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 11 August, 2006

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            Isn’t it funny how life seems so full of irony?  Thaddius Narwhal died when Fineous was thirteen years old.  A wine purveyor by trade, a wine barrel fell off a wagon, and crushed him. 

            A month later his mother, Rianna, married Zeddicus Narwhal, Thaddius’ brother/ business partner.  Fineous learned the trade, worked in the warehouse, but he never felt he fit in.  After he had succumbed to the peer pressure of his fellow workers, Fineous started to make “quality checks” of the various wines.  He and his co-workers started to hang out late in the warehouse to drink and throw bones.  Pretty soon debts started to pile up, and the only way to pay for them was to secretly sell off casks of wine.  As soon as Uncle Zed found out, Fineous was publicly flogged.  It was not so much the point of being a thief, Zed told him, as it was of the stupidity for boning with people who used loaded dice.

            Zed explained to him he had gambled away his fathers share of the wine business, and was not entitled to any of the profits.  But he could redeem himself by lots of hard work.  Since Zed had no children of his own, Fineous might one-day come into good graces and take over the business.  As luck would have it, Rianna gave birth to twin boys a year later.  Fineous went to the “Married Maiden,” and got smashed out of his gourd.  While there, he saw some priests of Tymora.   He berated them, for their goddess was a bitch.  A fat priest stood up and smacked Fineous in the side of the head.

            The next day when Fineous became coherent, he went down stairs to the gathering room.  The same fat priest sat there with Rianna and Uncle Zed.  Fineous was introduced to Prior Chance.  Prior Chance explained to Fineous of his transgressions against the Lady of Luck.  He was also informed he would make amends to the church in the form of work.  They argued for a while, and when Fineous realized he had two stepbrothers and was no longer needed, he gave up.

            The first year at the Abbey was tough.  Not only did he have chores to perform, he also had classes.  The Prior would only say, “we do not have illiterate members of the clergy.”  Fineous felt as all teenagers felt.  What good is an education of useless facts?  He would resist, and they would punish him with more chores.  Book knowledge was tough, but he was soon able to apply his lessons to life.  He learned combat (his favorite), ritual prayers and how to turn undead (his least favorite).

            After two years, Fineous was officially welcomed into the church.  He was awarded a suit of ceremonial armor, and a mace.  Now free to come and go as he pleased, Fineous sought out his old friends for some friendly revenge.  The lady of luck was with him, and he would win enough money to pay back Zed. 

            Well so much for best-laid plans.  Not only did Fineous lose all his money, he also lost his armor and owed a great amount of debt which he could not repay.  Prior Chance, now Abbot Chance was furious.  There had to be a punishment, and this time, it needed to be able to teach a lesson Fineous would never forget.  After hours of diving and communing with the Lady Tymora, Abbot Chance realized there was only one solution.  This punishment was only used in extreme times of need.  It was one that would make brother Fineous either a very strong warrior for the Lady Tymora, or make him very dead. 

The brevity of a life quest passed Fineous, like a leaf on a rushing stream.   One moment he sat in the Abbots’ office, and the next he was escorted out of the building.  The sound of the doors locking reminded him of a groan.  It was a sound he did not want to hear again.  He only had his ceremonial robes, his heavy mace, and two letters of which one he was to open upon leaving Suzail. 

Brother Fineous,

Over the last few years, I have tried to teach you about our lady Tymora.  You have learned nothing.  The Lady of Luck is not about revenge against others, and you are not the butt of some joke.  The Lady Tymora does smile upon you.  And she has decided to take your education in her own hands. 

Know this, as a member of her flock you are not yet lost.  Every day when your awaken give thanks for another day luck has allowed you to live. If you feel you have had some bad luck, give thanks.  Do not ask her for undue favors.  Do not bargain with her, just offer her up your praise. 

Place yourself in the hands of fate and trust your own luck.  Bear and conduct yourself as your own master, showing your good or bad fortune with confidence in the lady.  Set direction and goals.  When you chase your unique goals, the Lady aids the chase.  Without direction or goals you soon know the embrace of Beshaba, for those on no set course are at the mercy of misfortune, which has no mercy at all.

Your quest, should you decide to stay in the church is to go to Amruthar, in the country of Thay.  There is a secret group of missionaries setting up an underground church to Tymora, for it is a land of great evil, who worship great evil.  You are allowed only to take your personal possessions and money.  Since you have gambled away most of your possessions and money, your load should be lighter. 

So take this second letter to the church there.  Give it only to Brother Castagir, and he will give you more instructions from there.  And know this, the Church has paid your gambling debts…this time.



Letter to Brother Castagir


May the light of our Lady shine upon you, and you walk in good fortune for all times.  I take pen in hand to introduce you to Brother Fineous Narwhal.  The Lady Tymora made it known unto me, that I was to send Brother Fineous to you.  He is to help you locate the thing.  Fineous does not know what the thing is.  I felt it better that he not knows, until he reaches you.  This way if he is discovered enroute he is safe, as are we, in this particular aspect.

