The Heroes of Travia
Ned Kelly was born in the Human District of the city of Zuntîrthalal (later known as Steel Forges). His family were recent immigrants to the city, drawn there by the promise of work in the factories. Unfortunately, Ned’s father, George Kelly, was unable to provide for the entire Kelly family on his wages alone. As such, both Ned’s mother and his older sister, Catherine, had to find jobs at one of the many factories in the city. At age six, Ned began working with his sister, Catherine, at a match factory. A year later, Ned’s father would die from injuries recieved at the glasssworks at which he worked.
Upon the death of his father, Ned’s mother, Anne Kelly, would turn to a life of banditry to support her children. Working with a number of other impoverished factory workers, Anne was able to assemble a band of outlaws that successfully robbed numerous shipments and proved to be a thorn in the side of many a Dwarven industrialist over the course of three years. After a daring raid of a particularly important military shipment (the bounty of which was shared with the working poor of the Human District), Anne earned the attention of the mayor of Zuntîrthalal, who tasked every available police force with her capture and the capture of her fellow outlaws. After several months, Anne would eventually be captured and summarily executed by a Dwarven police unit. Anne’s tenure as an outlaw would have a profound effect on Ned’s outlook on life, leading him to join Max Silverhands and participate in the Steel Revolt of the Year of Violence some sixteen years later.
The Steel Revolution
After the failure of the first two Steel Revolts, Max Silverhands called upon Ned Kelly to serve as the head of the Military Supervisory Council. While in this office, Ned was charged with reorganizing the revolutionary militias so that they might better resist the professional Dwarven armies. Ned identified the primary weakness of the Steel Army to be their lack of proficiency with military grade weapons. As a solution, Ned Kelly suggested that the Steel Army switch from using Dwarven crossbows to using the infinitely more simple firearms found throughout the Xochitl Commonwealth. Much less time was required to train a person to be skilled in using gun than it took to train a bowman or a crossbowman, and as a result, the revolutionaries were able to quickly replace soldiers that were lost in the fighting, while the Dwarven army had to wait for weeks for new recruits to come from Stakland.
Thanks in part to this new military doctrine (and in part to the military genius of Ned Kelly on the field of battle), the Steel Army was finally able to achieve victory and overthrow the monarchist regime in Zuntîrthalal, leading to the creation of the People’s Republic of Steel Forges.
Thanks to his leading role as the Head of the Steel Army during the Steel Revolution and his popularity amongst both the soldiers and the human citizenry, Ned Kelly proved to be a natural choice to be human representative on the Triumvirate. As a member of the Triumvirate, Ned Kelly head the Committee of General Security, and is thus the head of the Steel Army and all of its related departments. In this position, Ned Kelly has played a significant role in developing the military along Silverist lines (with polices such as the democratic election of officers at the company level), and he has also influenced the military doctrine of the state, heavily emphasizing firearms, light infantry, and mobility.