An Oncomming Storm
[Bywater] Ser Sandor Hunt
Captain of the Griffons, Anointed Knight and Brother-in-Arms
Lordly certainly isn’t the word that comes to mind when one meets ser Sandor Hunt of the Griffons, but then he is no lord. Rather he is every inch the doughty soldier and knight, ruggedly handsome with strong features and a friendly appearance. Standing a little below one meter eighty he is no tall man, but broad and well-built for fighting. Like many of the Hunt men he has a thick, solid neck, broad shoulders and strong arms, built more like a woodsman than a noble. His sword arm however is as good as any man, though for real fighting he prefer a solid mace or warhammer, better suited to his natural strength. For he is a devil at wrestling, and few if any of the men at Bywater can beat him in feats of strength, except perhaps Braedon Bywater and old Branden Wells. He is far from the most graceful of fighters however, and furthermore he is notably bow-legged. This gives him a slightly swaying and rather odd gait, both in and out of armour. His queer stride begets more than one comment, but as Sandor cheerfully points out you needn’t run when you are part of the Griffons.
Captain Sandor’s features match this cheerful demeanour, for he has a face that while perhaps not beautiful certainly possess a rugged handsomeness and no small measure of friendliness. His lines are rugged yet soft with boyish cheeks, a rounded jaw and notable, rounded ears. The skin marked by many long hours under the burning Reacher sun. They are youthful features, giving his face a certain boyish charm, something his broad smiles often compliment. For Sandor has a mouth which smiles often, with full lips and rows of surprisingly intact teeth considering his line of work. He keeps his beard short and well-kempt, growing strongly along his jaw but kept as but a thin line over his lips. His hair, which is also kept fairly close-cut is the colour of chestnuts, mixed with lighter streaks that become particularly pronounced in summer. Under heavy brows rests a nose that has been visibly broken, probably several times. It must once have been pretty straight and fine, though it now bends notably to the right. It sits between a pair of calm hazel eyes. They are not quick eyes, not particularly deep or haunting either, but they are instead both warm and friendly, filled with a spark of friendly humour few can avoid contracting. On the whole it is a face that appears kind, almost a little boyish, yet at the same time with a simple rugged strength.
This simplicity is reflected in his apparel, for Sandor is a practical man who favours practical costumes to the finery of courts. As a soldier and defender of Bywater first and foremost he for the most part goes about in a simple gambeson in muted tones of browns and black, with simple linen breaches and solid riding boots. On particular hot days he may even entirely skip the gambeson and simply go about in a linen roughspun. When the occasion calls for more formality however he usually don a cotehardie, white split with black, emblazoned with the golden griffon of Bywater as his privilege as captain allows him. He compliments this with a gilded chain and a high, wide brimmed hat in a tone of orange-brown. All in all a fairly simple attire for a man of his status. Ser Sandor however more makes up for his regularly plain attire with the quality of his arms and armour. When dressed for war he wears a suit of fine full plate armour, covering his entire body in either mail or plate. Griffon motifs feature prominently, notably as gloves and sabatons with shapes like a griffons claws and a high helm with swept wings inlaid with gold. The surcoat is black with the arms of house Bywater proudly displayed, though his shield carries his own heraldic device. It consist of a white field with a strung up stag in brown, the sigil of house Hunt, but incorporating a sable (black) canton upon which rises a golden griffon rampant. This same device is also displayed proudly on his horse’s caparison when he rides in tournaments or during other formal occasions.
Ser Sandor is a man well-loved by most at Castle Waterdeep, for he possess an easy friendliness and a relaxed attitude that makes him the friend of most. He is also quick of wit with an appreciation for both songs and books, though not necessarily of the most noble kind. At any social gathering he will frequently the centre of attention and always with some fresh tale of valour to recount, though they are rarely of any substance. Indeed it seems half the tales travelling the Cockleswent about the heroics of the Griffons can eventually be traced back to ser Sandor. The majority of his men appreciate his easy manners and charismatic leadership, though far from all of them truly respects him. In particular his casual attitude has earned him no small measure of scorn from certain knights at Bywater. Though if Ser Sandor recognize this he certainly seem to make little of it. Instead he has a temper of the long sort and few have ever seen him angry.
