Jin, Jinna, Jinx

Jin’a’loquaris of the Winter Court never quite fit in with the high unseelie fey. She was never serious enough for the Queen’s guard. He didn’t have the attention span for the scout’s corp. And while they could play a fairly decent Birdpipe, they weren’t good enough to accompany the Chorus.

It’s not that she didn’t try, she really did. He could race and climb and hide just as well as the other fey children, but it was the discipline to follow a single path that was lacking. It was that extra special Something that got everyone else chosen before them. And her relationship with the Fates was even more fickle than most Fey. Bad luck followed him everywhere, and though he usually managed to escape mostly unscathed, his companions did not. Even their magic was late in coming, or at least their control of it, and the other fey children teased them for being a weak half-breed. 

So, she would quit one thing and move onto the next. Over and over again. Until he found his way to the goblin caves. They didn’t judge them as lesser. They accepted her strangeness, her chaos and distraction. And they taught him things. Things their mother would rather they not know. 

Five Big Events

  1. Jin’a’loquaris was born of a human father (James) and changeling mother (Cin’da’loquaris). Her mother, after giving birth and confirming the child took after her, went back home to the Feywild. Leaving Jin’s father to wonder if it had all just been a dream.
  1. As a teen, Jin finally confronted his mother about who his father was. Everyone else seemed to know, but Mother had never told Jin. After some lengthy dissembling, avoiding, and sideways answers, she finally admitted that their father was a human from the Ten Towns region, and was called James Brewer. And promptly forbid her from going there or seeking him out, saying James wanted nothing to do with his child. Jin had no idea what “Ten Towns” meant, or how to even begin to get there, so the command did not matter and was quickly forgotten. Her mother had never actually admitted that Father was not fey before, and that was what mattered to him – he really was the weak halfbreed the others called him.
  1. As a young adult, Jinna was on a scouting mission and accidentally manifested psionic powers that caused the tree the group was hiding behind to explode. Giving away the scouts’ position, and injuring everyone else, two quite badly, though Jinna was unhurt.
  1. After failing at so many things, though none quite as spectacularly as the scouting mission, Jinx began spending a lot of time down in the Goblin caves, and picking up some “despicable behavior.” Mother grew tired of arguing, scolding, confining them to their room, and dragging them almost bodily to court functions. Mother contacted friends of friends of friends and got Jinx a contract on a Spelljammer ship. It will teach you about duty and following orders, she told him. Jinx didn’t argue, spelljamming sounded like an excellent way to escape the stuffy court. Secretly, they snuck off to the caves get Doc to come with. Fortunately, he was equally amenable to an adventure outside the Feywild. 
  2. Wildspace was just as amazing as Jin had hoped, even if the work was boring. Unfortunately, her bad luck followed Jin out into the Astral Sea. It wasn’t his fault, never his fault. They were just looking at the helm, trying to figure it out. Doc came looking for her, and she turned a little too quickly, her hand on something a little too important, a little too startled to keep a lid on her powers. It started to overload, to melt, to explode, or whatever it is those things do. He ran, grabbing Doc on the way, too late to alert anyone, too late to stop it. But not too late to save Doc. They both made it out, just barely, and with just enough luck left to be picked up by a passing ship before they ran into something truly dangerous.  A smaller ship, but with far more interesting characters than the last one. At least, until that one crashed too, this time into Torril.

Notes for Spy Master

Scraps of Reports for Spy Master written by Quill

The Big Guy sends strange business my way: frogs and mice. Notes follow.

Met a Red Grung – Forged ownership papers for a building by the docks. Also seen stealing from Lord Smallhat who you asked me to follow.

There’s also an Orange Grung in town, he’s a bit spotty, but hangs out with the Red one, when he’s not gambling.

Met a Small Mouseman – Forged authenticity papers for jewelry. Note: he is afraid of kittens, but likes books on crafts.

Lucern, the herbalist, has a green man working for her. He came from Candlekeep.

Cat bard from Chult seemed far too interested in me and where I came from.

Quill Scratcher

Quill was the smallest of her clutch. Her siblings were always pushing her out of the way, and sometimes out of the nest, or off the roost. She never understood why they always had to be so high up, and got more than her fair share of broken bones from being pushed off high places. Eventually, they pushed her out of the flock altogether. 

She found a new flock though, Penny for Polly. They appreciated her smallness. Taught her to use it, and to be quick, and to stay hidden. But she was always getting distracted by words. On signs, on books that “fell” from satchels, on scrolls that were “dropped” on the ground. Her parents had taught her reading and writing, and all this sneaking about gave her ample opportunity to practice. So, her Master gave her a chance at forging a letter he needed, and she exceeded all expectations. She was Master’s prized forger after this, and earned the name Quill Scratcher. 

