Author Topic: NWN character bio: Monty  (Read 1866 times)

Offline Kaz-Keith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
NWN character bio: Monty
« on: March 05, 2009, 04:42:30 PM »
This is a character bio from an NWN site.  It is rather long so I've broken it up into chunks.  It begins with the typical block and ends with the epilogue.


Name: Montimblanc 'Monty' Toadstoolie (pron: MAWN-tim-blawnk 'MAWN-tee' TOAD-stoo-lee)
Race: Halfling, Lightfoot
Gender: Male
Birthplace: Born and raised in Luiren, specifically a small village called 'Threefar' by locals.
Alignment: Chaotic-Neutral
Deity: Shaundakul

Physical Description: With a less-than-average height for a halfling (2' 10"), and rather boyish looks, Monty is often mistaken for a human lad. Until he opens his mouth, that is. He speaks with a strange accent, not quite placeable to the casual observer. Dwarves, however, will instantly recognise his speech as an unpalatable bastardisation of hin and Gold dwarven.

Skills Description: Monty trained in his youth with the local militia, and has much skill with ranged combat. He is hardy, quick, and bright, and what he lacks in leadership or common sense he makes up for with brevity and wit. Monty can ride and fight, but has only ever ridden ponies, and has yet to be familiarised with horses. He is literate and educated, though his manner of speaking can mislead some into assuming otherwise. He has been trained with a variety of skills which he calls his 'quiet tools', including the use of magical scrolls and other items which he would otherwise be unable to.

Special Inventory: Monty is never without his 'journal', in which he records all manner of information, from personal notes to observations on environment and people. He also carries an oddly-colored purple cloak with him, folded neatly and stowed at the bottom of his pack.

Personality: Monty might be taken, at first glance, as the 'typical' Lightfoot hin: happy-go-lucky and perhaps a touch larcenous. There is much more to him, however, though he takes great pains to make it seem otherwise. He bears a strong distaste for what he deems 'tallsie jokes': anything which pokes fun at hin or height. Monty detests stereotypes, going out of his way to ignore them. Ironically, he prefers barefootedness and has a deep love of all foods.



Offline Kaz-Keith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
Re: NWN character bio: Monty
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 04:43:48 PM »
"Hi there!"

Monty looked up.

The gingerman was peering down at him, lines of piped icing making its face a perpetual grin.  The halfling stared into bright currant eyes and swallowed.

"Hungry?  Time to eat something, sleepyhead!"

Monty sat upon the floor of Old Guv's Shop, unsure how he had gotten there but not really caring.  The giant cookie gingerman was gesturing again, pointing to one of the store shelves where lay coiled an enormous pull of twisting, green-striped candy.  It looked like one of those huge constrictor snakes, like the one in Uncle Lousef's picture book...

"Lime taffy!"  The scent struck him like a warm, welcome slap.  The halfling climbed to his feet and darted over to the shelf.  Instead of the usual plodding rows of jars and bottles, candies and cakes and goodies were spread out haphazardly.  The smells of sharp ginger, dark molasses, and bright lime brought his mouth to watering, and Monty reached out.

"Have your fill, friend.  Plenty here, and plenty more."  The gingerman likewise reached out, and a pair of sugar-sparkling jellybirds flitted to its arm.

Monty could only nod, his mouth full to chewing on a thick wedge of green-striped taffy.

"Get up, lazyboots!", one of the brightly-colored jellybirds sang suddenly.

"Get up!"


*     *     *


Meera looked down and frowned.  Her seventh child, and last son, lay abed yet.  She saw that he was chewing eagerly upon one tattered corner of his bedpillow and was dismayed.

"Get up, little mister", she repeated, prodding the lad roundly.

He opened one eye and stopped chewing.

"You've missed wakefast and breakfast too."  She went to the single round window in the small room and opened it.  "I left your plate over the oven."

The boy sat up and sniffed the air.  She'd put a plate of lime rind on the windowsil.  Always a battle, little boys' rooms and pleasant odors, that.

"Have on and up, Montimblanc.  I've a chores list for you, with Old Guv to see on the tops."  She turned and gave his rump a swat as Monty slowly, slowly ambled out of bed and toward the doorway.  "And drop that pillow on the darning pile, will you?"

She watched him go and shook her head slowly.

"Honestly, that lad... slow as snow in summer."

Her frown faded as she noticed a pair of larks nesting in the thicket outside the window started singing sweetly.  After a moment, she began humming right along with them.



*     *     *


"Well look who's up and early!  And just in time for forelunch, I'd wager?"

Monty sighed elaborately, but accepted the casual joking with a smile.  He was not called 'lazyboots' for nothing, and it seemed the entire village knew his sleeping habits better than he himself did.

Old Guv stood with a calloused, practised hand held out for Meera's shopping note.

"Milk and bread?  You've got an easy day ahead of you, lad, if that's the extent of your chores."

Monty tried to give the shopkeeper a sour look, but ended up laughing despite himself.

Old Guv was the only human who dwelled in the village, probably the only human who dwelled anywhere within a hundred miles of the village, though Threefar was a mite far out.  Tall and sporting bushy gold-white brows and beard, Old Guv was as fat as a mothering sow, and... rather... as pink.  He was a favorite of the locals, however, for his lack of greed, his humors, and his uncanny knack for cheeriness under the worst of circumstances: and pretty much in that order.  His real name was Gunther Stoutish, though most folk called him by the name he'd first painted on the hanging sign outside a newly-opened shop, years and years ago.

