On the Drowning Way.
Head-strong young berserker from the Iron Garden, hunting down the man claiming to be his father.
Jukka wears a fur mantle over a waterproof cloak of seal skins, beneath which is a leather jerkin with rings sown upon it. Woolen trousers dyed in the deep blue of the ocean sit above once supple leather boots, stiffened by ocean spray. He wears no helmet, preferring to fight with unobstructed vision, instead he has a shorn head aside from long, black hair on top of his crown and a short beard, bound with leather strips.
Around his neck he has a bone fetish carved in the shape of a (?) – tribal customs demand that the fetish be returned to the owner’s home if they die away from the sea, so that their spirit may be put to rest, or they will rise again as a vengeful spirit.
The get of a human mercenary upon his orcish mother – a victim of his honeyed words – Jukka never knew his father. Instead he harbours a hatred for the father who betrayed his mother’s trust and fled from his responsibilities, the so-called man who purported to be Ardin Silverfeather, a mercenary archer and swordsman of the Twilight Vanguard.
At 13, already a strapping lad, Jukka was apprenticed to the tribe’s blacksmith. At 14, he broke an older apprentice’s arm in an argument. His punishment was to row aboard the longship of Jurik Stoutbelly for 2 Summers with no recompense.
The first summer passed uneventfully. The second, now an accepted member of the crew, he was banned from drinking aboard any of Jurik’s ships, having found in the ensuing celebrations after one particularly successful boarding that Jukka was a Berserker and it took 3 men to subdue him.
Attempting to return to his apprenticeship proved fruitless when the blacksmith rejected him for having been turned into a seasoned sailor and unruly youth, so instead he signed on with Jurik once more as a rower, this time with a meagre share of the takings. After breaking Toke the Elder’s wrist in an arm wrestling match, Jurik, at the end of his tether, handed him an axe and shield and told him he would be doing Toke’s duties instead – and no, he would not be getting a raise.
He stayed on with Jurik 3 more years until the fateful day he met his half-brother. Relinquishing his share of the season’s spoils, he left Jurik’s service in search of the man who they would call ‘father’.