Gnome Monk, Mercenary, and Forger
Monsoon Resource Files: New Recruits and Street Thugs:
AGE: unknown, in the 40-175 range
WEIGHT: 38 lbs
HAIR: dark red-brown
ROLE: melee striker, ranged striker, forger, scout
PERSONALITY: Money-driven. Does her assignments and doesn’t ask too many questions. Tends to keep to herself as much as possible and talks instead to her pet ferret. She will not give a straight answer to inquiries about her age, and denies having any family. **Watch out for flattery from her – it means she wants something. And don’t play dice games with her, I think she cheats.
ABILITIES: punching, throwing knives, forgery.
STRENGTHS: agile, stealthy, focused, disciplined, self-reliant.
WEAKNESSES: difficulty working in a team, drinks a lot, brings that damn furbag everywhere.
LIKES: animals, booze, the sea and ships, meditation, dancing.
DISLIKES: half-orcs, dark confined spaces, talking about her past or family.
HISTORY: Little is known about Melior’s past since she will not volunteer anything. The style of martial arts she practices is a Tiefling variant on the Way of the Four Elements, but how she learned it is unclear. Some digging revealed a mainland record for her arrest near the human/half-orc border. She was named an accomplice in the weapons smuggling ring busted several years ago, that big one between the dwarves and half-orcs. She served her 5 year sentence in a human prison and was released. After a brief stop at the gnomish home island, she came to Tok.
RELATIONSHIPS: Unknown. The only continuous relationship she seems to have is with her ferret. The level of deflection she uses against all family-related questions makes me believe she is either trying to protect someone, or has experienced some tragedy in her life to lose those close to her.
—End entry. Submitted by Jondin Silverflame, under-secretary of Monsoon humanoid resources.
Full biography, undisclosed to anyone:
Bright eyed and full of curiosity, Khameyleeori (or Khami) grew up in the bustle and glitter of the Gnomish home city-isle of Leenakveau. She and her next-door neighbor/best friend, Trefeur (short for Trefeuronymus), would spend their free time watching the ships at the docks and dream of the places they could go if they stowed away on one. Their ambitious childhood goal was to visit every island of the Memstaras.
As the years past, Tref became a skilled engineer while Khami “helped” her parents by “testing” spyglasses. On a good day, she could see all the way to the mainland from the eastern watchtower. She was the daughter of a well-respected Optician, but did not have a knack for the trade. Kham found herself drawn to the wide expanse of the sea, the weather, and to animals. Her interest was captured by the intricacies of nature and the elements, not precision manufacturing.
Tref, however, applied himself and gained the notice of a human explorer. Captain Markus Aravel recruited Trefeur for a mapping and charting voyage, and Tref accepted eagerly. He was sad to leave home and his best friend, but knew their paths had to diverge some time. Tref promised that he would return though, and gave Khami one of his unfinished schematics as a token. “Hold on to this for me, Kham. I’ll finish it when I get back.” Khami barely heard him. When he laid a hand on her cheek in farewell, the sensation did not register. Whether or not Trefeur looked back as he walked up the gangway to his waiting ship, she could not say. She was crushed that her closest friend would leave to explore the world – without her.
Soon after Trefeur departed, “Melior” (as she started calling herself) decided she needed to do some adventuring of her own and took ship to the mainland. “I don’t have anything to prove, I just don’t belong in that life, or with him.” She’d tell herself, and contented squeaks from Springy, her ferret, only served as echo-chamber confirmation. She enjoyed the wild, natural countryside of the human lands over her home island-city. Just she and her ferret on the road.
As their travels led near the ever-fluctuating border of half-orc controlled lands, a group of brutish half-orc marauders assaulted and robbed Melior. She was unable to defend herself and lost almost all her meager possessions; everything but that rolled up parchment. Another small twist of luck was that her furry friend suffered no harm. Bewildered, and aghast at her own inadequacy, Melior stumbled in a daze toward a nearby human outpost for assistance.
Red Dawn Outpost turned her away. Without money to pay for room or food, the guard saw no reason to let a disheveled gnome girl beg on their securely patrolled streets. A tiefling patron of the outpost’s modest inn, a woman called Cinder, saw the guard turn the frightened girl away at the gates. She sought out and offered to help Melior. Cinder was terse, reserved, but confident and powerfully built. Melior was in awe of such a brave and strong woman out on her own.
While travelling and working together, the tiefling monk noticed Melior’s interest in her daily training routine and eventually included the gnome. Melior took to the fighting style with ease, a deadly dance of quickness and precision. The ladies became close as Melior trained and practiced the discipline involved in the fighting style Cinder used. They took on jobs as mercenaries for several years. Through fortune and squalor they lied for each other, killed for each other. Cinder was there, like an unshakable pillar, when Springy died. Melior believed, with all her heart, that Cinder was the only one in this world worthy of trust.
Melior began to gain real proficiency in Cinder’s Way of the Four Elements style. She felt the flow of energy and a bond to the very essence of the world, on the elemental level. Cinder doted on her protege, complimenting Melior’s graceful form and purity of heart. The cherry on top of this treat of a life: Melior’s new ferret, Slinky, loved Cinder almost as much as she did.
One evening, the two women approached a mid-sized human town as the sun began to set. Tense delays at the gate played prelude to the town guard drawing swords. They asked for Cinder’s surrender. The tiefling complied, and assured Melior it would be nothing to fret over. Cinder was found to be part of a weapons smuggling ring between the dwarves and half-orcs. In the interrogation, she named Melior as her accomplice and both were imprisoned.
Melior’s sentence was shorter than Cinder’s, to be sure, but five years in a scummy, dark human prison on the borderlands was no frolic through the meadow. At least Slinky was with her still. Melior cursed Cinder’s name, cursed the day they’d met, and how she was lured into such a pathetic state of blind trust.
From the moment she walked free in the sun again, Melior lived on her own, worked on her own. Now she was able to protect herself and crack some skulls for coin, thanks to Cinder’s training. She did not bother to cultivate a closeness with acquaintances again. Only a ferret friend kept constant company. Eventually, Melior returned to the Gnomish Isle of Wood and Water, after about 20 years away. She was different; fundamentally changed from the sweet daydreamer her friends and family remembered. A detached cold gaze and suspicious restlessness betrayed her new self to those who once knew her.
This place was not home. These strangers, not family. Trefeur was not a resident of the island city and once she learned this, Melior moved on to the Memstaras. Her hope was to find profitable and exciting work to utilize her skillset and occupy her mind. She would not admit it outwardly, but she secretly desires to run into Trefeur and show him how she is a survivor, how she doesn’t need him or anyone. What she found was herself drowning the memories of home, of Trefeur, of Cinder, in pint after pint and flask after flask. An expensive remedy, but fairly effective.
Melior as a low level thug on Tok denies the existence of her family completely – too dangerous. Connections such as those make one soft. Consequently, she also does not acknowledge her full gnomish name since it ties her to those once dear to her. Her name is Melior, just… Melior.