Real World History
Tanador is a Second Edition Dungeons & Dragon's character played in a campaign in Boston. The campaign concluded when a number of players moved out of town.
Tanador was born to Thorbin, a tanner who catered to middle to upper scale clients in the city of Anden. Although Tanador helped out with transporting, feeding, killing and skinning the animals on occasion, his father made sure that his son never wanted to be a tanner. Tanador's grandfather Talbot made sure that Thorbin became a tanner, and Thorbin hated him for it; all he wanted to do was sing. So Tanador, all of twelve years, was shipped to Brukenbrod where he studied music with a friend of his father's-a man named Ramone Peypoch. In between lessons, Tanador earned his keep by helping a neighbor named Gibbons Lek with his pigs and chickens. He killed time by watching the older boys (Rudiose, Ledzek and Barnard) play dice and listening to old men, especially one called Garvin, tell stories in the town square.
One day, just after turning fifteen, Tanador finished exploring a section of town and was returning home, when he saw a young lady drop a piece of clothing from her laundry basket. Tanador walked over and picked up the clothing, but he had lost track of her. He wound through the streets in search, and finally saw her across a town square. Fearing he would loose her again, he called across the square to her "My lady! You forgot this!" while waiving her dropped clothing. She paid him no heed and walked on. He ran after her and caught up with her just before she entered a dwelling. He returned the clothing, and she blushed a bit and gave her thanks.
In a few days, accounts of how a young boy waved a young lady's undergarments at her across the square turned rapidly into to speculation as to how a boy from out of town had acquired such items, to full blown rumor of unnatural acts between a woman of virtue-who in this case happened to be Lady Lawren of Lillenhiem-and a stranger. Tanador found these rumors disturbing (especially since they were so untrue-he was in actuality performing unnatural acts with, Lady Adana, a girl of much higher social standing). They were not nearly so disturbing as the young lady's father, Arthur Lillenhiem's, insistence on immediate marriage between the two, to put a clean face on things. (Really, he just wanted to get some good furs from Tanador's father for cheap and rid himself of an ugly daughter). Not thinking too quickly, Tanador left town and headed home.
Fearing that someone might be waiting for him, he snuk into his home city to look around first. He played for room and board for a few days at Brotenberry's Tavern, an out of the way inn. While playing one night, he saw Talia Rassen, a girl he knew from before he left: his first crush. A full three years older than he, she had blossomed into a nubile woman. She was captivated by his singing, and this city not being as hung up on virtue as the one he had left, they slept together that night and began a torrid affair. She invited him to stay at her place, as she lived alone, and he did. Tanador never stopped to consider how a single young woman could manage to have her own place. He also believed her when she said that the men's clothes in her closet belonged to her late father. One night, the warm light from the street torches spilling onto their love-making forms, just as the girl's merchant husband Brucken Rassen spilled into the room, returned from his caravan two months ahead of schedule. Not realizing much other than a foaming middle aged man was trying to cut him with a large knife, Tanador made his apologies and jumped out of the second story window. In a brilliant display of agility, Tanador managed to catch one of the banners advertising the spring festival and nearly slid down it to safety; however, the banner ripped at the top, dumping Tanador the rest of the way to the street. The banner then proceeded to fall over one of the city night torches as well as an expensive carriage below. Quite quickly, the banner began to burn, and carried the fire to the carriage, igniting it as well. The single occupant of the stationary carriage, a plump elderly woman, came stumbling out of the carriage, screaming.
Tanador, ever the hero (and still naked), helped the screaming woman to her feet. She began ineffectually pummeling him, until the carriage driver came back from his errand and pulled her away. That done, Tanador, ever the hero (and still naked), decided that the carriage definitely needed extinguishing. Picking up a large piece of thick cloth that someone had left in the street (seeming to him for just such a purpose), he began slapping at the flames with it. In the heat of the moment-Tanador fighting bravely against the building inferno-his lover's husband came at him with the knife, looking like a hell itself in the firelight.. Tanador, ever the hero (and still naked), ran like mad, leaving the large cloth draped over the flames. He heard the man cry in rage, his lover crying, an amused boy say "he's nekkid, momma" and a horrified old woman hysterically screaming "my cloak, my cloak". Later he put the crest on the carriage together with the old woman's face and realized that he had incinerated the prize cloak of Baroness Hildebrand, the matron of a very influential House of Brannoncrast, while trying to use it to halt the conflagration of her prize carriage.
