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Despite the smile pasted on Finny’s face, he still had that ghost of concern when the Eladrin looked into his eyes. He nodded covertly, "A game for another time then." He took a seat, his shoulders slumping.
Despite the smile pasted on Finny’s face, he still had that ghost of concern when the Eladrin looked into his eyes. He nodded covertly, "A game for another time then." He took a seat, his shoulders slumping.
Latest revision as of 20:10, 23 May 2023
|Relatives||Mother: Safflower Warbler
Father: Wheatly WarblerYounger Sisters: (Twins) Taurlin and Tenneah Warbler
|Languages||Common, Aarakocra, Auran, Elvish|
|Marital Status||Single, but is open to Suggestion|
|Place of Birth||Xender City|
|Date of Death||N/A|
|Place of Death||N/A|
Finnegan (Finny) Warbler is a Puffin Aarakocra who is also a College of Whispers Bard.
Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]
Finny has handsome but strikingly gold eyes, He is about 15, 6 foot 2 inch, 104lb Puffin Aarakocra. His plumage is a silky black and bright white - being that he is a puffin, and his beak is bright orange with a little bit of black and white striping. He wears a red-feathered headpiece pinned to his head and a white scarf slung around his neck at almost all times. He has a few scars, but mostly it's his hands that are calloused from years of training with instruments.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Finny is honestly quite friendly. He grew up in a happy home with a loving set of parents, and a set of young infant pair of twin sisters whom he adored. His family gave him the choice of his career - to which he almost instantly chose the life of a musician. Finny trained under a master for a large portion of his life - enjoying the freedom of music and song. He exudes this joy in all he does, both on the battlefield and at home.
History[edit | edit source]
Finny honestly had a fantastic childhood. His folks were loving and caring, he has siblings that are young adults now, and quite frankly - he couldn't have it better. He trained under a fellow-feathered master of music, only known as Professor Cuki Gander, who allowed Finny to grow and flourish as a student. They traveled frequently, learning new songs from around the region and making new ones up about local tales for the stories that lacked music. This was a happy routine, all up until Cuki suddenly disappeared in the night, leaving his unfinished music behind. Finny was old enough at that time to go out on his own, and therefore decided to locate his missing mentor - or at least write a song worth the legacy of his missing mentor's presence.
He has wandered into the Feywilds, he gained a few things here and there, but honestly found the muses there to be... too chaotic to compose for. Anyways, he prefers the rich history of his home plane, and seeks to record the stories of history and its heroes!
Languages[edit | edit source]
Common, Aarakocra, Auran, Elvish - (Though is keen on learning more for more music variation!)
Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]
Finnegan puts power behind his words - literally putting money where his mouth is. If he says he can do it - he will without a doubt make sure it comes to fruition. Those who face against him, beware - those fingers will work magic, and not the kind that plays fair. The feywilds have offered him a few tricks up his sleeve - so messing with him too far is ill-advised.
Attacks and Weapons [edit | edit source]
As a resident spell-slinger, his favorite word is "No". Being able to put his enemies at a disadvantage gives him amusement, and being able to neutralize them at the same time is even better! He carries a lovely longsword on him that he prefers not to use, but it's definitely not just for show if things get messy.
Opinions of his Associates:[edit | edit source]
Reedy: Based on general encounters, they're civil. Although he's noticed that she doesn't seem to talk all that much except with a few select folk.
Wiggler: An awakened worm within a suit of armor. Their ability to shape-shift is amusing, and they are quite docile but supportive. Finny considers them a good friend.
Paris: Annoying at worst. A good spar partner. Has depth despite her flat, glamourous appearance.
Lambda: A good soldier, and a comforting presence.
Jim: In need of a good roughening up. Pleasant when doing puzzles.
Sabbatical: Also in need of a reality check. Pompous and arrogant - The term "Don't speak unless you have something nice to say" would fall on deaf ears.
Sneeze: A feral child - but not an unwelcome presence. He cannot swim.
Miss Marion: A very welcome presence. There is not a mean bone in her body.
Kompi: A small, but loveable creature.
Obsidian (Idi): A welcome presence, still not sure about their goals - but they are friendly.
Eedryll: A Fae lord that he has offered a sliver of trust - especially concerning his bargain with the Bogge. Despite telling people that he has no faith in him - he offered something precious for his aid. A source of aid from the Court of Seasons.
Nass: A brother-in-arms. He thinks very highly of this individual. He has been a very welcome presence and a source of grounding.
Luster: An untrustworthy individual, but a good source for interesting music. A potential link to gaining aid from the Moon Court.
