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Aran Whitehand: Backstory and Characterization.


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Mae govannen. An lema? Amin naa lle nai. I'narr en gothrim glinuva nuin I'anor. Ohtar hanwa edan yesta sii'lle vakha. Amin tengwa Naug, i'lambe tel' Eldalie. Dwarven, Elven, and Common Trade Language spoken and written, contracts translated, copywork accepted. Experienced Caravan Guard and Scrivner. Reasonable rates. Inquire at Ten Veils Public House for Whitehand.


Have Sword, Will Travel. No Job Too Small. No Dragons. Experienced Caravan Guard, Scrivner, OutRider, Oarsman. Trade Contracts and Copywork Drawn. Reasonable Rates. Inquire at Public House for Whitehand.




Managing a small family Trading Coster is an awkward business on the Sword Coast. Whitehand Trading was no exception. Born (literally, in a wagon trailing into Waterdeep) into the family business, Aran grew up alternating between the open road of Trade Way and the harbor of Baldur's Gate. While his father managed clients and gladhanded trade deals, and his mother organized accounts receivable and drafted contracts, Aran learned the family business from his first word, "bandits". When his younger sister was born, the family rejoiced at the prospect of a new generation of Whitehands building the family business into a worthy competitor for the major trading companies.


The varied life suited Aran well, shadowing both his mother and father. The short but fierce oar pulling to load and unload ships, standing watch and training with the hired swords, hard riding, running off bandits and gibberlings, and nightly contract copying and accounting by candlelight fed both body and mind well. If things were not always profitable, Aran was not likely to complain. As he grew, Aran built a strong supportive presence in the family business.


Unfortunately, life's dreams and expectations do not always match the measure of a man. Aran was dedicated, strong, and followed his family well. But while his father could charm mithril from a dwarven smith for an elven artist's use, Aran stayed in the backround, acting notary. While his mother could master the intricacies of contract law and work with ombudsmen and creative contracts, Aran copied documents and watched from the sidelines. The hired swords were not the best of teachers, and from them he learned odd lessons, like how to stay silent when you should speak, when to brag when you should be silent, and most of all that laws could be twisted and not always to benefit the greater good. When his younger sister was born, she was the light of his life, but as she grew it became painfully obvious that in comparison Aran was just not smart enough to truly master the diplomacy, leadership, and smooth talking necessary to make a family Coster competitive. Hard work could just not compensate for a lack of innate ability.


Aran would have been content with the secondary support role, riding out with caravans and handling the bookkeeping, and letting his sister become the beauty and brains for the business. He idolized his younger sister. Fate plays her tricks on everyone, though. Elena was more gifted than any in the family, and showed precocious magical talent. On a standard trade run, her beauty and intellect caught the eye of a courtier mage to the Lady of Waterdeep. With Elena offered a chance to apprentice with the young woman mage at court, the family faced some harsh economic choices. Establishing Elena in court would take more, and steadier, resources than the family could provide. Reading the future, the family decided to sell the business to a larger Baldurs Gate Trading Coster and abandon their independence. The 14 year old Elena would apprentice, and the family would retain employment with the larger firm in the central offices. 20 year old Aran would finish the last year of his "apprenticeship" in a real apprenticeship with a major trading family. "Either he will learn to work the system", the senior Whitehand said, "or it will work him."


Aran lasted two weeks at the larger firm before an unfortunate remark sent a Coster hireling through a window and Aran out on his own. His restraint at not following through on the beating saved the man's life and Aran from prison, but it was obvious that the Company Life was not a good fit. Disliking the harsh dicipline (and wary of being turned into a procurement officer or staff scribe), he avoided the standard Mercenary outfits, and struck out south to build his own trading company. Rowing crew with trade galleys, hiring on with small trade caravans, and selling his services as a copyist, he gradually drifted south seeking an opportunity to begin again.


Several years as a hired sword and pen have provided some harsh lessons for Aran, but he arrived finally in Calimport with some experience under his belt. Business plans have been built and abandoned, temporary travel companions come and gone, and Aran now faced a rather uncertain future. He has learned to keep silent, to hit the door with shield and shoulder hard, and to not always look carefully at what he is copying. He has also learned that there are things that he is not willing to do in the name of profit, and that generally people who write things down do not actually mean everything they write. Most of all, he has learned that going it alone is lonely, food is best shared with others, and getting too drunk is not worth the trouble. He is definitely ready for a change and a chance to forge a new direction.




