20 year veteran of multiple wars, this aging Fighter was content to live his retired life in peace until Saldana murdered his family.
Bernardo ‘Bear’ Belmonte, knew only war most of his life. At the age of 15 he enlisted to fight for the young King Inigo to secure the Peninsula for the people of Spain.
Bernardo is a spectacle in a world that left him behind 20 years ago. In his prime he was a front line foot soldier, wearing heavy armor and wielding a heavy blade. In this day and age, disputes are settled with light rapiers, or the god forsaken pistols, in duels between two men, and a light leather buffcoat has replaced the heavy metal armor.
Bernardo chooses to fight the way he knows how, at the age of 55 he can’t keep up with the quick movements required of rapier duels, and with his left hand amputated he is unable to load a pistol, not that he would want to, as he despises all gunpowder devices. He has welded an iron shield to his forearm over the old cannonball wound that lost him his hand and encased himself in thick double platemal capable of deflecting most rapier strikes and bullets as well, more than making up for his lack of speed. Despite the pain and discomfort of being permanently encased in metal, his anger and determination to see justice done drive him forward.
For all intents and purposes Bernardo is considered a Warforged. He has a permanent armor bonus and does not sleep but moves slower.
For 20 years Bernardo served on the front lines. His many scars, endless endurance, and ferocious strength earning him the moniker ‘Bear’ which he wore with pride. He served with distinction until the advent of gunpowder, which ended the tactics of skirmishing units such as his.
During one of the battles in which guns were first employed he took a cannonball to his shield. He awoke to the wrenching pain of surgery, his hand amputated at the wrist, and the mangled remnants of his shield embedded in his forearm. The physicians removed as much of the metal they could but the shield bands and much of the shrapnel would remain. For his long service King Inigo personally made Belmonte an honorary Marshal, gave him an honourable discharge, and a small grant of land in the quiet countryside.
By grace of fate Bernardo found a wife who saw through his ugly exterior and soon gifted him with a daughter and son. Over the next 20 years of war the Bear fought instead against the rocks of his hilly land.
After the war ended, many men returned home to find the legendary Bear Marshal, who some had served beside and others merely heard of, as the de facto leader of their small community which was now a thriving farmland. Bernardo had carved the semblance of a good and peaceful life from the King’s gift, and he finally found contentment.
Then General Saldana began his coup with the murders of the royal family and with fire and sword swept into the settlements of Antier and rounded up the Men who were thought loyal to the crown. As a man granted special honours by the King himself Bernardo Belmonte’s name was on the list.
Bernardo returned from the fields when he saw the smoke, but he was too late, his home was aflame, the village below slaughtered. In front of the burning house lay the body of his 16 year old son, Bernardo’s old longsword beside him, and as Bernardo listened to the screams of his wife and daughter from the farm house, The Bear awoke again.