The Price of Generosity
Half Elf Wizard
Race: Half Elf
Height: 5’ 10’’
Weight: 145 lbs
Tallendryl is less concerned with saving the world than having a good time. Killing things and having to do work are unappealing- indeed, he often counts on luck and charm to get him through life. His confidence and willingness to be reckless are both great strengths and weaknesses. The only things that keep him from being a completely self-centered asshole are his natural curiosity, genuine interest in learning new things, and a vague sense of obligation to do the right thing when no one else can or will. His will is weak, however, and temptation can very easily overpower his resolve to think beyond his own pleasure. Only time will tell what kind of man he truly is…
Tallendryl never met his parents. He was raised at the prestigious Jables Institute, (a high-end boarding school) in Horizon. His natural curiosity and intelligence were nurtured here under Headmaster Jables, who had a special affection for Thalasen, which was his childhood name. Here he was taught all of the common tongues of the world, etiquette and manners, a few musical instruments as a part of his finishing/prep school education. He had many friends, finding socializing second nature, including Laylen McKale. Thalasen read many books on many subjects, as was encouraged in the institute, but especially enjoyed reading about distant lands, the people’s cultures, and books on animals that lived there. Despite the bond between Jables and his pupil, the headmaster refused to surrender the confidential files containing the name of the guardian that had dropped Thalasen off there as a baby. As the boy grew older his resentment at being abandoned by his unknown parents and at Jables for refusing to shed light on his past lead him to leave the institute even though his tuition was paid in full for another three years.
He took the trust fund that had been left in his name and enrolled in the Academy of the Archmage at 15. Although he had passed the admission test with a near perfect score, his performance in class was not inspiring. Still hurt by his fight with Jables, fostering a growing anger at his absent parents, and fighting teenaged angst, he often cut class and sneaked out of the dormitory at night to walk the streets of Horizon. He binge drank, socialized in taverns, listened to sailors’ stories, fooled around with girls, got his first taste of black spice, and gambled. He fell asleep in a lecture on arcane geometry the day before the final exam, and that was the final straw- he was expelled on the spot. Rather than return to the Jables Institute, Thalasen decided he’d strike out on his own and travel the world at 16.
Renaming himself Tallendryl, (the adult version of his name in elvish) he traveled to Axis. He found work where he could- acting as a translator or scribe for sailors, working in magic shops as an extra set of hands, telling tales or singing songs in taverns for tips, but he was especially adept at tutoring others in reading, writing, and foreign languages. When he was 18 Tallendryl got in the good graces of a particularly wealthy and influential family- the Hightowers. He became a live-in librarian and tutor to their numerous children. They provided a steady salary, room, and board. He was able to indulge in fine wines, nice clothing, and black spice when he wasn’t working for the Hightowers. All was well for another year, until he became involved with Adora Hightower, their eldest daughter. They trysted in secret- spending nights sneaking out of the manor house and getting into trouble. Tallendryl made the mistake of letting her fall in love with him, and Adora became jealous of his carousing ways. She caught him with another woman one night and told her father Luther Hightower that he tried to ravish her. Tallendryl was suddenly a hunted man- the Hightowers hired bounty hunters to capture him, but he evaded them long enough to hitch a ride to Santa Cora.
He didn’t stay here very long- the pious nature of the people here and their disinterest in academia didn’t afford him much of a way of life. A few months of staying here he gladly left when a group of swarthy men known as the Snake Eyes came asking around for him- apparently sent from Axis.
Tallendryl traveled through New Port and lost his pursuers there, and wound up staying for another few months in this city. At no loss for funds, he was popular here, and met many adventurers and travelers before leaving. Rosie Jaro, a girl he spent a few nights with, wished to marry him desperately. Her father Grayden Jaro, who is the city planner and owner of the largest construction contractor in New Port, took a liking to Tallendryl, and tried his best to convince him to settle down and have his grandchildren.
Instead, Tallendryl wandered the remaining cities he had not yet seen for several years more, gaining a reputation for being a generous tavern rat, and occasional rascal. He made friends easily, and most liked him well enough unless he flirted with the wrong person’s wife, or acted out some other selfish impulse. It was this kind of impulse, in fact, that caused him to sometimes be accused of being a demon worshiper- ever irreverent and hedonistic. One afternoon he woke up in a puddle in one of Glitterhaegen’s gutters without any money or possessions. He had been robbed by a whore after a black spice binge. He had hit bottom, and was ready for a change in lifestyle.
