Born to the cold winds of the Savage North, Narissas
early childhood home was one of the few inhabitable locales of Icewind
Dale. She lived with her family on the shores of the Trackless Sea,
and there learned to love and fear the great ocean and its
boundless power. Her aptitude for information, including the memorization
of the constellations and ability to explain the properties of navigation
at age six caught the attention of the village elder. After much
discussion and forethought she was placed on the trading vessel
Northern Bound, a caravel from Waterdeep. Her possessions were a
single note written by the village elder (and corrected by her),
and most of the villages coined wealth needed to pay for the
unprecedented education she was to receive.
However, captain Sarchell of the Northern Bound
became acutely aware of his young passengers capabilities,
and stationed her aboard his vessel as a support to the ships
navigator. At age six there was little Narissa could do to argue
in fact, she enjoyed life aboard Northern Bound, and did
her work quite well for the price.
When Narissa was ten, a decree in Waterdeep was
made in response to increased pirating. All trade ships on the payroll
of Waterdeep would either have to have five professional mercenaries
aboard at all times or the sailors themselves would have to be trained
in weaponry arts at Waterdeep for a fee. Not wanting to mercenaries
aboard that he would have to feed and pay, the captain opted to
send members of his own crew for training. Narissa had now been
aboard for four years, and proved her worth. The training was meant
for individuals of at least fourteen years of age, and preferably
older, but Sarchell sent her along with the others. He knew there
was something special about her, and that time alone stood between
her time aboard and her eventual departure for grander things.
Indeed, Narissa excelled in her brief training.
By age eleven she was a swash-buckling navigator aboard a profitable
Her features flourished with her achievements,
and the young girl that the crew had known began to blossom into
a young woman. But they would not get to see her grow beyond that.
When Narissa was fifteen, a wizened old passenger
on his way home to Waterdeep heard her voice coming from below.
He was on deck, and ambled over to listen to the soft voice. He
recognized it as the pretty young navigator, and his ears perked
as she read aloud the tale of the Golden Elf to the sailors
in elvish! At fifteen years old this young woman could navigate
a caravel, speak in an educated manner, and read elvish dialect!
Immediately he sought the captain out, and asked him about her.
The captain admitted she had taught herself to read in elvish, and
had been reading and writing since she was six. Right then and there,
the old man known as Rolek of the Crimson, a retired adventurer
of the Blades of Faerun and a fourteenth level wizard, found his
apprentice in the least likely place. Of course, the fates had hinted
at such a thing why else would such a powerful wizard choose
to travel by boat?
Narissa was upset about the circumstances, and
fought her departure heartily. In the end, she had little choice,
and was sent with the strange old man for her training. His promises
of lessons in philosophy and religion, of historical studies and
so on were at first quite unappealing, but soon enough a new challenge
to her keen intellect won her attention.
Narissa excelled as wizards apprentice,
and lived a safe and fulfilling life. When it was clear that she
would succeed in her studies despite her late start, Rolek gave
her a worn-out journal with the mark of a crimson serpent on it.
It was her first spellbook.
Before she could complete her studies, an old
companion from the Blades of Faerun made an appearance at Roleks
home. His name was Gilthanus, a moon elf. Unlike Rolek, he still
walked with a light step and spoke with a youthful tone. He was
a beautiful man, his voice like a song. Narissa was at once smitten
with the wondrous creature. The three had dinner, and Gilthanus
spoke of his adventures in the wild. He was an excellent storyteller,
and his danced with the candlelight as he spoke. Stories of valor
swept through the room, speckled with moments of lifesaving decisions
and brave actions with sword in hand, of striking down an evil foe
scarce moments before the enemy could deal his own fatal blow. Narissa
listened to the tales of swordplay and of warriors chants;
of moments after battle when the fighters would gather and sit in
a silence only they comprehended. She had seen it years ago in Icewind
Dale when the hunters would return. They all shared a common bond
that no other could understand except them and that no other
would ever share, even their closest friends and wives. It was at
that moment that Narissa decided she would travel with the elf,
and see the worlds that he saw, and meet the people that he met.
She would live by the sword, as she had aboard the trade ship, make
a name for herself as a woman to be reckoned with. The chaotic nature
of her decision did not surprise Rolek as much as she thought it
would when she told him the next morning. He simply nodded and gave
her one of her one of his rare smiles.
You go now into the wilderness child, and
you will choose your own path. It is not for I, nor the captain
of a ship, or an elvish warrior to decide. In time, you will see
it clearly enough yourself.
And so Narissa became the apprentice of Gilthanus
at the age of twenty-one. Already old enough to be independent by
human standards, the elf still deemed her very young and was patient
in his teachings. The two traveled together for years, until Narissa
finally did become independent and joined a forming band of adventurers,
thanking the elf for bringing her into this new world that so few
were a part of.
And thus it went. Narissa was involved in several
campaigns, most of them successful, and gained and lost companions
along the way. In time, the old wizards words rang true. She
took a break from adventuring and finished her studies, realizing
the path for her had been laid out long before she had decided to
see it. When she returned to her old band, the few that still remained
greeted her not a warrior, but a wizardress.
Since then her adventures have taken her far
and wide, beyond even the Spine of the World where she saw most
of her closest allies killed by giants of flame and elves of the
depths. Since that failed campaign, Narissa decided to settle and
build a laboratory, which she did in Harrowdale. She owns a caravel
called the Silver Mist, whose home is Harrowdale harbor. She also
owns a shop in Harrowdale that specializes in elvish toys. Where
she obtains them is a mystery, but some say she has formed a loose
business with Azargatha Nimune of Deepingdale, who has connections
with the elves of the old Elven Court. Word has it she plans on
setting up another shop somewhere in the realms in the near future,
and also plans on bringing together another band of adventurers
to scale the mighty Spine of the World when the time comes.