Nights of Hot Queso
Fiercely determined to protect her friends, this young fighter is also eager to explore and to battle evil.
- 18 STR
- 14 CON
- 12 DEX
- 10 INT
- 13 WIS
- 11 CHA
- 20 AC
- 19 Fortitude
- 16 Reflex
- 14 Will
Hi. My name is Nieme. No, no last name. Nieme will do just fine. You know those stories that start out with the happy go lucky kid whose life is suddenly turned upside down? Yeah, me too, but it is a little different when you live through it.
I spent a lot of time with my grandmother when I was small since my parents were often off scouring some ruined temple or ancient burial ground. I didn’t mind so much though. Grandma was nice to me and whenever my parents came back it was like they couldn’t get enough of me. They would bring me new toys and the stories they would tell…wow…the stories they would tell were amazing. My dad would act out their adventures while my mom held me in her lap. And, they never, never missed one of my birthdays. Well at least until my sixth birthday.
My parents had a visitor one afternoon who claimed that he had stumbled across something that would be of significance interest to my parents. After the man left my father swung my mother around and hooted with pure excitement. “This is the big one squirt,” my dad said as he ruffled my hair on the way to our library. The “big one” was The Eye. It was an artifact my parents had spent years researching and tracking. They put together their information and supplies and left shortly after the afternoon the visitor had come to them. Two months later, I sat by the front door and waited for them to rush in and wish me a happy birthday, but they never came. Six months after that they still hadn’t come home. Grandma tried to keep my spirits up, but when she got sick we had no choice but to go live with my uncle. My grandma passed away a month later.
From there life went from bad to worse. My uncle already had too many mouths to feed, so he sent me to live with his sister. It was fine until her husband was injured and they could no longer support the extra mouth. The stories and excuses were all different, but the result was the same. I was passed from one to another until their relationship to my parents was so far removed as to be almost nonexistent. The last one, yeah, the last one didn’t even last a day. He didn’t even bother trying to pawn me off on someone else. He just left me in Fallcrest. I was pretty savvy for an eight year old so when my uncle on my mother’s side twice removed, or something like that, said he would be back in five minutes I knew I would never see him again. But, it wasn’t like I had anywhere else to go. The step I waited on was out of the way and still warm from the sun. It was good a place as any to try to figure out what to do next. I watched the traffic on the busy street fade to a trickle and still nothing had come to me. It was starting to get cold. I supposed that I could head over to one of the temples, but then they might send me off to one of those orphanages. My relatives were always threatening me with being sent to an orphanage, so they must be something horrible.
It was not long after full dark that a man passed by and asked me where my parents were. “Dead,” I replied. It had been two years since they left to find The Eye. If they were still alive they would have come to find me by now. I had accepted that as a fact, but the word still stung. “And the rest of your family,” he asked. I thought about that for a moment and then “dead.” They didn’t want me back at any rate, so they were as good as dead. The man raised a bushy eyebrow at me and then asked “Do you have anywhere to stay?” I shook my head. “Well, then you better come along with me for the night. Then I’ll see what we can do with you in the morning.” He held out a hand to me, but I hesitated. Like I said, pretty savvy for an eight year old. The old guy could have planned to do any number of nasty things to me. Then the man laughed, “You are right to be so suspicious my girl. Especially in these times, but you can trust me.” He smiled and held out his hand once again. I remember running through my options again. I really didn’t have any. So, I took his hand and followed him. It wasn’t like I had anything else to lose.
The man’s name was Douven. He never did look into doing anything with me the following morning since the moment he brought me home his wife, Moira, instantly became attached to me. I guess their only son had moved on from Fallcrest and Moira was suffering from a bit of empty nest syndrome. They made me go to school, which was such a farce. I had so much to catch up on since I barely attended school during my two years of relative hopping. I tried to catch up, but there just always seemed to be more to learn. Needless to say, that the role of a scholar was not even a glimmer in my future. Douven spent a lot of his spare time training me in weapons and other useful skills, which was something that Moira was not too happy about. That was, after all, not what a young lady should be learning. However, it soon became apparent that my talents lay more with fighting than with needle point. It was pretty obvious by the time that I was thirteen that I was never going to be a proper lady.
I wandered into Douven’s study one evening and found him pouring over some old maps and manuscripts. I started to cry. I’m ashamed to admit that now. I mean really, crying over something so trivial, but at the time it felt like I was walking into my parents’ study again. Poor Douven was mystified by my tears and looked as though he was going to start crying himself. It was then that I finally told him about my parents and their disappearance. He told me that he had never heard of my parents, but he had heard of The Eye. It was a treasure that many an adventurer coveted. When I asked him why he shook his head and told me that he would tell me when I was older. Come to think of it, I’m a whole lot older now and he still hasn’t told me.
Anyway, when I turned sixteen Douven allowed me to start working as a caravan guard, but only on short range ventures. Moira had insisted that I avoid the longer caravans to the north. Too dangerous she would say. I never did tell her that I still saw plenty of fighting on the road anyway. Figured she would be happier not knowing. We got into plenty of scrapes with the Kobolds on the way to Winterhaven and boy are they a nasty little bunch of thieves. My first time out the men of the guard kept teasing me and telling me to get back in the kitchen. They let the first Kobold attackers surround me. I guess they were hoping to scare me into quitting, but those kobolds never stood a chance. The men looked at me a little differently after that.
I think one of the many highlights of living with Douven and Moira is the number visitors they received. Officials and nobles, priests and other adventurers all came to ask Douven for his advice on one matter or another. Apparently the old guy had seen and done a fair amount in his time. But, the best visitor hands down had to be Ruby. Ah good old Rhubarb. The Eladrin showed up when I was fifteen and decided to stay and study with Douven. I never did find out what it was my pointed eared friend is looking for, but whenever I brought it up he always got this serious look in his eyes and became very sad, so I stopped asking him. Rhuarc, that’s his actual name, though I don’t think I’ve ever called him that to his face, spends most of his time in Douven’s library or the library attached to the temple. I don’t know what he would have done if I hadn’t been around. The guy is so naïve about most everything. He says it is because Mithrendain is so different from Fallcrest, but I think it is just because he didn’t get out very much there either. Stopping some of the local color from rearranging his face due to one misunderstand or another was an almost weekly occurrence. Life was definitely not boring with him around. And, every now and then I could convince him to come out exploring with me. All it would take was the mention of a curiosity of one sort or another. The guy has an absolute mad on for learning. Fallcrest, while mostly rebuilt, still has tons of places to explore. We got into a few, okay more than a few, and by “we” I supposed I really mean “I”, sticky situations, but between my awesomeness and Ruby’s smarts we seemed to always come out on the winning side.
Runn, a dragon born cleric, and Jiku, a Tiefling warlock, also floated in and out of our lives for a time and it was a good thing too. As great as I am, when Moira told us that Douven had gone missing on a dig I knew I would need help to get to him.