Sgt. Hovan Roark
A very well liked and respected member of Blackport's City Guard.
Hovan, like most others from the city, grew up in Blackport. His mother died at birth and forced Hovan’s father to raise him alone. His father, Haldred, was a city guard member and so Hovan spent many hours in the barracks of the guard. His entire childhood was spent studying combat, warfare, and history all the while learning how to interact and lead others from his father.
While growing up, Haldred told endless stories about his family’s lineage. Haldred claimed that if you traced back the lineage of the Roark family to the empire of Bael Turoth that their family was directly descended from one of the greatest and well-known heroes of the Forever War, Courtland the Peaceful.
As story has it, it began as Bael Turoth was just beginning to clash with the mighty Dragonborn empire. Courtland was one of the most brilliant generals that the Bael Turoth army had ever known and his men were more devoted to him than most were to their God. He was one of the five fabled Champions of Bael Turoth, and everyone knew of him and loved him. He was the one true beacon of hope left for Bael Turoth as the Arkhosians seemed to be pushing the empire back on every front but his. However, the story goes that the Dragonborn so feared that he may single handedly keep them from victory that they moved their entire army to surround him and kill him so that they could finally be able to deliver the coup d’etat to the inferior human army. But Courtland had a very intricate warning system around his camp and knew well before hand that the army was descending upon him. The Arkhosian army was too much for even him though and eventually his forces were pushed back into a mountain pass. There, Courtland infamously agreed to surrender to the Dragonborn in return that all of his men be spared and set free. The arrogant Dragonborn preferred to have him alive so that they could bring him home and parade their victory rather than kill him and agreed, knowing that without him leading Bael Turoth’s army that they would easily achieve victory.
As Courtland was brought back to the Dragonborn’s city he began to learn about his enemies and they of him. The story says that once he was brought to the Arkhosian capital that Courtland became a friend and liason to the Dragonborn. He began to think that the two empires could easily coexist and begged the Dragonborn to let him put an end to this war. Reluctantly, the King of the Arkhosians agreed and Courtland returned to his people. However, he saw a change in his own Emperor. No more was there a desire to bring civilization together for the good of the world, but instead existed a hunger in his eyes for power. Where there used to be a kind and fair king, there was now a skeptical and paranoid ruler. Courtland spoke kindly and publicly about peace, and finally the Emperor had enough. He accused Courtland of being corrupt and trying to lead the empire into the hands of the Arkhosians and had him arrested on charges of treason.
Several of the Champions of Bael Turoth insisted that they be able to see and question Courtland, but the king hid him away. Courtland was publicly executed and was decried by the royal family as a traitor to his people. However, none truly believed that Courtland could betray Bael Turoth, yet none dared to speak out. As the royal family grew more and more corrupt, Courtland became a martyr and legend for anyone who would speak of peace and order.
Hovan loved these stories and intensely studied history for years, trying to find proof that these tales along with his lineage was true. However, when Hovan was 12 the Blackport Guard got reports of a Orc raiding party in the nearby Fens. Haldred volunteered to lead an expedition to a nearby settlement to try and bring any refugees back to the safety of the city. Haldred never returned. Hovan spent the next 4 years living in the city barracks and being completely raised by the guard, which has lead to a complete loyalty to the city, it’s citizens, and especially his fellow guard members.
.......there was a sudden knock on the door to Hovan’s office, which opened before he could respond. In his door stood a tall, lanky fellow that seemed a bit out of place under his armor. As usual, it ran through Hovan’s mind that Cullen was not made for this life. His father’s wealth had almost bought him into his rank, but all those thoughts quickly were dismissed. Hovan instictively stood and saluted “Sir.”
Cullen almost seemed annoyed. “Sit down, there’s no need for all of that. It gets old having to tell you that. I….could use a favor from you though.” The command seemed to slip out as more of a request.
Hovan relaxed and sat back down. “Sure. I just finished up a new guard rotation we needed and I have to say…..it’s not looking good. We’re shorthanded. With rumors of the Orc raids nearby increasing our recruitment has been way down. People are scared. God forbid the Orcs have the numbers that I’m worried they do. And that’s not even mentioning that crime at the docks seems to be increasing.” Hovan half smiled, “But that’s a discussion for someone much more important than you.”
Cullen laughed. “You’re very right. However, those important people feel our services could much more intelligently be used by looking into some sinkhole in the bottom of some guy’s store.” Cullen relaxed and sat down, then seemed to almost change the subject as he played with some a trinket from the desk. “Some dwarves came into town today needing reinforcements that we can’t afford to give them. I think the Church and Duke might be yanking them around getting favors out of them before telling them we have no spare man-power. Anyway, the Church has done some recruiting and we have a very rag-tag group of mercs getting paid to go down and explore this hole in case it’s a sapper tunnel or something.” Cullen’s voice made it obvious that he thought this was a waste of time. “I need you to go in with them and make sure they don’t get themselves killed.”
Hovan was more interested than he let on. Could it actually be a tunnel dug by sappers? Orcs and Goblins were dumb, but not when it came to the best way to sack a village. It would make sense and might even account for some of the strange sightings around the city lately. “What Blackport needs, I will see done.”
Hovan stood and saluted again. “I should really begin preparing.” It were almost as if Hovan had just dismissed a lower ranking officer. Cullen quickly stood from his chair and started towards the door.
“I think they want you to meet at the Cathedral at 10:00. Have fun.” Hovan nodded and Cullen pulled the door shut as he left. A hole in the ground? Could be interesting. He almost hoped it was something devious. His mind began racing through ways to use it against the enemy or methods of fortifying the city against similar strategys. Hovan began polishing his old armor and whispered to himself, “Bahamut, strengthen my shield…..”