"Have you seen the traveler yet?"

Monty stood at the little basket of free playthings that Old Guv always kept filled for the village children.  He had selected a tiny wooden lion and was making it hop about on the countertop as Old Guv filled the milktin.

"Traveler?"

News always traveled fast in Threefar, and Old Guv always had the freshest.

"Yep.  A dwarf.  Down from the Rift, I reckon."  He slipped the wooden cap into the milktin's wide mouth and shut it fast in place.  "Quite a sight, for the eyes at least."

They both chuckled and Monty took the basket holding the full tin and three loaves of day-old, still in their cooling papers.

"I'll tab this, tell your ma.  Have a good day now, hear?"

Monty nodded, smiled, and headed out the door, the basket held in two hands carefully.  Perhaps, if he were quick, he could glimpse the traveler and still be home in time for highlunch... That thought kept Monty moving uncharacteristically fast down the road, eager and excited.  It was always the greatest feeling, to young Monty, that feeling just before you found out what the unknown was.  He was filled with it, then, as he bobbed along the path, eager to see a real live dwarf and then describe it for his ma and da and brothers.  He was grinning foolishly now as he went, his curiosity driving him completely.

He might not have been so eager, had Monty known then that he'd never again see home.


Offline Kaz-Keith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
Re: NWN character bio: Monty
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 04:46:18 PM »
It was, perhaps, the largest nose he'd ever seen.

Ever.

It stuck out like a great brown treestump, nestled with a comparatively smaller moustache and beard.  The nose twittered suddenly, turned, and snorted loudly.

"Hrmph", the dwarf attached to the nose noted, still sniffing the air.  "Unless you's a great big loaf'a wild bread huntin' out a crock'a buttery ta spreads, I'm suggestin' ya come out, clear?"

The bushes that stretched between the pair of remaining boulders upon which a dwarf was -not- seated shook themselves briefly.

"I thought dwarves had bad noses."

The coalspeck eyes glittering above that respectable nose turned and looked down.  A small child stood among the heather there, clutching a basket of bread and whatnot.  The dwarf gave him a round-eyed look, and snorted again as the child returned it gravely.

"Ya thinks' it wronged, wee'un.  An' it's 'dwarfs', not no 'dwarves'."

Monty picked his way carefully out of the heather, approaching the traveler with clear hesitance but a stronger curiosity.  For his part, the traveler looked the perfect-picture of dwarv- er, dwarfs everywhere: squatting atop a frown-faced boulder, clad in dusty leathers over dark pantaloons and a woolen vest, his facial features remarkably resembled a woodcut of a dwarf family Monty had seen once, hanging in Miss Pettigrew the schoolma'am's house.  Except, of course, that grandly bulbous nose.

The youth peered at it openly, again, as he rounded the boulder and came face-to-boot close to the mysterious traveler.

"My da says all dwarves have bad noses.  'Smellin' badly', he always says."

At such closeness, the dwarf now saw that the boy was a child, indeed, but one of the hinfolk.  He also saw that the halfling lad's face bore fear and awe, and not a little mirth.  Rare, these days, and in such a young one too.

"-Dwarfs-" he repeated, "Have a rather'n superior sense o' the ol' front'an centers, mark ya's."  He nodded sagely, tapping that marvelous nose with one stubby square-nailed finger.  "Can scent'a fresh mug'o from a mile'n more."

Monty's mouth opened unexpectedly as his mind reasoned that out.

"So's what come's ya slippin' an' sneak-o through the brush'n hey?  Come to grabs a gander a'ol Pikko as 'e scoots on'ta through?"  The dwarf's eyes glittered again as he sloughed himself off the boulder and down onto the knollside.  He caught the lad's eyes hanging on his every movement, and guessed rightly that he was the first dwarf he'd ever met, perhaps even the first stranger he'd ever met.

"Where's be yer poppin'?"  The dwarf looked around briefly but saw no one.  Though the heath looked to be tended regularly, the knoll they stood on was a good way outside the nearby village of Threefar.  He'd been on his way out, in fact, hoping to get moving before the day turned too close to night.  He looked down at the lad.

Monty was staring at the dwarf's thick hobnail boots.

"Yer... da, wee'un.  Where's he be?"

In the distance, and well down the south way, a cluster of dark birds suddenly shrilled and mustered to flight, winging away toward a copse of trees standing even further away.  The dwarf watched that way a long moment.

"Yer got's ta be goin'a homes now, laddo."

Monty looked up.  "Where'd they find such big shoes for you?"

Pikkolo stopped his fretting and fearing and let a trickle of humor run out from behind his beard.

"Ya-" he laughed a bit more.  "Ya sure's gots a funny way's on ya, wee'un."  Monty's eyes flattened a bit.  He was expecting something... grander, perhaps. 

"These me's Ogre boots, sir yes sir.  Got's em from them Great Ol' Goretooth's hisself!"

The child's eyes lit up, and his mouth dropped open once more.

Now the dwarf laughed loudly, roughly.

"So's!  Ya got's a bit an'moren the ol' brownie in ya's do ya?"  He reached one of his large, splayed hands out and tousled the boy's hair fondly.

They both heard the sharp crack of the crossbolt striking the boulder between them before they'd even seen it.

Monty dropped the basket he held, and the tin of milk struck the ground bottom-first, coughing up its lid and a good bit of milk out onto the hillside.  The dwarf's head snapped round as a distant but clear voice called out from somewhere to the south.

