Derek Blair

"Del for short, er, if you want..."


Hailing from just outside Bridgewater from a family of 6 boys, Derek was always a bit unnecessary. He was not particularly good at any of the farm work and not very strong, so his daily chores were often overlooked. The one task he could be counted on for was clearing the rats, with a bow, sling or simply a rock. Del, as his brothers called him, was of no good use on a farm, but his father saw promise. Flora, fauna, seasons and terrain were incorporated into long walks around the property. Eventually the boy became solely responsible for trapping pests, dissuading vermin and keeping the farm’s laden stores disguised. His older brothers eventually starting having families of their own, and with the increased size of the farm, Del’s skills grew unnecessary once again. The walks around the farm soon grew into day and week long treks, living off the land and exploring different wildernesses.

After one of the longer walks Del stopped several miles short of returning to the farm in contemplation. His life was fine – better than most in the surrounding area. He had a full belly, a dry place to sleep and a large family with which to spend time. Benefits aside, he felt caged. He knew that living out his days at the farm would fill him with regret. The decision to head out on his own had been made months ago, but he had not the courage to accept it. Thumbing the note in his hand, he idly wondered how long his dad knew. The hollow tree where he would always leave some spare provisions had a full pack of gear and a longbow. Pinned to the top was a note. “See you in a few years.” It was all his father needed to say and just the motivation Del needed. He was off on a new path that had no security and endless possibility.

Del learned very quickly that he was not unique in his trade. Many men were able to shoot a bow and set a trap. There was work for them guarding farms, escorting convoys and occasionally leading a small expedition off a maintained road. The pay was meager and the job was dangerous, with growing lore of beasts and goblins attacks. Del had always been able to avoid unwanted encounters mainly due to his ability to read and follow tracks. Avoidance is one of his primary tenants, something he learned from traveling almost always alone. Because of this ability, he got noticed by some of his peers and recommended for jobs tracking persons. This proved to be exponentially more interesting as well as much better pay. It can be a bit more dangerous, and it was during one of these jobs where Del first had to kill a man. All reports say it was completely justified and in self-defense, but Del still insists he could have approached it better. His small notoriety and self-sufficient nature has gained him fairly steady work in the tracking field. With the economy as it stands, there are very often outstanding debts that people think they can just run away from.

If you happen to be one of those people, hopefully you leave no trace of your passing. If Del is given enough time, he’ll find you.

Derek Blair

Dal Gurath Froegiligr