Athanasios Guðleifantalasian - Thief / Magic User (Grey Elf from Celene)
Athan was raised as the only child in a modest elven home with two doting parents. His mother, an artist and his father, a musician, were both followers of Corellon Larethian. Worship of the Seldarine (elven pantheon) is not as common among the elves of Oerth as it once was, but for the Guðleifantalasian family, it is a fundamental part of who they are and Athan was raised to exemplify the virtues modeled by Corellon.
It was obvious to everyone when Athan was young that he was different from the other elves. Genius, even by Grey Elf standards, tremendously talented, but also troubled. It wasn’t long before he surpassed his father in musical ability, and exceeded his mother’s artistic talents. When they had nothing more to teach him, Athan began to seek knowledge on his own, usually without permission, and he was caught stealing books and scrolls on more than one occasion – though he never understood that he was doing anything wrong, always believing that knowledge should be free, and the owner would have wanted to share. On this, and many other subjects, Athan demonstrated how socially disconnected he was with the rest of the world. Making friends would have been difficult, if he even tried, but he preferred to stay secluded in his home rather than interact with elves who wouldn’t understand him. In this state, he began to mentally and physically shut down. As he entered adolescence, he showed no signs of interest in any elven duties, and only his music kept him slightly happy.
Concerned for their son’s well-being, Athan’s parents took a trip to Enstad, the capital of Celene, in the hopes of finding something that would inspire him. While walking the streets of the capital, guards cleared everyone off the street to make way for a procession of Queen Yolande and her court. Seeing the queen in all her majesty and beauty, surrounded by some of the most famous elves in the Flanaess, would have been overwhelming experience for any young elf, but for Athan it drove his curiosity and interest to new heights. He had never seen a unicorn before, and there was an amazing specimen right here with the queen. Without paying attention to anything else, Athan walked right up to it, drawing immediate attention from the guards who shoved him to the ground and halting the procession. As Athan’s parents rushed out to apologize, another figure stepped forward, waiving away the guards. She helped Athan up and asked him his name, then introduced herself as Alyndra Elaris, Royal Enchantress of Celene and a member of the Queen’s court. It was this chance meeting that would change the path of Athan’s life forever.
But Athan and Alyndra were not as alike as they thought. Alyndra was detached just enough that did not see that Athan still clung to some old habits. While Athan possessed a heart of gold and would readily give his last silver coin, or even his spellbook, to one in greater need than he, but he also expected the same behavior from all those around him. His inability to communicate well with others lead him down a path of thievery. The mere thought of trying to explain to others what he needed and why was a daunting task and incomprehensible in the minds of others. So rather than asking for a new spell, or a specific spell component, he would sneak around in the dark of night and take them. He always believed his behavior was justified. "I'm sure they would not mind me borrowing this," became his personal mantra as his skills in both magic and stealth steadily improved.
It was the 25th Day of Snowflowers, OY 5042 by the Olven Calendar, when Alyndra was sent by Queen Yolande to help the priests at Oakvein with a problem that was eluding them and placing their sacred Heart Tree at risk. Alyndra and Athan travelled to Oakvein, where they were shown a most disturbing curse that had taken hold in the forest. Trees and vegetation were turning gray, and the curse was spreading, getting dangerously close to the sacred tree. The gray turned darker as they moved further into the forest, then black, then the black coalesced at a point where it looked like no light escaped. The high priest informed her that they found a small crystal shard at the center of the blackness and placed it in a wooden box. It appears the curse has stopped spreading since its removal. Alyndra could not identify the shard, but she mentioned that the druid, Jaroo in Hommlet had reported hearing of a similar incident in the Gnarley Forest a while back and he might know something. And so Alyndra and Athan set out on the road for Hommlet. Alyndra reported that they needed to be some distance from Oakvein before she could teleport, so they would have to go on foot for a little while.
On the road, the two were beset by wicked winged creatures – devils of some sort. Alyndra turned Athan invisible and told him to hide while she handled the problem. The devils were no match for her powerful magic and Athan got to witness first-hand the power of his mistress. But the devils were only a distraction to drain her spellpower. More appeared on the road, but this time with a thin human woman dressed in black who immediately invoked a charge from her Talisman of Ultimate Evil, opening a fissure below Alyndra that sucked her into the bowels of Oerth. And just like that, Athan’s mistress was gone. He was about to rush out to meet his death to exact his revenge when he felt something in his pocket. It was the box with the shard. Alyndra must have slipped it to him before she turned him invisible. Or maybe he picked it from her pocket without thinking about it, as he seems to do sometimes. Either way, he realized now that he had to complete the mission that she started.
Athan walked the rest of the day, safe in his invisible form until he needed to rest for the night. He came upon an Inn, dropped the invisibility and walked in. A band was playing. Not his taste in music, but it seemed good considering that, and the songs seemed to get stuck in his head. He ordered some food and wine and started to relax, looking around the room, noting who else was present (and what they had on them – out of curiosity, of course). That’s when he started to feel dizzy. As the feeling grew on him, he realized something was wrong, and tried to make an escape for the door, but passed out before making it. When he woke up, he was naked on the side of the road. He seemed to be in the same place where the inn was supposed to be, but there was no inn. Next to him was a naked half-elf and large naked human. He recognized both men from the inn, and they all seemed to be in the same predicament.