"Pik!  Well met, old friend!"

The dwarf's eyes flashed as he peered around, then caught a quick but sudden movement at the edge of the heather.

It was a small green lizard.  With a gold stripe.

Monty's first instinct was to grab up the fallen grocery, and the sight of the spilt milk made him suddenly miss his mother terribly.  His eyes welled as the dwarf cursed loudly and stalked to the edge of the bushes, stomping on something.  The dwarf was... afraid... he realised then.

There was a distant noise, a choking sob.

Monty looked up as the dwarf turned and came toward him.  He crouched down, trying to make himself small and pull the basket over himself at the same time.

"You'll die for that!"  It was a different voice, and it sounded closer.

So did the second crossbolt as it screamed just overhead and then past, far out into the field of heather.

"Nones'a dyin", was all Pikkolo said as he kicked the basket aside and hoisted the terrified child under one arm.

Then they were running.

Offline Kaz-Keith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
Re: NWN character bio: Monty
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 04:49:44 PM »
Aerik Silvertane sighed deeply.

'The Silver Arrow' prided himself on his seemingly endless patience, but these willful and carefree halflingfolk were a test even to one of his sensibilities.  For the ten gods' sakes, even the name of their village was ridiculous.

"I do apologise to you, elfsir, and no offense is meant."  Constable Turnleaf looked from the elf to the two men standing near him.  One of them wore fineclothes and a girdle stuffed with wands of all design, the other bore a scowl and a very large crossbow hung upon his back, shortquivers of bolts lashed to one hip and both thighs.   His eyes lingered on the one of them, counting at least six wands before he blinked and smoothly turned back to Aerik.  "You see, I simply cannot allow three visiting strangers to conduct a burrow-to-burrow search without even a blink of authority.  No visitor of the Farflung Four on Farthing Free out Farfalling Fief has ever been allowed such as..."  His words trailed off as the elf's frown turned to a glower upon hearing that damned name again.

A few of the buttoned and armored halfling wardens, all that made up the scant village militia here, nodded in agreement and one even gave out a yelp of assent.

Aerik's long-lashed eyes flashed as he glanced at that hin, who suddenly stopped cheering and turned a bashful shade of beet.

"I am not certain you grasp the complexity of the matter we pursue, sir", the elf intoned quietly, his namesake suddenly flaring to a silvery-brightness from within the quiver upon his shoulder.  He dropped to one knee before the constable, causing many of the armed halflings to gasp and draw blades.  For his part, Constable Turnleaf did not so much as blink.

"This", Aerik's voice was low and quiet between them, "is a matter of much importance as well."

The elf's cloak drifted open slightly, but it was enough for the constable to glimpse clearly what was pinned to the inside collar of Aerik's leathers.  Behind the elf, his companions traded knowing looks.

Constable Turnleaf cleared his throat and turned to face his wardens and the others present.

"We shall allow these masters to conduct their search.  Have the bells rung to moot, and make certain everybody is convened at the churchyard."  The halfling glanced up at Aerik, who looked down and gave him a single nod.  "I shall accompany these folk personally.  Roakie, you are to command the guard in my stead."

Many of the hin stared unbelievingly for long moments while the remainder made off to heed their constable's orders.  Soon, as a stalwart-looking darkhaired halfling took up the constabulary callinghorn and looped it about his own neck, the rhythmic peal of ringing bells sounded throughout the place.  Constable Turnleaf shed his small dustcoat and lashed a belt dagger about his waist quickly, giving a few final instructions to the others before departing with the trio of strangers.

"Always welcome to the Lluirlands, Harpers be.", he told them as they went.


*     *     *


"Laddo... laddo?"

Montimblanc's pale green eyes opened slowly, and the world at large swam into view.

A leaf-roofed world of stretching boughs and-

The dwarf sighed loudly, then grabbed the child before he rolled off the branch and fell to his death.  Pinned thus, the halfling boy squirmed and gave a plaintive squeal.  The last thing he could recall was a panicked run back down the great tradefollow road towards Threefar.  His eyes filled with fresh tears, and he flailed briefly.

"Fine an' calm, lad!"  Pikkolo had been forced to flee from his attackers, once again, and desperately so what with a mere child under one arm.  At the first possible moment, the dwarf had called upon a simple magic to enspell the boy to sleeping.  He'd hidden then along the only winding brook that side of the hills, called the Farthing Free by locals who'd sent enough luck-tossed coins into its waters over the years.  There, huddled in the lee of one of the few broad stone bulwarks to bridge the waters for miles in any direction, Pikkolo invoked a second magic to glamor himself and Monty into appearing as just another clump of river reeds.  Through slitted eyes, the dwarf watched as his assailants slowly and with surprising quiet crept across the bridge above.  The elf looked familiar, fleetingly, but it was his companions that Pikkolo knew foremost.  'Knack' Hardbit and Wokojance were staunch and capable men, and both had made formidable companions in his past.  That, however, appeared to be long behind them, as they'd twice now greeted him with crossbowfire and curses... as if crushing the life of Wokojance's spying lizard was not reason enough.  Still, however, it bothered Pikkolo that he did not recall who the elf was, nor why it was his old trailmates were hunting him.

He looked down at Montimblanc, who had stopped struggling and was peering up at the dwarf's shoulder.  The child's eyes were still flat and distant, and his lower lip hung slack.  Pikkolo knew what 'brainpan dead'ns' was, well enough, and carefully raised one hand from the hin's small chest, leaving the other upon his stomach just in case.

