Expedition to Undermountain
CG male halfling warlock 8
Cale Rittfield was born in Bannbury, a small farming community about 40 miles northeast of Waterdeep, near the Kryptgarden forest. His settlement had a comparatively large population of Strongheart halflings that had left Lurien and settled in Bannbury after being welcomed by the local humans and gnomes several generations ago. Cale was born tiny and frail, and he never truly grew out of it. Small and thin, even by halfling standards, Cale quickly became the target of the other halfling children’s ridicule, earning the name Cale Runtfield. Strongheart halflings praise athleticism and strength, and it looked like Cale would never embody either of those traits.
His life would have been wholly miserable, had it not been for his mother, Rosamund Rittfield. Each night, when Cale would lay down to bed after tending to the fields or schooling, she would entertain him with incredible stories of the Seelie Court and the powerful faeries that reside within it. Cale became enamored with the stories, feeling a deep connection with natural forces and the faeries. He especially loved hearing stories of brownies, sprites and leprechauns, beings who were small of frame, but wielding powerful magics. Whenever he got the chance, Cale would run off into the forest, playing with the wildlife and hoping longingly to catch a glimpse of the fey that his mother swore resided within.
One time, when Cale was around 8, he was on the end of a particularly vicious beating by Amand Brockhouse and his cronies. He barely managed to escape into the forest, using his superior knowledge of the terrain to lose his pursuers. As Cale hid in a hollowed out trunk, sniffling and nursing his wounds, he felt a supernatural, warm presence. He slowly crept out of the trunk, and before him stood an incredibly beautiful woman. She resembled a half-elf, with raven-black hair, chestnut brown eyes, ravishing and smooth tan skin, with almost a tinge of evergreen, long arms and legs, and a supernatural aura radiated from her. She smiled and extended her hand to Cale, introducing herself as Nissa, and offered her friendship. It was the first time someone had offered to be Cale’s friend. He took her hand, and his wounds were healed. Nissa smiled again, and told Cale that she was a Killoren, a Knight-Vassal from the Seelie Court. Cale couldn’t believe his eyes! A fey, standing right in front of him, and she wanted to be his friend!
He pleaded with Nissa to make him a faerie, so he could leave this terrible life behind him. Nissa laughed, and the laugh filled Cale with warmth, sounding like nothing he had heard before. She gently told him that was not possible, because she knew if Cale left without warning, his mother would be heartbroken. Cale realized his foolishness, and began to cry, thinking he was doomed to a terrible, friendless life. Nissa wiped the tears away from him, and offered him a deal: she would give Cale a wonderful life, filled with the respect and friendship he so desperately longed for, and in return, Cale would serve her, and the Seelie Court. He immediately and enthusiastically agreed, hardly believing his luck. To serve the Seelie Court! That was beyond his wildest dreams! Maybe one day he would visit them and see for his own eyes the wonderful tapestry of words his mother painted for him every night.
Nissa smiled once more, and told Cale to take her hand. He reached out, and as soon as he grasped hers, he felt the flow of elder magics shoot into his veins and filling his body. He could feel his skin itself absorbing the primordial essence of life, hardening and shielding itself from attacks. When his hand was released, he felt as though he could barely contain his new energy. When he looked up to thank Nissa, she was gone, but he heard her voice, promising that she will call on him whenever she needed him. Elated, Cale ran full sprint all the way back to his house, eager to tell his mother what had happened. She didn’t believe him at first until he shouted out the window, shattering a flower pot on the windowsill. She cried with happiness and hugged him, overjoyed that her boy would live a life of adventure and fulfillment.
The next day, Cale walked to school, confident for the first time in his life, and ready to show his peers that he wasn’t a runt anymore. As the bullies spotted Cale and started to circle in for another beating, he stood his ground and told them to back down. The sight of the tiny halfling striking a brave pose caused a bout of laughter from the bullies, and they leapt at him. As the blows landed, Cale noticed they didn’t hurt as much. In fact, they really didn’t hurt at all. He started to laugh as he realized his new power, and this set the bullies back. Amand did not take the laughter well, thinking Cale was mocking him. So he picked up a farming sickle and swung it at Cale. He cried out in surprise, and the sickle blade hummed and shattered into a thousand pieces, scaring Amand. He ran off, terrified, and the other bullies followed. Cale looked around triumphantly, expecting to be beset on all sides by his new friends, but everyone looked wary and scared of him.
