Tana Keln

This is an old character sketch. I haven’t made time to write up anything more current yet. Still working on it.

Life could definitely be worse. I mean, it really feels like all the sneaking around in Athkatla is paying off. For the longest time it seemed like the price for studying without Cowled Wizard oversight was poverty. To be honest, I’m not even sure how I ended up in Longsaddle. I’m even less sure why I was kept in that kobold cave for over a week. Being rescued by Harcrit, Lissah, and Chlorine was just the beginning of my turn of good luck.

In return for keeping an eye on their little kobold pet, they agreed to split the treasure they uncovered in the goblin fortress with me and my two fellow captives, Venn and Solnac. We found the leader of the conspiracy to be a doppleganger, and though I’m not even sure that makes sense, there were no clues to prompt any better theory. Minus any trail to follow, we were content to relieve the goblins of their ill-gotten hoard. Whatever the doppleganger’s purpose, he provided his minions with an abundance of valuables. Mixed in with all the gold and precious stones, we found the Mace of Tyr and the Helder family pendant. And most important of all, we found my spellbooks. Words cannot describe the feelings coursing through me as I thumbed through those pages again. During my most optimistic moments in the kobold cell, I imagined that somehow I would escape and earn the money to begin my studies anew. Never in my wildest hopes did I believe that I would be able to find my own books again. I had to cover my face with my hair to hide the tears welling up in my eyes. Fortunately, the others were greedily exclaiming over the rest of the treasure and didn’t notice my momentary loss of control.

We finished clearing out the first of the two main goblin buildings, and as we were exploring the viability of entering the next, a group of blood-and-gore-spattered mercenaries began making their way out, leading a group of people, including the Abbot Fostrik. Harcrit couldn’t contain his snickering when the dwarven warrior leading the group proclaimed himself a sergeant in the Ironheart Adventuring Company. I overheard Lissah and Sol having a whispered discussion about a name for our band. Our band. Funny, I haven’t yet contributed even a minor cantrip to our battles, but I feel a strong bond to my rescuers and to my fellow former prisoners. So yes, it does feel right to call it our band.

We decided to journey to Longsaddle separately from the Ironheart Company, and upon returning the Mace of Tyr to Count Blackburn, were treated to a celebratory feast along with our bag of five hundred gold pieces. It must have been the combination of the reward, the cheers, and the fine wine, but everyone was feeling so elated we decided to splurge on some purchases in the noble’s stables. Harcrit’s burning need to acquire a cart was fulfilled, while Lissah, Sol, and I purchased some ponies to make any future journeys a little less unpleasant.

We made our way from Longsaddle to Mirabar and returned the Helder’s pendant for another very sizable reward. While there, Lissah met with her mentor and returned to us with an old, worn-out map to some buried treasure. We decided to ask Taliend for some clues to his map, so Sol and I split the cost for a room at the inn where he was performing that night. The performance was magnificent. Certainly better than any I’d attended in Amn. I could not keep the tears from my eyes, but this time I wept unashamedly in front of my new comrades who all seemed equally affected. After gathering our composure, we cornered the bard master and asked for some pointers. He indicated that we should begin our search inland, at a town called Six Ways.

The next morning we set out without Lissah, who told us she had other affairs to attend to. Sol and I greatly enjoyed taking the fresh air on our cute little mounts, while my more melee oriented comrades rode in Harcrit’s beloved cart. Sol is so interesting. I am fascinated by his heritage and the path he has taken in life. Combine that with his being the only other member of our party interested in books of any kind, and he makes for an excellent traveling companion.

Along the path to Six Ways, the road began to grow more and more crowded, and curiously, most of the people we passed seemed to have blue scarves or neckerchiefs. I stopped to ask a plain-looking farmgirl what event led all these people to converge on our path and she told me she was headed to the Six Ways Market. She seemed a little put off by my companions and in a hurry to get to town, so I flipped her a coin and thanked her for her time.

I decided to try again and asked a promising youth what the story was behind the odd attire and he sold me a puppet with his information. It seemed we were caught up in the middle of a huge festival, and people were coming from each of the six roads that met in Six Ways. Each road had its own color, and we happened to be on the blue road. Unfortunately, he panicked a bit when Sol pulled back his cowl to ask a question, and as can happen with the less-educated class, he set off a stampede of fear that cleared the path ahead of us. We traveled onward for a while, noticing an occasional bush shivering in terror or a tree muttering imprecations at the Drow race. I looked sympathetically at Sol, but he seemed to disregard the peasants’ behavior. I can only assume that he has grown accustomed to it during his travels.

Upon reaching Six Ways, we began to see all the other colors in the crowd. We randomly selected a rundown inn as a place to stay and hailed the stableboy to come care for our mounts. Harcrit decided to take this moment to introduce himself and learn that the boy’s name was Garth. His impressive countenance seemed to startle the boy, as the usual price was lowered from thirty coppers to twenty-five. I approached next and offered the lad my coins. He looked at me impertinently and said, “thirty coppers.” Unable to think of a suitable response, I simply handed him the extra five and flicked some bat guano at his head as I passed. Impudent peasant.

I entered the common room to find Harcrit glowering at the innkeeper. Once Hal found his way over to my large friend, I introduced myself and asked about rooms. The middle aged simpleton imperiously informed me that my “kind” was unwelcome here. Harcrit stepped in at that point and performed his special “I’m a hulking mass of muscle and I get what I want whether other people like it or not” routine. Hal responded as can be expected from someone lacking both valor and intellect and, like magic, we had rooms at the inn. Hal sent Lenore, his most bosomy barmaid to guide us to our accommodations and Harcrit struck up a conversation with her. He seemed to be seeking information, but I think so much sun addled his brains. The girl clearly could only provide the kind of knowledge valued in the scullery. She wantonly suggested that she could “work all night” and that she’d be happy to stop by early in the morning. I left him to his fruitless investigation and went to study in my room.

Perhaps I misunderstood his intent, because when I came down the next morning, he was following her around blushing and she couldn’t take her eyes off him.

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