Tales of the Crescent Sea
The being before you stands 6’ tall or more with a strong stature. His Draconic features are covered in small silver scales tinged with copper that catch the late evening light. Piercing blue eyes, reptilian but with a disturbing human quality stare out from a face frozen in a slight smile. Were it not for the rows of teeth glinting along that jawline, he would appear almost friendly. He talks as you walk with him towards the tavern.
I was third hatch, seventh ledge, artisan. This was in the northern ice mountains as you softskins call them. I was not a shell picker, but far from noble. In fact, being third hatch I am fortunate to be here at all: I could easily have been a liquid meal for an earlier nestmate were it not for attentive ledge watchers.
In my youth, I was drawn to the teachings of <insert> and chose to follow his sept. It is said that he sang the world into being and created all that we know through his music, so his sept’s greatest calling is to learn those songs. I have learned the songs of my clan, and now seek other pieces of the The Song that the softskins and other races may have heard.
In my travels through these sun-blessed lands, I have learned one thing: I don’t care much for snow, ice and cold. It doesn’t seem to injure me as it does the softskins, but I find that I prefer the warmth of hearth, sun and the shade of the trees to the constant wind and sleet of my homeland. That must be the effect of a distant copper ancestor. Nonetheless, I will need to return at some point to teach others of my sept all of the songs I have collected. But until The Call, I search and listen.
He sits at a table, near the fire, and removes a long box slung over his shoulder. He opens it and removes an ornately curved instrument unlike anything a human troubadour could carry.
The tool of my trade is this, he says, a draconic arnica: It is a vaguely lute shaped instrument but instead of strings there are two circular caps at either end. Held in the caps are long polished shards of stone and metal stretching from end to end. He turns the cylinder which clicks into place, exposing a different set of shards and begins to play. Drawing the pads of his fingers along the shards produces an ethereal hum that varies and overlaps as he works his second hand along the bottom of the shard. Occasionally alternating pads with claws produces higher pitches, the effect of which is mesmerizing, haunting and unlike any other instrument you’ve ever heard. It is surprising that such beauty could be produced by such a fearsome visage. Then from somewhere deep in his chest, he produces a thumping counterpoint, driving the tempo. Soon a familiar tavern song is playing that draws a crowd closer, approving smiles fill their faces as they join in song. He increases pressure on the shards, driving the volume above the singing and leading the crowd into a popular dwarven drinking song.
My name is largely unpronounceable by softskins, he tells you. But as I’ve had to take on certain…local affectations…in my travels, he says while glancing at his shirt, you may call me Vintari.