Hold of the Ironguard
Hugh is a tall but lean man born to the local innkeeper’s, Wilman and Anthea. He lives in a small house near the inn. He had only one sibling, a sister named Mill who is married to Eric, son of the local boatwright.
Hugh spends much of his time at the inn/tavern. When things are a bit quieter, he tries his hand at entertaining the crowds with music from his flute, preferring to perform for the smaller crowds or local children. At the busier times, such as when the halfling caravans come through town, he instead finds himself flat out helping his parents with serving tables, running the bar & tending to the patrons. He always especially enjoyed talking with the halflings who came through town, fascinated by their tales of the outside world.
When times are especially quiet at the inn however, Wilman and Anthea have the work covered and don’t need Hugh’s help. To help make ends meet Hugh took up working with the local goat farmers, a pair of dwarves. Over the years Hugh has grown close to them, and often stays behind after the work is done to listen to their tales of the good old days where the dwarves lived in their ancestral mountain homes… it also doesn’t hurt that often Teigan, the daughter of the local cheese-makers, often stops by to pick up milk & often stays around to talk or listen to him play a tune or two for her…
Growing up in this village Hugh has seen his fair share of oppression, especially at the inn where it’s far too common for the gnomes to come through looking for someone they think may have passed through the town, and often taking their frustration out on the locals if they haven’t found their target or even worse if they did… over his year’s he’s seen many suffer at their hands, and received his fair share of bruises when they didn’t like the answers.
Under the ever present threat of gnome visits and the hopelessness of the people’s place under the fey Hugh’s resolve slowly started to break & he started to question the point of it all. It was at his lowest point that Hugh found himself serving at the inn when an old halfling came in for the night. After quite a few drinks, Hugh opened up to him shortly before passing out from the ale. The next morning when he woke, the halfling was gone but his bag left behind on the table… Hugh tried to find him, but he’d already left town. He checked to see what he’d left behind, and inside was just a single old worn tome. Many of the pages were too badly damaged to make out, but enough survived to make out the story of an order of knights long dead who had stood against the oppression of the fey, speaking of the strength of spirit to preserve light and joy even in the face of the overwhelming darkness that had befallen the world.
Inspired by their tales he found a new strength in himself he didn’t know he had, and began trying to live his live to the standards they described in the tome – to try and fan the slim sparks of hope, happiness, joy and light still to be found in his heart and that of those around him, and firm in his belief that while times may be dark by holding onto the light, and relishing in the joy that the little things can give, one day the strength it provides will be enough to break free of the horrors that plague the world. If not for him then maybe for the next generation, or the one to follow them… for so long as the last spark of joy still survives in people’s hearts, the fight is never truly lost.