Description:: This halfling has a cheerful demeanor and seems to always be smiling. His light brown hair has a light curl that frames his boyish face, causing his bright blue eyes to sparkle. A faint scattering of freckles crosses the bridge of his nose and dusts both cheeks. When not in disguise, he has taken to dressing in a rather unusual style, wearing a broad brimmed felt hat and a long dark brown canvas duster. Beneath that he wears a tight leather vest with a pocket high on the breast, a pale tan shirt and dark brown breeches. He carries a pair of soft dark brown boots tied together by their laces over a shoulder, but most of the time is barefoot.
When he wants to be noticed he taps his cane (hidden within is a razor sharp sword blade) on the ground as he walks, but is perfectly silent when he is on the prowl.
Areden Lightfoot and his wife Gerilda were halfling craftsmen, a skilled tailor and weaver/embroiderer respectively. They lived modestly, but well in the Trade district of Waterdeep. Their family was small, with one young girl named Cheri and her older brother Gareth. Though 20 years separated the two siblings, their relationship was surprisingly close. As they grew, Cheri developed a love of mischief as Gareth grew more solemn and contemplative, studying the world around him with an intense fascination for facts and patterns.
Gareth grew fascinated with the way certain things combined and started experimenting with common house hold items and mixtures. As his curiosity grew, he found a love for chemical concoctions and replicating certain effects by alchemical means and slowly put together his own alchemy set. His parents watched him with amusement, thinking it was just a phase he was going through and that he would soon grow tired of his experimentation and choose one of the family’s skills and go into trade with them. But the fizzing of chemicals and the delight of crafting a concoction that would expand his senses intrigued the young halfling, and soon his notebooks were filled with different formula and notes to try and expand upon his findings.
His mind sharpened and he started looking at the world in a different fashion, noting when things were not what they seemed by careful observation, his notebook page borders often filled with notes on how this neighbor left at a certain time of the day and returned home at that time of the day, and then realizing one day that that person had broken the pattern. This sparked his curiosity, and he followed the man the next time that had happened and found out that the neighbor had been meeting another women in the dock ward. Figuring the man’s wife and three kids were unaware of their husband’s extracurricular activities, he penned a very detailed list of the man’s activities and left it anonymously on the clothes line near the woman’s laundry one day. Three days later, the woman had bundled up her children and left the house and never returned. To this day the man lives alone. Feeling a sense of accomplishment, Gareth developed his skills, realizing he might be able to turn this into a trade of his own. His parents supported him, despite being slightly disappointed that he would not be joining them in their business.
As Cheri grew closer to the halfling age of maturity, the city of Waterdeep fell under attack, first by a wave of demons that swept through the city. Many citizens died. Then came the dragon flight that leveled the tower of a noted criminal wizard. And the rise to power of a strange new Lord of Waterdeep, one who’s robes had miraculously turned a deep purple and was called Lord Amethyst. More and more mysteries and violent events started to plague the large city, and Gareth was curious.
He started to notice small things out of place with his sister. Smudges of dirt here and there on her clothing, an odd smell to something on the base of her shoe. She would filch food and old worn out clothing from the household and bundle them up, then she would vanish for hours on end. He wrote down his observations and continued to watch her, trying to follow her several times but failing. He finally figured out a place where all her paths had crossed and set out one day to observe that spot. On his way he dropped off a small envelope at a nearby store, his report on one of their employee’s. Much to the owner’s relief, the employee had not been stealing from the store, it had been a raccoon who had made a nest in the attic of the building who had been attracted to the shiny glass crystals the shop made for the fabrication of fancy oil lights for homes. The employee’s suspicious behavior was one just of young love, sneaking away to steal a kiss from the nearby jeweler’s daughter. The envelope held his full report as well as a bill for his services.
As he left the store, he caught a glimpse of his sister. This time, he ducked into a nearby alley and watched her slip behind a pile of rubbish across from him. He waited a few moments to see if she reappeared, but when she didn’t he followed the path she had taken. Examining the ground and the ally walls, he noted the alley was flanked by two buildings, one of them had been boarded up for a while. It was a familiar building and he tried to think of how he knew it. It struck him that this was the building that the rogue wizard who had disrupted Troll Tide that last year had been caught in. As he pondered that, he pulled back and hid in the shadows, watching the alleyway.
Over the next several days, he noted several children, a few Halflings including his sister and a couple half elf youngsters going in and out of the alley and on one of his trips he found a concealed door but he could not see a way to open it. So he waited to confront his sister on one of her trips. When he approached her as she left the alley, she resisted his attempts to find out what she was up to at first, but eventually he wore her down. What he had found out intrigued him. She swore him to secrecy and promised that she would introduce him to someone.
