In the Mouth of the Shark
Halfling Bard Spy
Str 11, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 16
Rapier, dagger, leather armor
Proficient saves Dexterity, Charisma
Proficient skills Deception, Insight, Perception, Performance, Stealth
(but Jack of All Trades gives me half my proficiency bonus on skills I’m not proficient in)
Proficient tools: Drum, flute, viol, playing cards, thieves tools
Off the West coast of Cyngael are countless small, rocky, islands. There, halflings herd sheep, goats, and pigs; and grow vegetables – especially potatoes. When the Erlings or humans from Cyngael come, the rocky shores of the “skelligs” prevents landings except in certain isolated places. The halflings defend those with catapults and ballistae,
When halflings want to wander, and many Lightfoot halflings do, they take passage with the Erlings. Many of them vanish into the sea, into slavery, or in to some other mishap. In Merric’s case, he booked passage with an Erling chieftain named Arne. When unseasonable storms blew up, the crew wanted to sacrifice Merric to their gods, Arne spoke up for Merric, and Merric used his music to encourage the crew to greater efforts. The ship crashed against rocks, and Merric would have drowned if not for Arne. Merric has never forgotten Arne’s kindness.
- I am trying to pay off an old debt I owe to a generous benefactor..
Merric and Arne made their way North, to Arne’s home. There the chief had to humble himself and take a place on another ship, raiding down river (this world’s equivalent of the Vistula or the Dnieper, and across this world’s equivalent of the Black Sea). All along the way, Merric used his music and his charm to gather information for his allies.
- When I see something valuable, I can’t think about anything but how to steal it,.
The Erlings taught Merric about merit, where anyone – even a slave – could earn respect and honor through their deeds. Despite being from an isolationist culture, Merric learned to see value, or the potential for value, in everyone.
- I would rather make a new friend than a new enemy.
It gave Merric a dim view of tyrants, and occasionally the Erlings had to sail earlier than planned because Merric took something he shouldn’t have, usually to help others rather than to enrich himself.
- I steal from the wealthy so that I can help people in need.
Now Merric is in Sarantium, the capital of Trakesia, where the locals are dealing with a refugee issue.