Long ago; the world was young. Forests covered the land, orcs and skirmished warred below as Corellon and Gruumsh dueled above. Dwarves tended their forges and Halflings their fields.
Then the humans arose. A new race; disciplined and brutal; their creator god, Zarus, led them on a crusade to kill and enslave all other races. As cunning as the elves, industrious as the dwarves, warlike as the hobgoblins and as vicious as the orcs. Their armies, united under a single banner, took whole days to pass and turned the land to blood and ash behind them; the shining, pitiless countenance of Zarus at their head.
Then, seemingly on the eve of disaster, it stopped. Zarus was slain, cast down. Not by the other gods, nor by some coalition of elven and dwarven heroes, but by the humans themselves. Zarus had made his creations too well; capable of compassion as well as cruelty, they rebelled against his burning hate. To make sure he would never rise again, they struck his name from their histories and never spoke it again; today none among mankind know of their creator. The secret only survives amongst the eldest of sages among elves and dwarves and the confidants of their gods.
3000 years later in a tavern near a town a young musician is learning his trade. His ancestry is uncertain. It was rumoured that his mother, a fair and beautiful elf came from high born stock. She fell in love with a human trader that used to visit the Sacred Groves. They would meet in secret during his occasional visits, this was a love that could never be. But as sure as day follows night, mistakes were made and the fair elf was literally left holding the baby. A council was held and the choice was stark, give up the half elf babe or be outcast from the Groves. Sadly, the decision was made for her, the babe was taken one night without her knowledge and sent to live many miles away, effectively orphaned in the City of Havern.
A childhood was spent never really fitting in, always the outsider, that constant feeling of never belonging. But growing up in the tavern was no problem for Bags, he learned when to speak, when to serve, when to listen and when to entertain. He outgrew the tavern and would often venture into the depths of city for weeks on end, living off his wits. Bags soon discovered that the easiest way to survive was to entertain, everyone loves a good tale but not as much as a rousing Ballard. Over the years he developed great skills in the performing arts and sensing there was a gap in the market, taught himself the famous bagpipes.
Bags was pretty good and overtime he got himself quite the reputation in the City, weddings funerals parties or just to drive the rats out of the warehouses, no job was too small for the Pied Piper of Havern!
A New Focus
This life went on for many years until one day, after playing at the famous Summer Solstice Festival he was invited to attend a huge marquee where a undeniable buzz of excitement was building. The place was packed, the atmosphere electric, what was this place?
It turned out to be the inaugural meeting of the founding of the ‘Army of Zarusalem’ This Army was led by a charismatic noble named Lord Tarquinius the 3rd. It was basically a sect, whose aim was to restore the worship of Zarus amongst all peoples and races. Everyone was joining, everyone was welcome as brothers and dissenters were crushed. The sect spread like wildfire, from city to city like a plague. Despite being a half elf, Bags loved it, he finally found a home within the battle band that mobilised and motivated this ragged peoples army.
Where Lord Tarquinius discovered the legend of Zarus was never established but he was determined to exploit it for his own ends. Yet as the sect became more powerful so did the forces that were raised against it. Lord Tarquinius decided to use his army, which now numbered in the thousands, to deploy against the efficient and well organised army of the Merchant States. There was no need for this battle, it was well known that the Merchant States could be paid off and the Army of Zarusalem was nothing if not rich. But no matter, with little planning and too much haste the Zarusalem Army was sent in, fully committed, into uncharted territory. Bags and his merry band were leading from the front, blowing a rare old marching tune. It was a joy to behold, the pennants fluttered in the breeze, 5000 foot soldiers armed with swords and staves stomped in time, 2000 archers ready to loose followed on, to the rear pranced Lord Tarquinius and his favoured nobles.
And then it went to shit!
The sky’s darkened, the wind picked up and the rain fell. The grass turned to mud and hidden ballistas of the Merchant States sent forth a barrage of missiles to which there could be no response. The archers bows were useless and panic was building. The Merchant States mounted troops then appeared from all sides, their horses hooves were covered and could grip well in the mud. Not so the poor foot soldiers and the slaughter began. Bags and his Merry band headed for a rocky outcrop and tried to rally their broken army with Jona Lewie’s Christmas classic “stop the cavalry” sadly to no avail. He watched with seething anger as Lord Tarquinius safely fled the killing zone. The army of Zarusalem was destroyed and old friends and comrades fell and died around him. Bags stoically played Amazing Grace as the rain and sword blows fell down. A kind lover of Scottish folk songs from the Merchant States Army felt sorry for the old Bard and very kindly smashed him in the face with the flat of his sword ensuring that Gods own music would not die this day.
And so it came to pass that Bags became a wandering minstrel, 125 years young, never finding peace, a restless soul working in taverns with other misfits and losers. (That’s you lot by the way!) His one goal drives him on, avenge the deaths of his Brothers in Arms and bring a slow and terrible death to Lord Tarquinius and any of his cronies.
Let the adventures begin!