Darsun Meadowbrook

Darsun Meadowbrook was born in the woodlands outside of Elventree. His mother, Maradre Aldaron considered him to be a gift from Solonar Thelandira and he was raised in peace and harmony with the wild lands that they inhabited. His mother is a priestess of Solonar and a rarity among their tribe. She can read and write and possesses healing knowledge that few of woodland elven people do. When Maradre was a young elven maiden she happened upon Biltow Meadowbrook who had injured himself while hunting in the forest lands. His injuries were not great, but Maradre used her blossoming healing powers on the young ranger and while nursing him back to full health the two became romantically involved. Biltow was a wanderer at heart and his purpose in life was to travel all of Faerun and learn the ways of all the forested lands and the inhabitants of these woodlands. He was aware of his child and named him Darsun. Biltow visited his lovely elven maiden and his son often through the years of Darsun’s childhood and was a positive influence on his son’s life despite long periods of absence. He taught his son the use of weapons and furthered his woodland training as did his uncles in his woodland elven tribe. As Darsun grew older and stronger he took after his father in appearance. His lighter skin and blonde hair clearly marked him as a half-elf, but he maintained the respect that was given to his family as a line of healers and true believers in the holiness of the wood and the hunt.

When Darsun reached the age of divining his spirit animal he became concerned about his father’s longer than usual absence. While he had grown to accept and respect his father’s wandering ways, he thought that possibly some calamity had occurred causing him not to return for more than two seasonal cycles. Darsun left his tribe with some small ceremony and the tears of his mother to seek out the fate of his father. Along his journey encountered giants, halflings, gnomes, dwarves, humans, and elves. He found in his travels that all races could be destructive of the nature that provides all living things with all they need. He especially had trouble with a group of giants that were involved in the destruction of forest lands. He acquired some magical items in his journey that help to continue his travels in search of his missing father. He travels by foot and tries to stay close to the wild lands of Faerun, but does venture into settlements occasionally seeking news of Biltow.

While traveling, Darsun came across an adventuring party of humans and found them in a rather bad state as they had run low on food supplies. Pitying these creatures and thinking about the wanderings of his father, he killed a deer and shared the meat with the party. He discovered that they were stronger than they first appeared, especially the over joyous cleric named Hope. He followed the party into a dungeon structure known widely as the Haunted Halls. When devastation occurred and most of the party was wiped out he followed Hope into a magical tapestry. Strangely he found himself in a crypt far beneath the surface of Faerun, but he did locate Hope. After some trials with his new associates, he emerged on the surface to find that he was in a strange place of sand and trees of odd growth. He doubts that his father would travel to this land and wishes to make his way back to the temperate lands of Faerun, where he is more likely to meet with his father.

Darsun has no loyalty to these new associates, but maybe their strength and adventuring spirit will aid him in the quest. He prays to Solonor Thelandira that he is choosing wisely. There seems to be a concentration of rangers among this group and that does lend some comfort to the choice he has made. An elven magic user also lends a hint of familiarity. Strangely, they seem fascinated with some special type of gem, and why would anyone want to leave open skies and the comfort of the forest for crypts, false gods, and evil idols? They appear to have some sense of goodness because they have provided rescue to an apparently helpless maiden of the people of this dessert. Only time will tell if these adventurers will prove to be friends worth having or trouble that should have been avoided.

BETAL WOODLEAF

My name is Betal Woodleaf. I am a Wood Elf. If I had to characterize who I am, I would say that I am a person who is at war with myself. My underlying nature is to be happy and free, singing songs and making rhymes, and running and playing in the woods. But I have come too far and seen too much to ever be that way again. More often, my days are filled with anger, which I feel I must keep concealed. It is too dangerous to let it show. Others would not understand, so it stays hidden from sight, but not out of mind.

I can remember my last happy day. I was a child, frolicking in the woods. The dappled sunshine was the color of my pale hair. I was singing while I made jewelry from clover flowers. I had just placed a wreath of flowers on my head when the family was called together to eat. Our voices were raised in a song of thanksgiving when the goblins struck. Perhaps we had not heard their approach because we were singing. Perhaps it was some magic. I will never know. All I do know is that my family was butchered in front of me in seconds.

I was badly injured from a spear thrust through my side. I screamed in agony as the goblins laughed. They left me because I was too young and small to be a threat to them and because it was an amusement for them to watch me die. They left me writhing on the ground as they began looting and burning. While they were busy elsewhere, I crawled under the roots of an overturned tree. The goblins never looked for me. Perhaps they forgot about me. Or perhaps they thought I was so far gone that it was not worth the effort.

