Lovingly Crafted Characters -- Post Your Background!

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This thread is here to encourage all beginners, all veterans, and all mavericks to share their finely sculpted character personas and motley histories and their creativity otherwise with the community. The recommended format is that of a short piece of fiction, but is by no means the necessary mode of presentation. I will try to keep an accurate list of backgrounds posted.

Comments are welcome. Feedback is welcome. Please be respectful of others and their posts.

Let's see what works of art and flights of fancy a worldful of gamers has dreamt up.



P.S. To avoid posting a "wall of script", please use sblock. Also, if you want me to include the character's race and class as part of the link, please drop me some clues.
~~~

Shared Backgrounds from the Community at Large

Shisgokken       

Eyriish                 

Lhiannan                 

Mad_Jack                 

Adun_Irving                 

gmhack                 

Skyesby             

Yesninja    

thomas.j.theobald 

chezcaliente

Fey_Feline

EasyT

RuinsFate

VirgIlius

mistshadowwc

Rhohn

Nekros22

SigrunTheHyena



Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
I will start us off with a character of my own. I designed him for a friend's campaign set in his friend's campaign world. In it, the fey have secluded themselves away from the rest of civilization, hoarding treasures and magic.
~~

Preliminary Aspects and Character Overview

I choose to be Cephissus Loire, the eladrin warlord, excommunicated for treason of the highest order. A fate worse than death, Cephissus Loire has been cast out of the fey empires, forced to live a life of squalor among the other vermin (i.e. non-fey races). To return to a fey realm would be to welcome prosecution, incarceration, torture, and eventually death.

I'm fine with rolling 3d6 for stats. The pity points are a bonus.

Fate being unkind enough to bestow me with low ability scores fits in with my character idea of a disenfranchised noble fallen into poverty, among races he was taught to despise from birth. He is determined to prove his innocence and wrongful conviction.
Cephissus is pompous, egotistical, and demanding despite his now meager lifestyle. Cephissus will always take the lead and tell others what to do. Cephissus will only follow another's lead after much argument and concessions of his superiority.

Cephissus accepts the help of the rest of the party begrudgingly faced with the limited options presented him. Cephissus is a lot of bark, and probably not much bite, especially if outnumbered.

Cephissus was framed for the murder of someone very important with a governmental, monarchial, or religious affiliation. The Elder Council, which presides over the sentencing of the convicted, all found Cephissus guilty except one. The one dissenting Elder and his noble status earned him excommunication in lieu of execution. Accepting to help him redeem himself makes Cephissus dislike each member of the party a little less. If enough of Cephissus's favor is earned, he may regard the party humbly or even kindly.

Instead of going off to do his own thing, Cephissus will surround himself by people he can order around.

Cephissus knows of a war the eladrin are facing with some evil creatures which are being supported by at least one nearby kingdom or power.

Cephissus has hayfever. Cephissus gains a +2 to Bluff when gambling.

Cephissus Loire is lawful good within the fey empire; he is chaotic neutral elsewhere.

Cephissus follows the teachings of Leegian; justice, truth, fairness (if you're fey).

If Cephissus's name can be cleared, he will prove an invaluable contact among the wealthy and elite of fey society.
~~

Cephissus Loire, Eladrin Warlord

    Astreliin, gold mark. Penefau, gold mark. Tuset, gold mark. Traucenet, gold mark. Coprilgh, gold mark. Maunanasse, gold mark. Demin, gold mark. Juist, gold mark.
    One after another, the Crown Judges of the Elder Council turned their mark from "the accused" to "the guilty". Only one more such vote would, as the law demanded, sentence Cephissus Loire to death without internment. Shackled before them in the pulpit where two spearmen poised nearby at attention, he stood gazing up at the Elders with tearless eyes, without fear, with contempt and malice. His lips curled in disdain. The last to cast their mark would be Gougaughn, Cephissus's great uncle.
    Such controversy had been generated amid the fey kingdom of Sh'chimar (that's "Seven Spirals" to you and me) over the trial. Heir to the second longest lineage of eladrin, Sous-General of the 108th Fey Coalescence, this epitome of servitude and honorable merit had been accused of treason of the highest order: premeditated murder of the Imperial Medium, Grand Pontiff Amellon.
    The evidence was overwhelming.
    
    It was the 24th of Greening, the sun, two hands from the setting horizon. A cry pierced the crisp silence of the cool summer day. It is said 11 guards rushed to the side of the screaming waiting maid. A grizzly scene of torture and murder assaulted the senses of the onlookers.
    At the center of the Imperial Focus Chamber a crystal orb still shone brightly, light peeled away from it in arcs of yellow energy licking into the air then dissipating. Resting atop the orb, as if clinging of its own sheer will was the severed hand of Grand Pontiff Amellon. A wash of blood soaked and dripped from random furniture; it seemed as though the Grand Pontiff had been furiously slashed and hacked apart, spattering blood in every which direction. And her body corroborated the tale. Multiple stab and slash wounds covered her nearly bare body. The customary ceremonial robes now in shreds stuck to her bloodied corpse. Bits of viscera and bones were seen scattered about the chamber. But above all else it was first noticed by all, an erect broadsword stood thrust into her chest. Just inside the door the waiting maid stood with her hands to her face, frozen if not for the labored screaming. At her feet a metal incense pot with its coals spilled onto the ornate rug.
    A vision ran through the orb for all to see, looping and repeating. An eladrin, garbed in the social robes of a fey general, ascended the tower stairs toward the chamber. The visage was clear; Cephissus Loire. The vision continued. The point of view hovered behind the robes of the fey general as his hand pressed on the chamber door, swinging it open. Through the doorway could be seen Amellon standing in the center of the chamber just behind the dull and inactive crystal orb. A look of surprise graced Amellon's features, quickly usurped by an expression of anger and contempt. "What are you doing here? Get out!" Amellon demanded, pointing at the unexpected guest. There was no reply. Amellon took a small step backward as the sound of a drawing blade grated against her ears. The same blade which currently stood in her a few feet away now appeared in the vision, grasped by the assailant. Moving forward into the chamber, the fey general closed the door. As it swung shut, Amellon was seen darting to the nearby credenza with her hand outstretched. The sharp sound of a sword strike colliding with wood was heard, followed by the sound of a gasp and whimpering. At this point, the vision blurred and looped the images over and over.
    Moments after the guards regained their senses, Cephissus appeared at the doorway alongside the General Prime of the 108th Fey Coalescence, Opalla Arroux. After a few minutes of investigation, looking up from the echoing reliquary and the blade, Opalla ordered the arrest of Cephissus on the account of high treason.
    The broadsword was later identified as the Sous-General's ceremonial blade bestowed upon him by the Emperor himself in commemoration of his appointment to Sous-General.
    Cephissus emphatically denied the murder of the Imperial Medium, but when questioned as to his location during the time of the incident, Cephissus remained silent. It is not clear what the Sous-General hoped to achieve by declining to elaborate on his whereabouts, but it is clear this refusal made for the strongest mark toward his conviction.

    Gougaughn, red mark.
    Murmurs erupted from the courtroom. The populace at large expected a unanimous vote, as did those present. Gougaughn's mark had spared the life of his great nephew, but did nothing for his innocence.
    Crown Judge Prime Traucenet cleared his throat and began, "As of today, the 27th of Greening, 77268 ER, in His 19th Imperial Court of the Divine, Cephissus Loire, son of Garonne Loire, you, the accused, on charges of High Treason for the murder of Grand Pontiff Amellon, Imperial Medium, are found guilty."
    Cephissus remained still, a bitter animosity burning in his eyes. The two guards now lowered the points of their spears toward his chest.
     "You are hereby punished to the maximum extent of the law: exile."
    Again the members of the audience exploded in whispers and murmurs. The dull roar this time quenched by the silencing magic of the court sage.
    "Effective immediately you are relieved of your position in the Fey Coalescence. Your assets are hereby ceased by the Empire. All rights and freedoms granted to you by the Empire are revoked, including citizenship. Henceforth, you are banished from all lands owned and in propriety to the Empire. Trespassing on imperial soil will infringe upon this edict of exile and is therefore punishable by death."
    The court chamber then erupted with shouts and protests. Guards burst in from adjoining rooms to contain the crowd. Above the din, Traucenet was heard to have shouted, "Take the traitor away!"

