Tales of the Red Way
Eckhart Rynos (Not-Not-Undead)
Brother, companion, undead horror, Knight.
The Tale of Eckhart Rynos
Eckhart grew up in Ironspike, the major Ore Refinery city of the Empire. Rich veins of iron, copper, tin and coal near the city help provide much of the Empire of its materials for war. The Rynos family built its wealth up over the years exporting the materials and importing other assets to the city via the Red Road that Ironspike was founded on. Eckhart’s father, Ajos Rynos, is the current head of the family business. He married a minor relative (14th cousin, which translates to 192nd in Line) to Emperor Hebious, Serena in a politically motivated arranged marriage for the region. The marriage allowed the family to be the main supplier of Ores and processed metals to the Frontier, and because of it, a major importer of goods from there as well.
Eckhart is the 3rd son of Ajos. He was not viewed as having a great eye for the business, so he was sent off to military training, in the hopes he could be a Captain of the Guard at some point. Eckhart grew to be a very large man (6’4”) with fire red hair and proved his mettle in combat training, and was allowed to enter extensive training in advanced techniques. Training included mounted combat and learning how to take on a tough opponent by himself, something the common guards were not trained to do. Eckhart soon learned the role he was learning was called a Cavalier. There were several Orders available to continue his education, and he was impressed by a Sir Bethus, who always boasted about his achievements in combat. However, as a member of the Order of the Cockatrice, a gift worthy of his teaching was required moreso than that of the other Orders. He was able to arrange for some fine tapestries to be given to Sir Bethus from some goods that had arrived at the family warehouse. Sir Bethus was pleased by the tapestries, and allowed Eckhart to learn under him. Eckhart soon learned how to be a good tactician, and how to handle a single opponent very easily. He also gained a Mount upon the completion of his training.
After Eckhart’s training was complete, his father rewarded him with a Special Breastplate, a Shield and his Banner which would be his identifying mark on the battlefield. The Breastplate and his cloak are Forest Green in color, and his Helm is Blood Red. His Shield has a Cockatrice, Green Body and Red head feathers upon a black background. Eckhart’s Banner, is that of a Green Anvil with Red Feathers on a Black Background. Both his shield and Banner were in sharp contrast to the Shields of the Empire, a Crown resting atop a Golden Sun on a Blue Background.
Eckhart’s desire to prove himself in combat, was directed toward the Frontier. His Father suggested he lead the next shipment of Ore’s Guard, which would take him to Crooklake, and that he would have both a place of operations and the ability to help tame the Wild of the Frontier at the same time. With that, Eckhart prepared himself and his Steed for travel.
A Small InconvenienceThe Travel to Crooklake was rather uneventful, after all, the caravan of wagons were well guarded, even if slower than normal. While in Meadflow (city near Crooklake) he observed a Halfling named Thoven attempt to try to steal from one of the other guards. From his training, he knew that this was the sort he might need in the Wild, he confronted the Halfling and gained some trust (he didn’t turn him in). He was able to convince the short rogue to join the Caravan as a Guard to Crooklake and earn an honest pay to get to the city. The pair hit it off quite well, the Halfling was someone Eckhart could boast to, and when Eckhart boasted to others, the Halfling was able to make use of the distraction to earn extra coin from time to time. The two parted once they got to Crooklake, but left word on where to find the other if either needed help. Eckhart also trained a War Pony for the Halfling, as a travelling companion for someone of the Cavaliers’ status should not be walking.
The Rynos family provides raw materials, mostly Ores and processed metals, but occasionally other harvested goods, useful to brewers of magical nature. Few shops could provide some of the materials, such as Gum Arabic, various Herbs, Inks Iron Pyrite, Powdered and Crushed Lime, Mercuric Nitrate Crystals, Mercury, Phosphorus, various Pigments, various Salts, Talc and various other materials including those to allow crafters to blow their own glass vials and the like all under one roof. As such this brought in a number of Alchemists into the shop, including Balthazar Durga (Mark’s character) a few times.
A Play that changes One’s Outlook on Life
While Eckhart was 13, he saw a play written by the playwright Mobian (later discovered to be the mentor of Vecca Vex). When he saw it, it seemed like a very good play. The play centered on a red haired man who would not inherit his family’s business, so he sought out military training and became a great Knight under a flag of what at the time looked like a strange chicken, which he learned was a Cockatrice. He left his family to persue his own fame and fortune and found others who shared the desire to gain fortune and glory. The first was a man who he caught stealing from the Knight’s caravan. Three others would join the Knight and they would share adventures together.
The Group would acquire a Wagon Train, with a Trail Boss named Cleatus and a PointMan named O’Check……No? Ok, here’s what really happened…….
The Group would defeat Ogres and Giants, as well as lowly humanoids (Goblins, Beastmen and/or others). They secured a Keep, which for their reward, the Knight was made Castellan of the Keep. From this Keep they secured much of the land around them. The Knight would eventually marry and have children, before the group would face an overwhelming demonic horde. While the group was not expressly slaughtered on stage, it was implied.
This play was inspiring to a young man, and might have helped shape some of his decisions, as he realized after some time, that some of his choices seemed to follow the play to a tee. That was the reason he gave the Halfling such a present, because he felt this was the sign from the Play. While in Crooklake, he found that a play was going on at the Velvet Corset by the same playwright and wanted to know more about what was to happen. Eckhart talked to a number of the performers, including a buxom beauty named Vecca Vex who informed him the playwright had been murdered. Dejected, he went back to his family property in the city, not sure what path to take next.
Vecca Vex (Matt’s Character) came knocking one day. She had heard of a Merchant complain about his caravan being attacked a day outside of town. She felt that they could go and handle the raiders on their own, and keep the reward of stolen goods to themselves. He agreed that would be the more profitable way to deal with it (especially since he knew his family could get them decent prices compared to just trying to sell it). He contacted his Halfling friend and they met up with the performer and two of her friends including the alchemist. Eckhart seeing the coincidence again from the play, know this was right. They were able to track the raiders to a cave, and found Goblins within. They Group fought bravely, inspired by the Knight’s knowledge that they would not fail, and slew the mighty Goblin Chieftain. Several of the Boxes were stamped with the Silver Wheelhouse, and he knew those would have to be returned, but to make sure they were not blamed for the raiding, he went about the task of collecting several goblin heads to help aide their story. They set back, with their goods, back toward town.