In the past, mostly humans as adversaries and as companions. Mostly riding travel with some sea rowing in Trade galleys. Slight awe of Elves and Dwarves, sight distrust of Dwarves and Gnomes, solid distrust of halflings. Never seen any other demi-humans. No magical ability at all; not afraid, just convinced he is not smart enough. Prefers to fight cooperativelty with companions and to write alone. Would rather fight than talk, would rather write than speak publically, and would prefer to cooperative ventures to having (or being) a leader. His one (hidden) interest is puzzling out older documents. Not the contents, which he is pretty sure he wouldn't understand anyways, but the form and structure, rebuilding documents and figuring out what should go with what. His one constancy is his letters home to Elena, which he scribes in small script to save paper and keeps (two copies; you never can be too careful, you know) in a parchament case in his belongings, searching for times to send them via post or messenger when opportunity arises.


DM Notes: Scrivener rather than Sage, Copyist rather than Writer. Unlikely to tolerate heavily evil actions, but definition of "evil" is slippery, as is definition of law. Letters home are the most telling of inner workings - will be provided as he wries them (Aran is smart enough to keep to himself, but may not be smart enough to avoid snooping eyes, so material will be provided for DM subterfuge in case it is warranted). Outdoor combat oriented; longsword, shield, composite longbow. Favors shield tactics and defensive fighting but is learning other ways. Rather cautious.

Edited by cmorgan
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Old Letters: backstory from BG


7 Alturiak, Imnescar, Amn


My dearest Elena,


I read your message with great happiness. Congratulations on your being advanced to choice! By the time you read this there will only be a few more months and you will be in your final year of apprenticeship. And Mystra is a good Goddess to serve, I hear. I always thought you would lean towards The Wise One, Oghma, and go with the Estelmer family nobility as benefactors, but you know your own heart. If your calling is to Mystra, then I guess you couldn't do any better than to Eltorchul family. There are some stories about a few of them, but they generally get written about as good people, for nobles and wands. Good but not lockstep; some of them are pretty wild, if trail stories and news broadsides talk about the same family. The Thunderstaffs follow Mystra, but from my end - plenty of warmages from that family, that is for sure! I was pretty sure you wouldn't end up following them, anyways. I am really glad your benefactor was happy, too. I thought it was like a trade apprenticeship, and you would be with The Lady Mage all the way. I guess I didn't understand about the schools, and how you work your way up. I love the emerald, and I will figure out what you mean about saying the inscriptions in private once we are on the trail. I hope this isn't one of your practical jokes, though. That is too fine a gem just to put a joke on. I liked that letter with the butterfly. The guys laughed at me, but I know that means you are practicing hard. And the colors were beautiful. It lasted a full thirty seconds before dissolving into smoke, and it was a deep, shiny green with gold and silver and sky blue. Plus, it only erased a little bit of the parchament, so I got to read most of the message. That is so much better than the one where you tried the pseudodragon, and it burned up the whole letter.


I got your messages from the Guild, just barely. A coach from the coast came in last night late, and since we were all at the hall the next morning, I got it. Evara said it was a good idea to stay put a few tennday, and make sure everything caught up to us that could. "Put a clean start for everyone", she said. As for my news about that, things are pretty bright right now. We signed up as an independent coster with the delegate here in Imnescar, paying dues in advance to the local chapter of the Trading Guild in Amn. Evara is doing great as leader, which means we not only are punching to Zazesspur, we have a real bard with us! He is pretty tall and good looking, and sings like an angel, but also a pretty decent sort, for a bard. He sat down with us swords after dinner, and traded stories for stories. Most of them I couldn't tell you, as this set of swords is all male, and we kind of get carried away with the tall tales, but if I remember a good one that is fit for your company, I will write it down for you. I think Evara might be sparking with me, but I can't really tell. Parthak says I have rocks for brains, but then again, this is Parthak we are talking about. Anyways, she came in to break us up and send us to get ready for early travel tomorrow, and decided to taste the ale with us instead. She sat real close to me, and smiled alot, and leaned forward a bit. I know you told me that means she might be sparking, but I am not sure, because the client was sitting on my other side, and it seemed like sometimes I was just passing trencher between her and the bard. Plus, the wind was awful any time any fool opened the doorway, so I expect she was cold. Now, don't you worry. She is as beautiful as a spring morning, and hald-Elf to boot, and I will admit that if she ever wanted to go spooning, I would not turn her down, but so far she acts all business with the coster. "My Boys", she calls us, even though Gladi is not; of course, Gladi never talks anyways, except when she wants to split someone apart with a lightning bolt. And Kharad is no boy, but then who knows how old dwarves really are. And he only tells stories about hammers, and gods, and how our souls should be forged like mithral to fight the darkness. He is fun to tease, though; he sputters the most fun curses I have ever heard, and usually doesn't try to hit me when I make a mistake with dwarvish. I think I accidentally insulted him last tenday, because he didn't speak to me for a day or two, but then he came up to me and boxed my kneecap hard and told me how to pronounce some words so as to not actually call him a lady of the evening when I meant man of strength. The talking part is so much harder to get right than the writing.