Songs and Stories of his Travels, the Retelling of a Wandering
Bird Bard:[edit | edit source]
The Hanging Library of Xander - My Time enrolled in the College of Silent Song:[edit | edit source]
Among the Faeries - My time within the Seelie Court:[edit | edit source]
It was a year after I had left to search for Professor Cuki Gander. I had been looking through his unfinished compositions, and found one telling of a doorway to a fantasmal realm of the Fey. It took much time to decipher - but eventually I had located the doorway. I stepped in, amazed by the wonderous landscape and creatures. It was just as my mentor had described it, full of lush colors, teeming with life and magic to the point that I had to take a day to accustom myself to the sudden influx of surrounding innate strength of the weave here. I had relied heavily on my Mentor's notes and song scraps - eventually stumbling upon a vast castle a few days into exploring this realm's majesty. I was small compared to it's grandeur - the gardens eerily perfect yet wild in growth. It's paths and gazeboes appeared empty - to which I treaded carefully. Still... something about that place had a - a pull, like a melody you can't remember the name to but it's on the tip of your tongue. I followed the pull, hoping to get the answer to why such a lovely place like this could be simply abandoned.
From the gardens, I entered a grand entrance hall, faelights glittering among precious jewels and artesian architecture. I wandered the entrance to the palace - again, finding it empty and devoid of activity. Room after room was fully furnished and without a hint of dust, dining rooms set for a grand entourage, ballrooms set up for a ball that would put the wealthiest of mortal kings to shame - the orchestral pit prepped with the finest of instruments. Finny's stomach dropped at the sight, how this building felt like a shell filled with ghosts of what once resided here. He quickly continued his exploration, looking for any sort of inhabitant. The deeper he wandered into the palace, the stronger that pull for an answer became. He passed by dozens of kitchens, an entire wing for servants, libraries that made Xender's Hanging Archives look tiny in comparison.
This specter of a palace had almost everything a mortal could crave for. He continued to look, finally stumbling upon the throne room.
He nearly had a heart attack.
Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of fey folk bowed before a simple stone throne inhabited by one of the most beautifully terrifying creatures in the world. She was dressed in what looked like enchanted silk, a crown of elk antlers and glittering jewels sitting above her brow. Her dark raven-colored hair laid unbound, a stark contrast to her blood-red lips that smiled with the look of poisoned honey - A beautiful trap meant to ensnare and then tear apart her enemies and friends alike.
Something in me told me to avoid her gaze, to avoid this Empress’ watch. I listened - keeping to the tall pillars that held this massive throne room up and open. I prayed that the other individuals in this room didn’t notice me, that I would be like a mouse among the halls - noticed but left alone. A nuisance not worth dealing with or acknowledging. I held my breath shallow, not risking even the air from my lungs to be heard among the silence of the room. I just needed to get out, run back where I came from.
“I see you there, skittering creature.”
My blood froze.
“Reveal yourself, trespasser… and I would avoid any of your mortal tricks - one word from me and you’ll be hunted down and torn apart as our evening entertainment.”
I did as I was ordered, stepping out into the room - part of the crowd making room or avoiding this Queen’s gaze. I made no thought to move further.
The royal seated on her stone throne gave a cat’s smile - like I was to be devoured if I displeased her.
“Tell me, feathered thing - how did you come by my lovely home, how did you come to smear your mortal stench upon my abode?”
I gulped, feeling my pulse thunder through my throat. One word - one wrong word and I would be better off dead. One wrong gaze and I very well might be torn apart under her predator’s gaze.
I steeled myself, ordering my heart to cease its thundering. “My apologies, Your Majesty” I bowed low, aware of that ever-present, feral gaze, “I stumbled upon it looking for someone. I meant no insult to you or your home.”
“Yet you are here before me, uninvited. I have sent my hounds upon those for committing lesser crimes.”
“I beg your majesty to have mercy. I was unaware, and had I known - I would not have dared to step one foot into your magnificent home.”
I slathered honey on those words, sensing her pride and arrogance are most likely well-earned. Whoever this Queen was, she deserved her title. The power radiated off her like a wave. I would need to play into it if I was to escape.
“Yes… of course a dim-witted mortal like yourself would be unaware of my court’s customs and carefully crafted culture,” The raven-haired queen mused. “Then I suppose you should be educated.”
My stomach dropped to my feet. I knew time here worked differently than in the Material Plane.
“Yes…” The feline’s grin expanded, the queen’s perfectly straight, white teeth grinning. “You will spend one year here to learn our ways - a rather merciful and fitting punishment for ignorance. Of course, you’ll have to earn your keep - but we’ll find something for a pitiful mortal bird like you to do.” She flicked a hand to a group of her guards - their eyes turned to me as they approached.
I had no choice but to grovel. “A- as you wish, Your Majesty. You have my gratitude.”
“As you should.”
The guards took me from my place, gruffly sending me to the Queen’s side - to observe as the court proceeded to resume its event.
One Year later...
