A Game of Gods
Arnur 'Silvertongue' Chadovar
Chief Cleric of the Church of Mask. 'Legitimate Business Man'
Arnur’s earliest memories are as an urchin on the streets of Westgate on the Dragon coast. He grew up in the sinks and slums of the docks of the city, learning the thieves cant as his mother tongue and being pressed into one of the gangs that worked the docks. As he grew older, Arnur itched for independence from the oppressive reign of the Night Masks over the underworld of Westgate. He began to look for an edge over his bosses, and in the lowest of the dockfront inns, he began to hear whispered among the visiting Pirates of the Sea of Fallen Stars the name and teachings of Mask.
At 13, Arnur Chadovar killed the leader of his gang, a Cyricite by the name of Belros. Taking the guild’s weekly profits, Arnur stowed away on the first ship out of Westgate. Arriving on the Pirate Isle, Arnur found a priest of Mask willing to take him as apprentice, and spent the next six years working the Sea of Falling Stars, preying on Cormyran ships and learning the ways of Mask. Finally his ship, the Wavewhisperer, was attacked and boarded by the Cormyran navy. The crew were taken back to Marsember and sentenced to death.
Alone in his cell with a night left to live, Arnur slept fitfully, and dreamed. Surrounded by darkness, he saw in the distance a single light and moved towards it. Around him in the shadows, whispering voices taunted, barely on the edge of hearing.
The light was a black candle, sitting on a wooden table. On the table, next to the candle was a sword. As Arnur watched, the wax from the candle dripped onto the sword, but did not solidify, instead running over and along the blade like blood. Arnur reached to touch the sword, and beneath his fingers he felt the slick metal shatter.
Arnur winced, taking a long splinter of metal from the palm of his hand. As he looked at it, the darkness grew to surround him, and embrace him, and the candle guttered and died. The whispers coalesced into a voice like watered silk, at once as quiet as the grave and as loud as a storm at sea spoke to him in words he could not understand, but knew to be a command.
He woke in his cell, clutching in his hand a long piece of steel. Arnur went to work on the door, and before long it was open. He slipped out of the jail, gliding along more silently than he ever had before.
Arnur had a mission from his God, but he did not yet know what it was. He only knew that now he had the desire to travel. And so he did, wandering through Cormyr, the Dragon Coast and Turmish. Posing as priests of various orders, he wasa ble to travel openly. When he found a likely candidate, he would quietly preach and teach the ways of Mask, helping the church build up its presence in the cities of the area. Occasionally he would find that he was not the only one to be doing this. There were others like him, driven to spread the word of Mask amongst the outcast of society, those who lived in the shadows on the edges of civilisation who had once belonged to him.
And so it was he found himself in Alaghon, in the land of Turmish, posing as a priest of Umberlee. There in an inn he found himself drinking with a roguish Turmishian who he dismissed as an arrogant fop until around them a barfight started. By the end, Arnur knew this man, who introduced himself as Cade, to be an arrogant fop who was nevertheless extremely capable of handling himself in a fight, and more than that extremely lucky. But in the inn, one man lay dead, and Arnur found himself offered a choice; the noose, or the mercenary company known as the irregulars under the command of Agon Bonecutter.
The deeds of the crew who would come to be known as The Crimson Canaries are the stuff of legend. Yet for all that, in the songs of the bards, Arnur is not as often mentioned as other members of the crew. Instead, in each song, Arnur lurked behind them in the shadows, and grew wealthy and powerful.
Now across the realms, guards and princes curse the rising tide of crime. In many towns and cities, the shadows of the backstreets and the hours of darkness no longer belong to law-abiding folk. Churches of Mask have grown in size across the realms. Arnur Silvertongue is a creature of rumour, a lurking spider in a web whose strands the most curious and persistent investigators are occasionally lucky enough to see.