Okasír Aerison Garso
Mercenary, Assassin, Bounty Hunter, Soldier of Fortune, Bodyguard
Clan Garso, the Free City of Dreiton
Jeremiah Garland (name at birth: Okasír Aerison Garso) is a Hinterlander mercenary and soldier-of-fortune. Renowned for his skills as a tracker and assassin, Garland has served and carried out tasks for a number of city-states, organisations, and high-level individuals across Aquila, earning him many enemies. Though officially stateless, Garland is currently settled in the Free City of Dreiton.
He is currently wanted by several governments who have branded him an outlaw. The collective bounty placed on his head is estimated to be one of the highest in Aquila.
Personality and traits
'Everyone needs a means to survive, a way to feed himself. I kill not because I like it, but because, unfortunately, I'm good at it.'
- Jeremiah Garland
Garland is shown to be a highly intelligent, cunning, patient, and kindhearted person and is a highly skilled tracker and expert soldier and assassin. Although Garland, as time wears on, does not seem to feel even a bit conflicted about the deaths he causes, he also isn't terribly interested in gratuitous cruelty or murdering his way to the top of the assassin food chain - he simply carries out any task assigned to him, all the while keeping himself and those he cares for safe, with a minimum of ego-tripping and drama.
A wanderer by nature, Garland, prior to his settlement in Dreiton, traveled Aquila in search of those in need of his services. His almost constant life of wandering throughout Aquila's wilderness and most hostile environments has had an impact on his personality. His gruff, sometimes brash nature and unkempt appearance are a result of his vagabond lifestyle. He has never been known to lose his temper, and rarely ever shows extreme emotions. His reclusive, solitary lifestyle and lack of permanent allegiance has also instilled in him a general distrust of others, and as such he is notoriously reluctant to share his thoughts or personal details of his past. He is level-headed and, despite his taciturn nature, is never afraid to voice his opinion when a problem is imminent; in Dreiton, he has served as a key and trusted adviser to many of the city's political elites, though he himself has no love for politics.
To stay successful in his line of work, he keeps a low profile and remains 'under the radar'; as such, he is never one to be in the spotlight or partake in world events, preferring to stay behind-the-scenes and to achieve his goals quietly.
As a mercenary and freelance assassin-for-hire, Garland adheres to a strict moral code which reflects his personality. Believing that the killing of innocents is the greatest evil one can commit, he only ever kills individuals whom he is contracted with assassinating. Even though many of his targets are practitioners of the very vices Garland despises -- corruption, greediness, harming of innocents -- he nevertheless feels a sense of remorse with every life he takes, often reciting a small prayer asking for forgiveness in his native tongue over the body of his victim. His moral code extends to his own worldview: he believes society must maintain a strong sense of law and order to function, and that it is the job of men like him, who adhere to order, to eliminate those who do not. He considers justice to be something that must be revered and respected, though also believes justice is malleable and relative to one's individual moral compass. Anyone who witnesses a moral wrong yet does not try to enact justice, is either morally evil themselves or, just as bad, is morally neutral. Appropriately, Garland's 'extralegal' mentality has led to him being labeled an outlaw by many societies in Aquila, for various reasons.
Skills and equipment
- Strength: 8/20
- Dexterity: 19/20
- Constitution: 12/20
- Intelligence: 10/20
- Wisdom: 7/20
- Charisma: 4/20
- Class: Archer, Assassin
- Alignment: Lawful good
- Weapons: Bow, dagger
- Armour: None
Garland's weapon of choice is the bow. His deadly precision, accuracy, and agility has led to him being hailed as one of the greatest archers in Aquila. He considers archery to be the most efficient way of assassination, as it enables one to quickly and accurately hit their target whilst concealing their own location and identity. His quiver carries around two dozen arrows at a time, which he crafts himself from Olexian flint.
