Mysteries of the Nentir Vale
Pale half-elf garbed in black scale mail armor holding a glowing rod in one hand and in the other a wicked looking blade that is wreathed in a cold azure haze
During the song of creation the untamed substance of the elemental chaos was bound to form the natural world. One hears their voices in the rumbling earth, in the churning seas, and in violent storms. The primordials—or at least the echoes of their power—are very much alive in the world. Elemental magic flows from the primordials and the endlessly changing landscape of the Elemental Chaos, spreading insidiously across the multiverse.
The most widespread influence of the Elemental Chaos in the natural world is found in the residual energy left behind from creation, and from the subsequent wars of gods and primordials. The artistry of creation is evident in the world. Majestic mountains, vast oceans, primeval forests, the blue dome of the sky—all were made by the primordials, and their power lingers in their creations.
Residual energy pervades the world, not unlike air. Most creatures live their lives without ever encountering raw elemental energy. As with air, however, its effects can be felt even when it is not seen. Magic in all forms connects to this latent energy and uses it to produce miraculous events, from healing the dying to laying waste to whole armies with ice and fire.
Shorwyn Tel’Dryear learned to tame this arcane might with song. He was drawn to its music. It may have been the rhythm of the seas or the sounds of the trade winds that enticed him but it called to him. He was naturally gifted with a gorgeous lilting voice and long dexterous fingers which took quickly to almost any instrument. He would replicate the sounds of birds, whales and other life that abounded near the sea. No sound excited him more than the crash of lightning and the booming thunder. The storms struck a chord in his soul and its enticing music filled him. He was aboard some sort of sailing ship since he could remember. The sea filled his heart and he spent his days growing up wading the in the many coves and tidal pools. He found the wonders of the sea and the beauty of the coral reefs and seemingly infinite oceans. He found a way to bind these energies and tap into the lingering power of the primordials. He could sense the rhythm that these powers resonated on and pulled their strings to do his bidding.
Shorwyn was the bastard son of Marianita Isabel Tel’Dryear, a local whore who lived in the port city of Abylin in the prefecture of Dercassia in the kingdom of the Iron Circle. Nerath The life of a bastard son of a whore growing up in a port of call was, in reality, not as bad as it would seem. Not all that uncommon either… Shorwyn was well cared for in the brothel and was doted on by his many “aunties”. He was constantly doing favors for them and they generally had their rewards. Course his child-life, including his innocence, was short-lived and he was lucky to be a small child to be over-looked as long as he had been. He was almost welcome there and took care to stay out of sight and be quiet. Running errands to the docks always earned him a few pence and he loved visiting the boats that came to port. He was intrigued and awed by the sea. The different people and cultures that came to trade in Abylin filled him with wonder. He could only hope that one day he would become a seaman and travel to strange uncharted lands to obtain their riches…
Shorwyn’s “opportunity” came when he just turned 9. The brothel could no longer condone or support him staying there. No customer wants to be upset by the off chance of looking into his own eyes… His mother made an arrangement with a cooper named Gaspacho Pali who was sailing with a merchant vessel heading to Dunnyn in the Karavas province, across the Sapphire Bay. She told him that it was only temporary and that as soon as she had the funds she would get word to him, but Shorwyn knew as well as Marianita Isabel that they would have a slim chance of ever seeing each other again. It was for the best and besides Shorwyn was excited to be ship bound. “Tortuga” was a small coastal cargo ship around 13 tons with a crew of 17. She was able to carry about 100 tons of cargo and it was Gaspacho’s job to make sure the crates, barrels and all the containers were in good order, he also doubled as the ships carpenter and caulker. Shorwyn spent most of the voyage in the belly of the ship hammering tarred rope into gaps in the stern.
Shorwyn cherished the sea and was soon an aspiring page that took to the riggings like a fish to water. It was little over a year until he obtained his letter of certification and became a full-blown seaman. He did almost every job aboard various ships from tending the stern, manning the riggings and patching the sails. Unfortunately he never grew up strong or tall and took to subtlety and the riggings to shield him from the many scraps that generally happen with men of the sea. But he was the heart of any vessel he was on and was soon considered to be a good luck charm. Suddenly the seas would calm for no apparent reason or a zephyr would appear mystically during a dead calm to drive the ship to port. He many sea shanties would raise the spirits of the crew or quell uprisings.
