The Early Years – The Village
Current Year 1372 DR
You were born in the village of Tarnmeet on eastern the coast of the Vilhon Reach on the Sea of Fallen Stars. Tarnmeet is just south of Hlath and is the northernmost village in Chondath
Tarnmeet is a minor waypoint on a number of coastal trading routes, because of this it has a relaxed view on race and culture. With a population of only about forty extended families the occasional newcomer is made welcome unless they are too disruptive. The population is mainly human although there is Beltras, a Half Ogre stonemason and Xelab an Orc who is the main provider of local lumber.
The village has become a routine stopover for trading vessels largely due to its predominant feature, the lighthouse. This was constructed almost 150 years ago and a powerful permanent light spell cast upon it by Arachk Meltarrn, a powerful mage from inland. He also supplied many permanent light globes which waxed and waned with the rising and setting of the sun. Many of these are now gone, lost or broken over time, but some households still bask in the bright light of the old magic.
The major livelihood of the village is from the bounties given by the Sea of Fallen Stars, while not a large village it has an active fishing community, the other main local export is the fanciful whittled carvings produced from cast up driftwood, many of these carvings are derived from the lively tales of the older village men as they sip and rest by the evening fire.
From the old timers you have heard of the wonders of the ocean. These fellows claim to have seen it all, Sea monsters, underwater cities, pirates, vast fleet battles, Dangerous tempests and strange foreign lands. You know of course that these old timers will say anything for a mug of Old Kraken (A very nice local brew) The taller the tale, the more forthcoming the ale, so you learned to take everything they say with a grain of salt.
The Early Years – The Gods Among us! (The Godswar)
1358 DR, The Time of Troubles (14 years ago). In this year the magical weave of Faerun was disrupted and the very Gods them selves walked the land. In a year of tumult and upheaval Gods died and new Gods were raised. Power structures were changed and new politics rose. Magic, once reliable and structured broke down in some areas resulting in both dead magic areas (where magic does not function and wild magic areas, where it functions unpredictably. These areas range in size from tiny to large and are unpredictably scattered across the Realms where the weave was strained and broken. Widespread death vivited the realms with war, plague, and wild magic all taking their toll. Tarnmeet was luckily preserved from the worst of these ravages
Closer to home the effects were three. For a period of three days the Fishing was the most bountiful ever recorded with huge schools f fish coming right up to the docks and literally throwing themselves into the nets. With the disruption of the weave all magic in the village ceased to function for sixty days. At the end of sixty days the light at the top of the lighthouse gave a mighty blue pulse and rekindled, an odd side effect of this was that all pre-pubescent children in the village glowed with a luminous blue glow for three days (much to their delight and their parents horror).
In what some say is an effect of the Wild Magic of this time many of the children who were bathed in this iridescent glow have since exhibited strange and wondrous minor powers, for example, Mikael the Blacksmiths son can heat small quantities of metal to a red hot glow just by picking them up.
The Early Years – The Ruins
The other thing which kept you all interested as younger men was exploring the ruins about a half days walk into the Forest, it was said of these ruins that in ancient times they were inhabited by Dragons, Beings of Light, Strange furred creatures or an ancient Lich . . .depending on who you talked to.
Despite the rumours and tales the boys of the village have, for as long as anyone can remember, gone exploring and looking for treasure and adventure. The ruins are called Alk’znar and it was apparently once a mighty fortress with a number of underground levels. Most of the above ground area has been destroyed or worn away over time but much of the underground is relatively intact.
The worst anyone found in living memory was a panther and her cubs which resulted in a couple of boys being mauled. The best find was around thirty years ago when three young lads accidentally triggered some mechanism in a lower level. A wall which seems to be all of one piece split and part of it swung out a ways before jamming. The boys found a room where most of the chests and items had mouldered to unrecognisable husks and dust. But among the detritus they also found a small bag of gems a large bag of unrecognisable gold coins, an untarnished dagger which glowed on the night of the full moon and a finely wrought wondrous cloak which (it was said) could make the wearer almost invisible. With this treasure they soon decided upon a life of adventuring and departed from the village, not to be seen again.
