WE DID IT! Thank you for supporting our Kickstarter for Book 1, A Few Good Elves!
Available now at most major retailers.

Dazzle Kat: The Changeling Trickster

Written by Dazzlinkat

Amberport, a star port on Telasia

 

In The Beginning ...

  Her earliest memories began in the Talcott Orphanage on Boyer Street in the star port city of Amberport. Found as an infant in a basket on the doorstep, there had been no note or any sign of her name. The headmistress named her Joan, a name that humans often used to name unknown female children. Joan Boyer. Named for the street the orphanage stood upon was yet another naming custom for otherwise unnamed children. As she grew older, Joan learned she was the sixth Joan Boyer to be raised at Talcott. Her late-given name was not even truly hers. There was not even a number to say which Joan Boyer she was!   It was because of her ears. They were pointed, not rounded like a proper human's ears, and proof she was a crossbreed of elf and human. Not having her own name was only the first of many slights she endured for being a changeling. It was also the one that stirred a desire to make her own way so she could choose a name for herself.  

Moving On

  When Joan turned ten, the orphanage declared her education complete even though they only taught her how to read, write, and do simple maths. Talcott then started hiring her out as a runner for the various shops. Purchases not expensive enough to warrant the hiring of a courier were traditionally delivered by children from orphanages to keep them too busy to get into trouble. The customers, and sometimes shopkeepers, would tip her a coin or two. For the first time, she had her own money ... until she returned to the orphanage and got shaken down for her tips.   That was the last straw for Joan. She ran away from Talcott. Calling herself Dazzle Kat, she lived on the streets. During the day she ran errands as she always did until evening when she would slip into one of the large round-earred orphanages. The children would then have to do their studies until suppertime. Dazz would then sneak back out where she often learned "fun" skills before retiring to her hideout. This was all possible because round-eared girls were expected to wear a bonnet all day, and a bonnet covered pointed ears nicely. Even better, children were not counted until they were back in their beds.   Dazz did this for years. Being so young, she would get caught and hauled off to a pointy-earred orphanage. She always ran away and went right back to her mischievous ways. And then, she was grown up and too old for the orphanges. This did not daunt Dazz. She turned her cleverness towards thievery, and made herself a comfortable living.  

The Rogue Life

  The most rewarding loot was found in the fancier parts of the city. Though it had the best loot, it also had the most protections. One manor in this place piqued her interest. It was a place rented out to the well-to-do who were in port for a few weeks getting their ships refit or trading off their cargoes before sailing off to the next planet. A particularily fat and wealthy merchant had recently rented the manor, and Dazz just had to get his loot.   There were wards placed about the manor, thanks to the merchant's wife, but they were not perfectly placed. Using a Glass of Detect magic, a framed piece of glass that reveals the auras of magic when looked through like a tiny window pane, Dazz found one such gap. It was high up and under the ivy near the roof. Careful inspection revealed it to be a very small window. A port window, in fact. It was small. So small, that she needed butter. Lots of butter.   On the roof of the manor, Dazz striped naked and greased herself with the butter. Hanging a small bag of thieving tools from her neck, she started the climb down to the window. Being greased made climbing difficult and she ended up having to loop the ivy into handholds to do it, but she managed to reach the window.   With much wriggling, and silent cursing at getting scrapes and scratchs in awkward places, Dazz squeezed herself through the window. Inside, the window was covered by a long tapestry, probably why the fat merchant's wife had failed to ward it. Dazz peeked around the tapestry. She was in a dusty and cobwebbed attic. Taking the Glass out from her bag, Dazz began to explore the manor.   Her anticipation turned to disappointment. Either the merchant and his wife were exceptionally frugal, or they were not as rich as they appeared. Determined to find SOMETHING, Dazz slipped into their bedchamber. Timing her steps with the loud snores of the husband to hide any would-be creaks, she began to search.   Suddenly, the fat merchant stopped snoring. He started to sniff.   "Mmm, butter." He murmered, rubbing his eyes.   Cursing her luck, Dazz hurried behind the closed drapes. The window was open but warded. Thankfully, the wards were to keep things out and not in.   "What?" The wife muttered. "Go back to sleep."   The fat merchant sat up and sniffed again.   "Why is there butter in our bedchambers, dear?"   "What?" The wife sat up rubbing her eyes. She sniffed. "I smell it, too. I think its coming from the window you left open."   "I did close the drapes, dear." The fat merchant said. The bed creaked and groaned. The low thud of two heavy feet stepping onto the floor followed. "I will close the window before it makes me hungry."   Cursing silently again, Dazz went out onto the window sill. The bed chamber was at the corner of the house and the gutterpipe was in easy reach. Thinking to climb it up to the roof and to her waiting clothes, Dazz grabbed hold of the pipe and swung out of the window. She had forgotten about the butter making her previous climb slippery. No matter how hard she tried to grip the pipe, she kept sliding down. Dazz landed on the ground off balance and took a tumble backwards into the thorny rose hedge seperating the manor from its neighbor.   Biting her lip to keep quiet, she crawled through the hedge to the otherside before the fat merchant stuck his head out the window.   "Hey, there's butter on the window sill!" He exclaimed.   "WHAT?!" the wife shrieked.   Dazz took off running. She kept to the alleyways and every bit of hiding she could find until she reached her hideout. There, she used a scrap of cloth to wipe off the last of the butter and dress before packing up all her things, which wasn't much.   She had little doubt that the wife would find her with magic. Or rather, the city guard would be led to Dazz by the wife's magic. If they caught her this time, it would be the gaol for years. Shrugging her pack onto her back, Dazz left her hideout and hurried to the docks. Ships were always looking for new crew. All she needed to do was find someone sitting at a table before their gangplank with a blue shingle, which meant they were sailing as soon as they got enough crew. Any crew late returning from their shore leave would be left behind. It was tradition, after all.   It did not take long to find such a ship. The second mate sat on a stool under a lantern hung from the post beside him. The light shone off a blue shingle hung under the lantern.   "I am looking for ship work," Dazz said as she came up to the table.   The man raised a brow at her.   "It ain't the prettiest work," he warned her. "You'll get callouses on yer hands."   Dazz snorted.   "Callouses are the least of my worries."   He raised his brows.   "Man trouble?"   Dazz resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Then decided that this could be a great cover!   "Yes, and he has the town guard after me. I'm supposed to have stolen something from him yet he wants me brought back to HIM and not the gaol." The lie was so easy.   The second mate narrowed his eyes, nodding. He pushed a paper and inkpot across the table towards her.   Dazz signed her given name: Joan Boyer. She was grown up now, which meant this could be any of the six of them. This always messed up magic trackers and had saved her more than once.   "Welcome aboard the Fairy Princess."  

