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New Kidz in the Gatehood - posted at CGO on 3/18/2000
by Cindy Yans

Here is what some of Shadows of Amn’s NPCs have to say for themselves. Their biographies have been slated for the next edition of "Who’s Who in the Forgotten Realms," and they have also purchased space in classified ads around the world touting their skills and hoping for gainful employment when their contracts run out.

Keldorn Firecam – Human Paladin – Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart

Keldorn Keldorn Firecam

Keldorn meets inquiries about his past with fond remembrance. A devoted "Sword of Torm," he has never wavered in his support of the Order, and remains one of its most respected, and oldest, active knights. Paladins rarely reach his venerable age (40), and he feels that his faith has kept him alive and strong in the face of adversity. He is very demanding of others because he is unwilling to stray from the teachings and beliefs of the Radiant Heart even in the slightest. He knows all too well that this makes him difficult to befriend, but he views loneliness as a sacrifice he must make to be an exceptional servant of good.

Keldorn is well aware of the status age has given him, and in some respects he has begun to believe in it as much as the gospel. He thinks himself a champion of his Order, a view that is not totally unfounded, but it does occasionally make him susceptible to flattery. Keldorn is especially harsh on the younger knights, believing a strong hand is needed to mold them in their service to Torm. He feels it is his responsibility to provide the shining example to which they should aspire. This is strictly for their benefit of course; they must be well prepared for the tests of faith to come or they will fall before the age of twenty, just as so many of his comrades before them.

Keldorn is quite certain he will die in the cause of righteousness someday, but that fate is not to be feared. Torm would do nothing less, and it is his duty to walk in the footsteps of his lord.

Aerie – Avariel (Winged Elf) – Cleric/Mage

Aerie does not speak of her past fondly, having tried desperately to forget much of it. This is understandable, as she has been subjected to much more than most people could bear. Aerie is of the Elven Winged Folk, the Avariel, and she has suffered the greatest tragedy a member of her race can: she has lost her wings.

Aerie Aerie

Aerie was taken from the mountains of the far south by Amnish slavers, and was sold into a traveling exhibition of oddities. She was very young, and was quickly cowed by the discipline of her cruel master. Predictably, she deteriorated in her captivity, and her cramped cage eventually caused an infection in her wings that could not be cured. They atrophied, and in the end had to be amputated to save her life. Had she the choice, she would have rather died.

A gnome by the name of Quayle took pity on Aerie and nursed her back to health caring for her out of his own earnings. He gave her focus with training in magic and spiritual matters, and she progressed quickly under his tutelage. When the circus violently changed hands and all the slaves were freed, Aerie chose to stay with Quayle, the teacher she trusted.

Aerie is happier now, but she remains somewhat naïve and withdrawn, unable to properly address the loss she has suffered.

Jan Jansen – Tinker Gnome – Thief/Mage

Jan Jansen’s past is lost in a mire of tall tales, each more rambling than the last. He is certainly well traveled and, as hard to swallow as they may seem, many of his anecdotes are simply too strange to be fiction. No one could possibly have the audacity to fabricate such yarns and still expect people to trust that they happened.

Jan Jan Jansen

Common elements in Jan’s stories indicate that he is originally from Athkatla, where his immediate family maintains a home. If his account is to be believed, and he insists that it is, he also appears to have relatives in just about every city on the coast, perhaps all the way to Neverwinter.

Jan is a brilliant tinker, and the gadgets he has produced for his own personal use simply defy description. Even other gnomes have to admit that they have rarely seen such innovative intricacy, or lunacy. Jan may have learned his skills while in the employ of a wizard called Golodon the Unmanned, although indications point to the relationship being a cold one. Their association apparently ended in the death of the mage, although once more the details may be lost in Jan’s embellishment of the events.

Jan currently makes a living in the family trade, following a proud tradition of turnip mongers, though he is quick to answer almost any call to adventure. Indeed, many of his tales seem to have been spurred by the search for some lost gem or the jab of someone’s sword.
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