"Oh no, there isn't much about me to be told around a campfire. Every folk here I chance across seems to be an upstart noble, professional man-at-arms, or a fantastic hero in their own realm. Not Corrin Goodhills, not I. I'm just a farmer facing hard times of my own creation.
"I grew up in a small hamlet. It didn't have a real name or any history, and no more then a wooden hillfort where our landed lord once lived, but it does have an aging old yew tree in the center of town next to the Cunning Woman's hut, so my dad calls the community Old Yew. I do too.
"My dad is the best man with a plow that you'll ever meet. I've never seen a man till a field as fast as he. In those fields, he grew onions, of every variety you can imagine. And he was good at it too! Never once did I see him have a failed harvest, and merchants from far and wide would come by our land to pay for first choice on his crop. The man earned enough for my Ma and I that he managed to purchase me a wide parcel of land from our lord for when I came of age! I moved out of the family hut at fifteen and began to live up to the legacy of my father.
"I consider myself a humble man, but I am a damn better onion farmer then I am a swordsman. Just like my dad I grew yellow, white and red onions, though I didn't have luck with shallots like my father always did. I found myself a beautiful red-headed wife named Samantha from the village over-- I chanced across her when I was out in the forests looking for mushrooms-- and we married at sixteen. My Pa never managed to have any more kids then just me, so I planned to give him a whole host of grandkids to make up for it.
"Sadly, it wouldn't be. Signs were good at first, she was pregnant and due to give birth six months after our weeding day (much to the joy of village gossip), and her belly swelled up to the size of a prize pumpkin! Old Yew's Cunning Woman knew Samantha was going to have twins long before birth. And joy, what twins they were! Two big, strong daughter's with their mother's red hair! I know most men are meant to mourn when their wife passes away during childbirth, but I didn't cry a single tear. I had two new daughters, and I knew their mother was happy to pass giving me them. Their name's are Pepper and Sam, one after my own mother, and one after their's.
"Life went on quite normal for a while. My daughter's nursed with the Cunning Woman's daughter, and I kept producing sizable crops. I was never as prosperous as my father though, I had too much love of the ale and dice at the local mead hall. I won rolls, I lost rolls, but I always had a habit of breaking even in the long run, so I didn't consider it a bad habit. Of course, at my ripe old age of twenty-two, all that changed when some steel-clad knight passed through looking for a high-stakes game of Dice Poker. I, with too much ale in my belly to see the fault in it, was more than happy to oblige.
"It was his spare horse, spare armor, and spare weapons on the table. The only property I had to match it was my farm, so I matched and raised him with my acreage. And I lost. In a few rolls of six-sided dice, I threw my harvest and land away to a knight I didn't even know the name of.
"The knight took my property, but we didn't account for the value of the ready-to-harvest onions in my fields, so the knight gave me an old sword and dagger to make up the difference. Quite useless to a farmer like myself, but I figured I could resell them to the next passing merchant and keep the family fed for a while. Pepper, Sam and I returned to my father's hut, and for a while I stayed there an helped him on the farm.
"Not longer then a week afterward, our local lord's Master-at-Arms came knocking on my father's door. Our liege lord had heard of my mistake, and of my recent gain of weaponry, and decided to offer me employment. He was hiring a band of mercenaries to follow him through some portal, and was willing to hire me on to help support my kids! I was ecstatic-- it was an opportunity for a second chance! That bald-headed Master-at-Arms hardly finished his pitch when I had already donned my clothes and weapons.
"And I did follow that lord through the portal, beside a dozen mercenaries far better equipped and trained then I. I'm aware my lord was just taking pity on my silly self, but I'm not going to deny a merciful man's honest work. My daughter's receive my pay from Old Yew's local coinmaster, so I'm not worried for their security as I trounce around this foreign land.
"Once I collect enough coin and pillage, I plan to go back to Old Yew and buy my farm back. This warrior's life is exciting and all, but my daughter's don't need a hero. They need a Dad."
Corrin, always good to meet a fellow traveler. Know what it is that you fight for, hearth and home and a return to your farm. If ever you are in need do not hesitate to call. . . .and take care what you gamble, you'll rack up regrets if you live your life by the throw of the dice.