So I am sending this on to you on the overland post, as the winter is something fierce here, and the word is that there is little or naught moving by sea right now. The plan is to go over Small Teeth and stop in Mosstone, then again over Startspire into Zazesspur. The main client is some staves of Lothlander on a relief caravan, not running far from the main trade way as the snow is too deep for wagon travel. It is part of the midwinter resupply for most of the big temples for Helm, Ohgma, and Lothlander, Tymorrans being smart enough to stock enough that if the Goddess looks the other way no harm will come. The main distributions are being handled by Flaming Fist and Helmites, accompanying some of the major Coster wagon trains, but the Morning Lord (or his servants, anyways) pay too little for the big boys. Either that, or someone told the Guild who to favor. We got hired to resupply the Lothander missions along the route, but I looked at the figures, and we are pulling more profit than the big boys anyways. We have less risk, and much lower overhead. Plus, no Helmite is going to pass us by if we run into bandits. Some of those mercenaries enjoy splitting heads too much to not get involved. So, we get a bard, the added passengers that are pure profit (few, but enough to mean 6 whole wagons total), a full fist with four swords, a whole set of Flaming Fists to run to if anything big hits us, and all we have to do is keep off some stray wolves and a bandit or two, entertain followers ofthe Sun God, and follow the Trade Way. What could go wrong?


All my love and best to you and your pet lizard. I take it pseudodragons don't mind who you worship, or do they? Gladi has a raven, but he is old and spends most of the time huddled under Gladi's cloak and glaring at us. I will write when I can, and as usual you will get them when you get them.


Your Faithful Brother,




18 Alturiak, Tradeway, Southbound


My Dearest Elena,


Thank you so much for the beautiful emerald! I figured it out! The picture of Mother is beautiful, and Father looks his usual sweep-everything-into-his-power self. And you; well, you look great. I'm not sure the outfit is so good for the cold, and I might have some things to say about where you wear it, but you look happy, beautiful, and very definitely not a kid any more. I could not figure how to make it work at first, but reading the script out loud worked great. This is much better than the butterfly. I will keep it close to me. I always did consider emerald color good luck, so I will keep this as both a memory and as a luck token. You are really getting the magic thing down!

As for the coster, well, you know how I said nothing could go wrong? Remind me next time you see me that writing things like that is an invitation to the Gods to liven things up a bit. We did have some interesting stuff happen, so I am writing this over several days a line at a time or so, when I can, as a sort of reward for keeping up the accounts and materials list for a couple of caravans.

We set out the day I wrote you last, and it was pretty fair travel, for midwinter. The Staves along are nice, and understanding about swearing as long as we are not too obvious. The older male one is a little standoffish, but that is probably because he is really worried about something. He hasn't said much. His two apprentices, or whatever you call clerics-in-training, are really nice and want to know about everything. The female one, Drianne, she is very alert and helpful, and obviously a good healer, but I'll come to that. The male one, Vran, he is great with the food, so we have something to talk about. He isn't actually that young, either. He might be my age, but he converted from the fighting ways to preaching ways only a short time ago. I daresay that is a tough thing to do, but he is strong in his faith; but I will come to that presently as well. So far Kharad's been too busy to discuss theology, so no problems there either.

