The Gathering Storm
Teliu "Skimmer" Partisdotter
Giant-raised halfling wizard, born of the clouds.
Teliu “Skimmer” Partisdotter is perhaps the only halfling of this age who can claim to come from Cloudhome, the mighty stronghold of storm and fire giants. Shortly after Teliu was born (or so is reckoned), he was discovered floating in a small cloudbreak near Griffin’s Reach by a pair of storm giants (Lyro & Kya Partisdotter), swaddled in slightly singed fine leather. The couple, who had been considering having a child, saw Teliu’s arrival as a divine sign and immediately took the halfling child in as their own.
With the exception of Audhilde (a shy magically-inclined storm giant who would become Teliu’s best friend), most of the giants in Griffin’s Reach thought of Teliu more as a tiny Partisdotter pet rather than the son. This persisted until the halfling was in his adolescence, when the raids by cloudbreak pirates, now mysteriously joined by winged agents of The Three, started becoming a serious problem.
One midnight raid in particular caught Griffin’s Reach almost completely by surprise, but as it so happened, Teliu was out for a stroll and saw the advancing wave just in time. The halfling raised the alarm, the giants were too slowly coming out of their reverie to organize. Fortunately by this time, Teliu’s magical training had begun, and while folk were clamoring in confusion, he chanted cantrips of moving light that detailed the enemy formation, allowing the town captains to muster a makeshift strategy. As the first wave struck, Teliu was sent to gather reinforcements, and no giant in the Reach would soon forget the image of Teliu’s tiny speeding form skipping from cloud to cloud, leaving bursts of explanatory dancing lights in his wake. Like a stone skimming the water, they said, and the name “Skimmer” took.
Unfortunately for Griffin’s Reach, one of the most outlying Cloudhome settlements, the attacks grew bolder over the next few years. The Great Gold Wyrm was even rumored to have lent some of its power to stave off The Three’s encroachment on the area, but one furious seige waged with horrendous streams of magic and breath weapons ended up splitting the cloud foundation and created more than a dozen cloudbreaks that scattered in different directions at tremendous speed. Teliu had been kept from the fighting, and once again found himself on a cloudbreak, alone.
As the cloudbreak began to fade, it eventually descended near the Queen’s Wood, halfway across the continent. Teliu, who had no idea where he was, found himself in the company of elves. They were quite eager to know what a sole adolescent halfling was doing there, and Toristhain the Sage soon took a deep interest in the halfling’s curious upbringing, bringing Teliu to the moving Elven Court. Audhilde had always told him about the majesty of the Elf Queen, and how it was her grandest wish to be able to study and learn from her, and so Teliu jumped at the opportunity. The Elven Queen herself granted him a brief audience and said with unnatural conviction in front of the entire assembly: “This is the place for you now.”
Teliu would soon disagree, as the intrigues of the Elven Court were far more subtle and conniving than the relatively direct and blunt giant society that he had always known. While he admired Toristhain and loved his studies, and was still in reverential awe of the Queen, Teliu found himself constantly putting his foot in his mouth. One elven noble in particular took great pains to belittle the halfling at every opportunity, though Toristhain let Teliu know that the halfling was merely a way for Jolum to demean Toristhain without doing so directly. Finally, after a cruel prank involving a young elven maiden and a rabid badger, Teliu decided to leave the Elven Court. Since their cryptic first encounter, Teliu always thought that the Queen had more to say to him, but would not be able to get another audience with the Queen before he departed.
After a heartfelt farewell with Toristhain, Teliu left to roam the land, vaguely aiming towards Cloudhome and hoping that he would happen on the cloudbreak that took his parents and Audhilde from him.