Bard / Chosen of Labelas Enoreth / Aspect of the Tempo of Time
The Huntcrowns are a Cormyrian noble family based out of Suzail. She was the youngest child in her family. She wouldn’t get to know most of the rest, however.
Alesia was born in 3 DR. Ondeth Obyskar sat as Steward to a nation that had not yet had a king. Many people outside the borders would not call it a nation at all, but those who were citizens of Cormyr knew better. They had seen the War Wizard tower erected in Arabel. They had seen Purple Dragons dispensing fair justice in the streets. They had seen a few farming communities grow and work together to build one of the most powerful economies in the world, forging alliances with Baulder’s Gate, Neverwinter, and even the reclusive elves of Cormanthyr.
Alesia was told these same stories, by her mother. She doesn’t remember her much – she was only seven when the monster came. She lay under the bed, praying to Mystra and Tymora to send an angel to save her mother. That angel never came, and her mother was eaten from the inside out. When the monster was done, he turned his gaze towards her, and smiled – as if amused by the fact that she was too terrified to cry. He reached into her mother’s pouch and pulled out two gold coins, and transformed himself into the form of a human, save for a long tentacle potruding from his shoulder which he used to toss the bed across the room.
Alesia sank back into the corner but the monster crept closer anyway. He closed his fists, a coin in each hand, and spoke in a hauntingly terrifying voice.
“A man once told me that fate is not some predetermined destiny. It is not a line that we are forced to follow, but is instead a line that is drawn as we make choices. I wonder, sometimes, how true that is. Because I wonder, I will give you a choice. In one hand I hold life, and in the other, death. You do not know which is which, yet you must decide. Cruel is it not? Do you feel as if your life is worth more than the toss of a coin? I suppose you are still to young to understand the gravity of this.”
The man’s tounge enlongates and without needing to take a step forward he likes Alesia’s cheek.
“I can taste the fear on you, its quite exquisite. Perhaps you are old enough to comprehend the concept of death. Do you see that woman there? That husk of a being that was once a loving caring mother? Your mother, I presume. Should you chose the wrong hand, you will die just as she has. If you chose the right hand, you will not. Well, at least not by my hand.”
He left that night, and it wasn’t until the next morning that Alesia’s father found her sitting in that same corner, sobbing, with a smattering of her mothers blood across the side of her face. No one believed that Alesia had anything to do with her mother’s death. At least, not purposefully. But her refusal to speak amped her father’s fustrations, and many believed a curse would follow her.
Alesia wasn’t so sure they were wrong. She kept the coin with her every day. It was a strange coin, not like any she found when looking through her father’s stores. The monster had never told her if she had chosen the right one. He only said “One way or another you should cherish this coin. Should death come for you, it will collect this coin as a toll after Selune has cried with her eye wide open thrice. Should you choose life, it will have been the coin that saved you.” Then he smiled, and slunk into the shadows.
Alesia watched her father struggle, day after day looking for something that could help him find out what happened to his wife. She knew it fustrated him that she wouldn’t speak about the monster, but she was afraid if she spoke even a whisper of him that he would come and eat her too.
One night, while Alesia lay in her bed unable to sleep she noticed it was unusually bright for night. She looked to the sky and saw that Selune was full, and the Tears of Selune shone brightly behind it. Her heart began to beat quickly as she realized this is what the monster had meant. But was this the first time since then? Alesia knew nothing of the stars…for all she knew, this could be the night.
Terrified, she opened her window and ran…she ran and ran and ran until she was completely exhausted. She stopped in an alleyway, where a woman was out sitting near a door to a very loud building. Alesia was dirty from her falls, and obviously tired and scared, so the woman took her in. The monster never came that night.
Since she never spoke, nobody at the brothel was ever able to figure out where the girl came from. Alesia had decided not to go back home. If the monster was going to come for her, it was better that she was away from her family. Instead, she stayed and helped at the brothel, cooking, washing the women’s clothes, helping them keep the patron’s wine glasses full, and keeping the gate clerics from falling asleep.
She stayed here for several years. During this time she aquired some books on astrology and learned from a War Wizard that the night she ran away was the first that Selune and her tears would be completely visible after her mother’s murder. It happens only once in roughly 5 year cycles. The third night would be the night of her 18th birthday. On the second night of her countdown to doom, she went to the roof of the brothel to watch Selune cross the sky, to try and remember her mother and father, her brothers and sisters. But they were all faded memories. The brothel was her home now, the courtesans her family. Danela, a local theif girl came to join her on the roof. Danela had lost her whole family on the sea, but that never scared her. She still had every intent to be a sailor one day. She had come tonight to say goodbye.
Danela was a few years older than Alesia, and she had secured herself a position with a ship. A ship was in harbor that was on its way to the Pirate Isles in the Sea of Fallen stars. Danela would be trained as a deckhand for the pirate vessel “Under the Queens Dress”. As Alesa looked to the bright moon, a sudden urge washed over her. It was something she hadn’t felt in years. It was…comfort. She knew she was destined to die, to be eaten alive by that horrible monster, in only a few years. But what good was hiding in this brothel going to do? It wouldn’t change anything. She spoke for the first time ever since that night. She said “Screw it, I’m coming too.”
The captain of the “Under the Queens Dress” was, unsurprisingly, a loud, foul mouthed, fouler smelling drunk. But his crew respected and even loved him. His first mate was almost the opposite. He was quiet and clean. He hailed from the land of Kara-Tur, and was a master with more weapons than Alesia even knew existed to that point. He was also a musician. The first mate, Xian Xui, protested bringing Alesia on board at first, but the captain disregarded his thoughts. A 13 year old can still swap the decks, he said. And so she cared for the men the same as she had cared for the women at the brothel. Cooking, cleaning. It was something they weren’t really used to, but they didn’t complain.
Alesia would always sit on the deck of the boat listening Xian Xui play his music. Just as he had mastered many weapons he had mastered many instruments. One day, she was in a particular mood and began to dance to the music. Xian Xui just kept playing, watching her move gracefully across the deck of a rocking ship.
When he finished the song, he spoke to her – “You move like a snowflake on the wind. It is beautiful. It reminds me of a dance back home, a dance for warriors. Would you like to become a warrior?”
Alesia accepted the offer and began training with Xian Xui. She learned the basics of many weapons but her favored blade was the Kukri. It was light overall, which suited her smaller stature, but the ends were heavy to empower her swings. Xian Xui taught her to incorperate that dance into her fighting, floating like a snowflake across the battlefield.
It was one of these nights that her 18th birthday came. Alesia had told Xian Xui of the monster that was destined to consume her on her 18th birthday, and Xian Xui said if fate chose to be so cruel that he would sacrfice himself to try and stop it. The night passed and the monster never came. It turns out, the whole time she had chosen the right coin. She still carried it with her every day. Still nobody could identify its origins.
As she grew older she became a productive member of the ship, and it flourshied quite well until the captain tried to raid a ship flying the flag of the “Roaring Winds Trading Company”. A Cormyrian war wizard was aboard, and easily disabled the “Under the Queens Dress.” The crew was captured and arrested, and brought back to Cormyr for trial. Danela, Xian Xui, the captian, everybody – they were all sentanced for execution. While Alesia stood in front of the Purple Dragon judge, a commotion came from the rear of the crowd. Someone was pushing their way to the front. Finally, Alesia’s father burst to the front.
“It is you, you’re alive!”
Her father spoke with the knight in private for a while before he returned to deliver her sentance.
“Due to your display of considerable skills in combat, and your legitamate claim to a Cormyrian noble house, your sentance will be service in the Purple Dragons for no less than 5 years.”
She never did get to see her third family again….