"A little place called Hardrock"; or the story of how Hardrock came to be
Nigel grew up in Suzail, to acrobat parents. He grew up in a circus, and was used to hanging around bearded women, elephants, clowns and lions. He trained as an acrobat, a fencer, a dancer, a tumbler. He was quite successful, everything was going well for him: he was about to propose to his girlfriend, he was earning good money at his job which he loved, and he still found time to see friends and family. But then the war came. The circus was deemed ‘unnecessary during wartime’ and was shut down – and new refugees from Arabel meant there were no jobs available because everyone would work for much less.
Nigel’s family grew hungrier and hungrier, and as the streets filled, the people began to live in squalor. Nigel ended up going out and making a deal with the local crime lord – he would supply their family with food and resources and he would work for him. And so he became a thief. And what a thief he was: acrobat, cat burglar, pickpocket, swashbuckler – he was truly good at taking what wasn’t his. As the war grew worse, his family persevered through his deal with the crime lord. Eventually, he was accosted in the street by recruiters and conscripted – sent off to the front lines in Arabel. But his debt remained and his side of the contract unfulfilled – His debtors would eventually kill his family, girlfriend and all his friends – they looked for him for some time then gave up assuming he was dead.
Meanwhile, Nigel fought in the cavalry that retook Arabel from the orcs. He rode up city alleyways and cut down goblins and orcs which he was required to kill. Always the loyal and contractual solder, Nigel fulfilled his obligation to the military, and when peace was called, was staying in a tent inside Arabel’s town square. Upon hearing about his family’s fate however, he fled as far from Suzail as he could: and on his way, he stopped in Silverton. And was hired for the job that would change his life forever…