(Thus he met Lin Mai and became one of her followers, teaching the other children the art of disguise so that they could be more useful and less vulnerable. Teaching them the proper mannerisms to go with how they Disguised themselves, even with the Hats of Disguise. )
Description: A tall lanky young woman, her pale rose color eyes make most people uncomfortable. Coupled with her chalk white skin and pale almost translucent white blond hair makes her a very unnerving presence. She wears her hair in tightly braided cornrows, secured at the ends with leather ties. Her slender form is clothed in dark grey form fitting leather, with a dappled grey hooded cloak. A pair of blackened bolos hang from her belt on her left hip, a coil of oiled and blacked rope from yet another loop beside a light crossbow. A wicked looking kukri and short sword hang from loops on the other side of her hip, a leather covered sap between the two. Tossed over one should is a pack, hanging from a pocket crafted into its side is a carefully folded net. The hilts of well-worn daggers peak out from the tops of her mid-calf height boots.
Despite the many physical and alchemical attempts to abort her as a child, Claera was born to a Skullport tavern scullery. She was the product of a gang rape that the human woman had suffered by a group of drow toughs who followed Vhaeraun. They had bet each other surface magic items that they could not perform with a low human female and she had been the target of said bet. None of the drow realized that the young woman had not only survived the assault, but had become pregnant by one of them. Born oddly silent to the world, the traumatized young mother recoiled from her child’s bizarre red eyes and pale elven features. Despite being hurt internally from the hard birth (thanks to the damage she had done by her numerous abortion attempts) she stumbled to the outer reaches of Skullport and left her child on the cold stone of an untraveled tunnel. Weakened by internal bleeding, the young woman never made it back to the “safety” of Skullport, dying not 100 yards from where she had left the child.
Despite the uncomfortable cold of the stone, the infant had not uttered a single sound, though it did wiggle and squirm as the cold penetrated the piece of rough sacking she had been wrapped in. Though unable to focus, her eyes held a faint glow as she blinked and squirmed. As fate would have it, that untraveled corridor would draw the presence of a rough and worn trader named Arkes Footworn, who had ducked down its length to avoid a Skullport “patrol”. He almost stumbled over the infant as he made his way further back down the passage. Snorting, he gathered the child up and with his shielded light examined her as he listened for the passage of the group he was avoiding. Arkes examined the child’s pinched features, starting a bit as he took in her pale pink eyes and delicately pointed ears. A buried empathy pushed aside his pragmatism and instead of leaving the child to its fate he took the child with him on his travels, adopting the infant as his own.
At the age of 13, Claera had returned to her father’s rooms at an boarding house in the Dockward after running an errand, only to find that the rooms had been ransacked and the trader lay beaten and barely alive in the bedroom. He was coughing and struggled to sit up as she rushed to his aid. She asked him to lay still, but he just shook his head and motioned for her to come closer. He told her of a hiding place beneath a board where his bed had been, telling her to take what was hidden there and leave. She shook her head, pleading with him to let her get the watch.
He only chuckled.. “The watch won’t do anything. These men have high protection, and they can’t spare the man power to deal with the assault of a simple trader. You avoid The Serpent’s men, you hear. If you see a human man with dark hair and pale grey eyes, with four ebony black inked tears tattooed under his left eye. You run, and don’t look back.” A fit of coughing shook Arkes, followed by a thin trickle of blood from his mouth and he passed on. Claera held his body to her for a long time, her face torn but not a single tear was shed. When she had shook herself free of her misery, she followed Arkes’ orders. She packed up what belongings she could salvage and then pried up that board.
Inside the small alcove beneath was a silk pouch. As she lifted it she felt something round within. She opened the pouch and found within a golden locket and a ring. The locket held a picture of a couple, a handsome young man dressed in robes and a beautiful elven woman. She recognized the man as a younger, carefree looking Arkes, but did not recognize the elegant golden haired elven woman. The ring was simple gold, but had a receded crest upon it of a blazing sword bisecting a wreath of laurel leaves. She frowned, wondering why Arkes was so adamant about protecting the jewelry, but she placed the small silken pouch into an inner pocket of her tunic and went to go get the watch.
True to Arkes’ words, the watch did little to investigate the death of the trader. A token effort was made, but the lack of eye witnesses or any sort of witness stalled the investigation. His remaining assets were sold, half was given to Claera, the rest was used to dispose of his body. And Claera vanished into the city, vowing to succeed in hunting down the men responsible for her father’s death.
