The Gnomish Detective Bard
Dyrus was born to a traveling Gnomish couple that built and sold intricate clockwork tools and trinkets. He and his sister traveled with their parents meeting people and exploring the lands of Golarion. Eventually they made their way to the River Kingdoms and Dyrus, having never had an interest in the craftwork enjoyed by so many of his people, discovered his love of music while hearing a local bard sing the heroic song of the Fall of Adam, one of the earliest warriors of Gilead. He found the lute and the lyre to be both unwieldy and unable to produce the emotional range that he needed to bring the songs in his heart to the rest of the world. The pan flute had potential but still was not quite right. Dyrus’ father, Reginald, being a master tinkerer, helped his son to modify the flute to achieve the sound he desired despite his insistence that music was a waste of time when he could be practicing a real craft. The instrument was a monstrosity of a thing and always caused curious looks from the travelers passing by but the soulfulness of the sound it produced was undeniable. Dyrus played day and night and his Mother and Sister never seemed to mind because the music felt as if it was the background music of their lives, always appropriate, and often comforting. He even caught his father bobbing his head on occasion, but when he saw Dyrus looking he would scold the boy and tell him to keep it down. But Dyrus knew he had found his calling.
It was not for several years that Dyrus began to realize the power inherent in his music. The family was on one of their usual routes through the River Kingdoms, selling useful tools, amusing curiosities, and repairing machines of all kinds. When one villager returned after purchasing a music box for his daughter, claiming that it had broken as soon as he got it home, screaming at his mother, Patrig, and calling her a cheat, Dyrus played a soothing tune on his harmonizer (as he had begun calling it) and the man instantly became less agitated and inquired as to whether Patrig would be kind enough to look at it. A human passerby saw this interaction and recognized the ability that Dyrus had displayed as the arcane power possessed by a true Bard. He introduced himself as Allen Desadin and told the young gnome to find him in Adam’s Fall if he ever wanted to pursue the arcane arts.
The family cart had become a bit too elaborate to travel much anymore so Reginald and Patrig decided the town of Tatzylford would be the home of their new workshop. Dyrus’ sister, Galiti, would take over the traveling sales cart while Reginald and Patrig produced goods in the workshop and manned the store there. Dyrus chose to accompany Galiti, having never told his family about the encounter with Allen and his now yearning desire to learn the ways of the Bard. They made their way through Gilead and eventually stopped in Adam’s Fall and while Galiti was selling their wares, Dyrus offered to go get supplies for the rest of the trip but actually went searching for Allen. He found the college and Allen was overjoyed to see Dyrus once again. Allen had just arrived back from travels to Ustalav, gathering new tales for his songs. Dyrus began begging Allen to join the college and become a true Bard, but Allen said that he had prepared a room for Dyrus the moment he returned after meeting the talented gnome. Dyrus was overjoyed and spent most of the day touring the college and rejoicing with his new friends. Near nightfall he returned to his sister only to find the cart destroyed, his sister gone and the town square in disarray.
Dyrus asked a nearby guardsman what had happened there and he replied that according to witnesses, a hulking monstrosity had simple burst into existence in the square and before the guard could respond it had set the cart ablaze and scared off his sister and then pursued her. Dyrus ran back to the college and begged Allen to loan him a horse to go after his sister. Allen agreed not only to loan him the horse, but to aid in his search. They rode furiously in the direction the guard had indicated Galiti had fled.
Soon they were at the edge of town and folks they stopped to ask indicated that a young gnome had ridden right out of town as if she was being chased by a demon. They rode quickly and not far outside of town caught up to Galiti who had fallen from her horse and injured herself in the process. She barely acknowledged that Dyrus had arrived and stared off into the sky shivering. There was no monster in sight and very little sign that anything had pursued the young gnome on her horse. Allen used his magic to heal Galiti’s wounds but she still did not regain her wits. The kind human offered to ride with Dyrus to their home and ensure that his sister made it home safely.
It was nearly dark the next day when they approached the shop in Tatzylford. Reginald and Patrig ran out to greet them but they grew panicked when they saw the state of their daughter. Reginald demanded an explanation and Dyrus offered the truth as he knew it, he had left the cart and his sister to visit the college and she had been attacked in his absence. Reginald was furious at Dyrus’ irresponsibility and told him that he wanted nothing to do with his son from this day forward. But if he wanted so badly to be a bard, he would do it without his family. Reginald grabbed Dyrus’ harmonizer from the pouch on his belt and smashed it on the ground as Patrig quietly sobbed over her stricken daughter. Dyrus pleaded with his father to reconsider but the elder Gnome would not hear it. He picked up his daughter and walked into the shop, closing and locking the door as soon as Patrig had entered. Dyrus cried into the dirt outside of the shop as Allen consoled him. Allen assured Dyrus that soon the family would be reunited but in the meantime, he was welcome to stay at the college. Dyrus reluctantly agreed and set off back to Adam’s Fall but not before writing a letter of apology to his parents and a promise to do whatever he could to help his sister.
Allen led the way back to Adam’s Fall and Dyrus was welcomed to the Bard’s school with open arms. He began studying after several weeks of moping about the town. He could think of nothing else to do as none of his letters to his family had resulted in a response. He studied furiously to try and discover what could have assaulted his sister. He questioned townsfolk who were at the square during the attack, he scoured tomes of monsters and demons looking for what might have matched the description he had constructed. Soon enough he had begun performing his music again with a new harmonizer that Allen had crafted for him. This one was much simpler and wasn’t quite the same sound as Reginald’s creation as the tones were more subdued and mournful, but this matched the song in Dyrus’ heart.
It was several weeks before Dyrus worked up the nerve to ride back to Tatzylford to beg for his father’s forgiveness. As he approached he was shocked to discover that the workshop had closed and his family had moved. At the door of the building he found a letter addressed to him that simply read:
Your sister has spoken only once since she arrived. She simply said “Where are you?”
One day I’ll forgive you, but I doubt that day will be soon.
Please do not look for us.
Dyrus was shattered by this and was found the next morning on the steps of the college, crying silently over the letter. He did not emerge from his room for over a week but one day the whole college was filled with soul wrenching sorrow as the songs from Dyrus’s room burst forth with magical power. Allen calmed Dyrus down, and told him that he understood his pain but that Dyrus had to keep living or he would never get the answers he sought.
The young Gnome immersed himself in his studies. He learned that the magic in his music could be formed into the arcane spells of the true bard and his studies progressed quickly. His research and investigation into his sister’s attack had sharpened his skills to the point that the local guard called him in when they were unsure who might have committed a crime in the city. He became a skilled detective and a private investigator for hire within the city. He grew more friendly and more upbeat as the years went on, never forgetting what had occurred, but knowing that his life didn’t end that day.
Several years later he left the college and his mentor Allen, to find his own way in the world. He traveled from town to town, assisting the townsfolk and playing his songs to make the money he needed to wander the land. He eventually made his way down to Ustalav, ending up in the employ of Professor Lorrimar who paid him well and aided him in his studies. Dyrus was always prepared, always alert, and always looking for the smallest clue as to what might have happened that horrible day in his youth.