This is the tale of Dalabrac Shadowfoot. The author of this work is Cherrn, please email him with any queries. The material contained here is the property of Cherrn and is used with permission by Candlekeep. Candlekeep claim no rights of ownership to Dalabrac Shadowfoot and associated material.
Dalabrac "Dale" Shadowfoot
Dalabrac "Dale" Shadowfoot was born in a
tiny Halfling hamlet known as Wintertop in the Year of the Lion 1340. Wintertop
was situated in between The Serpent's Tail Stream and The Winding Water just
south of The Serpent Hills, south-east of The High Moor, and north of The Forest
of Wyrms. The closest larger settlement to Wintertop was Soubar which lies along
the Trade Way. Using close about Soubar can be somewhat misleading since lack of
roads and treacherous terrain lay between Wintertop and Soubar so a trip on foot
took nearly 15 days. Wintertop was a series of rolling hills with a sturdy
stockade around it. In the middle of the hamlet on tallest hill was the Council
hall where the ruling council sat.
Dale's father was named Dalamac and his mother was named Haniah. Dale's father was held in high esteem by the Hin of Wintertop due to his skills as a cleric of Yondalla. He was also 1 of the 6 halflings sitting on the ruling council of Wintertop. Haniah gave birth to Dalabrac first, 2 years later Dalabrac's brother Dalakan, and finally 2 years after Dalakan, his sister Daliah.
As the years passed and Dalabrac grew up and as reached the age of maturity at 15 he joined the Company of the Silent Feet. A tiny group of halflings tasked with scouting the area around Wintertop as far as 2 days journey out of Wintertop. Dalabrac showed remarkable skill at his work, both scouting, leading and directing the company and showing rare, in one so young, wisdom in his decisions. He was also extremely well-liked amongst the people in the band due to his humor, and his generally happy and easy nature. Thus he quickly rose amongst the ranks of the company. At the tender age of 18 he became leader of the company due to the fact that the former leader died by accident from a spell going awry during the Time of Troubles.
1 year later during the summer, Daliah left Wintertop. Having showed remarkable skill as a sorceress even at the age of 15, she informed the family that Wintertop was holding her back, she would never amount to anything if she were to stay out here in the wilderness. She needed to see the world and be gone from this boring place. She left the following day not to be seen or heard from since. This was indeed sad news for Dalabrac, he had always seen his family as a closely knit one. One that would endure any hardships it came up against. Thanks to his brother Dalakan, who by then had become an initiate in the church of Yondalla, he managed to get past this experience. Dalabrac and his brother grew even closer after their sister had left. Always spending time together when Dalabrac wasn't out scouting.
2 years later Dalabrac fell in love with his wife-to-be Deldiira. Deldiira was the daughter of the only Inn-keeper in Wintertop. Dalabrac had known Deldiira, who was around the same age as him, for many years. But they hadn't been involved with each other romantically until now. Deldiira was extremely beautiful. She was the stuff of dreams. Long soft brown hair, blue eyes that were like deep ponds. The kind of eyes that could topple kingdoms. A slender face with a smile and delicate red lips that could light up the entire room when she entered it. She had a graceful lithe form. Deldiira was what many imagined Sheela Peryroyl, the halfling goddess of beauty would look like. In spring of the Year of the Helm 1362 Deldiira and Dalabrac got married, and by the end of the year the result of their marriage came to be. Deldiira gave birth to their daughter Delihra. 2 years later she gave birth to their son Dalatan.