It had been almost a year - my time stuck to Her Majesty’s side coming to an end. It served its purpose, and I did learn the ways of the Seelie court - as well as their diplomatic status concerning a few other courts she spoke with. I had not been given any work to do yet - which I was confused about, but I had chalked it up to her merely forgetting her last statement. I had made few allies within her flower-gilded palace, and those who did get close to me were promptly never seen again if we spoke too frequently.
To the world, I had become Her Majesty’s quiet, new pet.
But alone in my room, I wrote letters and played quietly in the evenings when Her Majesty had no need of me or quick moments of solitude. I memorized the music of her musicians and vocalists, the haunting tunes sometimes stuck in my mind for hours… even days at a time. Sometimes it was the only thing that let me sleep when the Queen was enraged - the sharp sounds of screaming echoing its way into my room from her throne.
Those were the nights where I begged to go home.
But the time was almost up. My gilded capture was almost at an end.
The morning of my final day within the presence of Her Majesty started as usual. I bowed deeply to the Seelie Queen when I approached her throne - bid her well-wishings and an everlasting reign.
“It seems your time with me is almost at an end, Little Bird,” The queen stated, enjoying a cup of Faerie Wine.
“It will burden me to leave your presence, Your Majesty, ” I replied - the statement felt like sand in my mouth. I couldn’t wait to return home.
“It is not everyday that I take someone underneath my wing to teach them of our ways.” The queen was in a seemingly good mood then.
I forced a soft smile, making it sure it reached my eyes. I’ve practiced this a thousand times in the mirror - until you couldn’t tell real from fake, “Your graciousness is abounding. I will be sure to speak well of your mercy towards me when I return home.”
The queen did not reply, the feline smile on her lips telling me everything I needed to know. At least… that’s what I thought.
“Yes, yes… about that.”
I nearly choked, forcing myself to look up at her.
“You have yet to fulfill the rest of our little bargain, Little Bird. And I’ve had one of my courtiers total the cost of your staying here - and it has quite the heavy price tag.” She holds up a parchment, letting it unroll on the throne room floor.
It unrolled all the way to the end of the hall. I picked up a section to look at.
Clothing… food… payment for the attendants to assist me…
“It seems you will be working for me for quite some time… and before you think of offering gold - I have no need of it.”
I tried to keep my repulsion at bay, to swallow down the bile that crawled up my throat at the sheer number.
“No, I think I have the perfect job for my new little songbird.”
She snapped her finger, a figure - her youngest son - appearing out of thin air. He had a wolf’s grin on his lips.
“My poor child can hardly sleep at night. It seems like nothing can cause him to slumber peacefully - so I figured, ‘What better way to put my new pet to use than to make it sing?’”
My tools - my precious relics of home also appeared before me. I couldn’t move - barely had the thought to breathe.
“I had a few of my servants keep an eye on you - and they spoke of you being quite the musician during the night. Such a fitting duty for a thing like you… and I have just the song in mind.”
The queen had a large harp brought before her - the golden instrument encrusted with jewels and various depictions of faeries dancing around maypoles and bonfires.
“A song I used to play when they were little, but I find myself unable to remember the words to,” She cooed softly - a cruel smile in her words.
Her fingers plucked the strings like a true prodigy of music - the melody sad and haunting and maddening. To hear it was to see the world end and rebirth over and over through sound alone.
When she finished, she looked to me, “Certainly a prodigy as yourself should find that tune to be simple.”
I answered carefully, “Your expertise will make my own pale in comparison.”
The queen laughs mirthfully. “Then it seems you will need encouragement - because you will not sleep until it is satisfactory to my son. It seems fitting that you shouldn’t be able to indulge in what my child cannot. But do not worry - you will not perish from exhaustion, I can’t let you escape your duty so easily.”
A Journey of Music and Collecting - My Contract with the Bogge, the Unseelie Courtier:[edit | edit source]
"Collect for me, Nine Seelie Names,
Complete my song, O' Feathered Folly,
Three small gifts, To guide this Game
That your return, Shall make me Jolly.
Your timer unknown, your race begun,
you'll escape your cage, fly from the Queen's grasp,
So long as the part is played, your song is sung,
Lest I return you within my clasp."
First of Many - My collection of the First Seelie Name:[edit | edit source]
Second Song - My collection of the Second Seelie Name:[edit | edit source]
Third Fiddle - My collection of the Third Seelie Name:[edit | edit source]
After the Bath - Encountering the Bogge:[edit | edit source]
As Finny rests in the bathhouse, his friends leaving, he watches as nearby greenery grows into thick rooted vines that grow along the edge of the bath close to you, vines dark and rotted coated in a thick black char. You hear a voice in your mind: "You have made some interesting friends within the courts...." Finny nearly has a heart attack, reminding himself of his captor’s conditions. He mutters quietly to the entity that watches him from the shadows. "I make no friends within them. It would be wise to avoid stirring the waters, Baron of Fear." The Bogge speaks, its voice giving the feel like it’s smiling with many teeth. "I am not so sure that is true." A small feather floats up from beneath the water, the same one Finny gave to Sir Yewvane Eedryll.
