|Name: Sven Sraw-Skein|
Sven Straw-Skein has retained a good deal of his youthful appearance despite nearly reaching adulthood. He cuts a lanky figure with arms and legs that seem a tad bit too long for his sinewy body. A mop of unruly straw-colored hair covers his head and partially obscures his dusty blue eyes most of the time. His face still lacks the hard lines that the worry and responsibility of adulthood usually brings. In their place are soft features and baby fat that he's more than a little embarrassed of. Most who know him are pretty sure he's going to stay like that even into old age, but he insists that he has a growth spurt around the corner that's long overdue. Despite all that, he still has a fairly athletic frame underneath it all from all his years scrambling about the wilderness and mandhandling the flock of livestock under his charge.
His clothes are always simple and practical, and usually well-worn (read: heavily patched enough that one has trouble locating the original fabric). Simple shirts and breeches are the mainstay of his wardrobe, with vests and coats and cloaks thrown on top as it gets colder. On his head he wears a plain leather cap that's so simple that it's really more of a sack that's been repurposed as a hat. About the only well-made piece of clothing he owns are his boots, which he takes painstaking care of.
Though he doesn't carry a true weapon, he is rarely seen far from his heavily carved shepherd's crook, which bears a great many dings and scratches from the times he's had to use it as a club.
As a young lad, Sven Straw-Skein was a common sight in the wandering Oldok tribe, scrambling about and playing with the other children whenever he had free time. Born to two other tribe members of ordinary means, there was little expected of him beyond the dedication and loyalty that all people of the Oldok gave. His simple childhood gave him a good deal of happiness and freedom that he took for granted in the way that all children tend to.
His father was Oglaf Black-Foot, a hunter. He was so named for his tendency to stalk prey while barefoot, which had long since darkened the soles of his feet. He insists that it is a superior way to stay stealthy while hunting, and while no-one can claim he does worse than everyone else, he doesn't really do all that much better, either. Still, he does well for the tribe, working hard to bring down prey when it is plentiful, and gathering useful nuts and roots when even the wandering herds have left. When war came to the tribe, he took up a club and bravely faced the enemy, though he did not consider himself a warrior. Oglaf does his best to live an honest and forthright life.
His mother was Skadi Nine-Songs, though Sven never really understood the name considering he had never heard her sing once, not even a lullaby. She does her part for the tribe by acting as a midwife, helping the tribe's healer to help deliver children and ensure their good health. Every life counts for the troubled Oldok tribe, and she is proud to serve even a small part in aiding the healer's preservation of the tribe's future.
They both worked hard to raise Sven well, and for the most part they succeeded. He worked as hard as he played, and he rarely shirked any duties asked of him. Strangely, he is an only child, a bit of a rarity for a tribe so close to its own end. Even as a young lad, Sven somehow understood that there were some extenuating circumstances for his lack of brothers and sisters, so he did not question it much. Because of this, Sven sometimes found himself putting in more effort into his tasks, as though to make up for his family's small numbers.
Despite all his effort put into things, Sven found himself a little bit aimless as he neared his thirteenth naming day. Many of the other children in the tribe were already learning the trade of what they would be doing for the rest of their lives. Some had been destined for their roles since birth, burdened by family tradition and expectations. Sven's own father, being a simple man, didn't put much stock into such rigid guidelines. If his son had so desired, he would have gladly taught him how to hunt, but he had no desire to force it on him. And in the end, Sven found a different way.
It all happened one day when his father brought home a live animal from his hunt. While out stalking, he had been ambushed by a great mightyena, and he was forced to slay it in self-defense. Truth be told, he won out more by luck than skill, such was the animal's ferocity. It wasn't until after the fight was over that he learned why the wild dog fought so hard. In the silence that followed, he heard the tiny pitiful cry of the mightyena's cub. Prey had been scarce for the tribe of late, and it seemed that the mightyena had been in the same dire straits. Only one of its cubs was still alive, and it trembled with hunger. Unwilling to be responsible for two needless deaths, Oglaf gathered up the tiny cub and brought it home with him to present to his son as a gift.
