Chiara Goft-Galweigh

Rune is a short, half-elven oriental mage with an obsession for gryphons. Her eyes are as green as new grass with slitted pupils (like a cat's), and her hair is jet black and quite long. She is more inclined to talk than fight. She wears loose, flowing clothes of pure black. A flame-colored gryphon adorns her tunic. The Book is covered in deep green leather, and the pages are yellowed with age. A dancing tengu (which is slowly looking more like a dancing gryphon) is inscribed on the cover.

There was at one point a drow who escaped the sealed island underdark and wreaked havoc on the daylight world. This drow made his way to a small hamlet in an asian land. The local lord needed help and called upon the elven homeland to capture this rogue dark elf. Fighters were sent, and one of them was Rune's father. There was a local witchwoman who aided the fighters in hunting down and capturing the drow. Rune's father was impressed with the courage and the capability of this human woman. Though most of the other elven fighters had returned or gone off to other tasks, Rune's father stayed with the human witch and heard her tale.

She was once a powerful mage at a university, but there was a scandal and she was forced to leave in disgrace and become an herb woman for this hamlet. Her only son was kind but earthy and completly lacking in his mother's skills. They tended their hut and their village in relative peace. The elven fighter was impressed with the maid's tale and partially in love with her magical nature. He spent many moons with her, walking, helping, training her son, and being with her.

After these many months, the witch did bear another child, a girl who looked as much like her mother as possible but with her father's green eyes and pointed ears. It was soon learned that she had inherited her mother's magic as well. Truth be told, the elf was startled by all this, since humans do change and age rapidly to elven eyes, but he had grown fond of the herb-woman and stayed.

But this contented state was not to last. The drow had staged a series of skirmishes against the elven homeland and had suceeded in damaging the elves they so hated. The fighter, whose skills were rather well known, was recalled and forced to leave the witch and her two children. He departed for the homeland but left a silver gryphon pendant for his halfbreed daughter, so that, when she came of the age when her heritage was important, she would have the power to find him again.

Many years passed as Rune grew, slowly, but the witch grew older at a much faster rate. Her son did most of the herb gathering and house-tending, since Rune was too young and too weak to do much. It grew more and more difficult to shield the child from the villagers, who did not take kindly to a half-elf mage-child growing up with their own children. Rumors were spread and quelled. While most of the farmers did not care much about the odd looking child, there were a few that disliked anything different or magical. They were the same who harassed the witch-woman as well, even though they used her services.

The time came when the witch, now old and tired, saw that she could no long protect or teach her daughter. She knew of a wizard who lived in a tower nearer to the mountains and did prepare to journey there and deliver Rune to him for teaching. She bade her son to tend the farm and herbal lore he knew while she was away, for she was not sure she could survive such a trip; and a long trip it was. The forests were full of damp places to camp, and the weather was fierce by day. It was said that there was furious magic happening with the elves, and the witch feared for her fighter.

The journey was long, but she eventually made the wizard's tower. A dark forest surrounded the tall, stark structure, but the witch hardened her heart and approached. She called upon her magic and commanded the wizard's attention, for few mages like other mages casting at their front doors. She bargained with him for the care of her daughter, that he would teach her to use her powers and care for her, and in return the child would serve as his apprentice for as long as he needed one. The wizard did not like the idea of taking in a small child, but he also knew the value of an apprentice to do all the distracting little jobs for which he had no patience. He accepted and took Rune in to his care. The witch returned to her son and her hamlet, taking comfort that Rune was in better hands than hers.

The years passed quickly for the wizard and the half-elf, neither of whom aged at the normal rate. Rune quickly proved her worth by picking up the basic spells and chores at a rate that indicated her intelligence. The wizard prided himself on his useful apprentice and continued to work on his great spells. Rune cooked, cleaned, organized, tended, and stocked the mage's home when she was not studying the spells the wizard gave her...and had her run of most of the tower. To pass the time, she traded a simple cleaning cantrip for the art of origami with a townsman she bought food from and begged whatever languages that passing bards (who could not refuse a visit to the fabled mage tower) could teacher her. Always she wore the silver charm on a string of leather and did cherish the griffon.

As the years passed, the mage stayed more in his tower and focused more on the magical world than the real one. He did not see the danger in the local greedy noble until it was too late, and the noble's mercenaries were attacking the tower. His defenses were strong but not enough, and they overrode the mage's sanctum. Rune hid and watched her master's murder. She saw the noble paying off his troops and his spies and swore revenge. She grabed the largest book she could and escaped into the forest.

She sought refuge with a traveling band of traders, proving her worth with what minor spells she could. Eventually, the caravan disbanded and she struck out on her own, to seek experience and then to have her revenge.

In Rune's homeland in the ruins of the tower there stayed a spirit. This spirit would defend itself with frightening power should anyone approach it. A group of adventurers, bent on helping those in need, approached the ruins with thoughts of fighting the spirit and destroying the curse. They tried to fight it but soon realized that it was only defending itself and its book, not actively seeking their destruction. The cleric present talked with it and learned that it desired to sleep the long sleep. The oezurd cast a spell of summoning to find someone who could release the spirit. The group sent their summons to Rune, "Master of the Tower of the Black Fen, your prescence is urgently requested." Rune had to respond to something so blantantly dealing with her old master and the tower. She dug around in her bag for that one odd scroll of magic mouth that she picked up from the dragon. She left a silver and gold gryphon (about wolf-sized) sitting at the door of her room, which would say "Comrades, there is urgent business for me to attend to in my homeland. If I do not return within a week, I am dead; continue your quest, then. Please keep this room empty; for, when I do arrive, I will be quite drained." This done, she prayed to the air gods and teleported herself and Flynn, manually.

When she arrived, barely conscious and unfortunatly five feet off the ground, the group's oezurd recognized her as the current tower master. They waited until she woke (one day later), then explained that they were a group of adventurers who were looking for the tower master to release a certain spirit trapped in the tower. It was bound to guard a tome of magic and would let none save the tower master near it; it had almost killed their thief in doing its duty. Their cleric had been able to converse with it and understand its desire to rest and had sent the summons out to Rune, not knowing who she was.

Curious, since she thought all the wards destroyed when the tower fell, Rune approached the apparition. The spirit was a segment of Rune's old mentor's mind that he set to guard this important tome. Eager to complete its tiresome task, the spirit drew Rune's mind into its own world and they conversed at length. Rune was overjoyed at being with her mentor (at least in part) once again but realized the spirit was weary and wished to leave. As the master of the tower, she released it from its service and claimed the grimorum. The group watching her saw her approach the spirit and the tome, lift both legs, and sit, indian-style mid-air. She stayed that way for nearly a day with Flynn either sleeping in her pack or pacing beneath her. She awoke from the trance in the late evening.

The adventurers were most grateful to her for freeing the spirit and extremely curious about the tome. She explained that it was a series of spells dealing with conversing with several higher level elementals, something which wasn't the safest of spells to cast. Obviously not interested in keeping the tome (which is why she lied), the party bade her farewell and went off to seek a ghost that was haunting a local village. Flynn protested against any continued stay in the wet swamp, so Rune shouldered the new grimoire and teleported back to her inn room, hoping that her comrades obeyed her requests (which they should have---the whole adventure only took two days). When she arrived again and before she fell unconscious curled in a ball on the bed, she changed the gryphon-crier to say "Please leave me sleep undisturbed. I will explain when I wake."


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