A pirate walked into a bar
A loudmouth half-orc bard
Tomag was always around and at the heart of whatever mischief you were setting in motion. Except when he wasn’t… often for years at time. Off at sea when his father had scavenged some ship or other. Traveling with his mother and learning the enchanted notes that flowed through her singing. Whenever he returned though, despite the long absence, you’d pick up again just where you left off, trying to impress anyone who would listen and late at night sneaking through alleys on some foolish challenge.
There were serious times too, life in a loose criminal gang is hard even in a town without much care for the law. Perhaps it was those times that had formed your bond. It was you he trusted as lookout when his father’s henchmen would task him to swim out to saw the ropes of a ship in the night, dagger clenched between his teeth. The damn fool was so afraid of getting an arrow in the back he’d swim the whole way in a patched together leather jerkin. Of course it was likely his bluster and ridiculous boasting that got him in the situation in the first place.
Tomag would not back down, “the story was true, every word”. “Well if that’s the case, let’s see some proof”, and soon he’d be asking you to help him place a forged note in some noblewoman’s carriage. The only thing that could usually undue what his big mouth got him into was more words from his silver tongue. That and playing dumb. For someone with so much pride in his skills that guy could play the “I’m just a dumb half orc” bit like nothing else, which often left you in a tight spot.
There he was, holding the prelate’s silver cup when the guards burst in all around him. Without missing a beat he points at you, “He tell me he thirsty and need a drink, I get cup for him” and just like that all the guards were hot on your tail for the next hour. Clever bit since you were close enough to the door to run. But he’s not the one who hid in the eel barrel, he walked right out with the silver cup. At least your group of misfits ate well for a while.
Of course Tomag took all the credit. Absurdly talented, yes. Did he have to be so vain about his abilities? When his bluster didn’t work or his tales were laughed off by the latest girl he was chasing or if it was a bad night when he’d take a turn at singing at a tavern, Tomag would mope. For days, you could see he was distracted, obsessing over his failure, “why didn’t the crowd love the tale The Broken Cobbler? Why didn’t she believe I’m elven royalty?” Another part of your bond perhaps, that’s often when you’d ask for his help, give him a good scheme to put his mind to and soon the foolish talespinner would be back in action.
How his parents managed not just to bear a child under some circumstance but to still weave in and out of each others lives periodically was a frequent topic of discussion around town. His mother was a human spellsinger of uncommon beauty, caring, friendly, and born to seek out adventure. His father was Uglart, at least half orc, occasional pirate captain and full time scoundrel. He ran the gang that Tomag lived amongst in town unless their luck was in and they were off at sea. You could ask Tomag about his parents and the answer would be epic and wonderful but quite impossible if any of the different story he told you last week was true.
He’d often be off with one parent or the other, returning full of new tales and talents. His mother’s magic clearly ran thick in his blood and with each trip with her he’d pick up more enchanted syllables, more melodies you could feel weaving through the air. You swear that dagger you took one night was a bad one yet the strange sweet song he sang had you back on your feet quick as a temple priest would have.
Uglart just treated him as a junior member of the crew: a cabin boy or deckhand to be shouted around like any other. It was other members of that mis-matched pack that forced him to become a decent sailor. Tomag’s mouth was likely involved as well. From one trip at sea he returned with dozens of thin scars on his bulging arms and chest. Damn if he couldn’t handle himself in a sword fight after that though.
It’s been a few years now since you’ve since Tomag. Those of you who used to run together still keep an eye out for each other in any town along the coast. Meeting up when you can to swap stories you know you can always ask around at a certain kind of tavern to get in touch. The Formidably Maid looks like just the place.