He's good at handling wood.
A quiet and reserved young man from Kropmork, who later moved to Bydan to learn carpentry. He hopped on board the Winding Way and became a shipwright to travel and see the world outside the forests.
Upon meeting Berwald most people would presume him to be pretty anti-social. Basically silent until directly addressed, it's obvious he isn't much of a talker. When he does speak it's usually just a lot of muttering and grunting or sometimes nods of approval if he agrees with you. It is true that he is content to let others do all the talking, but Berwald is quite willing to voice his own opinion should the need arise. He can also be painfully honest and blunt at times and even if he doesn't say anything about the subject at hand, his few over-the-top facial expressions usually give his opinion away anyway, especially when he's shocked or upset.
Berwald also comes across as being quite a frightening guy, even though he doesn't mean it. Well, most of the time, anyway. Sometimes this can work to his advantage, but he can end up making even those close to him shudder when he glares unintentionally in their direction.
Despite his threatening exterior, Berwald is actually quite a caring man. He has a soft spot for cute things, and is quick and very determined to try make things better for other people especially when it comes to family or friends. Although, he does find it hard to express his own feelings sometimes, not wanting to say exactly what he thinks because he's too embarrassed. He gets flustered when he doesn't know what to say, and really does think a bit too much before he speaks. There's a lot going on in his head; he just doesn't vocalize ninety-nine percent of it.
Although Berwald is quiet, but he also likes a good argument once in a while. If he truly believes in something, he'll stand up for it and won't back down, being the stubborn guy that he is. He's also pretty reliable; if he says he's going to do something-- he'll do it.
Berwald was born and spent his early childhood years in Kropmork. His father was always sickly, eventually becoming bed-ridden when Berwald was nearing seven years old. Because his mother had to tend to him and could only do small jobs every now and then the family were always very poor. Not that he knew any better, life simply was what it was. The real shock came when his father died when he was nine. Apparently he died painlessly in his sleep, but that wasn't really a comfort.
He started to resort to petty crime to help his mother. Pickpocketing and the like, nothing too daring at this point. Just enough to get him and his grieving mother by and passing it off as rewards from chores. But back then he was even clumsier than he is today, mostly due to the fact that neither he or his mother knew how badly he needed glasses. This led to him being caught, but luckily for him charges weren't pressed.
Now his mother was in a dilemma. Berwald was her only son, and she certainly didn't want him growing up a criminal. Like any mother she wanted what was best for him and knew that he was better than that. She got in contact with their only living relatives in a small town just outside Bydan and Berwald was shipped over to stay with them for an undecided amount of time. Not that he was happy with this arrangement, and he hasn't seen or heard from his mother since.
Stubborn and bitter, Berwald didn't exactly bond with his aunt and uncle at first. He wasn't down-right nasty to them; part of him respected them for taking in a nephew they had never even met-- he simply remained distant and didn't talk to either of them very much. But as time passed, he mellowed out and adapted to a much quieter life. He spent a lot of time with his elders, being taught carpentry and metalwork from his uncle, sewing and other domestic skills from his aunt and finally learning to read and write. He could manage these small tasks now much easier too, since he was finally given the glasses he needed. Berwald ended up staying in the town until he was twenty, barely doing much else than working in the area the people of Bydan were known best for; ship building.
Eventually Berwald decided he wanted to see more of the world. After wandering for a while, he finally managed to land himself a job as a shipwright on the Winding Way, and he was happy with this outcome. The Way is a pretty spectacular ship, after all.
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He's basically blind without his glasses.