Garran is a quick witted and kind hearted halfling. Though barely more than three feet tall, he is often the first to run into battle. He is quick to tell anyone who will listen the role he plays in the victories of the party.
Garran grew up listening to the tales of adventurous halflings who would trick and swindle the larger, stupider races out of gold, jewels, and amazing trinkets. The halflings were always quick witted, sure-footed, and full of mischief. The tales were countless and varied; and they all came from his friends telling their families history. Garran had seen many friends come and go as he grew up. It was the halfling way after all, at least for most halflings. They went where their interest and opportunity led them. Garran had heard of entire communities of halflings moving together to meet new challenges when they were bored or saw an opportunity to line their pockets with a bit more gold. Garran generally avoided telling his family’s story. He had become quite adept at putting off the telling of his family’s history just long enough that his new friends had already left before they heard the meager beginnings of the Mucksweep’s. Garran had listened to some family histories that took days to unfold. With unlikely heroes, horrible mishaps, amazing creatures, and even the occasional sadness mixed in. He had heard of great collections of coins from every land, scales from all the different dragons imaginable, ornate daggers from royal families, and hundreds of other unbelievable treasures. His family’s story rarely took more time to tell than it took to stoke a good fire. His great-great-great grandfather had come to Rieonne. Here, his family stayed. Never seeking fortune. Never seeking fame. Simply existing. The family business had been the same in all of those years; cleaning the sewers of the city. Garran was told once that his family name had been Goldgather. That in a time forgotten almost by all of his kind, his family sought out adventure and fame. They would either be loved or hated by a town depending on if they got their gold by some heroic act or by some cunning deception. They lived by their own whim. Only a faint whisper of the old family name could be heard in some of the other tales. For the past several hundred years, his family was known as Mucksweep. Garran was embarrassed by all of his family. Luckily, the members of his family didn’t seem to live as long as some of his kind. He heard that it was not uncommon for halflings to live well over two hundred years. To the best he could figure, no member of his family had lived much beyond their 40th birthday. It was hard to tell. Unlike most family histories, the deaths of his family were all said to have been in the line of work… that they had delved into the darkness of the sewers and given their life for the work. Everything about his family screamed of the mundane… even his father’s collection. His father didn’t collect coins, scales, or even jewels. His father had the largest known collection of pipe fittings. It had been passed down from generation to generation, with the occasional new piece being added as pipe fitting technology progressed. There were fittings of almost every shape and worthless metal in existence. It was to be Garran’s collection when his father left this world. Little did his father know that Garren already had his own collection. He had a collection of books about the craft he secretly adored; thievery. He spent hours fiddling with locks, learning various feats of agility, and studying people of all races to learn their intentions more than their words wanted to reveal. He kept his collection in a small compartment beneath his bed. He collected them for knowledge, but he also collected them for their look and feel. The ones with leather covers, he would take out and apply a hint of oil to keep the rich color of the bindings. He loved the way they looked and smelled. His father could keep the pipe fittings; he could take them to his grave for all Garran cared. Garran would never give up his collection of books.
Garran thought of running away many times. He felt that he didn’t belong in this world created for him so long ago. He somehow could never get the nerve to leave. It wasn’t terrible for him. He was always cared for. Despite his humiliation at being a Mucksweep, his name had been long standing; and he was the only one who would be able to carry it on. He thought to himself how his family’s true history would reborn in his actions. He needed to be a Mucksweep. He needed to have humble beginnings… all of the best histories did.
Garran lived his life the way he was supposed to on the surface and when the eyes of his family were on him. At night, his small frame and studious nature led him down the secret path of the rogue. He listened and followed his father down into the sewers by day, so that he could know the city from beneath, as well as above. He planned many thrilling capers in his mind as his father would prattle on about how important the Mucksweep name was. He would be thinking of new ways to confound others with small devices that would enable him the slightest opportunity to explore what they had in their pocket as his father lectured on how to repair a leak without the benefit of draining an area dry. This all changed on the day of his 20th birthday.
When a halfling turned 20, it was customary to now view him as an adult. In his family, it would mean that on this day he would be given the key to the pipe-fitting collection, and given his own section of the sewers to start maintaining until his father was no longer able, and Garran would scour the entire underside of the city. It was Garran’s intention to tell his family that he would embark on the beginning of his personal quest to add some life to their history.
