Sigmund the Highshield
Long and glorious is the story of Sigmund the Highshield, whose noble lineage can be traced back to the days before King Acelin united the city-states of Kaerok under his banner. Located on the south-western side of the Burden Peak Mountains, the Highshield Barony lies within fertile, picturesque valleys where countless small villages have sprung around the Baron’s ancestral castle. The people who live there are merry and hospitable, known across Kaerok and Aravia alike for their excellent ale. But life was not always carefree for them.
For centuries, the barony was beset by Orcs, Trolls, and other foul creatures that dwelled in the mountains and the surrounding hills. Their raids brought much woe and destruction, and never once were the savages uprooted entirely despite many fruitless endeavors undertaken by the ruling family. That stalemate lasted until Sigmund, still a brash young knight back then, decided that his subjects would suffer at the hands of those scoundrels no longer.
He sent a call to arms across Kaerok and promised to reward all those who would aid the Highshield Barony in its hour of need. Many were the brave men and women who answered that call: noble knights and pious crusaders, commoners and peasants who rose to defend their homes, young mages who sought to prove themselves. Soon enough, Sigmund had a small army under his command, and he eagerly led it against the monsters that threatened his people.
Three long years did that campaign last, and Sigmund the Highshield won glory aplenty for himself and his followers. A mountain of a man, he always led battles from the front, brandishing his familial sword and turning terrible blows aside with his enchanted shield. Wherever the Baron went, no harm could befall his loyal allies, and though countless and fierce were their foes, none could stand before Sigmund and prevail. Soon, the warring tribes united against the Banner Lords, but that did not avail them.
When the two armies clashed in a decisive battle, Sigmund marched with his men once more. There he met and bested no less than twelve Orc chieftains and seven Troll warlords if the minstrels are to be believed! But whatever the truth might be, one thing cannot be denied - the Baron’s army won a great victory while the Orcs and their vile allies scattered and fled, and it would be a long while indeed before they dared to trouble Highshield’s lands again.
Though that war had drained the Barony’s treasury, Sigmund did not despair. He threw a victory feast that would make the King himself green with envy - dragging his family even further in debt - and bid farewell to the brave warriors who had helped him. For decades after, he was neck-deep in matters of governance, but that too did not dampen his spirits. To this day, Sigmund the Highshield, now a grizzled veteran, has not lost his taste for adventure and glory. His name graces the rosters of many tourneys, and he is ever eager to take up his old sword against the forces of evil.