For Leo, I’m sorry it took me a while to write this up for you. I hope it’s good enough to make up for the wait!
Rose brushed the thorns and leaves out of her hair in sharp, short strokes. Sitting by the edge of her campfire, she looked up at the setting sun and sighed. Yet another day of fruitless searching. It was enough to make her rub her horns in frustration. Absentmindedly, she reached up a hand to follow through on that thought, then stopped herself, looked at her hand and shuddered in disgust at her own weakness.
Born Rose Green-a-dailie, Rose Annatar hadn’t had an easy life. For a satyr, she was distressingly good with all things mechanical, technical and metallic. It was the metal that had, realistically, done it for her. Most fae had an instinctive hatred of the nasty, cold stuff. But for Rose, it had always held such a seductive allure. When it was all quiet in the forest, and the birds and cicadas stopped singing, she could hear the ores and precious things of the Earth singing to her instead. Fine threads of a silver and bronze tapestry woven about the world. In her heart, shiny resonance that whispered to her ideas, plans and blueprints.
At first, her tribe hadn’t minded so much that she was a little strange. After all, she was very happy to be sent to trade with travelling tinkers and merchants – a task usually foisted off on the unwilling. So she was useful to them. But a fine young fae lass is usually expected to, at some point, kick up her hoofs and settle down a bit. After all, satyr are creatures of the fruits and flowers, not machinery and marvels. Perhaps Rose would have eventually followed the usual path and returned to the forest, perhaps she wouldn’t have. We won’t ever know, because something happened to change her course on the river forever.
It was relatively rare for Fey to have siblings, so it was counted as an unbelievable piece of good fortune that Rose and her brother Grover were close enough in height and age to grow up as friends. They were very different, of course, but that didn’t seem to matter. Blood bonds fey together just as much as it bonds humans – which is to say very, very deeply. And when that bond was threatened, by something as innocuous as a falling tree, Rose was shattered. Grover recovered, but lost the use of his legs, and Rose was distraught. A Satyr who could no longer jump and bounce and leap and fly? The thought was painful, wrong on a level heretofore not even considered. It was the first such injury in a thousand years.
Perhaps it was the shock of it, that made it so hard to cure. Healers and magicians from all over the Feywilds attended Grover, all to no avail. Something essential had been severed that night in the storm, and Rose tried to ignore the whispers. She stopped going to trade, because even something as innocuous as a saucepan would start telling her, almost screaming at her that she knew what was wrong with Grover, and she was the only person who could fix his legs.
Frightened and tired, Rose went to the elders of her tribe and tried to explain. They were, to put it mildly, not impressed in the slightest. How could a fae even consider that what Clover needed was metal to be implanted in his spine. Not just any metal, either, but adamantine melted and reforged in the fire of a dragon into a thousand tiny strings, meant to carry electricity and spark her own brother’s useless lower body back to life. She was dismissed as mad, and given forest floor clean-up duty as punishment for her insolence.
But Rose couldn’t live like this, being torn in two by her love for her brother and the ever more insistent call of the metal. So she left the tribe, and without a word to anyone, she walked away from the only home she had ever known. Without fighting it, without questioning it. She listened to the metal properly for the first time in her life, and surrendered to following the instructions.
A chunk of iron ore told her where to find a doorway between the worlds and enter Faerun.
Some silver spoons led her to get on a boat to Lantan, where she joined an order of artificers and learned the sacred secrets of recycling.
A helpul bronze shield in a museum suggested that she might like to check out Baldur’s Gate, it was a fairly up and coming place, there were likely to be bits of metal there with special qualities.
It was in Baldur’s Gate that Rose met the Nimbral golden amulet who would become Stoat Furrbles, that most loyal though slightly intellectually impaired mechanical companion. The tale of his tail is legendary, and shall be recounted at greater length elsewhere.
So Stoat Furrbles and Rose adventured onwards for a time, sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of strangers. But it was in the most unlikely of places that she heard the rumor that was to change her life forever. A ring, worn by a halfling of all creatures, sang a song to Rose of his time with a most beautiful crown, studded with gems. An adamantine crown that had been forged in the fire of a dragon, studded with infinite gems of light and goodness. She begged the ring to tell her anything, everything that he knew – but all he could remember was that the elf who wore the crown was named Annatar.
Rose has been searching for the crown ever since, adopting the name of its former owner in the vain hope that someone, somewhere will recognise it and give her a hint. We find her mid-way through the year, on a chilly winter night in some random mortal forest somewhere. She’d found no one more interesting to converse with than a discarded belt buckle, who had laughed at her maliciously as she fell over and smashed through some very spiky blackberry bushes.
In short, we come to Rose Annatar at one of her lowest moments. She feels tricked, she has leaves in her hair, she’s very far from being able to heal her brother and while Stoat Furrbles is a very loyal companion, he doesn’t offer much in the way of empathic conversation or horn rubs.