Some said that bringing the thing home put a strain on their already tight food stores. Others thought the grim looking thing would only grow up to cause trouble, that it was a dark omen. But Oglaf didn't care, and neither did Sven. He took to the little poochyena like nothing else in his life, and he viciously defended it from folks who didn't like it, sometimes physically. Naming her Scylla, she and Sven were soon inseperable.
The young lad was amazed by how intelligent the wild dog seemed. Despite his adamant defense of the pup, even he was a little worried that it wouldn't take well to training, but Scylla learned the same tricks just as easily as the tribe's more domestic dogs. It wasn't long before the poochyena had grown big and fast enough to be put to work. Even the dumbest dog could be put to use as a pack animal during the days that the tribe pulled up its roots and moved to a new location, but Sven had no intention of of relegating his Scylla to such an undignified role. Besides, a few of the more vocal members of the tribe had already denounced his poochyena as worthless, and he was eager to prove them as wrong as possible.
He finally made his move one day when he was tasked with helping the shepherds again. It was a common task given to the tribe's children. While the adults took the livestock out to graze, they were chosen to help keep an eye out for animals wandering from the herd or prospecting predators. Sven left early in the morning with the shepherds, as usual, but this day he quietly brought Scylla with him. Before long, some of the livestock was wandering off, but instead of alerting the shepherds Sven sent Scylla out. Some of the shepherds noticed the poochyena advancing on the herd, but even before they could object Scylla efficiently coaxed them back to the rest of the herd with a few loud barks and intimidating posturing, just as practiced.
The shepherds were angry, of course, but even they couldn't help but be impressed with how the seemingly vicious wild dog handled the herd without even getting near enough to bite. After they had finished admonishing him for his reckless display, he was tasked with showing all he had taught Scylla. For the rest of the day, he directed his pup with hand signals and various whistles, having her carefully execute practiced maneuvers to keep the herd organized and moving where needed. It was a little shaky at first, considering they had only practiced on imaginary livestock before, but Scylla learned fast as always and was soon performing just as well as the rest of the herding dogs. But the real show started when wild purrloin approached, trying to get an easy meal. Without even needing direction, Scylla quickly drove them off without a fight, scaring them away through sheer intimidation. Reluctantly, the other shepherds were forced to admit that the unseemly dog had some talent. The next day, Sven and Scylla left with the herd again, not as a child but as a shepherd himself.
Sven wasn't sure if he had found his true calling, but he was happy to be able to work with Scylla and do well for the tribe at the same time. The next few years of his life were quite enjoyable, but they weren't always easy. Through heat and cold, snow and rain, he spent many of his days with the herd from sunup to sundown. It took a good deal of planning, carefully moving the herds around to new places each day so that the tribe could stay in one place as long as possible before the land could no longer sustain them. As he spent more and more time away from the tribe's center, he found himself drifting away from his old friends he played with as a child. Sure, he still knew their names and called out to them, but soon he only saw them during mealtimes and the rare days he had off. It saddened him a little, but it was all for the tribe's sake.
One day, shortly after his sixteenth naming day, tragedy struck. The tribe had just set up in a new area, which was always a risky time for the shepherds. The lay of the land wasn't always known, and no-one knew what sort of predators to watch out for. Tense, Sven kept a careful eye out on the borders of the grassy glade they were in. His vision had always been a tiny bit blurry, but in the past few months it had become worse. Still, he could sense movement just as well as always, and it wasn't long before he saw dark shapes approaching from the south. But even before he could speak, Scylla was already on her way. Sven followed, calling out to the others of the presence of danger. When he turned back to his dog, however, he saw a troubling scene. There was a swarm of purrloin there, more than he had ever seen in a group before. And seeming to leading the pack was a great spotted liepard. Scylla let out her greatest barks and roars, managing to spook a few of the more skittish wildcats, but their numbers bolstered their courage and most stood their ground. All at once, they attacked, swarming over the desperately outnumbered poochyena. Scylla refused to flee, however, unwilling to leave the the herd undefended.
