NickNack, a contraction of his real name, Nicholas Naktorolis, was born in the year 1460DR. His parents lived in the land of Thar, on the coast of the Moonsea, in a small city called Phlan, some way to the east of the ruins of Zhentil Keep. He is the grandson of a noble of the city, known as Lord Mantis Godbane of Phlan, a half-elven Swordmage who rose to prominence during the Time of Troubles (1358DR). Lord Mantis’ children have all but eradicated the elven portion of their blood, and all the family are now considered human once more. The house’s fortunes have not done as well as they might, Lord Mantis was killed during the Spellplague whilst attempting to secure a floating castle for his base of operations. An ambitious ritual to rip an old and disused castle from it’s bedrock went wrong when the arcane upheavals of the Spellplague ripped through the weave, and the entire structure ended up crushing Lord Mantis and his followers. The irony of his grandsire’s ambition is not lost on NickNack, since one of the results of the Spellplague has been to tear huge volumes of the earth into the sky, where they roam around as earth motes.
NickNack’s parents and immediate family were killed when he was an infant, when pirates landed at Phlan’s docks during the middle of the night and went on a rampage of theft and destruction. He has little real memory of them, only vague images, and this perhaps makes it worse. He feels he’s lost something, but doesn’t quite know what. When the initial grief and confusion wore off, it was replaced with a deep and gnawing longing for revenge. He ended up being raised by some rather distant relatives, who whilst not the warmest family, were not actually cruel to him either.
Over the years, NickNack has pieced together many fragmentary stories from the folk of Phlan, and others from round the Moonsea about the pirates and buccaneers that raided his home when he was a babe. It has come to light that not all who faced those raiders were killed, some were dragged away for some unknown purpose. It also seems that the raiders themselves were working for some higher power. Some raids on other locations were accompanied by a mysterious robed figure. Little other details about this being are known, as the robe entirely covered the figure's body, and so the race and even sex of that person is still not known to NickNack.
Six months ago, NickNack was spending an evening in a Inn in a slightly dubious part of Phlan when he overheard a fragment of conversation from nearby patrons. This conversation was concerning some raids by a group of pirates on towns and villages along the southern shore of the Moonsea. Something about the description of one of these events triggered a dusty memory of NickNack’s, connected with the raid which killed his family. He resolved to travel across the Moonsea to the latest site of one of these atrocities, and see if he could pick up the trail. After an uneventful crossing of the Moonsea in a fisherman’s boat, he made his way to the village he’d heard about. There, the locals told him that the pirates had been interrupted by a patrol of Cormyrian troops during their attack on the village, and had become split into two groups. The first half had managed to regain the shore, and launch their boat again. The second group had been forced to flee inland. NickNack, being relatively unskilled in naval navigation, and not having the funds to buy a boat and crew to chase the first group, has elected to follow the second group inland. It was during this search southwards that he encountered the keep on the shadowfell, and thinking it a likely hideout for some pirates on the run, ventured into its depths.
NickNack is a follower of The Raven Queen.
NickNack is a tall and rather skinny human, although his stature is hard to make out upon first meeting him due to the voluminous robes he wears. He has long black hair, and a short goatee beard. His eyes are very dark brown, verging on black, and sit in rather sunken eye sockets. When he wears the hood of his robe up, it generally leaves most of his face in shadow, and the only indication there’s anything within it is the bright gleam from those dark eyes.
The robes NickNack wears are perhaps the only real remnant of his family’s once great wealth and stature in Phlan society. They are a made from rich and thick velvet, dyed purple, but run through with fine golden threads, and superb detailed embroidery along the sleeves and the edge of the hood. NickNack has always made a point of keeping these robes in good repair, and they still look like the regal finery they once truly were.
NickNack has recently acquired the Mask of Fear, a full headed affair made from a skull with a hinge in it. When he is wearing it closed, all that can been seen is a dark malevolent glitter from his eyes.