|Charlie Bell RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16|
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All these threads lately about backstories inspired me to start this thread as a place we can post PC backstories.
Minor spoilers may abound, so please spoilerize any backstories that contain them.
My backstories tend to have a few common characteristics. I provide a physical description of the character. I try to outline the character's close family and possibly other friends or mentors. I account for the traits I've selected, especially campaign traits. I explain any fluff/crunch weirdness on the character sheet (like a half-orc with an elven curve blade, or any non-Qadiran with Dervish Dance). I establish any pre-game connections with other PCs. I provide hooks for the GM to use if desired.
Without further ado, my backstory for Othollo Wintrish, my CoCT bard. I rejoined the group mid-campaign, so I provided enough background to tie myself to the campaign location but I didn't have a campaign trait.
Othollo Wintrish is a native of Korvosa. As a child, he loved stories of heroic quests and adventures--though he showed an unusual fascination with the villains. He spent his free time play-acting his favorite tales with his friends, but he would play the role of the "bad guy" more frequently than the dashing hero. One day as he was playing, a group of performers noticed his acting and asked if he would like to play the part of a wicked fey in a play they were putting on. He agreed and has been acting ever since.
At the age of seventeen, Othollo travelled to Cheliax to study theatre at Egorian. Although initially interested in the rigid conventions of Chelaxian opera, he ultimately found them too stifling to true creativity. He left Egorian with a band of traveling Varisians and wandered Varisia for several years, learning their performance techniques, oral poetry, and music--as well as some less artistic pursuits such as magic, pickpocketing, and confidence games. During this time, he began writing his first play, "Kiameleu," about the first colony that would eventually become Korvosa. [accounts for Varisian Wanderer trait]
About two years ago, Othollo returned to Korvosa. He studied fencing briefly at the Orisini Academy in order to improve his stage combat techniques. [accounts for Threatening Defender trait] He assembled a small acting troupe and staged "Kiameleu" at the Kendall Amphitheater, casting himself as the eponymous Chelaxian Admiral Kiameleu, a complex, flawed, and tragic figure. The play was a success, due in part to its patriotic theme. "Kiameleu" ran weekly for a year, during which time Othollo was widely celebrated for his nuanced portrayal of Admiral Kiameleu.
Othollo's next play was also a Korvosan history. "Sevendeaths" is an ambitious epic about the Last Shoanti War, specifically the last days of the war when the Korvosan Guard finally killed the Shoanti war leader Galstak Sevendeaths. Othollo plays the role of the titular villain. However, "Sevendeaths" is more of a character piece about the villain Galstak, and is more sympathetic to the Shoanti; consequently, it has proved controversial and less widely popular than "Kiameleu." "Sevendeaths" plays weekly at the Kendall Amphitheatre. [potential hook for GM]
Othollo's parents, Tydeus and Aswaithe Wintrish, are now in their sixties. They once ran a successful import business, but now they are enjoying a leisurely semi-retirement. Othollo has an older brother, Cador, who now runs the family business. Othollo's younger sister, Aula, studies illusion at the Acadamae and provides special effects for the ongoing performances of "Sevendeaths." [potential hook for GM] Othollo is still a bachelor. It is rumored that he left the Varisian lifestyle because of a failed love affair. [potential hook for GM] Even at the height of his fame from "Kiameleu," he was an aloof figure, participating in society without forming intimate attachments, neither romances nor close friendships.
Nicely done, Charlie! I was thinking of posting a thread like this just the other day, as well.
Oladon, half-elf (now goblin) rogue level 4, RotRL (if you're past the Seven's Sawmill, there will be no spoilers for you):
When I started the campaign, the only "backstory" I had was a class and a one-line idea a fellow player had come up with: "you were sent to kill one of the party members". We told the DM, and he approved it. On my first game night, he took me aside and gave me an official commission (signed & sealed) from one of the rulers of Magnimar, describing a certain dog-riding halfling and ordering me to dispose of him (as he was a threat to the country, etc).
Later on, after our encounter at the Seven's Sawmill (and a rather excellent IC conversation with the halfling in question), I went back and filled in the following backstory (warning: long):
Born: 4686, Cheliax
Oladon was born in Barrowood and raised by her human (Chelaxian) mother and elven father (both followers of Calistria). Around age 17 (considered a young and fairly immature age for half-elves), her father was called back to Kyonin temporarily on elven business.
During his absence, a delegation of Hellknights arrived from House Jeggare to collect the seasonal tax, paid in foodstuffs. Oladon, seeing the disrespect and even cruelty in the Hellknights' treatment of the locals, hated the whole of the Jeggare family even more. An idea occurred to her, a way to end the arrogant tyranny of the Jeggares once and for all. Having not a clue of the immature and brash naïveté of her plan, Oladon poisoned the tax payment.
