The Story Begins—Calwyn Feralyth
Posted by countingku on May 14, 2010
@DMSamuel is rebooting his Ruboryn campaign, and I am one of the lucky few to be involved. I played a happy-go-lucky half-elven bard named Calwyn Feralyth in the original campaign. Sam set this reboot in the past, and while I still wanted to play a Valor Bard… I did not want to play the same Valor Bard.
I’ve never played a human in Dungeons and Dragons, with so many options playing the same race I am seemed boring. This reboot seemed to be a perfect time to finally try a human. I wanted something darker, with some real moral conflict. I found the Arcane Mercenary background, and it seemed a perfect conflict for a good aligned character. So a human ancestor of the original Calwyn was born. You can find his iPlay4e sheet here and his background behind the cut.
I never really knew my parents, but that’s expected when you’re the child of adventurers. The stories say they were pretty good at what they did, but they must have found more than they could handle in the end. It is that same tragic tale, the one you know by heart. They got a job that was too good to be true, and they never came back. Sad enough, I suppose, but it is all a part of the family business. Adventuring is risky, but the potential rewards are what drive us.
Enough about my parents, though… you wanted to hear my story. I spent my youth journeying with my uncle Fizban and his goblin assistant, Podo. Fizban was a traveling magician, the rabbit from a hat type, not the fireball throwing type. The things that my uncle put poor Podo through, it was a marvel to behold. He would saw the goblin into thirds, then forget how he went back together. But I digress…
I got along well with the children in the villages, but we never stayed anywhere long enough for me to make real friends. It was an exciting life for a kid, but my only true friend was Podo. He was smarter than people gave him credit for. We’d have the most interesting conversations as we traveled between villages. He taught me to play the lute, and even to speak Goblin. I was glad, most of his stories were better in Goblin. I played accompaniment for the shows, and shows seemed to grow in popularity. It was a great life, but such things never last.
We were making our way through a forest, when we were set upon by a gang of brigands. I was prepared to give them what they wanted, but my uncle warned them to get out of his way. The leader stepped up to give Uncle what for, when I heard the twang of a bowstring from the cart. I looked back to see my goblin friend knocking another arrow in a well-used bow. When I looked back, the leader was slumping to the ground with an arrow buried in his neck. The others seemed intent to charge, until Uncle spoke a word I did not understand, but that I could feel the power of. His staff glowed, and a wave of power flowed from him into the bandits surrounding him. They all fell upon the ground, and I swore I heard snoring from a few of them. This was REAL magic, real power… and I could feel it. In that moment I knew what I craved most, arcane power.
A twig snapped behind me, and I turned to see one brigand had shaken the effect of Uncle’s spell and was aiming a crossbow at his back. I dove at my uncle as the bolt flew, knocking him down, feeling the bolt whistle by my ear. I landed, sprawling, atop my uncle. My hand fell across one of the wands he carried, and I could feel the arcane energy within it. I looked back at the cur that fired upon us and saw him with an arrow in his arm, and closing on Podo, who seemed to be out of arrows. Podo drew a dagger and growled at the brigand. He did not see the halfling behind him moving in for the kill. Instinct took over and I leapt up, grabbing the wand. I raced toward them, and just before the halfling could sink his blade into my friend I roared, “NOOOOOOO!” The ground shook and the brigands both were shoved away and slammed senseless into one another in a tangled heap and Podo was somehow pulled to my side.
I heard movement behind me and turned with as much menace as I could muster. Uncle waved me off, “Peace, Cal! I don’t think I want any of what you gave them, Nephew.” I apologized profusely for using up the power in his wand, but he waved me off. Wands are only channels for power, and what I did came from within me, he told me.
We got back into the wagon and rode away before the brigands could cause us any further trouble. On the ride to the next town, I tried to convince Uncle to teach me, but he gainsaid me. “Nay, lad… You have great arcane potential, but you’re no wizard. The way you play the lute, the way people like you… and the natural power you unleashed on those robbing curs. You have the Bardic Gift. You need to train with those that share your gifts. Podo and I are going to have to disappear, there are people that would like to find us and this little incident will be sure to have them on our trail. First though, we need to find you a troupe to train you.”
As luck would have it, Bernard and his merry band of minstrels found us soon after. Bernard was an old companion of my parents, and regaled the troupe with tales of his travels with my parents. The stories did my soul some good, but the training was what I desired. I took to it naturally. It felt right. This was what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I never wanted it to end. I awoke this morning to find Bernard and the troupe gone. The innkeeper had a note for me.
Cal, The time for your training is done, there is nothing more I can teach you. You must begin your own song now, and find the companions that will let you write your way into legend. I believe you have the potential for greatness. Your parents would be proud of you, my boy. May the Song ever lighten your footsteps,
So, now, I make my own path. I crave the arcane. Spells, rituals, lore, items, and ultimately an artifact. I will find a way to have them, it is my destiny.