Brianna Sollandry was born in the city of Skuld in Mulhorand on the continent of Faerûn on the planet Toril. Brianna's mother was a beautiful human woman, a slave in the home of a priest of Set. She never told Brianna who her father was, saying simply that she wanted to forget that whole incident, but whoever it was must have been an outsider, as Brianna is a tiefling - the "plane touched" race of those who reckon evil outsiders - planar creatures - in their ancestry: fiends mostly, but even occasionally deities.
Brianna is a beautiful woman, but is exotic in ways that many find disturbing. She is thin, with a long face, deep purple eyes, and long curly black hair extending down her back. Her fingers are unusually long and dextrous. Disturbingly, her canine teeth are abnormally long and sharp - dainty fangs, almost. One does not immediately notice this, as she's learned to conceal this feature when she talks and smiles, but an observant person might catch a glimpse when she sings or laughs. However, her voice is so melodious that the listener gets over the shock quickly.
As the daughter of a slave, Brianna was destined herself to be a temple slave. With her striking appearance and graceful body, she was trained as a dancer and entertained the ranking clergy and powerful lay worshipers of Set. She hated the boorish men and their lewd ogling, bawdy comments, and impertinent groping, but, as a slave, bided her time and made plans. Finally her opportunity came when her master included her in his retinue on a journey. After arriving at a distant city, that evening her master's son sent for her to come service his desires. Brianna managed to slip a small packet of poison into his wine glass and made her escape through the window when he slumped to the table. She lost herself in the thieves quarter of the city and successfully evaded the subsequent search.
For the next couple of years, she made her life as a rogue in the city's underworld. But when the elf bard, Silvestra Lanarian, came through the city and happened to stop in at a seedy tavern, Brianna saw her perform, and was enthralled. She approached Silvestra and convinced the older woman to bring her along as her apprentice when she left Mulhorand.
As the pair roved over Faerûn, initially Brianna would dance while Silvestra sang and played. But, with Brianna's natural talent with voice and lute, Silvestra soon allowed her to accompany her musically, as well - and eventually to solo. Brianna had a real talent in composition as well - for ballads, initially, but eventually moving into the realm of epic poems. The wandering pair spent about half their time in towns, meeting people, learning fascinating tales and juicy tidbits of gossip. But they also spent a lot of time wandering in the wilderness, doing the same sort of thing amongst the fey. One of Brianna's most memorable adventures was her visit to the Unseelie Court itself, where, fortunately, her performance was at the pinnacle of her artistic abilities.
Soon after that adventure, Silvestra decided to return to Evermeet and, as Brianna was not an elf, she was not permitted to come back with her. The two parted amicably and Brianna continued her wanderings, learning all sorts of interesting lore, and composing new songs.
One day, as she was traveling from Sembia to Cormyr in the western part of Faerûn, in the wilderness at the base of the Thunder Peaks she came across a peculiar arch of standing stones. As she pondered the ancient stones and the arcane inscriptions carved upon them, a strange intuition came to her that perhaps the marks represented a musical phrase. She pulled out her lute and played a short tune on it, and to her surprise, the area within the arch glowed and took on a sheen like a mirror. She had activated the portal. Impulsively, she stepped through, and found herself stepping out of a doorway in the most peculiar city she'd ever seen: what turned out to be the Lower Ward of the city of Sigil.
Brianna has been living in Sigil for the last five years. She's learned a lot of planar lore and has gained quite a reputation as a talented bard. She's joined various parties of adventurers on numerous expeditions to various upper and lower planes, but always comes back to Sigil for rest and relaxation. She hasn't yet found any one party that she's wanted to stay with for the long term.
Several months ago, a greater Power, a "moldy old lich" named Vecna, landed in Sigil like a meteor. Leaving a swathe of destruction, he made his way through the Lady's Ward and entered the Armory. Over the next week, many tried to enter - and were slain by an invisible ring of death. An uneasy mob of folks set up outside the ring of death, wondering what was going to happen. The Lady of Pain herself floated there with four of her Dabuses, watching. The crowd left her a ring of space, as well. Brianna stood near the Lady, watching, and wondering what was going to happen.
To her surprise, a group of Prime bloods came through the crowd, walked right into the Lady's circle - and she actually noticed and spoke to them! She sent them as her champions into the Armory - and they passed, unharmed, through the circle of death. An hour later, they appeared at the door, heavily damaged, but when the Lady healed them with a gesture, they went back inside. An hour or so after that, the huge pillars of flame and other abnormal manifestations on the Armory vanished - and soon, the Primes emerged, victorious. They made their way back to their inn, followed by a cheering crowd. That night they were the toast of the whole city and Brianna, like many, tried to talk with them. Like many, she wasn't successful: the crowd was just too dense.
However, it turned out that they'd be staying: in yet another unprecedented act, the Lady herself, through her Dabuses, had given them rewards, including a fine mansion in the Lady's Ward. They renovated it and moved in, although four of them soon set out on an adventure. Three remained. There was a duergar and his bodyguard, a large man. But, most surprisingly to Brianna, there was a very comely female drow, who, by her own accounts, had battled Vecna himself, one on one, and defeated him, while "my minions battled his minions", as she put it. Brianna had seen the occasional drow on Faerûn, where they were feared and hated, but this was the first one she'd ever seen out in the planes. She certainly had never met one quite like this one - and, to her additional surprise, felt an immediate strong attraction towards her. The drow's name was Veracity, and she seized the opportunity to enter the social scene in Sigil.
Brianna composed a ballad on the topic of Vecna's defeat, much as all the Bards in Sigil were doing, but made Veracity the center of the action: almost the only hero worth mentioning in the tale. She bided her time and did not perform it, and hung out in a tavern the cutters from Dargas frequented. Soon enough, Veracity arrived with Hazen and Kress, and, by and by, Brianna started her performance. As Brianna sang, she kept her eyes locked on Veracity, and, as the topic of the song became clear, her look was returned, and the two woman gazed at each other with mutual interest through the whole performance.
Brianna's performance was outstanding and the crowd was wildly enthusiastic at the fine new composition, celebrating everybody's favorite recent event. Veracity was blushing and couldn't take her eyes off Brianna. Kress looked first at Veracity, then at Brianna, and then back to Veracity, before commenting "There she goes again. Picking up the best babes. Huh. Just who's doing the 'picking up', anyway?" Brianna joined the table, and the two women spent the rest of the evening conversing happily with each other. At the end of the evening, she left, with an invitation from Veracity to come to her house the next evening for more song and conversation.
Over the subsequent months, Brianna became a regular visitor in Veracity's house and the two women became intimate friends. Veracity was spending her days on magical research, but spent many evenings moving in the social circles of Sigil, assimilating into high society - and low. Frequently, Brianna would accompany her: her "native guide", so to speak. Finally, Veracity completed her research and her fellow Primes returned from the expedition they'd gone on. Veracity left town for a few days with them, visiting her home plane. When she came back, she paid a visit to Brianna. "My brother and some other friends want me to join them on a little expedition - to Toril, your home plane. I was wondering if you'd like to come with us. I think you'd find it very interesting and I'd love to have you with me. What do you say?"
Of course, Brianna's answer was "Yes".
The story of Brianna's meeting with Veracity can be found here.
Brianna is currently adventuring in the Necropolis module.
|Copyright © 2016 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com>||
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
R'lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.