Thought I'd copy this guy into his own thread, now that he's pretty much done.
[size=150]Ivor MacBride, Bodyguard to Fiona ex Miscellanea[/size]
Ivor is a dour Highland swordsman who serves as Fiona's bodyguard. He's a normal-sized man, not a giant-blood, but he's a very fine swordsman - someone of normal size has got to be a pretty fine swordsman to be of any use at all as a bodyguard to a 7'3'' maga. A life of raiding amongst the various Highland clans, both normal-sized and giant, has taught him to use his big two-handed sword with grace and skill.
Ivor is accompanied by a magical bird - a starling - called Ceallach, who can twitter in something resembling human speech. Ceallach was originally his mother's bird, but passed to Ivor when she died. Ivor chats to Ceallach when he's alone, and uses him to send messages and to spy out the land.
He likes Fiona, but doesn't serve her entirely willingly - see his background.
Ivor is 23 years old, but he looks older - his skin has been through some pretty tough winters, and it's starting to show. He has brown eyes, has hair of a deep mahogany brown, and usually wears a thick beard. His face would be an open and pleasant one, were it not for the fact that he scowls when he thinks about all the ways things could go wrong - and he's thinking about that almost all the time.
His build is medium-to-tall, with broad shoulders. Some tall people seem long and lanky. Not Ivor: his precise co-ordination makes him seem more compact and dense than he really is. He seems powerful and compact from a distance; it's only when he gets alongside you that you realise he's quite tall.
Ivor was born to a hedge-witch in the remote Highlands of Northern Scotland. When he was just a baby, his mother tried to work a curse on a local Giant clan, believing (wrongly) that the giants had plundered her livestock. The curse backfired, killing her, and compelling Ivor, her only child, to serve the Giant Clan until they see fit to release him.
So Ivor grew up as the only normal-sized man in a clan of giants.
This strange upbringing did much to shape his character. On the one hand, giants and the children of giants love to fight and play rough games - so Ivor couldn't help but grow up tough, warlike, and fearless. He certainly didn't get much of an intellectual education. On the other hand, he was always considered the 'runt of the litter,' and he quickly learned that life wasn't going to let him actually win at anything. He was naturally a strong, broad-shouldered lad, and in normal circumstances he might have become an imposing and dominant man - but growing up as the 'runt of the litter' made it impossible for him to make his natural strength count for anything. In military terms, his solution was to learn to fight with speed and skill. In social terms, his solution was to make himself useful as the Clan's travelling agent, getting himself sent out on errands to far-off lands as often as he could.
The current head of the giant clan is Angus mac Ossian - Fiona's mentor. Angus has sent Ivor to watch over Fiona in both senses of the term - to serve and guard her, surely; but also to keep any eye on her, and report back to the clan if she does anything amiss. He is her bodyguard, yes; but he's also a kind of spy. He doesn't feel right about underhanded dealing of this sort - and will feel even less happy about it as he comes to know and like Fiona - but his curse compels him.
Ivor is as grey and cheerless as a Highland winter. His rough upbringing as the only human-sized person amongst the Giant clans has made him fearless, as well as deeply pessimistic and fatalistic - he never, ever thinks things are going to turn out well, but he goes ahead and tries anyway. Long years being considered the runt of the litter have given him a secret sympathy with the underdog in any situation - especially if they're still trying, against the odds. He has it in him to become fiercely loyal to Fiona and to the Covenant - but he's not there yet, by any means.
He doesn't mind the giants - they are the only family he knows - but he resents having no choice but to serve them. One day he would like to find a way to break the curse.
Presence 1 Intimidating
Strength 2 Forceful
Stamina 2 Weathered
Dexterity 3 Coordinated
Quickness 2 Highly-trained
Improved Characteristics x3 (Minor x3)
Affinity with Great Weapon (Minor)
Puissant Great Weapon (+2) (Minor)
Clear Thinker (+3 to resist lies, confusion, befuddlement, or subterfuge) (Minor)
Tough (+3 soak) (Minor)
Ability Block (Severely dyslexic) (Minor)
Poor Student (Minor)
Greater Malediction: Cursed to Serve the Giant Clan (Major, Supernatural)
Weakness: Plucky underdogs (Personality, Minor)
Pessimistic (Personality, Major)
Magical Animal Companion (Ceallach, the talking starling) (Story, Minor)
Athletics (Running) 2
Swim (Ice-cold water) 2
Survival (Hills) 2
Ride (In battle) 3
Brawl (Dodge) 5
Great Weapon (Greatsword) 5
Single Weapon (Sword) 4
Bows (Short bow) 4
Folk Ken (Peasants ) 2
Scottish (Giant-dialects) 5
Latin (Hermetic usage) 3
French (bar-room conversation) 4
Current age: 23
[i] Well, Fiona, if you wanted to know what I think, I'd tell you I don't like this plan one bit. It's a bad job, I tell you, and no good will come of it. We're all dead tired, and hungry, and pretty thirsty, too - for ale, you mind. And they've got us outnumbered five to one. It's a fine idea, surely, but the hard fact is we'll never take them by surprise - on this still night, they're bound to hear us a mile off. Then they'll be right on top of us, and that's a fight we can't win.
But look, I don't suppose you'll take any heed've what I say - you've never done so in the past, at any rate - and little good it's done you.
Right, lads, let's get at 'em![/i]