"Ya'needs just'a bit-o peace, laddo.  Just'so."

The dwarf reached into the leather satchel about his waist and drew forth a shortcloak of deep violet hue, the kind of kit and color usually only found in the most expensive of shops.  He crept the cloak across Monty's small body, then drew off his other hand to quickly and expertly unbuckle the blades about his waist.  With a quick thrust, the shortswords were both left stood into the bough they rested upon, the two well-used tangs an easy reach away.  Pikkolo then swung one end of the empty scabbard down and about the branch, bringing it back up and securing around the halfling child.  He settled back and watched the hin as Monty stared up into the leaves above.  The night was moonless and thick with small noises, but nothing bothered them nor was especially threatening.  Eventually the boy slept, and Pikkolo spent out the long hours of his vigil considering the things that he should do, might do, and could not do.

When dawn broke, he knew what he would do.


*     *     *


"Are- uh... are you certain such a beast is needed?"

Constable Turnleaf held his small blade with both hands, watching the beast carefully.  One of the humans had conjured it, using a haunch off Merrybuck Tap's own highsupper table and a coursing litany of strange words and handpasses.  The halfling headwarden was very familiar with magic, but Wokojance's display had been more... intimate... than any wizardry he'd ever witnessed.  The black smoke and brimstone stench made his eyes water, though the others seemed to be accustomed to such a spell.

Wokojance ignored the halfling's discomfort and bent to lay a hand between the ears of the tall, gangly, coal-colored hound, the other setting a small cloth-woven softbasket on the ground before it.  The hound bristled and looked back at the sorcerer, its eyes glowering and glowing bright as panes set in a bordello-lamp.

The halfling swallowed tightly and held his ground, trying not to meet the creature's gaze again.

"We're ready here", the sorcerer intoned quietly.  As if his fingers had sent some unheard command to his conjuration, the grim hound bent its head from the basket to the earth and began snuffling about.  Whip-thin tail whisking back and forth eagerly, it began to follow a scent.

Knack followed the constable, who crept along a few paces behind Wokojance and his hound.  Aerik held a glowing silver arrow in his hands loosely as he watched them go.  They'd spent many hours scouring the village burrows until it had become rather apparent that their quarry had not entered the village after all.  As the night skies slowly gave way to purple then pink and orange, the dawningbell was rung at the nearby temple.  Several cocks perched at fence or farmgate likewise made herald daybreak.  Not long after, the hound gave a single bright-eyed chuff as the group was led to the tradefollow road, and the elf's suspicions were confirmed.  He smiled strangely and whispered something quiet and lilting, then.

The arrow in his hands pulled about, pointing.

Aerik smiled.


*     *     *


An hour later, the three companions stood at the base of one of the enormous old trees.

Constable Turnleaf and been sent back to his home, their quarry having gone long away from his purview.  Though he assumed that the dwarf the men were hunting still held the Toadstoolies' boy, there was no evidence of it.  There was, in fact, no sign of Montimblanc at all.  Meera and Gosh would have to be told the news, and so the headwarden thought long and long the entire trek back to Threefar on just what he would say to them.  In his heart, he knew there were no words enough.

Aerik Silvertane bent to one knee to see the better, peering closely at something upon the ground there.  He reached a hand out to it.

"They don't have a way to follow us, unseen?"  Knack held his giant crossbow as if it were a far less weighty thing, looking down its sight as he scanned the woodline behind them.

"Not that would escape detection, no."  Wokojance was watching the branches above them, the sharp odor of his conjuring still clinging to his clothes though the hound had long since gone back to where it had come from.  "Besides, what high magics could a hin master that an elf or a human might fear?"

Knack snorted loudly, and Aerik shook his head.

He stood up once more.

"They are gone."

Aerik looked beyond the tree they stood before, into the deeps of the Lluirwood before them.

"To the Rift?"

The elf shook his head, and Wokojance sighed.

"I believe", Aerik said at last, turning to them, "That he has slipped our ken."

The sorcerer frowned, making his handsome features dark.  "Slipped? Past your keen eyes? Bah."  Knack spit after he spoke this, and Wokojance looked at him with plain irritation showing.

"The arrow can point us the way", the sorcerer said slowly, one hand dropping to his waist to tap a finger to the jewel set in one of the wands there, an old nervous habit.  Aerik shook his head again, and he opened his hand to show them.

The small green roguestone was cracked and spent.

"I fear I... do not know where he is, now."

Offline Kaz-Keith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
Re: NWN character bio: Monty
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 04:59:57 PM »
"Don'tcha fidget now'n... holds on ya."

Pikkolo struggled with the small knife momently, trying not to nick Monty as the child squirmed and moved, trying to see.

"Holds on ya!  Almost cutcha's."

The dwarf made a deep slice in the leather, then drew the knife down and back out.  The hide tore nicely, and Pikkolo grunted deeply as he turned, set the knife aside, and took up the needle.  It was already strung with the remains of his fishing line... ah well, he thought to himself.  Can always get's another.

They'd appeared where the roguestone had sent them, to a small cave that lay high up on a hillside just north of Lluirwood's northernmost rises, between the borderland and the wilds.  It was a traveler's shelter, set with the most basic of needs, though the last visitor had not replenished the drywood and so they'd had no fire.  At least they'd left some dried fruit and nuts in one of the dugouts.  After a dry meal and a long nap, Montimblanc had bounced up and awake, near as though nothing had even happened.  He'd even seemed to have forgotten the terror of their flight, and referred to the harrowing escape as an 'adventure'.

