A follower of Fharlahgn, this young bard seeks adventure, and damn the consequences.
Billy is a young half-elf standing 5’4” tall, with a rock-star shock of red hair and emerald green eyes.
Speed: 60 (boots of springing and striding)
Billy plays the flute and lyre, sings, juggles, tumbles and tells stories.
Information about Billy’s inventory can be found here.
The story of Lord William Bartholemieux, City Councilman:
Billy Bartholemieux is not the name his family gave him. Oliver Henry was the eleventh child born to poor farmers, Maggie and Josiah Henry, in western Brestelcia, several days’ journey inland. A clever, graceful and charming boy, with more than a hint of mischieviousness, little Oliver had trouble sitting still. When his parents sent him to the school, the teacher reported that he was not a good student, and more than that, he tended to distract his fellow students and had already started fights in his first week.
With so many mouths to feed, so few resources, and a child that was a handful, Josiah indentured his young son to a travelling troupe of jugglers and minstrels who saw some talent in the boy. Dazzle, an old human bard, watched the lad trying to imitate the music of a song bird, and was impressed at how the boy clowned and charmed the customers who came to see the troupe perform. Taking a liking to the redheaded scamp, he gave him the stage name of Billy Bartholemieux and taught him reading, writing and figuring, music, juggling, tumbling, storytelling and fighting. Dazzle was the only parent Billy would know from then on, and truth to tell, he barely remembers his birth family.
Dazzle and Billy moved from troupe to troupe and from faire to faire. The road was their only constant companion, the pay they got at the end of every carnival their only friend, and Fharlaghn was their spiritual guide. Billy became a good performer, with equal facility at juggling, singing, playing and telling stories, and he was handy with a rapier. He also learned to assume accents and to hide his natural West country twang.
Eventually, Dazzle’s eyesight was failing, and the old bard became arthritic and lost his skill with the rapier. Billy took care of old Dazzle as the human had taken care of Billy, but the travelling life is hard, and one day the old man caught pneumonia – it wasn’t long before Billy buried him near a carnival grounds, right underneath the booth that had served the old carnie’s favorite caramel.
Billy was on the road alone, then. He honoured Dazzle’s contract to appear at the fall post-harvest carnival near the Northern town of Falcon’s Hollow. Namdrin Quinn was the head of entertainers there. A colder October no one ever saw than at Falcon’s Hollow. But there was more than just a nip in the air this year. Something was wrong. Quinn’s sunken eyes showed it!
Billy was up early. He had most of the day off and needed provisions, and so he went into the ‘Hollow. As he left the general store, ready to go back to the Carnival, an old man stopped him – a priest of Pelor, by his garb and holy symbol. “Are you the one they call ‘Billy the Juggler’?” Billy agreed that some called him that. “I’m Father Albert. You can earn an easy 20 gold pieces, and maybe more besides”, the priest said. “All you have to do is escort an adventuring party to the carnival. Just show them around, and help them to find what they’re looking for. Will you do it?” Billy shrugged, “All right. I’m not busy today anyhow. Where will I find ‘em?” The old priest gave Billy the coins. Crooking a finger, he smiled broadly, and all the wrinkles at the sides of his eyes scrunched up with mirth. “Follow me, my son.”
The old man brought Billy to the temple of the Shining One. Once inside, Father Albert faced the altar and held out his hands with the palms up. “Just in time!” Into the center of the room, before the altar, a yellow light, like that of the summer sun, filled the room, growing brighter and brighter. Just as the light became too bright to watch, it faded as quickly as it had come. Standing there, before the altar were five humanoids, accompanied by a brown owl. Father Albert introduced Billy and himself to Father Neil and his party.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Update: For his services in rescuing the town of Glister, Billy has been ennobled, and he and his companions are now known as “Les Cinque”. Billy has also been appointed to the Council of Iron in the port city of Melvaunt. Life is strange! Read the Rufusreich adventure logs for more info.
Billy cleared his mind and held the lute joyfully in his arms. The Warm-Up was his favorite fifteen minutes of the day. His fingers flowed over the strings as water over stones in a warm brook. As the fine muscles moved in his hands and forearms, his body responded to the music, and the sound formed around him. He shaped it, took it in and accepted it, and his voice responded in a warm, lyrical counterpoint to rhythmic pattern of the strings. The melody coursed through his body as the harmonies stirred his soul. Some say that infused into the bard’s blood, like the sorcerer’s, is the legacy of the wyrms of old. Billy didn’t know the source of the powers, or how the music called them forth, but he gratefully absorbed them each morning.