He carries a medium-sized dagger, which he uses only in tight situations. He has shown promising skill with a sword, though he does not regularly carry one. He is also formidable in unarmed hand-to-hand combat.
|Big Shot||Fire a single deadly arrow with a higher velocity and a metal tip capable of tearing through enemies. Deals 50%+ damage to all enemies in a direct straight line.|
|Arrow Rain||Unleashes a rapid barrage of arrows in all directions. Accuracy and damage is temporary lowered, but the speed of fire and likeliness of hitting nearby enemies is greatly increased.|
|Draining Dart||Shoots a single arrow, the tip of which has been dipped in a poisonous, weakening serum. Upon contact, does not deal damage but briefly stuns the enemy and temporarily lowers all stats by 1.|
|Flaming Arrow||Shoots a single arrow, the tip of which has been set alight. Upon contact, deals moderate instant damage, temporarily lowers Strength and Dexterity by 3, and sets the enemy on fire for 20-30 seconds.|
|Exploding Shot||Shoots a single arrow, attached to which is a small incendiary bomb. Upon contact, deals substantial damage in a wide radius. Also produces a thick smoke that reduces enemy vision and general capabilities for 45 seconds.|
Jeremiah Garland was born as Okasír Aersson Garso on the island of Kirsksar, part of the Hinterlands. Located in the far north of the Astral Sea on the fringes of the known world, the Hinterlands are a relatively isolated archipelago known for their environment made mostly inhospitable by permafrost and near lack of vegetation. Likely settled several centuries ago by colonists from Thel Olihim and today divided into clan-like societies, little else is known about these islands.
Garland was born into the Clan Garso. He was the middle of three children; he also had a younger sister, Siné, and an older brother, Elas. Elas, along with his father, Aesír, and mother, Kieré, were killed during a raid on their village by a rival clan when Garland was only four years old. While Aesír and Elas tried to fight off the raiders, Kieré, in her final moment, ensured the safety of her two youngest children by giving them to the village elder, Rakkon the Wise. Rakkon raised the two children as his own. He taught Garland survival skills and the ways of the bow, the signature weapon of the Hinterlands. Garland made his first bow from a brimwood sapling, a small coniferous tree, and one of the only examples of vegetation and sources of wood on the islands.
Per Hinterlander tradition, when Garland turned thirteen, he was forced to leave his village and made to survive on his own for one year in the frozen wilds of Kirsksar, after which he would return to his village as a man. He hunted and fished for his food, and lived in a small cave he discovered in the side of one of Kirsksar's many steep cliffs. One day toward the end of the year, he was discovered by a hunting party from the Clan Veísso, the same clan responsible for the death of his parents and brother less than a decade prior. The hunters took Garland captive and brought him back to their village.
Once there Garland came face-to-face with the chieftain of the clan, a man who, unbeknownst to Garland at the time, was the one responsible for the death of his mother. The chieftain reminded Garland of the hostilities between their two clans, and asked the young boy what he should do with him. Garland, still in possession of his bow, offered a challenge to the chieftain: an archery competition. If Garland won, he would be set free. If he lost, he would remain a prisoner in their village. Bemused at the young boy's confidence, the chieftain chuckled and raised the stakes: if Garland won, not only would he be set free, but he would be given the hand of the chieftain's daughter in marriage upon his transition to adulthood at the end of the year. If he lost, he would be killed. Garland accepted these terms. Bow in hand, he faced up against the clan's champion archer. Their goal would be to hit a single crabapple which grew on a small brimwood tree on an island situated off the village's coast -- an extraordinary distance.
The Veísso archer went first. After five of his arrows went into the sea without even hitting the island, the champion archer proclaimed that the target was too far. Garland stepped forward, amongst light chuckles from the crowd of onlookers. His bow raised high, he let fly a single arrow that flew through the air with precision, across the stretch of sea, and pierced the crabapple, knocking it from the tree branch. As the village stood awestruck, the chieftain, a man of his word, removed Garland's restraints, gave him food and water, and let him go, as promised.
Clan warfare and exile
Shortly thereafter, Garland's year in the wilderness ended and he returned to his village, where he was now considered a man. He started preparing for his wedding to the daughter of the Veísso chieftain. However, mere nights before the wedding, Rakkon revealed to him the dark truth of his mother's death, that it was the chieftain himself who killed her. Garland was devastated. How could he marry the daughter of the man who had killed his mother? He called off the wedding, which was met with rage from the Clan Veísso. For dishonouring him and his daughter, and thus the entirety of Clan Veísso, the chieftain declared war once more on Clan Garso.
