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There is a startling intensity to his eyes and a coldness sprawling from their black pits. They are bright, like wet green stones and stand-out against the deep charcoal colour of his long hair and road-weathered beard. His frame is lean with iron muscle and wolfish and his gait is steady. He carries himself tall when in the company of others but the grim-faced mercenary carries with him, too, a lingering shadow and an undisturbed solitude like a forlorn and abandoned monument half-slanted and cracked in the deep woods. Scars adorn him. The half-crescent, knotted mark at the right-base of his neck, another on his left hand which appears from some vicious bite-wound, and lighter white slashes across his knuckles and on his forearms when he turns in certain lighting. There are more hidden under his clothing, as any soldier would bare, but it's clear enough, from what is seen, that violence is his calling and his great curse.
As with most men-at-arms his features are rough-sawn, his eyes are troubled and dark from restless sleep. But he is a consummate professional in the trade and danger moves through his aura like the glint of a knife in the dark. His careful and quiet approach to conversation begs more questions than it ever answers but though the pool is cloudy, it is shallow. He seems resigned to brevity for the sake of it, complete upon the hour rather than eluding to some mysterious silence.
It was winter in the Gray Forest when Harlex was born on Valtyr family’s farm, healthy and pink. His father, a soldier before him, died nine months later when cutthroats set upon him on patrol. He was found, stripped and butchered, on the side of the road. His mother in desperation married her late husband's brother. He was a devout man who lacked in any useful skills. He could not hunt, farm, nor fish. All he could do, in Harlex's eyes, was pray and drink. It didn't seem to do his family any good.
At the age of sixteen his stepfather died when his heart ruptured while trying to clear ear-rot from the corn fields. Harlex watched him writhe on the ground, deciding then to avoid this fate.
A year later his mother died from a fever during one particularly cruel winter. This he perhaps still regrets. But afterward he sold the land for next to nothing, bought a long-knife and some traveling supplies and set out. The world proved remorseless and these two years were marked with violent conflicts in taverns, on the streets of cities where he sonjourned, whose names he can not recall, all under the banner of the Sellsword Guild. Until at last it reached its terminus. He met an outfit of mercenaries, the Dead Crows, and plied his trade in service of their cause. It was under this banner and the leadership of the enigmatic Captain Nazares where he became a full-blooded reaver.
Harlex was never allowed to have any enchanted views of war. Glory and honor were beaten out of him by sword-wounds, arrow volleys, and burying fallen comrades. Eventually this all led to the Dead Crows disbanding, and Nazares’ murder. Leaving Harlex with nothing but the rough-worn gear on his back, the sword on his hip, and scars deep on his soul.