Wail of a Thousand Voices
In front of you stands a small creature barely 4 feet high, with tinted goggles and a scarf lazily draped around its neck. where other creatures would have skin, you see silvery scales that glimmer in the day’s light. Spark, the Kobold, carries around a huge backpack, several filled pouches and somehow always seems to leave ea trail of thin smoke behind him. Standing closer, you can hear the cogwheels, pistons and clockworks of unseen trinkets and contraptions hidden all over the usually absently grinning kobold. Always close to him are his 3 canine friends, 2 black mastiffs and a riding corgi, each of them loaded with various gear, trading supplies and components.
Spark hatched out of a clutch of the Sootscale Clan and from birth he was marked – his dull grey scales looked different from the Clan’s natural coloration. For the first months the newborn enjoyed great privileges, as the clan assumed that he might be a blessed one, infused with the essence of a true chromatic dragon, maybe a white or a black one. Soon after though, his scales gained a shimmer and started to take on a silvery gleam. The Sootscales were scared and furious, fearing for their community. With the newborn oblivious of the danger around it, the tribe shaman tried to commune with the deeper realms for a way to redeem their enclave in the eyes of the evil gods – a lesser devil answered the call and in exchange for his services demanded a part of Spark’s life force. The kobolds agreed and to this day spark wears a scorched mark on the spot where his heart lies. The kobolds were not happy with the devil’s advice, though – he told them to leave it in the wilderness to die, and not to lay hand on their own flesh and blood. They followed his directions, albeit grudgingly, and abandoned the still infantile Kobold in the woods near their caves. For over a decade the kobold clan heard nothing of the strange baby, and had just started to forget about the whole thing, when one of their scarce trading expeditions to Restov brought home accounts of one of their kind living in the city as an apprentice to Baril of Lebeda, a well known dwarven blacksmith in Restov. The young kobold had served as a negotiator for the old dwarf and the tribe shaman was worried by repeated mentions of the odd coloration of the few scales that they’d glanced during their conversations with the veiled, city-raised kobold.
Spark had not been set down in the hostile woods for long before he must’ve been rescued – he doesn’t remember a face or a name, but he does remember leaving the ground and sailing through the air of the forest, a glittering sea and towards a town surrounded by sturdy walls, the smoke trails of all the little houses welcoming him like a crowd waving at him. Kobolds mature fast, and the constantly babbling, inquisitive Kobold orphan quickly grabed the attention of the local craftsmen, constantly bugging them about this and that, sometimes even fiddling around on his own. They collectively decided to put this overflowing enthusiasm to controlled use, instead of letting it waste in random explosions of innovation as it had up to then, and the small but nimble Kobold started helping out in the various crafts that persisted in Restov. This is when he ended up with Baril, a blacksmith in the services of House Lebeda that was known to dabble in alchemy every once in a while (aiming to please his adopted noble family and their often exotic orders for tradable, specialized and ornamented armor). Despite the divide that would have made the two mortal enemies if they had been raised with their kin under the earth, the two city-raised underdwellers took an immediate liking to each other, and Spark, given much more freedom in Baril’s shop than among his peers, went into full bloom. The tiny quarter of the kobold was soon filled with any little device he cold muster together in the evenings while the forge was still hot but the customers were getting sparse.
Gyroscopes, pistons, alchemy and a little bit of sorcerous blood brought life to the most curious inventions and both he and his dwarven lector started to explore territory that they had only dreamed of prior. The following decade was what earned Spark his nickname, in honor of his often grandiose but short-lived inventions. Spark and Baril realized soon, that the narrow set of resources in Restov would not suffice for their continuous experiments and advancements, and so Spark started a part-time career as a trader, collecting components and trade goods all over Brevoy to further finance and support their tinkering endeavors. While he was out buying new exotic ingredients for their tinkering, Baril had decided to send some of the curious contraptions as a gift with his expected delivery of high quality armor to House Lebeda, with a written letter of recommendation for Spark, hoping that he might secure additional funds for their experiments. When Spark passed through New Stetven on his way back to Restov he was informed that an audience with house Lebeda had been organized. The nervous kobold was brought into the house facilities and questioned as to how he had managed to fabricate those most impressive devices. Relieved that nothing dangerous was happening, Spark spent the better part of the day explaining to them in intricate detail all the cogs, levers and pistons of the examples Baril had sent them, so extensively actually, that they had to stop him in his enthusiasm. Spark left the building wiht an official document proving his membership of Lebeda, as the “Assistant Engineeer” (to Baril).
On one of his travel excursions he intended to try something new, as he often did – he’d brought a pack of dogs. A strong, loyal breed commonly known as mastiffs. And while he happily noted that they took the journey without much issue, the most impressive occurrence happened when they passed through the routes of the stolen lands, and a wild black bear attacked Spark and his humble trader cart. The dogs went wild, breaking the frail sidebars of the cart they were carried on and leaped to Spark’s aid. It was a sight for the gods, the whole pack fighting this enemy that towered over them in both strength and weight, yet none of the dogs flew and in a fierce battle they tore the bear apart. For the remaining miles to Restov spark didn’t bother to keep the dogs caged, instead he let those that were still alive walk next to him and his horses, and the wounded and dying dogs he put back on the cart, racing his steeds to get them help. This particular business venture turned out to be a loss in funds, in parts due to the dogs that had died to the bear, but also in part because Spark took two of the valiant beasts for himself and paid for their care of the wounds they had suffered fighting the bear. Ever since that day, he’s never set out past the borders of Restov without his two dogs by his side. Lately he’s even taken to riding a beast himself, a fierce battle corgi.