Shorwyn never got sick of sailing and spent 11 years traversing her many shoals and harbors in Nerath and beyond. He never was tied to any one local or ship for that matter and traveled from port to port seeking his next big opportunity. It was the summer of 904 that he struck a progression of bad luck, which started in the port of Iron Wolf Holds. His commission for boatswain assistant aboard the Cormorant ended on the account of an unfortunate event. A smelly Valinese had a fatal mishap unfurling the mainsail on the mizzenmast. A stray bolt of lightning from a clear sky striking the man caused him to fall to his untimely death. Somehow they linked this incident to Shorwyn. There was no proof of course; beside the incurred gambling debt he supposedly owed him. Shorwyn felt terribly incriminated by this incident…But none the less he was deemed a witch and a caller of curses. A warlock no less…
So Shorwyn found himself on dry land in search of a new conscript. The money was drying up rapidly on the many brothels and taverns unattainable on the seas and he knew he had to get going soon. The problem was, as he should have realized, the summer trade winds blowing up from Amil where keeping ships away; at least until the late summer and this was not a regular shipping-route this time of year. He was just happy to have some change in his pockets while in port for once. He was a sucker for gambling and was not generally all that good at it. It also was not too wise to cheap while trapped on a boat with no place to escape to, which caused him to rely on natural luck and the will of Sehanine, who probably didn’t regard gambling as something she doled her blessing on. Still it didn’t stop him from calling on her to guide his dice. Anyway, he here was with dwindling funds and boat less. Then a seemingly brilliant idea came to him. How different could a caravan be? It will almost be like traveling on a boat he thought…
Well Shorwyn was found he was not cut out for the landlubber life real fast. First off his ass was killing him from the jostling of the carriage and he had little luck at catching small game animals to subsidies his diet with anything other than what the cook was offering, which was just plain horrible. You had to keep constant vigilance for robbers and wild animals at all times. It was not like the sea where you could see what ever was coming at you miles off and you had time to take evasive action or whatever. That and he was not sleeping well, the noises and fear of crap crawling on him kept him up. He hated sleeping in the dirt! He missed his hammock and swore to buy one at the next port city he got to, he hadn’t the material to construct his own or he would.
His caravan contained 3 wagons, all pretty heavily laddened with goods. He was considered a guard and was accompanied by 14 others that mostly rode horses and acted as escorts and scouts for the convoy. There were 2 others that rode on the other 2 wagons. There were 40 others including animal handlers, a simple road blacksmith of sorts for the horses’ shoes and wagon parts, as well as the cook who Shorwyn was planning to replace somehow… The strangest thing for Shorwyn was the amount of people who were along for the ride so to speak. Everyone on a ship has a job; here it was like a strange parade with people simply sharing the road together. He had been aboard ships that transported people but the crew never associated with them and they were generally upper class. The poor could ill afford passage without working their way and since a ship was no place for persons of little skill, it was dangerous for the rest of the ship, seaman only apply. That’s what Shorwyn loved about being one, in a way he felt a bit like nobility or at least in some way special being able to travel pretty much where ever when ever he wanted to. His few weeks spent traveling like this made him realize just how much he missed the ocean.
He really wasn’t one to socialize and took to the top of the wagon and made a sort of crow’s nest lookout for himself. He observed a few side-glances and snickers but he could give a rat’s tail what they thought of him. It gave him a chance to be away form the driver and his infernal stories, the man hardly left his backyard for pity’s sake and it was as if he traveled to the deserts of Rallengar. Beside this gave him a little better vantage point and he could conceal himself readily. He felt very vulnerable in the seat and it wasn’t like he would be able to drive the wagon if something happened to the driver anyway…
When he was pretty sure he was unobserved he snuck into the wagon and checked to see what they were carrying and to see if anything was worthwhile to pinch. He was greatly displeased to see that it was pretty common stuff, nothing like the stuff he sailed with in the bellies of the galleys, but he was able to at least get some dry salted fish, which was worth the smell alone. The caravan was slowing the last couple days as it approached the Dawnforge Mountains. The trees where getting thick and everyone was on urchins waiting for something to happen. Last night the group was encircled by a pack of wolves. The mounted guard had no luck tracking them and we were in fear of loosing some of the goat. The horses where thoroughly spooked and the drivers did all they could to keep them calm. Shorwyn was setup on top his trusty perch and the wagons encircled the animals for the night. Another sleepless night for him… Fortunately they were stopping in Hammerfast for supplies in a couple days. The bad thing was his pay was horrendous and it probably wouldn’t even be worth it to go into town. So he took up guard duty for the wagons to horde his pence for another time. The other guards were, for the first time happy with Shorwyn. Beside Shorwyn was used to not pulling into port for months, this was only a couple weeks into the journey.