By Rob Davenport
The following is an excerpt from the Diary of Harlyn Harrigan giving an account of the character Corleone. The character information and the following text are the property of Rob Davenport. Download and install the Tolkien font for the best results).
(Written in Common on the first page of the diary:)
Should anyone find this personal journal, please return it to Harlyn Harrigan, at the Platinum Pit Casino in the city of Phlan, on the northern coast of the Moonsea, for due compensation.
(Written in Gnomish.)
The Personal Diary of Harlyn Harrigan:
I haven't been travelling with him long, but I have decided to keep this journal to chronicle the adventures of my friend and mentor, Corleone. This is my attempt to leave as record (possibly as legend) the tales of one of the most intriguing and complex people I have ever known. Renowned adventurer, leader, entrepreneur, Casino Owner, negotiator, warrior, teacher, strategist, engineer, architect, wizard, scholar, and Man of the People, his diverity is only surpassed by his even-tempered, mild mannerisms.
How I came to be acquainted with such a colorful character as Corleone (which is all he prefers to be called) is not very complicated. It was my Uncle Smitty (whos last name I shall omit for his own protection) that first introduced Corleone to the means of mastering the skills of thievery with the art of illusion.
As many know, the secrets of combining this specialized school of magic and another discipline are left exclusively to the talents of gnomes, such as myself. How exactly a Silver Elf, such as Corleone, (or Moon Elf as they are sometimes called,) came upon meeting my uncle, and particularly how my uncle came to teach him the secret Gnomic practices is better left as a tale for another day.
I would venture to speculate though, that it was the combination of Corleones charming personality and uncommon racial tolerance, along with the compassion my uncle felt for his plight as an outcast from the Elven community, that had prompted him to take on Corleone as a student.
It was my uncle who convinced Corleone to take me along as compensation for teaching him the gnomic secrets. Corleone realized that I was more of a hindrance than an asset right from the start, yet reluctantly agreed to allow me to join his adventures as soon as my uncle felt I was ready.
Anyway, I guess I should begin with a few details: who is he, where is he from, that sort of thing. While much of his personal life is a mystery, (as is his given name,) his family surname is no puzzle. It is a scrambled derivative of the Elven God, Corellon. I imagine his family serves this god faithfully, or had served him at one time. I have no way of knowing if his family even still lives, since he never speaks of them.
What little knowledge I have of his family was relayed to me by my uncle. I know my uncle had no intention of having me put any of this in writing, but I fear he passed this information to me in oral tradition so that someone, other than he and Corleone would possess it. This was probably done in case of their untimely demise, especially since neither of them have any direct descendants to speak of.
Corleone constantly exhibits an air of shadiness. This is undoubtedly deliberate and is probably used to conceal motives that are generally more noble, and good-natured than he cares to let on. It may be this desire to dispense his warped sense of justice, coupled with his love of intrigue that may be a part of what first inspired him to begin adventuring, thereby fulfilling his mothers aspirations for him to become a "Defender of Justice" or "Law-maker". But he is by no means limited by any form of virtuous way of thinking. In particular, it is his means and methods, where honor plays no part, that sometimes others find questionable.
Hardly anyone also knows that Corleone was trained as a spellfilcher. This knowledge would surely make him unwelcome in most wizards guilds. He never utilizes these skills to actively pilfer from mages who are reasonably willing to share their knowledge. Rather, mages who prefer to selfishly and miserly use their magic to dominate others are fair game, for instance.
While all spellfilchers are skilled in the use of magic as well as stealth, Corleone has never chosen to utilize spells capable of mass destruction or the black magic of necromancy. I believe this self-imposed restriction also impressed my uncle. Instead, Corleone developed an appreciation for the subtle school of illusion and phantasms, a skill that he has cultivated into an art.
I know that strife still exists between Corleone and the high-ranking elders of his community because of the methods he employs. They are constantly at odds with his beliefs that nothing is outside of his realm of resources. I find it odd though, since it was they who encouraged him to take full advantage of his surroundings to ensure success on his missions.
He believes that such things as poison, assassins, torture, extortion and bribery can be efficient tools to be utilized under the right situations, (although I have never personally seen him outwardly use these methods.) He makes it widely known that "everything is negotiable," but I believe this to be a ploy just to lull others into allowing him access to certain unscrupulous, closed circles of influence.
I also know that he would take full advantage of these methods without hesitation should it become necessary to come to the defense of his comrades.
It is his innate determination to accomplish goals at any cost which would lead to his exile from his Elven homeland in Evereska. Now he is welcome no closer to Evereska than the Greycloak Hills, a northern outpost. I believe this site used by the elven community as a trading post to keep all those of questionable nature out of Evereska. Corleone has never accepted this imposed sentence as the deliberate insult it was intended to be.
He had become familiar with this settlement as a child by constantly sneaking off to speak with visiting travelers about their journeys and adventures. He had never developed the common elven contempt for other races that is sometimes so prevalent in elven society. Rather, he found that there was no one so far below his station that he couldnt speak with them freely and comfortably. In truth, it was those poor, destitute vagabonds that he found the most interesting, and who had taught him the most about the dexterous arts.
It was also in these hills that he first learned of the secret organization known as the Harpers, a band of do-gooders solely inclined toward the elimination of evil everywhere. I cannot speak of them in detail, since I have no first-hand knowledge of their fellowship. But this I can say, even though Corleone could never be a Harper due to his controversial methods and inability to follow orders, his preference for discretion, and his love of intrigue would probably lead him to be quite sympathetic to their cause?
