Race: Halfling / Class: Warlock
Played by: Joel
Party: Jung Dragons

The road was quiet. The skies were clear as the music of nature, and the creak of wooden wheels accompanied the equally clear hum emanating from the wagon’s driver. Conrad had been living among the Shield Dwarves for some time apprenticed to the Master Woodcarver Adrik Goldhammer. As is common with non-dwarf apprentices, especially halflings, Conrad was often asked (told) to do all sorts of odd jobs unrelated to the actual apprenticeship. Some chalk this up to Dwarven attitudes towards sharing the secrets of their craft, but one can argue that those people have never lived or worked with a halfling. This was one of those days and Conrad was on his way to pick up produce from a not so local farmer to take back to Adrik’s favorite pub. But horses are great listeners and living with dwarves provides an appreciation for sunlight so Conrad did not mind.

Time passed. Conrad was regaling the bay mare with information on the care and use of carving chisels when cut off by a deep, husky voice. “Perhaps I can interest you in a great flower.” Conrad pulled his attention away from the horse and focused it on a man by the side of the road. At least he tried to focus on the man. Probably a man. As his eyes teared up, trying desperately to make sense of what stood before him, his brain settled on the idea that it was an older man wearing plain, but high quality clothing, the hood of his, her, no his, cloak pulled up providing shadow to the face. The stranger’s red, gleaming eyes, the only bit consistently in focus, gazed steadily at Conrad. “What say you young man? Think of all you could do with a great flower.” Conrad wiggled his pinky finger in his ear to clear out what sounded like the buzzing of a thousand insect swarms and replied, “Well I could smell it… sure. That’s very nice of you.” The man smiled, “Then you accept? There will be times when you are called to repay…” Conrad looked about wondering how a swarm of so many insects could be so close yet unseen as he absentmindedly replied, “Sure, sure. Thanks.” The buzz intensified. “The deal is struck!” declared the stranger tossing an object up to Conrad who snatched it from the air and stared down at a pendant of bluish gray flint marbled with yellow streaks of sulphur crystal. “This isn’t a flower!” Conrad looked up. The man was gone as was the incessant buzzing. It was a nice pendant so Conrad put it on thinking to keep it safe until able to return it to the old man who must have mistaken it for a flower. “Senility is quite sad”, he thought. For some reason the horse was spooked, but with some coaxing they were once again under way.

Weeks later flame erupted from Conrad’s hands which was problematic given he was in Adrik’s woodshop. “Aaaah…” thought Conrad, “Power. He said power.” Adrik took all this in stride. After all, this is the very thing one imagines when taking on a non dwarf apprentice. Since the teaching portion of their relationship was mostly concluded, the value of semi-indentured labor was weighed against the possible routine rebuilding of his workshop. Sensibly, Adrik bestowed a Maker’s Mark chisel and legal credentials to his student and saw him off with an open invitation to return, provided the whole “unexpected flames” thing is under control.

Conrad set off thinking of the many tiers and layers of people, places, and adventures that lay ahead. How they would overlap and swirl together, providing a wealth of experience to his senses and though, “Maybe he did say flower.“