He is on a Life Quest.  Should he make it to you, we will all know the Lady smiles upon him.  Use him however you see fit in establishing the church.


            Fineous set off north out Suzail after he destroyed the letter.  He had no real idea of how he would reach Thay, no real idea of how to find a secret church with no directions, and no real idea how he was going to afford the trip 

            At dawn after the first night, sore, wet from the dew, tired and afraid, Brother Fineous prayed.  He poured his heart into the morning ritual, and for the first time felt the power that was Tymora.  At first it was like a rubber band being twisted tighter and tighter, then suddenly let loose.  The power flowed into him, made him feel warm and safe.  He still felt hungry, but that was easily ignored with the new found since of direction. 

            An hour up the road Brother Fineous came upon an elderly gentleman who sat on a rock sobbing.  Fineous approached the old man to see what assistance he could be.  The old man scrambled back on his haunches up the rock.  When Fineous explained his good intentions the old man stood up, brushed off his robes and gracefully walked off the rock.  The old man explained he had mistaken Fineous for a brigand and not a member of the clergy since clergy usually wear armor ordained by the church.  Embarrassed, Fineous explained his stupidity in loosing his armor. 

            They walked together for a while, talking all the way.  Fineous told him his life story, the old man who had introduced himself as Qwi listened intently.  The time went by in a blur of stories, some from Fineous some from Qwi.  At midday they stopped for lunch.  They sat on a hill, which overlooked a city.  Fineous felt a great deal of confusion.  They had not traveled long enough to reach even Arabel, and yet here they were overlooking a port city.  As Fineous stood dumbfounded staring at the city.  He heard Qwi explain it was the city of Selgaunt, and from there he could book passage aboard a ship which would take him to Bezantur.  Fineous turned to ask how and why, but Qwi was gone.  In his place was a note atop of a chain shirt and coif.  Beside it was a small bag containing 200 gp and 20 shuriken with Tymoras’ holy symbol in the center, some food, and a heavy mace with the holy symbol of Tymora embedded in the shaft at the top of the head.  The note read:

            Dear Brother Fineous,

Thank you for taking the time to talk to an old man.  To answer your first question, no you did not just meet the Lady Tymora in another form.  Secondly, no you did not meet any divine personages today.  Thirdly, if Tymora did send me, she did not say anything directly to me.  Fourth and final, because I have this knack of showing up when someone is in need of help.  A long time ago, I too was misdirected, and I too was given a quest.  My quest was to help people when the opportunity arose.  These items were things I just happened to have.  They are on loan to you, except for the mace and shuriken.  You can return them the next time you see me.  The road ahead of you is a hard one, with faith you will prevail. 


P.S.  Realize you cannot help everyone.  Remember the feeling you felt today after your morning ritual, it will keep you strong of will. 

And so Fineous headed down the hill to the port city of Selgaunt.  By the time he reached the bottom of the hill, the memory of Qwi had left his mind.  The items he had gained and the lessons he learned were things there and tangible, but if asked he would be hard pressed to explain how he acquired them.

Passage to Bezantur was not cheap.  The only ship captain heading that direction wanted 300gp to take on a passenger.  After negotiations an agreement was reached for 50 gp, but Fineous had to work off the rest as a deck hand.  After three days at sea, Fineous got his sea legs and worked long hard hours for meager amounts of food.  On the fifth day, pirates attacked them.  Fineous helped repel the boarders.  He watched in horror as the ships healer was decapitated on his way to help the heavily injured first mate. 

Fineous knew there was no way to help the healer, but he could help the first mate.  He ran over, laid his hands on the mans’ chest and began to pray.  The first mate, whose breath was shallow, sighed and stabilized.  Fineous heard a cheer go up.  He smiled, looked up, and turned beet red when he realized the cheers were not for him, but for the retreat of the pirates.  He berated himself for his pridefulness, and sat watch over his patient.  In the evening he buried his face in his blanket and cried.  He had never seen a person killed before, never held a dying mans life in his hands, and never realized there was this kind of evil in the world. 

The next morning, he thanked Tymora for his life and for sparing the life of the first mate.  Later that day, they reached the port of Bezantur.  As a more wizened and less innocent Fineous left the ship, the captain thanked him for what he did.  He also returned the fare in the currency of Thay, and offered to exchange the rest of Fineous’ currency.  The captain also advised him to hide the fact he was a member of the clergy not sanctioned by Thay, and the only church he should trust was Kelemvore.

The next problem to overcome was that of the language barrier.  In a secluded corner he prayed to Tymora for the ability to speak the native tongue of the people here in the market.  He quickly picked out the quality merchants, shopped, haggled, bought and quickly got his but out of town.  Four days later he reached Amruthar.

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This page was updated on Friday, August 11, 2006