Life was good. It almost seemed as if Yondalla herself was looking over this young family. That is, until the winter of the Year of the Banner 1368. One night when Dalabrac and the company were out scouting they encountered a wolf that even though it was nearly rotten, was still alive. It attacked the company on sight, despite loosing one halfling the company still managed to kill it. They carried the dead halfling Wilimac back to Wintertop for a proper burial. Dalabrac informed the council of what had happened who then discussed the matter amongst themselves. Dalabrac went to bed. During the middle of the night the alarm bell rang. Every able-bodied man and woman gathered at the hamlet's only entrance. Looking out a dark figure could be seen walking through the snow followed by 4 wolves, rotting wolves, at his side. He walked up to the gate and looked up at the 20 halfling archers with their bows trained on him. He put one end of the glaive he was carrying into the snow and spoke in a low growl: "I demand satisfaction... You killed one of my pets the other day and I demand satisfaction!" He removed his hood and revealed a wickedly scarred face with many sores on it to the halflings. The wolves bared their fangs and snarled at the halflings. The man almost had a tangible aura of evil around him. Dalabrac moved to the front and said: "I was the one who killed your wolf, but only after it attacked our company first. We did it in self defense!" "Silence you fool!" the man roared. "Let me spend the night in your city and I will let the matter pass," he said with a wicked smile. Dalabrac looked to the council who were all shaking their heads in unison. Dalabrac then looked back to the stranger. "I'm afraid we can't do that, please take your wolves and begone from here. I'm sorry but we can't have you inside Wintertop." "Curse you!" the man shouted as he waved his glaive threateningly at the halflings. The halflings raised their bows in alarm and aimed at the man again. "Please leave, we don't want any unnecessary bloodshed." Dalabrac said. The man lowered his glaive but continued with his shouting: "Curse you all! But especially you little halfling!" He said pointing at Dalabrac. "Curse you!" At that, he turned around and walked slowly away from Wintertop taking his wolves with him. Dalabrac was glad he had left. He didn't enjoy killing like any of the other halflings. In fact he had never killed anyone in his life apart from animals. He went to bed with his loving wife and slept uneasily until the morning.
When the morning came 2 families were dead from what could best be described as plague. The Hin Plague, as it was later known, spread like wildfire throughout Wintertop. Dalabrac's father Dalamac died early on, being the highest ranking cleric of the city, he came into contact with the victims right at the beginning as he tried to cure the hin of their affliction. Dalakan died right after his father. As did Dalabrac's mother. They were burned and buried together. Dalabrac watched the ordeal with eyes red from mourning. The hamlet was in panic. Dalabrac was offered his fathers place in the council and took it. The council with 4 new members including Dalabrac, due to the Hin Plague, discussed the next course of action. 5 Halflings who hadn't caught the plague was sent out towards Soubar requesting immediate aid at the end of the day. In 1 week Wintertop's population had halved. Around 250 halflings had lost their life so far. After another week about 1/4th of the population remained. Without word from Soubar (the expedition died of the Hin Plague 4 days out of Wintertop), and the council down to 4 halflings, the panic was widespread. They discussed what had to be done. The council decided on trying to contain the disease as best as they could. This involved a great sacrifice. Since the clerical magic they had at their disposal hadn't worked, the council came up with this:
In order to contain the terrible Hin Plague, we, the council, put this great burden on ourselves. To take away the life of anyone stricken with the plague and burning the dead. This is what we must do as leaders of our village in order to increase the chance of anyone surviving this.
Signed: Tilimac (Wilimac's father), Talandar, Roberan, and Dalabrac.
It was done. The council did their work. But soon they fell victim to the plague themselves. All except Dalabrac.
Then on the 24th of Nightal it happened. Dalatan was struck by the plague. Dalabrac did what had to be done with hands trembling and tears rolling down his cheeks. 2 days later Delihra got the plague. Dalabrac did what had to be done again with trembling hands and tears rolling down his cheeks. His beloved wife was with him and whispered words of comfort to him after the deed was done with tears rolling down her slender beautiful cheeks, her deep blue amazing eyes red from crying for several days. With her I can handle anything Dalabrac thought to himself as he embraced Deldiira.