Symmerin, a star port on Caer'Thun

 

Staggering Into Symmerin

  It was the beginning of Dazz's second year aboard the Fairy Princess, when the merchant ship, looking far from her best, creaked and groaned to a berth at the docks. The stench of charred planks spread out from her now that they were in an atmosphere. It was a nasty perfume. Many people stopped to either stare in amazement that she had not already broken to pieces while others smirked at her decrepit appearance without a care for what had happened.   Captain Brundage, determined to get paid for their cargo as soon as possible, drove her crew to unload the cargo fast. Soon as they were done, pay was handed out along with a warning that they were gonna be in port longer than usual for repairs. This meant they were free to do whatever until the blue shingle was hung.   With her meager pay jingling in her belt pouch, Dazz was relieved to get some time on solid ground. The pirate attacks kept missing the mast and sails due to bad aim and the Fairy Princess ducking and dodging even as she raced for the wormhole. It had been a very near thing, but Captain Brundage had managed to get the advantage on a gravity slingshot around a small sun and reached the wormhole before the pirates could cut them off. She could do with a pint ... or ten.   There was one seedy inn she found rather comforting that was away from the docks and closer to the fancier parts of the city. As she walked into the smoky and dimly lit Stinkin' Airts, the stress from the near destruction of the Fairy Princess ebbed out of her. Replacing it was that knife edge awareness and trickster thinking of her true rogue self. And it felt ... good.  

