and pleaded with his officer. She was sent out of the tent and held in chains. After much time, the dwarf who had earlier approached his officer came forward to Harper. The dwarf said that he could arrange a ride for her through Dwarvenhame and Lyonya, but then she would be on her own. Harper thanked him, and stayed locked up until several days later.

The man came with a wagon full of supplies to drop off to the camp, then approached Harper. He agreed that he could get her to the city state of Opal, but would then have to leave her. In the mean time, she would act as his mercenary if needed. He also said that if she tried anything, he would bring her back to Pargun. She agreed quickly.
While the dwarf was hard to warm up to, he gave her good advice. The dwarf gave her supplies to adjust the color of her hair, and she began to call herself Harper Sparrow. She told officials who asked that she was a human girl from Lyonya.

After much time, she began to ask the dwarf of his background. While it took some time, she learned more than she ever knew about the histories of the other nations and races. They ate together, went to speak with merchants together, and she occasionally killed a few goblins and small creatures for him. As the travel took a long time, she even learned his language and religion. He was a dwarf who, while only a trader and traveler, followed the teachings of Tyr. He often provided services for the Dwarven, Ladysforest, and Lyonyan armies because of his religion. As they approached Opal, Harper liked the ideologies of Tyr more and more. While she saw the harshness of law and obedience, she also saw that the many other nations used their law to create a society that harbored peace and prosperity. And while she longed for peace and still regretted her choice to slit the boy's tongue, she saw that war could be used for the defense of those that needed it and to bring justice. She asked the dwarf to take her to the temple of his god.

She stayed here for several months, and became devoted to the God Tyr. She grew in both her physical and spiritual strength. After some time, she decided to head out on the trade routes. As a way to serve her god, as much as she wishes to bring justice to the place she once called home, she knows that there is a more pressing matter to look into first.
She knows the slave trade is alive and well in secret, even in large cities and along trade routes. To serve her god, redeem herself, and repent for her parents, she is looking to dig out slavers that hide in the shadows.

Game notes: Long Story Reward- Extra use of Channel Divinity

Harper