One of the humans saw her, and reported it to House Jeggare. Oladon and her mother were arrested, tried, and found guilty. Oladon was forced to watch as her mother was slowly, agonizingly "executed." Oladon herself managed to escape, barely (or so she thought -- chances are, they hoped to use her to track down other "guilty" parties).
Fearing the punishment of the evils in power, Oladon fled. She left Barrowood and traveled north, trusting Calistria to keep her, as her parents had taught. (Gradually, as she fled, she grew to trust more in Ketephys, the elven god of running and the hunt.) House Jegarre, incensed, realized that Oladon might truly get away, and pursued in earnest. Over the course of 6-9 months, traveling in hiding and barely managing to stay alive at times, Oladon fled up through eastern Nidal, avoiding major towns (yet having to visit smaller ones to survive).
(Her father later returned to Barrowood to find his wife and daughter gone, taken [as he was told] by the Hellknights of House Jegarre. Stricken by grief, he returned to Kyonin in melancholy bereavement.)
Eventually, Oladon made it to Korvosa, only to discover that House Jeggare holds tremendous power there. When they realized she'd arrived in that particular city, the pursuit intensified and Oladon, in desperation, "procured" passage on a Chelaxian trade ship bound for Riddleport.
In Riddleport, she learned to blend in, picking up useful skills for one who needed to avoid notice. She managed to find odd jobs here and there, acquiring items, surveilling errant spouses, performing acts of stealth and infiltration. She learned Gnomish, and discovered that gnomes pay well for novel and interesting experiences. Their quests and errands provided her with a livable income, but more than that, they allowed her some escape from the face of her mother, disfigured with pain and torture. The gnomes, too, filled a need in her for age and wisdom, which short-lived humans (though older than she) could not provide.
For close to six years, Oladon lived and worked in Riddleport, struggling with her past and learning -- always learning -- to survive. She managed to save a bit of gold, here and there, gradually acquiring better equipment (though still nothing spectacular).
After nearly six years, any other accuser might have been expected to forget about a lone half-elf who'd escaped their clutches... but not the House of Jeggare. They found* her after that long, and the old anger smoldered strong again. None must defy or threaten House Jeggare and live.
They put out the word, carefully, quietly, aware of their limited power in Riddleport and Varisia at large. An offer was made; an agreement reached; her fate was sealed, and the deed was considered done. House Jeggare was satisfied.
Within days, Oladon received an official message from Justice Variel Ironbriar of Magnimar...
* I talked this over with the DM, and ended up deciding that she'd received a physical brand in the shape of the House's crest, and someone somehow saw it after that long and recognized it, reporting her to them.
|Jiggy RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32|
As you may know, lineage is of utmost importance in the eastern land of Tian Xia. So much so, in fact, that one of the dominant religions there is ancestor worship.
Imagine the shock, then, when the lady of a well-respected family of "pure-blooded" humans gave birth to an oni-spawn tiefling, proving the entire family's ancestry to be tainted.
Fearing the social repercussions of such a disgrace, the father kept his infernal child hidden in his home, telling people that he and his mother were both very ill and sickly. Over time, however, his resentment toward his son grew stronger. While the tiefling was still a toddler, his father decided that he must die - taking the secret shame with him.
But the boy's mother loved him. In the dead of night, she snuck out with the young tiefling, never to return. The father told everyone that both mother and child had died, held a fake funeral service, and went on to enjoy his again secure social standing.
Meanwhile, the mother began trekking westward on foot. She never stayed long in any one place, as it's difficult to convince anyone of a tiefling's innocence when they're obviously on the run - child or not. This led to many midnight escapes, often followed by mother-to-son lectures on the importance of not judging a book by its cover and always giving people a chance.
Eventually, the pair reached the Inner Sea. However, this is where they would part ways. Too many nights spent sleeping out in the rain, too many meals given to her son while she lied about not being hungry, and too many never-quite-healed injuries from defending her child eventually led to her death - unnoticed and unmourned, except by the tiefling adolescent.
As it happens, a traveling priest of Iomedae came upon the oni-spawn as he mourned over the unmarked, hand-dug grave in the woods. The love was palpable, and the priest could not pass up this chance to lead a tiefling on the path of righteousness instead of leaving him to the path of thuggery and evil that circumstances would surely otherwise place in front of him.
The priest took him in, and the tiefling began learning from the church of Iomedae in Absalom. He took on the name Thomas (not wanting to bring shame to his family through his real name) and eventually became a full-fledged cleric. Seeing Thomas' passion for justice, his mentor encouraged him to join the Pathfinder Society so he could travel the region and bring light to the darkness.
