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Paldin 'Parfy' Tagalong


    Paldin was born on the dark-stone streets of Fishdeep, where he lived in a tavern on the wester edge. The tavern was known as 'the Rattail', and it was run by his parents, his mother the bartender and his father the cook. For most of his childhood he was holed up in an attic above the tavern's main room. Every night he would lie with is ear to the floor and listen to all the folk dancing, singing and getting drunk. His favourite nights were when he could hear a band playing. Many outsiders carried instruments and, for a fee, would play them around town. Paldin would look through his window down on them walking into the tavern below. He would see all manner of instruments, but no-one ever taught him their names so he would call them by sound. Firstly, there was the Skree, then the bomdi, then the windy-one and finally, the only one he knows the real name of and his favourite, the lyre harp.   Paldin never received any real education, accept for a few lectures on how to clean his room and wash dishes. His parents never let him forget that he was an accident that never should have existed and that if it weren't for him his mother and father would be traveling the wurld. Because of all this, Paldin can't pronounce words with more than six letters, and he even has trouble pronouncing words that have less. Sometimes, when his father came up to put him to bed, he would get on his knees and beg him to buy him a lyre harp, but every time his father would lift him up and tuck him into bed without a word. His parents planned to send him to a boarding school in Welldon when he turned about fourteen.  

The Storyjockey

One night, when Paldin was about seven, a cloaked man came into the tavern and sat at a table in the corner. Paldin came down the stairs, as it was his time to wash the dishes, and he went from table to table retrieving the dirty plates and glasses. When he came near the table where the cloaked man sat, the man gestured him over. As Paldin approached, the man removed his hood and revealed a wrinkled and kindly face. His pupils were pure silver and grey hair drooped down from his chin. He asked Paldin if he would listen to a few of his stories that he had been working on, and Paldin nodded. He was sat and that table for hours, as the old man told fantastical tales of knights and sorcerers and about the world outside of Fishdeep. When it got dark outside, Paldin's mother spotted him talking to her guest and hurried him upstairs and apologised to the storyjockey before he could say anything. This night was the first time that Paldin truly thought about running away to a new land. This night was the first time that Paldin truly let his imagination run free. He dreamt of traveling the land, a lyre in his hand and a bag on his back. He would fend off beasts who tried to take away his precious lyre, but always he would run them off. People would crowd around every time he stumbled into a village or town, and clap when he had finished his performance. But at this time in Paldin's life, daydreams stayed daydreams.  

The Getaway

On his thirteenth birthday, Paldin gazed out the window at the starry night sky, and he wanted it. He wanted to lived under those stars, sleep on the grass of the wurld, feel the air of the many different places that he could go if he could just, leave. So he did. Out of that window he climbed, with just the clothes on his back. He walked, and walked, through the pines of Fishdeep forest and further south in the Fye-land, until he came upon Ludin, the hostel for tiring adventurers. He stumbled in to find a hearty band playing for a cluster of singing men in grey armour, swords on their hips and ale in their hands. He maneuvered through the crowd until he was right in front of the band. It was what he had imagined and more. A big muscular man who seemed to be missing a few teeth was passionately smashing away at a multi-headed bomdi, and a girl in her early twenties was quickly strumming on her skree with a long bow, her eyes closed tight and her facial expressions changing depending on the level of quality her bandmates were playing, and finally, a tall man with an eyepatch and a sailor's cap playing fancifully on a small lyre harp, his eyes also closed like the the girl's. When the performance was over, they all bowed, and Paldin was giddy with excitement, making squeaky noises and energetically hopping up and down. He ran up to the man who had played the lyre and heartily introduced himself before completely shifting tones and demanding that he must give him one of his lyre harps. The man barely turned to look at Paldin before muttering, 'Piss off kid.' For a millionth of a second, Paldin felt like dirt. The person who he had always envied and aspired to be just told him to piss off, but he had waited too long to be told to piss off. Thirteen long years. 'I can work,' he said, confidently. The man looked at him. He then lifted a finger and pointed out the window at his horse. A beautiful night black stallion. 'He needs a cleaning.' And without another word, Paldin was filling up a bucket with water. For one hour he brushed and brushed off the dirt from that horse until its hair gleamed in the sunlight of the noon. He polished his hooves until they could be used as mirrors. Then out walked the three bards, ready to inspect the horse that pulls their carriage. The bomdi man grumbled in a deep voice, 'Nice job,' and the girl whispered into the lyre players ear, 'We should keep him.'  

A Band of Bards

after weeks of completing chore after chore, the lyre playing man, whose name was actually Cedd, handed Paldin a Lyre, and taught him a few chords. In no time, Paldin, who Cedd nicknamed Parfy, was learning short songs, and within a month of learning 'Running through the meadow', he played it for a small crowd on the streets of Cove. He felt alive as the strings and his fingers became one, and the sound of his notes coursed through him. The Druids could keep their magic, for now he had his own.   As he got older, they taught him how to play the other instruments, but he usually stuck with the lyre. The bomdi man's name was Pic, and the skree girl's name was Talia. Paldin enjoyed the traveling life with them, and saw so many villages and towns they all meshed into one, until he was about twenty. It was at this time when he struck out on his own and sought to bring together a band of his own. He had always loved the idea of going out into the wurld on his own and assembling his own band of misfits to play for the public. In this new band of bards he was looking for a storyjockey, for he needed tales to play music to, a windy-one player and a bomdi player. He said his farewells and went east, back into Folkrun. He had heard of Gonwind only in tales before, and heard that all were welcome there. That is where he would begin his search.  

