Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stonejaw - A Writing Sample

Matthias Mayford, historian, adventurer, and ex-navigator for Jeremy Rand has devoted the past year and a half to recording every detail of the people, places, flora and fauna of The Swordfish Islands he could. With the help of his assistant Zilbee we have procured a page of his notes on Stonejaw that we will share with you below the break!

Name: Stonejaw (real name unknown)
TL;DR: A true killer. Loyal. Pure Self-Control.
Ht: 6'10
Wt: 375lbs
Age: 33
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Grey
Manner of dress: Pants and vest, coat or shirtless due to his size and difficulty keeping shirts intact
Occupation: Jeremy Rand's Body Guard, Hired Killer
Temperament: mild, disinterested, restrained
Value for Life: none, kills indiscriminately
Respect for Authority: Little if any, but enjoyed militaristic structure in his youth
Loyalties: Jeremy Rand
Combat style: Brawling, Brutal, improvised weapons, takes pain without flinching
Usually found: At Rand's left side or in his very own sofa chair in a back corner of the Virgin Berth

The first time I saw Stonejaw he was about to be thrown below decks on The Fooled Albatross to become an oarsman.  My task at the time was to catalogue the vessel's newly acquired prisoners, noting any tattoos, piercings, or other features that could be used to identify them should they escape. Our meeting was necessarily brief, and I only recall the situation due to Stonejaw's immense size, and stench. Dysentery has a very specific odor and he seemed so far gone to it that I drew a small skull next to his name in the ledger.

The second time I saw Stonejaw he was knocking down the door to my chambers during Finnegan's Mutiny of The Fooled Albatross several years later. I was left quite speechless. Not because of the shattered door or broken saber at my throat, but because this man had survived the worst case of dysentery I'd ever seen, and he'd done it in the stinking dark below decks. Thankfully Zilbee's quick tongue, and the deal she struck with Jeremy Rand saved us from Stonejaw and the rest of the mutineers that day. 

Since the mutiny, I have come to know the man well enough through adventure and drink to consider him a trusted ally but I doubt he considers anyone a true friend. Perhaps Jeremy Rand, but even then I can't help but think Stonejaw's fierce loyalty springs more from a sense of obligation and respect than feelings of fondness for Jeremy's character or camaraderie. We are all better off having Stonejaw around and on our side, than not. Despite his slow wit and excessive size his senses are keen, and he is often the first to spot trouble no matter how veiled or hidden it may be.

It is a rare thing to hear Stonejaw speak, and even more rare to hear him speak about himself, so I know little of his past. The information I have managed to cobble together points to a harsh childhood filled with surprise beatings from his keepers which I suspect contributed greatly to his current skills of supreme silence and alertness. Based on the way he sometimes pronounces his "L"s and "R"s I speculate that he hails from the farmlands west of Reywish, and I am further convinced that he spent time on a farm during his formative years by the single conversation I have witnessed him interrupt. Shortly after arriving on Rand's Retreat I became engaged in a rather heated discussion with Belly over the proper techniques to aerate and irrigate raised vegetable gardens. After fifteen minutes of heated exchanges between us at the crew table in the Virgin Berth, Stonejaw drained his lager, slammed the mug down, told us we were both idiots, and then proceeded to detail an ingenious technique in thirty seconds before walking away in disgust. We use Stonejaw's technique to this day.

It has been my hope to see new life bloom within Stonejaw here on these islands, but outwardly he appears to be the same silent juggernaut, deliberate in his actions, and apparently disinterested in anything except his eternal vigil against any danger that comes Captain Rand's way. When not shadowing the captain (and it's amazing how much like a shadow this giant can become) Stonejaw can be found drinking in Virgin Berth, surrounded by Faye's most beautiful and desirable female whores. He looks to enjoy their company at the table, going so far as to kill anyone that roughs them up, but he never spends any time with them in the rooms upstairs, preferring instead to spend coin on the men.

In the end it should never be forgotten that Stonejaw is a killer. Clean, thorough, methodical and cold blooded. Because his physical strength and size are so obvious, in the view of this old writer, self control is his most overlooked strength. Having seen the fire in his eyes as he kicks down a door, should he ever abandon his restraint the ocean itself would not be large enough to separate him from his enemy....


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