Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Character Back Story

Have another D&D game coming up this weekend, but with a different crew this time, so new character.  I have crafted an Eladrin Bard.  Will come back with the stats in a few days once my DM gives me the thumbs up, but in the meanwhile, I thought I'd post another back story.  Consider yourself warned, however, that I have not done ANY editing on this one yet.  Ta.

Tahlwyn Killenea

Tahlwyn the Eladrin was born in the Feywild, 36 years ago. The Killenea were moon Eladrin, the most common of the Tel-quessir, so at Tahlwyn’s birth it was no surprise to see a shock of silver hair, a set of deep blue eyes flecked with gold, and fair skin with a slight gray tinge. Tahlwyn’s people dwelled in a deep forest at the foot of the mountain Shyrmylaes (“broad shoulders”). The forest, called Kaelshyr, stretched for a thousand leagues. Its towering, stout trees reached thick fingered branches far into the sky, and there the Killenea built their homes. Marvels of architecture that blended seamlessly into their natural surroundings, their breathtaking tree-houses fully embodied the arcane power that runs throughout the Feywild.

Growing up Eladrin, Tahlwyn learned at a rapid pace – not just about the spirits and powers inherent to his world – but about fighting and tracking, observing and meditating. He quickly became skillful with the longsword, the chosen weapon of many Eladrin. His people stressed preparation in the face of the unknown – who knew when one might encounter a fell creature who accidentally wandered into the Feywild, or worse, a drow. Tahlwyn was also taught the history of his noble ancestors, as well as those of the common world. He particularly loved memorizing the epic songs and poems that enumerated the deeds of these past heroes. He was a fast learner, always eager to consume the next piece of knowledge. But he was also quick to help those of his peers who worked more slowly, often practicing extra hours of sword-fighting, or tutoring in history and language. He was known among his people for his kindness and generosity, and also for his affability.

There were certain places in Kaelshyr where the borders between the Fey and natural worlds were thin. Often, the Killenea city would appear in the natural world at dusk. Inhabitants of that world, if lucky enough to be nearby, could get a glimpse into the ethereal settlements of the Eladrin. Many Killenea experienced a sense of heightened awareness at this hour, all senses tingling as they crisscrossed these gateways between worlds. Occasionally groups of Eladrin would make excursions to the natural world when the border opened, to hunt or observe, or sometimes trade with passing merchants. By the time Tahlwyn grew to adulthood he had been on many such trips.

But one trip changed the course of his life forever.

On his 36th birthday, Tahlwyn and two friends decided to mark the occasion in a human-like fashion: with judicious application of booze. Alcohol not being a popular pastime amongst his people, his party decided to make a nighttime excursion to the natural world, to visit a tavern they had noticed while observing a nearby human settlement. When they arrived they found it nearly empty – a welcome fact – as the presence of too many `others’ might have put a damper on their amusement. They stayed out all night, drinking, laughing and play-fighting. The sun was just breaking over the horizon when they returned to the gateway. Though their settlement was no longer visible, being Eladrin, the three fey-stepped through the boundary, expecting to arrive all the same.

An abrasive void assaulted Tahlwyn. Wind whipped around him with gale-like force and a black nothingness pressed so hard against his eyes and ears he could neither see nor hear his friends, or anything else. Tahlwyn felt as though at any minute his mind would be crushed and his consciousness would drift away, never to inhabit his corporeal form again. He felt his limbs quivering, wanting to give way to the crushing blackness. He put his hand to his sword, instinctively, though there was nothing to assault. There was just nothing. But the gesture gave him some small sliver of hope, and mental clarity. Enough that he spoke the words within his mind (or may have even shouted them, though he could not hear) to fey step once more.

Just as quickly as he had felt dropped at death’s door, he suddenly felt right again. He was back in the natural world, in the spot he had just left. And he was alone. He could not begin to comprehend that which he had just experienced. Had something happened to his city, his people? Had some magical force intervened to block the gateway back to the Feywild? Or had something he had done (or had done to him) changed him in such a way that he himself could not return? This led him to wonder if his friends had experienced what he had, or if they had returned as normal. Unsure of what to do next, though certain he did not want to attempt to enter the gateway again, he sat, conflicted. Should he attempt to re-enter the Feywild at some other spot? Should he seek out an Eladrin wizard in the natural world, for insight? In due time, he figured, he could try both of those things.

But in the short term, he wondered what to do with himself. What value could he offer to this world? He thought about all his training. He thought about his family’s dedication to the goddess Melora. He thought about all he knew of the history of this world and its people. And the answer became clear to him. He would act upon his teachings, striving to protect the natural places of the world, until he found out what happened to his home. He would go after the foul beasts and forces that threatened nature, its spirits, and even good people of this world. Perhaps in doing so, should some evil force be hindering the gateway, he might even eliminate it.

Having resolved himself to this fate, he felt better, though not entirely. Each minute, hour and day that passed reminded Tahlwyn of what he was missing. The memory of the Feywild was as fresh in his mind as ever, and he longed for its verdant fields, deep azure seas, and crystal clear moonlight. For the feeling of arcane power that echoed in every soft step he took. For his house in the towering trees. To comfort himself, he often sang songs while he traveled, and sometimes, while he fought. But he was lonely, and he was sad. Perhaps someday he would meet trustworthy people with whom he could share his stories, and in doing so, lessen the pain of his separation from home…

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