Human Fighter


Born the sixth son, of a seventh son, Bolan had no future. No future of interest to anyone but his mother anyway, and even she was far more interested in the affairs of his elder brothers.

Now Bolan had potential, being born into an upper middle class family in a not entirely unheard of town just a little bit too far from anywhere significant. His family were well known for making fairly reliable clocks for a fair price. Their wares where sold far and wide, by means of the family caravan. It was on these trips that Bolan was taught the ways of the world by anyone willing to teach. The caravan guards provided the best lessons on a wide variety of such wonderful subjects as swordplay, gambling, spotting the signs of trouble, defusing tense situations, to finding the best tavern in town then acting like you have all the answers while having only a hangover.

At the age of 12, Bolan took a respite from the road to apprentice with an old friend of his father. In the service of Sir Leon, the captain of the guard for an unmentioned city, Bolan spent many long hours tending to soldiers gear, adjusting their armour, and cleaning their weapons. He also gained access to qualified martial instructors who where immediately impressed by his skill with a sword, and relentless determination to improve his techniques. But it was Sir Leon himself who moulded Bolan’s style such that he was capable of defending himself, or a comrade, under the most savage of attacks, while waiting for an opening to strike his opponent down. Many a cocky man-at-arms fell to the boy on the training grounds inside the compound. It became great sport for the men of the garrison to challenge the boastings of visiting soldiers to the simple task of besting young Bolan in the practice ring. At only 5’6” and 98 lbs, there where none who took the kid seriously, and none who succeeded either.

After 6 years, 4 inches, and 80 lbs, Bolan was taking regular shifts with the soldiers, training new recruits, and making a name for himself among the garrisons in the region. All was good for the young man, as he had skill in a profession that suited him better than clock building, he had a mentor who had taught him the ways of war instead of the tedium of commerce, and his future lay open before him. Or so he thought.

There was much ale spilled on the night of his 18th birthday, when Sir Leon loosed a secret he shouldn’t have. “Your mother would be so proud of the man you’ve become” his mentor had said to him. Bolan had seen his mother only a couple of weeks before, and she didn’t seem impressed at all.

The next morning, as he practiced the fine art of hangover suppression, Bolan realized the weight of Sir Leon’s words. He was not who he thought he was.

Bolan slowly slunk out of the stable in which he’d slept that night, brushing straw and feed from his tunic as he approached a guard in front of the commander’s quarters. “You’ll have no luck here Bolan. Leon is gone, and if you have your wits about you, you’ll make yourself scarce too. An emissary arrived this morning, and word has it that he’s looking for you, and not to give you a promotion, if you get my meaning. Now go, before you get us both thrown in the brig.”

And that was that. Bolan, the Tinker’s Son was never heard from again, but Noluck, sword for hire, took a job for cheap, guarding the first caravan that left that fateful morning.


Terror of Nagash Noluck