The 4th of Hammer, Year of the Gauntlet, Deldiira was struck by the Hin Plague. She lay in her bed looking at Dalabrac, croaked a silent "I love you Dale, now and forever" through her lips that used to be so full and luscious. Lips that were now shredded and bleeding because of the sores covering her entire body. "Promise me to live on Dale... Leave this terrible place and create a new life for yourself... Promise me..." With that she took off her wedding ring and put it in Dalabrac's hand. Dalabrac took her hand and pulled her close to hug her tightly not wanting to let go. She tried to smile at him as their eyes met. She took Dalabrac's dagger out of its sheath and put it into his other hand, then whilst holding the dagger firm in Dalabrac's hand she slid it into her chest.
"Promise me..." She whispered and closed her eyes.
Her body went limb as she slowly passed away. Dalabrac held her tightly whilst whispering "I promise..." into her ear and cried until he thought he wouldn't be able to cry anymore. Then he cried even more. After several hours of holding his beloved wife, Dalabrac put her down gently on the bed. With his entire body shaking he went into the living room and took out a small metal box. He took the key he was wearing around his neck and opened the box and put Deldiira's ring in it. He looked at the 3 things inside the box. A beautiful flower Delihra had plucked for him one summer. A delicate tiny wooden horse carved out of Blackwood Dalatan had made for him. And finally the wedding ring he had given Deldiira on one of the happiest days of his life. The day they had gotten married. Dalabrac closed the box gently, locked it, and put it into his pocket. He crumbled to the floor crying. He cried all night.
Two days later everyone in Wintertop were dead. All except Dalabrac. That's when he realized that he had been the one who had the greatest curse put on him. The curse of being the only one to live through the Hin Plague. He went to the tallest hilltop in Wintertop and shouted to the heavens. "Yondalla how could have let this happen to us?! You are supposed to protect us from things like this! Thanks to your absence everyone I know and love are dead! Good people! Good people who deserve way more than this! If this is how you treat your faithful then I don't want to pay my respects to you anymore! You don't deserve my respect! You don't deserve the respect a coward goblin could offer you!
Dalabrac tried to kill himself but remembered Deldiira's last words to him. In the evening he gathered some things that he would need for traveling and left Wintertop for Soubar.
Dalabrac slept horribly several days. Nightmares plagued him. Dreams about the one's he loved. He decided the best course of action would be to stay awake, he didn't want to remember how his wife had looked like when the Hin Plague was raging through her body. After 4 days of staying awake Dalabrac finally collapsed from exhaustion. He had a strange dream that night. He was seeing the faces of his loved one's at their moment of their passing. He tried to close his eyes but discovered that he couldn't. The faces stared at him and moaned: "Why didn't you save us Dale? Why...?" Then suddenly darkness fell over them, covered their faces and muffling their voices. Out of the darkness he could see a pale white skin of a woman's face floating towards him. her eyes had a look of sadness about them. She was beautiful, almost as beautiful as Deldiira. She had long mane of black hair. He looked at her hair, trying to see how long it really was, but it just went on forever and ever. It was her hair that had covered the faces of his loved one's and had removed their voices. Her hair was all around him. It was the darkness itself. It wrapped itself around his back gently caressing him. It pulled him closer to her. As he was pulled face to face with the beautiful woman a pair of slender pale hands appeared. She smiled as they reached for him and cupped his cheek stroking gently. She had such a warm comforting touch. She leaned for and kissed him on his forehead, then whispered to him, her voice flowing and soothing. "Im here for you Dale... I will take care of you. No one will know that you killed the one's you love." Dalabrac started sobbing, she pulled him closer and embraced him. Her warmth shooting through his body. "It's alright," she whispered, "I will help you get past this... Trust in me Dale... With me you will never be alone anymore... I love you Dale..." She kissed him again and wiped away his tears. Her soothing voice said to Dalabrac. "Hold me Dale, together we are strong..." Dalabrac held her tightly. Then closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Dalabrac awoke the following morning fully rejuvenated. He gathered his things and proceeded on his way to Soubar. The mysterious woman appeared each and every night in his dreams comforting him, helping him with his sorrow. After 12 days in the wilds Dalabrac reached Soubar. He easily got a job as a scout for a caravan heading for Waterdeep. Thus Dalabrac set out into the world.
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