Hermann Pyke is a bastard from the Iron Islands, of the family Saltcliffe. Born with a strange illness and to a non-noble mother (long since deceased), he's been ill-liked from the moment he was born... all but to his father, who has cherished him nonetheless. Lacking in physical ability, Hermann has struggled to redeem himself in the eyes of his family by excelling in mental aptitude, and has made a name for himself by being well-read (a rare trait on the islands) and a sharp thinker, with a knack for odds and strategy. He is his fathers most trusted advisor, and it's in his father's wishes to eventually pass the title to him, being his eldest son... much to the disdain of his father's wife, and many of the rest of the family. Even so, his fathers will and love for his son is unshakable.
...Untill the day Hermann is found guilty of murder. And much to his surprise, as Hermann had nothing to do with it. He was framed for the death of his stepmother's eldest son, with suspiciously irrefutable evidence put in place to seal his guilt. ...Still, his fathers love could not be shaken, and rather than be put to death, he sorrowfully sends his son to Castle Black to become one of the Night's Watch.
Hermann's illness leaves him in constant pain, shaking limbs, and a feeble body. It seems as if the cold never leaves him, no matter the weather, and due to the shaking he relies on a wooden cane for balance. He doesn't belong here, and not a moment goes by that he's not reminded of it, from the pain of his daily service as steward to the jeering and abuse from his fellow watchmen. Each day seems to bring him closer to death, absent from respite or solace.
...Until he meets Newton Redwyne.
Born a noble of the Redwyne family, Newton has spent his life in and around luxurious estates, sprawling vineyards, and good company. He should want for naught, and part of him does just that. The rest of him spends hours in the libraries of Oldtown, pouring over anything he can get his hands on that speak of the dark forces and ancient magics north of the Wall. Legends of the White Walkers have captivated him ever since he was a child, and his mother regrets ever telling him the stories as a boy because of the obsession it seems to have fostered in him as an adult. Seeking stories, Newton spends an increasing amount of time chasing histories and rumors alike.
...But stories don't seem to be enough, and despite pleading and admonishing from his loving family, Newton is steadfast in his decision to take up the black and be on the forefront of the legends he's always dreamed about. He leaves behind his rights and titles, his comforts and luxuries, in search of his true passion.
But even the brightest outlooks and stalwart resolves often buckle in the face of harsh reality, and Newton quickly finds that life at Castle Black is nowhere near what he had been longing for. Assigned to the role of a builder, Newton spends an awful lot of time on the wall itself. But not with sword: with pick and tool, and as far away from the horrors he craved to study as he ever was. Still, dogged in his efforts to soon, hopefully someday soon, make ranger and ride out into the north... his spirit withstands the cold. But it's an uphill battle, and the Wall is high.
...And danger comes in many forms.
Not much is known about Commander Hannibal. Truly, at least, because most of the rumors conflict... particularly about how he lost his eye. Some say it was a black market deal gone wrong. Others say it was punishment for a heinous crime. Or maybe it was lost in a brutal bar fight. And still others say he lost it to a White Walker. Some of those sent to the wall for crimes of their own may recognize him... but would be wise enough to keep their mouths shut.