Evara was great getting everything going, and she and the bard came to an agreement about his travel. He actually hired on as client, instead of just travelling with us. I have never heard of such a thing, but then again, they do seem to be getting a bit cosy with eachother. I'm now pretty sure that when she looks like she's sparking with me, it is because she cant help but sparkle, not spark - she just does that winning ways with everyone, kind of like the way Father can make a whole room think he is taking to each person individually. Between the two of them, they have kept the big boys close by, meeting up at the end of the day in a big group of caravans. This is definitely a new idea, but makes things kind of like a cold, icy version of a carnival each night. Work gets done, too; that bard starts playing, and you can't help feeling like you are all part of a big family. Even the Flaming fist guys aren't so bad, though Parthak and I had a difference of opinion what one of them should call our hald-Elf leader. We kinda had to ask Drianne to heal him a little afterwards, but no real harm was done, and he turned out to be a good sport about the whole thing.

So anyways, two days ago the big boys in front pulled up sudden, and went combat ready. Good thing, too, that we were close behind them; I just wish the caravan in back of us was not an hour or so behind us. The day was overcast, bitter cold, but just normal - no huge wind or anything, but they must have had magic aid them because suddenly the front caravan (Sunrise Coster and Travel, with some serious Helmites and a brace of fists to augment the Flaming Fist - real classy operation) was swallowed in a sudden huge gust of wind and snow coming from nowhere. We scrambled to point positions and pulled in outriders, and good thing, too, because the squall blew over and we saw that the big boys were in a serious fight. Elena grabbed our Wand and staff, and headed forward with our lead cleric to lend a hand - it looked like they were in a true fight, not just a few bandits. Lightning, fireballs, lots of magic flying around, and the Flaming Fist didn't look like it was the usual ShieldWall, Forward, Mow 'em Down, Square, Reform.

Well, we found out why a second or two later. The forward party hadn't gone more that a few hundred yards down the trail when suddenly we were hit with a suprise attack. There were a few bandits, but the real hard part was they must have made a pact with a local troll tribe. I was a bit scared, having heard the stories, but never seen one up close and personal. Watching a perfectly executed head slice just close up around your blade is enough to scare anyone, I suspect. Arrows sang, I knocked a few down (the bandits died quick and easy) - but the Verra-be-damned trolls just wouldn't die. It was a fair bit desperate there, and I took a good solid scratch or two, and we began to fall back towards the caravan.

Vran saved us. Vran and the bard, eventually, but first Vran. He wouldn't pick up a blade and fight, saying he was Called now, and had to use his staff, but he knew his business. He stepped right up shoulder to shoulder with us, saying a prayer that made us feel strong, and then he stepped right in calling for fire and oil. He lead well, for a minute or so, and got us back in order, and gave us the tools to destroy the troll bodies (you have to drop fire on them to keep them from regenerating), but he paid the price. He was too new an initiate, and started falling back on fighting ways, instead of using his staff right. A troll got through and dropped him dead in one blow. That just made us mad.

Then came the part I am not sure about. Suddenly, we heard this warsong, lifting up from ahead of us. It was like nothing I have ever heard, Elena - it grabbed hold of your soul, made your eyes start to tears - it was like the swords of a thousand men suddenly appeared beside you, and you felt connected to every fighter that ever lifted a blade in the service of another. It wasn't pretty, like a song is usually, or sad. It was huge. It slowed everything down, and filled our veins with fire, and made us angry and sad and powerful, and stern, like we were Helm himself, terrible and just, striking clean through the heart of evil. Parthak and I looked across at eachother, nodded, and then we went to war. I don't mean battle. I mean War.

I really don't remember what the fighting was like, but I know we moved our powers as fighters to a whole new understanding and strength that day. I found myself with my blade locked through a troll shaman, Parthak's sword the other locking blade, with the troll's head sizzling from Gladi's lighningbolt. We kind of dropped our swords, and looked around, and it was a sight. Drianne was bandaging up some Flaming Fist, since their cleric (and ours) had not survived, and the Flaming Fist captain was looking at us kind of funny. He did something I have never seen one do. He took his helmet off, and bowed to us. Then he grinned a ferocious grin like we were equals all, and strode off to see to his men. I think that scared Parthak more than the trolls.