As a Pathfinder, Thomas confronts evil with boldness. With his background, he brings a unique view on morality: he hates with a passion those who are inherently evil (such as demons, devils or undead), but is quick to give a chance to those who are merely assumed to be evil (such as tieflings or goblins). As for humans and other "morally variable" races, Thomas will not presume, but he will judge with finality. After all, if a tiefling - whose very nature, as well as circumstance, pulls him toward evil - can still choose the path of good, then what excuse does a human or elf have for choosing darkness over light?
Nicely done, Jiggy. Reminds me a bit of Mrachni, my half-orc cleric of Iomedae -- but pretty different in specifics & personalities.
My only two characters currently waiting to be played:
His older brother never wanted to be a noble, never wanted to take up his father's station and care for the needs of the people over which their noble house was meant to watch. He wanted to become one of the heroes in the storybooks read to him as bedtime stories, and Gerrard was his means to have that life. Gerrard could stay at home, become the successor that their father needed, and he happened to like the idea as well.
So that was the way it was for a time. Their father grew ill and passed, Gerrard took his place while his older brother continued his heroic pursuit in some distant land. Then came a time of great change in Gerrard's life. In rapid succession, events bore down on him; first the loss of his family's noble station as the king was usurped and those that would not swear fealty to the usurper declared traitors marked for death, second the loss of his mother at the hands of a random bandit taking her life and the fruit she had collected rather than collecting his own fruit from the very orchard in which he attacked her, and the arrival of a messenger bearing only a deep red cloak, torn, tattered, and stained nearly black with blood that meant his brother was dead.
The grief he felt quickly turned to rage, which he turned upon every bandit he could find until he had found the one that killed his mother, who he intended to kill. In the moment he raised his blade of the badly beaten bandit, preparing the stroke that would end his life, he found he could not follow through. He had killed more than a dozen men just to find this one, but something gave him pause. Gerrard realized that killing this man would not bring him any peace, and would not undo the crimes the man had committed. He also realized that, were the man to live, he could carry a message with him for the rest of his life, spreading word to anyone he met - A man in a cloak quickly turning black with the blood that stains it is coming. If you are unjust or cruel he will find you, and your blood will darken his cloak as you lay dying for your crimes.
In that moment he realized that he had inherited more than a ragged piece of cloth in his brother's cloak. He had inherited his brother's drive to make the world better, one dead villain at a time.
Both are very generic so that they can fit into pretty much any setting and system - my main goal when coming up with characters since it is so rare that I am ever a player rather than a GM that I don't want to end up limited if the other GM happens to choose a system I didn't expect.
|Toren "Stand" Still|
Toren looked up from his lonely remaining sausage. When would someone need some more gems? Who would (and could afford to) hire him to find some forgotten sparkly thing buried in a forsaken crypt?
A sigh escapes his lips through the parted beard.
It had been almost 3 weeks since the last assignment. That was just for some simple rose quartz. The man could've almost bought the stuff! But Toren wasn't going to convince a potential employer of stupidity. In fact, this breakfast was pretty much all that remained of that pay.
Toren poked at the slices of sausage. He really didn't have much intention to finish it, but he probably would anyway. Unless he found more work in the next couple of days, he would probably be losing some weight.
I like this dwarf for some reason. Simple. Poor. Desperate. Perfect Pathfinder material.
Here's the origin of my character from our old "To slay the immortal" thread, Morag, the Gatherer of Souls:
A merchant ship sailed into their village a few months later and took on supplies. The owner of said vessel was Kales. He spent a few days selling goods and taking care of his ship before leaving. When he left, Kales took two dozen villagers home with him to Sheenosek, none willingly. Melania and Ezreth were among them. Kales had ambitions that included joining the church of Skaden, the unofficial state religion of Sheenosek. Upon arrival, Kales gave his his slaves to the local church of Skaden. The pick of the lot were given to the man who one day would rise to become the High Priest of the Defier, Durran.
Like other Chosen (priests) of Skaden, Durran sought immortality. Unlike the others, he didn't seek undeath as his chosen means of living forever, seeing too many potential issues. His experiments included finding ways to transfer life essence from one person to another. And his experiments used up slaves rather rapidly.
Durran was as prone to debauchery as any priest of Skaden, however. One night when he tried to rape Morag, Ezreth attacked him in a fury. For punishment, Ezreth was slowly tortured to death, culminating in Durran draining every drop of blood from his body and drinking it in front of Melania.
A year later, Melania accidentally destroyed Durran's notes for his current project. In a rage, Durran beat her and then began to torture her to death as well. When his anger finally abated, Durran sacrificed her to Skaden on the high altar in the cathedral of Skaden in Skadas Shee. He whispered seductively in her ear even as he held the knife over her and ravaged her body, calling her "my love" even as he committed her soul to eternal damnation.