"There's ya."

Pikkolo bent and bit the line, pulling until it snapped.

"Why'ntcha stand'n tries it heya?"

The tiny halfling jumped up and off the seat, now sporting a wide leather poncho that covered him from neck to knees.  Monty grinned and kicked out a foot, still wearing his muddied shoes, and feigned striking out at some foe or other.

"Ya's, well..." The dwarf peered critically at his handiwork a moment.  "It'll stop'n arrows'r three, leastways."

Pikkolo had already decided his next few moves.  For starters, he needed to get the child back to his home.  Danger and doom was hunting the dwarf, and he couldn't see his way to dragging down a curious bystander along with.  He turned and looked at the cave mouth, hewn roughly to a rectangle and framed inside by a trio of heavy logs.  Beyond the simple doorway, the shadows of failing day stretched further and further.  All he could do now was try to sneak back to Threefar and hope that Knack and the others had given up the chase.  It had been his last roguestone, and he'd no more magic like it to use again.  Regardless, they had seen the child, he was certain.  He could only hope that they'd let the lad be...

"Are we goin' home now?"

He looked down at Montimblanc and nodded slowly.

"Ayuh.  Home'sa callin'ya."


*     *     *


"He would not have gone far."  They all looked at the sorcerer, who shrugged.  "Not with a hostage."

Aerik thought about that for a moment, while Knack spat roughly into the brush and ran a bolt into the groove of his crossbow.

"We'll not wait for him to return", the elf said suddenly, having decided something.

The trio sat in a half-circle about an unused firepit, in the same camp they'd made when they'd first tracked the dwarf down into Luiren.  Knack cranked on his bow and muttered to himself while Wokojance looked to the elf questioningly.  If Aerik saw the look, he ignored it.

"I must confer with my masters."

The two men watched the elf as he stood without another word and went to the edge of the camp and stepped behind a tree, out of sight.

"Why do you think Pik did it?"  Wokojance watched the trees where Aerik had ventured into, finger tapping gently upon a wand at his waist.  Knack shrugged, repositioned himself, and grunted deeply.

"I dunno.  Who knows.  Some folks... you never know what they think an' do behind themselves, you know?  Their true selves, I mean.  Not the one they show to the world."

The sorcerer looked at him.

"That's very... insightful, Knack."  The big crossbowman shrugged again.  "And I agree."  He turned back to the dead ashes in the firepit.  "I just... never thought Pikkolo was the type to murder and thieve.  And now... kidnap.  A child, no less."

Knack spit roughly to one side.

"You saw the cloak as well as I."  He caged one hand into the other and cracked his knuckles loudly.  "Damned dwarf."

Indeed, they both had seen the cloak often enough.  Pikkolo usually kept it out of sights and in his traveling pack, but a garment as fine as that could not help but be noticed, even when tugged out briefly when something else was to be rummaged at.  The swordmaster back in Ordulin, who had first brought the three adventurers together in a bid to have some local outlaws hunted out to justice, knew only that the dwarf told him he'd come out from the Great Rift.  Pikkolo had been a hiresword with the All Blades Out mercenary group for a half-season before Knack and Wokojance had joined up, and to the sort of folk who made their livelihood that way, that was not a very long time at all.  He'd been a bit off-seeming then, both the humans had thought, but Pik's natural talents and lively personality had soon gotten them a number of well-paying jobs that they might otherwise have been denied.  All Blades Out had gone so far as to offer the trio their own charter, legal and passable in several different countries, including Cormyr and the Dales both.  Their main patron fell from the swordmaster of the mercenaries to Captain Sapp, a white-haired retiree from the Sembian Navy who still lived out his heart's adventures through young and able groups he would sponsor with his hoarded wealth.

Captain Sapp had proven to be all-business, and rather successful at what he did.  Arranging jobs, exchanging monies and overseeing preparations from venture to venture were his domain, and in that he was king.  Eventually, the trio found so much prosperity under Captain Sapp that they'd moved on from All Blades Out altogether and signed their business fully with the retired Captain.  Their first private forays were lowbrow things: following folks and marking their comings and goings, doings and whatnot... seeing crated goods off from one porter to another... that sort of work.  Eventually, a job came up which required the three to haunt a wizard's steps, pretending to have business at the same hostel where their mark was living.  Pikkolo was the first to contact the wizard, arranging a moot about buying a certain potion off the man, and spent a good few hours in the wizard's apartments before rushing down the hostel stairs, through the taproom, and out into the night.  A hue-and-cry had gone up soon after, and the wizard had been found dead over his evening meal, throat cut twice and missing the fingers off one hand.

Knack and Wokojance had been hunting about for their missing companion since, with Captain Sapp funding the majority of the search in order to save face and his name at the same time.  After all, who wanted truck with a hire-on who's men killed their moneymakers?  The elf Harper, however, had been just one more in a short line of folks asking after Pikkolo, and took a sad seeming at informing them that the dwarf was, at long last revealed, one of the reviled members of the Cult of the Dragon: a 'wearer of the purple', in fact.  Worst of the worst.

Now, here in this far distant land of hill-hin and howling wilds, the two companions were quite close to laying hands on the traitorous dwarf...

Between the trees, narrowed eyes watched the pair briefly, then turned away.

"Misa-glowar fee", the elf whispered softly over one hand, where was looped a fat silver ring.