I was too injured to stand. I crawled for hours to reach aid. By that time I was delirious with fever and infection. It took Elven magic to save me. To a certain extent, the injury explains my small stature. I cannot eat without flashing back to the remembrance of that last meal with my family. The very act of taking in life-sustaining sustenance reminds me that all that I cared about is dead.

In my younger days, I could not control my anger. Unable to hold my temper, I raged at those who would try to help me. Consequently, I was sent from place to place, family to family. I never stayed in one place for long. I left in my wake families who could only feel relief that I had moved through, as if I were some force of nature such as a hurricane that had come through and was now gone, never to return. So I am from nowhere…and everywhere.

Most of my time in my earlier years was spent in small places in the wild where people such as myself will gather: near each other, but alone. This group of misfits fought many skirmishes over the years with orcs and goblins: dozens of battles in a war fought in places with no names. No one made songs of our battles. Many times all that were left were the severely injured, the dying, and the dead. Mostly, the dead stayed dead. Sometimes we had the horror of having to battle someone who had fought beside us before. It feels like my life has been spent moving from one battle to the next.

And all the while, the wild was slashed and burned, until we were forced out. We had no choice but to come into the towns and find some way to earn our living. I had never stayed in one place long enough to learn many skills. Fighting is all I know. I had to learn that for myself. There were precious few who had the time to teach me. I’ve made my mistakes. I have learned some lessons. My temper has many times gotten the better of me, and it has cost me in a fight. But over the years, the rage that is in me has also come to my aid. It drives me to fight and to win.

When I heard there was a call for adventurers to help retake the town, I came. One battle is as good as another. It was a chance to earn a little gold. It was a chance to fight some goblins, orcs and other creatures; although an ocean full of blood will not wipe out my rage. For now, there is only the next fight, the next time to move on. That is all I know how to do.

Orson

Early Life & Family:

I was born the third son of Thulmar and Gwannia in a small town near the copper and tin mines worked by my father. My mother is a retired warrior that now manages operations of a small Dwarf and Gnome consortium that manufactures metal household items (pots, utensils, kitchen knives, etc.). Gwannia taught me my basic fighting skills from an early age …

My oldest brother Banmek works the mines with father. I’d never admit to saying so, but both Banmek and my father seem rather unimaginative and too laid back…or maybe that is just my impression of mine work in general.

Tormak, my other brother, assists with trade caravans to and from the town. I always found the thought of getting out of town for awhile and solving the imagined problems a caravan might run into much more to my liking, but the reality of caravan work did not meet my expectations.

My younger sister Redwynn is still an adolescent. She showed some interest in religious studies but no decisions had been made by the time I left town. She would have had to make some choices by now, but I have no way of knowing what those might have been.

Young Adolescence

I had a close Gnomish friend that is the child of one of the consortium’s owners. Kasvyn (and others) taught me lock tinkering and trap setting skills. We had quite an obsession with this for a few years and I got very good at it before we grew out of that phase of our lives. It was quite exciting for a young Dwarf troublemaker to sneak around town and see what I could get into, literally, though I found that small town dwellers do not have the most interesting possessions.

Late Adolescence

I had a fairly serious relationship with a young dwarf girl named Bonnan. While the mutual attraction was there, the relationship did not work out well at all. By the end, she was saying things like I was too crazy and would never settle down to serious work, yada,yada,yada, and I said she would be stuck in a muddy mine covered in rock dust, and maybe I said a few other things that ticked her off to no end…still, she had the softest beard…

Anyway, that relationship break up was the main reason for me leaving home. Bonnan’s family is an important part of the consortium and to avoid disrupting the business it was decided that I should go out and see the world for a couple of months until things calmed down at home, and I decided that I would go along with this plan.

I left with the next trading caravan with Tormak where I learned at least two things: with the exception of fighting off the occasional raiding party, the caravanning life was nowhere near as exciting as I had imagined; and when the caravan was ready to head home I realized that I was not ready to return. I parted company with Tormak and the rest of the workers and have been more or less drifting from place to place and earning a living any way I can.

Defining Characteristics

I have some vague thoughts about returning home rich and famous and showing Bonnan what she could have had, but I think that might just be left over emotional pain speaking. My main goal right now is to make a living in an interesting way – I do not like the thought of doing the same routine things day after day – I need excitement on a regular basis.

I really dislike the imposition of unreasonable and/or onerous rules and laws (i.e. most of them as far as I’m concerned) and this tends to make me move on after spending some time in one place. That, and the feeling that I’m missing something; I don’t know what, but I know I have not found it anywhere I’ve been so I need to keep moving.