Durran never knew what he had wrought.
Melania's soul felt a pull toward the center of the cathedral. A black crystal pillar served as the spiritual and physical center of the building, a pillar that trapped souls for conversion into undead and other purposes. As her soul flew toward the pillar, it was intercepted.
Tria, the Soul of Scrithengard, spoke to the newly-dead woman and offered her another chance at life in exchange for service. Melania would be required to take up a life-long quest unlike any other: she would need to learn where the gods go when they die, and one day escort Tria there. But in exchange, she would become one of Tria's Chosen, and a Chosen who dedicated herself to only one side of the balance between life and death.
Melania chose Death.
Durran ordered his servants to dispose of the body. One, an older half-orc named Krieg, had been a friend to the young couple. He made sure that the wedding rings were well-hidden and gave one to her in token of their friendship. He even drove the cart that led to the city's ossuary with the intention of laying her to rest there.
What awoke in the cart was not Melania. The woman who rose looked like Melania, but her memories were gone, a passing gift from her new goddess to help her on the path Tria desired her to walk. Morag awoke, disoriented and in a state of ecstasy. Grabbing clothes from the corpses around her, she slid from the cart and made her way on foot into the hills on the edge of the nation. Morag spent her first winter with a kobold tribe there, the humanoids strangely accepting of her. As the tribe scattered due to plague, their shaman gave her the name "Gatherer of Souls".
The next year she lived in a small frontier town in the borderlands of the country of Haven before moving on when the town was sacked by raiders. But the raiders left her alone, already knowing of the Gatherer of Souls.
Morag's following years were first spent in a monastery, studying the history of the world, and then trying to find the eldest of dragons for more information on that topic, ever bent on her quest. And eventually, she came to Haven's Hold during the troubles there, using her magic to help maintain peace.
As for where her tale goes from there, there are other places to look....
(warning - Homebrew)
Arlyss Coranth, aka Arlyss the Gaunt
Arlyss was the youngest of six born to a humble tanner on the outskirts of Netherdam. The poor child contracted the Fever at a young age and nearly died; the effort for his survival left Arlyss pale and weak all the rest of his days. Despite his frailty he was one of the brightest children in all the Duchy of Mahraine.
His father, a drunken reprobate who perpetually reeked of cheap liquor and braining brine had only the barest inkling of skill with knives and leather but to his little boy the man was a genius. Arlyss spent his childhood coughing out the revolting vapors of the tannery just to practice at his father's side. By 11 he'd crafted a masterwork belt worthy of admission to the guild but his father saw a more promising future for the one bright jewel in his life.
A decade of education later saw Arlyss, now having acquired a surname of Coranth, as a young sage and scribe working as the second to the office of the harbormaster. It was then that the Hooklads, a gang of thieves and hooligans came calling on the young man. Years earlier the lad's father made a deal with them to help get Arlyss into the University of the Ruby Spire. Now they came to collect.
It began with simple forgeries for shipping manifests to see that goods disappeared without notice on paper or in person. Arlyss' master was also on the take so none were skeptical. But then the crimes escalated and a merchant and his man were killed; their bodies bobbing in the flotsam of the bay as young Coranth came to the office the next morning.
This is how Arlyss, the son of a tanner and the weak little paper thief died. He used what little skill and influence he had left to forge a pair of ledgers; one for the guard and one for his master. When the Jassidan Inquisition came for the corrupt official he vowed the boy would never see another sunrise. Realizing his mistake Arlyss fled the city and by the time he reached Pannadir's Gate on the west end the Hooklads were already there.
Somehow the lad rode free of the ambush and fled over the Woodland Road into the gloom of the Mistwood. Somehow he had himself convinced he'd find safety there, among the bowers of the Sylvan Elves. After all hadn't he made a study of them at university; didn't he know their history, culture and language? Why he'd even helped speak with a delegation in the harbor just last winter. Surely he would find one of the reclusive naturalists and bargain for his asylum!
The crossbow bolt found soft purchase just under his shoulderblade a mere seven hoofbeats into the wood. The impact of it sent the well-quaffed scholar tumbling into the dewy grass beside the trail. This was followed by another in his leg as the Hooklads slowly gathered and their leader drew out the rusty barb of their namesake. The last thing he saw was the canopy of the towering giants overhead reaching up out of the brume of the forest floor; somehow it appeared it was raining.
Arlyss was given a second life by the elves of the Mistwood. They nursed him back to health, kept him safe for a time and even taught him their ways. In the years he spent in the fog-riddled forest the lad aged twice the time. He even learned to harness magic then.
