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Memoirs of the Investigator

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Memoirs of the Investigator

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:18 am



4577 - born

I have few memories of my time in the Mierani Forest. Father spoke often of it’s beauty and serenity, though also of its many dangers. As a child I often wondered about the discrepancies, but as an adult I see it more clearly. Someday I may make a pilgrimage back there, but I rarely have time for such ‘vacations’. There’s always something else happening that demands my attention.

I was fifteen in 4592 when our family packed up to move to the city called Korvosa, ostensibly an old fort and colony of Cheliax. Word came from Kyonin that the Queen wished ambassadors sent to this city. Apparently after their recent civil war, they had settled to a point of high prosperity and were poised to become the most important city in Cheliax. Queen Edasseril wished for elvish influence upon this city and since Mierani was closest, our leaders chose an envoy. The chief ambassador was and still is Perishial Kalissreavil. My father was chosen as the senior advisor of his entourage. A highly coveted and honored role to hear father tell it… and he does, repeatedly.

The entourage set out in early spring with several of the party bringing their families along. It was not an easy journey. There were the occasional attacks before we arrived to the port now called Riddleport and hired a ship to take us the rest of the way. As I said, I remember little of those earliest years, but I do remember Desnus the 28th. That date has been burned into my memory.

We were a day outside of Riddleport, when we were attacked. The children hid in the wagons, but the sounds of battle still echo in my ears when I think about it. Ogres came out of the Calphiak mountains for a raid and we were the unlucky targets. The elves fought bravely and drove off the ogres with few casualties, unfortunately my mother was one of the few. Father tried to comfort me, but Ambassador Kalissreavil required much of his attention on the ship.

Arriving in Korvosa was something I can scarce describe. I had never seen so many people in one place.… I want to make sure it is fully understood. The numbers I have recorded for the census’ back in Mierani those years were as follows. The village of Asmeril held 250 people when we left… the city of Crying Leaf where I was from… held 780. A massive amount of elves in one place and often destined as a staging ground to defend the homeland. After the Cousins War when I arrived in Korvosa, I was greeted by over 20,000 people of all shapes, sizes and colors. It was like getting lost in a sea of people. At times I was overwhelmed… but I also loved it.

We were stationed at a compound in South Shore, where the elves still stay.


4606 - 29 years old

I was 29 when Aroden died. I didn’t realize what had happened at first, but father and the other nobles were constantly in meetings while I was burdened with an overabundance of lessons. The city had fallen into a disorder and riots the like that had never been seen before. I didn’t understand the significance of it myself. The humans had many gods, and the loss of one didn’t seem important to me. However, there were many geo-political ramifications I didn’t realize. Mostly a lack of support from Cheliax. Aroden’s death hit them hard and they switched to a more infernal leanings and only half the city was in agreement. To hear father recount it, the streets were ugly and many humans were killing humans in those days. The end result was a more independent Korvosa.


4633 -56 years old

Soon Cheliax abandoned any interest in us and we started crowning kings of our own.. Father stressed the importance of this on me, but in my youth I cared little for politics. This was a disappointment to my father for he insisted on grooming me to work with him. I studied everything I could get my hands on and had an excellent head for details. My tudors were frustrated more often than not, as I could be an arrogant little elf. I never missed an opportunity to point out when I knew more than they did on a subject. When they were expended, father found more. Lord Ellanon Eyrianor had many contacts and many favors and my education was never left wanting.

4643 - 66 years old

My days were spent in study, my nights were spent with the enclave hobnobbing with the nobles. Though young by elf standards, I was seen as contemporaries with the humans. I didn’t care much for them personally. Even by elf standards those who claim the titles ‘noble’ can be an arrogant and conceited bunch. I made few friends in this circle. Father had instructed me that envoys made contacts… and acquaintances… rarely friends. A lesson I took to heart at an early age.

Magic fascinated me and I intended to study at the Acadamae. Father approved of the magic, as it was considered very useful for an envoy to have at his disposal. However he was no fan of the reputation for summoning dark creatures that the Acadamae had earned. I was dismayed when I found out my application was rejected. I didn’t realize for years that my father had arranged to have me rejected. Reasons seem to shift between his own reputation and protecting my life. Which one I believe tends to shift on the day I am asked. I had to settle for the much less prestigious Theumanexus College. It was a more generalist school for mages, but there was less chance of being sacrificed in some infernal ritual.


4645 - 68 years old.

I was expelled from the College. Father may have been right about the Acadamae. Mages are a persnickety bunch who don’t like to be criticized, corrected, or argued with. There is a very distinct chance I would have been numbered among the ‘mysteriously missing’ that disappear from the Acadamae each year. I learned a few spells, but very little humility. Father had no difficulty expressing his disappointment in me. His anger only fueled my own disappointment.

