That Haldamir is quite a character. A good friend when it comes to it, though his judgment might be considered suspect, depending on who you ask and when. I guess you’d just have to say he’s a typical elf in that regard. Of course, choosing the city life is as atypical elf as you can get, so never let it be said that Haldamir wasn’t interesting!
I recall we met 30 years ago, or close enough, while I was still spending my days as an apprentice cartographer under my father, Alden Granger – Fharlangnh illuminate his path through Elysium – and poking around the public books in the Mage’s Guild. Guess he saw me turning my pockets out, trying to find a few coins for the material components necessary to invoke my first cantrips. Haldamir offered to “acquire” the materials I needed for a “discount”, which intrigued me at the time. I needed to learn, and my funds were lacking, so I didn’t concern myself with the details overmuch.
Honestly, I’m surprised Haldamir never picked up a bit of sorcery after seeing the very handy tricks I could do with it. Ask him about the day I flung a well-timed Yawn at the vendor who was just about to spot him filching a grapefruit off her cart. Or about the time I Palmed the gold pieces he’d nicked off a city guard, who would surely have found the coins if not for the spell. I guess we made quite the pair back then.
On second thought, perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised, since it usually seems like Haldamir would often take the easiest road of those available. Not that he lacked discipline, mind you, not at all. I think he just wanted things to be less onerous and more immediate to suit his free-spirited manner. Investing years of research for an indefinite and uncertain result just wasn’t going to appeal. He’s far too concrete. That said, while most individuals in his “line of work” might disdain a relatively lengthy assay, he never seemed to mind when the outcomes were deemed worthy.
Quite a pair indeed. He helping me in my research, me helping him in his… research.
Naturally we grew apart a little when I met my wife Theresa, and of all the things I missed of Greyhawk when we moved to our Overlook Farm, I remembered of Haldamir most frequently. But, since the self-proclaimed city elf had city business, I never much wondered why he rarely ever made the trek to visit. “Boring!” I could just hear him say, sitting near our hearth. “O, the ennui!” he would moan. Family life was surely not his style.
And so decades passed. Mother and father left Oerth to walk in Elysium. The children were born. Good and bad seasons came and went, and life was good.
And then… Then the day happened. I should have been there. Should have been home.
Perhaps the ley lines of Oerth draw people together when they’re needed. The same day I bury my family, who shows up at Overlook? I’m sure he never saw me anything like that moment. He seemed a bit shocked at my whitening hair, but I think what really got to him was the outpouring of emotion. The rage. Townsfolk note when they think I’m not listening how equanimous I am in even in the worst binds. But ‘struth, it’s only with Haldamir’s support I survived those black days.
I recall little of those first days after Haldamir arrived at Overlook, but I felt profoundly altered from my former self after a fortnight. Not necessarily better.… Harder, convicted.
I remember we swore blood oaths to protect each other, to seek vengeance for my family. Leaving our pasts suddenly behind, we’d become adventurers and put an end to the world’s evils! Surely this is the means to the end I sought: the demise of the Red Hand orcs. The law would not – could not – help, and I heard the tales in my youth how a mighty wizard could destroy an army entire. But this spellbook full of blank vellum surely wouldn’t be of much assistance. No, I would have to be patient, bide my time, learn, gather and grow. And then one day, one day soon my beloved Theresa, I will send those orcs to the Abyss.