DRAGON AGE: BULLSHIT EDITION
MVP (Most Valuable Peasant)
The lowest of Bannorn peasantry, the supposed free-status of every Ferelden subject meant little to Eustace, who grew up in de facto serfdom under the rule of the notoriously quarrelous Bann Arawn. His village on the eastern shore of Lake Calenhad had no agreed name, more a collection of homesteads than a true settlement, and he grew up fishing from a young age with his father, as well as occasionally free-diving for more exotic fare. Fishermen never starved, but neither did they often thrive, and the punitive river-eel-taxes demanded by the Bann ensured that Eustace’s family remained impoverished.
He thus supplemented their income with frequent poaching, developing his skill with the bow. His father suspected such activity, but also quietly appreciated its necessity, and in their inexpressive way they reached an accord. Eustace grew tall for a peasant, with the physical durability and swimming ability of a young man used to working fifteen hour days just for subsistence. His luck ran out while chasing one of the Bann’s designated stags through the fringe-forest at the edge of the Bannorn-proper, and he was imprisoned awaiting trial. Luckily for him, this was two days before darkspawn swept through the area, assaulting Bann Arawn’s castle and butchering the entire guard force. Only the intervention of a sentry, unwilling to leave even prisoners to such a horrible fate, granted him his freedom.
He fled home, moving through the forest with the silence and speed of a seasoned hunter, and arrived back to find his parents’ homestead in ruins, burned to a crisp. He paid for his sentimentality, having run into the tide of the darkspawn, and trapped on all sides he took the only route available to him – he slathered himself in duck-fat and swam the Calenhad.
As it turns out, darkspawn are not strong swimmers. Eustace camped on the lake-islands, nominally royal land and usually sentried for squatters, now abandoned in the chaos of the Blight. He swam from island to island, building his strength, and eventually found himself on the northern Kingsroad. He traded his bow and sword arm for food and membership of several groups of refugees, and the tide of employers seeking fit young men took him first to Denerim, then Gwaren, where he was employed by Honora. She was paying better than anyone else, and he has grown to feel great loyalty to her.