    Six days later, Crown Judge Gougaughn was found guilty of nepotism and dishonorably discharged from his position. Opalla Arroux was appointed the new 9th-Seat Crown Judge of the Elder Council.

    Many weeks later...

    The cobblestone streets were surprisingly filthy. Bits of trash and Leegian knows what basked in the grime of each corner and crevice. A tall cloaked figure made its way down the street. On either side of the piazza dealers trafficked their wares. Loops and bolts of the seediest textiles, fruits and meats not fit for plaguerats, and gaudy trinkets hailed as priceless treasures and rare artifacts each held their place.
    The smudged face of the figure peered half-hidden from the hood of the cloak. It seemed transfixed on the quickly spoiling food. It stood, for a moment, at the corner of two streets, then it approached the kiosk where the fruit sat. An unshaven, brusque peddler hawked his lines as the figure drew nearer.
    "Fresh fruit! Come see my fresh fruit! You'll love it. Please, buy some. They say that Rom himself eats this very..."
    And the peddler droned on.
    Hungrily, the figure transfixed its gaze upon the dour-looking produce. A fine, manicured hand lifted from under the cloak, though smudged and smeared with filth it was. The fruit began to disappear beneath the long and concealing robes.
    "... in all the land! Why, even in the Barony of.. Hey! Hey!" The peddler broke off his pitch notcing his merchandise steadily disappearing. His voice filled with alarm and reproach. "I see you! I see you! You'd better be paying for all of those. How many do you have there? How many? How many?" The peddler now briskly tottered around the corner of his kiosk to beside the cloaked figure. His impatient hand reached out toward it and grasped at the hem. But then it was gone! Cloak, fruits, and all, it vanished!
    "Stop! Thief! Thief!" The peddler began shouting after a moment of shock. "Help! Guards! Come quick! Thief!"
    A commotion began building attention at the fruit kiosk. Pacing back and forth quickly on the cobblestones, the peddler threw his arms into the air and called to the town's sentry. Onlookers appeared from seemingly nowhere, a steady stream of eyes and gawkers poured toward the indignant cries of alarm.
    Swimming upstream, a tall, cloaked figure pressed its way through the ever-thickening crowd of curious minds.
    Bashing and shoving their way through the crowd into the small opening before the kiosk, the militiamen questioned the fruit peddler. Ferverent, yet muddled, descriptions were related through the din of murmurs now surrounding the site of the incident. "...and he was tall and gangly..." and "...knew he was trouble when I first..." could be heard above the dull roar. Then, suddenly, "There he is! That's the guy! It's him! It's him!"
    Every head in the crowd turned the direction of the peddler's pointing paw; it singled out the tall and conspicuous cloaked figure. It stiffened for a moment, then turned its head toward the peddler. Hastily it turned and shoved its way through the remaining edge of the crowd; a few fruits toppled from the cloak's recesses and bounced and rolled along the stone street. A few hands of the mob reached and caught onto the threads, pulling back the hood. The entire crowd gasped and after a moment a voice cried out, "It's an elf!"
    Beneath the dirty, grey, coarse cloth, the fine and fair complexion of an elf shone brightly despite the cake of mud awash his face. Unkempt, pale golden hair cascaded from his head. A scar ran from his brow through his left eye to his cheek. He glared spitefully at the onlookers, his face twisting with both contempt and shame. Panic broke out. There were some who ran away, there were some who closed in, a great struggle of bodies ebbed in the heart of the town. Throwing the hood over his head, the fey tore away with great speed down the artery.
    "Stop him!" cried the peddler.
    "One side! Out of the way!" barked the soldiers as they elbowed their way through the thick of the pit of people.
    The cloaked figure disappeared around the corner of a building, down the only avenue to the pier.
    As the guards broke free of the mesh of flesh and shouts, one stoutly commanded, "Hurry! We can trap him at the docks!" A labor of boots and swaying sheaths barreled down the terrace toward the wharf.
    And so a fevered search swept the pilings. Each ship inspected, each mooring investigated, but never a trace of the elf was found save a few half eaten, rat-covered fruits and a soiled, grey cloak.



Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
This is a placeholder post, I need to go digging in my harddrive and pull up the background I'm looking for. I think this thread is a wonderful idea, and I hope we get many more posters!
This is a short blurb I wrote for an eladrin psion I was planning to play in a friend's game. There's more to it, and if there's significant interest, I'll post more, but I'm trying to avoid posting a wall of text. Anyway, hope everyone enjoys. 

"Your little mind tricks are very cute, Varic, but now isn't the time. Your brother and I are in the middle of a lesson and you know focus is important with real magic..."
           I still find myself drifting back to those memories. It's incredible how a parent's words stick with us, even after years apart. It's been a lifetime since I sat in my mother's laboratory, desperate for her approval, and always just short of attaining it. "Real magic," she called it. Arcane magic, that is. My  mother was an extremely talented wizard. So talented, in fact, that she was invited to study in Astrazalian, the City of Starlight. She dedicated her life to the art, and she lived a very long life.            You can imagine her disappointment when her first son was born with no talent at all for her precious magic. No, instead he, I, was born with another power altogether. From a young age, I had a talent for understanding people, and I don't mean that I heard the words they were speaking. I mean that I truly understood them. I could sense their motivations, when they were lying, how they felt. I could meet someone for the first time and tell exactly the kind of person they are. I tried to explain it to my brother, Emeron, once when we were teenagers.
            He came to me one afternoon after mother had released him from his studies. He wanted to know about another of her students, a young noble's daughter from one of the great houses. I asked him what he wanted to know, and his reply was simple:
            "Everything! I need to know everything about her! What does she like to do for fun? What type of music does she enjoy? I nee-"
            "Yes, yes, I understand brother," I said, chuckling. "You want to know how to best go about romancing her." It wasn't a question. I knew that was his desire almost as soon as he realized it himself. That had more to do with being his older brother than it did with being psionic, however.
            He smiled, a wide affectionate smile, the kind only a brother can give. "Yes, exactly. You know me too well, Varic."
            I smiled back, finding  in my brother the warmth that my mother seemed incapable of extending to anyone who couldn't conjure a ball of fire from midair. 
            "So will you do it?" Emeron asked me. "Could you get in her head for me?"
            My smile faltered. "Yes, I could..." I turned away from him then. "But I won't do it."
            "But, I-"
            "Em, it takes constant concentration to stop myself from 'getting into her head.' Or yours for that matter. Or mom's." I paused and took a deep breath. "My power, it shouldn't be used that way. Imagine knowing, intimately, every dark thought of the people around you..."
            "Var, I didn't mean to..."
            I smiled again. "I know you didn't, my concentration isn't always so great." I winked, and he laughed, and that was the end of it.

Draelen Kas'asar, Shadar-Kai Fighter
Character Background

The Shadowfell is bleak, baby.  Real bleak.  Everyone’s sitting around being all goth and emo with dark cow eyes and perpetual sticks shoved up their collective arses.  It’s grey, it’s cold and it’s bloody friggin’ depressing.  Watching departed souls marching through day after bleedin’ day on their way to their final fate gets boring.  The eight hundredth day in a row that the forecast called for doom, gloom and fog as thick as bat drek, I was done.  I mean, for belgium’s sake, c’mon…  I hit a portal to Sigil within the day and have never looked back.  Unholy Vecna’s Lost Right Testicle, that city was all I could have dreamed.  I met Hadley there, and oh… Well, that’s really none of your business.  Among other things, he taught me to fight and clothed me like a real man, and not some greyscale simpering joke.  Armored and equipped with a staff (heh, shut up), we ran the planes for a while.  One day, we got hired by the Mage Council of the Five Winds to recover some old primordial junk from a cache discovered by farmers in a little podunk called Five-Hands-Running.  All went well, we even recovered the stash.  Unfortunately, we also ran into Sathrec.  That lizard bitch is a cleric of some dark little god of piddling in tea or something.  She has an evil friggin’ six foot tall dire kobold paladin champion.  Ingasor was armed with a meat cleaver on a friggin’ stick and carved Hadley up like Hogswatch ham.  I thought I was dead, too.  Among other wounds, I got my face slashed open, but I got away.  I went back the next day for Hadley’s body, but those scaly bits of trogblek had eaten him.


Yeah.

I left the joyously vibrant Outlands and headed out to the prime.  It isn’t my nature to entertain dark moods, so I left my mourning at the gate.   I got to this city a couple weeks ago and have done an odd-job or three, y’know?  But, the really important part is, what are you drinking, and I’m pretty sure you said you’re buying.



