The Split Lands
45 year old ex-guard turned bitter adventurer
He is a scruffy older man, wrinkled with age and late alcoholic nights. He wears the uniform of the land he left, all the symbols and emblems worn down or taken off. He carries a long bow over his shoulder and a creepy mean old dog by his side. His personality reflects his wasted youth, angry and bitter. He smells of mead or ale or whatever else he can get his hands on. Yoric’s dog might be older and meaner than he is, “Dog” or “Dammit Dog” as he is most commonly refereed to as, is partially wolf and is larger than other dogs. “Dammit Dog” hates everyone and only reluctantly does what Yoric says in order to be fed.
Yoric was born in the small, remote mountain town of Rock Landing. Rock Landing was known for its rock slides and bad terrain. Originally Rock Landing was developed as a prison camp but but during the Shattering prisoners became a useful source of slave labor, so the site was abandoned except for a skeleton regiment to defend the new fort from orcs. The orcs, being too sensible to scale the side of an unstable mountain for a completely useless encampment, used their resources elsewhere. So the small town was never attacked and the regiment was quickly reassigned. Yoric, having recently told his superior officer Hakar Stonefist what he could do with his late night watch shift, had fallen out of favor with his regiment and was left to “guard” the otherwise abandoned keep and its surroundings. For the last 20 years Yoric has been watching and waiting, issuing a monthly report which is always completely void of any significant information. He has lived off the remains of field rations stored in the fort, trading some of “his” rations with passing dwarf caravans for liquor, increasingly supplemented by game.
During the last year Yoric received news of his father’s death and left his pointless assignment to venture to the Keep of Phylos for the burial. Upon returning to his post Yoric found everything completely covered by a mountain’s worth of rock. Yoric took this as a sign to start a new life. Policing the area for the remains of his “medicinal” stash, he found an arm sticking out from the rubble, dagger gripped tightly in its dead hand. Excavating, more out of morbid curiosity than anything else, he uncovered the mangled body of a black-clad human, torn to bits by the rockslide but with a scroll tucked into its belt. Although most of this was shredded as well, he managed to piece together a startlingly accurate description of himself, along with the phrase “Your actions and sacrifice will not go unrewarded, for should the prophecy be thwarted with his death we will all share in the glorious revelry to come.” Of the signature nothing was legible except for what looked like a stylized figure 8.
That day he quit the guard for good to take his chances as an adventurer, hoping to be able to regain some of his lost youth with this new life. He figured his first order of business really ought to be to find out who wants him dead and why, and to subsequently insert his arrow into the person’s throat. Unfortunately, his tendency to miss all the action continued; upon his return to Phylos, he found the entire keep engaged in reconstruction after the twin disasters of a magical plague followed by a hobgoblin attack. Ignored and unneeded, Yorick is cooling his heels and grousing at the tavern keeper, Duncan Ninefingers, who listens with dwindling patience. Even Dammit Dog has been more successful than Yorick, somehow managing to befriend the stableboy Horse, an orphaned boy with a one-word vocabulary (“horse”) and a mysterious way with animals.