As the ring began to tickle and hum all down his arm, Aerik felt a buzzing in his mind, slow at first then rushing into a busy waspish drone.

Yesss... how callsss you... Ekari...

The elf hunched down as the ring began to glow, letting his cloak fall across the dim light.

Master, Great One.  I beg you... attend me.  I have located the dwarf and the cloak.  Sammaster be praised!

Crackling flicks of pleasure rippled through Aerik's mind and body, and the drone took on lovely lilting notes.

Yesss!  Good... ssstay... remain where you ressst.

There was more the elf attempted to communicated, but there was a hard urgency in the great wyrm's sending, something which had lingered on and on through the years of fruitless hunting where an inestimably valuable relic of someone long gone and held dearly in the hearts of the Cult... Aerik could not believe his luck.  Not only had his false seeming fooled that batty Sembian musterer, but so had the pin his liege had provided for him.  Not even that nose-in-the-air sorcerer had sniffed out the truth!  Oh, who knew what truly had motivated the dwarf that evening.  Perhaps Suravay -had- known him, perhaps not.  It didn't matter.  Pikkolo had killed Suravay... it meant very little whatever had transpired to bring -that- about.  One thing was certain: too many of the high Cult had fallen this past season to that thrice-damned Shandril and her hells-fostered spellfire.  If even one single enemy of the Cult was waylaid and snuffed out, it would do much to boost his own career among them.

Aerik squatted back and pressed himself to the treetrunk behind.

It was all a matter of waiting, now.


*     *     *


"It be's alls'a matter'n waitin', nows."

Pikkolo stood and looked the child over.  Montimblanc was nearly unseen, laying on his belly under a splay of rains-revealed tree roots.  The dwarf'd put a severe twist on the leather poncho covering the hin, then added a few fistsful of reedgrass to cover the rest of him.

"I be's quicker'n a wink' laddo.  Jus' a looksee an's we'll has ya backs t'yer folksies."

He'd tried to keep worry from his voice, and thought he'd done a good job of it.  Pikkolo was not one to take chances when it came to young innocents.  He caught Monty's smile as he turned back to the view down the hillside, where the industrious hin had trimmed away some of the trees far below to make room of a wide field of tobacco.  The village lay beyond, and with night swiftly falling, some of the road lamps were already lit and shining.  With a wink and a wave, Pikkolo turned from the small child and started down the hill.

Monty watched him go, then turned slightly so he could see the purple-black skies above.

He couldn't wait to tell his da about what an adventure he'd had so far!

He smiled and shivered, watching as Selune's sweet smile unfolded in the night, a million million stars suddenly joining Her.



Offline Kaz-Keith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
Re: NWN character bio: Monty
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 05:00:36 PM »
"Alright, that's fine.  Just the top lamps up the lane, and you can go home to your highsupper."

Constable Turnleaf strode down the street slowly, motioning for the Fallowear boy to complete his duties.  The three lasses from the temple had been dogging his steps the entire time, one of them urgently whispering to the others before the constable finally stopped and clapped his hands together smartly.

All four halflings stood outside Old Guv's Shop, wherein the fat proprietor could be seen within bundling up his wares for the night.

"Right then.  What is this terribly important matter that makes us all late for our highsup, eh?"

Libby Downspout frowned deeply, the cloth ornaments decorating her Yondallian garb incongruous to her expression now.

"Edvin- er... constable", she stammered, "The rede, constable!  Doom is falling to us!"

The other two templefolk nodded and whispered in agreement, all three's eyes wide and white and fearful.  Constable Turnleaf frowned.

"Here now, you haven't been sipping at the tipple, have you?"

The night, at that moment then, exploded brightly.


*     *     *


Through the trees they heard and saw.

A blast of golden light, something rending and tearing like a mountain screaming, and then a breeze of hot air and red cinders.

Wokojance jumped up first, shouting.

Knack reacted slower, as usual, taking time to have up his crossbow and a bolt and joined his companion just in time to see Aerik Silvertane, a glowing arrow in his hand, darting down the path back towards Threefar.

"Come on!", he snarled grimly, setting the bolt even as they ran.


*     *     *



Pik fetched up hard as the village exploded with fire ahead of him, one of the buildings vaporising in the intense blast.

Bits of flaming litter began to rain down, and a high-pitched wailing could be heard coming from beyond the roiling wall of dark smoke.

Cursing brightly, the dwarf called upon some personal magic, and he vanished mid-step.  Cloaked in sightlessness, he darted to the first outlying building he came to, a grain storage, and peered all around.

Two more buildings were standing whole, but aflame, near the blasted-out fiery cellar that had once been a halfling home.  Beyond them, smoke plumed high into the darkness, tangling among the stars and drifting cinders and-

The enormous silhouette moved suddenly, rising, and two shimmering lanternlights of colorless fire drifting among the darkness flashed brilliantly.

"COME FORTH, LITTLE sSSLAYER."  The creature drawled awkwardly, as if its mouth would not move correctly.

Halflings ran everywhere, now.

A streamer of them could be seen up the way, filtering out of the stone temple to Yondalla and down into the crossroads, where another clot of them were fashioning up a defense.  Something in one of burning buildings gave a sharp whimper, then, and the top storey collapsed suddenly down onto the first.

"COME FORTH AND I sSSHALL sSSHOW YOU MERCY."

Pikkolo swallowed tightly and glanced back the way he'd come.  It was dark.  Very dark.

Good.