He went over his speech in his head all morning, but couldn’t find the words when his father called him proudly to the table in the morning. His father began another one of his elaborate, droning speeches about the honor of the family and the duty that had been theirs alone for so long. He spoke with pride of the very things that Garran had secrectly reviled and mocked. Garran sat and watched his father speak so fondly of the sewers and of his son. Garran’s studies into reading the hidden language behind people’s body language, timbre of the voice, and the motion of the eyes let him know how deeply and sincerely his father meant the things he said, and he began to feel a pang of guilt for wanting to leave. Garran was not able to tell his father that he would break the mold of the Mucksweeps when his father pulled the tiny ornate key from the silver thread around his neck. He lost his words in the glitter of a key so plain, whose sole purpose it was to guard a collection no one would ever think of stealing. He watched his father’s eyes well with emotion, as he slipped the key over Garran’s head. Garran was not able to let his father know of his grand plans to adventure around the world as his father carefully mapped out the section of sewers that was to be Garran’s. Garren gave in at the sight of the ever spreading grin of his father as he put so much thought and good spirit into picking just the right area for Garran to care for.
Garran started to make a new plan of when to leave the town of Reone as he went about his duties in his newly appointed part of the sewer. He thought, perhaps, it would be better to spend a few more years training himself in his true path and collecting even more books on his desired trade. The sewers would be an opportune place to practice his rogue craft. No one would be around to see him skulking in shadows. He could even work on building his traps and devices by making things to take care of the ever increasing rodent problem. Yes, he thought to himself. It isn’t that he will never start on his path, just that he is needed yet in his role of Mucksweep. It also did not escape him how in his family history, it would now seem that the pattern continued; and how it would increase the drama of when he did begin adventuring. Just as he was starting to think of all the best adjectives to describe the dank, foul-smelling sewers for his family history; he heard an eerily familiar sound. It sounded like his father walking down the tunnel to check on Garran’s progress. Something was wrong, however. There was no whistling. In the 20 years Garran had been around his father, the only time that he hadn’t heard his father whistling was when he was talking or sleeping. Garren listened to how the footsteps fell… they were slow and steady, with the slight echo from his father’s uneven gait. It was definitely his father walking… but something about the silence with which he walked sent a shudder up Garran’s spine. Garran immediately threw himself into the shadows and concealed himself like only one who had been dreaming of moving like a shadow could; aided greatly by his size and his familiarity with the sewers themselves.
What Garran saw chilled him to the bone. His father was walking down the tunnel carrying the limp form of Garran’s mother. She wasn’t breathing and a willowy crimson stream dripped from her lifeless hanging hands. Garran was about to scream and lunge at his father, when he noticed the tears rolling down his father’s face and how his eyes were milky and cloudy. His father walked within a few feet of Garran. As his father passed, he saw how it looked like every muscle in his father’s body was tense and seemed to be fighting his movements. His father couldn’t fight whatever force was controlling him, but there wasn’t a single part of him that wasn’t trying to resist. Again, Garran was about to move from the shadows and find some way, any way to help his father when he saw the horde following behind. If Garran hadn’t been studying how to see and feel movement all around him, he might have missed the near silent movements of the creatures, if you could call them creatures. In truth, they were abominations. Seemingly stitched together from various creatures and given unnatural locomotion, the horde follwed Garran’s father with fiendish relish. Garran had no weapons and he was terrified. How could such creatures of these be living beneath the town he found so boring and plain? Garran watched as his father kneeled down before the very pool that Garran was supposed to have been cleaning. Garran’s father’s eyes streamed with tears as his body bent the body of his beloved wife’s corpse over the filthy water. The water began to froth and move as revolting creatures, with the heads of human babies and vast claw like appendages began to spring from the water, trying to grab a hold of the limp form of Garran’s mother. Garran was first gripped with loathing, and then slowly his loathing was replaced by horrified pride as the form of his mother went from dangling over the open, fang filled mouths of the fish babies to being cradled tightly by his father. Garran could almost feel the constant invisible urges that were commanding his father to drop the body into the pool. His father’s face turned purple with strain as he refused to do as he was commanded. His father’s mouth began to move. Whatever force was trying to compel him to drop the lifeless form into the waiting maws of the fish babies was also trying to prevent him from speaking. Garran watched as his father choked back whatever evil was in control of him and yelled, “RUN!’, in the halfling language. Garran knew that his father was scared that these abominations would find his only son and torment them. As Garren heard his father’s voice echo throughout the entire sewer, he saw the force controlling him make one final push. A push so devastating that Garran could hear the sickening crack of his father’s back as it was broken. The broken form of his father, still clinging tightly to his wife’s body, slowly tipped into the frothing pool. Garran could only turn his head as fountains of noisome crimson water erupted from the fish baby feeding fenzy.
Garran waited until the tunnels were clear. He stayed to the shadow and fled to his former home. He collected his books, a few scraps to eat, and a few coins his family had been saving and left Reione forever. He clutched the key his father had given him and made a solemn vow to his parents to not let such evil spoil the fruits of a boring, happy life for anyone ever again. He fled the city wondering how long the evil had been growing in the city and how many Mucksweeps had been robbed of a halfling’s long life along the way.