Say It Ain't So

  Three weeks and the Fairy Princess had finally gone into the repair yard, too damaged to be repaired at her assigned berth. Dazz had been lounging in the Stinky Airts with the occassional venture into the night for a bit of pickpocketing and the liberation of trinkets from fools who drank too much. It was all child's play but anything more exciting would require being in the good graces of the local den of thieves. She wanted no strings as she intended to leave when the Fairy Princess was ready..   Tonight she sat at her usual table near a corner, watching people come and go through the swinging doors that served as the main entrance to the Stinkin' Airts. As she sipped her watered down cheap ale, she toyed with a fancy timepiece. These things were all the rage amongst the wealthy, and the young sun elf whose pocket its chain had been dangling from had never noticed her nabbing it right under his nose.   Dazz snickered. Evik Glitterleaf claimed to be an accomplished student of magic nearing graduation from the Symmerin Univeristy, a place that taught magic to anyone coming here from the stars. Well, anyone with the coins to afford it, anyways. She dangled the chain from a finger and gave it a twirl. Barely accomplished student, she thought and snickered again.   The doors swung open as that very same student stepped in. It had only taken him five days to return. His eyes blinked against the smoke before locking onto his timepiece on the table before Dazz. His pointed ears twitched. Squaring his shoulders, he strode on over.   "I do believe you have something of mine," he said once he stood across the table from her.   "Dearest Evik, be a good boy and be on time." Dazz said, repeating the inscription from memory. She looked up at him with a small smile and raised brow. "Are you often a bad boy, Evik?"   Dazz watched his bright gold-tinged skin take on a ruby glow then waved for him to sit at the seat across from her. His lips pursed into a firm line, but he sat down.   "You have very slow magic, dearest Evik," Dazz continued. "Five days to find your precious timepiece?"   "This was the earliest I could get away from my studies." He huffed. "Since you were ... kind enough not to sell it, would you please give it back?"   "How did you find it?" Dazz asked, still playing with the chain. "What type of spell."   "A locate item spell, if you must know." He said, then tilted his head a bit as his eyes narrowed. "Why?"   "Let's make a deal." Dazz said instead of answering. "I will return your little trinket to you when you have answered my questions about magic."   "No. That would take forever."   "A very specific type of magic, then."   Evik waved and a serving girl hurried over.   "Spiced rum." he ordered. The girl nodded and looked at Dazz, who tapped her tankard and held up one finger. The serving girl darted away.   "Fine." Evik agreed. "I will answer your questions until its time for me to get back to the University."   "Agreed." Dazz said. The serving girl returned, delivered their drinks, took their coins, and hurried away to see to other customers.   "I am wondering just how impervious to spy magics a person can be if they are one of six people with the same name."   Evik blinked.   "That's not possible."   "Orphanages get babies on their doorsteps all the time. Over the years, they fancy certain names."   "Oh." Evik sipped his rum and frowned in thought. "Well, that would be very confusing to whoever was trying to scry by name, though I am sure a master could eventually weed out the truth."   "So this person would not actually be impervious to spy magics, then."   "No. Interestingly protected for sure but --" he shrugged. "Never impervious."   He sipped his rum and leaned forward.   "Just what have you in mind for this interesting protection, Miss Six Names?"   It was very late before he left the Stinkin' Airts with his timepiece.  

Alaria, a star port on Draconia

 

Onto The Voidchaser

  Two years later, the Fairy Princess arrived at Alaria. It was their first ever run to Alaria since she joined the crew, and she was eager to see just how ripe for plundering the elves of Draconia were. Her rogue friends, made from her frequent stop overs in Symmerin, all swore the Draconian elves never locked their doors because they trusted in magic.   The old gnome Iovin Torchbrew and his killer lady gnome Thorve Vinter, had retired to Symmerin after their last great heist. An old round ear named John Short, who was no where near short, often joined in reminising over their exploits. They all spoke of how they wished they were young again as Draconia would be the perfect place to reap in the riches. To a master thief, magic could be got around with a bit of preparation.   Dazz had her Glass of Detect Magic and her 'interesting protection' from most scry magics. She was ready for Draconia. The gnomes had taught her that a world ripe for thieving was a thief's oyster, always coughing up pearls. She did not need a world to be her oyster, she only needed a city. Alaria would be her oyster.   Things started out well enough, as she picked pockets and nabbed exposed trinkets, taking great care to never be seen and quick to pluck out the gems and melt things down. Anything magical she was even quicker to discard as soon as her trusted Glass revealed it. This was still child's play, but she needed to get a feel for the city.   Finally, there came a day when she decided to try for a real heist. It took awhile, but she finally found a house without its wards in place. Even better, no one was even home! She filled a sack with fancy things and was about to leave when a voice spoke to her.   "The master will be very displeased if you take that."   Whirling around, Dazz saw a mouth fade away from the helmet of a decorative suit of armor. And then the armor stepped away from the wall towards her.   She upended the sack and ran out the door, trinkets and treasures dumping out in a trail that reached halfway to the street. Not daring to drop the sack itself as it could be used to track her, she crumpled it up and tucked it into her belt. The clanking of the armor chasing after her stopped at the edge of the propery and another mouth appeared on the helmet.   "STOP! THIEF!" It yelled over and over five times, drawing the attention of nearby watchmen.   Dazz ran faster. She kept to the alleyways and every bit of hiding she could find until she neared a popular tavern. The sun was rising now and she was getting desperate to get to her stash.   A very drunk marine staggered out the back door. Seeing her chance, Dazz knocked out the man and stripped him of his uniform. Getting dressed in the uniform, Dazz made her way to the docks where she kept her emergency stash. It would be a great place to hide until --   "Get in line, marine!" A commanding voice yelled from behind Dazz. Whirling around, Dazz found herself facing a tough looking sergeant and two dozen other marines, half of which looked terribly hungover or still a bit drunk. "Move it, marine!"   Dazz hurriedly moved to the back of one of the lines and they resumed marching. Waiting for a moment to slip away, she heard shouting.   "... one of them soldiers is a thief!" One of the watch was arguing with an officer.   "Got a name?" the officer asked in a bored tone.   "Joan Boyer."   Oh no, they found me! Dazz thought and looked for anyway to run for it.   "A HUMAN?!" the officer scoffed and waved at the dockyards busy with marines being marched everywhere. "Do you see any HUMANS here?"   "Well, no, but the spell --"   "Got misdirected," the officer said. "I dont have time for this nonsense! Good day, sir!"   The officer waved him out of the dockyards then marched off, getting back to business. The watchman scowled and peered sharply about the yard.   Dazz, relieved at the lucky break, decided to stay with the unit as they were marched aboard the Voidchaser and out of the reach of the watch.
Don't forget that you can click on the blue compass on the left to access the Table of Contents at any time!
A Few Good Elves Cover Small.png

