The Rod of Seven Parts
Elf Harper Ranger from Cormanthyr
Deep in what was once the Elven Kingdom of Cormanthyr lies a vale made up of trees and foliage twisted by ancient Draconic magick. Amidst the warped woods sits the Moon Elf city of Tangled Trees, one of the last strongholds of Elven power in Faerun. It is in this Tangled Vale that Kelaria’s story begins.
Born the fifth child to her parents, Kelaria Silverbow arrived in the world of Abeir-Toril in 1152 DR. As is typical, Kelaria spend her childhood with her family and amongst her Elven peers in the city of Tangled Trees. Finding herself drawn to the forest and its indigenous wildlife, she chose to walk the path of Mielikki, the Lady of the Forest, as a ranger. Displaying particular aptitude with the longbow (her family’s namesake), Kelaria quickly became a welcome addition to the defenses of Tangled Trees as a scout and archer.
The exodus of The People (Elves) from Faerun had begun long before Kelaria’s birth. The elder Silverbows made their own journey when she was 157. Having lived amongst the humans of the mainland for hundreds of years, her parents had grown weary of the incessant warring with the locust-like humans from the South. Accepting their places aboard the White Ships to Evermeet, they bid a loving farewell to Kelaria and her siblings, promising to meet their children when it was their time to follow.
While it saddened her to know her parents had moved on, Kelaria chose to stay in the world of men. Though she constantly feels the call of her people from across the Sea, she felt that there was a greater purpose waiting for her yet. That purpose became evident in 1365 DR.
Having been filled with the wanderlust shared by so many of the younger Moon Elves in Faerun, eventually, Kelaria traveled from the Tangled Trees into the rest of the world. By the graces of the Goddess of the Woods, she has seen many wondrous places. The Ruins of Myth Drannor, the Sea of Fallen Stars, the Icewind Dale, and many others have shared their beauty with the young ranger as she journeyed, seeking…she knew not what.
In time, here travels took her to The Wood of Sharp Teeth near the Sword Coast. Being naturally drawn to forests and the like, the ill-chosen name of this primeval wood did little to dissuade her from exploring its environs and making friends with the indigenous wildlife.
Having spent a little over a week exploring the beauty and wonder that the forest had to offer (as well as making a new chipmunk friend), Kelaria had grown accustomed to the serenity that the Wood of Sharp Teeth presented. Because of this, she was truly surprised to hear a cry of pain and fear break the reverie she had been enjoying.
Sprinting through the wood, Kelaria crested a low hill and came to a small clearing. Within the clearing, four bestial trolls had surrounded a trio that was in dire straits indeed. The unfortunate prey of the trolls consisted of a single halfling and two sylvan centaurs. One of the centaurs, a male, lay collapsed in a rapidly widening pool of his own blood. The other female centaur was armed with a bow, but Kelaria could see that she was out of arrows. The halfling, a freckled girl of indeterminate age, brandished a mace that was coated with troll blood.
Kelaria bristled at the sight of the trolls. Vile and disgusting creatures, she had encountered them numerous times while serving as an advance scout for Tangled Trees and had developed a hatred for the terrible beasts even then.
Without hesitation, the Elven archer opened fire on the closest troll…
With Kelaria’s aid, the trolls were eventually defeated, though it was a long and arduous battle as trolls are notoriously difficult to put down permanently. The battle was not without it’s price either. The male centaur (Jebral, Kelaria later learned) had perished from his grievous wounds at the hands of the trolls. His mate, the female centaur, Marinthel, sadly wept over the body of Jebral while Kelaria did her best to treat the wounds of the halfling woman who lay unconscious from a particularly brutal swipe from one of the claws of the troll fiends.
Quickly realizing that the halfling’s injuries were beyond her abilities to cure, Kelaria informed the centaur that the halfling woman would require a cleric’s care if she was to survive. Looking to the elf, the centaur stood up from the body of her mate and slowly walked over to Kelaria. Looking down at the archer, Marinthel blinked away her remaining tears and knelt before the ranger. “I, Marinthel of the Oak Whistle tribe, am in your debt,” she began. “With the death of my love, Jebral, my life as it was is over. I live only by the grace of your generosity and courage. I would ask that you allow me to travel with you as your sister, Knight of the People.” Knowing that personal honor is a serious affair for centaurs, Kelaria accepted Marinthel’s offer and gained both a follower and a friend.
Marinthel carried (a rarity) Kelaria and the halfling (whom Kelaria learned was named Karyn Copperbraid) to the caravan city of Scornubel. There, Karyn was treated at the Healing House of Lathander. Luckily, the skillful ministrations of the priests of the Morninglord were able to bring the halfling woman back from the brink of death.