Sven tried to rush to her aid, running headlong into the snarling swarm and laying about with his shepherd crook. He earned a multitude of bites and scratches for his efforts, but that was nothing compared to Scylla. The liepard had pinned the poor dog down and given it several raking scratches with its powerful hind legs. There was nothing Sven could do. It wasn't until the other shepards and their companions had caught up that the feral cats finally fled. It had only taken a scant minute for them all to gather, but by then the damage was done. Scylla was a fine herding dog and could make enough noise for an animal four times her size, but she was never really a fighter. She was covered in light scratches from the multitudes of purrloin, but the real trouble were several deep gashes from that one liepard. Though her wounds were grave, not a single one of the livestock had been touched.
None of the shepherds tried to stop Sven as he gathered up Scylla and ran back to the tribe grounds. It took nearly an hour of running to get there from the grazing fields, and when he did his dog's fur was matted with blood. He took her straight to the healer's yurt, but the outlook was dark. They cleaned the wounds as best they could, but purrloin wounds were notorious for inviting infection, and Scylla was weak from the fight. By the evening, the poochyena had become feverish, and the healer declared that she would not last the night. Defiant, Sven refused to rest despite his own wounds and stayed up the whole night with Scylla, but sure enough the healer's grim prediction came to pass. That morning, Sven laid Scylla to rest, and not one person could speak ill of the brave dog, whatever her origins.
All the exertion took its toll, however. Weakened, Sven himself had to fight off a bout of infection, and he was bedridden for nearly a week with fever and chills. When he was finally in good health once more, he found himself heading out with the other shepherds even though he no longer had Scylla to herd with. It was still his place to be, and he had a job to do. It was a fact of life for the tribe that someone could be taken from them at any moment, and there was little that being overcome with grief would do to help the tribe.
Even so, he was in a dark mood for most of the time he was with the herd. He did his best to help out, but it wasn't the same without Scylla. He felt like a child simply acting as lookout. Determined to do more, he did the same thing he always resorted to when he felt ineffectual: he tried to do the work of two people. Or to be more specific, one person and one herding dog. Marching down to the herd, he tried to do the same work Scylla once did. Shouting and waving his arms, he tried to spook the livestock into going where he wanted. Sven no doubt looked like a raving lunatic, but the other shepherds were kind enough not to laugh at him.
The most peculiar thing happened, however. He made little headway, but that was to be expected. The peculiar thing was that one mareep in particular seemed to notice his antics and take offense. It wasn't long before it was responding with light shocks from it's wooly pelt (which was part of the reason he had trained Scylla to herd with barks and posturing instead of bites). Sven knew that a good shock from a mareep could make a grown man's limbs go numb for hours, but the shock he had just recieved had been barely strong enough to make his hair stand on end. Either the little mareep was very weak or it was holding back. Either way, it was still more than enough to make him jump back.
The mareep didn't stop there. It persisted with the shocks, most of them near misses, constantly driving Sven back. He thought it was just trying to scare him off, but every time he tried to turn and run another zap made him change direction abruptly. Before long, he found himself with his back to a rock, cornered by the mareep. It didn't advance any further, but it didn't retreat either. It simply stood there, watching him and occasionally turning to glance at the herd. It was all too much for the shepherds, and they couldn't help but laugh now. "Just who is herding who?" they crowed, slapping their knees. It was just a joke to them, but Sven suddenly realized that was exactly what had happened. The mareep had isolated him, the troublemaker, from the herd. Stunned, he sat down hard and stared at the mareep. They had always just been livestock to him. He had never considered them to be smart like herding dogs, but he couldn't imagine his situation being the result of chance.
It took a good hour or so for the mareep to calm down and let him leave, but Sven kept a careful eye on that one particular mareep. It was definitely young, too newly born to bear the marking of whatever tribesman owned it. But despite its youth, it obviously held some sway over the rest of the mareep, and even the other breeds of livestock gave it wide berth. Sven was then struck with an idea of how he could remain a proper shepherd, albeit an odd one. He would have to start by befriending that mareep.