Just a week later, a sizable force of Veísso warriors marched on the Garso village. Garland and Rakkon, along with forty other Garso warriors, prepared the defence of the village. Though only 14 years old, Garland had proven himself to be a capable warrior, and thus was put on the front lines of the defence -- he also knew that the invasion was his fault for dishonouring the chieftain, and thus felt an obligation to his people to fight. In the ensuing Battle of Árbo Pass (so-called for the distinctive geographical feature near the Garso village), Garland distinguished himself as both a fighter and a tactician. He personally bested several Veísso warriors, and contributed to the strategy that ultimately routed the Veísso army and saved the village. This was his first battle, and he had emerged victorious.
Though the forces of Clan Veísso had been temporarily repelled, the war was not yet over and the village knew another attack was imminent. Wishing to save his people from further violence and suffering, Garland sued for peace. A few days after the battle, he and Rakkon (acting as an envoy for the village) met with the Veísso chieftain. Peace was made between the two clans, but with one condition: Garland was to leave the Hinterlands and go into self-imposed exile. Knowing that if he refused war would continue, Garland agreed. He issued one final warning to the chieftain: though he was leaving, one day he would return to the Hinterlands and enact justice on Clan Veísso for the death of his family and the many wars they had waged against his people.
At age 14, Garland left the Hinterlands with nothing but his bow and enough food to last the journey across the Surlada Ocean. He also promised Siné and Rakkon that he would one day come back to Kirsksar.
Even from the remote shores of Kirsksarsar, Garland had grown up hearing stories of the unimaginable wealth of Medriaas, a great continent far to the south. Though he knew the journey there would be long and costly, he decided on Medriaas as his ultimate destination.
Garland sailed for days. Eventually he arrived in Belial, a large, independent city-state located on the great northern bay of Kilran. With very little food, no money, no shelter, and no knowledge of the language and culture, Garland took to living on the streets. Though a relatively prosperous city-state (at least by Kilran's standards), Belial possessed a dark and hostile underworld characterised by its many impoverished slums; it was here that Garland was forced to settle.
Finding it difficult to live on his own, Garland eventually found solace in a gang of like-minded boys who also braved the unforgiving environment that was the Belial slums. The gang was led by a boy only a few years older than Garland, named Haras (affectionately called 'Rocket' by the other gang members due to his incredible speed). Miraculously, another boy in the group, named Jormi, was also from the Hinterlands. From him, Garland was able to learn the common tongue, and how to blend in to Belial society. It was around this time that he, at Jormi's insistence, adopted the alias 'Jeremiah Garland'; 'Jeremiah', as it was a fairly common name in northern Kilran, and 'Garland' being the translation of his clan name 'Garso'. It was under this name that Garland would be commonly known for the rest of his life.
Over the next two years in Haras's gang, Garland took to a life of petty crime; him and the other gang members operated as pickpockets, robbers, and thugs. Garland especially grew close to Haras, who he admired for his leadership and ability to provide for his gang, which, as time went on, soon became Garland's new family. Haras taught Garland how to survive in the streets, especially through the art of brawling and unarmed combat. He also gave him a small steel dagger, though warned him to only use it in emergencies. Though his bow did not come in much use on the streets, Garland nevertheless perfected his craft by practicing archery daily, using old bottles and litter as targets in the gang's hideout.
As time wore on, Haras’s gang went from being a group of young ruffians and petty thieves into something of a political movement. For many of the citizens living in the Belial slums, the gang stood against the wealth and greed of the city, and represented their chances at greater economic equality. Garland, along with the other members of the gang, were now freedom fighters in the eyes of the lower strata of Belial. Renewing their spout of larceny, they began targeting government properties, state-owned banks, and affluent elites with official connections, and distributed the wealth they gained amongst the people of the slums.
