I was born in a small farming settlement native to the Feywild. Our farm was a small and simple dwelling hidden amongst tall Oak trees while our orchards and fields were spread throughout the region. Most of the crops were fruits, nuts and berries with only a small number of food stuffs foreign to our region being grown to demand. The family would sell our crops to the folk in the Citadel of Mithrendain to the North-West, though mainly selling to an inn by the name of the Waystop run by a drow named Kagen the Blackknife. With most of the farming duties already covered by members of the family, my teachings were geared towards scouting, hunting and defending our land from whatever appeared from the darkness to threaten us. I would spend days or weeks away from our home, living as Melora truly intended and resting whenever the forest would allow me some comfort from her more savage tendencies. It may have been this solitude which sowed the seed of the selfishness within me that would soon throw my whole family into turmoil.

As if our main customer being a drow wasn’t bad enough, many of our crops were falling prey to unknown creatures and despite my best efforts I could not track down these beasts to scare them off. That’s when I learnt of the residuum that collected on the great towers and walls in Mithrendain. I thought that if I could gather some of this material and take it to a smithy elsewhere in the land then I may acquire some manner of charm to aid me in my search for the creatures ruining my families work. One night when the moonlight was in short supply I slipped my way through the many ally ways and passages in the city, my target nearing with each silent footstep. I moved as close as I dared to the Citadel Arcanum, the Tower of towers dwarfed only by the great forest herself, thinking this is where the residuum would grow strongest. The theft was all too easy and I was just nearing the door to our home when in less than the blink of an eye there stood in front of me a man dressed all in black thumbing a ring upon his finger. I would later discover he was a Watcher of the Night, one of Mithrendain’s secret police and the signet ring he wore granted him powers, ironically exactly the kind I was after in my foolish quest. My fate was swiftly dealt; I was exiled and only because of my youth was my family saved from the same fate.

I left that very night away from all that I knew, all I loved and cherished and all that I’d brought shame down upon. I felt that I could no longer reside in the Feywild and so travelled out into the realm of the Humes where I ventured to the coast, as I had always wondered of it in the teachings of Melora. I was not disappointed and quickly found myself in awe of its sheer vastness. I had always known what was beyond my sight in the forest, yet here the view went on forever as if the world itself ended. With no other option presenting itself (though I hardly stopped to consider) I found myself searching for a captain in need of a deck hand. This was not as easy as I had thought. Most were human and would not allow a Fey dweller among their crew. One Dwarven captain threatened me with my life in a language that was almost painful to my ears. When all was nearly lost I happened upon a captain who not only would take me aboard but said he was looking for someone just like me. I put it down to my youthful naivety that I did not see through his meaning or the purpose of his ship but it would later turn out to be a pirate ship, although Captain Lossler preferred the term ‘gentleman of fortune’.

Many years passed and I found myself very good at the jobs appointed to me. These were mainly look out in the crow’s nest and stealthy scout once we were in port. My orders were clear, to seek out wealth and opportunity for more power. It is all so plain for me to see now but back then Captain Lossler’s silver tongue and strength of character could bend anything to his will and make it seem as if I was doing the work of Melora and stopping the spread of wealth and greed, thus helping to slow the growth of the cities. Through my travels I found I was not only good with a dagger, sling and throwing dart as were my weapons in the forest, but I could do more than hold my own with a rapier. When Lossler saw this he schooled me in the art of close combat the likes of which I would face in the docks and ports and some times aboard the deck. With these skills the crew grew to see me as a source of luck sent by the sea to assist them in their quest. Over time crewmen came and went as the weaklings and failures were keelhauled or run through by Lossler himself in front of the rest of us. The raids grew in danger, wealth and success until finally the confidence outgrew the talent and we had several failures in lootings and while fleeing the last, nearly lost our ship to a reef which caused us to drop anchor a short way from port before attempting repair. It seems Captain Lossler had attributed these failures to me as I had grown even more distant from them. One thing that puzzled me up to this point was that I could see the years weathering the crew yet me and the Captain stayed as youthful as the day he welcomed me aboard. And so on that night I questioned whether some of the current crew were up to the task while Lossler and I remained fit for the task. Before the crew understood my intentions the Captain turned to me with eyes burning with a fury I had not seen outside of the heat of battle. Men had asked of his past before but now I think about it they never did last that long. Out came his lies and deceit as he ordered the crew back to give us room while he “saw off this treacherous mutineer”. Our duel lasted longer than any I have fought as it was he who had schooled me in the ways of fighting. Knowing his style well it was still only my agility that put me aside his blade on several occasions while I swear on my family’s name that I landed two blows on him that would have crippled a normal human if he even still drew breath. After a time which seemed an age he drew back and ordered his crew to finish me. The un-honourable coward! With one final effort I drew upon my inner strength and willed myself over the side of the ship and into the very waters I dreamt of such a time ago. Were it not for the debris cast overboard during our fight I fear I would not have made it ashore. Fearing for my life and near delirious with pain and fatigue I found a river flat boat and hid to recover in the cargo hold.

And that’s where I found myself floating up river while slowly healing my wounds. I had much time to consider what had happened these past years and found that I had forgotten all of the values drilled into me as a child. I had shamed my family a second time! The thought pierced through me more than any mere blade could ever do. It was on this short journey that I made three vows. Stay true to my teachings as a child. Uphold Melora’s values. And above all else reclaim the proud name of my family. And only then would I be able to hold my head high and again proclaim myself as Dumah of Great Oaks.


Cercidian Chronicles VenomandSerum