Cale found it almost as difficult to make friends as it was before he had powers, with the exception of two halflings, Selina Carruthers and Gunther Bunce . They weren’t scared of Cale at all, and had lots of fun as he performed many tricks for them. The three became nearly inseparable after that, playing in the fields and the forest together, trying futilely to find any more faeries or portals to the Seelie Court.
2 years later, when Cale was 10, he was tending the fields with Selina and Gunther, when he heard Nissa’s voice. She warned him that bandits were coming to raid the village, and he was needed. As Cale looked towards the village, he could see torches in the distance. He ran as fast as his little feet could carry him, screaming a warning as loud as he could muster. As he made it back to the village, the bandits came riding into town upon horses, swinging swords and throwing torches at the buildings. The bandit leader, a big man named Axel Barrach, chased down Cale’s mother and picked her up, screaming. Cale threw out his hands in a plea with the bandit to let go, and a green blast of energy ripped from his hands and flew towards Barrach. It connected with the man just under the chin, snapping his head back, and knocking him unconscious. He dropped Rosamund, and his horse spooked and took off. Cale and the other halflings made short work of the rest of the bandits, driving them off.
Cale ran over to his mother, who was bruised but largely unharmed. She praised him for his bravery and might, which filled Cale with pride. The other halflings were not of the same mind, however. They were worried that Cale couldn’t control his powers, and called him reckless and dangerous. His eyes filling with tears, Cale declared that he would prove to them all that he deserved their respect and friendship, and packed up what little he had to set out for Waterdeep.
When Cale arrived in Waterdeep, he did not have an easy time of it. Being a tiny stranger in such a large and bustling metropolis, he had to constantly avoid just being trampled underfoot. He did not have much luck with adventuring either, as no one trusted the word of a literal child, no matter how much he tried to convince them of his prowess. Penniless and depressed, he started back on the way to his village.
While on the road back, Cale came upon a merchant beset upon by a large and terrible ogre. The beast had already made short work of the soldiers the merchant had hired. Without a second thought, Cale rushed to the dwarf’s aid, firing bolt after bolt of faerie fire into the ogre. The creature turned its wrath on Cale, but his bout of unluckiness ended as the ogre swung its club at Cale. The ogre misjudged Cale’s size, and the attack caught the ground, taking a large divot and unbalancing the ogre. The dwarf merchant seized this opportunity to rush in and help Cale, and together the pair felled the beast.
The dwarf introduced himself as Bufroth Battlehammer, a trader of magic items and antiquities. He thanked Cale profusely, and offered him a free meal in exchange for his stories. Cale gladly agreed, as he was starving. As Cale related his tale to Bufroth, the dwarf became enamored with the way Cale told his tale. Cale spoke with honesty, and from the heart, and in such a way that the merchant gave him a gift he had found on his travels. The amulet was supposedly born of the power of fey, according to Bufroth. When Cale put on the amulet, he felt his innate power surge to greater levels. Renewed, and with proof that he was cut out for adventuring, Cale once again set out to make a name for himself.
Over the years, Cale grew in power and wealth. He made a name for himself in Waterdeep, and with the sense of pride and determination he found from Bufroth, Cale learned how to easily make friends and influence strangers. He grew to be a very attractive halfling man, with an almost magical beauty. He sends his mother gold every now and then, writing her letters about his adventures and asking that she use the gold to better the community and to tell everyone about his exploits. Cale is sure that when he returns to his home, he will be greeted with open and loving arms by everyone. To this end, he will take on tasks that may seem impossible, relying on his luck and learned charisma to carry him through. He hopes to gain enough influence and wealth to build a temple or shrine to the Seelie Court, and wishes to tell people of the greatness of faeries and importance of respecting the natural world.