|Guardian||Byregot, the Builder|
Given name: Banquo Winterhaven
Nameday: 4th Sun of the 4th Umbral Moon
Place of birth: A coastal town from a land across the sea. He doesn't enjoy speaking of it.
Current residence: Inn-hopping. Frequently seen in Limsa Lominsa, working over his anvil.
Starting City: Limsa Lominsa.
Grand Company Allegiance: Maelstrom.
Employment: Self-employed, proprietor of the "Winterforge".
Marital Status: Widower(?).
Religion/philosophy: Mostly a rationalist, but quietly observes the local customs when it seems like the right thing to do.
- Smithing – Originally a simple tradesman, Banquo has always had his skill in metalwork to fall back on. Humble iron and a patient hand do not always turn out masterpieces, but they get the job done. While he's been working the fires since he was a child, certain recent events turned his hand away from the forge... but little by little, he's learning again to find his peace in the trade.
- Axefighting - It's important to use the right tool for the right job. Banquo instantly determined that a hammer was better suited to the forge than to the battlefield - at least, in his hands - but the heft of an axe gives him a grim kind of determination. It takes a great deal to take away the quiet smith's composure, but when it fades, his strikes are powered by raw, furious catharsis - striking out at the enemy with a force intended for something else entirely - a more unreachable target. Still - as he prides himself on - he gets the job done.
- Arcana - Something about the entire business of magic doesn't sit right with Banquo. The only magic he trusts is the power he works into each weapon or protective; the gleaming materia, born of experience and trust. However... despite his misgivings, something has made him pick up the book. He has no aptitude for the study, and his is a mind better suited to his small hometown workroom than the rigidity and academia of the Arcanist's Guild. Yet still he tries - seeking to understand something, hoping to find an answer after one book more. It seems he will not give up until he has found his secret...
- The Echo - Banquo doesn't trust magic. But he does trust his hunches.
Build: Years of work have given Banquo bulk and muscle, though he doesn't see much point in attempting to improve his fitness beyond the usual rigors of his jobs and day-to-day life. His hair has remained relatively unchanged since his younger days (to his secret, immense, overwhelming relief), though it is beginning to gray slightly. He appears not to have shaved in some time. He doesn't seem to like showing people his hands...
Equipment: His most often-worn suit for field work seems to be a broad suit of black armor, with white gauntlets and arm coverings. Regardless of what he happens to be working on, he will always ensure his hands and arms are completely covered at all times...
Banquo is, at heart, a simple man - he prefers not to widen his perspective too much, believing that a man's got to concentrate on the job in front of him in order to do it well. This comes across in almost everything he does, from his main working practices to his prowess in battle. While stern and usually uncompromising, he knows to extend to others the same courtesy expended to him - if you want something done right, you go to the experts. Knowing he's no soldier, he takes tactical advice and even harsh reprimands with the same even calm... but he'll tolerate no doubts about his metalwork and handcrafted pieces.
Old-fashioned and traditional, he often has a bit of trouble keeping up with those younger than him - a difficulty he apparently experienced with his son, as well. However, he has very firm values - he holds himself steadfast to his word, regardless of who it serves, and cannot abide being in debt to anyone. Humble and contained, he nevertheless takes great joy in seeing his creations impress and satisfy others.
Banquo doesn't speak much of his past. Long before his arrival in Eorzea, however, in a distant land, he ran a humble smithy, taking care of his wife and son with the funds he made from honest work. It was an idyllic life, and one that he had worked long and hard for - his wife, Rain, had appeared on the horizon one day, carrying her life on her back and telling strange tales of this mysterious city she had fled, known as Limsa Lominsa... Banquo did not fight specifically to win her heart; only to ensure that the finest armor would protect her on her travels, and that she should only wield the most beautiful and elegant of swords... that she could continue living in the way that would make her happy.
Through some miracle of fate, the two were joined in love, and soon - with Rain's vibrant, adventurous heart and Banquo's calm diligence - they made enough money to run a shop of their own, the blacksmith happily creating new tools and works from the mysterious items Rain would bring home from her daily adventuring. Their marriage was a happy one, and their rings were a sight to behold - beautifully jeweled things, purchased from a smiling, quiet trader who had attended the wedding from foreign lands. Soon enough, they had a son, and Banquo allowed himself to relax, feeling the warmth of the life they had built around them...
Nobody knew where it had come from. He never actually saw the voidsent; only heard its cry.
The first slam from outside shook the ground, and knocked Banquo over. The second strike was more punishing yet, and with a groan of wood and metal, caved the forge in over Banquo's head. He heard Rain scream, and then he heard her stop. The sounds of destruction became indistinct as the voidspawn turned on the rest of the town...
When he awoke, his hands were gone. His arms had been demolished from the elbow down - crushed by the forge's roof. The frantic doctors had done their best to stop his suffering, but there was only so much they could do - his arms were mere stumps now. His son had been out on an errand - now safe, but in shock. As for Rain... the only thing they had been able to find of her was her wedding ring, laying pristine in the rubble a couple inches from the bloodstains. For several days, Banquo laid awake, waiting for death... until a doctor arrived, bearing a strange white sphere; something from the smiling trader, who passed along a message.
"Through materia, we regain what is lost."
Over the next several days, Banquo watched over the town's finest smiths as they crafted a pair of fine white gauntlets - articulated carefully, with the gentle proportion and flexibility of a mortal hand. Nearly all his remaining savings went into the project, and when at last they were finished, a young mage implanted the Trader's Materia into the gauntlets... and at once, he had hands again. Hands of cold, white metal, but hands nonetheless.
He worked for a month only... and then left the Winterforge in the care of his bitter son, traveling to Limsa and Eorzea in search of the Trader, in search of an answer. With him, he carried the remaining ring... the wedding ring, the only remnant of his wife. When asked, he replied honestly - what man would consider, even for a moment, parting with the final memory of his departed love? But he had noticed something else about the wedding ring... something that, when he remembered the trader's words, made him aware of his heartbeat for the first time in months.
Where before his wife's death the ring's jewel was empty, there was now a single orb of clear materia inside.
Through materia, he seeks to regain what was lost.
Son (At home, leading the forge in his stead)
Friends & Foes
Vikka Redcliff: The daughter of a close friend, Vikka had very little patience for her parents' profession in the mines, and instead fled to Eorzea a couple years after Banquo did. Stubborn, vehement and principled, Banquo quickly realized that she could use some support in the foreign land. She now represents Banquo in the markets - her caustic temperament and stubbornness perfectly suiting her to Hawker's Alley. Banquo finds it hard to deal with her, but feels compelled to ensure her safety and self-sufficiency... and to make sure her family knows she's doing alright.
The Smiling Trader: The mysterious one who appeared in Banquo's hometown, and purveyor of strange materia. Who is he, and does he hold the secret to Banquo reclaiming his life of peace?...
- Skype: wordsmithrefl