He left town.
In Glencoe, Tanador managed to stay out of trouble for nearly three years. He plied his trade, though at first times were tough. Working in bad areas of town like the Curldest Quarter forced Tanador to learn the knife and staff to defend the few coins he made on the streets or in the odd tavern; however, it also gave him better insight into other social classes, which benefited his music. Gradually, Tanador began playing better and better locales, eventually being requested by name a few times in some of the better dining establishments in the city. The added income allowed him more free time, which he spent pursuing his interest the games of chance he watched avidly in his youth.
Luck treated Tanador pretty well at gambling, but he never really gambled for the money; he did it because it made it easier to pick up women. While betting on the Contest of Ways, an archery contest, his eye was taken by a beautiful young maiden. Asking around, Tanador discovered that she was called Rebecca del Pellladella and had a passion for both archery and archers. In order to win her heart (and other parts of her anatomy) Tanador took up the bow. Being basically pretty bad at this, and watching the skill displayed by Antovel (the contest's eventual winner), Tanador learned a lesson in men doing stupid things under infatuation.
While on route to play at a wedding reception in the woods, Tanador came across four men. Two of the men, called Sir Henry of the Black Orchid and Sir Bradley of the Black Orchid, were shouting insults at each other. Brimbrax, who stood beside Sir Henry, and Lord Michael of the Iron Fist, who stood behind Sir Bradley, remained silent, but looked prepared to back up their respective shouting comrade. Sensing that the conflict might grow violent, Tanador composed a soothing song of peace on the spot. He played for these gentlemen, encouraging to put down their animosity and shake hands. It took a bit of verbal encouragement, but eventually, they were laughing with each other like they were old friends. Satisfied that he had prevented unneeded bloodshed, Tanador continued on his way.
A few weeks later, the tension level in the city increased by quite a bit. Two powerful members of The Black Orchid -- a warrior clan -- were being ridiculed for backing out of a duel with each other, and in order to avoid seeming cowardly, the two escalated the conflict and declared open war on each other. Although many thought this odd -- as rumors held the two men to be best friends -- the town was divided into three groups: one following one warrior, one following another, and the innocent bystanders, wishing the two warriors would stop making life so complicated. After Tanador discovered that these two men were the men he talked into peace in the woods, he decided that he should find as much out about the situation as possible.
Tanador discovered that the men had, in fact, been friends; however, they both were enamored with the Lady Silvia. Loving the attention, the woman played one against the other. While both were very drunk, she maneuvered them into a duel. By the time both of them came to their senses, they were yelling at each other in the forest. Looking for any excuse to avoid killing each other (as they were still good friends in spite of the rivalry), when this bard showed up and sang soothing music, they decided to use the situation as a chance to put the event behind them. The woman, however, had different ideas. Her dreams of gaining romantic fame across the town as the woman two brave men fought to the death over dashed, she set about making life for the two men-who by now had come to their senses and looked elsewhere for love-as miserable as possible. She had no love for the bard, either, but she could not seem to find out who he was. She was looking, though, as were the men. Although Tanador heard a rumor that one of the warriors was looking to save face by finding the bard and "proving" how persuasive the bards talents were, Tanador decided to leave the town before too many people started asking for him by name.
Years later, in the city of Bamphf, Tanador had made more of a name for himself, and fell so hard for a local woman named Annabelle Silven, they were engaged to be married. Tanador's singing ability allowed him to live a fairly decent life. As he looked foreword to the married life, he began to fancy himself as a gentleman, and took to carrying a rapier (that he couldn't use) with him in public. This was one of the things that attracted his would-be bride, a charming, stunning, if somewhat unenlightened girl. She was the daughter of Sirus Silven, a semi-successful silversmith and member of the guild of Revierus. As it happened, Redlus to Dalos died and guild traditions held that a guild ceremony be held in honor of the well-loved guildsman. Parker Bestarla, one of the senior guildsmen, was named as master of the ceremony, a title of great honor and risk, as the ceremony chosen would reflect directly on the master of it, and had huge political ramifications within the guild. A friend of the master of the ceremony, Tanador's father-in-law-to-be suggested that Tanador be hired to provide music for parts of the ceremony. Not knowing any of the political weight of the ceremony, Tanador accepted. Just before the ceremony, a guildsman approached Tanador and gave him a list of the songs he was to play. He looked the list over, and found it appropriate, especially the last one, which talked of overflowing mines in the afterworld and so on. As Tanador played this last song, the guild hall erupted with whistles and the banging of mugs on tables. Taking this as encouragement, Tanador played louder, right up until someone grabbed him from the stage and started kicking him.
