Floyd, age 5.

Leonard was born in 1119 on a farm outside the city walls of The Twins, the only child of the Tibbord farming family. When Leonard was 10, his parents contracted an incurable disease and died shortly after. The neighboring farmer paid off the city magistrate to sign the Tibbord farm over to him and removed young Leonard to one of the cities’ orphanages.

Leonard hated the orphanage and, after only three months, ran away for the first time. The local militia soon found him sifting through garbage behind a bakery and delivered him back to the orphanage. The resulting corporal punishment was rough but it just solidified Leonards plans to escape for real.

The next attempt got Leonard as far as the central Merchant Square in the early evening when the local farmers were packing up to leave the city gates and head back to their homesteads. Recognizing Charles, a farmer from south of the old Tibbord property (not the asshole that stole his parents land and orphanaged him), Leonard approached and asked for help. Charles gladly obliged and snuck the boy out of the city under some sacks in his horse-drawn vegetable cart.

Floyd, age 10.

Charles was glad for the company and the help, being a widower himself and having no children of his own. Charles also gave Leonard a cover name, Floyd, after a mountain located between Copper and The Twins. The boy was put to work on the fields and after a few months realized that he was nothing more than free labor. Charles was fair enough, but cold and distant. Although this was much better than the hell of the orphanage, Floyd realized that farm life just wasn’t for him. The forest was calling.

In the early fall Floyd realized that if he didn’t leave now he would be stuck on Charles’ farm all winter, an unbearable thought. When Charles next took his vegetable cart to The Twins market for the day, Floyd grabbed some provisions, his pack, the warmest clothes he could find, and a hunting knife, and headed east through Whitewater Forest, following the river, staying off the beaten path so as not to be discovered and hauled back to the farm, or worse, the orphanage.

He wandered east through the seemingly endless forest for a fortnight until he stumbled upon a small cabin near a tributary of the Whitewater. That’s when he met Rick, a kind aged ranger, living alone for decades in this remote location deep in the northern Atlin forest. Leonard introduced himself as Floyd and, surprised that the boy survived so long by himself, Rick saw potential in the child and raised him as his own.

Floyd, age 17.

Over the next seven years, Rick taught Floyd all he knew about wilderness survival. Rick loved mentoring the boy because he had been alone so long he had nearly forgotten how to converse with other humans. Animals were a different matter, of course. Also, Rick got tipsy from his own potato still on a semi-regular basis and told Floyd tall wild tales of bygone adventures, each less believable than the last. One story kept referring to something called the Sword Of The Night Owl, a supposedly magical object that accompanied one of Rick’s friends on many adventures. The more ridiculous the tale the more interested Floyd became about having adventures of his own.

Floyd’s Cabin, Atlin.