Finally, when the tribe had deemed him ready he returned to Netherdam. He found work as a scribe and scholar, lecturing all around the city and along the coastal towns on the wisdom of the elves, the bounty of the woods and the importance of civility. He never forgot the second chance they'd given him nor did he shy from imparting the lessons they provided though when not delivered in oration or by tome it was inflicted by eldritch will.
Now fully a man, in maturity if not in body, Arlyss the Gaunt stands 6'2", a mere 142 lbs. Typically he clothes himself in the fashion of Netherdam; a cloying cape over knickers, buckled shoes and a vest and shirt besides. His gloomy black hair is pulled taught in a ribboned tail beneath a tricorn hat merely accentuating the grey at the temples and the angular features of his face.
When traveling however he conceals his frailty beneath a voluminous black cloak. The only possessions he carries are his masterwork bracers and the satchel at his side harboring his tools. The Coranthium, the ebon-green tome bearing his wizard's mark and his ever-present scrolls and the scribing tools to create more.
He has but one companion from his time in the woods that he carries with him. The owl, his familiar whom he names Nightseye. The creature is plumed as if drawn from the stuff of the Mistwood itself; whispy grey and dun-colored feathers adorn him. But he is the Gaunt's right hand serving as his guard by night and his ward by day.
When he discovered a book, entitled The Structure of Magic, this young dwarf found his true calling. He began to study magic with the clan clergy and they taught him well. It was during this period in his life that he learned of an inherent ability to resist magic. While this may have had a slight dampening effect on his arcane studies, Choztu learned to focus beyond it. In addition to learning magic from the clerics, he was also taught some tricks with a crossbow, discovering he was better at shooting things than bashing them.
But one can only read about exotic places for so long before you yearn to see them. So one day Choztu packed up his belongings and headed to the nearest city, Kaer Maga. Upon arriving, he learned of the desecration of the tombs. Enraged that anyone would defile the ancestors of anyone, the Dwarven Wizard signed up for the investigation.
When she arrived at the room, she heard strange voices coming from the other side. She knocked on the door and admitted into the room, where she saw the Elf..... and a Drow. Before she could scream, the Elf put his hand over her mouth and pushed her against the wall. His skin then turned black and revealed that he was also a Drow. Her eyes went wide with horror as some of the tales she heard of these vile creatures began to run through her mind. The other Drow spoke in a language she never heard before, then laughed. The one that had her pinned smiled and responded while pulling a dagger from his belt. She closed her eyes, expecting to die. Then the laughter stopped and was replaced by a gurgling sound. She openned one eye and saw the other Drow grasping at the dagger embedded in his throat, then collapsing to the floor.
Removing his hand from her mouth, the remaining Drow said, "I can't go back to the Darklands. Not after seeing the beauty of the night sky. Help me, please. I would forever be in your debt."
Thinking like a merchant, that is to say, thinking that having an ally like this drop right in her lap was too advantagious to just walk away, she accepted.
For the next three years, she kept him hidden. And during that time he permformed may tasks to further her families holdings. And she also started to developing a romance with the Drow. They fell in love and he taught her the Drow language. When she became pregnant with his child they began to make arrangements to leave Magnimar. Those plans fell through when it was discovered that a Drow was in the city. He was hunted down and killed in the streets. She was, however, able to collect his two-bladed sword and flee to Nybor.
Growing up, Darius was told many tales of his father's exploits, taught the Drow language, and learned how to use his father's sword. As a young adult, Darius spent many a night at the local tavern, hearing tales of magnificient beasts and flirting with the barmaids. Of course, playing the flute helped to win their affections.
Then came the night he came home to find his mother being feed upon by the largest wolf he had ever seen. It had a scar slashed acrossed its right eye and missing half of its left ear. It looked at him with its one deep red eye. Darius could have sworn that there was a malevolence that was not natural. Before he could kill it, the beast leaped out of the broken window and escaped.
Darius has been hunting, what he now knows as a Worg, for eight years now.
"I wish to join your militia," he stated to the watch sergeant.
The sergeant looked him once over and replied, "If you can stand against our best, you may sign up."
Darius was escorted out into the training ground, where he saw an elf practicing with katana and spell.
"There he is. Good luck."
A crowd started to gather as the two warriors stood facing each other. Darius had not drawn his weapons until the elf made his first move, then out of nowhere the two swords were gone and in Darius' hands was a short haft with blades on either end. The duel lasted for several minutes, with Darius holding his own. Finally, the watch sergeant called an end to it and welcomed Darius into the militia.
For six years now, he has served. And in that time, Darius has dueled Galdor several times, seduced many women and even learned to play a flute. But now he has the urge to move on. And the upcoming contest seems the perfect place to start.