First Target: Baris Selva
- Age: 57
- Occupation: Bureaucrat, plutocrat; Counselor of the Belial Consortium
- Location: Belial
During a raid on one of Belial’s largest central banks, a small skirmish broke out between Haras’s gang and a detachment of the city-state’s national guard, resulting in casualties on both sides. One newly-elected member of the ruling city consortium, a former tradesman and banker named Baris Selva, declared martial law in the Belial slums and, assuming command of the national guard, pledged to put an end to the ‘rebellion’ that was fomenting among the city’s lower masses.
Haras knew that neither his gang, nor the slums as a whole, could withstand the onslaught from Selva and his soldiers. Wishing to avoid direct conflict, he tasked Garland, then only 18, with assassinating Selva. Haras had taken note of Garland’s proficiency with the bow, and knew that the young Hinterlander was the one for the job. Garland, who had never killed anyone before, hesitantly accepted the task.
In order to kill Selva, Garland needed to bring him out into the open. Haras, Jormi, and a small number of other gang members, traversed the city’s slums, warning the residents of an imminent invasion. As unrest grew, a large mob composed of the city’s poorest citizens began to amass, and slowly made its way down Belial’s main street, eventually reaching the city’s central square. Amidst the protests, Garland, bow in hand, quietly ascended the highest tower overlooking the square, stealthily incapacitating two guardsmen. Selva, observing the situation in the square, saw the mass demonstration as the perfect opportunity to strike. Within minutes, he emerged on horseback with a detachment of mounted soldiers, who began dispersing the mob. It did not take Garland long to make out Selva, situated at the rear of the formation. Knocking an arrow back, he steadied his aim on the bloodthirsty politician. After whispering a short prayer in his native tongue, he let the arrow fly. It spiraled down from the tower, across the square, and struck Selva just below the neck, killing him almost instantly. Amidst the chaos of Selva’s death, the soldiers of the guard fell into disarray, and quickly dispersed. Selva’s corpse, lying at the feet of his horse, was seized by the mob. Within minutes his head was placed on a pike in the square, as a warning to any other of the city’s ruling officials.
An Assassin is Born
‘If it’s money you need, go to Camp Dengar. It’s a colony full of killers and people who need them. I’ve been there myself a few times, and they pay well -- certainly enough for a boat to Medriaas. You have some very unique skills, Garland; it’s time you put them to use.’
~ Haras, to Jeremiah
With Selva’s death, the city’s ruling consortium went into a state of frenzy. The threat of an attack on the slums was prevented, at least for now.
Selva was Garland’s first successful assassination. His death brought Garland fame and admiration not just from Haras’s gang, but from the Belial slums altogether. However, fearing the same fate might befall them, the city’s consortium demanded information on their fellow official’s death, and soon Belial’s national guard swept the streets in search of the killer. Garland knew it would not be long before the city traced Selva’s death to Haras, and that his own identity would be revealed as the assassin. It was time he left Belial.
Before Garland departed, Haras asked him where he would be going. Garland responded by saying he wasn’t sure, though he would travel to Medriaas once he had the money to do so (as had been his goal all along). Haras informed him of a small settlement to the northeast of Belial, called Camp Dengar. It was a haven for mercenaries and bounty hunters, and no doubt Garland could find a job there. Keen to put his skills to use, Garland decided to head for Camp Dengar. Jormi, the Hinterlander who had grown to become Garland’s closest friend alongside Haras, decided to go as well. The two Hinterlanders parted ways with Haras, who vowed to stay behind and continue the fight in Belial.
Garland and Jormi travelled overland on foot to Camp Dengar, which was situated on one of Kilran’s eastern peninsulas. The journey took roughly a month. During that time, Jormi told Garland that, because his family fled from the Hinterlands to Belial when he was young, he was never trained in archery, as most Hinterlanders are. As the two traversed the Kilranian countryside, Garland would teach Jormi in the ways of the bow; like Garland, Jormi had a natural gift for the Hinterlander tradition.