My education continued the next year at the highly respected… but non-magical Korvosan University. There I committed myself to learning everything. I had the intelligence to do so. I never did learn to completely lose my stubborn pride or my opinionated attitude that chafed so many… but I did try to temper it. I had nearly run out of learning institutes. As it was, magic was out, but I did discovery Alchemy there. Poor man’s magic it was called, but the results intrigued me.


4647 - Sarahlynn was born. There will be more details on that when she enters my life


4655- 78 years old.

This was a big year in my life. After ten years of study, I graduated from University with the highest honors. I was offered a teaching position should I have desired it, but I think we all agreed that I wouldn’t do well in a teaching role. Father had grown tired of waiting for my education to finish and take my place at the compound, but that wasn’t to be. During my time amongst the other students, I found a love for theater. I spent the next five years on stage. I was able to appease my father by telling him that it was in the interest of learning more about the human nature… and I must have been good because he believed me.

My time at the university did introduce me to many new concepts. I’ll admit that my personal belief system has been one making me self-sufficient. Most of the clerics I’ve met have failed to impress me. Between the politics and narrow focus of their doctrines, none of the Elven gods ever spoke to me nor any in the Pantheon of the Many appealed to me either. I have always had issue with people withholding help when it’s needed. That is a trait I hold to this day.

One of the librarians introduced me to the concept of Zohls. I had done little research on the Empyreal Lords but there was one that ironically valued intelligence and uncovering truths. At the time I was merely intrigued, but now I’m amazed at how much my life has gone in that direction. A bit more legally bound than I prefer, but I can work in the system when I must. There is little active worship of her in Korvosa. Still cults pop up from time to time. I still keep an ear to the ground for any other discoverers of Truth.


4660 - 83 years old.

Another defining year for me. This was the year I found out I wasn’t an only child. There has long been a practice I have found deplorable amongst my kind. The Mierani elves have been known to take human (and other) lovers out of boredom and curiosity. Certainly not strictly an elvish thing to do in a city this large, but they have developed a reputation for it. Bored young noble women looking for something exotic are often seen leaving the Enclave. It’s said that’s where the majority of half-elves come from in Korvosa… an exaggeration I believe, but with too much truth attached to dismiss the rumors. Little did I realize that my father participated in ‘the games’.

Returning home one night I found a very distressed woman outside the gates with a newborn son claiming that it was Ellanon’s. In my naivety I dismissed her claim and sent her on her way. When I told father about it, he laughed. The man actually laughed about how that happens sometimes. I was shocked and furious. We argued for hours. Nothing was accomplished. It can get awkward when the dalliances occur within the nobility… however, Ellanon’s children were among the low-born and of no consequence. He had washed his hands of the whole situation. Any children belonged to their mothers and he wanted nothing to do with them.

That was the last night I spent at my childhood home.

In hindsight, I believe my first real case I solved was tracking down my own family. The child at the door was named Gavin and he was the easiest to find. My fury only grew to find out I also had a half-elven sister named Sarahlyn whose mother had been a maid and my half-sister worked as a seamstress. She was twenty three when I found her. She harbored some resentment for my father, but by that time it was something we had in common. .

I left my acting troupe after that with intent to make more money. I felt the familial obligation that my father never did. First I signed up as a Sailor and Fisherman to moderate success. My active mind rarely let me stay anywhere for more than a few years though.

In the years that followed I had tried my hand as a shepherd, merchant, clerk, scribe, herbalist (I rather liked that one, and it resparked my alchemist interest.) I was an elf of many talents.


4680 - 103 years old

Not all my history is good. I’ve also fallen in with some darker elements. While never actually joining the Cerulean Society, I worked with a few of the smaller gangs when money was tight. My fingers and hearing was quite good for picking an occasional pocket or picking the occasional lock. Tools for my eventual profession. Nobody was ever hurt, and while I regret some of the actions I was involved in, I find it difficult to regret the experiences I gained. The insight I gained into crime, the gangs, the criminal mind from that side of the line has proven invaluable. The various drugs I’ve studied… there may be a few regrets there. The alchemist in me insisted that I study the drug trade by examining every addict I could for symptoms… and even trying more than a few myself. Once again, I find value in seeing the problem from inside and out. My notes were not nearly as succinct as usual and the experience was valuable… but I’m not sure it was valuable enough. I fear I may have done some lasting damage to my body fighting off some of the nastier ones.


4685 - 108 years old

Had I put my my mind to it, I truly believe I could have become a master criminal. I’d have had the ability to move right to the top of the Cerulean Society. However that has never fit my disposition. A few robberies or con jobs to show I was the smartest person in the room is one thing, but having seen enough of the poor and the victims, I find the whole thing distasteful. Besides, while I may have tried to be harmless… so many of the others I knew were not. I’m not sure if my desire to protect the innocent comes from caring for my family, or if it’s the other way around, but I broke from the gang haven’t looked back. Besides, the only thing that’s more fun than being smarter than the ‘rubes’ was being smarter than the ones who thought that.

Having spent some time in the gutters, I was able to start building my crime FIGHTING empire. That has proven fulfilling.