As the years passed, and Ithriel was taught many things. From the priests, how to aid thoughs who were wounded, the Doctrines of the church, and many other skills. From his mother, he learned how to use a staff with deft precision. There was one thing he never learned though, and that was his fathers identity. His mother nor the priests ever spoke of him.
Then he had a dream that showed him the first step on his journey to destiny, the Crumbled Tower. The next day he heard about a recently uncovered, ancient tower and that citizens were being called to investigate. Taking the sign for what it was, he packed his things and started on his destined road.
Morbak was taught from birth how to handle vermin of various types, how to navigate the mountains, and how to use mystical items from his father. His mother on the other hand taught him the bow, language, intimidation and traps. When he became a young adult, and the main vermin nest finally eradicated, he left home to rid the world of these vile creatures. Eventually being hired by a small mining guild called The Ice Gem Prospectors, who operated in the Rocky Passage. The next few years had him clearing infested mines and escorting caravans.
Then one day, Morbak saw a posting at a trade station about a lucrative opportunity of a lifetime, the Annual Spring Festival of the ATA. So he asked his superior if he could apply for the post and was granted permission. He gathered his belongings and set out for greater adventure.
Then one day during his lessons Senadyne came across a book about the planes. This struck his curiousity in such a furious way that he could not stop researching the subject. His knowledge kept swelling with the names of various denizens of the Abyss and the dwellers of the Heavens. It was during this period where he found a book of creatures called Eidelons.
After weeks of preparation rituals, Senadyne summoned one, a serpentine monstrosity with two head. He was hooked. For the next few years, the young summoner, practiced in secret. Until the day he got careless and his father discovered him. Infuriated, the priest cast out his own son into the wilderness. Since that day Senadyne has been living the life of a mercenary, taking jobs wherever he can find them. Until now…………
At the age of twelve a young girl was being pestered by a young man in robes. Thomas, always one to treat women with respect, moved to confront the man. Not being much of a fighter, and not knowing the man was a wizard, Thomas was quickly defeated. As the caster dragged the girl away, he decided to add insult to injury and blast the young upstart with a blob of magical acid on the left side of his face. Thomas passed out from the pain.
When he awoke, the young man found himself in a strange bed, the left side of his face bandaged. Then he noticed the cloaked figure sitting at a nearby table lit by a single candle.
“Ah, you’re awake,” the figure said, “Good. I saw you stand up to that wizard, not the smartest of moves. But you certainly have potential. If you want to avenge that girl, I can teach you how to think, how to move, how to take your vengeance and live to celebrate. It’ll take dedication and it’ll take time. What say you?”
Putting his hand to the bandage on his face, Thomas asked, “And this?”
“It’ll scar, but you’ll live,” the figure said.
For the next six years Thomas, under the tutelage of the master assassin named Anthony, learned how to fight with grace and how to strike with precision. At the age of eighteen, he saw the man that scarred his face on the street. The robed figure didn’t recognize him due to the mask that he wore to cover the scar. That night, Thomas infiltrated the wizard’s home and slew him after a short fight. After striking the final blow, Anthony appeared from the shadows.
“Well done, young master Glint,” his mentor said while slowly clapping his hands, “You have passed your final test. Congratulations.”
The celebration was short lived however when the authorities arrived. While trying to escape, Anthony was struck down by the city watch, but Thomas escaped. Over the next year Thomas applied his trade as a killer for hire. Then came the night he got caught on a job right when he struck the final blow. His trial was swift and final. The verdict was guilty of several counts of murder and sentenced to be beheaded. Now he is on his way to Branderscar Prison to await his execution.
On one particular journey into the depths, Tialara became separated from the rest of the group. She found herself in an ancient chamber, which turned out to be a nexus point for the ley lines associated to the element of water. It was here that she discovered her natural affinity to water and became fascinated with the power of the ancient ley lines. Once she regrouped with her expedition, she informed them that it was time for her to leave.
After leaving, she came across an old human Druid named Carlenon. "You are the one from my vision," he said to her. From that point on, he instructed her in the ways of the Druids. Then one day, he simply vanished. All Tialara could find was a note that said, "Follow the path, and find your destiny." She had no idea what he meant.
After several days, she came across a Pathfinder way station. It was then, that she knew what Carlenon was saying. She joined the Pathfinder Society that day and has seen many wonders, but has yet to find what her destiny is, and what it has to do with the ancient ley lines.
Baron Drax von Stryker V (3.5 game, Homebrew world "Splendaria")
[This is the text of the background from his Level 1 character sheet from 2007...]
