Jon Wood

storyteller, scribe, and parlor magician

Description:

Personality and Appearance

Jon smiles a lot. He is the kind of person you want to know, whose approval a person finds himself seeking, who it’d be nice to impress. He is friendly, but sometimes drifts off into thought. It’s clear that he’s well-educated, but without being a know-it-all. He seems genuinely helpful, and is inclined to listen to the stories of others, sometime with rapt attention, even if he’s heard them before or knows they’re trying to play him false. His clothing fits him well (though he makes no particular effort to ensure this) and seems well-maintained and oddly stylish, given its humble composition.

Combat stats

19 hp, AC 14 (leather) / AC 16 (mage armor), +5 bow (1d6), +5 dagger (1d6)

Jon will tend to cast Harmony on himself and use ‘inspire courage’ as early as possible (+4 to hit, +2 damage to all allies who can hear him). If surprised, he will use mage armor next. (If not surprised, he will already have cast mage armor. Following that, he will use his bow from cover.

Bio:

aliases: Jon Taneloren

Motivations

As a young child, Jon loved hearing the stories Pawpaw and Dad would tell about the world, the gods, the battles of old. His father was a well-read man (though of unremarkable social standing) and instilled in him a love of books, teaching him to read at an early age. This proclivity has remained with him through his life—books and the pursuit of learning remaining his primary focus. It is the knowledge on the edge of understanding, however, that calls to him the most strongly. Legend, mystic secrets, magic, and the forgotten occupy more of his mind than they should, and sometimes lead him in ‘adventuresome’ directions. He retains his sense of right and wrong, even though his current affiliation with unsavory types causes him grief.

Childhood

Jon Wood was born in 1354. Jon Wood is 17 years old.

In 1356, Jon’s father Donas was killed during Lashan’s attempt to conquer the Dalelands—he was an executive officer in the army (so Jon believes). His mother Gwennyth (Gwen) never really recovered, and shortly thereafter returned to her family’s farm with his newly-born younger sister “Maggie”. They lived (and Gwen continues to live) with Gwen’s mother, father (Pawpaw), and harridan spinster sister Gowan.

Given Gowan’s personality and the growing distance between he and his mother, Jon ‘ran away’ to Scardale Town at age 11. He spent his time reading, listening to storytellers, scratching around for work, and sometimes being something of a delinquent. In this fashion, he fell in with [big brother]. He began calling himself Jon Wood, a bastard’s name, in order to keep his family from incurring any fallout from his odd activities.

Reunion

Just before [the disaster], Jon made a request of his ‘benefactor’—that his sister be extracted along with him and the rest of his adoptive younger siblings. This created for Jon a sense of debt toward [big brother] that he finds hard to shake.

The Moonshaes

When he and Maggie were whisked away with his friends and compatriots during [the disaster], he was distraught. Shortly after, and with Maggie’s patient support, he began to see this as an opportunity to learn and grow beyond his service as the Cipher. He apprenticed to a jeweler for a two years, using the meager money he earned to support himself and his sister, and to pay for her training in magic. In exchange, Maggie shared what she was learning with him at every opportunity. With the leftover money, he began cultivating a small library.

With his scant free time, he sought out scops and essayists and learned their stories and thinking, and educating himself as much as possible.

At the end of his jeweler’s apprenticeship, rather than entering the business for himself (and either competing with his master, Ailien Silversmith or moving away), he began a second apprenticeship. His second master was Twm Tappen, a scribe, illuminator, and calligrapher. Given Jon’s memory and steady penmanship, Twm was generous with writing materials, enabling Jon Wood (as Jon Taneloren) to write a series of essays on the conflict between Tristan Kendrick and Rolf Olafson (1345-1347), focusing on the appearance and influence of Thelgaar Ironhand. When finished, he rewrites these into a detailed history. This is his first publication, yielding a little recognition among scholars of Moonshae’s history.

During this time, he is also doing his best to maintain a separation of his lives, one as provider for his sister, one as studious apprentice, and one working for his benefactor—this last is a role he doesn’t relish, but he acknowledges that he owes his benefactor a debt and is repaying it through service. His straight life and publications serve as an effective cover.

Seven years after arriving on the Isles, Jon finishes his apprenticeship with Tym Tappen, around the same time his sister finishes her basic studies in magic. A journeyman as both scribe and jeweler, he decides to continue writing, researching and storytelling, working with Tym as needed to keep the finances afloat. To celebrate his new(ish) life and freedom, as well as Maggie’s completion of her training, he and Maggie make a pilgrimage to the ruins of the MacFuirmidh bardic college, camping among its overgrown pathways and within its ruined walls.

Dorienne and Candlekeep

After a week among the broken stones, they meet a middle-aged woman called Dorienne Elvenhair, who was visiting MacFuirmidh on a similar pilgrimage. They spend a few days in each other’s company—she, like Jon, is a storyteller. Like Maggie (and Jon, to a lesser degree) is a practitioner of magic. In something of a spontaneous gesture, she offers to take both of them on as her students, provided they are willing to make the journey to Candlekeep.

Maggie immediately agrees, entering as her apprentice. Jon made the initial trip and accepted, with the understanding that he has other responsibilities that will carry him between Candlekeep and Caer Callidyrr periodically. Initially, he makes these journeys by ship, paying for passage with his sailing skills. As he increases in skill, he begins to make use of a fey crossroad between nearby locations.

As of Shieldmeet 1372, Jon is maintaining his residence in both places.

Maggie Wood

Maggie is smarter than Jon, and it’s not close. He can fool anyone but her. His love of books, legends, and magic rubbed off on her quite a bit, as did something of his Aunt Gowan’s independence. Thankfully, the more sour aspects of Gowan’s personality didn’t stick, and Maggie is a studious, patient, gentle woman—disinclined to adventure.

She is currently apprenticed to Dorienne Elvenhair at Candlekeep. She grows in power as a wizard and (Jon feels) is destined for great things. She doesn’t have the heart to tell Jon that she no longer requires his money for her tuition and lodging, so she keeps his contributions in a little box next to his journals.

Jon Wood

The Three Brothers tbjers bvandg