- "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the will to face the frightening."
- —Zack Leingod
Clothed in little more than a dirty tattered shirt and torn trousers, the sickly frail boy made way with only a worn burlap sack slung over his shoulder. After all, few were lucky enough to ever experience the materialistic riches that life had to offer. A simple life is what he led, and a peasants work was what he endured. This was the life awarded to one Zackary Sven Leingod.
Desperate to see the world, Zackary sought to join the ranks of the Alliance military at a young age. Born of peasantry he wished only to change his stars --- the ever determined aspirant. Regrettably his weak lungs and feeble physique did little to aid in his efforts, rejected countless times without a second glance. With unfaltering persistence Zackary was finally accepted as a conscript of the lowborn workers that served as the backbone of the Alliance military. This was not at all what he imagined, but he accepted his role proudly. Obedient and hard-working, Zack often did his best to provide for and deliver to the Alliance military in much the same manner that his fellow, lowly countrymen did. However, there was a notable difference in his common demeanor — one that stood out against his peers. The boy was often known for his optimistic nature, kind heart, and boyish charm, whereas his companions did not often share in his same enthusiasm. In truth, Zack wanted nothing more than to become a true hero, like the legendary figures he read about in Azeroth's valiant tales. Regrettably Zack's affliction of asthma and frailty coupled with his lineage barred him from such paths. He was forced to accept the cold hard reality that he would forever be restricted by his lowly heritage and ill-starred health.
Despite the cards Lady Luck had dealt him, Zack often made out by choosing to express a positive attitude, knowing full well that his job was important to the cause. Even among his peers, Zack often suffered abuse. It was not uncommon for the boy to endure various forms of bullying, harassment, humiliation, and even occasional physical harm inflicted by the other working peasants as they continued about their daily chores and tasks — taking any chance they could to hold power over someone weaker than they. Truly, Zackary existed as a black sheep among his peers.
In the face of such darkness, the boy still persisted, pushing himself to excel even in his lowly field, dreaming that one day his achieved success might help him fit in. Dedicated and loyal, Zack continued to proudly build, repair, mine, and chop away at the forests of Lordaeron despite his respiratory hindrances and ailing frame. Such impediments were a cruel test of resolve --- challenging Zackary's heart and willpower with each grueling task. Sir Hector Thatcher, an exalted Knight of the Silver Hand, began to take an unique curiosity in the boy, one that would eventually yield into a divine interest. The man found himself awe-struck by the compassion and kindness that was witnessed by the child. So much so, that after only a short while, Sir Hector saw to it that Zack be dispatched to his camps — thus leaving behind his life of peasantry labor. The Knight saw to it as a personal task in watching over the boy, encouraging his behavior so that he may continue to grow into the man that he would one day be — a good, loyal man, with moral ethics. As time passed Hector took it upon himself to train Zackary in secret, instructing him in the ways of the sword as well as the Holy Light. The boy's aptitude and desire to learn encouraged Hector, making him all the more determined to train the young lad. A peasant boy turned knight --- a knight made hero.
Hector's larger than life persona spurred Zackary onward, inspiring the boy with enriched motivation. As his training persisted so too did his body swell, leaving behind the frail husk of flesh that once was. The vicious asthma that plagued Zack so became an obstacle of fortitude, yet it too faded as the boy pushed himself with unrelenting spirit. In only a few short years, Zackary had acquired astonishing capability with the use of a sword, as well as his capacity to summon forth the divine powers of the Light to strengthen his body and mind. Zack chose the path of retribution, his passion and ambitions seemingly unapproachable, his dedication to become a great hero transcending his training toward new heights. Hector could only grin with feverish delight as he molded the boy to be something greater than what Azeorth had first intended. He would make a hero of this boy yet --- producing the next generation that would come after his time.
Alas, under violent circumstances, Hector met his untimely demise, only shortly after Zackary's training was complete. The impact this had on Zackary was a harsh reality, something that shook him to his very core. Remembering Hector's words, Zackary finally found the heart and strength to raise up the fallen paladin's mighty great sword, swearing to honor his ideals and legacy. Now bearing Hector's Light imbued armor, he was finally ready to take up the mantle of hero, something he had only dreamed of as a young boy. Zackary would never forget Hector’s example, the man who changed his life forever.
Personality and traits
The human's demeanor is generally a positive one, conveying a tireless sense of honor, justice, and bravery. Zack displays an unyielding level of determination and zeal even when faced with the most daunting of obstacles. Zack's dreams of becoming a hero started with these ideals and ambitions, and have now become the substructure from which he thrives. A natural born leader, Zack often finds himself in positions of responsibility and integrity. A palpable aura of confidence instills hope in the hearts of his compatriots.
Zack's optimistic perspective, as well as his unwavering dedication to good, allows him to encourage those embroiled in even the bleakest of circumstances. Courage, honor, justice, and humility constitute the foundation of Zack's being. Courage, the ability to act valorous in the presence of unshakeable fear. Honor, a code of ethics that defines his interactions with others. Justice, a righteous yet appropriately merciful pursuit of fairness. And humility, a lasting modesty firmly grounded in his humble origins.
It was through Cindrea Emberblade that Zackary found Auroryn Dawnsworn, a Ranger Captain of the Silver Covenant and daughter of the deceased Aelorelle Dawnsworn. The ranger stirred mingled feelings in the young knight. He was enthralled by her elvish beauty, yet intrigued by her reticence. His attempts to speak to her were taken to heart, and the elf ranger and human paladin spent small, fond moments together. Although neither have admitted to the growing feelings, there is a certain warmth to be felt between them when near the pair.