Half Elf, Bard
Blissfully lost in the Feywild.
Knight of the Summer Court, Roamer of the Feywild, Wintermist Wanderer
Your love like a catapult crashed through my hull
Left me ragged and bent in my soul,
Sent me shouting alike to the sea and green sky.
Wish I’d wings for to watch from above.
As you threw out your arms and thus summoned this storm,
Set my dogs and my wolves all to howl,
Sent me tumbling around, begging for solid ground,
Addled hatchling, a lost drunken dove.
On the morning I woke to see you sail the moat,
All the orchids and lilies did wilt.
Sent my ramparts and walls that had once towered tall,
This whole castle, a’crumbling to stone.
When you made me to weep down abandoned old streets,
My tears turned the brick roads to silt,
Sent the city away in a river of waves,
And sank to the bottom my bones.
Some people are alive for hundreds of years and never live a single day. Shut up in his tower with all his books, the recluse never learns of love. Wailing away every day in the shop, the artisan knows nothing of the road. Even many kings who spend the whole of their time consumed with the governance of some tiny patch of land, even they miss out on all the life flowering around them. The same cannot be said for Cyrell Serathien.
Cyrell was born only 29 years ago, the illegitimate son of Cyrac Serathien and Adrienna Bluewine. He doesn’t know much about either of them, least of all Cyrac. He knows Adrienna was a tavern maid and that she died giving birth to him, and that Cyrac was a warrior from some distant Elf army. After his birth, he was given to Adrienna’s brother Ballas Bluewine, a retired Captain in the King’s Navy who had sailed the Midnight Sea and the Sea of Dragons for 20 years before losing his ship, the Star of Selone, and most of his crew to Tharizdun’s Tempest – the most vicious storm Ballas had ever seen. Ballas only survived by mere chance, or perhaps fate, or perhaps the favor of Melora. As his ship sank, he climbed aboard a piece of driftwood big enough to serve as a raft and spent many suns and moons floating on the open sea until he was fortunate enough to be picked up by a passing trade vessel, the Zembari Roamer. After two more years at sea, they finally returned to the Gulf of Kul and he made his way home to the Nentir Vale.
Upon returning, Ballas found Adrienna pregnant with a fatherless child, and soon found himself the father to her motherless son. He taught Cyrell the ways of the seafarer, the stars, history and religion. But the biggest influence he had on the young Half Elf was in the music he taught him – battle hymns, songs of the sea, love songs, drinking songs, the hymnals of many faiths. Cyrell learned the lute, mandolin, drums, harp, and flute, but he especially took a liking to the lyre. The two of them traveled the Vale, even once down into Therund and over to Kul.
The Wintermist Wanderers
At age 18, Cyrell was invited to join the Wintermist Wanderers troupe, a band of musicians, singers, dancers, and jesters that traveled up and down the King’s Road. The Troupe was led by Periem Clivase, an Elf from the Winterbole who was demanding of the players, but incredibly supportive of them as well, especially the younger members like Cyrell. While most of the troupe were talented artists, Clivase was more than that – he had magic to supplement his ability as a singer. Seeing promise in young Cyrell, Clivase began to teach him how to augment his performance with magic, but was not able to teach him more than the most basic of songspells. In the winter of Cyrell’s fifth year with the Wanderers, Clivase came to his end after an argument with an innkeeper led him to steal every coin in the inn, which in turn led the innkeeper (by way of his brother, a soldier) to track down and kill Clivase. The troupe kept on, but lacking the leadership eventually disbanded and Cyrell came back to the Bluewine farm in the Old Hills. His uncle Ballas was now in his fading years, and Cyrell stayed there to comfort him through his last days.
