Glimpses of Greatness
The Shimmercoil’s are a family of Gnomes that live on the outskirts of the Gnomish village. The family is comprised of:
Boys: Gillicot (Gilly) 47
Girls: Winna 45
The Shimmercoil family is known for supplying the village with most of its game and berries. At a young age the boys are taught to hunt and fish. The girls are taught to collect berries and roots for eating and plants and leaves that are used for medicines and potions.
It was noticed at a young age that the youngest of the Shimmercoil children had a connection to the arcane. His minor illusion cantrip always seemed to have a much better quality to it. During the day he would travel into town to train with a local mage. His parents would not allow him to travel any further to seek out more training for he was the youngest and did not feel that he could travel the world alone.
Gilly, the oldest of the boys, always felt trapped in this life. He felt like there was so much out there to see and do. Not that he wasn’t good at hunting. He learned very quickly how to take down the game that he and his family hunted. He found ways to lure deer to a tree that he was hiding in and quickly drop down onto them with his dagger in hand. They would be dead in a second. Gilly quickly became a better hunter that even his father. This was mainly because he worked hard on his ability to sneak up quietly on his prey and attack quickly before they could run.
Gilly did not agree that his parents should coddle Filly so much and should let him seek training outside of the Gnome village. But after a while, he decided that is was not worth causing problems in his family trying to convince them to let Filly go out and seek training. When Gilly reached the age of adulthood, he set out into the lands beyond his home and decided he would provide for himself and survive alone for a while.
One day as he was out hunting, he ran into some trouble. He seemed to stumble across a secret meeting of members of the Slick Fingers gang. Everyone that lived in or around the village knew about them, but just tried not to get in their way. They did not cause too many problems in town, so it wasn’t worth the cost of lives to attempt to run them out. They had no problem showing off the tattoo on their arms, because they knew that no one would mess with them. At the meeting, there we a total of six members. Three were other gnomes and the others seemed to be humans. The humans must have traveled here from far away, because it is very rare that you see one anywhere near the village.
I quickly got up a tree as to not be seen by them. They met for what seemed to be hours and it looked like their meeting was about to end. All of a sudden, a large gust of wind whipped through the hollow and I lost my grip on the branch I was holding. I feel to the ground and quickly turned over to look at them. It was too late, they saw me and were heading my direction. Before I knew it, one of the humans was standing over me with his tip of his rapier in my face. “What are you doing here?” He yelled out. Before I could answer he says. “It doesn’t matter, you are dead anyway.” He pulled out one of his dagger and got down close to me and held it across my throat. “This will be fun.” He says as he laughs. He raises his hand and turns the dagger as to put it in the position to stab me. As he goes to bring it down, he is struck by an arrow right in the chest. He falls backward. He is not moving. I get to feet quickly and look around. I cannot see where it came from. The rest of the gang is starting to run towards me. I turn to run away and then I see them. A group of four men are riding towards me on horses. I run as fast as I can towards them. I feel an arrow fly past my head. It came from behind me. I drop down and look up to the men riding on horses. One of the ones to the side launches an arrow from his longbow while riding and takes down one of the gnomes behind me. The horses go flying by me. As the riders reach the remaining four gang members, the one in the lead quickly dismounts and charges towards them. He draws his sword and engages the remaining humans. Another man come around me and puts his horse between me and the battle that is going on in front of me. He dismounts and pulls me in beside him. He turns to the battle and begins chanting words I have never heard before and holds a holy symbol above his head. The man with the bow is hit by an arrow from one of the gnome gang members. He falls from his horse and is laying on the ground. He is still moving though, so he was not fatally hit. The fourth man rides up close to the other gnome who is about to shoot at him and he quickly flips off of his horse and lands on his feet and plunges his dagger right into the gnomes temple. The man in the front takes down one of the human’s he is fighting. But is then slashed across the chest by the other with a sword. The man with the dagger quickly runs over to help his ally and pulls out a rapier He stabs the human gangs member in the back with it and the man screams out in agony. The man if front swings up his sword with both hands and cuts the gang member front his stomach to his chest. The gang member falls over dead. Over at the last gnome, the man there is dodging arrows being launched him by the gnome. The man with the dagger throws his dagger and it lands in the back of the gnome, followed by and arrow to chest from the man he was firing at. The last gang member falls over dead. The man beside me runs over to tend to the wounds of his comrades and the man with the dagger begins going through the pockets and bags of the fallen gang members.