It took a good deal of time to even reach a point where the mareep was neutral toward him. His antics earlier had apparently labeled himself as a troublemaker. Still, he was persistent and times were good enough that it wasn't a waste to "bribe" the little sheep with treats. Training the mareep, which Sven had dubbed "Duggles", was the most peculiar trial he had experienced. It was nothing like training Scylla. With her, he had to establish himself as the leader of their two-person pack. With the mareep, though... there were no leaders. At least, none he could see. Instead, he found he had to sort of suggest an attractive plan of action and make Duggles think he had come up with himself. It was difficult at first. Duggles seemed to hold Sven in such low esteem that he ignored most of his "suggestions". The Mareep eventually warmed up to him when Sven started to simply suggest the same thing Duggles was already going to do. After all, someone who thought the same as Duggles had to be wise, right? At least, that's how Sven imagined Duggles' though process, and it seemed to work.
And that was how it went. Sven "suggested" that Duggles re-introduce straying livestock back into the herd, and when Duggles agreed that it was a good idea he did it. When Sven suggested the mareep move the herd back to the tribe campgrounds before a storm it, Sven complied. It was a bit strange, but it worked out just as well with Scylla, except for one thing: when predators reared their ugly heads, well... even Sven was a little astonished at how well the pint-sized sheep could defend the herd. Where Scylla spooked predators with posturing and noise, Duggles could actively fight back. It only took one display of it's shock to tell Sven that the sheep had definitely been holding back.
Trouble began when Duggles started following Sven home from the herd pen at night. While the herd was maintained for the good of the tribe, all the livestock there did have some owner or another, and Duggles certainly could not belong to Sven's family. A mareep was a valuable resource unlike a wild dog picked up from the woods. It represented wealth, and was something Sven wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford. He tried his best to get the little sheep to stay, but it was far too cleverl to be kept penned in when it didn't want to. This kept up for a week before one of the wealthy decided to find out who was damaging the pens evey night. To his surprise, he found someone sneaking out rather than a thief breaking in. After that, it was just a matter of him following Duggles to Sven's family yurt.
Sven was beside himself trying to explain to the merchant the circumstances that led to this situation. All in a rush, he detailed everything he had done with duggles so far, speaking in a horribly confusing and circuitous matter that really raised more questions than gave answers. It took his father's heavy hand on his shoulder to stop and notice the merchant nearly choking back laughter.
After he had calmed down, the merchant performed an amazingly generous gesture. He offered the little mareep to Sven as a gift. "After all, you have already named the little one, have you not?" the man intoned. A little red in the face from his presumptuous act, he nodded and accepted silently.
And so it was that Sven gained a flock of his own, a flock of one. Though the two were still fairly new to one another, it was sure to be a prosperous partnership.
Sven is a young man who is a bit brash and prone to emotional outbursts, both positive and negative. As easily as he is to get hyped up over something, though, he's fast to forget old slights. He could swear eternal emnity on someone one day and pal around with them the next. Truth be told, he's not the sort to really hate anything. While most folks would have turned away that poochyena (and with good reason), he only saw an adorable pup.
In general, Sven sees the world in terms of problems and solutions. If there is a problem, you solve it. If you don't have a solution, find one. And if that one's no good, find a better one.
Sven doesn't consider himself to be a violent person. Most of the solutions he tries to come up with don't involve hitting things. In a small way, Duggle's power to directly harm things frightens him, but he knows it's sometimes necessary. In the same way, he knows it's sometimes necessary for him to do the same. While he isn't a warrior and his shepher's crook isn't a mace, he certainly knows how to swing it hard and true when need be.
Aspirations: In the short term, he just wants the Oldok tribe to survive and persist. He is dedicated to the tribe in whole. He doesn't really care who is at fault with who, or whether others think the Oldok deserve what they got. Every person deserves the right to live as they like, and he's going to fight hard for the Oldok just by living day-to-day.
In the long term, he'd really like to see the Oldok flourish as they once did. He's not really sure how to bring it about, however. His "aquisition" of Duggles has inspired him somewhat, though. While Duggles is more of a partner than property to him, he does technically own a sheep. Wealth can mean power, and if he had a flock of his own, and cattle and other livestock, he might have enough wealth and power to change things for the better for the Oldok. It's a pretty shakey plan, but it does have a starting goal: own a herd of his own."
