Kal Silveroak, Student of the Arcane: Kal's birthname is Kaldelwyr Liameil. Like many elf adventurers, he translated his family name into Common, and he shortened his first name, as well. He finds that he can get along much more easily as just plain "Kal" than he can as Kaldelwyr, which validates his suspicions that his full name sounds a bit pretentious to non-elves. His familiar, a black and white rat named Moondance, accompanies him wherever he goes.
Though devoted to his magical studies, Kal hardly matches most people's ideas about how a wizard looks and acts. He has an athletic body and he moves with a dancer's grace. His bright smile and sparkling blue eyes can make farm girls and serving wenches weak in the knees. He also has a quick wit and an easy manner that tends to put people at ease. Kal's good looks and social graces come to him naturally, however, and magic commands most of his attention and efforts. Never particularly adept at archery or swordplay, Kal always preferred to tackle his problems with his mind, and magic seemed the best way to nurture his inborn talents and to achieve some measure of success and respect in the elven community. Though elves aren't very status conscious as a rule, every society has an elite circle and Kal's family ranks pretty low on the social ladder. They have a reputation for eccentricity that manifests itself in various ways. Several of Kal's ancestors died in spectacular (and messy) incidents while adventuring. Others have made their fortunes through less than savory means -- Kal's winning ways run in the family, and these traits have produced a long string of charlatans and con artists. Finally, Kal's family tree contains several half-elf branches, and most of those are derived from Kal's more infamous ancestors. Though not exactly an outcast among elves, Kal usually feels more at ease among strangers than among his fellow elves.
The wanderlust that strikes many elves Kal's age has hit him hard. He travels the land, visiting far-flung wizard conclaves where he can pick up new spells and get familiar with new modes of magical study. Between these visits, he often falls in with groups of adventurers and seeks opportunities to test his arcane abilities in new ways (not to mention pick up wealth and valuable experience). Kal also has decided to look up his relatives whenever he can. All in all, Kal is a busy guy. Fortunately, he's an elf, so he doesn't need to sleep much.
Kal Silverheels, Thrill Seeker: Years of travel have brought a change of outlook for Kal, especially after he met a few of his more notorious cousins. Always open-minded, Kal found many things to admire about the black sheep in his family, especially after he joined them on a long adventure -- nothing dishonest, just good, rousing, and profitable exploration of some lost ruins. During this venture, Kal and his cousins found themselves pitted against a group of rivals who tried a variety of dirty tricks, culminating in a nasty ambush in which Kal's group deftly turned the tables of their foes. Afterward, Kal couldn't help liking his cousins; he found them to be adaptable, droll, and vivacious.
Kal promptly joined his cousins on a month-long spree of high living, during which the group spent all the profits from their victory. Newly destitute, Kal soon learned to live by the seat of his pants (with expert tutelage from a pair of fetching and larcenous kissing cousins). Kal found there was more than one way to put his mind to work. He finds that the way of the rogue tests his mind in ways that magic never could. He remains as charming as ever, but there's a hard edge to his soul that allows little room for true gallantry or honor (though Kal has learned to fake both reasonably well).
Kal maintains his wandering lifestyle, but spends most of his time seeking danger for excitement and profit. He has largely set aside his magical studies in favor of more "practical" subjects, such as stealth, forgery, legerdemain, and the foibles of the mortal mind. He loves to pose has a bright-eyed young elf fighter while keeping his magical and roguish talents hidden. He still keeps Moondancer close by, but usually keeps him hidden. Moondancer has proven a valuable ally in many capers. The rat can squeeze into tight places and has proven quite a capable sneak thief in his own right.
Kal Silveroak, Troubleshooter: After years of hair-raising adventures and close calls, Kal began to rethink his life as an itinerant rapscallion and con artist. A chance meeting with a wizard who was once a colleague reminded him of how much he enjoyed studying magic, and when he helped his old friend get out of a tricky jam, he discovered the joys of doing a good deed.
Kal returned to his first love -- magic -- and thoroughly enjoyed himself for a short time. It wasn't long, however, before the old wanderlust stuck him once again. He was briefly torn between his two vocations, but his resourcefulness soon asserted itself, and he found of path of study that allowed him to follow both his interests.
Kal hasn't given up entirely on confidence games and swindles. One of his cousins once told him: "You can't con an honest being," and Kal has discovered the adage is true. He loves nothing better than separating petty tyrants, dishonest merchants, and corrupt officials from their ill-gotten gains. He still enjoys playing the role of the callow elf. Sometimes he poses as a wizard (concealing his roguish talents) and sometimes he plays the eager rogue (concealing his magical powers). Either way, Kal can keep foes guessing about what he can accomplish and what he might try next.
About the Author
Skip Williams keeps busy with freelance projects for several different game companies and has been the Sage of Dragon Magazine since 1986. Skip is a co-designer of the D&D 3rd Edition game and the chief architect of the Monster Manual. When not devising swift and cruel deaths for player characters, Skip putters in his kitchen or garden (his borscht get rave reviews).