On the eve of the spring equinox, the Kreetur clan welcomed a new forest gnome to their community. Born to Ermor and Carfi, Orlys of Kreetur was expected by the clan to be curious for critters.
They did not expect her to be curious for words on a page instead.
The Kreetur clan is a community of forest gnomes who reside in the Faemyn Forest, a sylvan forest best known for the critters, creatures, and beasts that roam between its trees.
Orlys was born into a family that specializes in the rodent family of the forest. They love taking care of squirrels, mice, gophers, and chipmunks, and they train them to speak and carry secret messages for like any forest gnome clan, the Kreetur clan is very secretive.
Though an admirer of these critters’ cuteness, Orlys did not find joy in training them. She found joy with books. Though her family only had a few, Orlys read every book she could find.
Her family expressed their disappointment in her. They believed she was wasting time she could be spending with critters by sticking her nose in those books, but she couldn’t help it. Her curiosity propelled her to learn more about different races, religions, and cultures that were beyond the sylvan forest.
When it was time for another field day with the critters, Orlys would run away, escaping to any sancturary where she could read her books.
One day, she found herself deep in the forest against a tree. Now, forest gnomes are masters of illusion, using their knack for trickery to conceal themselves. Orlys, however, is a forest gnome herself; the natural knack for illusion is in her blood.
So, when she looked up to stretch her neck, she noticed a tree angled strangely against a boulder, underneath which a tangled mess of branches seemed to cover an opening.
Curiosity clawing at her neck, she went to investigate. Inside, she found her safe haven: a hidden library with shelves upon shelves of all kinds of books, scrolls, and tomes.
There, she met who would soon become her mentor and who she’d become an apprentice to his literary trade.
Bribis Bane also found his life well spent with books, so he created a library in which he lived, unbeknownst to all the forest gnomes of the Kreetur clan. There, Bribis collected all kinds of texts to quench his curiosity. He instilled confidence and joy in Orlys, as well as her ideal:
the path to power and self-improvement is through knowledge.
Bribis and Orlys spent so much time together that eventually, Orlys would stay in the library well into the night. That is when she learned about Bribis’ hobby away from his life’s work: candle making. Bribis only liked to read under candlelight, so he found it relaxing to create his own candles with the forest as inspiration for his scents.
Orlys took on the hobby and soon enough, the two spent their evenings with candles after a long day of reading and organizing. Orlys particularly loved making intricate designs for her candlewicks, so much so that Bribis started to call her Ellywick.
Eventually, Orlys become her name for the clan. Ellywick suited her heart more.
Around the time she turned 25, she decided she wanted to do something extra special for Bribis: a gift for his 250th birthday. Looking through their library, she found all the texts she could on arcane magic. Her intention was to create a candle that, when lit, would sing synonyms to any word you asked of it.
She did not intend to fall in love with magic and to want to pursue magical wizard studies. Though not naturally inclined for the art, she practiced relentlessly and continued to do so for the rest of her life.
The day of Bribis’ birthday, and after exclaiming gratitude for his new candle, he told Ellywick his deepest secret for now he saw her not as an apprentice but as a daughter.
One day, after a casual adventure through the forest, Bribis came across a candle with strange markings. When he tried to light it, however, he learned it cannot be lit. No matter what he did, the candle would not light.
His life had been fueled by the burning question of why, and he very much intended to learn the answer.
His own flaw stuck to Ellywick, and it became her own:
unlocking an ancient mystery is worth the price of a civilization.
Years later, the Kreetur clan was attacked by trolls. Ellywick joined the fight with her magic alongside her forest gnomes, but once she saw their allies, the elven folk, come to help, she ran to the library.
She was appalled to find it completely destroyed by the trolls. Panicked, she ran inside and saw Bribis breathing his last few breaths with an axe in his torso.
Crying, she tried to help him, but her magic was not yet strong enough to treat his fatal wounds.
Bribis had heard the attack and had written a letter for Ellywick.
In a raspy voice, he told her, “Here, Ellywick. All I’ve learned about the candle that can’t be lit is here. Do not let the mystery die with me. Remember, Ellywick. You are the most brilliant forest gnome I know. Let no one tell you otherwise.”
Seeing Bribis die changed Ellywick. She would not be the adventurer she is if it weren’t for the tragic event, or more specifically when she tried to seek comfort from her family.
When she expressed her grief for Bribis to her parents, Ermor and Carfi, they essentially told her, “Who cares? He made himself an outcast with all those books. Now we can use that library space for training grounds for the critters.”
Ellywick was shocked to hear their words. A heaviness started to descend onto her. She was ready to wrap herself in depression and loneliness if it weren’t for Bribis’ final words repeating in her head. A determined forest gnome wizard took over the crumbled soul, ready for adventure in hopes of finding the answer to the burning question:
Why can’t the candle with strange markings be lit?
Ellywick left the Faemyn Forest an estranged member of the Kreetur clan. Her clan affiliation is her biggest secret, along with her true name: Orlys of the Kreetur clan.
All she brings along from her childhood home is Bribis’ letter with the unanswered question, the candle that can’t be lit, her favorite spellbook, and her bottle of black ink and quill. She also has her companion who accompanied her and Bribis in the library, helping with small tasks: a chipmunk named Tilli Inkwell.
Ellywick’s strength lies in intelligence, particularly with history, religion, and insight. A sage at heart, Ellywick lets her natural curiosity guide her through her adventures while doing what is good without bias for or against order.
She will take on any adventure, never forgetting her bond to the strange candle.