Shepherd Character in Dain and Zea | World Anvil
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The Shepherd (real name Wikor Barik, born 29 BU, deceased 32 AU), is probably the most renowned criminal in Dain history. He is well known not only for his reign over the Northern Pass, part of a vital trading route through the Pagai Mountains, but also for his contributions to the Unification War.

Birth and adolescence

Wikor Barik was born in 29 BU in Erres, in a small village of Lower Bodding, at the feet of the Bodding Mountain. He was the youngest of seven siblings, and often recounted the happy memories of his childhood to his compatriots. His main job was to help looking after the sheep flocks grazing on the mountainside. As he was getting older, he realized how much his family, and families around them, were actually struggling. The village, while laying close to a commonly used trading route, wasn’t the closest settlement to the actual mountain pass, so very few outsiders left any coin there. The village was surviving, but not much more. To try and help, he and several of his siblings moved to the town of Upper Bodding in an attempt to earn more and send money back home. This, however, was an element of a larger trend of young people moving away from a failing village, and soon only a few families remained, with the old homes falling into ruin. When his parents passed away in 14 BU, as the youngest one, he was sent by his siblings to search through the family home and see what could be salvaged before closing its doors for good.

The first victim

Barik didn’t find much, except for a small number of sheep still grazing on the same old pastures. He moved into the house temporarily, while making plans to butcher or sell the animals. He was, however, taking his time, as he was feeling nostalgic for his shepherd days. One day, when marching with the flock, he was accosted by two men riding in a carriage, trying to pass him by. As if guided by fate, the sheep refused to give way. Soon, the men left the carriage and started attacking Barik and his sheep. In the ensuing brawl, one of the aggressors was hit in the head with the shepherd’s crook and killed instantly. The other one, blinded by rage, heavily injured of Barik’s legs, but was knocked unconscious. Still full of adrenaline, Barik pushed the bodies to the side of the road and rode the carriage to Upper Bodding to seek medical attention. He told two of his brothers, Marti and Oska, about the fight and had them help hide the carriage, horses and the victims. Next morning, they reported that both travelers were now at the bottom of a ravine and their clothes and jewelry were now in their possession. The brothers were living a good life, but not one that can afford horses and carriages. Barik, a storehouse worker himself, saw how easy it would be to get rich at the cost of others, and devised a plan.

The Shepherd

In the coming months, many who travelled to Erres through the Northern Pass encountered a flock of stubborn sheep in their way. Their shepherd, hobbling with one leg broken and misaligned, very apologetic, was trying his best to push the animals from the road. Sometimes he was successful, especially when the traveler had little of value. Other times, the traveler felt the sharp pain of a metal-headed shepherd’s crook bouncing off of his temple. If the traveler had company, they usually observed two more figures with knives emerging from the forest. Curiously, those were the figures they were drinking with last night, and who they told everything about their cargo. The local law enforcement quickly caught up to Barik and his brothers. By this time, however, they were joined by a dozen men and women, allowing them to diversify their approach. While the original shepherd ruse was put aside, Barik adopted the name of the Shepherd and named his band of highwaymen the Flock.

The Flock

The Flock terrorized mountain paths for almost ten years. Members were executed and replenished by those wanting to earn quick and risk dying young. Before the war, there were never more than fifty members of the Flock. Depending on the current band size, they operated as one to three units, led by one of the brothers. Usually, after several weeks of attacks, the bands mostly backed off for two to three months to spend their gains. In 7 BU, Oska was caught and executed by Wyeh militia, after attempting to cross over to the other side to expand their territory. This caused the Flock to temporarily disband, returning in 5 BU when the reports of gathering Wyeh armies started to appear.

The Unification War

Barik and his flock were able to significantly alter transit routes on the continent, with more caravans opting for the farther, Southern Pass, rather than risking losing the cargo. For local population, it was more profitable to allow them to operate and benefit from their periods of big spending, than to invite retribution for reporting them to authorities. When the Wyeh army started their travel through both the passes, the Flock was there to make the northern assault very hard. Using guerilla tactics, they harassed the marching army in every way possible, pulling scouts into traps, poisoning wells, and burning supplies. In the process, they gained a significant arsenal of sefia-infused weapons, and started arming local population, while helping them to establish hidden camps in forests and caverns. It is estimated that three hundred civilian combatants were members of the Flock at the peak of its popularity. Even with Marti in captivity, Wikor Barik continued his attacks until part of the Erres army was able to break off the southern front and join them. While ultimately unsuccessful, with Wyeh forces spilling over the northern Erres, the Flock gave Erres time to reach stalemate in the south and begin the talks which resulted in the union and formation of Erwy in 1 AU.

After the war

The Shepherd and seventeen other original Flock members survived the war, including Marti. They were offered official pardons by the Crown, but no titles or honors, as rewarding what was effectively war crimes could harm the young and delicate post-war union. Barik returned to the ruins of his home village and town, and decided to rebuild them using his reputation and hidden away resources from his past. In 3 AU, Shepherd’s Crook opened its door to any willing settler.


  Wikor Barik married in 5 AU. His wife’s, Anha’s, identity is uncertain. Some describe her as a daughter of a noble escaping from their father. Some say she was one of his oldest compatriots. Others, that both stories were true. In any case, two children were born from their union: Kolena and Oska. The brothers took leadership positions in the new settlement after their father’s passing in 32 AU and Barik family name still holds a lot of weight there to his day.


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