Before Mikel Pallin insinuated himself as a trainer and warmaster for the Pale Souls, Axel was the sole instructor for the elite band of warriors. Today, he functions as the physical right hand to Pallin’s mental left, demonstrating techniques with weaponry and taking on the Souls in their final stage of combat training before they are given their approval.

Axel has always had only one name, and has never accepted any natural attempts to nickname him either. Even his parents could not make a surname stick. He was born in the shadow of Castle Doune to the tavern owner of “The Jail Cell” and his wife. Once he began to show his prodigious size and lack of expertise in the kitchen, they decided he deserved a chance at a life beyond the coldness of Salusa and sent him off to train to be a Pale Soul. Much to everyone’s delight, he completed his training on time and alive.

Axel replaced his own warmaster at a very young age after a short tenure as a mercenary hired to protect the south border of Mikk. There, the most concerted and recent incursion by tribes of Wild Men embattled he and his mercenary band. It was an embittered fight and a Pyrrhic victory. It was a victory for Mikk and the mercenaries, but survived only by Axel. During the fight, he and his brethren spent eery round of ammunition and broke every shield and weapon in reach. As the invaders from the Scorched Reaches continued to press on, he found himself without armament and undefended, with the other men dying all around him. In that moment of desperation, he grabbed the barbarian who had tripped over a body to fall at Axel’s feet and seizing him by the ankles, began to swing him as a weapon. Axel’s brute strength and last ditch effort not only literally beat back the onrushers, but the brutality and savagery actually broke the attackers and the battle ended thanks to his six and a half foot reach and willingness to wield even one of their own against them to devastating effect.

Whether it was the shock and success being so fresh in Pallin’s mind comingled with the loss of the last warmaster, or that Axel truly was the best warrior on hand, Axel was brought home and accorded the honor. Since that day, others have attempted to reenact the story, or use the tactic themselves — mostly in jest — but always to fail and receive his ire. He does not speak of that day, nor what he did, but today the Pale Souls are the best that have ever been produced.


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