The gist: Lewin Salter, a new Drin from Andor who is largely out of his element in the Tower so far. Up for basically any thread: meeting other Warder trainees, run-ins with channelers (zero experience with the One Power), or maybe setting some foundations for an eventual reckoning with the Shadow based on his past.
Desc and backstory spoilered below, will update with a Library once it's available.
Feel free to reach out with any questions or ideas, I'm open to everything.
- Spoiler: show
- Tall and broad-shouldered, Lewin would not look out of place next to any strong arm in any tavern in Andor. His shaggy tangle of light brown hair leads down to a scruff of a beard covering a squared jaw. With dark hazel eyes, a soft nose, and faint dimples when he smiles, he’s on the handsome side of average. At least, when he’s not glowering, which seems to be his resting expression.
He sports the fair skin of his Andoran heritage, though his hands show numerous darkened scars across his fingers and knuckles. Those hands, enormous as they are, are made to seem all the larger from the permanent faint swelling in his joints from years as a tavern worker.
His large frame is well-muscled, though not well-defined, with a comfortable bit of padding. He carries himself surely, standing straight, with a sense of concealed tension in his movements. His eyes are generally sharp, and he tends to have a good awareness of things around him.
Lew speaks slowly and deliberately in a rich, low baritone that carries easily when he needs it to. While not one to curse often, his years in a bawdy common room have provided him with an extensive and colourful vocabulary, a decent singing voice, and a high tolerance for awkward social situations.
He prides himself on his self-control, confident in his physical prowess in most situations, though he is sometimes prone to fits of anger when indirectly insulted. While no simpleton, he is not particularly quick-witted and has a habit of taking it poorly when he thinks someone is trying to subtly mock him.
- Spoiler: show
- Lewin Salter was born and raised in the port city of Aringill, on Andor’s eastern border with Cairhien. The son of an innkeeper, he spent his formative years in the common room of The Smuggler’s Burden, a low-brow institution on the outer edges of Aringill’s dock district. From an early age he was used as a runner in the busy common room, delivering drinks and collecting payment, becoming a mascot of sorts among the regulars. As he grew, sprouting into a broad-shouldered teenager rivaling the size of any of the patrons, he was pressed into security duty. Finding the formerly-affable crowd no longer appreciative as he broke up fights and ejected troublemakers, he quickly developed into a capable brawler, learning to handle himself in the frequent melees of the lounge.
It was that fighting capability, and a grudging reputation as a young man with considerable restraint for his size, that first introduced him to the underground element of Aringill. He was quickly recruited into an enforcement role for a small-time smuggling ring, the promise of decent pay not earning his agreement so much as the guarantee of retribution to his family should he decline.
What started as a part-time job providing security for shipments escalated to intimidation of business rivals, and before he knew he was the one tasked with "extracting" information from local officials. If he objected to an assignment, his family’s inn would experience a small fire, or patrons would report feeling ill after the dinner service. Lew would acquiesce and provide his services, and life would go on.
After weeks and months of slow escalation in his duties, he was finally ordered to take the life of a minor dock official as the smuggling operation looked to expand their influence. Eventually, flanked by armed men and with a concrete promise that his family would not live to see the sunrise if he balked further, he gave in and killed the man, losing a part of himself in the process.
Things changed quickly from that point on. Once on the outside of the organization, he was brought more completely into the fold. He discovered the smugglers had a higher patron, some shadowy figure they met with only in the darkest of nights. He learned that their goals were more than just turning profit on stolen cargo, that there were artifacts they searched for under the cover of their operations.
He began to hear terms that sent ice through his veins. More casual with their tongues around him, he heard quiet reference to "The Great Lord," and of rituals of blood. The meetings he was invited to used less coded words than before, and he learned exactly how deeply he was entwined in a war he had not known he was fighting. That he was on the wrong side--and continued to serve as his assignments grew more frequent and more violent--gnawed at the depths of his soul.
On his final night in Aringill Lew was attending just another of those meetings, expecting to sit quietly in the corner while trying to shut off his ears to the conversation that would follow. But he found himself following his crew in familiar territory, an oft-travelled alleyway he could have navigated with his eyes closed, until at least they reached their destination. They stood behind a two-story building with grey walls and an odd molding around the windows that Lew had always thought were meant to mimic the rolling waves of the ocean. The usual lamps that would have lit their way were snuffed out, leaving them only the faint moonlight of the dead of night. Lew could still see every detail of his old home.
The guide of their party rapped an odd cadence on the rear cellar door of The Inn, and a moment later it swung outward, pushed from within by a tall, thin man with a fringe of white hair. Oswyn Salter, proprietor of The Smuggler’s Burden, husband of Holwice Salter, and father to Josep and Lewin Salter, nodded curtly at the group and gave his son a relieved smile.
"By the Great Lord, it’s about time you truly joined us in--Lew!"
Lew heard nothing more from his father, but the party he’d been traveling with gave shouts after him as he turned and bolted back down the alley. The pounding of his heart and the ragged breaths he sucked in as he fled covered the sounds of chase, but he knew they would be coming. He had been brought into the conspiracy; he could not be allowed to escape now.
But he had grown up in this area, knew the turns of every street and sideway. He hadn’t been idle in learning from the smugglers, either, and was no slouch when it came to leaving false trails or clambering over or through an obstacle that might have stopped him before.
They would never see him again, though he was bone-sure they would never stop looking.
Forced out of Aringill, and with the docks ruled out for escape, Lew headed west into Andor with nothing but the clothes on his back. He survived through scavenging—from nature, when he could, otherwise regretfully resorting to some of the skills he had picked up while running with an illegal smuggling operation.
He barely had time to find a place to sleep before he felt watched again, no matter how far he traveled each day. It would start as pinpricks on the back of his neck, and before long he’d see lingering figures in the shadows, catch townfolk looking at him just a bit too closely, and he would move on again.
Soon he lost track of time, counting only by the landmarks he passed. Camelyn; skirted along the north to avoid the worst of the population and prying eyes. Four Kings; sleeping under a merchant’s wagon to hide from the rain. Then, for a long time, little else but road, until finally the gleaming namesake of Whitebridge came into view. He spent a little over a day there, regretfully using what little coin he had left to sleep comfortably and refill his hollow stomach. Early on the second morning, a beggar in the street tried to knife him. He was forced west yet again.
Bone-weary and defeated, Lew finally staggered to Baerlon. After a day on the streets he caught a break, meeting a motherly seamstress who took him in, fed him, and--over the course of hours of chatter—convinced him that the Grey Tower might have a solution to his problems. At the very least it was a safe enough place for a ‘healthy young man’ to find work and a purpose. Before he knew it his path was set, and he was being shoved out the door with a small bundle of bread and a skin of water pushed into his hands for the trip.
Wryly, Lew began the last leg of a journey he had never expected to take, to find a new home he had never expected to need.