Rise of Nations
No Man Walks in Shadow So Long He Cannot Find the Light
Akiros ran afoul of the Stag Lord and his men while traveling north, and given a choice between serve or die, he took the practical route and pledged his fealty to the bandit lord. Though he had only been with them for a season, his commanding presence and leadership abilities earned him the Stag Lord’s favor, much to Dovan’s displeasure. Inwardly, Akiros chafed under the Stag Lord’s cruel hand and when the party approached him with a plan to defeat the bandits, he agreed to turn on his erstwhile compatriots. Together, they slew the Stag Lord and broke the back of the bandit scourge in the Greenbelt. In the interim, he has agreed to watch over Tuskwater Keep for a salary although he is undecided as to what to do with himself in the long term.
In many ways, Akiros remains an enigmatic figure. Though he fights with all the fury of a berserker, his bearing and manner of fighting suggests he’s had extensive martial training. There was clearly once a crest on his shield but it has been crudely pried off. The rest of his gear is well-kept, yet likewise stripped of all personal identifying marks. He seems ill at ease in Father Jubal’s presence and has politely but firmly rebuffed all attempts from the latter to approach him. It wasn’t until that his inner conflict started interfering with effectiveness as a commander that the party cornered him and forced him to reveal his secret.
It turns out that Akiros’ parents had been simple farmers in a proud rural area in Taldor. They wanted nothing more for him than life as a protector of the town— as a paladin of Erastil, no less. Every moment of Akiros’ early life was spent in preparation for his acceptance into the order. Yet not one month after he achieved his parents’ dream and became a paladin, Akiros fell in love with the married daughter of one of his hometown’s wealthier merchants, a woman named Rosilla. The affair ended all too soon when Rosilla’s husband found out what she’d been up to and threatened to divorce her. The thought of losing her life of luxury was too much, and she told her husband that Akiros had raped her. Furious, he took Rosilla to the temple of Erastil to confront her attacker. The young paladin was flabbergasted, but when Rosilla took things too far by spitting on him and publicly denouncing him as a rapist, a heretofore unknown rage woke in Akiros’ heart. All of his repressed frustrations and anger poured out in one powerful blow, and with that blow he snuffed out Rosilla’s life. As she crumpled to the floor, Akiros knew his life had been snuffed out as well. He turned on Rosilla’s dumbfounded husband and struck him down as well, and with the temple guards still in shock, he fled the city. He barely made it out of Taldor, stowing away on a merchant ship bound for Mendev.
While Akiros has come to enjoy the rush accompanying his rages, he is continually haunted by faces of his victims. The fact that the party has made him their general in their new nation gives him no surcease; instead the remnants of his conscience pricks him all the more, stealing any sense of fulfillment from his accomplishments. It is, therefore, some relief that all this is now out, and Akiros discovers that he wants very much to atone for his past misdeeds, whether or not Erastil will receive him back into the faith. Thus, he intends to submit himself to the mercy of the Church and do whatever they deem appropriate in penance.
So it was that Akiros resigned his position and left Finland in early 4711 on a personal quest for redemption. He returned late that year, made wiser in his success but grieved by the task he had undertaken. Nonetheless, he has now been re-embraced by the Church of Erastil, his past misdeeds forgiven, though not forgotten, and is now a full-fledged paladin once more.