Finny glares. "What alliances I make in the Material plane are none of your concern. I own three of your needed names, you will get what we agreed upon. Her Majesty's claws are far more harrowing than my want to be free of you."
The Bogge continues, "You should choose your words wisely little bird. One should watch their tone when speaking to me. The wrath of the queen pales in comparison to what I may wrought on your soul. I am the trees, I am the forest, I am the land. Fear me for I am ancient, and you are nothing."
Finny dug deep, trying to dredge up the mask he wore while in Her Majesty’s clutches. "Ancient as you are - you have little hold on me. Just as you speak to Her Majesty's son, I too will expand my spider's web. The faster I get your names, the faster I can rid myself of your Fae Court games and you can proceed in tearing Her Majesty's crown off her head.” He tried to walk back to the Tavern, "I would ask that you leave my associates out of this. Your business is with me - and I will use the Court of Seasons to my benefit to rid myself of Her Majesty's leash."
A spear of the rotting vine shot for Finny, a threat and a promise. "You're nothing, without me....."
Finny stepped out of the way, turning his back to the beast."Break my wings if you want. I'm sure you wouldn't be half as creative as Her Majesty's twisted mind." He walks off, using false bravado to make himself walk out and into the tavern. He wants to throw up, he wants to scream and cry, he wants to run... But he will tug on his leash until it snaps. He will not bow again.
The Bogge continued, "If you cross me again, you will beg for me to return you to her hands. I have seen the rise and fall of so many before her, I will see hers as well no different than the rest. In the meantime, my little songbird, maybe I will pay your friends in the yellow tent a visit..."
It’s a few moments before the voice and its presence vanish.
Finny’s stomach drops. "Shit." He races to the tavern, hoping to beat it there.
A Drink among Friends:[edit | edit source]
It is a warm evening inside the Tavern. Many have gone off to do things. Though some occupy the main room, including Finnegan, Marion, and Nassir, as well as Wiggler, currently residing in the form of a cat. They had been sharing conversation for a little while prior, but the calm has settled around the place, the fire’s crackling the loudest thing people hear. The bird went to assist Nassir in moving his things from one of the canvas tents outside into the warm, dry interior of the lodge.
Finny looked to Marion. "Now, I believe I had asked if you had any requests for this evening's entertainment, Ms. Marion. So, what should I play next?" He offers a soft smile, offering a few instrument options to choose from. "I can assist Nassir and you can let me know your selection when we return."
A look of remembrance snaps onto the tiefling's face while the cat climbs onto Marion's shoulders.
"Oh- Yes. I may need to think of that for a moment, if you'd be so kind."
“No, though you might struggle to leave in your current circumstances.” The dragonborn goes to leave, and stops by the door briefly before walking out.
Finnegan looks to Nassir. "Are you sure? I'd be happy to be of assistance." He conjures a light. "Seeing in color is better than grays."
Kompi, the kobold that had been hiding in Nassir’s shadow, stared sadly at the door, watching Nassir go out the door into the cold night.
Marion noticed the little thing’s distress, offering a seat neext to her, "Kompi? Would you like to sit with me, or help Nassir?"
While everyone is busy trying to assist him, Nassir walks back inside about 32 seconds later with a roll of canvas and 2 bags more than usual. “Which rooms aren’t taken?”
The cat carefully hops off Marion's shoulders and approaches Kompi - who looked to be having decision paralysis, booping them in the snout gently.
Finnegan closed the door behind Nassir, trying to avoid the cold seeping into the room. "There should be a couple just upstairs that are still vacant." He points to a few doors left open - the rooms empty of belongings or gear.
The dragonborn nods to Finny “Suvarir, friend.”
Finnegan replies, “Anytime.”
At that moment, a melody popped into Marion’s head, remembering her feathered friend’s request. "Oh- I think I know a good one- Do you know ‘Elsa's Song’? It's a bit sad, but my father used to sing it as a lullaby.”
A loud thud is heard a few seconds after Nassir disappears from view, and he returns shortly thereafter, uncharacteristically unarmed.
Fin then turns to Marion. "A sad song indeed. I know it by another name - as it was a funeral dirge from a small town I stayed at for the night during my travels. However, allow me to indulge you.” He begins to recite the song, tapping on the wood of the wall as his drum.
Marion smiles, their eyes closing once more as they simply listen and relax.
As the bird sings, the song invokes the flames of the fire to gently writhe in their stone-captivity, the flicker of light like a primordial dance in tune to the music.