Appearance

Draelen loves color and life, adorning his clothing with brightly colored, if not downright gaudy, baubles and trimmings that are nothing more than loud decoration.  His basic clothing is black, blending against dark grey skin and blue-black hair, but it is layered with red, gold, purple and white.  His solid black eyes glisten with anticipation of the next moment and a sly smile or toothy grin is never far from his face.



Personality

Boisterous and loud, Draelen seems out of place as a creature of the Shadowfell.  Quick to drink, quick to joke and quick with his staff, he is often a blur of brightly colored motion.

Tavi Aruaii, Halfling Lifewarden


Character Background

Tavi has lived on the sprawling golden plains for most of her young life.  Born to the Witira (Nightbreeze) tribe, she is an aruaii (dawnchaser, tracker).  The young halfling spends most of her days moving ahead of a hunting party with one or two other aruaii, flushing out their quarry and running it back toward the awaiting warriors.  The aruaii are also used as a kind of bounty hunter, tracking down sentient beings and bringing them back to the tribe.


Appearance

To other eyes, Tavi appears as a well-muscled, if somewhat feral, child with thick dreadlocks of deep red and large amber eyes.  She wears the traditional garb of her station, flowing brown pants and sleeveless top under a wide red and yellow belt embroidered with the black star and white moon symbols of the Mother.  Her tanned body is covered in a myriad of dark red tattoos, including the symbols of the revered Mother, lady of the night sky and patron of the Nightbreeze tribe, and a growing network of flowers, symbolizing the Father, lord of rebirth.  Each flower represents a successful mission in her secondary aruaii function.


Personality

Tavi is a fairly quiet halfling.  She takes her position of aruaii very seriously and keeps the traditions of silent coordination in most of her daily activities.  She frowns on drinking and loud merry-making.  As such, many find her a great bore and amazing party-pooper.


Friends and Foes

The Aruaii-lan’ki, her dawnchaser unit.  Tavi has worked and trained with these four since she was twelve years old.



Aheniti, leader of the Aruaii, he taught Tavi how to tap into the primal flow and grasp its fury.



Eku Peoranui, twilighthunter (warrior) and high-ranking member of the Valuni (Dewfeather) tribe.  Tavi’s sharp tongue managed to offend him greatly during last year’s Great Feast.

Riva Darkdreamer, Tiefling Shaman


Character Background

I was not born, not as you were. I was dreamt of in the eternal darkness of the abyss, a vague nightmare spun from the webs of fear and pain. The woeful idea that sparked my malignant soul was the thought of demons, yet somewhere along the way as my soul began to coalesce, a single innocent prayer floated into this never-ending hell. It struck my misformed essence and the half-formed thought of my being was struck awry. Screaming in pain, my unborn shell fled this holy touch, wailing away from the abyss and crossing into the prime.


It was here that my half-self discovered flesh and clothed my soul in the guise of a mortal. It was here that I began a twenty-year journey of misery that has resulted in this jaded, torn man that you see today, a hellspawn struck down by the angelic thoughts of a dying man calling out to his god. Neither demon nor mortal, I exist in tormented eternal half-life. I am chaos incarnate, yet flittering like a softly winged butterfly is that damnedly holy prayer, trapped in the dark cage of my soul. It has reached golden tendrils into my essence, bringing me consciousness, bringing me choice. Bringing me joyful agony that sends me from this protective dream into the horridly bright day and makes me yearn for mortal touch and makes me wish for something more...

I wandered the world for a time and came to a lonely place, forgotten and scorched by the sun's life-giving touch, so much as I had been. I settled in this land of burning sands and freezing nights, finding a strange kinship with this tortured land. At first I only sought a meager existence, only living for the next day. In time, I found I cared for this little scratch in the earth and built around me a paradise. Animals came to my Eden and at first I threw stones and drove them away. Then I found my sickeningly weak mortal heart desired their presence and I allowed the beasts to drink from my spring and bed down in the small grasses that I had coaxed to grow in this godsforsaken place. We grew together, that scant handful of animals and shriveled plants and I, and for a time I foolishly believed my dueling soul to be at peace.


Joy was not a word inscribed in the book that is my life. My heaven on earth, as it were, came to a crashing halt all too soon. Was it a day ago, or perhaps five years? Maybe a lifetime ago, an army of mortals passed through the desert bringing their filth and garbage, upsetting that delicate ecosystem I had so painstakingly sought to balance in this hellish place. Waters were poisoned, the land desecrated and then they were gone, gone to the cities east of here. My dreams passed in the blink of an eye and all I remember is the expressionless helm of their leader, fashioned in the guise of a mad red dragon. When I close my eyes, I see it. For years, my focus was a little place in the desert on the edge of life. That has been crushed under reptilian claw and now a new focus has risen in me, once again giving me purpose. I quickly gather what little is left in my humble grove, spirits of the creatures killed in the destruction of our home flying around me, and turn toward the dust cloud of the passing army even as it fades on the horizon.

Appearance

Not a very large man, Riva prefers to dress in various shades of brown, which make an interesting contrast to his chalky white skin and teal-green hair.  Even as a creature of the desert, his skin never darkens nor reddens from the sun.

Personality

Riva has had very little contact with mortals, living almost his entire incarnation deep inside a desert far to the west.  As such, he's a little reserved in his speech, but a fluid of emotional body language.


Friends and Foes

Sir Raldis Laerion, an elven paladin who was defeated twenty years ago.  It was his final prayer to his god that struck Riva's partially formed abyssal self and a shard of Raldis' soul helped create Riva's mortal form.  Riva bears a strange, muted resemblance to the elf, which is why he doesn't appear as a true tiefling.


Vania Mardis, a human seeker that Riva traveled with a short time after leaving the desert.

Hessur Ambach, leader of the armies that stormed through his camp, unwittingly destroying all that Riva had created.

Rranyu, Renhra (longtooth shifter refluffed as liontaur) Barbarian


Character Background

Rranyu was born into the Elder House of the GreenMountain tribe twenty-six years ago.  A single birth among a people that routinely have twins, Rranyu’s coming was seen as a foreboding omen.  Though considered a privileged youth, he was still shunned by his peers and scowled at by others.  When the tribe found a Milao toddler wandering alone on the plains, his mother immediately adopted her.  As a xenophobic race, this was heavily frowned upon, adding more trouble to the young liontaur’s life.  However, Rranyu came to love the Milao girl, whom they called Vrrhanah.


When the time was coming that Rranyu would ascend to rule the Elder House, their encampment was destroyed by marauding dragonmen.  Only Vrrhanah’s skill with the bow saved the two of them; nearly all of their people were slaughtered, the survivors scattered.  They struck out across the great plains to seek the home of their goddess, a being known only as She, who lived in a lake far to the north.

Appearance

An average Renhran male, Rranyu has a thick, coarse mane of deep golden brown hair circling his leonine face and intelligent liquid brown eyes.  He is robustly built, with wide shoulders and four large, claw-tipped paws.  He wears little, a strap of hide across one shoulder, a wide belt holding his weapon sheathes and a bag of food.

Personality

Emotional extremes are a foreign concept to him and Rranyu is often mistaken as being cold by outsiders. Usually easy-going and gentle, he turns into a ruthless killing machine in combat.  The only person that can seem to draw deep emotions out of him is Vrrhanah, and even that takes some work.


Friends and Foes

Vrrhanah, his lover, mate and traveling companion.


The Sindrethne Empire, dragonmen youths slaughtered his people and if anything can bring Rranyu to something resembling true anger, it is the presence of these people.

She, a mysterious being said to live in LakeNymorea.  The Renhra believe her to be a powerful goddess.

Vrrhanah, Milao (Razorclaw Shifter) Seeker


Character Background

Vrrhanah was found as a young orphaned kit lost on the plains.  Wandering the flatlands, she was taken in by a tribe of Renhra nomads.  She grew up on the outskirts of the tribe, never quite fully accepted by the normally xenophobic liontaurs.  The toddler was adopted by the head woman of the Elder House of the GreenMountain and became fast friends with their only son, Rranyu.  Considered an oddity himself for being of a singleton birth in a people who normally had twins, Rranyu found the antics of the strange bipedal Vrrhanah great fun.  In time, he came to respect her great hunter prowess even while puzzling over her angry passion.  That respect grew into love and the star-crossed pair entered into a hidden relationship.