The man with the dagger places all of the weapons, bags, and stuff from the pockets of the gang members into a pile then goes and ties their horses to a nearby tree and puts some oats out for them to eat. I am just standing in the same place I was as the fight went on. After a little bit of time they all gather to talk then come over to me a short time later. The larger man who had the sword comes over to me. “Well my little friend. It is going to get dark soon. Want to join us for a meal?” I just look up at him and nod my head yes. “Good good.” he says and turns to the man with the dagger. “Tuilinnor, you and Raulin go take care of what needs to be done, then come join us.” The man looks back to him. “We will get right on it Drystan.” The two men walk over to the horses and grab a large sack and an axe. They proceed to each of the gang members and lay them out next to each other. Tuilinnor begins chopping the head and one of the arms of each of them, while Raulin places the dismembered parts into the large sack. “What are they doing?” I exclaim. Drystan looks back to me and begins telling me about the bounty that was put out on the three humans and there was extra in it for them for any associates of theirs. It seemed that the three men were part of the Slick Fingers gang from a human settlement call Morbridge. They had been involved in the robbery and subsequent murder of a nobleman’s son and nephew. He continues. “You see, we are bounty hunters and we tracked these men here. We are unsure if they were trying to seek refuge or here for business. We call ourselves the Bonded Arms Brotherhood.” He pulls up the sleeve of his shirt and shows the thick black band tattooed around the center of his forearm. Tuilinnor there is master at hand to hand combat and is also highly trained in the art of infiltration and assassination, you know for those bounties that we need that extra bit of caution on. The man with him is Raulin. As you saw he is an expert marksman with that bow. He hit that scum that about to kill you from over 200 yards out. This here is Vannes, our resident cleric. He keeps us alive the best he can.” I look up to Vannes and he greets me. “Hail little one, glory be to Thor for carrying us through this day!”
Drystan looks back to me. “So what is your story little friend?” I turn back to him. “Well my name is Gillicot Shimmercoil, but most just call me Gilly.” I continue on telling him of my family and the tale of why I left home. Wanting to see the world and seeing how I fare away from the forests of my people. I talk of my skill in hunting and the talents I developed on how to sneak up on my prey and get surprise attacks on them. Seeming very impressed he speaks again. “Your skills could come in handy with us, with the right amount of training that is. We had a little fellow with us before that had similar skills. He was a Halfling though and he met his unfortunate demise a few months back. What would you think about joining us for a short while? I am sure Tuilinnor would be willing to teach you some of his tricks. If you decide it isn’t for you, I will personally help you get back home.” I ponder his proposal for a few minutes and respond. “Sure, I think that is a wonderful idea.” Drystan with a please look on his face yells out. “Ha-ha! Looks like we got ourselves a replacement for dear ol’ Milo!” I hear the others yell out in turn cheers of welcome. Vannes heads off and gathers some wood and starts up fire. He begins to cook up a meal. I hand him a rabbit I had caught and cleaned earlier. He nods and jams a stick through it and places it above the fire. The rest of the evening is filled with tales of the adventures of the Bonded Arms Brotherhood and stories I share about my family and the skills I learned while hunting.
It isn’t until morning that I realize that Tuilinnor is not a human. He is an elf. I had not seen him without his hood on until now. He comes over to me and hands me a pack. “Here is some stuff for you. I don’t think they will be needing them anymore.” In the pack I find and extra dagger, a quiver of short hand crossbow bolts, a disguise kit, and a poisoner’s kit. “Don’t go messing with those kits too much. It will take a lot of training before you are ready to use those.” He then hands me a hand crossbow and a rapier. “You are going to need those too. What do you say, we go catch some rabbits for the trip back to Morbridge?” I get up and head out with him. We spend the next couple of hours out hunting and come back with enough rabbit and squirrel to last week. Tuilinnor yells out to Drystan as we approach. “He has some skill boss, I can definitely work with that.”
“Good Good.” Drystan replies. “We are just waiting on Raulin to get back. He went looking for the horses that scum stole and came here on.”
A short while later, Raulin come riding back to the group with 2 horses and 3 small ponies. “Looks like they rode one of those horse to death. And these must have belonged to their little friends.” He points to the ponies.
“Well, looks like you have something to ride Gilly.” Drystan says to me.
They finish packing up the horses with their gear and put all of the gear they got from the gang members onto the other horses. I headed out with them towards Morbridge and to my future.
We spend the next few weeks traveling back to Morbridge. We only stop to eat and hunt. As we go out hunting, Tuilinnor teaches me the “Ways of the Rogue” as he calls them. I learn better ways to sneak up on my enemies, how to use my dagger to stun or kill a target, when and how to use the rapier vs. the dagger. He watch as he demonstrates the use of the disguise and poison kits, though he continually reiterates that it will be some time before I am truly proficient with them.
When we finally reach Morbridge, it is mid afternoon. I am just amazed by the sheer size of it. Drystan looks to Tuilinnor. “Why don’t you and our new friend here go and see if you can get us some place to hang out hats and rest our heads? Maybe try that Boisterous Bear place in Southport.” Tuilinnor responds. “Will do boss. See you soon.”
A short time later, we arrive and the tavern and secure a place to stay in its common room for a few nights. We go in, have a seat at a table and have some drinks and exchange small talk for a while until the others arrive around dinner time. We have dinner and talk for the rest of the night. Drystan tosses each of the men a pouch, then turns to look at me. “Here yam go little man. There will be more next time. Now that you are traveling with us, you will be entitled to an equal share of any future work we get.” I open up the pouch and there is about 10-15 gold worth of silver and copper in it.