He edged toward the huge red dragon, now revealed fully as it stepped grimly into the wall of flames it had raised with its breath.

"Hail!"

Many heads turned to look as a silver-haired elf sprinted down from the far end of the village, coming to a stop aside the enormous dragon and clutching a glowing arrow that hummed and bucked in his hands.

"Greetings, Lord Ollinflamm!"

The second building suddenly succumbed to the fires then, collapsing in a billow of flame and hot ash, limning both the elf and the dragon fully.

Some gasped, some screamed, most faltered at what was revealed.

The dragon's crimson scales wore thin and stretched aside the beasts huge muzzle, but beyond that its face was a grinning mask of bone and parted sinew, both eyes black empty pits from where the two ghostly lights shone.  The flesh of its neck was worn and slashed, and most of the rest of the beast had fallen to time and trial, and was but sheer bones clasped here and there by weblike strands of muscle and fibrous material... a cage of unlife and utter ruin.

"Dracolich!"

Constable Turnleaf stood afore his company of wardens, shortblade held aloft with both hands in challenge.

The dragon's heavy head turned to look, as Aerik did.

Flame engulfed the halflings entirely, so hot and horrible that even the stones alongside the road they had been marching along turned color and sputtered.  The shops all along that way roared into flames, and windowglass began bursting all up and down.

Aerik threw both hands in the air and roared out triumphantly.

A thin sizzle of greenish light curled through the air from somewhere below then, striking the elf fully, as a crossbolt shot from out of the night to skip off the breastbone of the dragon and away.

All at once, Aerik began coughing fitfully.  He gasped and turned.

"Who are you?!"

Knack and Wokojance stood at the curve of one lane, the sorcerer's arm raised where he'd just sent out magic and voiced his question.  The spell pulled at the elf violently then, and Aerik fell down onto the road, his precious arrow spinning away into the brush.  Spasming and red-faced, the elf ballooned in size and shape, becoming a frantic-eyed older woman with short dark hair and a heaving bosom.  She struggled in the grip of Wokojance's spell, her blazing eyes promising him death should she free herself.

Ollinflamm's rictus twisted into a smirk, his massive jagged teeth showing the limp remains of a flaccid black tongue beyond.

"Where's Pik!?", Knack hollered next, realising there were probably more hard truths coming.

The undead dragon threw itself forward then, rolling just over the struggling woman and onto her attackers, crushing both before slamming through a large one-storey shop and a window-walled inn beyond.

Ekari stood, spitting blood from where she'd bitten the inside of her mouth and realising she'd dropped the arrow somewhere.

Glass and fire exploded out as Ollinflamm breathed directly into the path of a line of halflingfolk who were charging down the road from the temple, a few having struck out at the creature's exposed neck.  The small handwagon one of them had been trailing burst aflame, sizzling, as the clay vials it held burst apart, the contents boiling and vaporising in a streamy haze.  The new flames licked out and caught to the buildings across the way, and as the dracolich righted itself from its deadly roll, more javelins and bullets flew through the air, seeking their marks.

"Why're ya huntin'mes!"

Sharp pain stabbed through Ekari then, and she doubled over once more.  Bruising steel-strong fingers found her throat, wrapped against a firmness there, and pressed.  Hard.

"Pi- pi-"  The woman gasped and flailed, trying to dislodge the dwarf, who had taken the opportunity of both surprise and shock to confront his old accomplice.

"Pi-"

She clawed at his hand, but those thick fingers were unyielding.  Relentless.  She could feel the false Harper sigil pinned to her collar digging into her flesh...

Blood seeped out suddenly from under Pikkolo's hand, ran lightly down the front of Ekari's torn leathers.

Beyond them, the dracolich was using its tail to swing around and batter at the burning buildings.  The rest of the mustered wardens were forming up a sally at the other end of the village, where someone was screaming endlessly.  Pikkolo turned and saw Wokojance's torn and shattered body laying limp across the smoking stones.  Of Knack, there was no sign at all.

He turned back to the woman he was choking, the cause of all this ruin, and much more beyond.

She'd stopped struggling, her eyes bulging grotesquely and her face a dark purple.

"Meet yer end'n the hells!", he snarled, throttling her.

Flame exploded all around them, tossing Pikkolo high up into the air.  He shot into something hard and wooden, felt the world splinter all around him, and then hit something else rough and unyielding.  The stink of burnt hair engulfed him, along with char and smoke.

More voices raised out in a cry, and the names of Yondalla and Arvoreen were invoked by heartful, fearful halflings.  Steel clashed against bone, and one of the weapons bearing a strong enchantment sheared through spellward and protections, piercing the undead dragon deeply.  A scream deeper and louder and the worst sounded yet rolled out of the dracolich's snapping maw, and one of its lanternlight eyes was dimmed forever.  Fire blasted out again, fitfully, and ancient claws the size of armorplated menfolk tore furrows through the halfling host and the buckled road beneath, tossing ragged limbs and weapons and pavingstones in all directions.

Pikkolo rolled to his side and sat up, patting at the remains of his charred beard, eyes narrowing, and stood unevenly upon the remains of the hanging wooden sign that had broken his flight.

He cast about for Ekari... he would see that wench done and done... if it were the last thing he ever saw again.

The dwarf stood and a golden light suddenly was spread all across the battlefield, as though the skies themselves had caught to fire.

Heads everywhere, and a deadlight eye too, turned skyward.


*     *     *


Monty stood behind the tree's exposed roots, watching the flames in the distance.