Half an hour later the trailing caravan caught up, and we all shared supplies and repaired things. It turns out the bard was a fair might more powerful than he let on. Thanks to him singing that song (even now, I want to hear it again, Elena - it was one of those things you never want to hear, but need to and must hear, beautiful and terrible and strong), we made it through what should have destroyed both caravans. Luckily it is winter, because with our highest ranking Staves gone, there is no way to raise our dead, but Drianne has taken the lead for both damaged caravans, and now we are the hospital wagon. We have Vran in a place of honor, and are watching his body as one of our own; when we get to a temple with a high enough cleric, he will rejoin us. Drianne says the cold means we have a few weeks before the dead that were not destroyed become unraisable, so we have incentive to push on.

Well, this one is going to be awhile before it gets to you, but I will keep writing as interesting things happen. My best to everyone, including miss whirly-eyes, and I miss you all.

Your Faithful Brother,


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Backstory: Old Letters Home (pre- Military)



1 Myrtil, Calimport


My Dearest Elena;

Four years, and I have finally made it to the largest city in Faerun. I am writing to you from a small, dark, smelly room in the back of The Ten Veils, whose bookkeeper suddenly turned up dead (probably, my dear sister, because I just found the *third* set of books he was keeping on the side). It is good work for now, though the food is bad and it (and the room) smells worse. Do you remember the time we threw Jason into the sewer pit at the back of the Blade and Stars for kissing you? Well, think of how he smelled afterwards, only twenty times worse! The light is poor, so I will not play our regular game of switching languages every sentence. Besides, it slows me down. No dwarves around here to speak with, and those runes are tough to remember. You always were faster than me at it. Let me catch you up on what has happened since I last wrote.

The travel company did not work out. Go figure. Evara was nice, for a half-elf, but she took a liking to one of the clients, and headed off towards Rasheman for (as she put it) an Adventure with Perks! I saw the perks. I guess he was ok, for a bard, but I get worried she just got starstruck. Poking around old ruins with a bard and a mage without some serious shield-wall person in tow is just stupid. She seemed happy, though, and since she was the leader, that was that. Parthak says hi, plus some stuff I should probably beat him up for. He saw your portrait, and predictably, shot his mouth off. Momma was definitely *not* sleeping around with those elves. Parthak is headed North again. I decided to go south, as I have spent four years going north then south, only to find more stuff heading south than north, so we parted. He said he would visit you on his way through WaterDeep. If he does drop by, I would make him sleep in the stables, and keep a dagger around, if I were you, to let him know you are in charge. You may think he's cute, but he sometimes needs a reminder about no. Our last night, he decided that no was yes, and ended up putting both of us in jail for the night. I never was much of a brawler.

So, Calimport. I signed on with a single-stop hauling furs, headed here. They had been attacked by pirates, but since piracy (like most other things are around here, it looks like) is a business run by the people who run things, they took their toll and started to leave. Seems one of the passengers was a high and mighty paladin, and got the stupid idea that one sword can defeat over a hundred. He tried to take on the pirates, and got some crew killed in the backwash. I'm glad you are studying magic, Elena; somebody smart needs to keep an eye on things. The damn fools blasted off a fireball, on board a *ship*, can you believe it. Lucky the whole Verra-be-damned cargo didn't light up like tinder! So anyways, the captain was looking for a short-bencher, who could keep his remaining passengers under a close eye next time the galley was stopped. Short trip, good row, only one day under sail, no stops. We pull around the western tip and head for the city, and the captain's so happy he calls me up to watch (or so I thought. The three big war galleys from the Pasha or Caliph, or whatever they call the boss around here might have made him nervous when they pulled along a parallel course. He kept grinning and whispering for me to keep an eye on the passengers). We pull in, he pays me off and tries to short me, but one of the passengers saw and headed off trouble by tossing me a purse.

Not wanting to cause any hassle, I just left. It really didn't matter, anyways... Calimport is huge. I spent the first hour just getting off of the *docks*. I gawked too much, I guess, because by the time I had gotten to the warehouses to see if there was work, someone had slit that purse the passenger gave me and emptied it. Saved me a night of drinking, anyways.

