I’ve been a big fan of pen and paper role-playing games for a long time, so when my friend decided to gather a party of intrepid Dungeons and Dragonists I was in immediately. From the D&D 3.5 Player’s Handbook and some dice rolls, Two-Score TenPence, the gnomish bard was born.
When our new DM asked each player for a little background information, rather than describe the character of Two-Score, I decided to have him tell his own story.
The Tale of Two-Score+TenPence
Interview with a Narcissist
Aye, I’m Two-Score+TenPence, and I’m glad you enjoyed my rapturous performance. I’m going to be performing nearby throughout the coming fortnight. Ha! You knew that already though, I saw you at the Staggering Lord last eve’, and at the Deflowering Unicorn the night before. I’m always willing to spend some time getting to know the local, (cough) music aficionados. The band is going to be busy for a while packing their things up, and I have a room above the stable…
Ah, of course, you wanted to hear the tale of my adventures and exploits, as they really happened. Not that the songs are an exaggeration, you see, it’s just that sometimes an artist has to change things to work lyrically or thematically or grammatically. It’s all very complex. It takes years to learn and decades to master. Fortunately for you, I’ve been doing this for longer than you’ve been alive. Aye, the war interrupted things for a while, what with the burning fields and roaming armies, but people always need music. And I did my service for the Realm. I even have the scars to prove it. This one on my chest is from an arrow that pierced my armor, and if I lower my hose, I can show you the one on my…
Oh, my family? Well my father you might have written about before: Doctor of Divine Rights and Enchantments Alpo Drizzle, at the Royal Arcane College of Galderia. He’s more uptight that an unpaid whore’s, urh, purse. But, he does have some useful connections if you were ever interested in petitioning to become a royal scribe or somesuch. It could be a very lucrative and secure position for someone with such talents as yours. My mother? Tragically she died during childbirth and I never knew her. I am told she was a wonderful woman, profoundly in touch with nature. Perhaps she is where my incredible good looks come from?
I didn’t become as renowned as I surely am on my looks alone, though. No, It is the subtle beauty of my slide-horn and the lyrical perfection of my voice that have raised coin and skirts from the Southern Sea to the icy halls of Svalberg. It seems that the one thing all people from gnomes to orcs enjoy is a perfect performance.
And so many have demanded that perfection from me! I remember playing with Druids of Stonehenge at the Beer and Loathing in Galderia; at Dick’s Halfway Inn, I accompanied Meat and his Two Veg for nearly a month before leaving to assist the writing of an epic ballad composed by the members of Panic! At the Public House, to be performed at My Father’s Moustache. Then I participated in a roast for A Fillet of Soul at The Women and Seamen, and I will tell you, those do not mix well. After that I travelled for a year with Frodo Baggins and his Rings. He was quite a depressing character that Frodo, but he always followed through, and those Rings, well, let me tell you those women had some oral talents. When that particular fellowship split up, I travelled with the Great Balls of Fire from The Tequila Mockingbird in Southam to the Maiden’s Head in Double Peaks, where I met Bugs Bunny and his Tasmanian Devils. I was a devil for almost two years before striking out on my own again under the banner of Druid Bowie at the Dire Diamond Dog’s Cafe. That was just before the war. When that place burned down from unfriendly mage fire, I travelled west to the Unsheathed Sword, acting as a manager for The Sound of One Hand. When they decided, on the other hand, that they wanted a different manager, I concluded that devastation wasn’t helping my career and travelled across the Turbulent Sea to perform with some of my expatriates as The Strangers in a Strange Land. We regularly performed at the Row-Boat Tie-Line. When things became somewhat complicated there, I travelled back here to good old Galderia aboard the Pink Elephant and enlisted, or was I volunteered, in the army. My music held my unit together. One of the many lettered auxiliaries. We were the G-Unit, none could stand before us. Except those who could, and, because of them, I was the lone survivor.
Those were dark days. The war was still raging. Everywhere I went destruction reigned. It was then that I first heard it. The music that has haunted my dreams ever since. All I can remember is a few notes, but even that changed my life. The singer was neither bard nor mage, but some impossible combination of the two; a singing sorceror from whom sprang some primal song. The force with which those notes struck burned them into my memory, but their very arcane nature makes them illusive for a mortal, even one such as I, to retain. The destruction was terrible. Buildings shaken to their very foundations. Stone crumbled before their auditory assault. Those terrible tones will forever ring in my ears.
What? Oh, no I was simply waiting for your next question. That distant stare was your prompt to continue. As professionals, both, we know when a question has been answered.
More recently I played for the Technicolour Dragons at that quaint inn outside the city gates. Quite a crowd for that one. We opened for Street Fighter Seven, a collection of local urban musicians. After that I performed at the Harvest Festival, playing just after the Pink Elephants, the Indigo Banana, the Orange Moose, the Polka-Dot Panthers and the Seven Deadly Singers. Maybe there was some sort of theme; I showed up late. Either way, everything went magnificently, as usual. I met a lady fan after my performance, and she was very curious about seeing my studio (at the time located within a nearby barn). While she feigned the manner of one unimpressed, I could tell her awe (and perhaps the drink) had overcome her. Needless to say I can say no more than a wink and a nudge.
I’m sorry, the ministry of what? I feel like you haven’t been completely honest with me, I thought you were writing for the local herald. I try not to get too tied up in government business, so I’ll beg my leave of you. Uh, are these gentlemen with you? No need to get so handsy, friends, we were just having a friendly conversation. Of course I didn’t know she was married to that old, dirty Baron, how could I know that?. You can’t put me in a cell, love has to be free! You giant platemail ogres, I did nothing wrong! Everyone, please, make sure you are here tomorrow night for another magical performance by Two-Score+TenPence! Disregard these armed hooligans, they clearly have the wrong gnome! Goodnight!
There’ll be more of these as the we actually start to play the game. Two-Score is sure to have some hot takes on whatever we encounter.