Drax is a minor nobleman whose wastrel father squandered the wealth, fortune, and reputation that the von Stryker family has achieved through generations of heroics. Drax' grandfather, Drax III, rose to fame through his heroics in war and as an adventurer whose band turned back the barbaian hordes of the Northlands. Despite being hit by a "Disjunction" spell in his final battle, Drax III and his comrades defeated the armies of the Lich Lord in the Second Battle of the Dead Waste and returned victorious to rule his barony with wisdom and justice.
Drax' father, unfortunately, was a spoiled child who only cared to live a lavish life of ease. After inheriting the barony, Drax IV gained a reputation of being greedy, corrupt, and a drunkard. He kept his wife and child pretty much out of public life. When Drax was just 17, his father died of the drink and Drax inherited a barony whose treasury was empty, populace unhappy, and family deep in debt to merchants and other noblemen. Drax was forced to sell the manor house and much of the lands to another noble family, while retaining the title. He was able to retain ownership of his family signet ring, one of the family jewels, and his grandfather's legendary sword. While the sword Kel-Therral went into the history books as a great weapon of power, the magicks of the Lich Lord drained it of any magical abilittes.
Drax, now penniless, seeks to regain first his family's honor, and second his ancestral holdings. He has decided to work his way through the ranks as a junior officer in the King's Army.
His sword: Kel-Therral, the Heart of the Forest, Slayer of the Dark Fey. A Masterwork Cold Iron Bastard Sword.
The black blade is etched with silvery Elven runes. The hilt is of a silvery metal with guards made to look like tree branches. It has an emerald in the pommel.
Human male aristocrat 1. Alignment: Lawful Good.
[Note: I started the character as a Level 1 aristocrat with a modified version of the "Ancestral Weapon" feat from the Book of Exalted Deeds. By the end of the campaign, he was an aristocrat 1/fighter 17. The sword turned out to have originally been a weapon of evil, forged in the Abyss. At the end of Drax' career, the sword had become an intelligent, speaking +3 keen merciful Abyssal bloodiron bastard sword. The sword glowed faintly with a dull red light (as a candle) until it drew the blood of an opponent. Then, red veins were apparent throughout the blade which glowed bright red as a sunrod for an hour.
Once it started speaking around Level 7, the sword constantly compared Drax to his grandfather, and unfavorably. But the last line in the campaign was spoken by the sword. "Y'know what, kid? You did good. Your grandfather would be proud!"]
My parents have a fairly unsuccessful farm and twelve kids. Eleven of them were girls. My little brother makes twelve. They really, really wanted a boy. Once he was born, neither of my parents really cared about what happened to us girls.
A few of my sisters were married off pretty young to farmers who were a bit better off, but I was two when my brother was born. Some of my sisters offered to take me in, but they were too busy defending their kids from being hit too often by their husbands. You know how it goes...a guy drinks too much and starts in on the weaker folks in his household. Pretty common around these parts, unfortunately.
By the time I was ten I figured I could probably take better care of myself than anyone else.
I got jobs on other farms where they needed some help with chores. I'd trade for room and board, and the farmers would get their stables mucked and their animals fed. Their gardens would get weeded and watered. That's how I learned so much about cows and cabbages, and why I noticed the problem with the livestock at All The World's Meat. But sometimes I'd need new shoes or a shift, and of course that wasn't in the room and board.
So I'd get kicked out for stealing.
But all that was before I met you guys. And Laori. And started that orphanage for the little chum-chuckers. And died. And came back male, and half-orcish. And younger than when I started.
It's just easier to say I'm an orphan than to say that my parents didn't care. It's easier to tell that story than the ones about where I would end up sleeping at night trying to stay warm and safe, or how I'd end up being beaten for having to steal food from the larder so I wouldn't starve.
Isn't reincarnate wonderful, Nymian?
Here are a couple of mine.
My Skull & Shackles character,
of Corentyn in Cheliax of a disgraced priestess of Asmodus. Her
mother traveled north to the World Wound with others to join in the
fight againt the demonic forces there. Unfortualy for them they got
ambushed by a force of half-fiends. Valeria's mother was kept
alive and tortued and raped repeatly...than put on a ship back to
Cheliax. In disgrace she did not even report back to the
temple...instead she she crawled into a bottle and never left. In due
time she gaved birth to Valeria. At first she took care of child
thinking it could be the result of a handsome bard who was traveling
with her. But when the child turned twelve she started developing
Her mother in disgust tried to kill her own daughter....but
Valeria ran away. Her mother as far as she knows just crawled
back into the bottle. On her own she learned that she could either
bully the kids her own age or seduce them. Being blessed by both
strength a great beauty even for someone her age. She survived
leading a small gang of other street urchins. She used to hang out at
The Wicked Fork. Listening to stories about pirates and the Sea. She
loved the looking out at the Sea. At the age of 14 she commited her
first act of 'priacey'. She stole a row boat. She was quite proud of
her accomplishment till she realized why it was stolen so easily...it
was leaking. As she she was wading she sent out a prayer to Besmara
the Pirate Goddess. A few minutes later she felt the playful bump of
a dolphin. She has heard stories of these fish. Thankful it was not
a shark. The dolphin after...some playful bumping eventualy took
her far enough to shore she could swim back. To commemorate the event
she got a tattoo of a dolphin with a eyepatch and pirate hat.