Most of the flock teased her about such a boring job. They also teased her about her fear of heights. She could climb like the rest of them, but she clearly preferred to scout from the ground. She even stayed toward the middle of the roost at all times, never watching the city from the eaves with the other young members. They called her Chicken Scratch. All except Master and Whistler, her fighting trainer, and she loved them for it. Not that Whistler knew, she only paid attention to Quill during training. But Quill was always aware of her.

Penny for Polly was a good crew. They took care of their part of Baldur’s Gate, and the Guild left them be. Until one day, Basher and Slicer stepped out of bounds in chase of their quarry. They crossed lines the Guild did not approve of and Master had to turn them over. The Pollies were restless after that, and the Guild paid less and less attention to threats against them. 

It was still a shock to the whole flock when the rival gang attacked in the roost itself. They’d been edging around for weeks, but a frontal assault was completely unexpected. Quill did what she does best, she hid from the large intruders and watched in terror as Master was struck down. Whistler hadn’t given warning, and the flock was falling. Quill ran. 

She ran all the way to the gates and hid in a caravan wagon just leaving for Waterdeep. When it stopped for the night, she crept out, and hid once more. Still deep in shock and despair, she followed the caravan all the way to Waterdeep, scavenging what food she needed from the wagons, but barely eating. 

Halfway through the trip, she started remembering stories of the grand city. It was supposed to be beautiful and there was a great library in the Castle. She wondered if she could be a scribe there. She could lose herself in a library that big for years.

When they arrived, it was not as golden and beautiful as she had hoped. Just as dirty, just as busy, filled with the same sorts of people, good and bad, as home. The castle guards turned her away before she could even ask about the library. She looked at herself then, bedraggled from her escape and travel, and disappeared into the city. Scrounging for a few weeks until finally finding work as a scribe at a dingy messenger service. 

Sometimes though, when work is slow or too tiring, she likes to go drinking at a pub near her room. She loves sweet wine and beer nuts, and writing down whatever snatches of conversation she hears. Occasionally, the other patrons aren’t so happy with her copying. Once in a while, they show their displeasure rather violently. 

It was on one of these occasions that she met The Big Man. She was rather drunk at the time, or she wouldn’t have ended up in that alley in the first place. So, she thought she had imagined the elephant of a man healing her wounds and walking her home. But then she saw him again, and he even hired her a couple times, for scribing. She always accepts his contract, and he keeps an eye out for her in alleys late at night. So far, he’s sent a pair of Grungs, a rather skittish Mouseman, and a job at an herbalist who employs a big green man who knows about Candlekeep.

Spy Master found her there, too. He had heard of her from her clients in Baldur’s Gate, been sent to her by Svetel, the Big Man. He promised to protect her, and get her work, and make sure she was well paid for her talents. He even helped her get a tiny basement room, and gave her a book to start her collection. A collection which covers one wall of that tiny room already, after just a few years. Her room is full of books, her pockets full of quills and gems. It’s a good life. She loves going to Homeward Bookshop at the end of each week to get a new book, visit the kittens, and see her friend Abena. The Mouseman didn’t seem too keen on the kittens, but Candlekeep man liked them well enough.

Gilly Tavolga

Gilly grew up in the Mystic Lydian tradition, quickly taking to Tarot at her mother’s (Tekla) knee. At first, she just loved all the strange pictures, but soon she came to understand them. One day, when she was just five years old, she read the cards aloud as her mother placed them, before Tekla could speak. Amazed, the patron stared at the young girl as her mother nodded to her words and intuition.

Circling Idona with her family, easily learning the languages of all the people they encountered. She picked up Elven the fastest, becoming fluent before she was 6. Gnomes and dwarves were encountered far less frequently, but by 10, she had mastered their tongues, as well. Her father (Simen) always told her she was special, even before Madam Nadya noticed her.

When she wasn’t reading Tarot, Gilly performed with her father and brothers (Vaya and Jeppa) when they stopped in cities and towns for supplies. She loved to play her flute while Simen and Jeppa sang, and Vaya drummed along. And dancing, whenever the Family came together to celebrate a festival, Gilly loved to dance around the bonfires.

Her mother recognized her talent and helped Gilly paint her own deck, though found her fanciful designs a bit odd and some downright disturbing. Mother’s was more traditional, but Gilly found it a tad boring as she grew older and her talents matured. She often read for younger folk than her mother, with images that set their imaginations running.

