Hoard of the Dragon Queen
Half Elf Bard
How Durin left the group and Valaric and Lagertha joined it:
Durin Bluetooth received word from his clan back at home that an old blood-fued between his family and a rival clan had risen up again. Durin said his apologies and goodbyes to his fellow adventurers and made all haste back to his mountain home to try to stop the senseless fueding (as he believes dwarves should be united against the goblin and orc threat rather than killing one another). However before Durin received the leter from his family he managed to get fleeced of his hard earned gold and moonstone in a card game of Blind Man’s Bluff with one Valaric Silversong (a half-elf bard).
Valaric Silversong makes his living as a musician and storyteller. He follows the exploits of famous adventurers and up until now has been travelling with the folk hero Lagertha on her various quests as she is giving him much material for his stories and songs. Lagertha’s and Valaric’s travels have led them to Fallcrest. During his card game with Durin, the dwarf told Valaric all about the quest to vanquish Malereth. Valaric sees this as an opportunity to broaden his repertoire and travel with a band of adventurers that will go down in history. His intention is to get Lagertha the Shieldmaiden to join with Hector andBalthasar on their next quest and to follow with them onwards to adventure and riches and fame (or infamy)! He notes that other adventurers seem to be keen on joining them (he spies a brooding northern ranger and a Tiefling girl taking an interest in the group) and this tells him he has made the right choice about these two as far as future fame and storytelling potential goes.
Freya (Illuskan Human) street-kid from the bad streets of Skullport/Waterdeep that Valaric grew up with. She was one of the little’uns that he used to look out for. This is why Valaric was drawn to Lagertha – her never say die attitude and her very rare moments of vulnerability remind him of Freya. As Valaric joined the bard college and became a teenager he still kept in touch with his street kid friends and helped them where he could (using his bard skills for running cons and scams with them – much to the ire of his mentor Alyssa). But the roles changed. As Freya got older and tougher on the mean streets the roles reveresed a bit (she became more of a rogue). Freya watched Valaric’s back when he performed and then looked out for him when he had to walk through the mean streets back to the College with a satchel full of coins.