The Clutch of Verthandi
Forlorn gnome gypsy
Background: Eoleo was the grandson of Elder Quallo, the matriarch of a nomadic clan of gnome gypsies. The clan was in many ways no different than other gypsy caravans: Eoleo and his kin would travel often, welcomed by some communities for their performances and soothsaying, shunned by others for their thievery or mysticism. But Eoleo’s was a very old clan, bound together by blood, tradition, and a mystical energy that none of them entirely understood. Only Quallo seemed to have a firm grasp on the powers that embraced the clan, and she taught his secrets to all her progeny, including Eoleo.
When Eoleo was thirty, however, one of his cousins was caught stealing jewelry from a profitable merchant. The zealous merchant organized a band of vigilantes to drive the gypsies away, and the conflict came to bloodshed before the city watch could arrive (the guards who weren’t already members of the mob, that is). The mayor offered a small compensation for the lives lost on the condition that the caravan leave town, but Quallo spat on the offer, enraged by the public’s willingness to turn a blind eye to such a blatant wrong, gypsies or no. Quallo set up the caravan just outside the city walls and vowed to remain until the wrongdoers had paid for their injustice.
Over the next week, the mayor, the merchant, and the captain of the guard each came down with a unique, mysterious disease: the mayor became afflicted with horrendous boils, the merchant gradually went mad, and the constable slowly lost all of his senses, starting with his sight. When the mayor’s illness ultimately claimed his life, the public condemned Quallo and the gnomes as witches, and within hours a lynch mob assembled and stormed the caravan. Eoleo fled the site with the heat of flames and cries of agony at his back. He doesn’t remember seeing any of his kin escape alive.
Alone and traumatized, Eoleo became a hermit. He didn’t dare return to the site of the massacre, so he gathered what scraps he could by foraging and begging, and he lived wherever he could find shelter alongside a road or river. Occasionally bandits or vigilantes would harass him, but Eoleo gradually developed a talent for stealth, allowing him to escape harm before it came knocking on his door. His isolation also provided him with an opportunity to explore the powers that Quallo had spoken of, the one remnant of his old life he could still cling to. Over time, he began to feel the spirits of his ancestors around him, giving him comfort and counsel. Eoleo finally began to manifest his own powers with the convenient arrival of a strange Abyssinian, who seemed to be a mouthpiece for the forces beyond. The two have been inseparable ever since.
Description: Eoleo is a seventy-five year old gnome. He stands three feet and one inch tall, and weighs thirty-six pounds. His hair is a light brown, akin to tree bark, and his eyes a very dark blue. He is extremely bright, with a gift for learning and retaining new information despite his lack of formal schooling. He has a kind soul, but is very mistrusting of strangers, and only opens up his more jovial, talkative side to his closest comrades. His familiar, Quallo, is a ruddy Abyssinian cat with a personality quite like Eoleo’s, although she is more initially personable.