As the days grew nearer that Rranyu would ascend to his place in the Elder House, their tribe was attacked by dragonmen and nearly every Renhra perished that bloody night or was driven out into the plains.  The two decided to strike out to the north, where their goddess, known only as She, was believed to dwell in a lake formed from flows out of the mountains.

Appearance

Bigger than the average Milao, Vrrhanah is a sight to behold by those who have only seen the pampered pets own by the Sindrethne dragonmen.  Far from the perfumed and styled, soft bodied beings that lounge about on jewel-studded golden chains, polishing well-manicured claws and lazing around eating choice bits of meat, Vrrhanah is a tall, muscular woman with short, wheat-colored fur and thick golden hair that falls around a slightly muzzled face with deep amber eyes.  She usually wears armor made of blood red hide and has a belt of multicolored scales dangling from her trim waist.  Her weapon-of-choice is a stoutly built longbow that screams out her vengeance against her chosen foe.

Personality

Volatile and passionate, Vrrhanah seems so much the opposite of her companion, Rranyu.  She wears her emotions outward, quick with a smile and even quicker with a dagger laid to the throat.


Friends and Foes

Rranyu, her lover, mate and traveling companion.


The Sindrethne Empire, dragonmen youths slaughtered her adopted people.  Vrrhanah would love to see nothing more than the total destruction of the race and see her chain of scales grow.

She, a mysterious being said to live in LakeNymorea.  The Renhra believe her to be a powerful goddess.

Lael Silksek, Half-Drow/Dusk elf Darklock


Character Background

Lael is the result of a drow nobleman’s lust for an enslaved dusk elf house servant.  Eluë hid her pregnancy from the House and with the help of the other slaves was able to keep Lael moving among other women enough that no one else knew who his true mother was.  The pressures of her servitude and the wanton advances of the nobleman began to weigh heavily on the young elven woman, however, and as Lael approached adolescence, his mother fell into true insanity.  Many nights he spent by her bedside, nursing her through a nightmarish fit.  The day came that Eluë no longer cared about secrecy and discretion and approached the nobleman’s wife, spitting her words like venom.  She spoke of  Dranthil’s infidelity and how often he came to her bed rather than his wife’s.  Zilithras was less than pleased with this news and ordered Eluë’s lying heart carved from her chest on the spot. 


Lael tried to run to his mother’s side but was held back by the surrounding maids.  He watched in anguish and horror as his beautiful mother was slaughtered even as she called out to her master, who only stood to the side, denying any knowledge of the vicious lies the crazed woman was spouting.  Finally, he broke free and, slipping in the blood that poured from her gapping chest, he fell to his knees and held her cold hand to his face.  Zilithras saw the child, and instantly realizing what he represented, demanded his death as well.  The boy, clutching his dead mother to him, drew upon the insanities they had both lived with for years, calling the cursed energies to him and unleashing them in a violent, mind-rending blast.  While the room reeled in a waking nightmare, blood and tears blinded his mad dash from the house and into the twisted caverns beyond.

It was here that the Fate Weaver first spoke to him, showing him how the threads of fate are wound and how easily those threads can be severed.  It taught him how to weave his own threads, drawing on his mind’s darkest secrets and allowing his own nightmares to become real.


He wandered the tunnels for a time, with only the dry voice of the Fate Weaver whispering in his ear.  The threads of Fate brought him to a hidden dusk elf enclave.  They did not trust the boy, believing him to be a drow spy.  It took some time, and pain, before they were comfortable letting the youth move without escort through their realm.  Once he demonstrated his prowess in arcane arts, Lael, now a young man of seventeen, joined the Gloaming Guard and began to work as a deadly sentinel guarding his new homeland.

Appearance

Lael possesses an ethereal beauty, with white hair and intense blue eyes with an inner ring of hazel violet set in a pale face tinged blue.  With an average height and slim build, he does not cut a foreboding figure, but his presence still seems to fill a room.  He usually wears clothing of various greys and differing textures, enjoying more the feel of the cloth than its appearance.

Personality

Shy and soft-voiced, he is rarely openly vocal, but does enjoy conversing on various topics once the ice is breached.  In battle, he casts out his own nightmares and dementia upon his foes, showing a sadistic streak of cruelty in his enjoyment of bringing mental anguish to all that stand before him.


Friends and Foes

Lithia, a pretty dusk elf girl who caught Lael’s eye recently.


Otellan, Lael’s direct superior in his Gloaming Guard unit.

Thaeos’then, the noble drow House that he grew up in.  A decree for his heart still stands.


 Back on the old Gleemax forums, the old CharDev forum occasionally held Character Challenges, where someone would post a short inspirational piece, and then each entrant would submit a character based on that piece to be judged by the person holding the Challenge. The winner was responsible for posting the next Challenge.

This was my winning entry for the Character Challenge V: The Betrayal.

This was our challenge...
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The Challenge...

How is it that one mistake can so ruin a man's life? I was a child when I experienced my greatest failure and still it haunts me. I am tossed aside, a useless, broken tool because I was foolish as a youth. There is no choice for me anymore. Or rather there is but one choice. I can choose a life of service and duty; struggling, forever in vain, to regain their approval. So too, could I run and hide, lost forever in my own shame. But I will bear this shame no longer. I will tear down those who would never forgive me. I will show them their own weakness and what a strong, proud man I have become. I will show them that they are not better. And when I have crushed them with a strength they refused to see in me they will know what they lost in turning their backs on me.

Your challenge is to tell me who this man is and how he came to be.



My character I submitted...
"The Silent One"... Senjen Brook, NE ranger


"The Silent One"... Senjen Brook, NE ranger

   Fourteen years.
   That's how long it has been since any in the village spoke my name, or that I spoke to them at all.
Fourteen years have I been silent, and ten of those have I wandered the vale and the forest beyond, fending for myself. Thriving on my own after they turned their backs to me and cast me out. Not with clubs or strong hands upon my shoulders, but with silence. With cold stares and half-heard whispers born of the knowledge that I would indeed hear them. Never would they lower themselves to banish me for my crime, but they thought not twice of lowering me so that I might banish myself and trouble their consciences no more.

   For it is indeed in their consciences that the true crime took place - that they judged me for the crime of being a child too small to know better.

   It was in my fifth year that the raiders came. My father and oldest brother worked the fields to the north of the village that day, and my mother and sisters sat in front of Mother Darbet's cottage and shelled peas while my brother Sarn cleaned the house. He was being punished that day for breaking Mother Darbet's window, and was not allowed to accompany the men to the fields as the rest of the boys of ten seasons did. (He was *always* being punished for something, and seemed to prefer me as his victim above all others, as I was to blame for his loss of our mother's dotage upon him as the youngest child.)
   I sat at my mother's feet and played in the dirt more frequently than I helped her shell the peas.

   The sun was dropping in the sky, slowly tinting the blue sky with gold when the first cloud of dust rose over the trees that ran along the trade road until itturned to skirt our village before the river bridge. (Of all the horrors of that day, I can most clearly remember the image of that magical sky that exists only in the brief hours before the sun truly begins to paint the sky red as it sets.)

   No one bothered to look up to see who it was that rode so thunderously into our midst - riders came at all hours of the day and sometimes at night, always rushing along on whatever their business was and we never asked what that business might be, as it wasn't ours and thus not our concern. We were farmers and craftsmen before the trade guilds built the roadhouse that made our village one stop among many on the trade road, and we were farmers and craftsmen yet. The travellers on the road held no great interest for us.
   And so we were taken by surprise when the thunderous sounds of hoofbeats surged towards us rather than slowing to a stop at the roadhouse. I heard a long high scream shatter the everyday noise of the village, pitching up into a banshee wail before it cut off abruptly with a wet gurgle. The sounds of shouting, angry men were all around us, and the stink of leather and horses assaulted my nose as I looked around in confusion. Mother screamed and dropped her basket of peas. My sisters began to cry. Suddenly, Mother shouted something at me...
But I couldn't hear her - my senses were overwhelmed by the sight of an enormous black horse stamping it's hooves furiously into the dirt before me, my eyes barely at the top of it's foreleg. Atop the horse, like some furious god sitting astride a mountain, sat a man easily a forearm's length taller than my father (who to me was a giant with his head scraping the clouds). The horse surged forward, and I was nearly trampled as my mother pulled me to her tightly, taking the brunt of the horse's impact which threw us both to the ground. The man on the horse, helmed and bearded, clad in dark armor with bright studs and vicious spikes, yelled something at my mother in a language which hurt my ears before turning and violently spurring his huge horse off in another direction. I remember the sensation of Mother wrenching me up from the ground by my arm, then I have a sense of running, being half-dragged, as she gathered my two sisters and I and fled toward our own cottage, at the opposite end of the lane from Mother Darbet's. 
