The Fairy Ring in the Nentir Vale
'Percival' the Halfling
Charismatic amnesiac with a prodigy's gift for knives and a much-envied killer instinct
_PC recruited mid-H1; departed late-H2; back for Gardmore Abbey
Percival joined the Fairy Ring under unusual circumstances, knowing nothing of his own past.
Small details of his life’s story unfolded in the course of his adventures.
Present in Wrafton’s Inn one morning when they awoke, Percival the Halfing introduced himself to the Fairy Ring, related to them that his ‘guardian’, Wolczek the Paladin, had told him his abilities and aptitudes were well-suited to their group, and promptly left Winterhaven in the middle of the night.
He seemed already to know them all, whilst they had had no idea of his existence. Wolczek must indeed have had ‘briefed’ him thoroughly before disappearing, unless Percival could have shadowed the group himself, undetected even by Varris’ sharp elven senses.
But “Percival” was only the aspirationally chivalric name given him by Wolczek. He himself had no more idea of his own name than he did any other detail of his past.
An amnesiac placed by a halfling priestess into the keeping of the paladin, he proved to have the hand and eye of a prodigy with the knife. Whilst adamant that he was no thief, and only reluctantly a front-line or any other sort of fighter, he possessed a killer instinct that was the envy of his companions. Later taking up the magical dagger of Kalarel, he dubbed it “Stanley”, and the two proved inseparable — indeed Stanley would fly back to his hand after being thrown at a foe.
o O o
After foiling Kalarel’s plot and saving Winterhaven, in Fallcrest Percival consulted a tiefling mystic who ‘told his fortune’ through a spread of magical cards.
o O o
In the Thunderspire the Ringers rescued a young halfling lad from slavery under the Grimmerzhul duergar. In the course of the breakout a duergar theurge conjured poisonous fumes from hell, which tragically slew his teenage sister, Lyssa. But though he lost his sight, little Alvi Cloudrun survived.
In the Half Moon Inn, in the bittersweet aftermath of the rescue, the blinded boy cocked his ear at Percival’s voice.
“Is that you, Mister Sable?” he asked. “And have you still got that star that you always turned over and over in your hands?”
Having acquired Stanley and purchased an enchanted Sling in Winterhaven, Percival thought he had disposed of this, but sure enough it was still on his person: a five-pointed throwing star, the steel burnished on one side to a mirror-like shine, and blued so darkly on the other as to be almost black.
Little Alvi knew little about ‘Mister Sable’, only that he had come out of the forest to join the waterborne convoy of the Cloudrun family, journeyed with them a little while, and then gone ashore to meet someone else. Alvi’s Nana had been in charge of everything, like she was in charge of the whole family and a priestess of Avandra. When the Bloodreavers had seized Alvi and Lyssa, Nana had deliberately given herself into slavery to go with them. They’d all been sold together to the devil-dwarves, but then a demon-gnoll — with a horrible tail, and wings! — had taken her away.
o O o
When the Fairy Ring asked her about Percival (Varris having the most questions), Nana related some bare facts. By some unspecified arrangement “Aceti Sable”, clearly a false name, had met the Cloudrun convoy on the banks of the White River, clad all in black garb ragged from a harsh passage through the Harkenwold forest. He had tied all his worldy possessions in a burlap sack and sunk it deep in running water, and she had subsequently arranged for him to go into the keeping of Wolczek the Paladin.
She told all this with her gaze locked sharply on Percival himself as if willing him to speak or challenging him to urge her to silence, but Percival felt that Varris asked everything he wished to know, and gave no reaction.
After a well-earned ’night’s’ sleep, the Fairy Ring arose to find Percival gone. Wjizzo had taken his Eladrin rest in a chair in the hallway, and had seen nothing. The night shift of te Half Moon had seen and heard nothing untoward, save that someone had pinned an old Nerathian golden coin to the bar, stuck right through by a curious throwing-star.
No one knew whether Percival may have had further words with Nana Cloudrun, nor would Nana say. All she said — with considerable certainty — was that Percival’s disappearance was not due to any skulduggery of the Bringer of Change.
Varris placed the coin and the silver-and-black throwing star into the party’s purse. But when he next looked, the following day, the star was gone.
“It’s him, isn’t it?” exclaimed Varris looking about him. “He’s still here, the little…”
But none of the Fairy Ring have seen or heard any sign of Percival the Halfling since that last evening.
Until now! The Ring that was Broken tells of Varris’ pursuit of Percival, and his evental return to the fold.