It is said all living hearts yearn for Lumaya’s motherly grace. Even those who had forsaken Her light and tread the path of wickedness still hold within them a tiny seed of Her love and goodness, ever eager to take root if it is given a chance. And though – alas! – not every villain heeds the Goddess’ whisper that would lead them to salvation, some not merely repent but become true Champions and defenders of the weak. Such is the story of Bivald.
Once there lived a bandit “king” whose gang of highwaymen and cutthroats terrorized the southern provinces of Kaerok. Bivald was his name, and he was a man of both great cunning and great cruelty. Built like a mountain, he was unmatched in battle and ruled with an iron fist – all those who stood in his way met a harsh end.
For years, Bivald’s power grew unchecked. He had always been a step ahead of all opposition, outsmarting local nobles and evading battles his ragtag army could not win. It was said, the riches he had plundered from the merchants filled an entire cave somewhere in the mountains of the Land of Rebirth. Some feared his influence grew strong enough to challenge the Banner Lords themselves, yet everything grumbled one fateful day when Bivald and his men raided a pilgrim caravan.
The poor folk had no warriors among them and offered no resistance to the brigands. Neither did they possess gold as Bivald had hoped, nor anything of value among them. Enraged, he had nearly ordered the pilgrims killed and was only stopped by a blind old man who stepped forward to speak on behalf of his brethren and promise to buy their life with something much more valuable than silver and sparkling gems. Whether it was surprise or greed that stayed Bivald’s hand is unknown, but he agreed to speak with the elder in private and let the others go.
What words passed between the two had also been lost to history and so was the old man’s name, albeit it is widely believed he was a saint or, mayhaps, even a Lightbringer in mortal guise. Bivald emerged from that encounter a changed man: he recanted and cried for absolution for the lives he had ruined, putting out his own eyes so that Lumaya’s sacred light would be lost to him until the day She deemed him worthy. Having surrendered himself and his ill-gotten riches to the Church, Bivald prepared to face judgment for his crimes. He prayed, flagellated, and fasted, yet the execution never came to pass.
Representatives of the Sacred Order arrived, wishing to witness the penitent bandit, and saw in him a sign of Lumaya’s goodwill. Therefore Bivald had been given a chance to repent – a chance he took gladly. Crowned with thorns as punishment for his hubris and armed with a mighty maul that had been blessed by the blood of the martyrs, he became a crusader and a warrior of Light. Dubbed Bivald of the Thorn, he now fights for the Order and Lumaya against the spawn of evil in the hope that one day his sacrifice shall cleanse his soul of past wrongdoings.