Apparently, the whistles and pounding were the guild equivalent of boos. As Tanador found out later, the song he had played symbolized Redlus to Dalos' most hated rival, Varca of Mand, the leader of another clan. (Unknown to Tanador, the guildsman who had supplied him the song had done so on the orders of Harvec Roz, a senior guildsman who stood to gain much from the public embarrassment of the master of the ceremony.) Beaten and bleeding, Tanador was shoved into a closet while the enraged guild found tar and feathers for both Tanador and the master of the ceremony. Tanador managed to pick the lock and ran for his life, leaving his fiancé behind without explanation. (The woman's father, by the way, was banished from the guild for suggesting Tanador as entertainment.)
Fearing for his life and his livelihood (as his name as an entertainer would surely be tarnished), Tanador fled to the far north, hoping to hide out and build a new life in the confusion of the events there.
Enter attitude and mental state
All his life, Tanador has thirsted for new experience. This quest always continues, and any chance he gets to sample a new food, new custom, or new sensation will be undertaken with little regard to consequences. (When sampling Agachack's wine, for example, he pretty much new it would be spiked, but tasted it anyway). Embarking on the Alabaster Key quest was part of this thirst for experience, as Tanador has never done anything like it. But this is not Tanador's primary motivation.
Knowing so much about mythology, heroes and legends, Tanador has one major goal: to become a legend. This is why he writes music; this is why he risks his life adventuring. He wants children to desire to grow up to be just like him. He wants his name to a household word. He wants his music on the lips of people all over the world. This is the main reason he is interested in the Service. It is a legend come to life, and he is a part of it.
To that end, he has begun what he feels is his true calling. For a long while, Tanador considered his ability to do magic a side note, a parlor trick. As it became more useful to him, he thought of it as a tool, but nothing more than that. Recently, he had a discussion with a mage named Vortigern. The mage brought a new idea to Tanador's attention: magic is can be customized. It is not the recite formula x to get achieve effect y method that Tanador assumed it was. With this fact, Tanador immediately came to a staggering revelation: magic is an art form. That night Tanador decided upon the way he might spread his name far and wide. He would unite music, story-telling, performance and magic into one art form.
At the moment, he knows of only a few rudimentary ways that this can be done, namely using illusion type magics to create voices, sound effects and perhaps visuals to compliment his performance. At this point, his knowledge of magic becomes a barrier to furthering this aim, so one of his goals is to learn much more about magic, especially those magics that effect or produce sound.
He is also writing a symphony which utilizes a bit a magic. The work details the Alabaster Key quest, and is semi-narrative, though not with vocal narration. This work is nearly complete. He hopes to present it in Bruckenbrod or Anden, though he needs to convince someone to play it and pick the lead players.
Due to a deal with Lasadulu, he has dedicated this symphony to her. He was not religious before, but more and more he is coming to believe in Lasadulu, because she seems to keep sending signs to him. Exploring this religion is occupying a lot of Tanador's thoughts recently. It was helped along be seeing Allegra call fire from the sky when he was in a somewhat altered state of mind. Though he believes in Lasadulu, he makes a point of not being too deferential to her. He tends to deal with her as if she were an unseen human. He thinks she is a total babe.
Recently, Tanador has been feeling the moral load of having killed other men. He feels it is sometimes needed, but seeks ways to avoid it, unless a stronger purpose intervenes.
Tanador also wishes to gather more spells. Some of this list he knows by effect because he has seen them, others are just vague notions. None are known by name. These categories are in order of preference. The spells are ordered by level.
Nearly all of Tanador's poems are humorous. He uses them to fill the space in between songs. Many poems that are not humorous, he keeps to himself.