Gilly was just fifteen when the Beasts starting coming out of the Cursed Forest. The Family began staying further north most of the year, but a journey down to Port Mofti two years ago changed her life forever.

The Beasts attacked a gathering of Mystics outside of the Port. The Family avoided conflict, it wasn’t their way. However, the Hunters rose to their duty while the families fled. Gilly tripped and fell, and a Hunter stood his ground in front of her while the other three ushered Madam Nadya into the city. Shandor fell protecting the retreat of them all, and Gilly watched it happen. As he slew the last Beast, its dying spasms ripped open his chest and Gilly rushed to him, cradling his head as blood replaced breath.

“Must … protect … her,” were his final words to Gilly.

Gilly carried him and his bloody weapons into the city and to Madam Nadya. It wasn’t long before she found herself in the Testing Lodge, tormented by visions of death and battle, of creatures and Beasts, of things far beyond her Ken and terrible. She survived and soon they were traveling to the river mouth.

The journey was hard, and Gilly was terrified, but resolute. She had to protect the Family and their ancient Mother. Once there, the Ritual was held in silence.

A fire was lit, and blades were heated. Nadya drew a star in the dirt with her staff, with the fire in the middle. The three Hunter’s, Gilly, and Madam Nadya stood at points of the star. Silent prayers were lifted to Lydian as Nadya drew a single card, showing it only to Gilly on her right. They both knew what it would be, but it confirmed the path for Gilly and for them all.

Replacing the card, Nadya set her deck on the cloth before her. Then she took one of the heated blades, the blade of the fallen Hunter, and drew it across her palm. Squeezing her hand over a goblet, she let the blood run freely for a moment, and then seared the wound closed with the heated blade. Gilly took the goblet, and brought it to her lips. The coppery smell nearly made her choke, but she tilted it up and swallowed convulsively until it was gone.

Pain lanced through her body, it felt like her own blood was boiling. Her head fell back and she screamed. The next she knew, she was being pulled up to her knees, pain still raging through her. Then a new pain blossomed on her back. The three Hunters were pressing the heated metal of their daggers against her flesh, creating the brand that united and identified them.

She woke to water being poured down her throat. Coughing, she pushed it away, and sat the rest of the way up. The burning had subsided, and light filtered down through the trees. When she was fully aware again, she saw they were all sitting circle around her. Madam Nadya sat before her, with Shandor’s blade on the ground before her.

“Take it up, Gilly Tavolga, it is yours now. You are one of The Four. A Blood Hunter, bound to me and to the Family. Take up this blade and protect us from the coming Evils. You have been Chosen.”

“Thank you, Mother Nadya.” Gilly took the dagger gingerly, feeling the weight and the balance. “My life for the Family, I will protect us all.”

On the return journey, Gilly was also given Shandor’s sword, and her training began. The Hunters taught her to fight and how to use the power she had been given. They also taught her new songs, the kind her father said she was still too young to learn.

When they arrived back to Port Mofti, the Mystics moved on, heading North again. Gilly found her new isolation difficult, but at least she still had her parents and brothers. They loved her, no matter what.

“You’ve always been a little strange,” Jeppa teased. “No point in it bothering us now.”

When word came of the meeting, the Mystics headed for Weston Landing. Gilly was a bit nervous about traveling so far from the Family, but it was her duty, and she obeyed.

Before leaving, she gave her little brother, Jeppa, her first flute, so he could play her favorite songs when he missed her. Her mother gave her a necklace with small opals set in a twisting silver chain, one for each member of their immediate family. Her father bought her a new scarf, to bring her luck on the Journey.

Tristia Ravenshelm

The magic just showed up one day. I always wanted it, spying on Gerald whenever he was doing magic. But my parents did Not approve. We are not a magic family, and Mana was too dangerous. Not that they approved of much I did. Don’t stare at boys, you’re much too young. Don’t talk to those people, you are above them. Don’t leave the house, you’re safe here. Don’t run, a lady never runs.

I had snuck out and was passing by the school, and there was a big explosion, and some smoke and fumes filled the street. I thought I was going to die right there in my brand new festival dress. But when I turned to run, I went faster than I ever have. And when I jumped, I ended up on the rooftops. I ran and lept all the way home.

My  parents were irate, people had Seen me cavorting about like a Circus Performer.  Our House Mage was Not Happy that I was near the Academia. But once he calmed down, we started to figure out what happened. Turns out I’m a freak. Now I Have go to the Academie, my parents can’t stop me. Where I will still be the freak. Perhaps they can teach me to be their version of normal, probably not. Oh, I hope Oliver will really be there, he’s so dreamy.