Name: John Shepherd
Age: Young adult
Image is approximate
|| [look] John Shepherd is a tall, somewhat lanky Hylian in early adulthood. He has slightly messy short brown hair, clear grey eyes, and chiseled features. John typically wears a plain white tunic with a dark blue coat over it, plus hardy brown trousers. Fingerless black gloves protect his hands, sturdy brown boots cover his feet, and when out and about, he'll often throw on a dark brown cloak. John also typically carries the weaponry of a ranger: a longsword, a bow and quiver of arrows, and a hunting knife, all of them plain and economical but servicable tools.
Very often a guay named Scruvo can be seen perched on John's left shoulder or otherwise hanging about nearby. Unlike most guay, Scruvo has an intelligent (and roguish) twinkle in his eye, and keeps his plumage glossy clean. ||
Move (Keep Walkin') by TobyMac
|| [history] John Shepherd is from the Dukedom of Lorranis, a distant offshoot of Hyrule. He worked there as a soldier, though as the Dukedom seldom had cause for war, his duties mainly involved guarding the Duke's castle and the surrounding town. John was known as a sharp-witted and discerning man, and was often called upon to investigate when foul play was suspected. Though the concept of police, let alone detective, is not something that has been developed in this world, that's essentially what John was.
John's stable life was thrown into turmoil one night when a group of undead creatures made an attack on the Dukedom. Duke Lorranis and his soldiers rushed out to defend the townsfolk from a dead hand that clawed its way out of the ground in the town square. Just as they managed to finish cutting that horror down, screams from frightened children and the cackling of poes was heard nearby. By the time they cleared out that haunting, they received a report of stalfos trying to break down the south gate. The main bulk of the Dukedom's little army was kept chasing small threats all about town for hours.
All through the fighting, something buzzed at the back of John's mind, a nagging thought that could not take conscious form in the midst of the fracas. It wasn't until a redead went out of its way to attract the soldiers' attention before shambling after an elderly couple that it clicked for John. These are diversionary strikes with expendable minions. Where is the real target? John looked back to the castle and spotted an unearthly glow coming from one of the windows. He tried to point this out to Duke Lorranis, but the Duke was too focused on giving orders to listen. Acting on his own convictions, John broke ranks with his fellow soldiers and ran back toward the castle, ignoring the shouts of the Duke to get back into formation.
Back at the castle, John found that the guards who had remained there had been blasted out of commission by powerful magic. Following the trail of disruption, John came to the room of the Duke's teenage son, Ruscov. A wizzrobe in a midnight-blue cloak stood at the foot of the boy's bed, drawing an ethereal vapor from Ruscov's prone form into a crystal ball. The wizzrobe narrowed his eyes as John charged, and a flock of guay perched in the rafters dove down to intercept and harass John. The wizzrobe yanked a last clump of essence from Ruscov while John swung at the guay, then vanished. Moments later, the monsters in the town crumbled into inanimate bone or dispelled into the aether.
In the castle infirmary after the attack, the resident physicians found that Ruscov was alive, but in a deep coma, his soul pulled from his body. John immediately requested to head up tracking down the wizzrobe behind the attack and rescuing Ruscov's soul. But Duke Lorranis, though deeply grieved over his son's condition, was a proud and principled man. He condemned John's actions in leaving his command the night before, saying the insubordination could have cost the lives of soldiers and those they were sworn to protect, and pointed out that his son's soul was stolen despite John's attempt to prevent it on his own. John argued vehemently that catching and stopping the mastermind of the attacks was more crucial than putting out the small fires he was setting, and at least with what he witnessed he knew what Ruscov's soul was being kept in. The dispute ended with Duke Lorranis declaring John exiled from his borders by sunset, and John vowing to recover Ruscov's soul regardless.
Before packing up to leave the Dukedom, John spent as much time as he dared examining the area of Ruscov's bedroom, looking for clues that might tell him more about the wizzrobe. While doing so, he made a startling discovery: one of the guay littering the room was still alive, and it spoke to him. Apparently a tiny fragment of Ruscov's soul had gotten caught in the bird's body, gifting him with a measure of intelligence and the power of speech. A power which, John soon learned, the guay greatly enjoyed using. :D But more importantly for John's purposes, the guay could faintly sense the main bulk of Ruscov's soul. John named the garrulous bird Scruvo and smuggled him out of the castle, a tricky adventure in itself thanks to the guay's tendency to speak up under John's cloak. They left the Dukedom together in search of the wizzrobe.
Tracking the wizzrobe proved a difficult task. Scruvo could only get a vague sense of his direction and proximity, and John was left following bread crumbs in the form of the warlock's attacks. They seemed to have little purpose most of the time beyond causing a bit of mayhem. Listening to the tales of the wizzrobe's victims, John did eventually hear of a name for his quarry: Dorjan.
When at last John's pursuit led him to the ancient country of Hyrule, Dorjan's activities grew more subtle. At the same time, John's wallet grew light, as he had only the traveling equipment and savings he'd been able to carry with him from the Dukedom. So while searching for his next lead, John decided also to search for some gainful employment to keep himself going... ||
|| [abilities] Swordplay (medium proficiency): As a soldier, John was trained and regularly drilled in the use of a longsword. He's no master fencer, but he knows how to attack and defend in combat.
Archery (low/medium proficiency): Archery was something all soldiers learned the basics of, but only some were go-to archers, and John was not one of them. He's become a little more skilled at it since leaving home, as hunting wild game is an important food source for a wanderer.
Stealth and dagger use (low proficiency): John wasn't exactly trained as a covert agent, but he picked up some understanding of stealth from being the closest thing in the Zelda world to a "gumshoe", having occasionally to tail people who didn't want to be followed. He's also managed to deal with a few monsters using a hunting knife to the back in his time.
Observation and reasoning (high proficiency): John has an uncanny knack for gathering the facts of a situation and piecing them together into a big picture.
Bird companion (chaotic element): There's no denying that having a companion that can fly, generally goes unnoticed if he's quiet, and can report happenings in human language can be a huge asset. It's the rest of the time when he tends to be a liability. :P Scruvo is a compulsive talker when around people, very quick to make comments about things which others may not want to discuss, and fond of telling ridiculously tall tales about his experiences. He's also very interested in helping everyone (especially John) find romantic success, and can't seem to grasp how much more significant it is for people than birds to "build a nest". ||
A Sheikah whom John met at the Crimson Wolfos Inn and joined for a dodongo egg-gathering venture. John hadn't heard of Sheikah before coming to Hyrule and didn't know how lucky he was to have met one out in the open, though he certainly found the fighting style she displayed while on the undertaking interesting.
The other participant in the egg-gathering gig, a Hylian mage of some sort. She didn't exactly advertise her capability in that realm, though. Very focused on getting paid, although there's nothing wrong with taking the agreed wages for a tricky and dangerous job.