Mouse Guard: 1150
Despereaux Finnaginson was the second born son in a family of 24, in the town of Ivydale. His parents Finnagin Gableson and Flora raised him in between their humble home and the Town Center Ivydale Library, where they both work as the Head Archivists of Ivydale, collecting, organizing and preserving the public records of the town. Despereaux grew up running through the stacks with his brothers and sisters, learning his parents trait.
Always a healthy eater, Despereaux often found his way to the bakery across the street. He stared longingly at the pastries and steaming loaves of fresh baked bread with eyes so big the baker could see her own reflection. He would always buy a treat for his siblings to split, never taking any for himself. After two years of this, Apple, the baker, pulled him aside and asked why he never bought anything for himself. His parents where wealthy enough to care for all their children. He responded that if he ate all the bread he bought his family, he would turn into a fat mouse and then he would never make it into the Mouse Guard. Apple recognized his gumption and asked him if he would be willing to practice his guarding outside her bakery, warding off the young mice who kept trying to thieve her pastries. In return she would teach him all of her baking secrets, so he could learn a new skill to the guard. She also offered to introduce him to Bronx, the most renowned swordsmouse in Ivydale. He had served 20 years in the Guard before sustaining an injury to his right paw. Despereaux agreed before Apple even finished her proposal, and at the tender age of seven, he began his training as both a baker and a swordsmouse. He figured that if he was training so hard, he might as well be able to feed himself properly while he did so. The fact that the baker’s daughter, Willow, worked there too, did nothing to hinder his decision.
When he was only nine, Despereaux was forced to put his fighting skills to the test. He was waiting in the basement of the library for his parents to finish working. He was watching over his brothers and sisters and practicing his swordplay when heard the basement door begin to rattle. It was late and the library was closed to patrons, so Despereaux immediately knew something was amiss. He quickly whispered for his siblings to hide amongst the stacks and stalked to the door with his training sword in his paw. As the door continued to rattle, he placed himself squarely in front of the entryway and waited. Seconds later the door burst open and three large mice in black masks came stumbling through, thrown forward with their attempts at breaking down the door. Despereaux immediately sprang to action, attacking the front mouse with his sword, hitting the mouse forcefully in the head. He spun, deftly to the mouse on the left and slammed his sword into that mouse’s stomach; he then rolled to block the door. The three mice then ran from Despereaux, up the stairs of the basement and strait into the arms of the local guard mouse on duty.
Desperueax was soon recruited to come train as a guard mouse, where rumors of his skill with the sword quickly spread. As he trained he did not disappoint, and soon became one of the finest young fighters in the guard.