As we fled in blind panic toward our cottage Mother held little Mirren in her arms and clasped the hand of Madden, who at twelve was nearly old enough to birth children of her own, while Sarn gripped my hand fiercely and nearly ripped my arm from my shoulder as he dragged me stumbling toward home. Nearly every cottage we passed held scenes of indescribeable bloodshed and horror as the raiders crashed their huge black horses through the doors of our homes, riding them right into the cottages themselves in order to drag the occupants screaming and thrashing in unholy terror from the safety of the dwellings that held what had previously been their lives. A horse thundered past, nearly running Mother down, then another, and yet a third thundered past, dragging the torn body of Smith by a rope round it's neck.
Near to the raider's goliath of a horse, Smith's body looked even frailer than ever - no hewed-from-stone hard-muscled blacksmith was he, despite the name. Smith had been the scribe who kept the books for the roadhouse, and who taught us village children our letters and figures. As I reeled from the sight and fled again towards home, I suddenly giggled, bizarrely struck by the thought that today I wouldn't have to listen to that snotty brat Sabrah, who was legendary for preening and showing off the bright red apple that Smith bestowed upon the best student of the day, which she was awarded with sickening regularity.

    My surreal musings were interrupted by the sight of Feldan, the village glazier, our neighbor, being hurled bodily through the large window he'd so lovingly crafted for the front of his cottage. Mother hurried us into the kitchen of our own cottage and overturned the table for us to cower behind. We could smell the sharp smoke of our village being set aflame as black wisps drifted slowly in through the shattered front door. Though it had been no more than a single bell since the beginning of the apocalypse our village had become, it seemed like we'd run for bells on end. We huddled, shaking and tearful, behind our table for an eternity that was in truth no more than fifteen minutes. The tattered form of Feldan, our neighbor, lay facedown in the lane outside, blood slowly dripping from a horrific wound in his temple.

    We began to catch our wind as we curled together in a tight ball of shattered souls, minds blasted into numbness by the enormity of what we had witnessed. Minutes ticked slowly by, every second a thousand years of torture as we listened to the sounds of our friends and neighbors dying and the only world we'd ever known being burned to ash, praying to any gods that might choose to listen that no one returned to our cottage to finish ravaging it.
   As time passed, we became aware of a low moaning coming from the lane. It was Feldan! Alive! His head weakly turned back and forth as though the strength to stand up might be found lying somewhere in the dirt next to him. Again he moaned, louder this time, more clearly against the falling noise now that the raiders had dismounted to search for survivors and loot. We willed him to silence, but still the dreadful noise issued from his lips, until, with a last turn of his head, his one undamaged eye swivelled towards us and locked fully, horribly, onto my face as I peered out from under Mother's arm. Slowly he began to reach out his arm towards us, beseeching our help, and groaned all the louder. Half mad from shock, he didn't recognize the danger he was drawing ever closer to putting us in.
   Mother tried frantically to gain his attention, gesturing wildly for him to be quiet, but he seemed fixated on me, as though gaining my acknowledgement would mean his salvation. Louder and louder yet he called out, finding the strength somehow to call our names. Indecision clouded Mother's face for nearly a hundred beats of my thundering heart before she arrived at a decision. She stared deeply into each of our eyes in turn until she was sure that she had our fullest attention and told us to stay hidden. She drew the small yet sharp work-knife she always carried tucked into the pocket of her apron and quietly began to slip away towards the door. I threw my arms around her leg and gripped it with all my strength, terrified that she was never going to return. I cried like I had when I was Mirren's age, sobbing and begging her not to leave us. She pried me loose from her leg and handed me to Sarn, telling us once again to keep hidden. And then she was gone.

   Sarn clapped his hand over my mouth as I screamed for Mother, fighting him fiercely to break free and call her back or run to her side and cling to her forever. With a blend of quickness and stealth she hurriedly crept toward the front door, then darted her head out into the light to glance both left and right. Seeing no one, she darted further out into the lane and knelt beside Feldan. I thought she meant to check his wounds, or to grab him under the shoulders, as she had done to me so often when she twirled me around through the air pretending I was a bird, and drag him to safety in our kitchen. But she hesitated for but a brief second before a steely look arose in her eyes and she drew the sharp blade across Feldan's throat, spraying bright red blood upon her dress.

   She never saw the mailed fist that crashed into her head from behind, sending her sprawling in the bloody dirt. The raiders surrounded her, laughing and saying things in their harsh tongue. I struggled mightily against my brother, trying to break free to run to my mother's aid, but he held me fast. I lost sight of her briefly, but then I saw the raiders standing around her, as one of them held a knife to her throat. I remember little of the next half a bell beyond vague images of them doing things to her I was too little to understand, my mind pushed beyond the limits of understanding. 
Through all of it, Sarn held me fast, hand clamped tightly over my mouth as I wailed in silent hysteria. The raiders dispersed, wandering off to tear apart any remaining homes in their search for coins and plunder. Though I know that I could see my mother lying there, my mind yet to this day refuses to hold an image of her thus.
Suddenly, Sarn pulled me and my sisters even closer, ducking our heads down nearly to the ground. A raider, tall and bloodthirty-looking, was standing in our kitchen, pushing broken pottery around with the point of his sword. After a few minutes, he climbed the short, steep staircase that led up to the room where I and my brothers slept.
Sarn's grip on me relaxed just the slightest bit, and with a strength born of unimaginable anguish I lunged forward, slipping through his grasp. I ran over to the doorway, and stopped as though blocked by an invisible, impenetrable wall. My mind refused to acknowledge what my eyes saw, but I can clearly remember something inevitably building inside me and clawing it's way up my throat, which croaked out a single word in a small, tattered voice...

"Mama?"

   With that one tiny little word, more enormous than mountains, I had sealed our doom. A hand nearly the size of my head grabbed hold of me by the shirt collar and dragged me from the doorway. I heard Mirren cry and Madden scream as the rest of my siblings were pulled from under the table and roughly thrown out into the street next to me. One of the raiders strode forward and slammed the back of his mailed glove into my face hard enough that it drove two teeth from my head.

   And that is where my memory ends. I do not recall what happened to my sisters, nor do I know how my eldest brother died in the fight to reclaim our village. All that I do know is this... Sarn told my father and everyone else that I was responsible for their deaths.

   Although no one in the village accused me of that responsibility, I knew in my heart that everyone left in the village felt that it was my fault that my family had died. In the following year, we rebuilt the village and the roadhouse, and tried to return to some sense of normalcy. I grew up a quiet child, saying little other than when I fought bitterly with Sarn. I had few acquaintances and no true friends, as my father's and Sarn's coldness towards me gradually seeped out of our cottage and into the other villagers.
At the age of twelve, things finally came to a head. After his latest round of harrassment, Sarn recieved a beating from me that left him bedridden for days. And my father, a bitter, broken man who had for so long kept his feelings toward me bottled up, finally flew into a drunken rage and yelled at me in the village square, telling me in certain terms that he cursed to the darkest depths of the Hells the day I had learned to speak, and never wished to hear a single word escape my lips ever again. Before I could reply, his fist cracked across the side of my head, as the raider's had done seven years earlier, and he roared, "SILENCE!!!!!! You are DEAD! As dead to me as your mother and the brother and sisters that YOU MURDERED, you sniveling, whimpering COWARD! Never speak to me again - you are no son of mine, MURDERER!"


"But...Father..."


   With a murderous roar, my father threw himself at me. I remember nothing but pain. It took three men to pull him off of me. That was the last time I spoke a clear word to anyone in the village. My father had fractured my jaw in several places, and I was never able to speak again without a slight slurring in my words after that, but that had so very little to do with my eternal silence. In the moment when my father hit me, he had become inextricably linked in my mind to the raider who had knocked me senseless. Who had killed my mother. Killed my sisters and brother. Who had ruined everything. I would not speak. Not to him, not to anyone. I would never again let a word pass my lips. I would be strong.

   For the next four years, I slept in the stables of the roadhouse, mucking them out for a few coins and a bit of food, and wandered far and wide in the wooded areas far outside the village. I hunted and trapped and learned to track. If on occasion a bandit or fugitive from the city found their way into my traps, I failed to mention it to anyone. 
