The Ruinlords Present Curse of the Crimson Throne
Bard of the Inner Sea
Born of an elf and human mating, he doesn’t know where his parents were from, or who they were. He was raised on the streets of Oppara and took up with a traveling bard. He is a performing himself now and was wintering in Korvosa.
A thunderous crack hung in the air.
And this is how it is done. You just need to practice and then make less and less mistakes. Oh, don’t worry when you make a mistake the whip lets you know. Well I do it for entertainment, however the whip has been used for generations to keep the lessors inline. No, I don’t think you are lesser, I was merely stating a fact.
I had the great fortune of studying with a great Whip Performer, Teryn of Azir. He was a tourney performer, would do fire eating, whip tricks, a blade dance, and a fire dance. It was a great show, I met him in some port city trying to pick his pocket.
Oh no, I’m reformed. I was a young little street rat back then. I’m not sure who my parents were and I raised on the streets of Oppara in Taldor.
He caught me, quite literally, with my hand in his purse and suggested I try a new line of profession. I was fascinated with him, he was dressed in fine clothing, but his rapier that hung at his belt looked well used. I followed him around for 2 days and watched all his performances. From his impromptu street show to the magnificent two-hour show at the amphitheater. I was star struck, I wanted to learn how to keep command of the crowds like he did, I wanted to use my talents to make an honest living. It was really impressive how he never seemed to pay for anything. He would do a trick, sing a song, play an instrument and “poof” he would be given food, lodging, and even the companionship of a lovely lass.
As he was leaving Oppara I was “sneaking” after him. I had a small bag with all my worldly possessions in it…and followed behind him. Just before nightfall on the first night…I was starving and thirsty…I hadn’t packed any “trail rations” myself. I found him on the side of the road, with a small fire going, some water on for tea, and small bit of food laid out for two.
He smiled when I appeared and said I passed. He has decided he would offer to take me on as his assistant and valet if I appeared in camp before the sun fully set. It showed a tenacity and fortitude that he liked. He mentioned how he had been keeping an eye on me since he caught me plying my trade as a pickpocket on him. He saw me at his performances, saw me when I as “hiding” at the Inn, and noticed when I was sneaky out of the city to follow him. He said anyone that would do all of that, without a hint of a reward or invitation was someone that he could work with.
So he gave me his offer, he would train to be a performer and teach me the subtle of arts of what it means to travel from place to place and not only fit in, but be valued. His conditions, I couldn’t never steal anything again while in his service, I had to attend to his needs a valet when in the company of society, and I had to always be ready.
That last part he never really explained to me…”be ready?” What for? It took me a long time to figure out what he meant.
So it was…that I became the assistant of Teryn of Azir, the Desert Dancer, the Ifrit blooded, the thunder cracking Bard of the Inner Sea! Yeah….he needed to work on that last bit. Anyway, he brought me into the inner sanctum of the street performer, taught me the slight of hand techniques needed to fool the audience into them willingly parting with their coins.
I learned how to snuffle out a row of 10 candles with just a whip from 15 feet away. I learned how to expertly remove a mug of ale from a tavern patron’s hand without causing him harm and snap it into my hand to take a long drink from it. I learned how to fascinate and delight the crowds. And when we were performing we were practicing, long days on the road ended about 4 hours before sunset and we would practice the overhand whip crack, the signal whip crack, the double whip, the circular crack…you name it I would spend hours with that whip in my hand. The satisfying sound of a trick being performed right or the sting of humiliating mistakes, it was truly an amazing artform.
So we traveled from Manaket to Riddleport and all the places in between. He was semi famous and always heartfully welcomed in the small villages and inns that we frequented along our route. He had a circuit he would travel and most times we would end up wintering in Korvosa. He seemed to really like Korvosa for long stays and he had a standing reservation at the Bard’s End in the South Shore district.
On our last visit, something started to change. He always liked to drink, however it was always jovial and light hearted. He began to get more and more distant, he would wonder out late and night and be gone for a day or two. I didn’t think anything of it at first, Teryn would always have a standing rendezvous with some farmer’s daughter, a bored merchant’s wife, or even an accommodating barmaid. I never took his absences seriously. That is until he missed a performance. I went on in his place, and I did a good job, but I was no Teryn of Azir. I started looking for him. I looked all over the city, his usual haunts and even some of the places and people he didn’t think I knew about…
I found him in an ally, nearly naked, broken and laying in his own filth. It was a warm night, but he was shivering. I didn’t understand what was happening but knew I had to get him to a temple. I picked him up and carried him to the Sanctuary of Sheyln, which was the closest. It was here that I learned of a drug called shiver and that he had taken far to much of it…if I hadn’t found him when I did, he could have died.
I knew of shiver, everyone does, but I had never felt the need to use it. Teryn apparently developed a quick addition and need for it in the last month we had been in Korvosa. I was dumb founded. This wasn’t the friend and mentor I had grown to admire and respect. This was my teacher, why would he do this to himself. He was unconscious and the priest decided that it would best if he body naturally would recovered from it, but it would take months for him to be back at the peak of his health.
There was nothing I could do, I left him in the temple started preforming his circuit in town. I had to save up gold for his recovery. It was here that I was approached by a small child, he said “The Lamms want it back” and then disappeared into the crowd. I had no idea what that ment…so I started inquiring at the Inn I was at, the market place in the midlands, and all over. Eventually I was able to piece enough information together. Gaedran Lamm was some minor crimelord who used children to do his bidding and he was the one who was pushing a “bad” version of shiver.
When I went to the city guard, they didn’t seem to care. Lamm was a small timer, not worth their time. They were looking to stop the shiver trade at the highest levels. I kept coming back giving them more information as I uncovered it…That was my mistake.
I don’t know if someone in the City Guard was on the take…but I as I was coming off of a performance, packing up my props, and toweling off my head. I got knocked out from behind. I woke up with a bag over my head and a person growling at me, “stop asking The Lamms, you only get one warning.” When I was able to get out of my bonds I found myself in the same ally I found Teryn in. I had my clothing but no coins and my dagger was gone. I can take a hint.
But I can also step up, if this Gaedren Lamm thinks he can stop me…he should have done it right the first time. No one who goes after my only family and uses street kids like currency needs to be a part of Korvosa any longer. So when you hear the crack of the whip…get down…because that means I’m coming for him.