Kesten arrived at the trading post with a group of three warriors under his command. Kesten is a member of one of Brevoy’s noble houses in name only. He had a scandal when an affair between Kesten and a lowborn woman named Tania, a weaver’s daughter, became public knowledge. His father Evan, a cousin of the Garess family patriarch, disowned Kesten, who fled to Restov to serve as a mercenary. He volunteered to lead the small group of soldiers to help guard Oleg’s Trading Post after his own depression and shame grew too much to handle. Kesten hopes to either make a name for himself as the defender of a remote fort, or to find an honorable death among the bandits and other dangers in the region.
In addition to bringing with him an opportunity for another quest, Kesten could well grow into an important NPC as the PCs continue to settle the Stolen Lands and grow their nation. For now, Kesten need only be a somewhat moody and morose guard. If the PCs get into more trouble than they can handle, you can have Kesten and his men come to their rescue, but otherwise, he should remain at the trading post, if only to give the post protection and relieve the PCs of any need to do that job themselves.
Kesten himself is a moody and reserved but undoubtedly skilled soldier. Although his name marks him as born of noble blood, there is little in his demeanor to indicate it. He carries considerably more heavy-duty equipment than his men: He wears a very well-made suit of half plate, and prefers to fight with a scimitar and a heavy steel shield – a combo with which he is devastatingly effective. None of the men under his command can come close to Kesten’s skill in battle, and all speak with awe of the impressive sight he makes on the battlefield, carving through foe after foe and evading his opponent’s blows with a nimbleness that doesn’t seem possible in such heavy armor. He also carries a powerful composite longbow which he is fairly proficient with, for the same reason he insists all his men carry crossbows: he firmly believes in always having a weapon available for any possible situation. Because he trusts his men to know their duties and carry them out, Kesten can come across as undisciplined – he doesn’t particularly care how his men get their job done, or how they spend their free time, as long as what needs to be done, is. All of the Free Irregulars have great trust and respect for their leader, however, and would put their lives in his hands unquestioningly.