When she finally awoke, Karyn learned what happened in the Wood from Marinthel. Though saddened by the news of Jebral’s death, the halfling, Kelaria quickly learned, had an indomitable optimism about her. In the subsequent days, Kelaria learned that Karyn Copperbraid was a member of the semi-secret organization known as the Harpers. Thanking Kelaria for her invaluable assistance, Karyn took her leave of the Elven ranger and her centaur companion, cryptically alluding to business in Beregost to which she must attend. Before she departed however, the halfling told Kelaria to watch for the sign of the Harp, for in the young elf, she saw great potential. So much that the Harper was certain Kelaria’s dealings with the organization were far from over…
With the departure of the halfling, Kelaria was once again left to her own devices. As she was preparing to leave Scornubel, she was approached by a man she recognized as one of the priests who had helped Karyn in the temple of Lathander. He introduced himself as Calvin Cooper, a priest of Lathander. He had heard of Kelaria’s exploits against the trolls in the Wood of Sharp Teeth and was wondering if the ranger had ever considered joining an adventuring party. Impressed with the cleric’s practical approach and already having witnessed his considerable healing skills, Kelaria accepted his offer.
Thus she became a chartered member of the Guardians of the Dawn. She found it odd traveling with this motley group of humans, but quickly came to appreciate their eccentricities. The group does tend to gravitate towards cities more than Kelaria is comfortable with. She deals with this by remaining outside the city walls from time to time and traveling “off-road” for many of the group’s journeys.
It was during one such sojourn that Kelaria was visited by a magnificent hawk bearing a missive. The note was from a woman named Cylyria Dragonbreast who requested her presence in the city of Berdusk. The signature on the letter bore the sign of the Silver Harp and instructed Kelaria to book a room at the Running Stag Inn and to make her way to the Twilight Hall (the headquarters for the Harpers) the next morning.
Remembering Karyn’s parting words, Kelaria decided to make the journey to the Jewel of the Vale (Berdusk) and meet with Cylyria. Taking temporary leave from the Guardians of the Dawn, she and Marinthel traveled west from Cormyr towards the home of the Twilight Hall. Along the way, the hawk that had delivered the message stayed close by, and soon Kelaria counted it among her many woodland friends.
Arriving in Berdusk, Kelaria found it easy to locate the Running Stag. As she usually did, Marinthel remained outside the city while Kelaria conducted her business. As instructed, the elf booked a room at the inn and waited in the common room.
That evening, Kelaria found herself pulled into a friendly conversation (in spite of her normal Elven aloofness) by some of the older patrons of the inn. The discussion revolved around well-known exploits of famous adventurers (Harpers in particular) and the merits of adventuring for the greater good in general. For the first time, Kelaria felt comfortable in a place other than the open forest and slept well that night under a roof in a bed.
The following day, she made her way to the Twilight Hall. There, she was warmly greeted by a white-haired halfling man who introduced himself as Obslin Minstrelwish, Seneschal of Twilight Hall. He lead her into a room containing a simple wooden table and two chairs facing each other. Decorating the walls around were detailed maps of Faerun, from Tharsult north to the Spine of the World. The ceiling was lost in magical darkness, in which twinkled tiny lights arranged as the stars of the night sky are. Pulling out one chair for Kelaria and taking the other for himself, Obslin poured a glass of wine for each of them.
The halfling indicated that he had spoken at length with Karyn Copperbraid about how she had been saved in the Wood of the Sharp Teeth, thereby allowing her to continue on to Beregost and complete her mission. Obslin further explained that it was exactly the kind of bravery and selflessness that Kelaria had exhibited that the Harpers were looking for. Detailing the fact that typically, those considered for inclusion into the organization were tested first, the bard explained that Kelaria had already succeeded at proving herself better than any test devised by the senior Harpers could hope to accomplish. That said, he asked if the ranger was interested in joining Those Who Harp.
Remembering the feeling of peace she had experienced the previous evening, Kelaria readily agreed. Standing and holding out his hand, Obslin asked Kelaria to accompany him. Grasping the halfling’s hand, the Elven archer was surprised to find herself and her host floating upwards towards the “night sky”. Passing through an invisible opening, Kelaria and Obslin arrived in a room of wonders. Obviously a trophy hall, the chamber contained several floating, glowing swords and battle axes in their own cases, a few ancient books of lore, and even a stuffed beholder! Studying at a desk, sat a stunningly handsome man who looked up and greeted Kelaria warmly before saluting Obslin and returning to his work.
Leading Kelaria into another room, Obslin addressed the next chamber’s lone occupant, a lovely woman with long, very straight white hair and very large , dark eyes of emerald hue. The woman stood up, her dark green dress whispering across the floor, and introduced herself as Cylyria Dragonbreast, High Lady of Berdusk. Welcoming Kelaria into the organization, the woman presented her with a small silver pin fashioned in the shape of a harp. The young elf was now a Harper.
While it seemed somewhat informal to Kelaria, at the same time, it felt…right. This combined with the companions she had found in the Guardians of the Dawn seemed to be what she had been seeking.
She spent another day meeting some of the Harper agents that were currently in Berdusk before setting out back for Cormyr. She needed to meet back up with her friends in Marsember, and who knows what kind of trouble they may find there…