Duggles the Mareep is a good deal different from Sven. Where the boy is quick to think and act, every thing the mareep does seems to be carefully planned in advance. Even while hurrying, he doesn't seem to hurry. He tends to exude a sense of tranquility to those around him. At the same time, though, he is inordinately stubborn. It is sometimes tough to convince him that his own plans and actions are a bad idea, and he'll sometimes pursue bad plans of actions just because someone tells him not to. One trait he and Sven do share, though, is their view on the world: problems and solutions. Slow and purposeful in all things, Duggles is a pokemon who does not shy away from solving problems.
When he isn't solving problems, however, Duggles is very amicable and somewhat playful. He often likes to greet folks with a friendly headbutt, though sometimes he forgets himself and does so with enough strength to send a grown man to his seat.
Pokemon Choice: Mareep
Pokemon Wishlist: First, I think Sven would like to have a dog-type pokemon like Growlithe, Houndour, or even Absol (if you can look past the whole "omen of destruction" thing (I know Sven can)). Duggles is a true partner for Sven and all, but he still dearly misses having Scylla around. Basically, a dog-type that is smart and swift enough to act as a herding dog. Also, a Deerling might be fun for the setting. With lots of walking and wilderness, a deerling might make good company. Beyond that, the wishlist is a bit more vague. In general Sven is most interested in pokemon who can do more for the tribe as a whole than just for himself. Pokemon that can do more than just fight would interest him.
Also, Sven is slightly adverse to direct combat. He knows its necessary sometimes and won't hesitate when the time comes, but he'd like pokemon who know how to do more than just beat enemies into submission. Pokemon that can disable enemies or avoid fights altogether are things he's interested in. Sleeps and paralyzes and confuses, etc. I'm not terribly sure what direction I want to build this character, but I am kinda leaning toward the Strategest advanced class.
Finally, just a totally selfish wish because I love them so much: A Trapinch. Flygon is my most absolute favorite pokemon even just going appearances alone. Plus they are not terribly overpowering despite being a dragon. That said, they still are dragons and fairly strong, so I can understand if they are verboten. Given the setting, it'd make sense to me if all dragon types were a little bit mystical.
Trainer Character Sheet ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Name : Sven Straw-Skein |Gender: Male |Max HP : 64 Age : 17 |Height: 5'11 |Money : Dirt Poor Level : 2 |Weight: 155lbs |Pokemon:(?/?) Classes: Ace Trainer ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- STAT|BASE|ADDED|TOTAL|MOD STR | 13 | 3 | 16 | +3 DEX | 10 | 0 | 10 | 0 CON | 13 | 1 | 14 | +2 INT | 08 | 0 | 08 | -2 WIS | 10 | -2 | 08 | -2 CHA | 10 | 0 | 10 | 0 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- POKEMON: Current Team (Name/Species/Level/Item) Duggles / Mareep / 8 / None ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRAINER FEATURESArms User
Effect: Effect: Your AC check for Arms attacks is AC6. Whenever you deal damage with an ARMS FEATURE, add the highest of your STR, DEX, or CON modifiers to the damage dealt. - Whenever you use an Arms feature, you deal [Damage Base 1] damage. - If you are level 10 or higher, you deal [Damage Base 2] damage instead. - If you are level 15 or higher, you deal [Damage Base 3] damage instead.Weapon of Choice (Clubs)
Effect: Choose a specific weapon type (here I chose clubs to represent a shepherd's crook). This weapon becomes your “Weapon of Choice”. You may take Weapon of Choice multiple times, each time choosing a new weapon. - When using your Weapon of Choice, your AC check for Arms Features is AC4, and you deal [Damage Base 2] damage. - If you are level 10 or higher, you deal [Damage Base 4] damage instead. - If you are level 15 or higher, you deal [Damage Base 6] damage instead.Enhanced Training
Effect: Each of your Pokemon gains an additional 20% the amount of experience they would gain normally.Improved Attacks
Trigger: Your Pokemon’s damage dealing attack hits. Effect: When adding up damage dealt to the foe, add either half of your STR modifier or half of your CON modifier before your foes subtracts their defense or special defense from the attack.I Can Take a Hit ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- INVENTORY 1. Shepherd's Crook, herding tool/impromptu club. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pokedex: ? Caught, ? Seen
Effect: Static Effect: When taking damage from anything reduce that damage by 5. This does not reduce the cost of activating Features that require HP loss.