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Ralf Silk-Tongue

by Jacob Skytte

Lawful 11th level Skald* (Str 10, Int 14, Wis 16, Dex 8, Con 11, Cha 16, AC 6, hp 42) Personality Traits: Modest/Proud 16/4, Peaceful/Violent 13/7, Generous/Greedy 15/5, Reverent/Godless 14/6, Honest/Deceitful 13/7, Loyal/Unreliable 15/5 56 years old, White hair and beard, Grey eyes

"All the Gods stand behind my powers, I am one of their representatives among the Northlanders."

*The skald is basically a wandering cleric, who represents the entire pantheon of Immortals with an interest in Ostland. Well educated, poetic and respected, the skalds are welcomed everywhere. They often seek out great events and heroes, so that they might write of them or include them in their tales.

Ralf comes from humble beginnings. The child of a thrall, he was born into slavery and a hard life. The only real fun he was allowed was when he and the other children were entertained by an old skald, Olaf Branison, who frequently visited the household. Ralf took in Olaf's tales and retold them again and again to the other children. One afternoon Olaf surprised the children at their work and overheard Ralf's retelling of his tales. Seeing the potential of the boy, Olaf went to his master and arranged for Ralf to become his own thrall (for a considerable amount of gold, as it happens). Ralf was forced to leave his mother and join the old skald as his servant.

Gradually Olaf worked Ralf into his telling of tales and other forms of entertainment, letting the boy play the roles of some of the characters in his tales. Olaf taught Ralf to read and write, saying that he needed him to aid his own failing eyes by reading and penning the tales Olaf related. Ralf eventually put every tale Olaf knew into writing and, in the process, was educated to become a skald.

On Olaf's deathbed he announced Ralf his heir, freed him of thralldom and asked him to carry on his work. Ralf readily agreed and tearfully burned the old man on a funeral pyre, when he died a few days later. He took up Olaf's possessions and set out on the road again, continuing his travels, his tales and his life as a skald.

For four decades now, Ralf has travelled the Northlands, often engaging in adventures himself to be where the events unfold, when they unfold. He is quite a famous skald and would be very respected everywhere, but for the fact that he was born a thrall. Some hold that against him, unhappy that they should welcome him as their equal or even their better. Ralf quietly accepts this and has learned which places and people to avoid.

On his travels Ralf is clad in leather armor+2 and carries a war hammer+1 for defence. He wears a ring of survival, which has saved his life on several occasions.

Ralf has no wife, but he was a famous womaniser, when he was younger. His skill with words has left many sighing maidens behind him, some who happily rewarded him in the dark, cold Ostland nights.