The Strange Tale of a Drunken Squirrel

THE BARD: "Come sit and make merry as I tell you the tale told to me by the strangest creature I have ever met or seen, I found him on the beach one day and for the fine cost of a flagon of wine this is the tale he did speak to me"
Many many moons ago there was a distant land of dreams woven in mists and shadow. In this land of dreams when life ended in this world the spirit unfulfilled would drift to the realm of dreams to find his or her home and final contentment before joining unto the stars, the joy of their immoral light emblazoned upon the skies for all the universe to see and share.
One day there was such a squirrel born, who falling from his tree in the world of the living met an untimely end, and waking in the realm of dreams dancing upon silver beams of moonlight and shadow was taken into the home of two young dragons.
It has been said that in elder days before Humans ever walked the earth there were Elves, and before Elves there were Dragons. But in time many of the Dragons out of fear of being hunted magically took human form, and breeding with humans created those of the Draconic lineage.
Azlynn and Adokul were two such children from two differing houses; Adokul a poor blacksmiths son, and Azlynn a noble huntress of the woods, neither of noble or royal birth. Yet for all their simplicity they held a beauty and a kindness not found among mortals in all the land. And so it was that upon Wintumbers eve (December 1st) that they found in the glade north of their town a moongate opened and a small child fell through. Not a human child but an infant squirrel, a child of the forest, whom Azlynn immediately decided to raise for her own. Not knowing what to name the strange gift the Gods had bestowed upon them the babe was taken to lady Adelle Theriott, a wise woman, and forest Goddess in disguise who was fated to be the young creature’s God mother unknowingly.
The maiden of the forest looked into the strange blue eyes of the squirrel reading into what is, and was, and all that could be as the tiny babe licked the end of her finger curiously. "This one has a name she murmured to herself… he is called Tra’Wyn… in the old tongue for in days to come he shall be a musician of the trees. So shall he leap in air on earth, and be tried through joy and bitterness and fire, but if he is faithful someday… someday he may find the home which he seeks…." And handing the babe back to the young couple she blessed his naming ceremony and vanished into the wood.
The young couple later that summer after many years of courtship found it only just that they should marry, and preparing to hand fast after the traditions of their forefathers they again went to the sacred glade. "But what of this squirrel?" Adokul asked his beloved, "Are we to adopt, how will he ever be as one of us?" "Oh dear but we must, for he has no others in all this world save us", Azlynn chimed as they sat in the forest. Coming forward to the wedding their hands were joined and their hearts and the blessed words were spoken over them… then upon moonrise that night again the Goddess appeared and she spoke to them.
"If as one you wish to be, joined in holy unity, man and beast as family one, give your name unto your son" And Adokul and Azlynn placing one hand each over the young squirrels heart swore upon him the name of Tra’Wyn Ap Don… as fire lept from their hands arching in a binding circle. As the moon rose in strength it seemed to grow and fill the glade with a soft blue silvery light changing the features of Azlynn and her husband… hers becoming a soft blue and his a deeper color. "What is happeneing", he cried looking toward the forest maiden, "what! my wife and I, please what…" "SILENCE MORTALS", the goddess commanded as the three dared not move… The squirrel’s eyes opened with a golden light in them as mother and father felt an etherial glow of warmth and acceptance surround them in the forest with a strange englightened gift of hearing and scent unlike anything they had ever felt before" "For your love of this little one the powers within you have been awakened", you are in your brithright of the blood Drakken from times before time recorded… forgotten, I restore unto you your kindred, but know this your child when he should come of age when first he shall find true love shall be forced upon him the choosing, whereupon as each of you has given and recieved the third part of their very memories, knowledge, and essence he now shall be 2 parts dragon and one part squirrel as you are both now one part squirrel and two parts dragon. When the change shall overtake him he must choose a drake to be, and forsake the squirrel within, or forever a beast of a strangeness unlike any the land has ever known." From this day forward the squirrel began to speak as though he were human… or perhaps something more…
As years went by the men came and began to hunt and slay the dragons, driving magic away from the homes of men and casting hatred upon all of their kind, making a once noble race into pets, mounts, or trophies to decorate ones hearth for the pride of the kill. Among dragons all are considered a form of kindred seperated only by color and power, so it was young Tra’Wyn met Fafnir the noble blue dragon of the midlands, but in time even Fafnir’s great knowledge could not save him from the destructive force of men. For after teaching Tra’Wyn the ways of singing, hunting, and even the secrets of men in the sailing of great ships even Fafnir was forced to flee the onslaught of men as he dissappeared into the frozen north.
That midsummer night the young squirrel found in a glade a fairy trapped in a jar made of human cruelty by a silver band upon the lid. Opening the band and asking only her company and friendship the fairy confessed all to her young rescuer. And taking upon her true form as a spirit-like air miss of legend the young squirrel began to ask more and more of who and what she was, for he had never seen such a sight.
Many many moons later discovering if he took a jar of the water from her sacred pool with him on board his ship he could indeed bring her with him great distances the two of them began to sail enchanted waters, and danced and played with dolphins in the secret pirate caves where the long dead once hid their treasures, and it was within that cave that they found it….