For a big city, this place didn't have much work. I found out they have a Guild, so most copywork is done through haggling with a guild representative at a bazaar (their work for a disorganized mess of a marketplace, where it looks like no honest trader would consider setting foot). I got lucky, though. I saw a sign in a window looking for a stablehand, and when I went in, there was an argument in progress. The innkeeper, or whatever they call him here (I call him boss to his face and stuff I shouldn't tell you about behind his back) was just finishing off his argument with his bookkeeper by shoving some sort of curved dagger-like thing through his back. He screamed something about Entreri being angry, or something, and the place stopped like one of Graf's clocks. I froze, too, because everyone else did, but I guess I kind of stood out, or something - maybe I didn't look scared enough or something. Anyways, he looked right at me, his eyes lit up, and he asked me if I wanted a job. I said yes. He rolled the body off of the table, and told me to go down the street to some office and tell them I was from the Ten Veils, and that the paperwork was on its way, and then if I survived to go to the guild and get a new bookkeeper. Well, I saw an opportunity, and told him I was ok with numbers. Long and short of it, he hired me for room and board and a little coin. Said it was cheaper this way, and told me to look for the other set of books and get a fair accounting. I don't know about the whole survival thing, but apparently these guys just don't understand numbers. Luckily, the boss says he has someone else to blame besides me, and a body to prove his good intentions, so I should be good for a few weeks. The whole thing makes me cautious, though, so I have taken out two broadsides, which I put for your enjoyment at the bottom of the letter. They won't get the dragon joke, but you will!

Well, I have written four letters instead of one, but it has been awhile and there is regular mail here, so I thought I would catch up. I guess I had better go post these broadsides myself, and find a ship headed for WaterDeep to send this to you. Please say hello to Momma for me when she visits next month, and Father if you see him. Don't tell them about the jail, and really, really don't tell them about Parthak maybe visiting - you know how Father gets about my friends. I miss you, but Verra knows I am proud of you. Will write more as I see things that might interest you. Say hi to that fat lizard of yours, too, and tell her to grow bigger wings!

Your Faithful Brother,



P.S. Did Elendil mention anything about me? I heard she was marrying that Silvershield whelp, damn him.




6 Myrtil, Calimport


My Dearest Elena,

Do not worry, everything is fine here. I have good news and some interesting stuff to tell you. I may have found a place to have as a home base for awhile, as the opportunities here are greater than I originally thought.

I last wrote four or five days ago, and had found that job. Well, it may not work out, but that is fine. Alkashar (the boss) is ok, for a Calimport guy... he figured out I was uncomfortable about the triple books. He took them from me yesterday, asked a me a bunch of questions, and gave me a bonus to keep my mouth shut. Apparently he is pretty well connected, because he had checked me out, so he knew I would keep to myself, so I don't have to worry about him deciding I might be a liability or anything. I did pretty well with the accounts receivable, and he must have made a good bit of profit out of the whole thing, so I guess he was inclined to be kind. He also got me some information about how to get hired with the trade caravans, and even let me start eating in the main room "as a guest" he said, though of course I have to keep on doing inventory lists and odd work. That means I can get some decent clothes, and stop walking around in half-plate. Even in Myrtil this place is bloody hot, and going into bath houses - well, you don't bathe, you get bathed. And apparently most of the activity there is getting yourself into a condition where you have to bathe. If you ever come here, well, just don't. You wouldn't like it.

But before I go on, I have great news! I managed to make my way to the trade missions in the Taorahl Drudach to post my advertisements, and found the Baldur's Gate Trade Mission. And one of the negotiators was Helena Goldmark! She didn't recognise me at first, and I almost didn't recognise her. She has gone fat. I mean huge, Elena. I swear a tent would require less cloth. To be fair, I think she did it intentionally; it seems like Calimport people respect it as a sign of wealth and beauty in both men and women. Takes all kinds, I guess. She remembered Father, and asked after the family. She was suprised to hear that we sold to Shining Sun Coster four years ago. When I let her know I was on my own, she was good and didn't ask why. She made some stupid remarks to the other people in the mission about how youngsters grow up fast, and how she wished she was twenty years younger, and told some embarassing stories about you and me running around in diapers, but I figured it was her right. Besides, I wanted to find out if she could help me get some steady work.