Word reached me that Salina was born to a maid in a noble house. Father has not changed and I assumed care for her upbringing as well. Financially on the plus side, This was also the year that Sarahlyn married a local shipbuilder. Her elvish blood runs true. She was 38 yet looked to human eyes if she was closer to 20. Still, time seemed to flying fast. Gavin was already 25 (though looking closer to 17). I hadn’t really understood the concept of ‘Forlorn’ before, outside the academic understanding that is… but I knew I had to be careful. I find myself shunning the Elven tropes and surrounding myself with fast aging humans.

I have had little contact with Father since our falling out. However I do not shun him completely. We are cold but cordial toward each other, and I still meet him for a dinner once a year on the anniversary of mother’s death. Sometimes more often, but at least once a year.


4687- 110 years old

Joy and sorrow seem to come hand in hand. Sarahlyn gave birth to my first nephew. She named him Jameson after his father. A fitting tribute I suppose. She was married two years prior, but he was killed in an accident the fall his son was born. I have kept myself as available as I can.


4690 - 4697

At this time, I had successfully solved 37 cases. I had not however caught the Key-lock killer. Nobody had. I blame Field Marshal Stoddard Prout. He had stood in my way every chance he could. Prout was notoriously disdainful of what he calls ‘adventurers’ and despite my track record and expertise… he wanted no help at all. He was convinced that the Korvosan Guard could catch this killer on his own. His stubbornness was his downfall. That’s coming from me. Twice he caught me looking for clues and had me arrested. My early career was plagued by this man and every time KLK killed again I took it as a personal attack. He stopped in 4697. I do not know if he simply stopped, if he was caught for something else, if Blackjack stopped him or if he was simply killed. Whatever the cause the killings stopped and Prout seemed as clueless as ever. Outside of the my magical studies, this was the first thing I felt truly important that I failed to solve and people died because of it. That stung for a long time. I still think about it some nights.

By now my system was functional if not perfected yet. I tended to remain in the shadows but have my agents keeping a lookout for any signs of suspicious activity. Mostly the poor or destitute, though not exclusively. I had invisible eyes all around my city, watching and listening to everything that is said. Anything of use gets left for me in a neutral location. If it’s useful I pay them an honest days wage. Sometimes I still get flooded with information that I need to sort though but there is usually some gold in there. .

Blackjack is another interesting footnote. I have heard the legends of this man since I first arrived in Korvosa. Whether he is an outlaw or a hero, he shows up when ‘the people’ have needed him apparently since the Cousin’s War. The first I had heard of him was during some of the riots back in 4606. I’ve made it a hobby to interview people who’ve seen him but have made very little headway. I’ve nearly ruled out the elves of the Enclave since he was here first. My theories are that it’s an unaffiliated elf or a legacy passed down. I’ve heard rumors that he is a spirit that returns when needed, but I put little stock in that. Part of me would love to solve this mystery… though I haven’t pursued it much in recent years. I think part of me that was excited by his existence as a child doesn’t really want that illusion shattered.


4706 - 129 years old

The KLK wasn’t the last time that Prout and I butted heads, but it was the most important. I shed no tears when he was retired and the Cresinda Kroft was placed as new Field Marshal. I thought her young for the position, but her disposition was much more amiable. She was determined to not repeat her predecessor’s mistakes. She came with an unshakable loyalty to the city and the guard. Also she doesn’t let personal pride get in the way of her job. Exactly what I look for in a Field Marshal. Since she’s taken office my life has been much easier. Not just for me, but any adventurer or ‘hero’ types as she calls them, are welcome to work with the guard if the goal is to help the city. Sometimes when short handed, she even farms out some cases to me. A steadfast ally if I’ve ever had one.

The same year that Field Marshal Kroft took office, Jameson married a young woman named Celeste. He had solid job as a Miller and I’m pleased to see that he is growing up so well.

4707 - 130 years old

Jameson’s first son was born. Liam makes me a…. great-uncle I believe the term is.


4715 - 138 years old.

I have found few clues to Jameson’s disappearance. The boy is 8 years old now, and I detect very little of our elven blood in his appearance. His quick fingers and sharp mind may be connected, but time will tell. At least it will if I have anything to say about it.

Gaedren Lamm has reared his ugly face again. A petty crime boss that I’ve encountered in the past. I’m convinced he’s been involved in everything from kidnapping, Shiver dealing and even murder, but every time I shut down one of his operations, he somehow has scurried away into the shadows. One of my agents has spotted a boy matching Liam’s description amongst ‘Gaedron’s Little Lamms.’ Taking children and turning them to crime is not that unusual for this creature, but part of me still feels like this is a personal attack on me for my interference. Thus, I can’t assume that Liam’s safety will be guaranteed for his usefulness.

Naturally, I have devoted all my attention to this case. Lamm is going down this time. To jail if he’s lucky, but if he’s hurt the boy… he won’t see the rope. He’ll not escape again.







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Colin Marcus
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