A story about a role-playing character, the Gnome Silas Hennilon.
Raised on the streets, a strong sense of right and wrong guided his hand. That same hand though, that had issues with what was his and what was not. Never knowing his parents, he was raised as an orphan, roaming the streets with his fellow rascals. That is, until he learned the trade of thievery, and ended up expanding his family to include one of the minor thieves’ guilds in the bustling metropolis. This became his home for several years, where he quickly gained a reputation for his quick wit and even quicker reflexes.
It all changed one day, when the guild got involved in a job much larger than anything they’d ever encountered before. Tasked to assist one of the larger guilds, a minor task turned into serious trouble for our young hero, who could not hold his tongue and voiced his concerns to his leader. Serving as lookout and causing distractions, the end result would be the kidnapping of a wealthy noble, albeit leaving several bodies in the wake. His protests fell on deaf ears he thought; when in fact they did not, and resulted in a heavy beating the evening before the big coup, despite his best efforts to fight back. Although mainly committed by strangers, his so-called “family” stood aside and let it happen.
Once he regained consciousness, the coup was already underway and he was tied down to his bed. Fearing for the future, which indeed looked bleak, he managed to free himself by using a knife hidden in his bed, and promptly fled town. Still young and inexperienced, he dared not return to his home, the same home that no longer welcomed him. Alone on the road, he managed to get work with a band of traveling troubadours, where he spent the next few months, feeling alone, not daring to let anyone into his heart again. Then one rainy evening, their small group was attacked by bloodthirsty orc raiders. Once more he ended up unconscious, but this time with a fatal wound to boot.
When he awoke, he found himself in a strange place. Coddled in the finest silk and in a soft bed, he had been found in the forest and carried to a furnished cave. His wounds healed, upon exploring the premises, he located a rich library as well as several other rooms all inside the cave. Most surprising however, was the room with a running stream of water and a beautiful naked silver haired elven maiden. Once he overcame his curiosity and embarrassment, he called out to her. When properly dressed, she told him the story about how she had stumbled across him in the night. After seeing to his injuries, she had tracked the orcs down, but sadly none of his companions still lived. Not wanting evil bandits to roam the area, she had attacked the orcs and disposed of them.
Mesmerized by her story and beauty, he begged her to teach him to fight, so he could defend those around him. At first she turned him down, instead offering him to stay and regain his strength over the next few days. During this period, she came to know his heart, both through conversation (she loved his wit) and several tests. In the end she decided to allow him to stay and train with her, but was somewhat shocked to learn of his meager talents in the areas of reading and other basic skills. She decided that in order to help him, she had to start at the beginning. And thus began a long period of her teaching and him learning, and both of them becoming great friends.
She taught him to read and write and he quickly fell in love with her library, which he consumed eagerly. He read stories about great heroes and noble deeds, inspiring himself to strive to become a better man, and also assist those in need. She also taught him how to wield a blade, as no hero should be defenseless in the face of evil, and in this area he excelled, helped on the way by his incredible reflexes and speed. And speaking of love, well, she forgot to teach him how not to lose his heart to her. Despite him being torn between staying and leaving, he knew that he had to travel out into the world, not only to help those in need, but also in order to prove himself worthy of one day confessing his love.
Returning once more to his hometown, he feared that some of his old acquaintances would recognize him, so he disguised himself in order to travel anonymously. Parting ways, his friend had given him a sizeable sum of gold in order to help him in whatever place the road took him. He decided to invest it in a bookshop, playing the role of the meager librarian by day and exploring the city and learning its dark underside by night. For although he was small of stature, he was big of heart. Some say he was too good for his own good, but that’s a story for another time.