Corwin "Jingles" Leafwalker
A young halfling boy, directly descended from the near-Mythical hero of legend, Falco Goodbarrel.
Grandson of the great “Scraps”, a legendary halfling who helped fight to prevent Ragnarok, young “Jingles” doesn’t think much about his family, and doesn’t feel any need to live up to its legacy.
He is currently living in Midgard Dormitory, and studying directly under Professors Seth, Leaf, and occasionally Rissa.
This is an essay I am required to write about myself, for those in charge at Silverbriar Academy. I am to report on my early life, and how it has led me to this institute of higher learning.
Well, where to start? First let me say I am not much of one for putting things down on paper. Not much of a writer at all!
How to start? Well, my mother, Suzzie Leafwalker, died giving birth to her firstborn – me. The loss of his beloved wife was more than my father, Vicelin Leafwalker, could stand, and he ended up crawling into a bottle and never came out. He died a few years later when I was five years old. By that time, he had sold the family farm he inherited from his father and had nothing left.
When Dad started drinking to the point of not being able to care for an infant, my grandparents took over the raising of me. Eliza and Falco “Scraps” Goodbarrel became my guardians. But Grampa was gone for two years at a time, only to return for two years. I was never clear what was going on, but he talked about a great responsibility and how he was sharing it with his sister, Kindini.
While Grampa was home I did learn a lot from him. He also initiated me in the worship of the Halfling Deity of luck, Penny.
In the middle of Grampa’s second disappearance, when I was nine, I ran away to sea. I ended up as the cabin boy on a smuggler’s ship, the Juggler’s Club. We mostly smuggled the harmless ‘whacky’ pipe-weed, but other times we might have whatever else Captain Ferro could get his hands on. All a matter of profit. Captain Ferro would smuggle just about anything, but he drew the line at slaves. He never talked about it but there was speculation among the crew that he was a former slave who had escaped his owner.
I tried practicing some of the things Grampa had taught me. Climbing the ropes came easily to me after the frustration of trying to climb sheer walls. I quickly learned to not practice sleight of hand on other crew members. Even when I snagged something and immediately handed it back, expecting gasps of amazement, I took a pretty good drubbing. Only tried that once!
One thing I truly loved to do was practice moving without making a sound. Unfortunately, Captain Ferro was a little disquieted when I would suddenly pop up, seemingly out of nowhere, when I had been especially successful. He made me start to wear a bracelet of little bells, making it much harder to move quietly. That’s when he hung the nickname “Jingles” on me.
Shortly after I turned thirteen, I woke up to find myself trussed hand and foot with a gag in my mouth slung over my Grandfather’s shoulder. I don’t know how he did it but we were practically dancing down the side of the Juggler’s Club, hopping from plank to plank. If it wasn’t for the gag I would have screamed loudly. I know because I did try but all that came out were little mewling noises. We hit the dock and headed into Freeport proper, heading as it turned out for an inn with the unlikely name of The Ugly Squid, where Grampa had a room. I guess he didn’t want to take me through the common room, all trussed up, so next thing I knew we were scampering up the side of the inn and into a window.
Inside was a red-headed lady, with a face full of freckles, wearing white robes. I remember she was wearing a silver pin shaped, like a curl of rose thorns. It was attached to the left breast of her tunic. I’ve since seen a lot of the important folks at Silverbriar wearing the same pin. As soon as we were inside, she began chanting, casting a spell. She chalked out a circle in the floor, and soon it pulsated with power. Into the circle we went, me still over Grampa’s shoulder, and suddenly we were here in Silverbriar. And, I guess that’s it.