The Highbower Chronicle
Vladislak Val Jassan Galadiir
Master manipulative musician
I never knew my father. He died before I was born. My mother told me that he died in battle. It wasn’t until I was fifteen years old that I realized “died in battle” didn’t mean “slaying orcs with both hands tied behind his back” or “battling a fearsome dragon with only a table knife.” My adventuring father was killed by a stray arrow while bandaging a fallen comrade’s wounded knee. (There’s a joke here somewhere, I know it.)
My father’s mother was a healer, and her mother as well. So it stands to reason that I too would become a healer. This would probably have become true if my father had been out on a mission the day my mother toured his village. As it stands, he fell for her
mellifluous voice and she for his… Well, I’d rather not talk about my mother and father that way.
Young and reckless, she calls it. One night stand is what it really was. They never saw each other again until my mother returned to the village 7 months later to tell him that she was bearing his child. Interestingly enough, he was willing to take care of me and spent the next two months trying to convince her elven parents that humans were not as bad as the elves
believe them to be. He probably would have convinced them if he hadn’t gone and got himself killed.
I was never really accepted by the other elven children or villagers because I looked too human and when we moved to the human village I was shunned because I looked too elvish. I spent most of those days inside banging a set of drums, or tinking away on a keyboard. The music always seemed to calm my mother and bring a smile to her face. Sometimes she would even sing along to my melodies. A habit that incurred jealousy within me for my lack of a singing voice.
We moved around a lot, mostly to avoid the disapproval of my existence that people showed so plainly on their faces.I channeled all my sorrow, pain and anger into my music lessons until it became nearly impossible to find a musician that could teach me something new. I was only 8 years old by that time.
We eventually moved to this small gnome village where my mother claimed “music was born.” The creatures of the village were far more friendlier than any we ever lived with, their hospitality nearly rivaling that of the halflings. I met my best friend Regi in this village and
his father, Jetto Silverstrings, Master Musician and the best musical teacher I have ever had.
I was just turning 25 years old when Uncle Plunky, the nickname I have for my music teacher, disappeared. He was supposed to teach me to play the banjo. I prefer the rounder, smoother, classical sound of the mandolin to the short, distinctive twangy sound of the bango, but Uncle Plunky says to be a master, you must know and understand all instruments.
Regi and I had just returned from a trip we took to Granheath to find both our families in distraught. After hours of scouring the village and searching the enchanted forest surrounding the village, Regi and I decided to take a break near our favorite tree. It was an old elm, with dark green leaves that blocked the sun from view. Leaning against the tree, I began to play a familiar tune on my mandolin when the branches began to shake as if a strong wind had blown through, though we felt nothing.
Jumping to our feet quickly, in case of attack, we examined the tree. On the chipped, rough trunk, a message began to scrawl it’s way across the bark, written entirely in Gnomish.
The message read:
what you must find, is locked in the weave,
locks require a Key, you See?
Even a Gnome would have to agree,
even the Determined Can Die easily.
Even a Gnome would have to agree,
nothing lasts forever outsiDe of the weave.
Even a Gnome would have to agree.
D’ying C’an kill you as quick as a breeze.
God’s can be Fascinating and Eternal, you see?
but nothing lasts forever outsiDe of the weave.
The riddle was later deciphered to the following:
Key of C
D C D
G F E
After fiddling around with the notes on both my Ehru and Mandolin, I gave them a shot on my Ocarina and discovered a magic that only Jetto Silverstrings could have mastered. In front of me appeared a glittering sparkling map filled with stars and x’s and one phrase. “Follow the stars.”
Regi and I ventured far and wide, following the stars on the map, discovering hidden caves, small treasures, and little trinkets. We met new people and traveled to very peculiar villages. We made money the best way we knew how, Regi, with his “tactics” and me, well, I played, and when people hear my music, they can’t do anything, but give me what I want. I even have a secret admirer who gave me this weird obsidian stone.
We journeyed to the last star on the map in hopes that this was where Jetto, Uncle Plunky would be hiding. We were wrong and instead of letting the frustration get us down, we went on the search for a woman renowned to be an excellent man-hunter.