He knew home lay in that direction, but... Pikkolo had insisted he remain here.

The small hin shivered under his leathern poncho, though it was not the weather that made it so.  Small sounds were carrying up the dell, and on an unpleasantly-scented warm breeze.

He made up his mind.

Adventure or no, he had to-

Montimblanc Toadstoolie stopped dead in his tracks, looking up.

High above the burning horizon, among all the dark and playful stars, something was happening.

At first there was just the one... a single golden star that drifted past, something of a musical tinkling along in its wake.  It soared by so far away that it was soon blotted out for the distance.

Then, came another.

And another.

Closer and brighter, these, and then one so near that Monty could plainly see it was no star at all but what appeared to be a woman, hairless, and curled up into a ball in the middle of a golden liquid fire as she shot though the night, a weird jangle of musical notes and screaming rushing past and away over the treetops and to a part of the hinlands he'd not known.

The boy teetered at madness, could feel himself tottering upon its edge.

He clamped his small hands over his ears, screaming out if only to quiet the unheavenly music that assailed his every sense.

Monty turned toward home and began running.


*     *     *


For a moment, just a moment, all he could do was stand and stare.

The stars were falling.

By all the gods and goddesses above and below...

A great golden ball of something shot past the village, arcing over the horizon.

Where the village wasn't afire, bodies lay everywhere.  Some had been trampled as survivors sought to flee the devastation and, now, starfall.  A hinmaid stood screaming, holding something out as the dwarf dashed past her.

Tiny hin ran in all directions, and the dracolich could be heard still tearing up the road and the buildings astride it, hunting noisily.

Pikkolo then did something that he would regret all the years he had left to after.

He turned and fled.

Down a lane that ended in furrows and bloodied armor bits, past a now-flattened grain silo and...

"Mama!  Da!"

Monty stood near one of the only things to have survived the dragon's devastations this end of the village: an unseemly waterbarrel that was leaning and leaking.

"Laddo!"

The dwarf ran for Monty, just as the boy stepped around the barrel and saw.

Constable Turnleaf and his wardens had not left their post, but had stood to fight and defend their homes.  All that remained of them on the road were their boots:  pairs and pairs of them, some smoking, some shredded... most still sprouting remnants of the brave flesh that once filled them and had been scorched away to nothingness...

Montimblanc stopped and his mouth opened, screaming, though no sound came forth.

Pikkolo grabbed him and forced his head down and into his chest, the ghastly sight blocked momently.

All around them, fires licked at the night while the golden stars still fell, streaming across the darkness like godsent dooms.

He gathered the limp child into his arms for the second time in as many days.

They turned into the woods beyond all the ruin and fled.

Together.

Godsfall was upon all of Toril, and they knew not who was fated to perish, nor who would be spared.

All they could do was run.



Offline Kaz-Keith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
Re: NWN character bio: Monty
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2009, 05:01:51 PM »
EPILOGUE


The days and weeks that followed the beginning of Godsfall ushered into the Realms a great and terrible time of troubles.

Pikkolo and Montimblanc fled, first, to the small travelers' cave they'd visited before.  There, in the sweet and close dark, the dwarf and hin had lain abed, healing the worst of their wounds... but only those in their flesh.  Monty's young mind seemed haunted and torn, yet, though Pikkolo did what he could to enspirit the lad.  Of that horrific night, the child seemed only able to remember the road and the pairs and pairs of shoes upon it...

...he dreamt of those shoes and what they meant, and his sleep was haunted by them for long years after.

One day not long dwelling in the cave, Pikkolo told the child he would hunt them some sup and return.  In truth, the dwarf had snuck back down the dell to spy out Threefar, and found only the ruined scraps of what once stood there.  If any had survived the devastation, they had long abandoned the place entirely.

So it was that the strange pair, an oddly merry dwarf and a hin lad, made their way back through the Great Rift and northerly.  Often, the two would stay on at least a season, if the town was good and pleasant.  If not, well... there was always another village just down the road, they'd found.

In time, even the dread wounds upon their hearts scarred over in their way, and they both found comfort with each other's company.

Pikkolo took it upon himself to raise the child to manhood, teaching him what he could of battle and life, of people and places he'd known.  His was an unusual outlook, for a dwarf, for he cherished above all else his wanderings.  The hin had a word for such a person, and if any fit the nick 'wanderfoot' better than ol' Pik, Montimblanc had never met him.  Monty cherished the dwarf, in turn, and clung to him as loyally and fearfully as any pup might its mother.  Time, however, was as cruel as he was kind, and soon come were Pikkolo's final hours.  He'd been ill and abed ever since their last grand sojourn among the Heartlands, but so strong was the dwarf's heart and personality that to Monty it had seemed to strike from nowhere and all at once.  Somehow, Pikkolo knew.  He had called weakly to the halfling for a bowl of soup, and then left the food untouched thereafter.  Monty had held one of those large-fingered hands in both of his own small ones, trembling for his fear but letting Pikkolo's calm words soothe him.

When he was gone, Monty felt a part of himself go, too.

How he wanted to join his friend, his highfather, his fated da... but the road he wandered was nigh unreachable, now.

Wanderfoot struck sooner than he'd expected, and it just was not the same without that stout, stocky dwarf humming one of his bawdies right beside him.

It never was, after.


So ends the tale of Montimblanc Toadstoolie's beginnings, bringing his life's doings and wanderings somewhat to the present.

 

anything