The bad news is that the Trade Mission can't use me. Literally. The local custom is locked up by the local guilds,and they already make them hire too many guards. Helena told me to watch out for those upper level walkways, too, and to stick to the street level. There is some rule about nobility only, or something,and she was able to walk there only because she was dessed really well, had an entourage, and was really fat. She had me wash my feet, and loaned me some local clothes (you would have liked them, though they were way too fine for me - all silk and beads and sashes. No place to hang a good scabbard). She had me put on slippers, then took me up to the upper levels of the really slim small tower. ("Minaret". No, "Minarrette". OK, have to go find out how to spell that one). She called in some guards, who looked really underarmored until you saw they all were wearing some kind of identical issued magical harness, and those long curved swords of theirs, and told the Mission Chief she was going for a walk. We walked out on the byway, looking down at the streets, and it was beautiful. The breeze blew away the smell, there was some guard carrying incense to make things even better, and it was like one of those pictures in the art gallery on Traders Way back home, only real. We had to stop one time and bow to some vizir or wassir or something, and that was strange. When these people bow, they bow all the way to the floor after getting on their knees. I am glad the nobles all use the upper byways - I don't think I want to slam my face in the sewage covered street every time some local big shot wants to take a walk.

Anyways, though they can't use me, Helena said she would work on finding out how to get in with a guild, either scribe or warrior. She didn't think it was going to be easy, and might not even be possible; unemployment is very high here, and unless you can stomach the slave trade most regular work is alreadywaitlisted. (You know how I feel about that sort of stuff. I wrote about that horrible trip before.) She did say the best place to start was with what I know,in the trade or Caravan quarters, with the long distance trade. The locals liketo stick with short bench or one-off trips, so that they are only gone foraround a month, so longer routes hire on foreigners. Helena thought I was smart to try to start an independent coster here, because if you can't find it in Calimport, it can't be purchased. Plus just about everyone here is involved in some kind of trade, so finding partners might not be so hard. Maybe this time it will work out.

Well, I am headed into the Trade Quarter to find out how to get dressed up like a local, just in case I have opportunities open up that keep me in the City, and buy some cooking spices. Fahiri, the cook, has some strange ideas about what "bread" is, and some even stranger ideas about what defines "meat" (don't ask), but the spices he uses taste really good. I could learn a little from him, but I think he is suspicious of me. I think his daughter likes me (don't worry, she is definitely not my type, has a face like a mule has been kicking her repeatedly, and is only fourteen) and he has plans for her that don't involve marrying an infidel foreigner who thinks that salt and pepper are the only spices needed. If you do write, you can send it to Helena at the Trade Mission, and she will keep it for me, or send it on, I am sure. Don't send anything to the Ten Veils. I get the feeling I could work here for years, and never really be a part of the team, and from the way the whole thing started I have a feeling the odd bookkeeping is just scratching the surface. I like it better when you have simple challenges to trade, like a gibberling horde or a couple of idiots who think they are bandits. I don't like having to wonder if I am going to have to bribe some local guard to let me slip out of the city.

It may be some time before I write again, but if I get set up with a caravan or something I will send a final letter before I leave. Then, as usual, I may write, but you won't get the letter until we get to a place where I can send it along. Give my love to Momma, and Father, and to your lizard. Study hard, and don't try that water cantrip again 'til you get it right. The last time you tried that on a letter to me, instead of making it waterproof, when it opened it it spat in my face!

Your Faithful Brother,


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Aran started as a PBP character in Whisper Company, a short-lived but very fun campaign DM'd by berelinde. The general backstory needed to be adapted to fit better into the BG2 background, though so some of the above "fanfic' like stuff needs re-editing to match his growth. The next chapter is straightforward - he serves in mercenary settings for a few years, going through BG1, then ends up in BG2 ready to parttake in the adventures. It really isn't neccesary to build all this, but it is fun - a game within a game. Some of this can inform the kinds of decisions he would make, and some of it can be built into tall campfire tales - though the whole non-magical bent will have to be editied, and taken in a differet direction. Perhaps different references installed by what class/kit combo he has had chosen for him by the player.


Or a re-edit of portions to fit more potential classes.

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Guest an interested guest

wow! :)


you've obviously put a lot of work into this character, so kudos to you. My question is are we able to find all of this in the actual mod, like in the character's history tab?

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