Nassir returns by the fire alongside Marion, making sure Kompi and the cat are out of the way before flicking his tail out of the way and dropping onto the floor. He produces his flask, and sits with his elbows on his knees, cross legged in front of the hearth. The cat watches the hypnotizing flames as Finnegan plays their tune. They attempt to clap their paws together after the performance before returning to Marion's side.
Once the song concludes, Nassir looks between finny and Marion, “Drink?”
The avian nods, his throat parched from the song. "I would gladly go for a drink. "
Marion claps softly, looking over at Nassir and gives a small nod. "You always play beautifully, Finnegan."
Nassir grins, and passes a flask to Finnegan “Hope you’ve a strong stomach, Ner’Vod.”
Finnegan then looks to Marion, "Thank you. You're very kind." He then turns his attention to the dragonborn beside him, raising a groomed eyebrow. "I have yet to meet a dragonborn as ballsy as you, Nassir. You make for fine company." He takes the flask and takes a swig, having had Faerie Wine - he hopes this isn't nearly as bad as that stuff.
Nassir bows his head, grin still plastering his face at the sight of Finny. “Thank you - though I might wait on that compliment, your opinion might be about to change”
The comment proves to be true, as the aarakocra lasts but a few seconds before tears start welling up in his eyes, his stomach churning in rebellion of the foul liquid. "The-" He begins to dry heave, "Ever-living hell is this..."
"I... Don't think I can help with that." Marion chuckles softly, before elbowing Nassir. "You should have warned them-"
The dragonborn, bearing a shit-eating grin, begins to bellow a hearty laugh “Ha! The look on your face, that brings me back to my blooding as a child.”
It goes a few moments later before the bird quickly runs outside, upending his previous meal. "My god... What hate-filled-" He heaves once more, "- sadistic mongrel..." The bird puts his head to the ground for some sort of cooling effect, "... Dreamed up this nightmare concoction!?"
Nassir, peering from the door, starts to look visibly concerned “Should…should I get someone? To help with that?”
Marion looks concerned as well, but shrugs. "...They'll be fine... Probably."
“In my defense, I did warn them.” he does his best to stop chuckling “Like I said last night, netra’gal packs a punch.”
"Yeah, and you nearly cried while drinking it." Marion scoffs softly.
The cat walks back to the fire, and against their better judgment, sticks their tongue into the flask. All of the fur sticks up as the cat stumbles woozily around before collapsing.
After a few moments, Finnegan looks to have some semblance of stability - his feathers a little disheveled. "Good joke, my scaled comrade. Next time, you get a swig from my stash and we'll see what happens."
Marion chuckles, picking up the flask and offering it to Nassir.
The owner of said flask then takes it back and takes a swig before re-corking it.
Marion observes the flask, "I still want to try some- I just would rather you be a bit tipsy before I make a fool of myself." Marion teases, watching the other with a soft laugh.
Nassir violently coughs almost instantly, a brief burst of flames sent spewing across the rocks of the hearth “... That one went up my nose.” He half laughs, half coughs, “I deserved that…”
Finnegan watches this, a smile on his face as he feels like his tongue is just nothing but ashy numbness. "You did warn us it packs a punch."
Marion chuckles, patting the dragonborns back. Nassir smiles wistfully through the cough-filled recovery “My brother wouldn’t have let that one go.”
After seeing that Nassir is alright, Finnegan pulls out a small, mauve-colored glass bottle from a bag, the topper glittering as an image of a pair of butterfly wings. "Care to try some of this? It's not as pungent as yours... but quite interesting to those who have never had it before."
The tiefling’s eyes glance at the glittering thing in Finnegan’s hand. "The bottle is beautiful." She remarks, smiling softly.
Nassir also glances at the bottle. “Does this one come with a warning? Or just spite?”
Marion holds Wiggler, the poor thing drooling on the ground prior. "Should one be drank before the other, or is this a free for all?" She teases, head tilting as she watches.
Finnegan chuckles. "For those who have never experienced the Feyrealm or its... splendors - this can be considered a very fast introduction to it. The more often you drink it, the less chance of a side effect it has on you - but that takes a while. So if you'd like to take a crash course through Feyrealm 'splendor' - be my guest and take off the topper. Sniff it if you really want to beforehand - it does smell quite lovely.” He extends the bottle to Nassir. Both a challenge and an invitation.
Nassir snorts. “I learned of fey a day or two ago, and already I’m visiting. I’d almost prefer you challenged me to Taung.” He takes the elaborate bottle, and a deep breath to get the last of the burn of the netra’gal from be the back of his nose “This ought to be interesting.” He pops the stopper, and takes a swig.
In a few moments, The two watch as their dragonborn friend’s body goes limp, stilling as his eyes dilate and drools from the mouth.
Through the haze, Nassir mumbles, “I hate flutes…”
Finnegan gently takes the Fae Wine from Nassir, offering it to Marion. "If you'd like… He'll be okay - it wears off after a little."
