From a small town in a since conquered kingdom, the fourth and largest child was born to the farming family, the Estands. Surprised by his size, twice the size his brothers and sister were born at, they named him Bastion, having confidence he would grow to an incredible size. Some townsfolk, including his father, believed he had been blessed by the gods to be a great help to his father on fields in which they raised their crops. Others remember one in a group of mercenaries that passed through their town who stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Whatever his origin, he was a great help to his family on the farm. However, by the time he was eight years old, he was already larger than children years older than him. After returning from a trip to town to sell preserves his mother had prepared, a group of older boys beat him and mocked him. A sensitive boy, he ran from them crying and returned to his mother with a swollen eye, a busted lip, and a bloodied nose.
While his father and brothers mocked him for being weak, his mother took a more proactive stance in what her son now needed. She knew because of his size, boys, even men, would want to fight him to prove their manhood. And so, she taught him how to fight.
After months of her advice and training, she sent him once more to town. Again, the local boys attempted to repeat the beating they gave him before; however, this time, things would be different. While he cried and took injury from their fists, each one was laid out on the ground before he returned home.
By the time he was fourteen, grown men had tried to challenge him, and each of them failed. Over the years, he’d lost his tears and become hardened to the ways of the land. While many sons hated him for his size, many fathers hoped he’d one day take one of their daughters as his bride.
His mother had planned and spoke to many families hoping to gain her favor in arranging a marriage. Bastion’s family found fortune in favors and goods to win her decision. His eldest brother was already set to inherit the family farm, and so winning Bastion would win them a secure future for the survival of their family.
When Bastion was sixteen, his mother had made her decision. The eldest daughter of a wealthy family who was two years younger than Bastion was chosen. Although Bastion didn’t understand everything involved, he obeyed his mother dutifully. A marriage festival was had, they were wed, but there was a problem. When it came to the wedding bed, he found himself revulsed.
For two months, each night, he would try, but each time his stomach would turn, and his genitals would not work as intended. The family became suspicious; they accused Bastion’s family of marrying their daughter to an infertile son. Even Bastion’s mother raged at him, slapping and hitting him for not fulfilling his duty to both their families.
Having brought shame to his mother, he left the area with a traveling merchant who hired him as a guard along their travels. Although the patriarch of the merchant family was hesitant to hire a man like him when he had three young and beautiful daughters, Bastion told his story and inability despite the sorrow it brought so many.
For five years, Bastion stayed with this family and servants as they traveled. Time and again, Bastion proved his loyalty and ability and was placed as the head of their protection. The patriarch even arranged for him to wed their youngest daughter, whose health was frail and infertile, to bring him into the family, knowing she would be safe with him. Bastion left behind his surname of Estand for the Merchant family of Bora,
Although it was a happy and satisfying time of his life to see so much of the lands and travel with a group who respected him and accepted him, it all came to an end in a single night; the caravan was attacked by a large group of bandits.
Despite being so grossly outnumbered, they fought ferociously. Even when the merchant family all laid dead by sword and spear, including his wife, he and the few guards left stood their ground. It was then they saw something both horrifying and grim. A Heimio couple, a man and woman with copper hair and copper eyes, brought a demonic war to the bandits.
Each one of the bandits was slain by the skill of these Heimio and their demonic companions. Bastion had heard tales of their might and magic, but no embellished story could have prepared him for what he saw that night. When all was done, he alone survived of the merchant family.
The Heimio had been following after the bandits for weeks, coming across every devastated homestead and caravan, hoping to catch up and stop them. Tonight, they finally met, but they were too late to stop the final caravan they’d attacked, but they would never bring violence to anyone else again.
After the Heimio helped him bury his friends and family of the Bora caravan, he rewarded them with whatever they wished of their goods and supplies. Once they were gone, he packed what he could and left the rest behind.
For three years he wandered, having spent the last several years nomadic with his chosen family, it felt natural to him now. Occasionally he would guard other families, other merchants as they traveled the dangerous lands.
When he was twenty-four, he’d been traveling on a trade route towards a city Bastion figured he could get new work in. One day, as he traveled the road through a dense forest, he was attacked by a wolfman, a cursed human who was forced to live in the forest as a beast.
Several times he was passed as he fought the creature, but none would help. After a lengthy fight, he was wearing out against the wolf man’s immense strength and stamina. He was injured, bleeding, and struggling to lift his sword. His salvation came in the form of a Heimio man who’d seen his struggle. He summoned a giant lizard with terrible poisoned spines and, with its help, killed the cursed wolfman.
Bastion collapsed and blacked out from his injuries, but when he awoke, he found himself in a room at an inn. For a few weeks, the Heimio named Elward nursed him back to health. He was kind, he was handsome, charming, and Bastion fell in love.
The two talked for hours as Bastion rested, and Elward tended to his injuries. When he was well enough to travel, the two were fast friends and didn’t wish to part. He would teach Bastion how to be a better fighter, how to use different weapons to suit his needs at the moment, and also taught him how to be a proper lover.
For four years, they traveled and adventured together. The dangers against beast and man they fought together, although Elward was always his better. While it was a tumultuous time, they shared it together.
It came to an end after a particularly difficult battle against a cursed man. Despite his size and strength, Bastion was but a man. Within him dwelled no magic in which to aid his battles, and the many shared battles wore on Elward. Over time, his worry over Bastion’s safety grew to be more than he could bear. He’d lost companions and lovers before, the life of a Heimio shared with anyone not to their standard always had a much greater risk of dying. Elward couldn’t bring himself to face that yet again.
Once their injuries had healed, Elward spoke to him. Despite the heartache and sorrow, they parted company. Elward would live another four years to see the War of the Betrayal, but he would die upon that field. In that time, filled with bitterness, Bastion joined a mercenary company that worked for whoever paid them, even if it meant hurting innocent people. His emotional injury became apathy, and as often does, lead to hurting others.
The mercenary company was hired to take part in the great war that was building. The western kingdoms against the eastern kingdoms, or so it seemed. When the orders came to divert their violence to the Heimio who sought to, he couldn’t bring himself to continue. He was branded as a traitor, and should any of his company see him again; they promised he would die.
Lost now, without purpose or reason, he drifted from place to place seeking work. The land seemed barren without the presence of the Heimio. There was none who would fight for the well-being of common people. Wars sprung up, and his home kingdom was ravaged and put to flame. Foreign people to that land would occupy their homes and tend their lands.
Although he’d heard no Heimio survived the battle, for years, he held out hope he would one day see his former lover. He asked any he could for information, but it only ever reaffirmed his fears. When he came to the town of Breeches Rack, he got a drink at an inn. The owner, Gorlan, had just replaced all his tables and chairs at a significant cost because a group of drunken ruffians caused a fight, and every piece of furniture was destroyed. Seeing Bastion’s great size, offered him work. Deciding it was time to settle down, Bastion took his offer.
While he would never have another love, the nomadic nature of many workers would give him an occasional, short term lover.
It wouldn’t be until meeting Kelsie Copper that he felt the excitement of being in the company of a Heimio again, but it would also draw out the emotional wounds he never tried to heal from. When taking her to a place where a possible tunnel to a horrible beast like he once fought alongside his lover, he begged her to leave. She was too good to waste herself on such a place devoid of value. He planned to face the horror on his own, to either prove his worth to the memory of Elward or die and join him in the afterlife, upholding his lover’s ideals.
Kelsie would not be dissuaded. She was Heimio, like his lover. When he returned to the inn, he poured himself a glass of ale, and remembered his time with Elward and wept for the first time since he was a child.