Backstory: Remmen Alatar
Tangled: The Mystery of a Single Block of Wood.
An insouciant backstory by Remmen Alatar
My parents are a mess. Every teenager spins the same yarn, but I come from a particularly gruesome set of adults. My dad is a founding partner of Alatar, Shael, and Silvyr. He says they help companies do mergers and acquisitions, but I think he’s a cleaner for high Elven execs who spend a bit too much time making oopsies in the Wood Elven brothels.
My mom? She’s not much better. She is one of the Elven Council of Thirteen. A politician. She only comes home when the council is not in session, and then she just lives out of her office in town. I don’t think she has been home in years. Whatever.
...What? Did you think all Elves are adventurers in some fantasy world? Ha! Elven lands are like Wall Street, but with more trees. Unless you head outward to our borders and beyond our magical walls. It’s WAY more primitive out there next to the Gnomes, Humans, Dwarves and such.
Now those places are intellectual and societal backwaters. That’s where the real Elven adventurers go - OUT of Elven lands. It’s rough, but you feel alive. That’s why I’m out here, among you.
I wanted to be a Ranger beyond the wall. My dad even threatened a guy with a lawsuit if he didn’t let me on the training team, but I got really bad shin splints every time there was running and skirmishes. I was getting better, but then my mom heard I was glamoured by a Succubus, and she pulled the plug.
I was super angry. I asked her to let me go back - I even stomped my feet (which got me anything I wanted when I was 37) but not even that worked. She sent me to bard school, where I learned to play the greatest of all elven instruments: the harp.
I did that for a few decades... Sang and played. I got really good too - as you can see by my gold records and Glynnii’s on my awards shelf (it’s like a more prestigious Grammy, but only for High Elves). Yup: ol’ Remmen is a pretty big deal back home. Mobbed by fans when I leave my house, endorsement deals comin’ out my ears, on the cover of every Bugbear Beat magazine for 11 straight months, a record. I’m literally amazing.
You humans might have even heard a few of my songs. We Elves basically write all the K-pop music: HERE is one of mine. Aaaaand here is another that is a bit more autobiographical and from the heart. Catchy, right? I think it’s pretty easy to tell that I influenced a few pop artists out there…
But let me tell you, being amazing gets old really fast. When things get too complex, I know I need to get simple. So I left it all, went out past the border without telling a soul, and landed here in Portland, Oregon. I made a few coins busking, knitting socks, and offering advice as a life coach to struggling millennials, but I found I really like making things out of wood best.
I started working with wood as a way to get back at my parents. Not in, like, a “they disapproved of sullying my hands with labor” kind of way, but in more of a, “I would carve obscenities on the banister of their bed/credenza/wardrobe/staircase railing” kind of way. I got good enough to work up to carving faces of myself sticking my tongue out at them or flipping them the bird. But it didn’t give me the attention I was looking for. They would just come home, hire wood elves to replace what I had carved on, and buy me something.
When I struck out on my own, I really had to improve on my woodworking skills quickly. I had to construct makeshift shelters, furniture, and games to occupy myself on lonely nights.
Humans around here do some pretty complex stuff with wood, but not much of it is actually hand made. Everyone here is literally drooling over their CNC machines and 3D printers. I never understood “making” things in a computer and letting a robot do the actual working of the wood. No harm in that lifestyle, but it’s not for me. I mean, the hand tool only crew probably look at my table saw and think: “He doesn’t even frame saw his own wood! What a travesty!” So as I’ve done my whole life, I go left when everyone else goes right, but not waaaaaaay out there.
But I must admit a bit of that started to filter around in my noggin’, because I began to think of simpler and simpler design ideas. I started thinking about what I could build out of a single block of wood. And after three minutes of think-think, BOOM! Out came perfection: the Remmen Box. And like all the great innovators: Ferdinand Porsche, Joseph Pilates, and John Mason (canning is legit, people), I named it after myself.
Remmen means “tangled” in the Sindarin tongue. And since the Remmen Box uses an entire block of wood that twists and turns to open… well, it just felt right. Simple, yet complex. Few words uttered, but deep in significance.
And, oh yeah, it holds your best set of dice, with room for two d20’s to roll advantage/disadvantage, your MOST epic mini, and all the writing utensils you need for a heroic DnD session.
So, Kitty cats, long story short: you need a Remmen Box to accessorize your most distinguished self.
Your best pal and genetic better,