I think I get along with others fairly well, as long as they don’t try to impose their will or way of doing things on me. I know I’m not particularly outgoing and I don’t usually try to impress others, but I’m friendly enough if someone starts up a conversation.

My philosophy of life? There are no rules that you must follow, only guidelines and suggestions and you do what you need to do to survive. It makes for less trouble if you don’t screw people over, especially your friends and acquaintances. That said, some people and organizations have far more than they need, while others don’t have enough. Equalizing that imbalance a little is an overall good, right?

I was raised as a follower of Vergaddin, Dwarfish God of Wealth and Luck, but I’m not religious in the temple-going tithing way. It does feel like someone is keeping track of what I do and, as they say, what goes around comes around, but outside of priestly intervention with clerical spells I’m not sure that the Gods are paying that much attention to individual mortals.

The Grim

Grimblethorpe Gunderstone Glitterward hails from Silverymoon, a graduate of the School of Thaumaturgy. He is a lover of practical jokes, and studies cursed items with hopes to use them in some non-lethal way on unsuspecting victims. An excellent student of magic, he graduated with top honors from the school. He is the oldest graduate to date, at 190 years old.

He spent the early part of his life as a translator, master librarian, and scribe for many of Silverymoon’s most respected wizards. He assimilated information very quickly, which led to him growing bored with his current station. So he entered the School and upon graduating, set out to conduct magical research. In addition to the cursed items he collects, he also wishes to study the dead magic zones, in hopes of replicating their effect back home in some elaborate joke. Oh, the look on his friends’ faces when they can’t even make the simplest illusion work! It will be truly grand.

Currently, Grimblethorpe is seeking passage to Phlan to study the dead magic zone. Why not have some fun with whomever he can get to escort him? His most elaborate prank yet would be assuming the persona of The Grim, a mysterious wizard of Nimbral. He acquired some shimmery, silver robes with a deep hood. He fashioned some shiny silvery lenses to fit over his eyes, just in case someone catches a glimpse of them. He plays the part of the slightly arrogant know it all, thinking all other wizards below him. He won’t explain anything to those of lesser intellect, which is just about everyone (Int 21: +1 for gnome, +2 due to his venerable age). He speaks in vague mysteries, never revealing all of the details.

He is fluent in no less than 10 languages, able to read and write the ones most likely to have books of arcane lore to study. When meeting Darsun, he will have detect magic already cast. He will look at each magic item Darsun possesses, pause for a second, give a little hmph, then move on to the next item (to simulate the Nimbral wizard eyes). As The Grim, he only refers to himself in the third person.

Hope Stillwell

Hope Stillwell was born Falula Kinn, the third child and only daughter born to proprietors of a general store. Her parents noticed at an early age that she was artistically inclined, so they fostered this by interning her with a master musician. Her entire youth was devoted to arts of all kinds: dancing, writing and playing music, singing, carving, embroidery. There was no art she disliked, though her greatest passion was dancing …

Though her youth was full of joy, art, laughter, and music, her young adult years were plagued with tragedy. Within five years she lost her entire family. One brother succumbed to blood poisoning, the other died when a wagon fell on him. Her parents both died from a robbery attempt. Falula sold the store and began working at a local tavern as a cook. It was there she met her husband, and she soon became pregnant. Her tragedy followed her when her husband died in a farming accident, and her grief left her unable to eat, and she lost her child as a result.

Her grief unbearable, she went to the river to kill herself. There, camped on the riverbanks were a group of joydancers, Lliira’s priests. They played such joyous music, and their dancing was so full of passion and love. They saw Falula in her depression and took her in. For two years she traveled with them, not speaking, but aiding them by cooking, sewing, and cleaning. At the end of her year of mourning, she named herself Hope Stillwell, as a reminder that hope is not lost, and that she was still well. She joined Lliira, and as a novice she took to heart the calling that Lliira gave: “Exult in life, and find joy in all things. Out of grief and despair, wrest joy, and join in the dance. Celebrate and honor deaths and the dead—the best mourning is laughing remembrance.” There was no greater grief or despair, and Hope truly had to wrest joy. She rediscovered her laugh and her dance.

Hope is never far from her grief, and knows that joy is a constant battle and choice. She seeks to help bestow that joy in others, knowing how it saved her. She does what she can to remind people that although there is sadness, joy can be found, much as the shadow cannot exist without light. When there is darkness, the light is even brighter. She seeks to brighten the path for others with dance, music, smiles, and laughter.