This Noble of the Streets was born on the streets of Baltiar and raised by his cobbler father and seamstress mother. He played with the other children in the twisting alleys and near the many taverns. One day he heard the wilting notes of a tale of adventure and romance. He left his friends and their paltry games to listen to the tiny man with the strange insturment prancing across the tavern floor. He watched with wonderment as he wove tales of knights and dragons and ladies. He came home to his parents and retold everything the little man had sung. Day after day Kellis went back to the tavern to watch and listen to the wonderful stories and poems and songs. Kellis learned under the tutalage of the bard. He learned the tounge and script of the elf and dwarf and gnome. He saw himself becoming as great a bard as the little man.
Until one day, the little man, now known to Kellis as Devis, was approached by a pair of wild looking people. One was tall and brutish, a thick main of dark hair drapped across his broad shoulders and a thick greatsword secured to his muscled back. The other was a beautiful woman with high pointed ears and strangleyy white hair. She moved with the grace of a falling feather, but her voice was so chilling it seemed to make the harth’s fire tremble when she spoke. They sat Devis down at a table and the three began breathlessly recounting tales of glory and honor and terror. The parade of drinks formed a train leading to their table. Kellis sat nearby for and listened intently to all that spoke of. They had once all been mighty adventurers and in their youths had formed a mighty band that could rival any army of damned that sulked in the dark corners of the world. The tavern began to clear as the hours passed and soon their conversation slowed. The brutish man leaned back in his chair and yawn. All was quiet not even the subtle wiping of the rag along the bar was there to fill the void. Kellis’s eyes grew with intrest as he knew something would happen soon.
“Devis, we need you back. There’s one more job and then we’ll be done.”
“Kraken, I’m sure you would love to feel the rush of battle agian but I’m old and the world is calm now. I’ll stay here, but you can go and seek the wonders of the road once more. I’ll not stop you.”
The woman leaned in to Devis and said, “This isn’t about adventure and the good ole road Devis… It’s him again and this time we mean to end it. For good.”
A pale claminess came over Devis’s face as he replied,”No, he’s dead. He’s very, very dead. I struck the final blow myself and trust me I can still feel the pain when the moon is full… Leave here, leave this place and my life. I thought you came as friend but I see you wish to torture an old gnome.”
“Devis, we mean you no harm, but this is all to real I fear and you must come.”
“There is no lying in your eyes dear friend and I appologize for my rudeness. But if this is all true we cannot tarry here. I’ll fetch my things and meet you outside.” Devis rushed upstairs and the others went outside. The young Kellis was left to sit and ponder for a moment. He was not far along in his thoughts when Devis came rushing back down the stairs.
“Devis, can I come with you?”
“Alas little one, you are not yet destined for the road I am to travel. Farewell and remember what I’ve taught you.” with that Devis was gone.
Kellis became a intelligent youth he was schooled in the ways of the streets and learned ways of combat that would earn a repoachful glare from any paladin. He was quick to progress and soon was capable of holding his own against many bullies and friends alike, though were it not for his friends he would have often lost those battles. After one such battle he found a ring lying in a gutter. It was bathed in blood but a quick wash took care of that. He found it attracted various small items and it quickly became a favored toy and later tool in some of his less valorous exploits.
Then the fateful day came that Devis returned. It was a stormy night and Kellis sat in Friday’s Flaggon humming a victory tune that he;d heard some many years ago from a little man prancing around the tavern floor. The wind howled out side and the rumble of thunder could be heard from the south. Then a crack of energy split the air in the room the smell of magic tickled Kellis’s nose. He whipped around the see what had happened. Devis was on his hands and knees in the middle of the nearly empty tavern. Blood pooled under his shaking form. He looked up at Kellis and his lips mouthed some feeble word. Kellis ran to him and, now bigger in size than the old gnome, lifted him from the floor. A wicked gash spread across the left side of his face and his chect was a bloody mess of shredded flesh and cloth. His tiny hand grasped Kellis’s tunic and he said one final farewell, “Kellis, dear boy, it’s over. We won and now the story is over. Tell everyone the heroes are victorious. Tell them my story.”
Years later his father presented him a small gift, a mandolin of the finest craft. It brought Kellis forth from the reckless state he’d been in since his mentor’s death and his spirit was rekindled. Kellis swore to do as Devis had wished with his final breath. He left his life on the streets and turned his focus back to the art of stories and music. The mandolin became as much a part of him as his beating heart.
Friday’s Flaggon is again the home of stories and song. Again the partying carries into the early mornings and Kellis is still plucking the strings when he finally falls to drink and exhaustion. He plays to remember and to that he drinks for he will not let Devis die as long as he lives to tell the tale of the little man prancing across the tavern floor.