And not a single coherent word was heard from my mouth, responding when necessary only with a mumbled "mmrmm" or "nnnn". None of the villagers would speak to me in civil fashion without dire necessity, and I was shunned by all but those who delighted in torturing me by taunting me with my sins. In my sixteenth year, I took up my few possessions, strung my bow, and walked out of the village rarely to return except to trade for supplies.


I was five when the raiders came to my village.

I was twelve when my father struck me, and I stopped speaking.

I was sixteen when I left my village, and I have spent ten years in the wilderness.

Ten years in silence, with nothing but hate to make me strong.


   And now, in my twenty-sixth summer, in those few brief magical hours before the sun truly begins to paint the sky red, the hoofprints before me in the dirt of the hills near the village bear a terrifying familiarity, unsettling me to the very depths of my soul.

I know these tracks.

Raiders.



I could warn the village.

I could.

But they passed judgement on me. They called me a murderer. A coward.


 
A murderer? Perhaps.

I'm about to let all those people down below die.

But a coward?

No, I'm going to be strong this time.


I won't say a word.



Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

These are all very nice, and holy cow, Lhiannan, were you just waiting in the bushes for a thread like this?

Mad_Jack, I really like how you formatted your post here. I think I should redo mine with "hidden content", too. I think that nicely prevents posting a "wall of text" as Eyriish puts it; I did that with mine, didn't I? >.>

While we don't need to make this thread into a competition, I like the premise you supplied for the background you've shared. Thank you.

Eyriish, please share more. ^.^






Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
Here's one I've been using in LFR. I haven't really gotten the opportunity to utilize or even introduce much of my background, but just having it there helps to shape my character:

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Rhyfel
Class: Swordmage  Race: Eladrin  Height: 6'1  Weight: 182 lbs.  Eyes: Violet  Hair: Black  Favored Color: Red

Rhyfel was the child of a powerful eladrin sorcerer, but a sudden and startling worldfall left him in the natural world while his parents remained in the Feywild, and Rhyfel was captured by a cabal of mages looking for just such an opportunity. Recognizing his inborn arcane talent, they hid all records of eladrin existence and convinced Rhyfel that he was a living construct, designed to serve them.

Unfortunately, his masters failed to realize the fierce independent streak within the young swordmage, and after almost two decades, Rhyfel took his blade to the practice grounds and proceeded to turn it on his masters. Slaughtering them all, he left their citadel to burn after raiding their libraries and finding out about the existence of eladrin.

Now, Rhyfel wanders from city to city, looking for work and the chance to hone his skills. Something tells him that a greater threat lies out there, a guiding force that directed his masters. Rhyfel refuses to look to anyone for aid, seeing others as simply living services and exchanges of favors. In his mind, everyone in the world and beyond has the potential to become mind-enslaving tyrants like his masters, given the proper opportunity.

Rhyfel was correct about there being a shadowy figure behind his masters' actions. A person known only as Ei was indeed directing the mages' projects, and is still keeping tabs on Rhyfel for reasons unknown.

Rhyfel recently acquired his first magic item, a thundering longsword that is shaped like an elongated, razor-sharp tuning fork. As he likes the design of the weapon and the sound it makes when struck, he has decided to keep its form in future blades, and is considering adopting the surname of Bladesong, feeling that he is deserving of the moniker with a sword that rings in F-sharp.


I know this isn't all that long, but whatever.

The original core books said that this was our game too. It doesn't feel like that anymore.

This is one I am using for my Minotaur Battle cleric of the God of Death in my friends homebrew world. 

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Mistrise is a small village on the southeastern edge of the land that the human’s call the Grey Waste. Few, if any, outsiders know of my people’s existence, much less of the trauma that has trapped them in a cycle of mysticism and rage for the last eight centuries.


              Before the shattering of our lands, it is said that my people worshipped the Goddess, Thirsha. They cast all their fates by the span of the seasons, and the wax and wane of nature’s bounty. Then came the shattering…


            The land buckled and shriveled, and all those things that my people held as permanent were cast away. All that was left was terror and loss. For centuries my people descended into rage and fear, simply stalking the land and taking by force that which they needed.


            Then came the lifeline that my people still cling to, the discovery of the labyrinth. My people hold that the bonds of fate hold tight to their souls, and only through discovering the path through the labyrinth of their fate can my people be freed from their rage.


            The labyrinth gave my people focus, and allowed them to carve new homes from the dead stone of the Grey Waste. But it was a focus that is hinged on obsession with the past, and therefore a lie.


            Thanatos, who sees the end of all things, saw the need of my people; and so I was born. I was born on the night of the new moon, and as a sign of my destiny, my fur was white, the color by which my people denote the walls of the labyrinth. On the night of death, a sign of fate came into my tribe… and they tried to cast it away.


            I was named Dagan, ill-fate, in the language of my people, an placed upon the altar. I was to be carved open, the cuts in my flesh to break through the walls of the labyrinth for my tribe.


            Before the blade could carve my flesh, a voice of power echoed through the gathering, and cloaked in black stood the man who would be my master: Gelethius. Gelethius stood before the labyrinth walker, and demanded my freedom. When asked why, he told them, “He shall be a dealer of death, and a bringer of life. Where you have been controlled by the walls of fate, he shall transgress against them.” 


            The elder’s did not understand, but neither could they stand against Gelethius, for in this time the lord of death was with him. So I was taken.


 


            My time in Gelethius was spent in constant training of the ways of Thanatos. I became a brother of death, and through that a father of life. I saw the failings of the labyrinth, and how it is not a matter of fate being the bond of life, but how life and death together form the path of fate.


            As time passed, I grew in power and wisdom so that the Lord of Death would answer my pleas. But I had not carried out the will of Thanatos. 


            When the time had come, Gelethius chose my target. An ogre chieftain, fat with both food and power. He held his power over the other ogres that lived in the hills above the human village of Capocia.


            I sought out the ogre, and gave him up to the power of Thanatos. And through his death, I felt the flow of life.


            Over the next few months, the ogres warred among themselves, and those battles spilled over into Capocia. The city was razed… and so was the ire of Thanatos. I found that Gelethius had chosen my target for his own purpose, to seek vengeance against the people of Capocia. He had taken the lord’s power in vain, and for that he had to pay.


            I killed my master, and in this was my great sin. Not in Gelethius’ death, for that was demanded by Thanatos, but in how I accomplished it. I gave into the rage of my people, and wielded the lord’s power with a heart of white hate. For the first time, I did not feel the flow of life that is the shadow of death, and I knew that I had erred.


            So I left the body of Gelethius, to take to the road. I now must seek to do my Lord’s work, and battle the rage that fills my blood. I must walk the lines of the labyrinth, and hear the clear calls of Thanatos.


            I shall follow my Lord’s call and purge his house of heretics, by leading them through the shadows of fate, or granting them the touch of Thanatos; so that they may know his truth for themselves.


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Notes for Context:


            The Labyrinthine Cult of the minotaur is essentially a highly ritualized cult of self indulgence. They believe that provided that one performs the proper ritual, the labyrinth will prevent them from doing things they were not fated to do. Anything they can do , they were fated to do.


 


            “ He shall be a dealer of death, and a bringer of life. Where you have been controlled by the walls of fate, he shall transgress against them.”  This is a message that was sent to Gelethius by Thanatos, one that he didn’t understand even up to his death. By transgress, I mean the literal meaning of “going across” as opposed to the heretical connotations that the term can have.


            By “transgressing against the walls of fate” I mean him to work in exposing the interconnected nature of Life & Death (as present in his Battle Cleric-ness), and allowing the growth of Thanatos’ faithful. I see him as eventually building a true church, rather than simply a group of wandering priests, and increase the lay worship by showing how the view of Thanatos’ work has been limited by a combination of misunderstandings and heretics. 


 


 
Check out my new Gaming Blog: Josh's GM Thoughts
Lhiannan, did you make up all of your proper nouns? I like them; they fit the tone of your characters very well. I have always had trouble with creating "organic" proper nouns like that. Also, you write well. Kudos.

Mad_Jack, your backstory enthralled me. I could really envision the children hiding behind the prone table.