The two eventually reached Camp Dengar. This ‘town’, which was really a cluster of large and small tents spread among a handful of old, decrepit buildings, was well protected by a rough wooden palisade. Dengar was home to a couple hundred mercenaries, assassins, hired guns, soldiers of fortune, adventurers, smugglers, pirates, and bounty hunters. As such, the camp had a rough and lawless atmosphere to it. Aside from the camp’s tents and derelict buildings, most of which had been converted into taverns, Dengar’s epicentre was the ‘Forum’, a central open area with tarp stalls, wherein magnates, politicians, nobles, and other individuals from around Aquila would gather to pay for services to those who were offering them.
Garland and Jormi entered Camp Dengar expecting to receive exciting, high-paying jobs that would put their skills to the test. But unsurprisingly, all of the most demanding jobs immediately went to the most experienced mercenaries and assassins in the camp: chief among them were two twin bounty hunters named Vex and Vexa.
As such, the two novice Hinterlander boys spent the next year and a half performing menial, low-paying jobs: bodyguarding for low-level officials; serving as armed transporters on cargo shipments; acting as footmen in conflicts that never came to blood. The only significant action Garland saw during this period occurred when he was acting as an armed escort aboard an Aragonese cargo ship bound for Sforzando. The vessel, mostly carrying wheat but also some valuable ores mined from Kilran’s interior mountains, was attacked by pirates. Wielding his bow, Garland managed to single-handedly fend off the small crew of pirates, for which he was generously rewarded by the Aragonese captain. Aside from this instance, all of the tasks assigned to Garland were generally dull and offered little pay. On the plus side, it was during this time that he saw much of the world for the first time, though his travels were mostly limited to Kilran and Audax.
Bane Mining Co.
In late 4,800, shortly after turning 20, Garland was assigned to what he thought would be yet another menial task; little did he know the forthcoming events would set in motion the fast elevation of his career. In the Forum in Camp Dengar he met a man named Caddius Bane, who was the owner of a small, independent mining operation called Bane Mining Co. Bane was in Dengar seeking two individuals to make up the security detail for his company; he eventually hired Garland and Jormi for the task. The two Hinterlanders accompanied Bane to the latter’s mining operation, located on the rocky isle of Nautos, a small, uncharted island in the Spoils of the Ancients. On Nautos, Bane Mining Co. and its dozen or so miner-laborers had been busy hollowing out the isle’s rocky underground. Vast tunnels and trenches stretched for miles beneath the island and the ocean floor. Bane ordered his two new members of security into one of the deepest confines of the labyrinthine mine, and informed them that their ‘security’ work would focus more on extermination; several nests of cave spiders infested the mine’s depths, and had to be dealt with. Bane further informed them that should they find anything ‘interesting’ in the infested caves, they should bring it to him immediately.
Every day for several months, Garland and Jormi ventured deeper and deeper into the caves, exterminating nests of cave spiders as they went. During that time, Garland came to admire Bane as someone very intelligent and kind to his workers. Though he was also suspicious of Bane’s motives; he never seemed satisfied with the daily lode of ores his miners extracted, and he had an intense and somewhat obsessive mentality about him. Garland did not know what he and Jormi were looking for exactly, but he feared what Bane would do if he discovered any unreported items of interests.
Finally, one day, after reaching new depths in the unexplored cave, Garland and Jormi found an item of interest to return to Bane: a small cube, which emitted a dim greyish light that made it easy to spot in the pitch dark. It was metallic yet also slightly translucent. Retrieving it seemed to aggravate a nearby cave spider, and soon an entire nest sprung to life and ambushed the two Hinterlanders. In the ensuing melee, Jormi was bitten and fell unconscious. Using a combination of his bow and Haras’s dagger to ward off the spiders, Garland, tucking the mysterious cube away, slung Jormi over his shoulder and escaped back up to the surface. Once there, Bane administered an antidote to Jormi, who eventually regained consciousness. Garland, who was initially doubtful that Jormi could survive the poisoning, became suspicious by Bane’s access to such a powerful potion. Once Jormi regained consciousness, he and Garland revealed their discovery to Bane, whose eyes widened at the sight of the cube. He immediately took the item and, the next day, paid Garland and Jormi before informing them that their services were no longer needed.