He was now 30, and had finally lost interest in constant partying and revelry. Destitute, he looked back on his structured academic life and felt a longing for something he was missing. He traveled back to Santa Cora and attempted to live a different kind of life by turning over a new leaf, and becoming a monk of the gods of light. Tallendryl interviewed with Father Anderson, administrator of a small temple, and became approved for admission as a record keeper and custodian. He was ready to try a life of servitude and devotion to the temple, (Though there was a feeling of being a phony when lying his way through some the priest’s questions about his background) when he met the most irresistible woman he’d ever seen. He watched her in awe as she visited the temple and smiled at him. Obsessed with her, he tried to focus on his new jobs, but could not get her out of his head, and his chores suffered for it.
Only a few weeks passed when one night Tallendryl was awakened by sounds coming from the temple. He cautiously approached, and saw the woman again- she was naked amidst a strange sexual ritual being performed by a small number of people. He stood there frozen- unsure whether to alert Father Anderson to the sacrilege, or to give in to temptation and follow her beckoning finger. He could not resist, and forsook his vows, desecrating the temple. He can now only remember bits and pieces of that night, but what he can recall is vivid and alluring, and still thinks of it often. He left Santa Cora without a word the next morning, and wandered the roads for some time, reflecting on his experience, and wondering what to do with his life now. He also noticed a strange tattoo or birthmark he didn’t remember before…
He found himself back in Axis, where he stayed for a while with Laylen, but before he knew it hewas recognized and pursued by the Hightowers and their lackeys, and was chased back to Horizon. Tallendryl managed to convince the Academy to allow him to re-enroll as a student on the condition that he not fail any of his exams. Taking school seriously now, he was able to easily excel academically, and graduated after skipping three levels. Tallendryl, now 35, was a full-fledged wizard. As a new graduate of the Academy, he was impressed for one year of service to the Archmage- should he call on Tallendryl for any errands, he must carry them out.
Tallendryl was excited to be assigned work immediately to investigate Boltstrike Pillar along with a group of adventurers. after all, he had never known deadly combat before, or much danger outside the Seven Cities. He found new and genuine friends in his first adventuring party- especially Drakkablak, a defeated lizardman who he decided to risk sparing. Unbeknownst to Tallendryl, lizardmen have a strict code of honor concerning life debts, and he now has a loyal friend in him.
Through semi-related tasks, favors being asked, work opportunities, and tangents, Tallendryl’s life became a long string of exciting times. While at first he merely wished to get his errand-running out of the way so that he could return to his semi-solitary wanderings, all of the new sights, deadly battles, and growing mastery of magic really excited him, and allowed him to see what he is capable of. The adventures have grown on him, and he has harnessed his natural aptitude for risky and reckless behavior, coupled it with his need to resolve dire conflicts, (rather than running away) and channeled it into a style of bending magic to help him perform daring and amazing feats. His arcane luck- harnessing has given him new confidence, and has made him something of an adrenaline junkie at times.
To date Tallendryl has performed the following feats:
-Downed three “giant’s flagons”
-Jumped off a rooftop with a piece of rope, laced a noose around a pursuing orc’s neck, and swung to the ground safely while simultaneously strangling the enemy
-Raced across a shaking bridge at full speed toward a large hobgoblin, drop kicked him off the bridge while flipping backward onto his feat
-Tripped an ogre with a piece of debris after pretending to be an orc to gain access to the part of Scarsdale Fortress the Stone Thief had eaten, then dropping a portcullis on his leg as he rolled to safety
But also has paid dearly for miscalculated risks:
-Losing a magical circlet to Lucky after attempting a foolhardy impersonation/confusion tactic in Scarsdale Fortress
-Getting thrown across a room by the ogre Bone Gnasher
-Managing to land on top of, but not get off of, another ogre
Perhaps most daring of all, Tallendryl dared to favor the Diabolist, as he became obsessed with her and her power. He successfully arranged for her victory during the Festival of Spears without being caught, and was partly responsible for the Crusader’s capture by the Stone Thief, thus helping to usher in the end of the 13th Age.