Want to read all of the Toy Soldier Saga fiction, even before the rest of the world does?Subscribe now!

A TOY SOLDIER UNIVERSE BACKSTORY

Changling: a person of human and elven decent
 

Table of Contents

 
From Amberport to Symmerin to Alaria
 
Dazzle Kat Rogue.png
On The Streets by Dazzlinkat
Children
Aboard the Voidchaser
 
Dazzle Kat Work Uniform-portrait.png
Scrub this, fix that in my work uniform. UGH! by Dazzlinkat
 
Dazzle Kat Formals.png
Guard duty in my Formals. Heh! by Dazzlinkat
 
Dazzle Kat Bugsuit.png
They gave me a Bug Suit!! Woohoo!!!! by Dazzlinkat
Game Stats
DAZZLE KAT: Changeling. Medium Humanoid. Female. Age: 30 yrs   FAVORED CLASSES: Rogue/Wizard   LEVEL: 2   HD: 2d8 +2 HP: 14 INIT: +2   AC: 12 (in uniform) / 18 (in bug suit)   IMMUNE: Magic Sleep   FORT: +1 REF: +5 WILL: -1  
STR: 10 (-0-)   DEX: 15 (+2)   CON: 12 (+1)
INT: 13 (+1)   WIS: 9 (-1)   CHA: 13 (+1)
  SPEED: 30, LOW-LIGHT VISION, KEEN SENSES   SKILL FOCUS: (Disable Device), TRAPFINDING   SNEAK ATTACK: +1d6   LANGUAGES: Elfin, Elven, Gnomish  
ACROBATICS: 1 + 2 + 3= +5   appraise: 0 + 1 = +1   bluff: 0 + 1 = +1   climb: 0 + 0 = 0   CRAFT: 1 + 1 +3 = +5   diplomacy: 0 + 1 = +1   DISABLE DEVICE: 1 + 2 + 3 +3 = +9   disguise: 0 + 1 = +1   ESCAPE ARTIST: 1 + 2 +3 = +6   intimidate: 0 + 1 = +1   know(dung): 0 + 1 = +1   know(local): 0 + 1 = +1
  KNOW(eng): 1 +1 = +1   linguistics: 0 + 1 = +1   perception: 0 -1 + 2 = +1   pilot: 0 + 2 = +2   profession(marine): 0 -1 = -1   sense motive: 0 -1 = -1   SLEIGHT OF HAND: 1 + 2 + 3 = +6   STEALTH: 1 + 2 +3 = +6   SWIM: 1 + 0 3 = +4   USE MAGICAL DEVICE: 1 + 1 + 3= +5
  Changling Rogue Ability: Add a +½ bonus on Bluff checks to feint and Diplomacy checks to gather information.Add a +½ bonus on Bluff checks to feint and Diplomacy checks to gather information.   Trapfinding: A rogue adds 1/2 her level to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device skill checks (minimum +1). A rogue can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.   Evasion: Avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.   Blackmarket Connections  
WEAPONS
  Boat Hook (simple pole arm) has Reach ATT: +1 DAMAGE 1d6 + 0 pierce   Dagger MELEE ATT: +1 DAMAGE 1d4 + 0 pierce. RANGE ( 5 x 10' increments) ATT: +1 DAMAGE 1d4 +0 pierce
  PAY/month AS PRIVATE: 24 novas 4 starbursts 2 sparks   PAY/month AS AIDE LT. MAD: 1 starbursts   TOTAL COINS: 7572 novas 15 starbursts 6 sparks   Suddenly promoted to Corporal ... but notice its AFTER payday lol   Earned Drop of Lugh's Blood during the assault where I was runover by Orcs mistaking me for debris and then stampeded over by a horde of paniced goblins.


Cover image: A Gnome Town by Willgard

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Powered by World Anvil