Back in Camp Dengar, a few days after returning from Nautos, Garland was approached in the Forum by a hooded man. He presented himself as Vos Skelker, an Ertdorian scientist. He explained to Garland how he and Caddius Bane were once business partners, together part of a larger research organisation. The two had a falling out and Bane eloped with most of Skelker’s supply of potions. Bane was evidently plotting Skelker’s downfall and had supposedly obtained a powerful weapon to do so. Skelker told Garland that he knew him and Jormi had helped Bane obtain the glowing cube -- which, evidently, was simply called the ‘Vessel’, and had magical, dangerous properties -- but offered him a sizable sum to retrieve the cube, and to kill Bane in the process. Garland, who had developed respect for Bane, was reluctant to accept this task, but the amount on offer to him was enough to get him to Medriaas. Realising he couldn’t let his own feelings get in the way of his work, he accepted the task. Before departing in search of Bane, he invited Jormi to accompany him on the mission, but he refused; Jormi would be leaving Camp Dengar and returning briefly to the Hinterlands, to settle some issues at home.
Garland returned to Nautos, but found no sign of Bane. The foreman of the mining operation told Garland that Bane had left Nautos a day after he and Jormi had, and had most likely returned to his villa, located outside Aragon. With this information, Garland immediately set sail for Aragon.
Garland had only been to Aragon twice before, both times as part of a trade mission. This time he arrived to the bustling port city as an assassin. Aragon was smaller than Belial, but much grander -- it clearly enjoyed a stronger economy, perhaps due to its status as a global trading centre. In a direct reversal of Belial’s demographic trend, all of Aragon’s poorer inhabitants resided in the city centre, whilst the Aragonese elites and wealthy individuals owned their opulent villas just on the city’s outskirts. It was here that Garland would find Bane.
Second Target: Caddius Bane
- Age: 42
- Occupation: Owner of Bane Mining Co; former research executive
- Location: Aragon
Two days after arriving in Aragon, Garland managed to find Bane’s villa. However, upon reaching the villa, he soon discovered that the mining tycoon was nowhere in sight. As he was searching Bane’s estate in the middle of the night for clues as to his whereabouts, he was suddenly ambushed by a man wielding a sword. Following a brief but intense fight, Garland, with the help of Haras’s dagger, overpowered his attacker. He recognised the man as one of the miners from Nautos. Threatening the miner with a knocked arrow at point-blank range, Garland learned that the foreman from Nautos, shortly after directing Garland to go to Aragon, sent the miner after him to kill him and protect Bane. After refusing twice, the miner was pressed by Garland into giving away Bane’s current location: the mining tycoon was on a ship sitting in Aragon’s harbour, which, at dawn, would depart for Valencia, where Bane would be safe. Because he was only acting on orders, Garland spared the life of the miner. He hurried to Aragon’s harbour to hunt down Bane before he could flee.
Garland was easily able to find Bane’s merchant ship, for it was the same one he and Jormi had used to sail with Bane to Nautos. As the boat was anchored far out in Aragon’s natural harbour, he quietly swam up to the ship and climbed up its side. Despite it being the middle of the night, Bane -- who was alone -- was frantically pacing the deck of his ship, manically muttering under his breath. His pacing was interrupted when he turned to find Garland standing before him, his bow aimed point-blank at him. Bane told Garland he knew it would not be long before an assassin was sent for him to retrieve the Vessel, but he did not expect it would be Garland himself. He pleaded with Garland for his life, insisting that he would hand over the Vessel and then leave for Valencia, as there would then be no reason to kill him. But Garland knew that was not possible; he had been tasked with killing Bane, and as much as it pained him, he knew he had to do so. However, he lowered his bow and told Bane that he would indeed spare him. Relieved, Bane turned to remove the Vessel from a nearby crate. As soon as his back was to Garland, the assassin raised his bow once more and shot a single arrow that pierced Bane’s heart from behind, killing him instantly. Stepping over his body, he retrieved the Vessel, secured it in his coat pocket, said a quick prayer for Bane, and dove into the harbour.
Return to Dengar