This tale has seen resurgence in the diligence with which the local boys and young men examine the ruins. Many boys have spent considerable time in the ruins trying to decipher the worn carvings, looking for more secret doors and trying to locate the fabled lost treasure of Alk’znar.
Early Years – The Sea
As is the custom in Tarnmeet all young men of sufficient age are sent on an apprenticeship voyage with a friendly captain. The vessel they sign on with is dependent on what is available at the time of the annual choosing. Some lads get local fishing boats, some coastal traders. You were lucky enough to get aboard the Narwhal one of the true ocean going vessels under captain Pilchard (may the heavens defend anyone caught making lightly of his name within hearing of his crew). Captain Pilchard is a roaring bear of a man but a wily captain and a shrewd trader and negotiator. He chooses only the best for an apprenticeship voyage and you were the ones chosen for a four year apprenticeship.
Your individual skills helped you to slot into your roles aboard quite smoothly. As a group you were lucky that Pilchard was a broad minded man, no racist he treats all equally, harshly, but equally.
The last 6 months
You have seen sights and heard things which have astounded you and made you realise that the tales told by the old ones in Tarnmeet may not have been so far fetched after all. From skirting the edge of a fleet battle to surviving a sahuagin attack in Mimph to huge storms you began to see that life outside of Tarmnmeet was going to be very different.
You traveled the length of the Vilhon Reach staying one or two weeks in each port as the captain made his deals, traded for goods or worked a charter. Even coing from a nation of traders you recognised the abilities of the man you were sailing with. Pilchard bargained hard and seemed to know everyone everywhere you went.
You commenced traveling along the coast of the Vilhon Reach first in your home country of Chondath through Samra, Iljak and Arrabar.
After Arrabar your next destination was Mimph in Sespech where you had the misfortune to arrive the day before a large and unprovoked attach on the city by Sahuagin. You defended your ship well and received a rare word of praise from Captain Pilchard.
After Sespech was Turmish with stops in Hlondeth, Amah and Torl. After leaving Asple the run north through the Farshore Straits was more laden with Peril than you expected. As you travelled toward the Island of Ilighon, home of the Emerald Enclave, you were beset by a sudden and ferocious storm. It was the worst weather you had yet endured upon the Narwhal and you feared mightily for your lives. Captain Pilchard proved his abilities as a captain and pulled the Narhwal and all of her crew through the storm.
Unfortunately there was damage to the rudder which required jury rig repairs. As the ship apprentices you were drafted along with the Slippy the bosun to effect the repairs. Captain Pilchard was so happy with the job you all did that he promised a bonus and a generous shore leave at the Ixinos, the Island of the warrior women.
It seems though that the Gods were against you ever taking that leave. As you were loaded into the skiff ready to be ferried to shore (the Island of Ixinos does not permit any ship captained my a man to dock in her ports) a dense fog rolled in from nowhere . . . a hellish roaring came form the seaward side and great crackling bolts of purple lightning smashed repeatedly into the sea around you.
Aelar regcognised it for what it was, a Wild-magic storm. You lost sight of the Narwhal. Slippy the bosun prayed in five different languages to seven different Gods for protection but it seemed to no avail, you suddenly found yourself rushing through the air as you were caught in a gigantic waterspout with arcing purple lightning leaping across the skiff and all in it. Then, you started to fall, seemingly from a great height, your hearts pounding you felt this was the end. As you saw the sea rushing towards you a huge bolt of lightning shattered the skiff and you and blew you to oblivion . . . . .
. . . through heat, pain and aching muscles you wake to find yourself and the shattered remains of your skiff on a sandy beach. It seems that Slippy took the brunt of the last bolt of lightning as he lies scorched and blackened on the beach beside you . . . . Looking about you see a sandy beach with no sign of the storm just passed, Your shore gear (and Slippies) is still in a chest which made it ashore intact. . . . Now, what to do . . .