It Started With a Kidnapped Pig...
Mask wearing elven bard
Natas often wears a mask and make up when performing. He can act, dance, do acrobatics, weapons performances, juggling, and magic tricks. He may incorporate music into his acts. Sometimes he brings out an odd puppet to perform with, but it’s usually the least popular part of the act, according to the audience as the puppet is often too creepy and often not funny, but insulting. Natas performs these days with his two friends Ulryn – who has also taken to wearing masks and make up – and Farideh the dragon lady who plays the flute and performs illusions to enhance their performance.
Natas was performing in the city of Waterdeep, when he met Ulryn, an elf who was an ex slave who was down on his luck. Natas suggested they work together and started teaching Ulryn to use the drum first, then the trumpet and lute, to assist with his act. Natas also suggested that Ulryn copy him and use masks and makeup, a practice Ulryn still does today.
Farideh was a dragonborn who knew Ulryn, who was also homeless. Natas welcomed Farideh and they became a three person entertainment band, Farideh on her strange double flute, Ulryn on drums, and Natas on other instruments some of the time, or he and Ulryn were doing their other acts while Farideh played the flute or used illusions to enhance their performance. Financially they were doing well for the first time.
Natas was a member of the Harpers, and encouraged Farideh and Ulryn to join also, which they did.
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 stated that they would appreciate if the trio would investigated the Dessarin Valley area, a wild frontier area with only a few settlements. They had 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 the Harpers had 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 was that he seemed to hire and fire band members almost on a whim. But what has happened to the bards whose services were 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.
One day before they left, Ulryn brought Kallista, a tiefling fighter, who also wanted to travel to the Dessarin Valley area. Kallista was honest about having worked as an enforcer and debt collector for the Zhentarim, and was on some mission of personal vengeance.
On one freezing cold spring day, they set out.