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SRD - v3.5
Order of the Sword & Rose
AKA “Mack, The Mechanic”
Macklin "MackDaMech" Bowyerson grew up as a bit of a rebel, having been born a weakling in an Eldeen Reaches family of big strong folk, who worshiped the ability to pull thick longbows, and swing heavy axes. His parents (A Bowyer Father, and Fletcher Mother) focused the family business on the Longbow and its missiles, and tried to hide their disappointment in their youngest and most unhealthy son. He had been large enough to work a plane, smoothing finished bowstaves into works of art, or cranking the handle on the bowstring spinner for hours on end, maintaining the tension just-so, for a quality product. His mother had him splitting goose wing quills and shaping them for her arrow fletching, but all involved found such duty embarrassing, as it was work generally reserved for the very young, or the very old.
By the age of twelve, he should have been out in the forest with a double bladed ax, felling towering hardwoods to split into staves, each to eventually become one of his father's famous longbows, bows that only the most powerful archers could master. There was talk overheard, of sending him away to learn different trades. In each case, the suggestion was dismissed, as all crafting trades for a male seemed to require strength and stamina. It was then the talk turned to store keeping, banking, jewel and fine metals crafting. Mack was horrified at the choices. He had a warrior's heart, and the soul of an adventurer. There must be a place in the world for one such as he. So the search began.
Undeterred by his size, Macklin experimented with odd and unusual weapons and fighting styles, that he could only read about in the library of the Druid Camp. There, he was secretly drawn to the Crossbow, and then to the delightfully complex intricacies of the Mechanical Repeating version. That interest blossomed following a skirmish over the ridge, that left Orc litter in the wake of the Raider's retreat. It was in that jumble of litter that he found his first crossbow, and enough stout bolts to gain basic understanding of the weapon. The discovery was like a revelation from the Nine! An engineered mechanical advantage could more than make up for a lack of physical strength and stature, as he set out to demonstrate at that early age.
"Unfair!" The longbowmen protested, after the harvest-meet competition during his fourteenth year. "But you lost on distance /and/ accuracy!" Young Macklin pointed out, gracefully not mentioning speed, as he had witnessed the unbelievable feats of a troop of Elfin Rangers. He could not hope to match their mystical capabilities with a longbow! Well... not yet!
Later that same summer, he discovered the remains of a destroyed Warforged just over the border in Orc Raider country, surrounded by several equally dismembered Constructs resembling mechanical hounds, and the boy studied them as well. He learned what he could from the bits and pieces, and more from an Artificer, who worked with the local Gatekeeper Druids. He took note that the Warforged made use of a Giant Crossbow, of such size and power that he could not draw the crank to test the one he found. It was put away for a time when he could garner the strength, or finagle a mechanical method, to make it work. For now, it was all he could do to carry it to his cave and workshop on the mountain, two tall ridges, and over an hour of light-foot running from the village. His things were safe there, as it was located not far below the region's Dimensional Seal.
That early mechanical interest led him to tinker with the internal workings of clocks and locking devices, and from there to the study of various trap systems on the mountainous Demon Waste border. Without actually planning on doing so, the young man found himself on the path of becoming a Picklock and Trapsmith. While his parents and siblings wished him well, as he set out to make his way in the world, the boy sensed that the entire village heaved a sigh of relief to have him, his strange weapons, and his unsettling skills gone from their midst. His journey was aimed toward the southern sea, though it wandered here and there, round and about, as his "Work" directed his feet.
He set out from his home village of Longbow, on the border of the Shadowcrags Mountains, heading south and east through the edge of the Towering Woods, to take a look at a big city. From Greenheart, he would go on to skirt the edge of the Lake Galifar, working his way to wherever it was he ultimately found himself arriving to stay. Tales were told of bigger cities, of flying machines, of other machines that ran on rails powered by lightening, and he craved to see if they were true, or simply stories the elderly told to entertain the young. He wanted to walk in the edge of the sea, and sail before the winds to exotic shores. There were clocks and locks wherever there were minds that needed to know time, or had valuables to secure. Where those objects were used, they would become broken, requiring his nimble fingers, roll of specialized tools, and knowledgeable mind to repair them.
Though there had been many in the village who pointed accusing fingers, glowering as they called him "Thief" and "Rogue", he never stole, nor took advantage. He did unlock their doors and windows, but was always careful to lock them back, as his intent was simply to acquire the practice, not the objects being protected. No one could ever prove he did even that, as his small size and agility, coupled with his need to keep secrets, provided him with a well practiced stealthy ability to hide in shadows. He preferred to think of himself as a Tinker and Mender, the person who could replace a lost key, fix that farm wife’s broken clock, or return the banker's complex security mechanism to working condition.
With his tracking, trapping, hunting, and gathering skills, he seldom went hungry in the wilderness, and while in populated areas, there always seemed to be more broken than he had time or inclination to repair in exchange for coin, a meal, or a place to sleep out of the storm. Over time, and over miles, he became known as Mack, the Mechanic. He fixed problems. Recently, those problems included taking on the evil that lurked all over Eberron, but clues seemed to speak of origins on the tropical continent of Xen'drik.
Mack survived many setbacks on his journey, as he learned to deal with a world much larger, and running by "rules" much more complex, than that of his home village in the Wood, but he refused to give up his dreams of traveling the world, and making a mark his parents might finally find reason to take pride in. Perhaps that mark will be made here in Stormreach, in the company of the brave folk known as The Fellowship of the Golden Night. He knows he has yet a "Role to Play", in the World of Eberron!