I have to say so far none of the backgrounds have been rainbows and butterflies, mine included. I wonder if people actually write lighthearted ones.

Please share more if you have it.





Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
I have to say so far none of the backgrounds have been rainbows and butterflies, mine included. I wonder if people actually write lighthearted ones.




HA!... You asked for it.

Pollyphemia Peregrinne Pureheart, Pint-sized Paladin of Pelor, halfling paladin

Polly was always a very happy, friendly child, endlessly upbeat and optimistic. Every morning when she was a little girl, she would walk out onto her front step, look up at the sun, and say, in a voice like a cartoon chipmunk with a head cold, "Hello, Mr. Sun..."
And throughout the day, as Polly went about her chores and played, she'd tell Mr. Sun all about her day, and have long conversations with him.
Everyone thought Polly was precious - she looked so cute in her red pigtails on the sides of her head, and she was always unfailingly polite and courteous. Polly loved doing things to help people, always willing to carry Widow Brownbriar's baskets for her or babysit Mrs. Willowleaf's children. And Polly was fearless. When bullies would harrass the weaker children of the village, Polly would stand with her hands on her hips and say, "Hey, that's not nice! Leave them alone, you big bullies!", and then Polly would punch them right in the nose.
As Polly grew older, her unshakable optimism, giving nature and fearless bravery led to her being appointed the local healer's assistant's assistant, as well as a valued member of the village militia.
Everyone in the village knew she was somehow special.

However, everyone in the village also thought Polly was touched in the head - even when Polly was twelve years old, she still talked like she had when she was six, and still spent a great deal of time staring up into the sun and talking to her imaginary friend Mr. Sun. Polly wasn't unintelligent, or incapable of learning, but she never developed more adult sensibilities. Even as a grown woman, Polly still possessed a child-like sense of absolute right and wrong, a child's sense of justice, and a childlike way of speaking.

 What the people of the village hadn't realized was that, one day when Polly was six, she had walked out onto her front step in the morning, looked up at the sun, and said, "Hello, Mr. Sun!"

And Mr Sun had replied, "HELLO, POLLY..."

Pelor, Lord of the Sun, had been sitting in his domain when a small voice caught his attention, apparently addressing him from nearby. Intrigued, the Sun God turned his attention toward the voice, and discovered that a small mortal child on the material plane was speaking to him as though he was sitting on the front step next to her, helping her shell peas. Pelor was amazed to discover that Polly's pure childish faith in the existence of her friend Mr. Sun had allowed her to communicate directly with him in a way most of his devout followers couldn't.
As Polly grew older, Pelor began to ask her questions. Questions about right and wrong, about justice, and about ethics. He'd begun grooming her. And when she was ready, she left her village and travelled to the city to become a paladin.






Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

Well done, Mad_Jack. Though she is what some may call nauseatingly sweet, I would call her well written. Her personality is tangible and clear; I could see someone roleplaying her easily with the groundwork laid here.

Pelor, the god of the sun, summer, and the harvest, a.k.a. Mr. Sun 




Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.

I have to say so far none of the backgrounds have been rainbows and butterflies, mine included. I wonder if people actually write lighthearted ones.



I had a halfling whose back story was a journal of the campaign through his eyes and with his values. I can't find it for the life of me, but in one sitting he gets locked up for breaking and entering. You see, he didn't know he was doing anything wrong. In his homeland, locks are more like games you set for guests. If you really want to keep something, you keep it somewhere truly safe...like a safe, and perhaps with a few traps. Anyway...he saw his B&E's and minor burglary as looking around and borrowing a few things. After they locked his up, he promptly escaped and the guards actually ended up paying him to show them how to make better locks. 

In another entry (re: sitting) he pick pocketed the paladin's symbol of Bahamut and stashed it in the fighter's belongings. Upon finding out, the paladin promptly threw said belongings over the side of the ship we were trveling on. ...Though Nebin did pay for it later. When his little trick was revealed, he ended up taking a swim himself.

Fun character...I'll post a bit more on Varic, my aforementioned eladrin psion when I get it written.  

For the time being, he's a psionic warrior I played back in 3.5.

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 In the brutal heat of the deserts, there is much wealth to be had. Most of it can be found buried beneath the seas of scorching sand, in the form of raw minerals. Gold, silver, precious gems, a treasure trove of untapped minerals ripe for the taking. Unfortunately, the location of this bounty is not an easily accessible one. Many have set out, hoping to make their fortune with the “desert harvest,” as it would come to be known, but only one group of particularly crafty and wicked sorcerers succeeded . Why did they succeed where so many others had failed? Well, that’s simple enough, these sorcerers were intelligent enough to realize that they would never be able to mine the minerals themselves, and in fact, very few humans could. So, these sorcerers used a combination of their magic and the forced couplings of desert dwelling giants and unfortunate human slaves to create a new race of half giants. Perfect workhorses for their mining ventures.

This story, however, is not about these evil sorcerers, it is about one of their would be slaves. Khamal, like the rest of his kind, was born into a world of suffering. He was taken from his mother at birth and taken to the half-giant nursery that the overlords used to ensure their slaves were healthy enough to work. Khamal was big, even as a baby. He was born healthy and showed no signs of birth defects, which was rare among the half-giant slave stock. Years of forced breeding made for very strong and intelligent slaves, but the half-giant population is still small, and all the inbreeding makes for a multitude of defects. For every one perfect child, like Khamal, there are 5 or so that are born with one problem or another. Most of these “mistakes” are rectified immediately, and killed. Some of them, the ones with mild mental problems, or extremely slight physical problems, are allowed to live as well. Luckily for Khamal, he was an unusually strong and healthy baby, which meant he would grow up to be a strong and healthy slave, so he was treated as well as any of his kind were treated. 
A few days after their birth, when they’re healthy enough, half-giant babies that pass the screening process are taken to the “Youth Temple”, or training center, as the sorcerers refer to it. That temple is where the young half-giants spend the first few years of their life. The teachers there, humans mostly, teach the over-sized children everything from reading and writing to math and simple geometry. As a result of their breeding, half-giants are predisposed to adapt to the tasks given to them, and their training aids in that. The young half-giants are taught all the skills that a good slave may need, and their nature takes care of the physical conditioning. They are a very physical race, and they strive to be recognized. Khamal was often recognized from both his strength and his cleverness. He was the favorite in nearly every competition the “care givers” gave to the young giants. Considering the chains that held him, Khamal was a very happy child.
It wasn’t until his 13th birthday when he was pulled from the safety of the “Youth Temple”  and thrust into the harsh, hot mines that he began to resent his station in the worlds. The world he knew inside the “Youth Temple,” the illusion that had been crafted around him for years, was very different from the reality. Almost right away, Khamal started to look for a way out. He had seen more than one of his people burned alive for suspicion of spreading sedition, so he was very careful as he moved forward.  No, Khamal’s rebellion was a silent and subtle one. He would steal from the overseer’s in the dead of night. A little food here, a few coins there, his eyes were always open. He would intentionally sabotage a mine cart so that it spilled over deep in the caves where it was cool, so that he could take his time picking it up and reloading the cart. They were small acts, of little consequence, but they were something. He was fighting. 
It was a few years later, after he had gotten very good at what he did, that he stumbled upon what it would take to move things forward. It was soon after his 15th birthday that Khamal began to feel the budding power within him. He wasn’t sure quite what it was at first, but he realized very quickly that it was of use to him. With enough focus and concentration, he could change his hands from hard, calloused slave hands into razor sharp claws.
Those claws came in very handy when he wasn’t being watched. He caused more than one tent line to snap, which made it seems as if the overseers were being sold faulty rope. They then, in turn, found a new dealer, who asked a higher price, so in his own way, Khamal was robbing the overseers. He did all he could to oppose them without making himself apparent, and he was very good at it. It wasn’t long before the thought of escape occurred to him, of course he had thought of it before, but this was the first time it ever seemed possible. With his understanding of the way things worked, and his new found power, he figured escape was within his grasp. 
He had just begun working on his escape plan when something incredible happened. While he slept, dreaming, one of the older slaves spoke to him, in his mind. This older slave somehow knew about his power, but he never said Khamal’s name, in fact, it seemed as if he was speaking to more than just Khamal. That was the first time Khamal even considered that other slaves may have powers like his, and with that thought, escape seemed much closer.
