Scimitars and Shanties
Fear the beard.
Horatio Pinkbeard was born with the name Halungelum and a head of shocking pink hair. His mother, Talwara, was a renowned archeologist and scoured the world for ancient artifacts, with young Halungelum in tow. Eventually, when Halungelum had reached adolescence, she settled in Qadira as the pyramids and tombs fascinated her. Staying in one place and living amongst humans was never easy for the gnomes, but they found a place amongst the Dervish, a clan of nomadic desert dwellers. They stayed with the nomads as they travelled and explored numerous ancient sites filled with traps and treasure. Occasionally they would run across graverobbers in the tombs so Talwara taught her son how to disarm attackers with a whip. She instilled in him a belief in the sanctity of life and to never kill unless there was no other option. The Dervish taught him to use a scimitar and how to use their deadly dance in combat. Using agility and speed to deal pain without the need for strength, and to avoid it by being where the enemy least expects.
One day Talwara sent Halungelum to purchase supplies from a nearby village. When he returned several hours later the Dervsih camp had been devastated. Most of the Dervish men were dead or dying, scattered around the sand colored tents. The women and children were gone and the only sign of Talwara was her whip laying bloody in the sand. Dozens of hoof prints led to and away from the encampment. The quickly disappearing hoof prints in the sand were in the direction of Katheer the closest city and the capital of Qadira. The diminutive figure took up his mother’s whip and a fallen child sized scimitar, and began to follow the tracks.
By the time he reached the slave blocks in the city the new slaves were long gone on a ship headed to the Shackles, bound to be used as oarsmen and plantation workers. He was able to track the sellers easily enough though as the slave auctioneers were easily convinced to help the civic good with a sword at their throat, even one as small as a gnomes. The comical looking young gnome, a whip wrapped around his waist and a scimitar tucked through it knocked on the door of the slavers hideout. Before the door was fully opened Halungelum dashed through the door and began his dance of death. Wielding his scimitar in the way taught to him by the Dervish he danced from dusty raider to dusty raider leaving a wake of blood. Their eyes couldn’t keep up with him as he ducked between legs and beneath furniture only to emerge again as a spirit of avenging wrath. When all was done ten dead slavers littered the floor with one left alive his cutlass fifteen feet away from him stuck in one of his mates where it was flung when he was disarmed. Halengelum “interviewed” the man for some time before leaving him behind to clean up his friends.
Halengelum journeyed across land to the Shackles following the coast. Along the way he noticed that more and more humans were wearing beards and decided to cut off a large amount of his hair and glued it to his face, believing this was how humans made beards. At some inns where he stayed humans would mock him for his size, but quickly learned not to underestimate him. His notoriety grew as he traveled and eventually preceded him arriving in towns. Of course the humans couldn’t pronounce his gnomish name so Halengelum turned into Horatio, and the added the moniker Pinkbeard. Horatio has now reached the Shackles proper and is searching for his mother and friends.