It Started With a Kidnapped Pig...
Ulryn the Fantastic
An elf harlequin, with a death mask
Ulryn always wears either a mask or his harlequin make up. He plays the drum in the performances with Natas and Farideh but also dances and mimes.
Ulryn was a slave in the Underdark, taken by the drow House Xorlarrin. He met another slave, a young dragonborn whose sorcerous powers were just starting to manifest. Ulryn taught her about magic and how to control it and helped her keep her magic a secret, forseeing a time when it could come in handy.
One time when they were being moved Ulryn recognised that they were being transported along a route close to the surface. Both Farideh and Ulryn used their magic to escape and they fled, finding themselves strangers in a strange land – the surface world of The North. Farideh wanted to find her own people, so Ulryn suggested Waterdeep which he knew about but had never visited. Once there Farideh quickly located a dragonborn enclave and stayed with them. Ulryn chose not to stay with the dragonborn, and he and Farideh parted company.
Things didn’t go well for Ulryn, and he had resorted to thieving and begging on the street. He met Natas, an elf bard whose act included make up and masks. Natas was also proficient with musical instruments, and so started teaching Ulryn to use the drum first, then the trumpet and lute, to assist with his act. Natas also suggested that Ulryn use his masks and makeup, a practice Ulryn still does today. He also found a small bard college who accepted him where they worked magic with masks. This was a turn around in fortunes for Ulryn. He and Natas worked on performing together, playing music, dancing, weapons displays, acrobatics, mime and magic tricks. Natas also had an odd, slightly creepy puppet, although he rarely included it in his performances. Ulryn also worked on the magic masks, but needed more practice to create one for himself.
Meanwhile Farideh was finding herself ostracized from her own kind. She did not feel she belonged and missed Ulryn and was worried about him. She left the dragonborn enclave with a few belongings, some money, and an unusual double flute instrument which she had been learning to play, and took to the streets, eventually finding Ulryn now in company with Natas.
Natas welcomed Farideh and they became a three person entertainment band, Farideh on flute, Ulryn on drums, and Natas on other instruments, or they would do their other performances while Farideh played or did minor illusions to enhance the show. Financially they were doing well for the first time.
Natas was a member of the Harper faction, and encouraged Farideh and Ulryn to join also, which they did. However after a few weeks, Ulryn realised that the Harpers did not provide much in the way of material support, and other than not getting beaten, he was not much better off than being a slave – even a slave knew where its next meal was coming from. While generally they were doing well, it was only because they were constantly chasing new gigs and sometimes having to play on street corners for change. It was Ulryn’s dream to have enough gold/power to one day put a mercenary force together and raid the House Xorlarrin holdings in the Underdark and free all of their slaves. This lifestyle was not going to help him fulfil that dream.
Living in the city has its pressures, and the trio decided as a group they might like to visit other places in The North. The Harpers suggested that they would appreciate if someone investigated the Dessarin Valley area, a wild frontier area with only a few settlements. They have heard some reports about an increase in banditry, as well as some divinations hinting that something evil may be rising in the area. In addition they have stopped getting reports from some Harper agents who went to the area to meet up with a bard (not a Harper) named Windharrow, who had been performing with a band called The Wyndwards in the area, but was apparently looking for more members as replacements. Word is that he seems to hire and fire band members almost on a whim. But what has happened to the bards whose services are no longer required?
The Harper contact in Red Larch is Endrith Vallivoe who owns a shop called Vallivoe’s Sundaries. If you make it to the town of Triboar for some reason, the contact there is Darathra Shendrel, Lord Protector.
A few days before leaving, the Harpers contacted Natas with another mission. It seems that the well known Belabranta noble family of Waterdeep believes their daughter has been caught up with some flying cult where members ride giant birds and flying beasts somewhere in the Dessarin Valley area. The Harpers will provide you with a copy of her letter. The girl’s name is Savra Belabranta.
DM’s Note: Ulryn has the Urchin background.