Nickolas Pilchard is a man whom Solliandris has been seeing in her dreams with the intention of bringing them to Alivast, but is the only one as of yet to actively refuse the call. He has been staying as a regular at the bar in Longdale, Tracadia, hunting the werewolves in the area.
He is a tired looking, extremely intoxicated old man who wears silver armor emblazoned with a lion emblem. He has scruffy white hair and a beard. In his youth, he was actually quite handsome, with a square jaw and slicked back hair.
The Unexpectables tracked him down, where he responded to their request with violence, contributing to the start of a barfight. He was eventually detained, though was let off due to a pardon he kept on-hand. The group tracked him down, and thanks to a chance meeting of some Droplettes, were able to restrain him and brought him to the eventual landing site of Ma, with the expectation that he would have to face a truth about himself. They were then instructed to drop him into the lake as part of a ritual, however, Pilchard was able to drag Panic in with him. Panic would become a witness to the reasons behind Pilchard's current emotional state:
|Serious Spoilers - Episode 85|
|As a younger man, he had returned from a successful hunt in Paraton when he saw a woman in labor by chance in a backalley. Thinking fast, he brought her to the high temple of Orun, where she was treated and successfully delivered a child after hours of pain and suffering, with Pilchard helping her through the process the entire way. He took the child to the high priest, who discovered she was an Aasimar. The priest took the child and instructed Pilchard to tell the woman that they couldn't save her, handing him a small bag of coin to give as a sign of condolences. Shocked by the callousness of what he was instructed to do, but still believing quite strongly in his cause, he did as he was asked. The wails of agony and sorrow that the woman gave in response haunted him deeply, to the point that it drove him away from his faith, his duty, and deep into the bottle, shunning all his previous friends and cohorts. Since then, he has tried to find the mother however he can, with little success.|
Since then, the group has kept him mostly as prisoner in order to ensure his safe return to Alivast. Eventually he agreed to serve as one of Solly's champions, although it's clear that he still feels nervous about it at times.
Pilchard is morose, grumpy, and gruff. And one point he was constantly drunk, and extremely embittered. He seemed eager to disavow anything regarding his old life, or even the concept of heroism itself. He's also prone to violence if the right buttons are pressed. Underneath it all however, is a deeply depressed and guilt-ridden man who wishes nothing more than to be forgotten for the sins that weigh heavily on his mind and soul.
He does however, have some positive qualities; he's quick to act in order to save lives, and has a strong code of right and wrong, believing that he must atone for the mistakes he made in the past. Since entering Solly's service, he seems to have made a effort to clean up his act, including giving up drinking.
The Party came looking for Pilchard at Solliandris' request, and he responded quite dismissively to their claims of needing him. At the mention of this particular person of interest, Pilchard assaulted Panic, which instigated a massive barfight. The party would get the upper hand, and through some clever thinking, eventually set the raucous crowd to pin him to the floor. He got away once the guard brought everyone to jail through the use of one of several pardons that he keeps on hand.
The group would run into him again later, and successfully capture him. He remained under their watch until they were able to return to Alavast, at which point they were able to bring him to Solly. After a heart-warming (and slightly awkward) reunion, Pilchard handed his flask over to the party, seemingly cutting himself off and accepting the new opportunity given to him.
Pilchard found Greckles incorrectly praying to Orun after the fall of Brindleshire, and lambasted him for treating the religion (and the Sunblade) like he was, and for treating it like there was something special about it, which naturally bothered Greckles quite a bit. He did however, give him proper technique on how to properly praise Orun.
Panic was on the receiving end of a punch from Pilchard that would end up starting a large-scale barfight. Later, he was dragged into the lake during the ritual with the entity Ma, and bore witness to the events that had transpired that caused Pilchard to be the person he was. The bard was understandably upset, but became more sympathetic when he saw how the memories pained Pilchard. Panic would end up serving as a motivator, encouraging the paladin to see Solly and put the past behind him.
Pilchard has worked with The United Clergy of Orun in the past. In the present time, he appears disgusted, or at the very least disillusioned, with the their message and ideology, loudly proclaiming that he's "Done with it."
|Serious Spoilers - Episode 85|
|He was at one point a beloved and respected Paladin of Paraton before the United Clergy's founding, and unintentionally delivered Solliandris directly into their arms, at the cost of his personal honor. He has long since deserted the clergy, and appears none-too-pleased with the direction it took. According to Pilchard, the UCO and other paladins like him "Steal" Orun's power for themselves.|
Pilchard was amazed and shocked that the eternally youthful looking Rat was allowed to drink, but found he was an elf and left him alone otherwise. Of everyone in the current party, he seemed to put up with Rat the most.
Solly's name originally set Pilchard's teeth on edge; the mere mention of the visions he was having causing him to become defensive, and mention of her sparked him to punch Panic directly in the face.
|Serious Spoilers - Episode 85|
|The reason for this is that he believes he's destroyed her life completely in an act of what he thought was simply Orun's will, and believes more than anything that she deserves a better man to aide her than him. Her mere existence reminds him of the failure he was in his younger days, and the woman whose life he decimated.|
When the party was able to return to Alivast, Pilchard was reluctant in seeing Solly again, but Panic convinced him to go through with it. Upon the two finally meeting, Pilchard gave her a strong embrace, to which Solly was surprised, and somewhat confused over, as she didn't remember when they originally met. Afterwards, he gave up his favorite flask, saying he didn't need it any more.
- The art of Pilchard had been made months prior to the group's interaction with him.
- Pilchard hates being called Nickolas or Nick, and doesn't allow anyone to refer to him as either of those names.
- Pilchard had once saved the Princess of Tracadia by what he perceives as sheer happenstance. Instead of receiving honors and awards, he asked for money and a stack of pardons to allow him to get out of whatever drunk tank he ends up in.
- Pilchard is the third of Solly's champions to answer the call.