Submitted by: Kimberly Moser
Name: Alanna Althea (Human, Female, Level 6, Bard) Owner of Alanna's Servant Agency.
Alanna is thirty-five years old, 5'11" and 140 pounds. She has raven-black hair and sparkling blue eyes. She was born in Arylon to a working class family on the 12th of Mirtul in the Year of the Snow Winds. Her father toiled each day at the quarry and her mother hired out to local families as a maid. Alanna has no siblings.
Alanna was always smiling and laughing as a child. One of her greatest joys was watching the passing troubadours. As Alanna grew, she decided to become a bard. She and her father argued constantly about her future profession. The arguments came to a head when Alanna told her father about Farris and his offer of training. Her father told her bards were callous and never let their feet touch the ground. He used Farris as an example of an aging entertainer with no home and little money for support. Alanna argued that there was little need for money when you were happy in what you did. The argument came to an abrupt halt when her father yelled, "There is no place in my home for a dreamer! Get those silly notions out of your head!", then he left for work.
That evening, when her father returned, Alanna was gone. She ran away with Farris. Alanna did not realize until later that Farris was a thief pretending to be an entertainer. He used her as a distraction in a number of illegal operations. For example, while she charmed crowds with her youthful exuberance (dancing, singing and various other performances), he would rove in their midst picking pockets. Another time she performed at a gala and he pilfered the guests' homes.
Though Farris was little more than a small time cad, Alanna was a ready wit and picked up on all he taught her. After they traveled together for about six months, Farris set up a private concert for Alanna with a nobleman from Baldur's Gate. Alanna had no idea the 'private concert' was an all night affair.
The following morning Alanna sought help in the Lady's Hall (The Temple To Tymora). She explained what happened the previous evening, bruises and welts gave credence to her story. The priests took Alanna in and treated the physical abuse. They were unable to heal the mental wounds.
Alanna's hopes and dreams were shattered by Farris. She trusted him only to be ill-used in one of his scams. She chose the Temple to Tymora with the hope that the Lady of Fortune would aid her in her life's quest, to become a true bard. Alanna remained with the priests of Tymora for about five months and concentrated her efforts on becoming an effective musician.
One afternoon a young priestess, by name of Lanira Rawlings, came to the temple for celebration of Tymora's holy day on Midsummer. The priests told Lanira of Alanna and her recent trauma. The Tymorans believed Lanira could help Alanna due to a similar encounter Lanira faced a few years prior. Lanira went to speak to the young bard and spent most of the evening explaining the ways of Tymora and fate to Alanna. By morning, the two became friends and Alanna began a healing process that continues to the present time.
When Lanira left the temple, Alanna traveled with her. The two made their way to Silverymoon and the Moonwood beyond. Lanira taught Alanna about great evils and great goods in the world, as well as the value of patience and quiet watchfulness. The pair scouted the areas around Silverymoon for three years.
One morning, Lanira was nowhere to be found and Alanna went in search of her. Alanna found Lanira, she was beaten, bloodied and half hidden beneath some brush. Lanira grabbed Alanna, pulled her close and whispered a phrase to Alanna, "Silverymoon . . . papers . . . pin . . .". She pressed a packet into Alanna's hands with the last of her waning strength and then passed into the Fugue Plane. Alanna buried her friend that same afternoon.
The following evening, Alanna opened the packet. She had no idea what Lanira meant by the three things she mentioned. The papers were inscribed with runes, symbols and a language Alanna was unfamiliar with. A small locket was enclosed in the packet as well. Alanna opened the locket and within lay a small silvery pin in the shape of a harp and crescent moon. Lanira was a Harper. Alanna knew what her friend meant by her cryptic words now. In the morning she traveled to Silverymoon, bound for Harper Hall.
Three days later Alanna arrived in Silverymoon and sought out Harper Hall. She was cautious about trusting anyone at first but was soon reassured by Galaerthus Irymm, the administrator of Harper Hall. Alanna answered the centaur's questions about her friend's demise, where they traveled and what they had seen in the last few years. Galaerthus then had Alanna taken to The Golden Oak Inn to rest and recuperate.
The following morning one of Galaerthus' assistants returned to Alanna and invited her back to the Hall. When she arrived, there were already several people in attendance. (Two rangers, a magess, two priests and Galaerthus.) Galaerthus greeted Alanna and asked her to be seated. He went on to announce Aldina's death, her mission and the information she had discovered. Alanna was uncomfortable about being included in the discussion. Then Galaerthus turned to her and explained that Lanira willed her pin to Alanna. He also told Alanna what accepting the pin included.
Alanna needed time to think about her decision and asked for an hour to deliberate. She was escorted to an inner office for privacy. Sometime later, she emerged and told Galaerthus she would accept Lanira's pin. He and the others smiled. Alanna received more information and advice that day than she has since.
Alanna spent the next year learning about the Harpers, their waymarks and information sources. She was also tested for loyalty and willingness to obey. Alanna failed her first mission, which was completed by her Harper shadow. Soon she grew in knowledge and understanding, and was finally assigned to Arylon in 1355 DR.
Alanna was surprised by her assignment, but she did not question her superiors. The Harpers were growing concerned by the number of magical items, reliquary and miscellany that continued to be shipped from the small town. They were also becoming more agitated by rumors of Cult and Zhent activity in the area. Alanna already had contact with the city, by birth and family, so she was given the assignment.
She was to act as a shop owner. Alanna and Galaerthus spent days deciding what she should sell. Alanna remembered the problems her mother had obtaining work and presented the idea of a servant agency to Galaerthus. It took about two weeks for all decisions to be made, but Alanna became the proud new owner of Alanna's Servant Agency in 1355 DR. Alanna's cover has given the Harper's a great deal of information about illicit activities within and around the central Chionthar valley. Alanna has also made a name for herself amongst the citizenry of Arylon and her shop has flourished for the last fifteen years. To date no one realizes Alanna's Harper affiliations and with Tymora's blessing, they never will.
Returning to Arylon was one of the most difficult tasks Alanna has ever undertaken for Those Who Harp. Since her return, she has visited with her parents. Her father refused to meet her gaze and told her she was his "greatest disappointment and failure" in life. Her mother attempted to smooth things over by explaining to Alanna that her disappearance had broken her father's heart. Alanna visits with her mother on a weekly basis, but since her first visit, has not spoken to her father.