Skull and Shackles
Jasper "Jaz" Gregory Jones
A Drunken (ex?)Monk
Jasper Gregory Jones was born in the field during the 10th month to a very large barbaric tribal family. His Mother, Father, Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone he would’ve known, they all belonged to this tribe. Early in his life, his tribe raided a large settlement planning to take it as their own. However, at the heart of the settlement was a monastery, filled with monks trained in the art of self-defense. After the initial push, the monks discovered some of the women watching the children of the tribe camped outside the village. The monks, normally peaceful, saw no alternative to combat after the second wave of barbarians attacked—they had to fight.
And fight they did. Even when defeated, none of the barbarians would surrender. They fought until their last breath escaped their lips. None of Jasper’s family surrendered, and none were captured. Jasper was found alone and abandoned in the camp outside of the village. Unwilling to leave an innocent child alone in the wilderness, the monks took Jasper in as their own and put one monk, Brother Matthias, in charge of Jasper’s well-being.
The monks farmed to maintain their way of life, so just as the monks taught Jasper the art of self defense, they taught him to farm. However, the village was near to a sea, a sea to which Jasper always felt a great calling. So naturally, and somewhat bored with the life of a monk, Jasper would make frequent trips down to the dock in his spare time under the guise of running errands for the monastery. By the age of 9, he was spending hours at the docks each day, and he began to steal whatever alcohol he could get his hands on from the sailors and deckhands.
On the eve of Jasper’s 18th birthday, Jasper was caught stealing mead and wine from the monastery’s stores. He was excommunicated from the monastery. From there, he spent several years wandering the docks, taking odd jobs here and there, and wasting the little money he had on booze and women. It was during this time that he took the name Jaz. Though no longer a monk, Jaz maintained a close, if strained, relationship with Brother Matthias. Matthias saw Jaz as an adopted son, and he pitied Jaz and his downward spiral into depravity. But, as the years went on, Jaz became perpetually drunk, and he was too ashamed to continue his weekly meals with Brother Matthias.
By Jasper’s 21st birthday, he hadn’t seen Brother Matthias in over a year. Jasper was drunk in a brothel when he heard the alarms of the village raised. He stumbled out of the brothel, and made straight for the monastery without even donning his clothes. In his underwear and smelling of whiskey and ale, Jasper found Brother Matthias and the other monks readying for battle outside of the monastery. Another tribe of barbarians was attacking, and Jasper begged the monks to allow him to help defend his home. Brother Matthias once again took pity on Jasper, recognizing that this battle might end Jasper’s life the same way it had began, but he allowed his son to fight with the monks.
The fight did not go well. The monks were severely outnumbered this time, and 78% of their number were decimated. The ones who survived barely escaped with their lives, Jasper included. He had attempted to stay close to Brother Matthias, who, though approaching an elderly age, had seemed to do well for himself in combat. Whether or not he survived the fight is unknown. Jasper had been fighting unarmed, but it is not always so easy to deflect a sword with a hand. A vicious falcata caught the back of his leg and tore the flesh wide open. Jasper fell to his face as the barbarians moved onwards to plunder the only home he had ever known. After they had passed, Jasper crawled to the docks. He was able to use what he had learned to prop himself up in a small boat and push himself off the dock and out to sea.
How long he was at sea he never knew—days, weeks, months, and possibly even years passed him by. His journey was marred by unconsciousness, heat, and starvation, and although he remembers coming to land several times, anything other than that is little more than a forgotten blur. Some period of time later, he awoke to find land in view for the first time he could remember since he left his home. As he franticly paddled towards the port, he passed out once more. He awoke an unknown number of days later to find himself in a cot at an inn. After asking around a bit, he discovered that he was at Port Peril. This port was much more fortified than the one he had formerly called home, and he thought he might live safely here. As the name of the port might imply, he was wrong.
After a couple of days in his new “home,” Jasper found himself falling back into his old habits. Perpetually drunk, it was a common occurrence for Jaz to get into fights at the bar or at the docks, often using what the monks had taught him to win. One night, perhaps a year or two after he arrived in port peril, and after a few drinks at a tavern, Jaz went down to the docks to take in a view of the sea. The last thing he remembers is a blow to the back of his head and the waves rushing up to meet him.