She learned the back streets and underground tunnels and sewers as well as the back of her hand and slowly but surely developed the skills that would eventually allow her to avenge her father’s death, all the while that simple little black silk pouch remained almost forgotten with the rest of her belongings. During her dealings of the city, she stumbled upon a group of children in the sewers and joined them, biding her time.
Description:: Tia is a short slender girl. Her flame red hair falls about her face and back in a riot of curls. Intense green eyes sparkle with intelligence and humor hiding the pain that lurks beneath the surface. Her skin, a pale golden tan color, intensifies the color of her eyes. Her slender fingers pick at a strand of green and gold beads that she has wrapped around one wrist, nervously running her fingers over each bead as if counting all the way up the loop. When she reaches the end she starts all over again. She dresses in green, gold and tans, her clothing as fluid as her delicate movements.
Her early life was loving if not the richest upbringing. Her mother Katerin was a tavern cook at a modestly successful tavern in the Trade ward of Waterdeep. Her father Devlin worked the stables and was an emergency farrier for the establishment. As a toddler, Tia grew up in the kitchen, and as she grew she soon started washing dishes or fetching items from the Inn’s cellar for her mother. She enjoyed the bustle of the kitchen, often fascinated with the fire and the large brick ovens that they used for the baking needs of the busy inn, the flow of water as they worked the pump or the play of the wind through the hay in the stables’ lofts.
At an early age she developed an innate skill for the arcane. She would amuse herself in the inn’s small herb garden with dancing lights she would conjure out of thin air, and whenever her childhood adventures caused damage to her clothing or other objects, she learned quickly how to manipulate arcane energies to perform small repairs. One day her mother caught her playing with the lights and admonished her child, saying that she didn’t know where those powers came from and that she might be playing with something she could not control. Despite her mothers worries, Tia continued to play with the power she felt coursing through her veins. She even thought she saw faces in the small trees that ringed the inn’s garden, and imagined small winged creatures playing with her lights in the night.
As her powers blossomed, she reached the awkward age of 12. The inn was suffering a little, competition from other inns and the fact that they did not offer ‘other’ services caused their business to suffer. One evening Tia had felt an itching, a surge in her powers and she sought to experiment with what she felt. As she played with her lights, a surge of her powers jumped from her and set the dry leaves of a nearby pile of refuse ablaze. Those leaves were blown by a sudden breeze and a few of the flaming leaves flew into the upper loft of the stable. She screamed as the upper loft went up in a blaze. Her father, seeing the fire, ran into the stable and released the horses. As he was releasing one skittish steed from its box stall, the horse bolted and struck out at her father. He took a hoof to the temple and was killed instantly, but all Tia could remember was her father vanishing into the stables never to return.
The flaming ruin of the stable spelled the death of the inn, and its owner had to sadly sell off what remained of his assets. He relocated to Baldur’s Gate, leaving his staff without jobs.
Tia and her mother tried to find other gainful employment, but there was little available in the town at this time. They had found shelter in a half torn down building. Her mother and her eeked out a living by doing odd jobs here and there, laundry, sewing.. Tia put her arcane skills to use aiding her mother, using the mending abilities to help repair clothing and small pottery items. Because of her father’s death, Tia shied away from fire magics. They lived sparingly, but there was never a night Katerin did not tell her daughter that she loved her.
Some time passed, and once again Tia’s world was torn apart. The city was attacked by demons, someone had let loose a plague on the city and as Tia and her mother returned to their meager dwelling, the demons struck. Two dark skinned winged creatures swooped down on the duo. Her mother was torn to shreds almost instantly, while the second of the creatures toyed with Tia, slicing the childs shoulders and back, taking joy in tormenting the young girl. But something caused the fiend to flee, all Tia could see as she passed out was someone clad in shining armor and wielding a bow that seemed crafted of light.
She awoke cradled in the arms of a young man with kind blue eyes. He spoke soothing words to her as he moved through the streets to bring her to a crowded infirmary. He tended her wounds and sent her to sleep. For the next few days, he would often visit her bedside, bringing her small flowers along with fresh water and bread, and spoke softly to her as he changed her bandages. He introduced himself as Brother Thomas, and tried to make friends with the frightened girl. She wanted so much to have a friend, but she feared that the bad luck that had plagued her as a child would attach to this caring individual. She only spoke her name, unwilling to feel more for the bright eyed young man. But she did.. she desperately wanted to.. and she fought it. As soon as she could move without reopening her wounds she slipped out of the infirmary, leaving only her bandages and bed clothing clean and free of tears (thanks to her mending and prestidigitation cantrips).
Shortly after leaving the temple, she found the other orphans of the demon attacks and joined them.
|Gamer for 30+ years.|