The World of Pandeias
Ser Barja Lockmoor
He does it not for recognition, but becasue it's RIGHT.
“Well…” Barja Lockemoor thought to himself, “this may as well happen.” He actually thought it quite ironic; a life spent in service of justice, a follower of the True Arbitress, only for him to find himself on the wrong end of the law in a musty old dungeon. Or, at least law as this corrupt mayor saw it.
Barja began his life as the son of a rather prominent noble family. The only child of Charles and Katrina Lockemoor, he enjoyed an early life of luxury and comfort, never wanting for a thing. His parents had built and extensive trade empire, selling exotic lumber from trees grown on their land, as well as their famous horse stock. When he was of age, Barja was to inherit this empire, marrying into more wealth with an arranged marriage and spreading the Lockemoor name throughout the land. As a young child, Barja couldn’t wait; the mere idea of running his family’s estate all on his own filled him with excitement.
As he grew up, and as his parents included him of more of the day to day dealings, he began taking notice of the less than benevolent manner in which his family conducted business. Where others would be considered shrewd, his parents were cruel. They treated their workers as little more than paid slaves, exacting merciless punishments for even the smallest of mistakes. They often paid brigands and other such unsavory individuals to intimidate, and at times kill, competitors. The young Barja couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t only unfair, it was WRONG. They cared only for themselves and their own wealth, having no regard about who they crushed on the way to the top. His parents, sensing his distress, explained to him: “This is how we have and will do things, and you just need to accept it.” Barja, only 14 at the time, responded. “No. I do not.”
That night he fled his home, taking with him only the clothes on his back and a small sack full of provisions. He traveled through the day and most of the night, day by day, never looking back. Nearly a week later, he arrived in a small town. Lost, exhausted, and half starved, he went to what seemed to be a small keep in the middle of town. At the door he was met by a middle aged man in priestly garb. Taking pity on the boy, he brought him in, gave him a meal and a place to sleep.
Upon waking up, he was given a tour of the place he spent the night. It turns out it was a church of Gerana, the Lady Justice. During his tour, he noticed something about the church: there was little, if anything, that was devoted to luxury . Nearly everything in the building had a purpose: a smithy, stables, a library, a room for worship of Gerana, an armory and even a jail. The entire place could even be a fortress, should the need arise. Coming from the posh existence of a noble’s son, this utilitarian establishment was something entirely new to him…but he liked it. He asked the same man that let him in if he could stay, if he could live in a place like this. He accepted.
Barja started his service to Gerana as a scribe in the church, and for a Geranite that meant a lot of things: helping the blacksmith with his work, organizing the texts kept in the library, helping conduct worship, and learning to fight, the part that he enjoyed the most. As the days wore on, the wiry youth grew into a strong man, devoted to the ways of the Lady Justice and adept with his earth breaker. His time in servitude earned him a knighthood under the church, and Barja began to travel the realm as a paladin of Gerana.
It was a life he would come to love. He traveled from place to place helping those in need: officiating trials, protecting people from monsters, always helping the weak wherever he could. There came times where the church called upon him to assist in larger endeavors: be it war, combating dragons, or banishing demons. Over the course of the years Barja made many friends…and lost even more. He even found love in the form of a fellow Paladin of Genara by name of Karen. The two of them couldn’t spend much time together, but they always made the most of it, the distance and time apart doing nothing to deteriorate their feelings for each other. He took on a handful of trainees over the years, teaching them both in ways of faith and of combat. He was among the first to adopt this form of teaching, taking young hopefuls “into the field” as it were, giving them an actual taste of wehat was to come. The church followed his example and made that method the norm for aspiring paladins. Barja at one point found himself captured and tortured by enemies of Gerana. They did everything they could, short of killing him, to break him and sway him from Gerana. He did not falter, and in fact managed to escape
Living such a life as this takes its toll, however. The young eager man was now, at 46, a battered veteran. He was tired, to put it simply. He had seen much. Much more than any one man should, in his opinion. He always remained strong and vigilant in his upholding of Gerana’s virtues, but he looked forward to the event that would finally bring an end to his long, long road, an end in which he would be rewarded for his years in service to Gerana.
Recently, Barja’s road brought him to a small city. He was investigating claims that the mayor of this small city was corrupt and using his station for personal gain above consideration for the city and its people. While out at night to see what he could learn, he heard a cry for help from a nearby alleyway. A quick look revealed what the commotion was: A man was trying to force himself upon a young woman. Without a second thought Barja tried to intervene, calling for the man to stop. The man drew a short sword and tried to kill Barja for his trouble. A mighty swing of his hammer, Law Keeper, put a quick and definitive end to the confrontation, the man never to rise again. The young woman, shaken, thanked Barja for his help and ran off into the night. Barja took the body to the city guard and recanted his tale. They thanked him and bid him farewell.
The next morning he found those same city guard rousing him from his bed with a red-faced man who Barja could only assume to be the mayor of the city. by name of Willard Brooks, calling for his arrest for murdering his son and a young lady late last night. It became evident that the mayor was indeed in control of this town, and not in a good way. With a defeated sigh, Barja complied with the guards and was hurried into a biased trial in which the mayor was the judge. Barja was hardly allowed to tell his side of the story and was found guilty of the murders, and was sent to the jails to await sentencing.
While in jail, the guards were quick to befriend the unfortunate paladin, and Barja soon found out that the mayor was indeed misusing his power. He kept an inner circle of guards that would extort or bully the citizens. His son was the worst, they said, starting drunken brawls and sleeping with as many women as he could, most against their will. His father the mayor afforded him special privileges, well, that was until his demise at Barja’s hand. The guards wanted to release him, but unfortunately could not, and Barja didn’t hold it against them, knowing a thing or two of such thing himself. And so he waited.
UNTIL ONE DAY….