Campaign of the Month: July 2018
Morwindl | Rising Tide
Season 1 - Ford
A shockingly tall man with bushy black hair globing his head.
A ford isn’t the place to put down roots. You don’t travel all your life and stop at a ford. Though the water is shallow and pleasant, no one stays for long. So is the life of Ford.
Fords father was merely a man and a tailor. His mother the captain of a great elven ship. While the ship was set in the docks, they flourished in spite of their difference. Their time together was seamless joining of two streams. But, life is transient. Even with Lavea bearing a son, when her ship was out of dry dock, she knew she had to sail on. Before she left, she met her erstwhile lover and newborn child at the shallows of a river. “I am a wanderer. I shall not be here to raise my son. I cannot not guide him through the trails of life. But, he shall not be without boon.” She produced a small fruit, much like a fig but with odd shining skin. She explained that this fruit was the only one that came from a tree in her home town. Of all elves born under those blossoms it was hers that had brought forth fruit and thus it was hers to give. The power of this was said to bring a man back to life if he should eat it, but only once. Before the two parted ways, they fed their son together in hopes that it would bless his life where they could not.
Ford grew slowly as the child of man and the fair folk often do. The children of men that grew around them were not welcoming. It was rare that he was bullied or had to fight the other children. And there was also no care between him and anyone save his father. He instead found solace in song and the arts. His father seeing this and hoping for a better life in his son, hoarded enough to purchase a way out for the lonely boy. When Ford began to reach maturity, his father used what wit and coin he had to send his son to a nearby academy. For someone not of noble birth, the only way was to purchase a commission as an officer in the navy. Waylin was a wise man and understood his place in the world. He was no one of note and would likely not live long in this land. His son had the potential to be and do both. With a heavy heart he sent him across the great river to the city and the academy. All that he had to send with his son was a violin and an old rapier. It cost him dearly.
At the academy, Ford would play his instrument rather than feel the sad remembrance of his home behind him. He was pushed in mind and body. He learned martial skill and to have the mind quick enough to react in dangerous situations. Endless practice with the sword and class after class bore down on his time. When it came to light that his bloodline had the potential for magic, still more classes and reading were heaped on him. He discovered his love for study and it quickly entwined with his love of music. In fact while ciphering a chart for an upcoming exam, it won him some of his first friends. In the archive studying, a group of young officers to be heard a voice drift hauntingly with a familiar tune. They discovered a bushy haired Ford singing a simple song, “Beneath the bush hid the cat.” But, instead of the normal lyrics full of double entendre, they heard the signs of the sextant setting methods. By the time Ford noticed them, there were several students pressing him to teach the trick. And, after a surprisingly good round of test scores, Ford and his unit found him his first hangover. They toured the taverns of the city and Ford even played in a few. Although they all knew their posts would take them to different places, they drank together as one.
Years and miles later, Lieutenant Ford served on a coastal raiding sloop and was quite adroit in his performance. In the handful of skirmishes they encountered, he proved himself a worthy combatant. But he was once again alone. His lack of noble status kept any respectable officer from association while the rank he held kept him apart from the crew. In spite of many lives being saved from the dangers of the sea by his own hands, he was a man apart. In this time, only his music remained by his side. His days off were spent in study and sword play. And, nights were awash with music.
When his mandatory term was over, Ford took the chance to leave the service of his kingdom. His patriotism was not diminished but he knew his place in the world was elsewhere. Seeking guidance from the one place he had ever been home, he returned to the stream by which his father lived. Waylin was ecstatic to see his son. Gossip and news spread between them in their happy visit. But, Waylin insisted it was only a visit. In the many years, Ford had grown to be a tall youth. Waylin had grown to be a stooped old man. With every passing day, the old man grew more and more impatient in pressing Ford where he might go. At first Ford was hurt and old doubts stepped in that he was not wanted in his fathers home. But as he looked in anger at his fathers stooped form, he began to see the signs of the truth. Shaking hands, a discoloration under the eyes and other things he had excused as odd habbits told a different story. Waylin was dying. Ford sat his father down and pressed him with what he knew. In tears Waylin admitted that he didn’t want his son to remember him in his shaking fever as his breath and dignity left him.
“Boy. I am not a smart man. When you were young I gave you the best home I could. And I was smart enough to know when the home I could give you wasn’t good enough. I am glad to see the man you have become. But, I would not have you know me as the dying man I am now,” he said close to tears. He told his son, that he needed to seek a new home. “Go now boy. Go and take yourself out to sea. Sing with me one last song. And remember me with the breath in my lungs and this smile on my face.” Ford sang with Waylin. They smiled. They wept.
Filled with sorrow and new purpose, Ford set out. His instrument and his sword were not the ones his father had given him. But, his purpose was. After quickly discarding the idea of returning to the Venabar navy he began to sell out his services to caravans and ships along the river. Never going to far up river lest he risk reaching his father’s part of the stream. He was welcome in many places, singing and learning from many people, but none of them were home.
Not until he met the pirates Grumbar. Famously the captain only said that the only thing you need to join was dedication to your crew and a love of music. Being a privateer suited Ford. And while he continued to grow in the strength of arms, he grew in comradery and in song. With them he fought without fear and with him they played and sang. Between skirmishes and work they would feast to the accompaniment of Fords violin or piano. As their reputation increased, their work became increasingly difficult. Higher stakes led to more danger and it would eventually be their undoing. But while they knew their time together couldn’t last, Ford was home.
Ford GrumbarLevel 11 Swashbuckler