Empires of Twilight: Ayrdonya
Chaotic Good Gnome Bard, Entertainer
[Broujit needs a physical description]
You really know how to make a good impression when you’re dressed well.
Benefit: Whenever you are wearing clothing (including hats!) and/or jewelry worth at least 150 gp (and not otherwise covered in gore, sewage, or other things that mar your overall look), you gain a +1 trait bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks. One of these skills (your choice) is a class skill for you.
A tutor or private instructor guided you in learning your art, profession, or trade, and through your education, you became capable of teaching and guiding others.
Benefits: Choose a single Craft, Perform, or Profession skill. You gain a +1 trait bonus on checks with that skill. You also gain a +1 trait bonus when you aid another’s skill check with any skill.
XP: 1,300 (2nd Level)
Starting Gear: Bard’s Outfit, Masterwork Instrument (pan flute), Hat (worth 150gp)
I’ll start my story with the tale of a man, a young traveling gnome by the name of Sqibjidt Zeinderhorn. He has traveled much of Corrinthius with his group of cohorts. His traveling group was called the Cirque du Illusio, they used illusions, music, acrobatics, fancy hats, and acting to entertain countless people, and they were good at it.
Everything was amazing until the cirque happened upon a bandit camp. The bandits had taken slave girls from nearby cities and Sqibjidt was appalled. But what could they do? A group of 8 performers against dozens of battle hardened bandits.
Sqibjidt, ingeniously, used everyone’s talents to their maximum capacity. Treating the encounter as an impromptu play, he bluffed his way into the bandit camp. He kept them all focused on him intently as he performed what he calls “the most important performance of my life”. This gave the Cirque the time needed to rescue the slaves. Sqibjidt, tilted his hat towards the crowd, and seemed to disappear. Using illusionary magic and stealthiness, they made it out unscathed.
Now, fast forward a bit, Sqibjidt fell in love with one of the girls they had rescued. Her name was Vyola. She was very timid, having been a slave nearly her entire life, but very grateful. And in time she joined the Cirque as a helping hand. They had many children together, 13 to be exact- all of them daughters. This upset the couple terribly, Sqibjidt and Vyola wanted sons. Vyola had the notion that if you were a girl, then you were likely to be made into a slave, forced to do many things that you didn’t want to do. And Sqibjidt, always wanted to pass the Cirque to a son. “A Daughter just wouldn’t run it correctly” he said. So, by the 13th daughter, they hoped that if they raised her to be masculine then everything would be fine.
They gave her the name of Broujit Zeinderhorn, a masculine name. They dressed her in male clothing, and Squibjidt taught her all his tricks. From illusions, to music, to his love of hats, he was determined to make her as much like him as possible.
Everything seemed ok, until disaster struck. It was the performance of a lifetime, the biggest the Cirque has ever attempted. Everything was going great! Better than anyone could’ve hoped for, until… the worst thing that could possible happen to Sqibjidt happened… he lost… his favorite hat, in the middle of the most difficult performance of his life. The trained archer, standing on a galloping horse on one leg, shooting a flaming arrow blindfolded at his head, while he juggled knives with one hand tied behind his back. They have practiced this act many times, and knew the danger, but were not prepared for it. The flaming arrow snagged his hat, setting it alight with a burst of flame. The crowd loved it, but Sqibjidt was destroyed.
He choked, throwing off the rest of the performance, and the play ended in a failure. The Zeinderhorn name was tarnished, Sqibjidt’s favorite hat destroyed. He spiraled into a time of despair. Broujit tried her very best to console her father, but Sqibjidt just got more and more depressed as time went on. In a particularly bad mood swing, Sqibjidt burned every hat he had collected throughout his lifetime. The only thing left of his travels was his lucky pan flute. It was made by a very close friend. Broujit was told that it was enchanted, and worth more than you could possibly imagine. Sqibjidt passed his flute onto Broujit, with the warning to be careful. “Do not play this flute until you have a mastery of woodwind instruments. If one of little skill were to attempt to play this pan flute, the results would be terrible.” Sqibjidt left his family, saying that he needed to visit an old friend to get his life back together. He told his daughters that they were all old enough to set out on their own adventures, and that he loves them all.
Broujit and her sisters never got along very well; their parents always favored Broujit, even though she was the youngest. They all formed little groups among themselves, and Broujit was always left out. Her sisters were: Besh, Fijit, Lini, Neji, Majet, Pai, Queck, Trig, Abli, Qwerty, Astrim, and Brimply.
They formed smaller cliques among themselves. Besh, Fijit, and Lini followed under the eldest daughter Neji. Majet and Pai were inseparable. Queck, Trig and Abli were a devious trio. And Qwerty, Astrim, and Brimply were a greedy pack. When Broujit was given the only heirloom of the family, it enraged her older sisters. First, it was stolen by Qwerty. Qwerty, Astrim, and Brimply each tried playing it, but were never very good at the pan flute. Broujit found the flute weeks later in a bush, her three sisters never seen again. Then Neji stole it;, Besh, Fijit, and Lini all ran off with Neji to keep it away from the rest of their sisters. Neji was a bit wiser then the first trio. She was determined to master a mundane pan flute before playing this one. The rest of the daughters set off after Neji and her gang. It was a race between Majet and Pai, Queck, Trig, and Abli, and Broujit by herself. The oblivious Vyola wished each daughter off with her best wishes.
Broujit fished a slightly singed hat from her father’s belongings, the best formal men’s clothing she could find, and some other provisions, before setting off on her quest to recover the family pan flute. Her secondary goal is to gather a great collection of hats to show her father.
DM Notes: During the later years of the Cirque de Illusio, the troupe operated mainly in the 7 Free Cities of the Dagger Coast, with occasional forays to the Death Reach and the Ebony Coast (but the audiences there weren’t nearly as much fun as the boisterous crowds of the Free Cities).
Broujit has spent much of her time performing in the same inns, taverns, and small theaters that her father entertained, while searching for clues to his whereabouts and her precious family heirloom- the Flute of Pastorius. In the meantime, she has made quite a few contacts among the tavern owners and innkeepers in the cities, as well as with merchants who specialize in fine clothing (particularly hats). Recently, she played to a full crowd at the Staggering Sailor in Last Pointe where she shared drinks with three unusual companions, a roguish lass who often works as a deckhand aboard ships (usually a role taken only be men), a steely-eyed dwarf mercenary, and a massive Valig-ur barbarian. After a while, she lost them in the crowd and was distracted by a suave young half-elf as she was looking for them. The charming man complemented her performance and bought her glass of fine wine. After a few sips and some more conversation, Broujit began to feel a bit light headed…