|Pet||Red-tailed Hawk ("Deirdre")|
|First Appearance||Into the North|
The Wanderer is one of the major characters of Wulfgard: Into the North. He is the first character we meet, as he stumbles down into Northrim, exhausted to the brink of collapse after crossing the Jagged Edge.
“The Wanderer” has been to many different lands and gone by many different names. He was born in Northrim, where he goes by the name Stigandr – though whether this is his birth name remains a mystery. Born to a poor family on the brink of the Achaean Empire's northern border, he was forced to learn how to survive on his own. For many years, he fought with a band of rebels, harrowing the Empire's trade routes and disrupting their attempts to spread Imperial influence. Other members of the band included his sister Magnhild, his friend Jorgen, and the traveling dwarven merchant who often brought them information, Fintan.
The band eventually broke up and went their separate ways, however, and the Wanderer attempted to settle down. He had fallen madly in love with a woman he had met in the forest gathering berries, and the two of them quickly married and moved to a cabin, secluded but not far from his home. One day, however, he came home to find his love had disappeared without a trace. Even as he searched for her, his memory of her also began to fade, and men and women who had met her could no longer recall her existence. The Wanderer soon forgot her name, even her face. There only remained a memory of love, and blissful time spent together, and then heartache.
And so the Wanderer began to earn his name, roaming the countryside in search of his missing wife. As he went farther afield, he wandered out of Northrim and into the Achaean Empire, where he was wanted as criminal. There, he was finally taken captive. This was the beginning of a long journey that would take him far from his homeland, all around the known world. It was over a year before he finally stumbled back into Northrim, at the beginning of Into the North.
The Wanderer appears to be an average man of Northrim in most respects, though his hair is darker than most. He bears the scars of many fights and usually wears worn and ragged traveling clothes, discarding them and finding new ones as needed. Much of what he wears and carries he made himself, including his bow and arrows. He uses these primarily for hunting, typically with the aid of his hawk, Deirdre, with whom he shares a special bond. His other weapons come and go, all save his sword, Kiliserkhet, which he acquired in the far South: a curved, single-edged blade with a golden hilt in the shape of a scorpion, its eyes set with red gems. It is his only prized possession.
Though he has some skill with a blade, the Wanderer is not a highly-trained swordsman, and he prefers to use his wits to win fights, carefully choosing his battlegrounds and using the terrain to his advantage, even setting traps when possible. Honorable combat is the least of his concerns; to him, in a battle for one’s life, anything goes. For the Wanderer’s greatest skill is raw and simple survival. He has scraped a living from the harshest, most unforgiving places Midgard has to offer, and has weathered natural elements that would have killed most other men.
After the dark period shortly after the loss of his wife, during his long and perilous journey southward, the Wanderer acquired an air of jaded, easygoing confidence. Nothing seems to crack his emotional armor, for he waves off personal insults as if they were the buzzing of a fly, even as he casually insults others with his frank manner of speaking. He usually avoids talking at all if he can, however, especially to authority figures. He seems to value nothing higher than freedom, specifically freedom to move about and go where he pleases.