Illusion: a Brief History of Aramil Xiloscient

A Half Elf Bard D&D character created by Josh K.


Joshua K., Texas

There was once a time I would have called myself a simple bard: nothing more than a half-elf with a desire to share some of my greatest stories with the world. I can’t quite remember when exactly I started having this dream; it could have been after my former troupe came into town, or maybe even before that. After all, I’ve been told that I would always have the most interesting stories to share from a young age, but I suppose if you had to choose one point in the 29 years of my life where everything started changing for either the better or worse, it would be when Jared watched my performance in the tavern. I was 20 at the time, and I had only just started dabbling in the theatrical arts. I had been invited to perform at the local tavern; I suppose most of us start like that. I was scheduled to go onstage sometime in the evening, so there would be a large number of people packed into the relatively small space. A good number of them would be tipsy, but even then, I had a goal in mind: make this a show they will never forget. It was my first time attempting to use my magic in my shows, so honestly, things could have gone much worse than they had. Even so, using illusions for a crowd of half drunk people will almost never turn out well. Long story short, I wasn’t allowed back in the tavern after the dust settled.

I don’t know what I expected after that whole mess, but being invited to join Melody Jokes was not among those expectations. It had just been suggested to me that I should leave the tavern and never return. As I had just finished gathering my things from off the street after the suggestion with some… gentle encouragement, someone who had been in the crowd approached me. I can remember the events and exchange clearly.

“You were the man performing in the tavern this evening, right?” he asked. There was a spark of amusement in his eye: well hidden, but still present.

“I suppose I was; are you here to suggest I leave the town next?” I was joking at the time, but I’ll never know if he was taking it seriously or not.

“As a matter of fact, yes, yes I am.” he held out a flyer to me. I took it, and looked over the contents. The flyer was advertising a play done by a traveling troupe of bards; the group went by the name of Melody Jokes. I can’t say I’ve heard of them before this day.

“Melody Jokes? Can’t say I’ve heard of them.” I questioned. He expected this, however, and answered my question.

“We’re a group of traveling bards who travel the world, putting on all sorts of shows for the enjoyment of people all around. I came here to ask you a question,” he extended a hand to me, almost as if preparing for a handshake. “How would you like to join Melody Jokes?”

Of all things that I expected to happen after that failure of a performance, this had to be the least expected thing. Of course I agreed instantly, and that is how the man I would come to know as Jared Strife invited me to join my almost second family, troupe Melody Jokes. We put on all manners of performances together, and each time we brought smiles to the faces of all the audience. My favorite ones always had me on the stage telling my stories, and watching the amazed faces of my audience as I brought my tales to life. Throughout my shows, I was able to further develop my illusions such that they could be perceived by all 5 senses. It got to the point where I could probably kill someone with my illusions, but I couldn’t see myself in a situation like that. Yet.

Over the years we were together at Melody Jokes, I couldn’t help but notice that I was drifting away from them. We were still on friendly terms, but the troupe stopped feeling like a home away from home. The performances we would put on still amazed our audience, but I couldn’t help but feel like there was always something missing. I didn’t notice it immediately, but I had lost my spark. Knowing this, I set out to go find it again, saying my goodbyes to the ones I had come to know as family for the past 8 years. I still wonder how they’re doing, Axel the invincible strongman. Lyra, the woman with the voice of a goddess. Elanor, a master in the art of sleight of hand. Aurash, a seasoned wizard who used his magical knowledge to spark wonder in the eyes of all. And Jared, the man who I owe my life to: an incredible acrobat who saw my talent when others did not. I do not regret my decision to leave, and it was possibly the second best thing that ever happened to me. I became a man on a mission, that mission being to make the name of Aramil Xiloscient known worldwide for tales of grand adventures, dark mysteries, daring escapes, and so many other things. Of course, how would I be able to tell my tales if I hadn’t experienced what I put onstage? I already have so many Ideas for great stories, and I had only been with my party of adventurers for a year: Pavel Damaran, an expert ranger, Torinn Delmirev, a paladin of Bahamut, and Anton Turami, a master of arms. Throw in a man who is best known for lifelike illusions, and absolutely nothing will go wrong. That is the case, right?