Parfy's Band of Misfits

In Gonwind, Paldin met an eccentric Darakian Storyjockey, who always said what he felt and made sure everyone knew it. His name was Qwane, and he was fantastic at telling stories. He took up Paldin's offer without a second thought. Next, he met Molo, a hardy bomdi-playing Druid. He took some convincing but eventually he agreed to join Paldin and Qwane. And then there was Grawnya, the most well known flute player in all of northern Folkrun. When Paldin approached her, Qwane and Molo at his back, she looked at him with disbelief as he invited her to join his little traveling band of bards. When he was finished and awaited an answer, she looked up absent-mindedly. 'Sure, why not.' Paldin and Qwane jumped about with glee, while Molo and Grawnya tried to stay as dignified as possible. With that, they set off down south, to the land of snow in Ice-Lerge, and there they sang, danced, played music and told stories for what felt like forevermore.
Paldin is an eccentric musician who is not very good with words. He was taught the way of music by Cedd the Bardman and for him that is the true language. He has short ginger hair and freckles all about his nose and cheeks. He has light blue eyes and when he turned twenty five he got a piercing at the top of his left ear. When he's out barding he wears a long dark green overcoat with a brown undershirt. His trousers are shaggy and dark brown. He has slightly tanned skin.
Cedd the Bardman   Cedd was born in Welldon city and joined the bard college there. For two years, he learned to play all manner of instruments, and learnt a few sleight of hand tricks. He met the love of his life there and had Talia, his daughter. His wife was killed during a Trollkan raid, so he and Talia left Welldon city to find a better life. On their journey, he taught her to play the Violin. Picc, Cedd's half-brother, eventually joined them after he broke out of jail on Miltor.   Qwane the Storyjockey   Qwane was born in the depths of Durken, and from a young age wanted to become a storyjockey. Most of his stories and tales come from his father or mother. Qwane plans to travel the world and gather more stories so that he can one day pass them onto his children. He often travels to Gonwind as there they all love his tall tales of past darakian heroes. He says the prayer of the Eye every night before bed as it was his father's last wish to do so.   Molo the Bomdieer   Molo is originally from Rivor, and he was about to be recognised as a priest of the muto, but before his dubbing ceremony, he ran. Something inside him wanted adventure, so off he went until he came to Campion. There he learned how to drum and took up busking in the lower districts of the city. When he had amounted enough gold, he bought a boat and took it up the Moso River, then east. For days he sailed along the Durken coast and eventually came to Gonwind. There he bought a humble cottage and lived up until Paldin approached him.   Grawnya of the Windy-one   Grawnya was born in Shylan and at a very young age took up the art of flute magic. The ability to control lesser creatures using the sound of the flute. Wherever she went, a guard of wolves was at her back. Especially on the high road, as bandit attacks were common there. When Paldin first approached her, she immediately told herself that she would decline, but as she thought about she realised she had nothing to lose accept her flute, so she reconsidered.   Paldin Returns To Fishdeep   When Paldin turned forty, he traveled back to Fishdeep in search of his parents. He vaguely remembered their appearances and figured he would know them when he saw them so off he went. When he got there, he found their names engraved in a gravestone. They had gotten sick and died not long after Paldin had ran away. Paldin broke down crying, his knees hitting the dirt above where they were buried, and he apologised, over and over and over. He had never meant for this to happen. Suddenly, Grawnya was at his side, playing a melody on the flute. In sync with the music, two wisps slowly rose from the grave, and transformed into blue spiritual forms of his parents, and they smiled at him. No words were needed, for he knew that they were proud of him. For back in the days before Paldin ran away, they had no clue about parenthood, as their parents hadn't been great to them, and they were proud that even after the way they had treated him, Paldin would even think about coming back to see them. Paldin had a good heart, and that was the truth.

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Cover image: by tortledungeon


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9 Feb, 2022 20:21

Nice read! His parents seemed to be really harsh to him so no wonder he wanted to escape. Nice that he did get away and follow his passion. I wonder though that you say his parents would be proud, was it only in death that they accepted that he could do something good or were they already feeling bad after he left?

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11 Feb, 2022 17:19

They did love him, but didn't really show it, so when he left they were very regretful, and they were also worried he would be killed, so as spirits, when they found out he survived and became a successful bard they were proud. They were also proud that he would even think about coming back to see them since the way they treated him. Basically, they were very inexpierienced with being parents. Thanks for reading!

11 Feb, 2022 17:52

One thing that seemed off is with how harsh his parents are, it seems implied in the Storyjockey section that he just stopped doing his chores and listened to the person for hours with little to no consequence.   Other than that, though it is a well assembled story. The only thing missing, perhaps by design, is a description of what Paldin looks like.

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12 Feb, 2022 10:23

Thanks for reading! Also thanks for the pointers!

14 Feb, 2022 20:24

I like the concept of an unloved child being obnoxious enough to be taken in by a bard troupe. Were they looking for another member, or was it more a whim to take him in? I do wonder how the decision to leave the troupe was made by Paldin, was he unhappy with them?

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15 Feb, 2022 18:55

They took him in half on a whim, half the idea of having someone do their chores. I feel like he left because he liked the idea of striking out on his own. Thank you for the feedback though, ill be sure to add it.

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Amélie I. S. Debruyne
14 Feb, 2022 20:48

Nice article :D I like the name he uses for the instruments XD Did the parents have any plans for Paldin's future? Since they didn't seem to care/think about his education. Or did they themselves not know that much that they could teach him?

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15 Feb, 2022 19:00

Thank you for your feedback and the parents planned to send him to boarding school which i just added. Thank u for reading! :D

19 Feb, 2022 14:43

An interesting life story! I also like the detailed descriptions of all the other characters here.

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