Pensive Shipwright, Fisher, and Loyal Friend
Sterk Sigvaldison is tall with a thin, but muscular, body. His torso and arms are covered in tattoos of various sea creatures and swirls of waves and wind. He keeps his salty blonde hair cut above his shoulders with the occasional, small braid. He has a full beard that he keeps trim and under control. His eyes seem permanently squinted by the bright sun of the sea.
Sterk is a calm, patient man, always thinking through his actions before acting. As a result, people think he’s introverted, but he’s really just picking his words carefully. Sterk values the understanding of one’s own weaknesses. He knows he’s not skilled with the sword and spear, and he knows he’s not terribly smart. With those weaknesses in mind, Sterk defers to the strengths of those around him. Sterk is not concerned with love, but the bonds with his friends are strong.
Sterk often hums or sings to himself, but will often sing for an audience if the mood, or drink, strikes him. He enjoys whittling in his free time. He has a small shack attached to his parents’ house, but prefers to sleep in his skiff if the weather is right. He enjoys the wide-open embrace of the sea and the gentle kisses of the salty air on his face.
Sterk is the only child of Sigvaldi and Kettil. When he was born, he had the same striking stare as his mother, and so he was named after her. Sigvaldi and Kettil never bore another child, but not for lack of trying. They prayed to every god imaginable, even the black sea god, but Sigvaldi’s womb was never blessed with another child. While his parents talk of the gods, Sterk lacks their faith. He doesn’t waste his time on actions that produce no results.
Sterk learned to fish from his parents, but was always more interested in shaping wood into boats and ships. When he was eight years old, he was apprenticed with one of the village’s shipwrights, Thordis Hardrada. Thordis was tough, but forgiving, and taught Sterk well. Thordis was fond of saying, “Understanding one’s own weakness is more important than knowing those of your foes.” With that in his heart, Sterk learned to craft strong and swift longships that were highly valued in the village. At the age of fourteen, Sterk finished his apprenticeship and became Thordis’ partner in her workshop. He’s been working with her since, but something’s missing. Thordis still gets all the credit for the ships created in her workshop, and so Sterk yearns for his own workshop. He’s frugal with his money and is always on the lookout for any ways to increase his wealth in support of that goal.