Some say an Air miss is a spirit, others a fairy, but one thing is sure, of all the pirates to live and die upon the sea it has been said that Davy Jones was the first and in hell gates shall be the last to furl his sail. And upon sailing to a distant coast there they found it… a ship green and fading, covered in undead barnacles docked at a tavern with loud bawdy music pouring fourth from stern to prow… a tavern made of his wrecked ship, and at the help of the ship a miraculous thing… a magical pub which can never run dry, manned by the father of all the spirits of the sea, Ghost Jones himself. Steeling hisself Tra knelt before him swearing by teeth claw and tail, and asked to marry Nixie the Air Miss. "Oh I sees no great problem with yer arrangement young bucko", Jones replied,"Fer iffen ye marry my daughter of many I have left at port it is the missus ye must convince, an being ye be pirate as I, Ahh has doubts she will give ye audience." So sailing again for many months with his beloved the young squirrel would sing tales and songs each night as she filling his ships small sails with wind carried him across the water faster then any mortal. And soon by mid-tumns golden harvest he saw it… the golden fields of Rhiannons domain, the land of light and beauty where the fair folk danced and played in the autumn mist forever framed in the fading light of evensong.
Bowing low to the queen of the fairfolk he was siezed viciously, the sloping purple and green eyes of the angry soldiers and the glares of the queen promised to him a swift yet agonizing death, yet strangely as he stood there the Queens gaze had no effect on him, and upon looking at her seeing through the glamor with his draconic true sight he beheld a kindly old woman. Gracefully moving past and over her servants (as only a squirrel can do) he poured her tea and begged the hand of her daughter? When the Queen mother of the fey gave consent to the union after hearing her daughters request to give up her immortality and become a simple squirrel, the Queen called fourth the winds to clothe her in fur, finishing as the sun rose upon the last day of autumn’s harvest, and so seeing her for the first time clothed in sunlight, so named her AY’RA (beauty of the sun).
For many many moons Tra was a happy young squirrel, dancing and singing in Ulsterian tavern Ay’ra and him purchased with the small chest of overflowing magical gold her father had given them as a wedding gift. And having made a fortune smuggling between the human and goblin nations Tra felt quite sure he was ready to raise a family when he took her to wife. But on their wedding night she was taken away from him by sea witches, who carrying her deep out into the storm she was forever lost and he beheld her no more.
Swearing he could find her as body and mind left him, Tra hired a band of undead pirates, who sailed with him past the gates to hellgate and back until as he stood before the portal flowing across the endless deeps down to the very pit of Yggdrasil he swore he would find her or not return in the flesh… and drowned, wrecking his beloved boat in the deeps of the sea. As blue became black and black faded into nothingness many months went by, his corpse lying bloated on the beach… but by his accursed luck it was not yet his time to die for before him clad in the black of death’s robes himself stood Ratatosk, God of all Squirrels, who taking a sacred acorn from the great Eagle above, gave a piece to Tra to eat restoring his life in full and bid him choose to walk a path… from Dragon to the deep, or Squirrel to forever torment heaven and hell. Feeling a life debt to Ratatosk Tra chose the latter,and though still able to breath fire at times, he became a mature young dragon squirrel at winters solstice.
Then the Gods of the land had a terrible battle, mortal queens were slain and many old Gods left the land as many new were raised into the pantheon… As the magic left the land fewer and fewer animals and fey were seen, and more humans walked upon the new land, it shrunk! As the heart of the land began to fade into the mists the land itself began to shrink and Tra was forced to rapidly take all that he posessed and pack it into his ship as he began to fearlessly sail the hellgates of oblivion into a new land untainted yet by the souls of mortals.
Crashing on the beach he found the wreckage of many other survivors, his beloved uncles Gwydion and Gwyr, his favorite Aunt Bloodwed, and cousins Mave, Sereona, and others…. realizing he was not alone Tra embraced his family and quickly set to work to help them build a home and a library to preserve the history of their family and time honored name, a name not of nobility of men but of heart. And it was for many many years that Tra lived there in peace and happiness, mastering the art of weaponsmastery and bardic lore, until one day….
A storm of demonic perportions came in the night… ripping bodies from their houses carrying them high up into the air… not able to cling to mast or sail as the bodies began being torn from their homes leaving the land slowly empying Tra once again found himself flying through the maelstorm, the mark of Ratatosk’s paw print glowing on his chest, an ever present reminder of the curse of immortality, and raising his pirate tankard to damn the skies before him he swore into the wind "If to hell gates I go… then to hell gates I go, but not on an empty gullet" and with his last breath of memory he downed the keg of Etherian Fey Wine… as he blacked out… for many moons… to find himself once again… cast through the moongates upon a strange beach, in a land completely unknown to him… forever seeking his beloved Ap Don family and a home he could call his own.
THE BARD: "Now if you happen to find this strange creature this one thing I would ask, as you have heard the tale, if his family you do find, help him to find his way home… for in this land there is no thing that we so value as home and those whom to whom we return to… good journey to ye all, and may fortune always be at yer back and in me pockets!"

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