Back to Bluewine
When he was 27, Ballas a year gone, Cyrell had inherited the small farm and moderate amount of wealth his uncle had remaining, and spent the next two years isolated from the world, perfecting his musical craft in the small cottage in the Old Hills. The only person he saw on a regular basis was Sollee, a girl from the Gray Downs he had been friends with as a child and whom he had fallen in love with since his return home. They spent all their time together, straying through the woods and hills and fields. But all of that soon came apart. Sollee disappeared, without notice, and when he traveled back to her home near the Sword Barrow, her family had no word from her either. Lost, he returned home once again, but this time there was nothing to come back to. The cottage and the fields of the Bluewine Farm had been set to fire while he was gone. All that was left was ash by the time he arrived. The accuracy of the fire, having only burned the cottage, crop fields, and farmhouse, made him assume it was in some way magic, and the fact that nothing survived the fire (not even their animals’ remains) let him know it was not natural but man-made and intentional.
He was broken, by the disappearance of his love, by the raiding and destruction of his home, and by the loss of everything around him in the last 7 years. He was convinced that Sollee’s departure and the raiding of the Bluewine Farm were not unrelated coincidences, but he had no idea how they might be tied together. With only the possessions he had returned from the Gray Downs with (basic provisions, a weapon, a lyre, and his armor and clothing), he set out to find who had taken Sollee from him, and who had set his home ablaze.
Renwood and New Beginnings
He came to Renwood seeking his wayward lass, but quickly found himself immersed in much more. After poking around the town for a day or so and meeting a traveling cleric, Cyrell began hearing a lot of rumors surrounding the local tavern, the head of the militia, odd monsters about, and a startling number of strange disappearances. He also heard of a band of troublesome adventurers, and noticed the townsfolk growing wary of all the travelers in town, thinking they were the cause of all the problems. He found one of the adventurers, a ranger, arguing with the jailers and trying to convince them to release a prisoner. After following her to the outskirts of town, he met with her group and decided to assist them in trying to get Theo the tavern owner to stop his experiments that were behind the strange occurrences.
They then went to confront Theo about this, but he was resistant to ending his work and began trying to talk the group into accepting his viewpoint. Having grown tired of all this, one of the Dragonborn fighters went into a rage and attacked Theo. Cyrell convinced the barmaid, Mae Ri Ahh, to stand down, and as the fight erupted around him, he tried to protect her while healing and helping his allies against Theo.
After the fight, several Shard creatures burst into the cellar of the tavern through a wall and pleaded with the group to help them in repairing the recently-broken Living Gate. Nikolai, Daniria, and Cyrell all accepted and promised to do whatever they could to help. Given three options, the party elected to take up the gathering of powerful artifacts to be used in repairing the Gate. They also learned around this time that the barmaid was more than she seemed — rather than some tavern wench or hired hand, she was actually the Princess of the Summer Court of Fey. She told them she knew of the Shards and the quest they had imparted on the party, and that she supported them in this endeavor, and gave them the key to a safe house nearby and a candle to guide them to where they needed to go.
After a short travel, the group found a door in the woods that led them to the Feywild. There, they ran into several wild creatures (some aggressive, some benevolent, some downright cute), and made their way to the first town they could find. It was a strange town, and became even stranger when the bell in the center square rang, turning the once bright and quiet town into a dark village filled with zombies and a rift blocking their escape. The group fought off the zombies, breached the bell tower, and (quite humorously) rang the bell to set the town back to normal once again. They then burned the tower to the ground, and sent the bell itself to the Shards as their first major artifact. After rescuing the few villagers left in the sewer, performing a few rituals for the dead, and setting everything straight, they gave the town a new name in hopes of helping it forge a new future. The town was now New Beginnings, a quiet and peaceful village of the Feywild.
The Castle, the Queen, and the Oath
Continuing on, the group finally came to the safe house Mae Ri Ahh had given them access to. Inhabited by pixies and tree ents, the safe house was both a private residence for the Summer Court and a central hub for travel between the Summer, Fall, and Spring lands. After being greeted by the ents and pixies, the party learned it had not been given access to the safe house, but had been given the safe house itself. They armed themselves with items from the armory full of the spoils of the War with Winter, rested, and planned their next move. Instead of going on to Harkenwold, as was originally the plan, they decided to go to Senaliesse to offer their assistance in the war and to investigate alternative ways to find artifacts for the Shards.