It was commonly known that Corleone finally left the Greycloak Hills with the reputation that "When all rational means fail, and something still must be done, take heed in acquiring Corleones aid". This reputation has gotten him some notoriety among his peers. On several occasions, due to his resoluteness, some have even mistaken him for an assassin. (Not that he always clears up the misunderstanding when it suites him.)
Among his talents, he not only emphasizes the use of physical disguise, but also has proven the value of effectively disguising his nature as well, which is not an easy thing, I assure you. He has taught me the true value of information, and that others will only bestow it upon you if they feel you are of a similar mind. (After all, how many shady characters are likely to entrust someone with their less than noble intents, if the others to be trusted are busy exploiting their good deeds. And how many good people are likely to share their plans with obvious evil ones as well?)
Corleone is in a constant pursuit of balancing this image effectively, even to the point that sometimes even his own party members dont trust him. The lesson I have taken from this is that in an effort to get everyone to trust you, sometimes no one does.
I suppose that Corleones flamboyant behavior and attire are reflections of an attempt to conceal his underlying intentions. His large brimmed, fancy hat with the large feather, his flowing cape, and his ostentatious behavior would seem to be indicative of an upbringing of some wealth and stature. This is another useful guise allowing him access to privileged circles enjoyed only by the upper class.
Would they really allow him near if they thought he was nothing more than a common thief? The most ironic part of all is that Corleone must downplay his pilfering to hobnob with the advantaged, unscrupulous upper classes who, without a doubt, can be a more treacherous set of thieves than any.
His intelligence and sensitivity to magic, while extremely high even for an elf, earned him easy acceptance as a candidate in the Spellfilchers Guild as a child. He was taken from his family at a very young age to have his talents cultivated (or in my opinion exploited,) for the good of the elven community.
To this day, I believe Corleone is considered to be a member in good standing of the Spellfilchers Guild in or near Evereska. I am led to this conclusion, because Corleone is away several days a year supposedly to provide full reports of various activities and events around the realms. In turn,I believe they report the events to the Elven community.
The leaders of the high council, on the other hand, claim they do not wish to hear a word from him until he agrees to follow a more moral and ethical code. But I think that secretly the council sees the value in his reports and probably waits for them earnestly.
As for his religious beliefs, Corleone will openly ascribe to any faith that will get him closer to his goals at the time. This is evident by the array of religious symbols he always carries with him in case he needs to fervently proclaim himself a follower of one faith or another. His true beliefs are another matter altogether. Mask, the God of Shadows and Master of Thieves, is whom he truly hails. I was once present when Corleone even turned down direct assistance from Mystra, the Goddess of Magic, who only wanted his conversion in return. I have often speculated as to the reasons why Corleone remains so devoted to this lesser god.
1. Corleone easily relates to Mask who is also a thief/illusionist.
2. Being a lesser-power god, Mask is in need of followers. This encourages Corleone to believe that Mask will more readily hear and respond to the prayers of his faithful.
3. It is Masks efforts to regain his power from the powerful Mad God, Cyric, which puts him in the class of underdog, a class Corleone readily sides himself with.
4. And finally, Mask is a master and connoisseur of intrigue, not unlike Corleone. Mask is known to appreciate convoluted and intricate plots. It is by this means that I think Corleone truly expresses his faith in Mask. Rather than attend stuffy ceremonies, or perform lengthy rituals, the elaborate schemes he concocts, and attempts at a moments notice, are proof of Corleones offerings to Mask. To determine whether his seemingly hair-brained schemes are masterfully calculated, or bumbled through, is of no consequence. The fact that these schemes dont turn out exactly as planned, yet inevitably turn out in his favor, may be evidence that Mask favorably accepts his offerings.
The mission that had him stripped of his prominence in Elven society was far from a trivial one. It had involved frequent raids on caravans entering the Greycloak Hills. Corleone would later find out that these raids were organized by the Black Network of the Zentarim.
This knowlege was the beginning of Corleones troubles; just as he had discovered them, they had discovered him. The Network determined that discrediting him would be far more effective than killing him. To this day, his name has not been cleared, and for the safety of others he choses not to do so.
Upon attaining some notoriety and status among pilfering participants, Corleone began to attract admiring followers, of which I am proud to include myself. After the previous guild had been wiped out by an attack, he would later unite rival groups to make up the Guild that now resides in the town of Phlan.
Two main factors lent themselves to Corleones arrival in Phlan. One of these was that Phlan was one of the closest cities to Zhentil Keep, and he was sure to find a group of adventurers who were heading that way, (which he fatefully did.) And the other was that he could see that this place was a potential, key coastal center for trade.
Some would think that this would only mean profit to Corleone, rather this meant, possibly with his help, Phlan could become another trading post similar to the one he had come to admire in his youth. The one in the Graycloak Hills that had helped him become who he is.
Finally, most do not even begin to fathom Corleones motives for deciding to stay and settle in this town of constant turmoil. The reasons, like Corleone, may seem complex at first, but when the layers are finally stripped away, only the most obvious answer is left.
I believe Corleones zest for intrigue keeps him from seeing the plain truth about what draws him to Phlan also. He will go on and on about how he had thought the Zhentarim were the most evil in the realms, and that he had come to see otherwise. He would only truly be introduced to evil after arriving in Phlan. It was in this noble town that he realized the powers of evil were overwhelming the powers of good, and that Phlan was as good a place as any to set the scales back in balance.
I believe this is truly of interest to Corleone, but again, this only adds to mask a more sincere concern. After being expelled from his birthplace, his search for a new place to call home is over. Im sure its Phlan.
Possibly, if fate sees fit, I will continue with this heroic accounting at another time. Demons and creatures are once again creating havoc, and duty calls.
Go to the Corleone character page
Return to Campaign Logs