Marion sets Wiggler to her side, smiling softly and taking the fae wine. She smells it, before taking a careful sip.
Finnegan watches Marion hesitate for a moment, "It certainly seems like Nassir's gotten a wild hit of Feyrealm Splendor." He can't help but laugh, the sound bright and airy.
Marion blinks after a few seconds past swallowing the drink, giggling softly and shifting to lean against whoever is sitting beside them. They cover their mouth, hiding the grin that's formed as they watch the iridescent forms swim through air. As they speak, their voice is a mere whisper. "Oh, this is lovely..."
After a few minutes staring into space in a daze, Nassir starts blinking away the haze that’s slowly lifting from his mind “Ugh…well…I suppose you did warn me.” he starts to get up, but stops when Marion begins to slide to the ground “Fair play, Vod.”
Finnegan smiles. " Welcome back - did you enjoy the ride?"
“About as much as you enjoyed the black ale, I’d reckon.”
"For all the awful it was, I thought it was quite interesting. I'll be better prepared the next time we decide to get drinks." He offers the dragonborn a hand. "Congratulations on surviving your first dreg."
The dragonborn looks to the floor vacantly, “It’s good to have siblings again, even if you are all dar’manda.” He takes the offered hand “And you yours.”
Marion looks up at Nassir, giggling softly before reaching a hand out towards one of the floating shapes- Less to catch it, and more to just watch how it moves. "If you think this is bad...Life must have been easy." She hums, head tilting as the images seem to swim deeper into the air itself.
Finnegan turns to Nassir, "You'll have to forgive me - but I'm unfamiliar with some of those words. Care to offer a translation?"
Nassir obliges. “Vod means brother or sister, or sibling. It’s interchangeable.”
The bird tilts his head to the side in curiosity. "Interesting. I would assume 'dar'manda' means something along the lines of 'outsider'?"
"Mhmm," Marion simply hums in response, stretching from their spot like a cat in the midday sun.
Nassir nods an affirmation, “Yes. Not as an insult, just an acknowledgement.”
Finny watches Marion, seeing her all giggly forcing him to crack a grin. "It might have to do something with your connection to magic - some people have far better firsts than others. I've heard some have felt like they were being eaten by swarms of beetles, others felt their flesh feel like it was melting off them... it's different for everyone on their first go. Some experience euphoria so intoxicating they nearly combust."
Marion, in a bout of clarity, replies to the winged bird among a swathe of glimmering fishes. "Oh...Maybe. I didn't think people would drink it if they realized it varied so much...I'm sorry if you didn't like it, Nassir." She blinks, frowning ever so slightly, trying to offer some reassurance in case it had been as bad as having their flesh melt off.
"No offense was taken. And honestly - I think our draconic friend here had a rather mild effect compared to my first time."
Nassir pats Marion’s shoulder reassuringly “I’m fine. Though the flutes, or whatever they were, that was infuriating.”
"Oh, you had the panpipes I presume? Nasty things - the song gets stuck in your head for hours. When I had my first drink I felt like I was floating, only then to feel like my feathers were being plucked out one by one."
Nassir winces empathetically, assuming the feeling is similar to scales being torn
"Needless to say, I was cautious around the mauve bottles from then on. But it gets more gentle and more predictable after continued exposure."
Marion looks clearer, listening to the conversation. "The flutes...? I heard music, but Oh- it was this lovely humming... if I could live in that moment forever I would, it was like staring into the ocean..." Marion smiles, leaning against Nassir and giving a yawn.
Nassir takes a seat by Marion, the fire flickering light off his scales. “The way my people finished nights like these was with gehat’ik, an exchange of stories. But it sounds like you,” He looks down to Marion, “Need to go to sleep. As do I, for that matter, if only to forget those damned flutes.”
Finnegan chuckles "I'll keep the fire running tonight. I'll share my story of the Seelie Court next time we decide to uncork the bottles."
The tiefling smiles sleepily, "We can tell stories... just don't be upset if I doze off." She teases, before another yawn comes from her, "...Maybe tomorrow we can tell stories..."
Finnegan sees the slumber slowly taking over his friend, looking to Nassir. "If you can get her to her room, Nassir - I think she will sleep like a hatchling. Probably the most restful sleep she's ever had in a long while."
Nassir nods, turning to their female companion. “Alright, up you get. Tomorrow won’t hunt itself.” Nassir pulls Marion to her feet as gently as he can manage “Can you walk?”
Marion nods sleepily. "Yeah- yeah...Goodnight everyone." Marion rubs their eyes, trailing a hand along the wall as they head to their room.
As Finnegan stokes the fire to bank it off for the night, he re-seals the bottle with the winged topper, returning it to one of his pockets before preparing to roost. "You make a fine drinking partner, Nassir - may we share glasses again."
