Birel Windchaser

Elven ardent, Dune Trader theme

Description:

Birel’s wishlist:

Bracers of Defense
Belt of Vigor

Messages to Gennal & Panril
Hoping to land an obsidian distribution deal for her clan Birel sent messages from Makla (via caravan) before setting out for Bloodyfoot.
To Gennal:
“Possible obsidian lead. Send representative to Obsidian Crown in Makla. Word also sent to Panril”
To Panril: Same message except “Word also sent to Gennal”

Special Items
Adventure log reroll chit x2

Bio:

Birel grew up in the Windchaser clan of the Sky Singers tribe, traveling in caravans throughout the Ivory Triangle. The caravan would travel to a city, set up an elven market there (or augment an existing one), stay for a few weeks to conduct business, and then pack up and leave for the next city. Expeditions were usually planned around trips to Nibenay (where the Sky Singers have a permanent market), Tyr, or Balic, but detours along the way to set up shop in smaller cities were not uncommon.

A natural beauty, Birel had great success charming city dwellers (particularly men) into spending copiously in the markets, but became increasingly frustrated with the occupation of smiling sweetly to sell useless trinkets to city folk. (Especially once she came to realize that this occupation was never going to be particularly lucrative—while her family and others were able to eke out a meager existence through shopkeeping, the public markets were really just a front so that the Windchaser clan caravan master, Gennal, could travel between cities without raising suspicion. Gennal dealt discreetly with a few very rich clients, and usually the one or two transactions he made behind closed doors in each city brought more wealth than the rest of the market put together. He specialized in small but valuable items such as metal and spellshards, and saw requests for illegal items as an opportunity make an exorbitant profit. He nevertheless stayed out of the slave trade, primarily because he found slaves too cumbersome to transport.)

Birel’s greatest enjoyment actually came from defending her caravan from raiders between cities. She finds combat exhilarating and has discovered psionic talents that aid her and her allies in battle.

Birel has an older sister, Keyleth, in Nibenay who works in the market there. Their parents were killed by a raiding party when they were teenagers. Her alignment (in 2E terms) is chaotic neutral. She sees sadism as revolting and altruism as foolish. She has some sympathy for slaves, but sees slavery as only one of many iniquities that are a fact of life, and freedom as having more to do with wealth and power than with law, so she has little interest in the politics of Tyr’s emancipation edict.

When Kalak was assassinated, Birel was with the Windchaser caravan en route to Tyr, where they arrived two weeks later amidst wild celebration and the forging of a new society. Some people might have been enthralled and idealistic; Birel saw it as an opportunity—not in a slimy way, like an opportunity to prey on people, but an opportunity to make a new life. Nonetheless, she wasn’t bold enough yet, and the Windchasers left Tyr and visted a few other city-states and villages.

A year later, the Windchasers returned to Tyr, and Birel saw that the new society was working, and that those who had seized the chance for new opportunities were prospering. That impelled her to make the bold choice she had been turning over in her head for a long time—to forge out on her own and make her own way (or at least die doing something she enjoyed). The timing was perfect. The Windchasers had a pressing business opportunity they simply had to take advantage of—if they weren’t in Gulg (375 miles, halfway across the known world, away) within the next three weeks, a shipment of uncommonly-colored critics would be sold to a rival elf tribe; this score could make (or lose) the Windchasers almost a year’s worth of profits. So pressing was this opportunity, the Windchasers weren’t even staying for Liberation Day. Birel knew that if she skipped out as they were leaving, they wouldn’t be able to search for her or wait to find her; even better, the chaos of Liberation Day would cover any tracks she might leave in the city. Perfect. Before leaving, however, she stole two silver coins from Gennal’s coffers to help get her started. She was not caught, but expects Gennal to notice that one of his metal coins went missing the same time she did and intends to avoid him and his caravan in the future. (Stealing is not something Birel intends to make a habit of, but Gennal had made unwanted and sometimes threatening advances on her in the past and she justifies the theft as payback.)

She laid low for a few days and put out some feelers that she was looking for adventure (aka merc work), and had an absolute blast on Liberation Day. On the next morning, Birel got word that House Shom (a wealthy and powerful Nibenese merchant house—rivals to elves in general, so she knows it’s not any kind of trick to help Gennal find her, and anyway stop being paranoid, Birel, you only took a couple of coins!) wanted to hire adventurers. She is going to the Golden Inix, a tavern and inn that is part of the sprawling Anzo’s Pleasure Argosy complex in the Caravan District, to meet with the Shom representative.

