"A Halfling Guide to Joy and Purpose, An Autobiography"
by Pip Fleetfoot
This is a book the bard Pip Fleetfoot began writing shortly after undertaking his first adventure, and chronicles his life. It is the hope of the author that through his own stories others can learn to live a purposeful, fulfilling, and joyous life.
Pip Fleetfoot is fully convinced that other races are plagued with a severe case of seriousness. This condition often depletes the physical body of fun, wonder, and imagination.
His book is his life’s work, and his prescribed cure for what races other than halflings call “maturity”
|An Introduction to the Author|
Pip is a Fleetfoot halfling, a family notorious for their wanderlust, child-like outlook, “borrowing”, daring, and love of revelry. In ages past this family had a home, possibly in a small human village in Calliegh. For many generations, however, these halflings have lived like gypsies, roaming the kingdoms. In brightly colored caravans they move into and out of villages plying trades as scribes, entertainers, loremasters, adventurers, and craftsmen. It is very common for a young halfling to strike out on an adventure of his own when he comes of age, sometimes returning decades later to his family caravan.
Pip left his family for his first adventure at sixteen. He set out on his riding dog Norbert with his instruments, some simple weapons, and his wit. For four years he took work as a tavern minstrel, a scribe, and an adventurer for hire. He joined parties engaged in chasing off bandits, exploring dungeons, and even a few jobs for the Elven Nations in the Endless Forest. It was during this expedition in the Forest that met his flying squirrel, Reginald. Reginald was enticed into joining the halfling by the musical call of his silver flute.
Somewhere in his second year of adventuring, Pip found himself in the employ of a minor noble house in the capital city of New Castle in the Kingdom of Kent. His time with House Phentus taught the halfling a great many things. He served as an entertainer, teacher, custodian, and scribe to the family. While this was largely a servants role, it held its own sense of nobility. He dressed in fine serving clothes, provided food, lodging, fine wines, and all the tools needed to complete his chores. Pip learned that he had a real knack for interceding on his own or other’s behalf. During his expeditions as an adventurer, he had often served as the speaker for his adventuring crew, but this was the first instance where he could see his trade was well received in higher social circles as well. In the end everyone wanted to be treated a certain way. The only trick was to know how to present yourself in different situations. It never worked well to behave above others in low places. If you speak to a noble,however, you had better present a clean well dressed front. Nobility expects visual ques, as well as cultural courtesies that are easily mimicked once you learn them.
Unfortunately, after two years and a half years, his service with House Phentus ended. Anthony Phentus, the Lord of the house, was an honorable man. His children were much less so. His daughter and two sons had spent a great portion of their inheritances, nearly bankrupting them all. It was a scandal waiting to happen, and Anthony was forced to tighten up expenditures while desperately increasing production of their primary trade products. Feeling for the Lord that had employed him, Pip quickly jumped in to aid Fredrick. In short order the account paperwork was delved through, old debts cashed in, and production increased. More workers were hired to increase the growing and sell of limes, oranges, and other fruit orchards. Copper, iron, and stone mining was increased to the south near the Cascades. It would years before the damage of the spoiled children were corrected, but a public scandal was avoided. The house servants were drastically reduced to compensate for the extra expense, including Pip. The brats were stripped of the servants that cushioned their lives since birth. In addition each son was made to take over a merchant operation the House owned, as Pip advised. The daughter was married off within the year to a larger noble house.
Lord Anthony was not one to stand by and send his best servant away with an unpaid debt. In the world of nobles, nothing spoke poverty stronger than a ruined name. In exchange for his service, he gave Pip word of a merchant lord whose success had steadily built over the years. While not filthy rich, the man was a wealthy and successful noble. Knowing Pip was curious and always desperate for a challenge, Lord Phentus added a nugget of truth. Lord Gregory Brennan had just sired a daughter. The mother had died in the effort of birthing her daughter, and it was said the child was born gifted. Gifted in magic, and the lord was having a world of trouble keeping wet nurses when items in the room danced about with no aid every time the baby was colicky.
The babe was six months old now, and the father was stranded at his home when he had borders to patrol. The Brennan and Phentus families were however allies. They traded wares often, and it would be no trouble to send Pip to Brennan employ on his next merchant caravan. Arrangements were made that night to set out to the small city of Lance Point, with a scout moving days ahead on Anthony’s fastest horse with news of the bard’s arrival.
While the adventures and experiences of these times are important in terms of fate, it is what comes after that truly tolls the beginning of the story.
- Pip Fleetfoot
|The Babe in Lance Point|