Nassir rolls his neck, “Rest well, Finnegan. Next time though, I’ll stick to the netra’gal, I think.” he holds a fist to his chest, before turning and walking upstairs to his new room.
The bird takes to a large beam up above the hall, sinking down into his own feathery self before passing out.
Taurlin's Tale- Retold by her Brother:[edit | edit source]
The people of the tavern have taken time to tell stories, Nassir taking the first turn - his story is his own, and therefore will not be included in this recounting for Nassir’s honor and respect. Finny has volunteered as the next to speak.
Finnegan offers a look of condolence to the dragonborn. "Perhaps I can share a tale of my own. A truth for a truth."
Marion nods, letting their hand drop and staying quiet as they look to the avian, tail flicking.
Nassir offers the floor. “Such is the way of gehat’ik. Warriors sharing their tales.”
Wiggler listens quietly as they tend the fire.
As Finny begins his tale, he lifts up a few longer feathers, revealing a charm weaved into his plumage in the shape of an 8-pointed star. "It is well known that a bird who cannot fly is considered a thing of numbered days. This charm was given to me by Taurlin - one of my younger twin sisters. She was born with a warped wing - and will never be able to taste the wind as I do.” He takes a steadying breath. “To have a Grounded fledgling is a great shame among my people. It comes back to a time when we migrated - those who could not keep up with the flocks would be left to fend for themselves, and those who were responsible for them were shamed for it. Nowadays, we do not migrate anymore, but the stigma still continues - especially within the higher roosts of the city.” The bird stills, trying to run through the muddled memories of his childhood.
“When the twins were starting to grow feathers, they had the most beautiful white patterning you could imagine - like fresh fallen frost. But when it came to flight lessons and taking the Breach - our test of flight - Taurlin wasn't even able to get off the ground. The white wings dragged as the muscle was too weak to support herself."
Nassir watches Finny sympathetically as they tell their story, “It sounds as if our peoples aren’t so different in mindset.”
Finny nods in agreement, "You'll come to find that even the most civilized of places often still hold onto a handful of savageries." He continues, "Our clan within the city told my parents to clip her wings - a tiny, exact incision left to heal incorrectly - to render her to common status. My parents decided not to - as my sisters cared for each other fiercely. The other twin - Tenneah, was the youngest flyer in our clan - and threatened to refuse to fly again if they did so. So Taurlin had to watch as Tenneah and I took practice lessons and started to find our passions. She however, was forced to stay within the estate grounds - and came to adore books and knowledge. So while I left for the Hanging Archives to pursue my dreams in music, Tenneah started to take interest in my father's business - a merchant of spices and exotic teas. And Taurlin - she was left to her own devices inside the estate.” He brushes a finger over the charm, missing his family dearly. "Turns out, there were plenty of ways to escape the grounds on foot. We had staff that were clipped - and with the right words and some clever thinking - Taurlin was able to access the lower Rungs of the city - where the skilled crafters and blacksmiths would work."
Marion shifts, leaning back against a chair as they listen, gradually pulling their tail around themselves. They blink, picking up a small slip of paper and pocketing it.
Finny continues, "Taurlin had taken every chance she could get to get to the lower rungs - and using those books she had come to love - had wormed her way into meeting a very influential artificer by the name of Rhunn. He's a legend among the Avian Crafters. Finer than any elven work, sturdier than even the toughest of dwarven steel - any weapon you obtained from Rhunn was worth a king's fortune. And those who were lucky enough to have their children apprentice under him were practically set for a life of luxury.”
Some of the audience were familiar with the Avian Artificer, giving a way for Finny to continue, “Taurlin begged and pleaded Rhunn to teach her something. So he taught her to make nails. Had her make hundreds and thousands of nails. Enough that you could fill rooms with them until she could perfect the technique. And refusing to let up - she did. She stayed by the coal fires - the soot from the forages staining her wings black as she would be away for days at a time to perfect her nails, then moved onto delicate iron feathers, then other simple yet delicate things. My sister continued to be left unwatched by my father and mother - and had discovered a love for delicate metalwork - something wings got in the way of rather than aided. She eventually was asked to assist on projects - prosthetics for those who lost limbs within the mines, substitutes for bits and pieces of broken people… People like her."
Nassir huffed a breath in an affirmation “An honourable trade, to be sure. Your sister is jate’kart’a. Good heart.”
Finny felt pride for his sister, and the compliments his friend laid upon her, "Taurlin eventually led on to make her own prosthetic - a piece that would correct and assist the lacking muscle in her weak wing. It was a prototype - but it never worked with how long it has been since she had used it. However, this didn't get her down - in fact it has set her sights on helping the young ones who were crippled as she was. So now she assists Tenneah's tea business - and uses it as a place where people like her can come as they are. All the proceeds go to researching flight gear for fledglings born or afflicted with disabilities. She still wears her prototype on her soot-stained wings - as a reminder to work hard despite the stigma."