Tuilinnor takes me out the next morning to some shops and we pick up a shorter cloak with a hood that is similar to his and a handkerchief. He ties the handkerchief around my neck and explains that when we go out on certain jobs, it should be used to cover up my face. We spend the rest of the day and the next couple of weeks in Morbridge. Tuilinnor spends his time training me and taking me to places to practice the proper use of the rapier and dagger in the type of work I will be doing. Drystan spends his time searching the bounty boards and training with the city guard. Raulin makes money taking bets about how far he can shoot and what he can hit at long distance. Vannes spends most of his time in Northport at the Temple of Thor.
After some time, the Bonded Arms Brotherhood is just buried with work. From tracking down members of the Slick Fingers gang to helping protect convoys. I realize quickly that we don’t just take any job. We only take jobs where we are going to help others or go after someone who has done some serious harm to someone else. Most jobs are found from bounty boards while others are from notable persons who seek out our services. We travel all over the human lands. We have been as far north as Kingdom and have gone as far south as Smalltree. I do things that I never thought of. I go with Tuilinnor on recon missions when a high profile bounty comes up. I have killed a living person. This is something I never thought I would do. But I have learn that it is necessary. Not only to make a living, but sometimes, just to survive. There are many people out there that will kill you for a few copper and I learned quickly that when it comes down to it, Kill or be Killed.
A year has passed since I first met the Bonded Arms Brotherhood. Drystan comes to me. “It is time. Time to make it official.” He takes me to a small shop. We walk in and he rolls up his sleeves. The shop keeper leads us to the back. Drystan says to the man, “Give him the marks of the Brotherhood.” as he shows him his arms. It is very painful, but I endure. When it is over, I have a thick black ring around each of my forearms. “Thank you for this honor Drystan.” He smiles and nods. “You have earned it Gilly.”
We continue getting work over the next few years. As we reach what seems to be the six year anniversary of our meeting, we are back in the town of Morbridge. We have just returned from claiming a successful search and rescue mission that took place about 5 days ride out of town. As we sit at a table in the Boisterous Bear, Drystan breaks the silence of our meal. “Boys, it is about time that I hang up my sword. I have saved up enough to build a little place just off the edge of Westland. It has been great traveling and fighting beside each and every one of you. But, I have to tell you the truth, I’m getting too old for this shit.” He give a slight chuckle. “I know you will all land on your feet and be able to find work. I will be heading out in the morning for Westland.
Vannes chimes in at this point. “Yes sir, it won’t be much fun traveling without you. But I do too agree that it is time to move on. I have a felt a calling from Thor himself to return to the service of his order.”
Raulin speaks. “I think I will accompany you on your journey for a while. I am going to head back to Kingdom. I know I can make some money there being a guide or a tracker.”
Tuilinnor just sits there in silence. Not a sounds comes from him. He just finishes his meal and heads to the common room for the night.
“Thank you all for this experience.” I say to the remaining party members. “You have shown me that there is a world beyond the woods of my people.”
We drink the night away and reminisce about the times that we have had. When we decide it is time to retire for the night, we head to the common room. By the time we get there, Tuilinnor is already in his trance so we do not disturb him.
When I wake up in the morning, everyone else is already awake and getting around. But someone is missing. “Where’s Tuilinnor?” I ask. “That’s just how he is. We have been together for all this time and just takes off without a word.” Drystan says. “I am sure we will all see him again before this life is over.” I look down to grab my bag and there is another one beside it. Atop it is a sealed envelope. It say “Gilly, Open in private.” I put it in my pocket and grab my bags and equipment. We head out and have breakfast. When breakfast is over we head out to the stable behind the tavern. We saddle up the horses and my pony. We bid each other farewell and are on our way.
I decided that it is time to head home for a while. I supply up and leave Morbridge behind. About a day out of town, I make camp and pull out the envelope I received earlier. I open it up and read:
“Gilly, it has been my honor to train and work beside you. I am sorry I left without saying anything, but I am not one for goodbyes. I can tell you that we will meet again someday. Remember your training for it will serve you well. In this bag, you will find some things that you will need. Until we meet again.”
I look into the bag and I find:
Vial Toxicity – A book on poison
A Look to Remember – A book about using disguises
A blowgun and belt pouch full of needles
It takes longer to get home than it took when I left first time. This is only because I am extra cautious and take a longer route there.
When I finally reach home, everyone is exited to meet me. I could not tell them of the work that I have been doing, for I know they would be disappointed. So I just told of the places I have seen and said that I just picked up odd jobs along the way. By the time I had returned, all of my siblings had become adults. Most still working in the family business, well all, except Filly. He was still spending his days getting some training in town. I could tell that he was restless though. He was still a year from being considered an adult, so I knew my parents would never agree to him leaving and venturing into the human lands to find training. So, I waited. In private I told Filly stories of the human lands. I spoke of the vast amount of knowledge that could be found in just one book store. I told him that there are mages in shops of almost every city and others that live beyond the city walls.
I spent the next year working with my family. Hunting and hunting. It became so mundane. I longed to get back out into the world and explore it further. I wanted to put the talents I learned from the Brotherhood to good use. Hunt down evil doers and save innocent people, you know, for a profit of course.
When Filly reached adulthood, I did not have to say much to convince him to leave home. So we set out into the world, our eyes first set on Morbridge.