His friendliness and calm does however make him seem somewhat soft, and Lord Daeron has on more then one occasion noted that Sandor could do with being more thorough and less worried about any stains to his honour. And it is indeed true that Sandor holds his honour and vows high, not as much out of any feeling of religious obligation as a less concrete moral obligation. This, and his endless tendency to chatter on about everything with anyone has seen him kept from Lord Daeron’s private council on more than one occasion. Yet this too Sandor seem to think little of, instead occupying himself with the practical tasks of preparing his men for the many dangers of the battlefield.
Sandor Hunt was born in 262 AC at Hunter’s Rest in the Uplands, the first of three sons born to Samwell Hunt, brother to Lord Hunt. He was a small child from birth but Hunt men have a long traditions as warriors and knight, and thus his training started early. At age eight he was sent to serve as a page to Lord Mullendore at the Castle Upland. His time there proved hard, with regulars beatings in an attempt to make him grow into shape, or at least be beaten into one. It was while serving Lord Mullendore that he first meet Aemon Bywater who had recently been knighted at a tournament at Three Towers. Related to Lord Hunt by his father’s sister Aemon spent the tournament in the company of the Hunts and Mullendores. Upon seeing the young boy’s plight Aemon suggested to Lord Mullendore that he would take the boy as his squire, something Samwell Hunt later accepted when Sandor turned eleven. Thus Sandor came to Waterdeep for the first time age eleven, a scrawny little wimp whom ser Hensworth calls the most pathetic little mouse. But in time he grew, eventually growing into a stout and reliable man. Aemon taught him well, with great patience and a kindness ser Sandor would never forget, forging the little mouse into one of Waterdeeps best fighters.
Ser Sandor won his spurs at the Tourney at Oldtown in 279 AC, knighted by none less than Price Rhaegar Targaryen himself after remaining victorious in the squire’s melee. To this day ser Sandor still idolizes both the Price and his mentor ser Aemon, indeed he can hardly speak of them without shedding tears. But like most of his generation he would see his first and fiercest battles during Robert’s Rebellion. As a young knight of the Griffons he fought with the Bywaters first at Ashford and later with Mace’s forces at Storm’s End as the personal guard of Aeron Bywater. In all these conflicts he acquired himself with great skill and won no small measure of respect from his peers, for while not the greatest at the joust few would dare face him in the muddy mess of the battlefield. After the Targaryen’s eventual defeat Sandor returned to Bywater together with the remaining forces of the house, and shortly after he was raised to the position of Captain. More than one veteran amongst the surviving Griffons disliked this arrangement, yet Lord Daeron would accept to complaint and thus Sandor has remained the Captain of the Griffons to this day.
And since the war little has changed in ser Sandor’s life. He married Beryel (Hastwyck) Hunt the third daughter of lord Hastwyck’s nephew shortly after the war, in 284 AC. Though the match was arranged by her uncle it appears it was not a bad one and they get along well enough. Beryel is currently on the third month of her first pregnancy. As Captain Sandor has done his best with limited resources, trying as best he can to raise a new generation of the Griffons after the losses suffered during the War. In this he has been doing well, and while much can be said of his stubborn honour none would doubt his dedication to the house of Bywater.
Ser Sandor has not played a large part in the adventures of the Young Cockereles so far in 288 AC, having for the most part been kept busy by his Lord’s commands. After the “Incident” at Market Town however he led the relief force of the Griffons together with ser Maelys Bywater. Later he took part in the Battle of Rushside as the forces of house Goldleaf invaded the lands of a weakened house Cowen. Together with ser Braedon Bywater he led the reckless charge of the Griffons which completely crushed the Goldleaf line of battle and caused a general route. During the fighting Sandor is credited with having cut down the hedge knight ser Harlan Northfork, having defeated Roan “Ridden” leader of the Red Riders and having saved the Griffon’s banner as the standard-bearer fell. He also took part in the tournament of the Bywater Greens, though he did not make it to the final list.
Alain, he has had few dealings with him and mostly seems uninterested in the youngest Bywater.
Braedon, is one of his fast friends, the two having trained and served together through many long years. He consider him his foremost brother in arms.
Duncan, he seems to respect though there is something faintly cordial about his attitude.
Thorben, is treated like the maester, nothing more or less.
Vermillion, he has known since he was a young squire and he treat him like the old friend he is.