When Valeria turned 16 she was looking for a crew to join or
anyway to get to the shackles...when a rather pompus naval officer
noticed her. He had just gone on half-pay. He was bored and there
was just certain things you did not do to your wife...especialy sincer
her family was more powerful. So he picked up Valeria in a
carriage and took her home. While she did not like him this did give
her access to a libary of books on Navys, nautical, sailing.
Valeria was pretty much held as a slave for 6 months before
the Master left on a long hunting trip. She was sitting in the garden
singing. Devil's Bait never sings when others are around....she is
terribly shy about her singing voice...which is very lovely...she just
does not realize it. Anyway so she was singing in the garden when a
beautiful woman comes around for a tree. She was exclaiming what a
lovely voice you have...Devil's bait was blushing and stammering.
The woman was the pompus navla officer's wife. Her name is Vibia.
She was a beauty with long dark hair and pale skin. Valeria
felt somewthing she never had before...it was love at first sight.
She felt she needed to do anthing Vibia said. The two started a
relationship. Vibia is the dominate of the two.
They decided to run away together and get married. They stole
gold and Valeria stole the pompus naval officer's hat. They got
married by a traveling priest of a brought passage to Port Perilous.
Using the money to set Vibia up in a comfortable home. There marriage
is a open marriage...together it is love...with anyone else it is just
Valeria has been looking for a pirate crew to sign on to...her
goal is to become Captain Valeria scourge of the Chelix navy.
And my Second Darkness character,
The trade season was very successful and they were returning to their home harbor. It seemed that it was another season of very favorable weather…has it always has since he married his wife. The girls were playing on the deck….Toth was at his mother’s side. He felt good about life…than everything became shattered. The lookout yelled an alert of black sails coming up from the rear. It was a pirate. They were heavily loaded with the last trade goods haul and could not outrun the faster ship…anyway. He cursed them as the pulled up alongside with grappling line ready to heave too. In the confusion Aleshia hid in one of the row boats. Her mother managed to gather up Shasha and Toth and went into the captain quarters.
The fight was short and vicious. Aleshia watched from her hiding spot as the crew…her extended family… got slaughtered. She watched in shock as her father was run though from behind. The rest of crew surrenders at that point. As the pirates started to loot they find Aleshia’s mother and siblings. Aleshia watched in horror as the crew raped, tortured and killed her mother…her brother…and her twin sister. She went catatonic. Her Mother in her final breath managed to rip off her assailant’s necklace and throw to the ground. The necklace happens to be a Necklace of Fireballs. In the resulting explosion both ships caught fire. A crew member tried to make it to the rowboat…even managed to grab a cage with a small fox cub in it and threw in but one of the pirates tackled him from behind and as the wrestle the ropes holding the rowboat burned. As the row boat fell to the sea Aleshia saw the pirate captain teleport away…his face emblazoned in her mind.
Aleshia sat in her rowboat….staring at the fox….not even really aware of anything really. Waiting to die. Than she heard a feminine whisper….it was a soft…kind whisper. It was caring and comforting. It promised words of power so she could defend herself. Her mother was there all of sudden saying she could trust the voice it was a old family friend….her father telling her she is now the captain of her own life….her sister pleadingly with her not to give up…her brother well being annoying, but it was oddly comforting. At the moment she agreed with the whispering voice. Her choice to go on living. Her family would always be with her. Two days latter her rowboat drifted into the harbor of Riddleport.
This is just my first try at this and Ulryk is another PC in our campaign.
Female Human Musket Master
5'10" 180lbs. Red hair Green eyes
Background: Her parents abandoned her as a child in the River Kingdoms. She was sent to an orphanage as a young girl and met Ulryk Cailean who became her friend as well a gnoll named Joel. As a child she was mischievous often inciting fights from which Ulryk had to save her. Once they were old enough to leave the orphanage they went their separate ways. She still keeps in contact with Ulryk but has not seen Joel the Gnoll for many years. At 18 she worked as an escort and took some odd assassination jobs on the side. Good…Bad…whatever. She became a follower of Calistria while working as an escort.