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  • Ryan Havdala

Vernard the Humble

It’s hard for Vernard to remember a time before becoming an outcast. He’s lived several decades on the fringes of society, slipping from his previous role in the grand military into a more humble way of life. After a series of unjust events orchestrated by greed-fueled officials, Vernard quickly lost his status in the military and in his social sphere. With his peers turned against him and without any immediate family to intervene, he was banished to live outside the city’s gates.

An unwarranted sentence would crack most men, but Vernard has taken this development in stride. Gone are the days of blindly following orders from whosoever is in command. Vernard’s days are now filled with a simple routine, following only the orders of the natural world. The universe has always been faithful to provide what he needs, whether it is food for the day, a coat on his back, or his humble shelter.

Vernard lives in the outskirts of town - far enough to distance himself from the prideful culture, but close enough to contribute what little he has to help those who are in need. Being ‘homeless’ is seen by many to be a sign of laziness, foolishness, or of being cursed, but Vernard pays that prejudice no mind. Even outside of the city gates, he has continued to respect society in whatever form it takes. Even with the little resources he generates, he is generous and helps lift up the others in the banished community as often as he can. Vernard has grown accustomed to going without, so he sees it as his duty to give what he has to others, even if it means having to dwell in that state of emptiness.

This isn’t to say that Vernard is without influence. The universe has flipped his narrative from being the one taking orders to being the one who gives the orders. His meek forces are the creatures most despised by his culture - the raccoon population of the east region. Naturally clever and resourceful, the raccoons have helped him to build a renewable system in which to live. Seeing Vernard’s humility as a virtue, the raccoons deemed him fit to lead and follow his command with a sense of pride that is uncommon for these ‘unclean’ animals.

With his small sphere of influence, Vernard has been able to help countless other banished individuals. He does not judge the other outcasts for how they react to being jettisoned from society. Vernard understands that each individual has a unique story that informs how they react to life outside the gates. He freely gives his service to all, regardless of what direction they wish to go - whether they want to learn to live in the outskirts, prepare to travel to find a new home, or find a way to regain their status within the city.

The Night of Endless Hunger altered Vernard’s routine only in the sense that he began to see a change in the type of folks that passed through his humble domain. This city saw less destruction than others across the map, leaving a strange dynamic to the communities that emerged. The elite socialites regrouped their small pocket of influence over what was left of the populace, while the remaining common folk either attempted to rebuild or fled to the outskirts to start a new life. Seeing this simply as a call to help more people, Vernard has continued to offer his service to those in need. Whether a society is large or small, thriving or devastated, Vernard understands there will never be a time that outcasts are not present. With this in mind, he continues on.


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