Keir is strong, brutal, and intimidating. He’s a skilled warrior and I have encountered few braver. But he has one weakness, well in my opinion any way, despite his gruff disposition, Keir is a good man. True, it’s to my advantage to have a friend that’s honest and, for the most part, loyal. But In my line of work as a… ne'er-do-well rogue, Keir’s behavior can be rather maddening. Several times he’s endangered my operations so that he could indulge himself in defending the weak or to pick a fight with someone cruel, or even just a bit abusive. He’s hard to work with needless to say.
I used to wonder why my savage friend behaved this way, but Keir doesn’t talk much about himself. One knight after a successful job restoring a kidnapped girl to her wealthy father, the two of us sat drinking to our success at a local inn. We drank and we drank and finally I asked Keir why he behaved so… decently. And much to my surprise he responded.
“There was a boy, who loved his father. They lived in the woods and the old man hunted and trapped to survive. He cured hides for sell. One day, men came, rough men from the mountains. They were interested in the furs and sought to take them without payment. The old man fought them, killed two of them with arrows, but they grabbed the boy. He could not help his father.”
“They killed the father?” I asked.
“No. As I said he was old. His heart stopped. So the furs were taken and the boy was left.”
Keir’s features became soft, a distant look in his eyes. “That boy wasted his life with anger, seeking revenge…. Revenge that in the end he never found.”
“I’m sorry Keir. You can’t blame yourself. There’s nothing you could have done. Your father had a weak heart and you were just a child.” My words felt feeble.
“No, you misunderstand me. I was one of the men from the mountains.”
Keir stood, paid for his drinks and stumbled off to sleep in the stables. We never spoke of it again.