Male elven bard played by Scott Elliott
Alyce Dupook is an elf, which already makes him a minority in York. But even rarer than a typical elf is one like Alyce, who prefers the boisterous, carefree company of humans to his own people’s quiet, serious culture. When Alyce came of age he decided he wanted to become a bard, but only if he could study at the human bard college in Dorsang. His family refused to pay humans to teach an elf about the arts, so Alyce did the unthinkable: he set out for York, the local human capital, to submit himself to the duke and request a scholarship to bard school.
Impressed with Alyce’s audacity, Duke Elliott of York agreed to sponsor his study if Alyce would swear to serve him for the rest of the duke’s life—a short span from an elf’s perspective. Alyce agreed, and after graduation he gladly returned to the excitement and luxury of life in the duke’s court. Officially he is the duke’s chronicler, but this job leaves him plenty of time to pursue his other interests: poetry, revelry, and love.
Alyce’s long, golden hair and dazzling smile make him a favorite among both women and men at Duke Elliott’s court—Alyce isn’t picky about gender. Right now he has two favorites: Thessa Warden, Duchess Evaine’s battlemaiden, and Lord Elliott, the duke’s oldest son and heir. While Alyce is happy to play at love with both of them, his own heart belongs to another: Lady Lily Blackfield of Gaunt.
Alyce met Lily when they were both students at bard college, and her glorious singing voice captivated him instantly. They fell in love and had a passionate affair until Lily regretfully ended their relationship, insisting that as a noblewoman she must save herself for a more advantageous marriage. Alyce let her make her choice, but he still hopes that one day they will meet again and he will change her mind. He is convinced that anyone with a voice like Lily’s must have the Song of Creation written into her spirit, and that if only she could sing with the High Elves she would cease aging and they could be together forever.
Background Handout for Alyce, 12-11-12 Session
History Alyce Knows
About 80 years ago, Baron Henry “the Wolf” Swartout ruled the humans in York, which at the time was a barony consisting of the city of York and some territory southwest of the Abernyth River. The Aelfwald covered all the land from where it is now to a few miles east of the city of York, and the elves claimed it all as under their protection.
When the humans built a couple of small settlements near the edge of the Aelfwald, a few of the more anti-human folk grumbled, but most of the elves didn’t take it seriously. Then Baron Wolf built two fortified castles at Dungarth and Battergate, and tensions began to rise.
Sure enough, as soon as the castles were finished, Baron Wolf began a campaign to expand his territory eastward by clearing the forest. The elves considered that a declaration of war and fought back, hoping to burn down all the new castles and settlements and drive the humans back to the city of York. But Baron Wolf allied with a young black dragon named Melcheron, and between Melcheron’s power and the humans’ greater numbers, the elves were slowly pushed back to the Greycloak Mountains. All the forest they lost was soon chopped down and turned to farmland, and the humans built more settlements and a new fortified city at Stonebury.
Then the humans got even greedier and tried to push into the mountains, territory unfamiliar to them. The elven forces capitalized on their advantage, finally killing Baron Wolf at the Battle of Greenmount. High Councilor Velen Aelfwald sent the baron’s head back to Dungarth.
Baron Wolf was succeeded by his son Baron Elliott I, who realized that fighting the elves any further was a lost cause. He came himself to invite High Councilor Velen to peace talks, flying a banner with a golden lion crest instead of his father’s black wolf as a sign of his good faith. In the Treaty of Dungarth, Baron Elliott offered to leave the remaining forestland to the elves in return for the elves allowing him to keep the lands his father had already taken. Velen also insisted that Baron Elliott break the alliance with Melcheron, which he did. Some say Velen should not have signed a treaty giving up so much land, but others say he did well to stop the war before the elven army became too depleted to hold even its current lands.
Elves Alyce Knows
In the decade or so before he left the Aelfwald, Alyce carried on a highly flirtatious romance with a very handsome elven warrior named Geren Pelaric. Geren was already seeing a girl named Kyvella Orion, but Kyvella was a bit of a self-righteous bitch with a bad temper, so Alyce didn’t mind tweaking her with his attentions to Geren. (Truth be told, Alyce enjoyed tweaking Kyvella rather more than he enjoyed dallying with Geren, who, though gorgeous and an excellent kisser, was too ambitious and military-minded for Alyce’s taste.) Geren didn’t understand why Alyce wanted to leave the Aelfwald and was very sad to lose him, but Alyce has no doubts that he found plenty of solace in Kyvella’s open arms.
Alyce also remembers a couple of acquaintances from his younger days. One was a good-natured guy named Nikanor Something-Or-Other who used to go drinking with him sometimes, and after they were good and drunk they’d either pick up girls or play pranks. The other was a pretty girl named Eleni or Elana or something like that, with lush curves where most other girls had less to work with. Alyce used to flirt with her a lot, and he thinks he might have slept with her once but he can’t remember for sure anymore.