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Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
ToTSC Interlude
Chapter Five
Chapter Six

Greetings and well met, traveller!  My name is Lyngellen, and I an an adventurer and storyteller extraordinaire.  Perhaps you have heard tell of the exploits of my merry band, perhaps not.  However, for the small price of a full mug and a plate of victuals for my crew and I, you shall hear tell of many wonders that exist outside these city walls, stories of Monsters and Heroes, beauty and betrayals, and daring rescues in midnight raids!

Ah, thank you kind sir.  You will not be disappointed.  As I said, I am Lyngellen, and my trade is that of music and merriment.  However, unlike those with whom you have undoubtedly spent many an evening, I am not content to repeat the same stale tales of Elminster and Volo.  Indeed, I believe that the best stories come from the source.  And the source sits with you tonight, my good fellows.  Allow me to introduce my compatriots.

First and foremost, my friend for life Imoen--pure of heart and mind, but not above the occasional "redistribution" of the realms assets. Fear not for your purses though, tonight is a time for stories and laughter.  I have known her for as long as I can remember, and there is no one whom I trust more.  Indeed, some of my fondest memories are of meeting this sprightly young lass.

She came to my home, Candlekeep, much as I did, though 10 years later in life, and she spent much more time with the guff innkeeper Winthrop than with my own Gorion. "Puffguts" she would call him, much to the old man's dismay. She is the eternal child, and is quite content to play the part of my little sister, though we are both of comparative ages.

Then there is the mysterious Shar-Teel.  Her elven mother was the only survivor of a small elven band slaughtered by a rogue company from the Flaming Fist. A young half elven officer decided to keep the child alive after having slaughtered the entire band. Her foster father raised her as a warrior; her early years were very difficult as many discriminated against her due to her bastard nature. When she was only fifteen, four of the soldiers ambushed her while she was out of town and then left her for dead on the shores of the mighty river Chionthar.

She survived however and managed to make her way back to camp in the middle of the night. There she managed to kill one of her attackers before the camp was alerted. She was taken into custody and sentenced to hang at dawn for the murder of a fellow soldier; she made no attempt to explain herself. Before dawn came her father managed to help her escape from the city and flee for her life. She made her way north to the city of Waterdeep where she hired herself out as a bounty hunter although not many took her seriously because of her age.

Hatred is the single emotion that drives her above all others. She despises the opposite sex, to the point where she finds it impossible to befriend any man. However, she has some qualities that make her my valuable ally; for example, she shows no fear of dying and can be depended upon to never run from battle. With men she openly shows her contempt, so let me caution you to keep your distance, lest you find yourself in parted company from your hand or other parts which you may hold dear.

The pair in the corner there are a secretive lot, Xzar and Montaron.  Xzar has very few coherent things to say. His ramblings may seem disjointed, but his faculties are obviously in good enough order for him to be adept at magic. He is obviously at least partially insane. Do not ask  Montaron of his past unless you invite bodily harm. He is quite dangerous, and more than willing to engage in gratuitous violence. By my own eyes I have seen that he cares little for life, including his own. He works grudgingly with Xzar, even though they obviously despise each other. These two would likely kill each other without my presence over their heads preventing it.

And finally, let me assure you that your eyes have not betrayed you.  Next to me at the table there does indeed sit a Dark Elf, by name of Viconia.  Ask her and she shall proudly reveal that she is a Dark Elf from the Underdark city of Menzoberranzan. However, please do not inquire of her reasons for leaving, as such a  painful story would likely cast a pall over this fine evening.

And, you may ask, what of I?  You already know me as a fine Bard, but there is a little background I am willing to share with you. Inspired by my foster father's loving tales, I had always dreamt of living the life of an adventurer, travelling the land by my wits and talents alone. The grounds of the keep where I was raised were often the stage for many an imagined battle, much to the consternation of the monks that shared my home. Companions my age being somewhat of a rarity, I endured by playing every role myself, a habit that has resulted in the skills of a Warrior, the guile of a Rogue, and the sense of Magic that I am acquainted with. As Gorion used to advise me, and his words bear repeating, "A little bit of everything makes a better soup."

I know little of how I came to be a ward of Gorion's, but over the years I have gleaned something of my mother's tale from his vague allusions and from the words he sometimes uttered in tear-filled sleep. She hailed from the High Forest and was a friend of his for many seasons. I have no memory of her however, as the poor woman died during my birth. Perhaps it was the pain of such a parting that led Gorion to cloister himself within the narrow halls of Candlekeep and raise me as his own. Do not ask of my father unless you lack for nightmares friend, for that is not a tale for the weak of heart.

For those of you who have heard tell of Candlekeep, let me assure you that the legends of the library there are true.  Many a day has been spent by this storyteller poring over its tomes, yet I have scratched only a surface of the knowledge contained therein.   I have always believed that the great library was my reward for putting up with the many mundane tasks assigned to me there, tasks unsuited for one such as myself; for whom destiny has selected for legend.

My last day at the good keep was marked by the usual errands, fetching bolts for one guard, a sword for another.  I always tried to be a good little girl while I was there, but secretly felt that their errands were best served by those whose station in life dictates subservience.  Argh!  "Lyngellen, fetch me an Antidote, find my book, retrieve this scroll."  These were the types of demands that kept me from my books and earned my secret contempt.  It was a day that Gorion himself blocked my path into the Library, insisting that I accompany him on a journey somewhere.   Not that I didn't want to escape the compound, but going with Gorion would be little better than fetching water from the well.  I knew we would only follow his course, with no opportunity for adventure.

However, two assassins did make me look at the trip as a potential for escape.   They were bumbling idiots, dispatched handily with my staff.  The ease with which I killed them proved to me I was ready for the world, so I purchased provisions from Winthrop and told Gorion that I was ready.  Please don't ask where I came across the gold for outfitting myself, as that is a question that the local constabulary is also interested in, and I don't wish to share the answer.

On the way out of the gate, Gorion did something quite out of character.  He confided in me that he was a Harper and told me to seek out some friends of his at the Friendly Arm Inn should we get separated.  As if he knew what was to happen, we were shortly accosted by ruffians, and his next actions astonished me.  This meek old man began chanting, and fire flew from his fingertips as he dispatched one of these horrible beings, an Ogre if I ever saw one.  It seemed that Gorion was quite the wizard, and I watched spellbound as he killed one more, then another before I was struck by a stray bolt.  I quickly decided to watch the spectacle unfold from the safety of the brush.

As his opponents fell, I was transfixed by a single man who seemed to tower over them all.  He shrugged off Gorion's bolts as if they were nothing, and represented a power that I knew would triumph in the end.  As I saw him take Gorion's last breath, I memorized the face of this stranger, determined that his force would someday be mine.   Self preservation, however, dicated that I retreat a safe distance before I was noticed.  I ran south, collapsing by the side of the road. 

Thus began my adventure, one which will surely thrill you.  However, my throat is a little parched, and I must have some sustenance.  Pray, good sir, fill my cup so I can continue...

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