Nikolai and Xandril met with Mae Ri Ahh in Renwood briefly, and received from her a token to use to gain audience with her mother, the Queen. The party then went through the portal to the Summer city, and as quickly as possible met with Queen Tiandra. After much discussion, it was evident that the group would not be able to help the Summer Court without a stronger bond to it, and Cyrell pledged his allegiance to Tiandra and the Summer Fey, planning to become her emissary to the Court of Spring and the Prince of Hearts. Instead of giving him papers and a seal to do her bidding under, she had him taken to the armory to be fit for armor and sent to the front lines. The party quickly convinced her, however, that Cyrell would be better suited for diplomatic work, and he was brought back in. He again swore himself to the Summer’s cause and to the Queen, and asked if he should bear her seal going forward. With the slightest gesture, she transformed his hair into long locks of shifting autumn colors that sprouted flowers. This would be her seal.
Later that day, there was some trouble with Balasar arriving late to the city without clearance to enter, and he was thrown in jail. Cyrell and his companions caused a huge scene and eventually managed to break the Dragonborn out of prison. During this, however, the new hair began communicating psychically with Cyrell, and by the end of the night revealed that it was a means of communication between himself and the Queen, and also somewhat her leash for him. This was both incredibly relieving and ominous, but also remarkably helpful.
At first glance, Cyrell is a bit of a stringy fellow, but with the gruff look of a man who has seen much of the road. His hair is an ever-changing thicket of autumn colors that can appear auburn, golden, oak, orange, red, and the entire spectrum between those. Sprouting from his thick mane are dozens of small flowers; they are not simply stuck into his hair, but rather growing from it. Out from underneath his hair poke his faintly pointy ears, but if you were not looking for it you might not notice the difference between his and any human’s ears. Besides his subtly pointy ears, his face does not bear much of his Elven heritage. His chin has a small point to it, but his jaw is short and square, his nose shorter than average and kind of smushed down. His beard is short and inconsistent, a good deal thicker and darker under his chin than on his cheeks. Even when he is cleanly shaven, he tends to keep the thin mustache.
His body has a slender build, another sign of his non-human half. He looks like an adolescent Orc could snap him in two, but his strength and toughness are deceptive. He dons a suit of golden scale armor, engraved with summery designs of flora and fauna and radiating a faint but obvious glow of golden light. This armor is never dirty, even when he is. At times, this is covered by a black cloak, but not often: Cyrell is not one for hiding usually. He almost always has his lyre in his hands, and when it’s not, it’s strapped over one shoulder and hanging at his side. Strapped behind his back and over the other shoulder is an enormous spear with a shard of crystal for a point. The shaft of the spear is covered in detailed shining blue-purple runes that give off the slightest tinge of static electricity to others that take it in their hands. His pack is black and dirty, beaten and patched and restitched many times over; it has obviously seen much of the road, giving the impression that its owner has as well.
Cyrell is a witty person. His words and strings have drawn many a woman to his bed, but have also drawn many a fist towards his face. He generally acts carefree but is vicious towards those who have wronged him. He has a reputation for cowardice from his tendency to skip out on barfights (odd for a man who starts so many), but has recently decided he wants to shed those rumors and make his courage known. Outwardly, Cyrell is self-absorbed, only caring about himself and his music, but he is quietly very supportive toward the people he is close
to and shows his gratitude privately. He is distrusting of most people and things, and especially so towards people of the faith. In terms of religion, he pays homage to many gods, but his true faith is fickle. Most often, he says he aligns himself with Sune, at other times Melora, Corellon, and Avandra. Cyrell is not an evil man concerned with destruction or death or tyranny, but is not beyond a little greed to further himself or underhanded tactics to bring down his enemies. He is as likely to distrust a good man as an evil one; both have agendas and both are blind to truth when it comes to destroying the other.
Cyrell has many nicknames and aliases. He might introduce himself as “Cyrell Silverstring”, “Cyrell Stringsinger”, “Prince of Poets”, or “The Lake Nen Lyrist”. Someone else might refer to him as “King of the Cottontails”, “That Annoying Bard”, or “Prince of Pansies”.