Dreams in the Dragon-House
You are in the red-clay mountains of Altaruk, looking upward at the empty sky. And there, in the distance, the monstrous winged form of the Dragon, gliding eastward.

Your heart stops as the Dragon swings its head around and looks directly at you, fixing you with its horrifying gaze.

Then you are running in the desert, alone, free. Sweat trickles down your back and the sun beats down as your long legs pump in rhythm. After a time, you realize that ahead of you on an outcropping, looking over the wastes, is a solitary elf. As you near, you see it is Plega, the brown elf. You slow as you near him, and he turns and looks at you solemnly. Then he hands you a basket.

You are holding the basket and looking into it. It is full of broken, rusty, grey-and-red iron shards. You are shaking and stirring the basket, and as you do, shards of obsidian rise to the top. As you stir, the iron disappears completely, and you are holding a basket of glittering obsidian. Warmth begins to radiate from the obsidian, and it suddenly reddens and melts; you are holding a basketful of magma, bubbling and glowing.

There is a sudden movement and you look up. Plega has stomped on a gigantic centipede. It writhes, dying, its purple blood staining the sands.

You turn around and you are at the gates of Nibenay. The wind blows mightily, nearly knocking you over, as it usually does during the month of Wind, the month of storms. Lightning bolts crackle and boom, arcing from the steaming pools outside the city over the walls to explode in the streets. You hear screaming and suddenly you know that one of the many screaming voices is your sister, Keyleth.

Then you are nowhere, and you see an ocean of frothing water. It smells fresh and salty, and it is so loud—birds scream overhead, and in the churning waters you can see brilliantly-colored animals and plants in a thousand bizarre forms. The ocean swells, and it begins to flood over plains, mountains, deserts, and cities, rushing through the streets and subsuming the buildings and people.

Then it dries up, leaving a salt crust behind on everything. Nothing moves, nothing is alive, just white salt-covered structures. The drying and withering continues, and the mountains and trees and buildings crumble to grey ash, blowing away in the wind, until there is nothing left but black defiled plains as far as the eyes can see.

Dreams in the Lake-House

You are wandering the burning black mountains of the Smoking Crown range. The air is choked with ash and everything is suffused with a red glow from the volcanoes that line the horizon.

On a mound of cinders sit two men. One is weeping, his shoulders shaking. The other is staring up at the volcanoes with his face set in an emotion that combines stern determination and peace. You suddenly realize that they are both the same man.

Then you are running in the desert, alone, free. Sweat trickles down your back and the sun beats down as your long legs pump in rhythm. After a time, you realize that ahead of you on an outcropping, looking over the wastes, is a solitary elf. As you near, you see it is Plega, the brown elf. You slow as you near him, and he turns and looks at you solemnly. Then he hands you a basket.

You are holding the basket and looking into it. It is full of broken, rusty, grey-and-red iron shards. You are shaking and stirring the basket, and as you do, shards of obsidian rise to the top. As you stir, the iron disappears completely, and you are holding a basket of glittering obsidian. Warmth begins to radiate from the obsidian, and it suddenly reddens and melts; you are holding a basketful of magma, bubbling and glowing.

There is a sudden movement and a sharp gasp and you look up. Plega is struggling on the ground with a large, furry beast atop him, its jaws clamped on his throat and its mane flecked with blood. The legendary lion looks up at you, but then looks back at its prey and continues to worry the brown elf. There is a moment when you could move toward him and fight the lion off, or save yourself. You take off running across the sand.

You stop to take a breath alongside a small river of silt winding through the desert. A small centipede scuttles across the rock near your foot and, absently, you stomp on it, leaving a smear of purple blood on the stone. You hear the silt hiss and look up, too late, as an enormous silt crocodile with gem-encrusted scales surges out of the river, clamping your leg in its jaws, and begins to drag you back into the silt. “Plega!” you cry, but there is no one to save you, and you slip beneath the silt.

Then you are nowhere, and you see an ocean of frothing water. It smells fresh and salty, and it is so loud—birds scream overhead, and in the churning waters you can see brilliantly-colored animals and plants in a thousand bizarre forms. The ocean swells, and it begins to flood over plains, mountains, deserts, and cities, rushing through the streets and subsuming the buildings and people.

Then it dries up, leaving a salt crust behind on everything. Nothing moves, nothing is alive, just white salt-covered structures. The drying and withering continues, and the mountains and trees and buildings crumble to grey ash, blowing away in the wind, until there is nothing left but black defiled plains as far as the eyes can see.

Birel Windchaser

The Lost Seas soundgnome