A Chat within the Yellow Tent - A Conversation with the Lord of Seasons:[edit | edit source]
Finny and Yewvane squished across the wet yard to the yellow tent.
Finny ducked his head under before looking to the Fae courtier, "Thank you for your discretion."
“I assume you have news about the ‘game’.”
Finny looked tired, like he was exhausted from being a player in the aforementioned game. "The Bogge has threatened to visit you because of our... alliance. People uninvited to the game have poked their noses into things that should not concern them. I am haunted by nightmares of my family being brought in as my replacement. I have no clue if they are simply warnings or a premonition." He took a moment to rub his temples. “I've never felt more paranoid about things than these past few days."
Eedrylle took a seat, crossing his one leg over the other’s knee, “Let Bogge come - I, too, am bound to this game. I swore to help.”
A trace of guilt flashed over the aarakocra, "I would not wish that on you… or anyone of your entourage."
“I have already made the promise, and even if I have not, defending anyone against the cruelty of the courts is what the entire court of Seasons is about! Bogge is already an enemy of ours, I killed his servant, Antyl. The game has only changed a bit.”
"The difference is that I know I am running on borrowed time, Lord of Seasons. The fact that you bound yourself to me was a fool's choice. The Bogge will take the form of your nightmares and see them to fruition. I would rather be Her Majesty's plaything than see mine become reality." Finny looked extremely distressed, like he'd been spiraling in his own head for days.
The Lord took a moment to think, “I live to fight this exact thing Fin, you add no danger I do not seek - so you will not fight alone. Besides, without you I may have never achieved the Amber path and may have died last week, so lets call it even - friend.” he grins widely and grows comfortable in a fight that is so black and white for him.
The lord then decided to adjust the subject towards more recent endeavors, “Fin, tell me you figured out the much harder part though?”
Finny looked confused, but the spiraling halted for a brief moment.
Eedryll continued, “The Names - how to collect them. Can we target certain Seelie court members? How is it all tied in with the song... and hopefully a timeline is arranged?”
Finny looked even more stressed. "That's a whole different situation. No matter what I do to identify the next name - the page will not reveal it to me. I have three names in my possession, but the fourth eludes me. The last two were revealed when I became in close proximity; but either Her Majesty is aware of what is occurring, which is unlikely as the members were low on her radar - Or, something has been interfering with my procurement." He takes a shallow breath, "As for taking their names - I had to fool them into giving it to me of their own will. That didn't mean magic wasn't involved in persuading them - but the rules were very clear that I couldn't outright kill them and take it or force them to hand it over… The Bogge was clever in making sure I had to use my particular skill sets."
The fae knight let out a sigh, “These are not my strong suits… but, should any of the Bogge’s crawlies and servants come… or even he himself, you will not stand alone.”
"It's not me I worry for."
“The Bogge can not lay a claw directly on me without involving the wrath of my Lady Queen Tygana. It’s how the Fae have not just ripped each other apart for time untold… this however will not keep him from you in any way, I’m sorry to say.”
"I know how animalistic the Unseelie can become. I fear that if I fall during our travels - It will come to collect from someone else from my family, that it blood-tied the bargain." He covered his face, pain clear as day in his features, "I want to be done with the court nonsense. I should've never stepped foot in her palace. I should've ignored the pull."
“A thousand should-haves line the sides of my heart with scars… we can not agonize over the unchangeable… We must take what comes next, and meet it with all of our light! Just like we did the other night, Fin!”
Finny felt his body recoil at the thought, "My light does not shine as brightly as that night, Lord of Seasons. With the crushing weight of my circumstances hanging over me - I have little effort to play the darkness away." He lets out a sigh through his nostrils, "Even Miss Marion has noticed my lacking presence these past few nights. And with fights breaking out every other hour - I feel less inclined to be radiant."
The knight looked solemnly, “Yes, my friend, kindling the light is hard, and harder still when you must be the light! For a moment relax, here you are safe - for the time being.”
Just as they were going to continue to discuss things, Wiggler in their normal form finally approached the tent.
Not wanting to dull his friend’s arrival, Finny quickly put on a mask of happiness as Wiggler entered the tent. "Wiggler! Good that you made it!"
The Lord of Seasons opened his arms in warth and welcoming, “Welcome Faekin, take rest from the outside world for a time.” He then turned to his Avian ally, “And we will get back to that game another time, for now we have it.” Eedryll nodded his head in reassurance at Finny.
Despite the smile pasted on Finny’s face, he still had that ghost of concern when the Eladrin looked into his eyes. He nodded covertly, "A game for another time then." He took a seat, his shoulders slumping.