Stanweard is a wandering knight, having been a member of two orders of knights, and part of the founding circle of one. He fought in the Lightwar 30 years ago, with him and his original order being turned into a legion of immortal knights for the army of Kodan the Dark during the war. He now wanders the land in search of work, glory, and a chance to spare his soul from a living hell in the afterlife.
Stanweard was born a number of years before the Lightwar, into the Order of the Golden Dragon, a highly skilled and famed, yet secluded- bordering even on secretive society of knights, revered for their strength and deadly prowess on the battlefield. Stanweard himself spent virtually his entire childhood training to become another knight of the order, his life highly regimented, with proper etiquette lessons, a proper education, and most importantly (to him, at least), his combat training.
Over the years, Stanweard became something of an exemplary knight of his order, his skills unmatched by his fellow knights, and even some of the knight-commanders. There was simply one problem, however. Despite him being well-read and well-mannered, he had a tendency to wander off on his own to complete missions and assignments, enlisting no help from his fellow knights, which served to land him in a spot of trouble on numerous occasions, and earned him the moniker of "solitary". On occasion he was lambasted by the local peasantry and soldiers. Hardly a challenge on their own, but would cause a public relations nightmare for the Order if he were to simply cut them down where they stood. On other occasions he was far from as lucky, with monsters he believed that stood no chance against him standing a far greater chance than anticipated. Time and again he was saved in the nick of time by his comrades from whatever monster of the day he was fighting, or in some cases, whatever peasants decided to throw their rotten harvest at him. Despite this, however, Stanweard never really formed a close enough bond with anyone so much as to take them out on missions with him.
To fast forward, Stanweard's order, the Order of the Golden Dragon, were approached by Kodan the Dark to become forces in his new army, in exchange for land, recognition, and most importantly, immortality. The Order's higher echelons agreed rather quickly, seeing the deal as a no-brainer. Stanweard, being seen as an exemplar knight, was put into command of a small group of this new Immortal Vanguard of Kodan's. Even with his lone wolf attitude, Stanweard and his men did an admirable job towards whatever they were tasked to, typically to break through the line of those puny followers of light. However, despite the best efforts of Stanweard and his unit, as well as their meatshields they had before them, his unit was wiped clean in battle close to the end of the Lightwar, near the town of Northkeep. They all were either captured and left to rot for their betrayal, cut down on the spot, or executed shortly after to send a message to the forces of evil that redemption... or retribution, was close at hand.
Stanweard, however, was the lone survivor. Realising that he was fighting a losing battle, he cut his way out through swathes of his enemy, retreating north into the Northern Wastes. He had effectively abandoned his men, and his cause. Even for one with his personality, he felt the pangs of guilt for years, and still reminisces upon what he could have done differently as to save some of his comrades. A Stanweard, now lonely, distraught, and lacking in any aid, wandered the wastelands. He avoided everyone he could when possible, tribes, light forces and especially Kodan's armies. Hell, he even raided supply lines when he had the chance, from both sides of the war.
You see, he had been receiving reports for a good while that the light's forces had been making headway against Kodan, and was not simply prepared to give his life, that eternity he now had, to some wizard he had never seen, let alone have met. As far as he was concerned, it was now a battle for his survival, and everyone else could get stuffed. He initially planned to only stay in the wastes for a few days until the war's frontlines had passed, and he could ditch his equipment and get back to a relatively normal life- or, atleast as normal a life as one nearly as tall as an Oni would be able to possess. But as days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, and those months turned to years, Stanweard, his body and his resolve starting to crack under the intense loneliness and hostility of his environment, felt as if he would never be able to make his way back home. Back to a normal life. He would forever stay a nomad in the frozen hellhole that whatever bastard he had made allegiance to now made his grave. He would forever stay as a wanderer in the lands, detested to the south and fighting for his life in the north.
Well, that is, until, he found a handy group of knights. A group of knights from his old, and now to be presumed abandoned order. Going against his nature, he joined up with them, and together, they set forth south. By this time in the story, a good decade had passed since the end of the Lightwar, and the band of comrades, reunited, hoped that they would not have any ire held against them, and journeyed to rejoin civilized society.
Oh, how wrong they were.
Many of the people, having either grew up during the aftermath of the war, or been veterans of it, noticed the "similarities" between them and the old Immortals of Kodan's legions. Needless to say, they were not handed a very warm welcome. Indeed, many of them threw whatever they could find at them in order to drive them off. Produce, rocks, and even the occasional kitchen knife or woodcutter's axe. To Stanweard, while annoying, it provided a strange sense of nostalgia to him... It was good to finally be back in the lap of civilization, even if that civilization loathes your existence and views you as a freak of nature. To the rest of his band, it was simply an annoyance. Still, this would be what one would expect, should they venture back into a land which they laid siege to.
Years passed, and the band took odd-jobs and little contracts here and there in order to sustain themselves. However another question came to their minds. What of the afterlife? Surely if they were granted eternal life through dark powers, then Dekanas would regard them as disturbing the natural flow of life at best, and as disgusting undead at worst, would he not? This quickly brought them to a bout of panic, as they thought endlessly upon what they could do. Then the idea hit one of them, Azorius, his name was. A knight on the level of Stanweard, and a far more sociable one to boot. He struck the idea that they should form another order... an order of Templars, if you will. Templars seeking to redeem themselves, so the Templars of Redemption, perhaps?
The others of Stanweard's group agreed wholeheartedly that it would help them to redeem themselves if they set up their order to help those in need- redeem them, if you will. Stanweard himself agreed, although a bit more skeptical of the idea. Nonetheless, if it saved him the rest of eternity in brimstone and pain, it would certainly be worth the hassle of helping this ungrateful world. The knights soon set to work on organising everything for their new order, their order of Templars being set up the following winter. Their statement was to help those in need or disenfranchised, either through using their blades, or by allowing said disenfranchised to join up with their order.
The years passed, and the Templar's order had its ups and downs, but there was this constantly nagging feeling towards the back of Stanweard's mind. Something about this felt just... wrong, to him. Sure, he and his team had garnered some of their respect back for their actions, but nothing had truly sprung up that made him feel as if he was making a difference. All that this new order had managed to accomplish was taking down some notable local monsters, and letting some common criminals and bandits who felt a little bad for what they'd done join up. Many of which could barely hold a sword straight, let alone fight in some sort of organised capacity.
To Stanweard, this feeling grew ever more the longer he spent within his order. Until, that is, he simply left. He left no mention that he was leaving, let alone a note saying where he was going to. Although in the case in the latter, not even he himself knew. He supposed he would simply wander the lands, in search of a purpose, or a cause to redeem himself. Well, redeem himself in order to not spend his unlife a constant hell, at the very least. In any case, many years after his departure, he still wanders the lands, in search of his redemption. The gift of a never-ending life, it seems, is both a blessing, and a curse.
Inhuman Strength: With his original knights order having a fame for its strength and skill wielding armor and weapons that would be, at best, unwieldy to the average man, it is no surprise that Stanweard continues on this legacy. He is able, with his inhuman strength, to wield two-handed weapons in a single hand as if it were a shortsword.
Man of the Wastes: Because of Stanweard's time spent wandering and fighting in the wastes, he has grown out of his shell of a squishy Kingdomer, becoming hardened from years of harsh conditions and brutal survival. This has made Stanweard a great deal more enduring, but as one would expect, has left his outer body looking like a desiccated corpse, making him... unappealing to look at, to put it politely. This of course hasn't been helped by how long he's spent close to dark magics. His look doesn't seem to garner a good reaction from the local peasantry.