The older slave, who Khamal learned was called Aldaera, became a regular visitor to his thoughts and dreams. Each time he came, he asked Khamal, and the other half-giants who could hear him, to think their name as hard as they could, he said he was attempting to count their numbers. He needed to see just how many empowered slaves their were. Although he never said why he asked this, Khamal knew; all of his listeners knew. Without him putting it to words, they all knew he was planning an escape. It wasn’t long after Aldaera’s visits began that he revealed his plan. It was indeed an escape paln, and a brilliant one at that.
Khamal didn’t realize it until Aldaera informed him, but some of the other giants’ powers were different than his. While some of them share his ability to change their body into a weapon, or augment their strength, others could do much more. They could do things like Aldaera and talk to you through thought, or even use their minds to form beams of energy. Some of them could move things with just a thought. Aldaera’s plan relied heavily on these powers, and on those who shared Khamal’s powers. His plan was to cause a cave in, and use the mental energy of  “mind users” to hold the rocks back long enough for the “body users” to dig the empowered half-giants out and to freedom.  The plan was passed through thought alone, and there was no way to be sure that everyone who heard it actually understood it. Going through with it meant that his life would be purely in the hands of the other half-giants, whose job it was to keep the rocks from crushing everyone. Better that than this, I guess.
He was terrified as he stepped into the tunnel where the empowered were to stage their escape, but at the same time he was very excited. With each fellow slave he passed, he could feel the power welling up within them. Everyone’s power felt different, yet somehow the same. By the time Aldaera gave the word to start the cave in, Khamal was ready to dig like he’d never dug before, and when the rocks fell, he did just that. He dug, for hours he dug, along with nearly 2 dozen other “body users.” They dug for their freedom. They dug to show up the half-giant on either side of them. They dug to show they were the strongest, but most of all, they dug for their lives.  It was a long time before they broke free of the cold, dark earth, but when they did, it was on free sand.
They were well outside the walls that the sorcerers used to keep them inside camp and under watch. The night of their escape,  the half-giants celebrated well into the morning, and every one of them greeted that morning’s sunrise as if it was their first. Khamal was not a fool, and he knew the sorcerers would investigate the cause of the cave in, and more so, he knew they would find the tunnel. Cold as it may be, he knew he would stand a much better chance of surviving, and going undetected, if he was alone. So, in the dead of night, after their second day of freedom, Khamal left the rest of the half-giants behind.
He traveled north, far north, until he came to the ocean. He followed the coast for about a half a day before he found a port city. It was a rather large town and it wasn’t hard for him to slip by unnoticed, as long as he kept low and hunched his shoulders, people took him for an over-sized human. It was here that he found his ticket to sure safety, to somewhere his former masters would be hard pressed to follow.
He took up a position as a member of the crew on a ship called the S.S. Durban. The captain of the ship was an arrogant **** of a human, but he offered Khamal a chance to get away from the desert, from the sorcerer overseers that had been the bane of his first 20 years of life, and from the fear of enslavement. Khamal accepted the offer whole heartedly and the next two years of his life was spent on the Durban. It became apparent to Khamal, after a period of time, that he had traded one form of slavery for another. The captain paid him, but never enough, and not half as much as the rest of the crew. Khamal had spent years of his early life toiling for no gain, and that wasn’t going to be the way he lived the rest of it.  He decided that the next time they came to dock, it would be his last aboard the Durban. When Khamal informed Captain Schmidt that he was leaving, the captain did not react well. He called Khamal every foul name he knew, and for a man like Schmidt, that was a long list of names. The foul yelling of the vile little captain flipped a switch in Khamal that had laid untouched to that point. Khamal had always had great strength, but he never wanted to hurt anyone with it. Even when he had lived under the overseers’ rule, Khamal had never thought of harming anyone. Half-giants were bred to be kind-hearted and easy to get along with, almost as much as they were bred to be strong and competitive. Docile slaves, that was the idea. 
Khamal tore Schmidt, literally, to shreds. His claws had never moved as fast as they did that night. Not that they never would, but that was the first life Khamal ever took. After getting over the initial shock, Khamal realized how dangerous a position he was in, soaked in the captain’s blood on a ship full of loyal men. The ship was close to an island, and Khamal could see the lights of a town on the east side. Deciding he would rather risk his life in the ocean than with the ship’s crew, he jumped overboard and swam for the island.
It took him the better part of an hour to get there, but he made it to the island. He pulled himself onto the shore and fell asleep almost immediately, he was exhausted from the swim and cared little about finding a comfortable place to sleep for the night. Besides, he had spent the better part of his life in a desert, sand was nothing new to him. He woke up several hours later, in the midmorning, and found himself staring up at a beautiful female gnome.
She smiled down at him when he opened his eyes and said, in the kindest voice he had ever heard, “Good, you’re still alive. I certainly didn’t want to have to try and drag you back to town.” He smiled back at her and sat up. Even sitting down he was almost eye to eye with the small creature. Even so, to Khamal, she seemed to tower over him.
“Hello, “ he said sheepishly, dusting himself off as well as he could. “I’m called Khamal, who are you?”
The little gnome tilted her head and looked at Khamal quizzically. He suddenly felt very uncomfortable with her staring at him, it wasn’t a feeling he was used to. She reached out and put a hand on either of his cheeks, making him look her in the eyes, and also causing him to blush. “Wh-what are you doing with my face?” He asked, trying to politely pull away, which caused the gnome to squeeze his face even tighter in her hands. She didn’t say anything for a few moments, she just stared into Khamal’s eyes. He couldn’t help but stare back into her beautiful blue eyes either. They seemed to shine in the midmorning sun, looking more like crystal than anything else. After a long minute of staring at each other she left go of his face and smiled at him again. “We don’t get many psionics around here, I’m glad I got to meet you. My name’s Kitlyn, to answer your question form before and I guess I’m kind of a peacekeeper around here.”
Khamal was stunned for a moment, surprised at how suddenly she released his face and by how much he wished she hadn’t. After he gave his brain a moment to catch up he realized what the gnome had called him.
“Psionic?” he asked, “what’s that?” She scrunched up her brow and leaned back a little, raising her eyebrows as if to say "You're kidding, right?”He waited a few moments for her response before he asked again, “Um…I mean it, I don’t know, what’s ‘psionics’?” Kitlyn rolled her eyes and sighed, putting her hands on her hips and looking Khamal up and down, as if seeing him for the first time.
“Well,” she said in her uniquely kind voice, “psionics are, more of less, powers that come from the mind. Some psionics can shoot energy by concentrating the power of their minds, some of them can enhance themselves, and some of them can even read your thoughts, I can’t believe you’ve got psionic power and you’re not even aware of it…” she leaned in close to Khamal, staring into his eyes. She was so close that their faces nearly touched, which made him blush deeply again.
“Yep, it’s definitely in there…you sure you don’t know anything about it?” Khamal leaned back away from the little gnome, who seemed determined to be closer to him than he wanted her to be. “Well, yeah, I know I’ve got power, I mean, I can do this.” Khamal lifted his hands up in front of the gnome’s face, and with a moment’s thought, his fingers became razor-sharp claws. Kitlyn smirked and patted Khamal on the head like you would a small child who did something right. “That’s good, at least you know you have some power, but making claws is hardly the end of it. I’ve seen psionic warriors, that’s what you are by the way,” she added matter-of-factly, “I’ve seen them change into beasts of unimaginable horror and power. They had a bunch of tentacles and looked like…well…I didn’t stick around to stare.” Khamal looked at the little gnome in disbelief, “How do you know all this? And how did you know I had psionic power or whatever it’s called? Are you a psionic too?” The gnome laughed a cheery little laugh that made Khamal feel very relaxed all of the sudden, and for no obvious reason.
“Oh no, no no no, I’m no psion,” she smoothed the front of her dress and bowed dramatically, “I am a sorceress, I’ve just encountered psionics in the past, so I know what to look for.” Khamal stood up quickly and took a step back, the word sorceress sent off an alarm in his  mind.
“You’re a sorceress?" His hands were still claws and his stance showed him ready to use them. "Where are you slaves, little master?” His voice was cold and far away. He suddenly lost the fondness that he’d felt towards the kind little gnome, and he felt robbed. She had cheated him with her false kindness and charmed him with her evil magic. Afterall, she was a sorceress, a foul and evil creature by all accounts.
She didn’t move as he stood up, and seemed rather unaffected by his suddenly harsh tone and aggressive stance. In face, she looked a little amused with the nearly 8 foot tall wall of muscle yelling at her.
“Slaves? What are you talking about?" Her voice was patient like a mother explaining something to a young child. "I don’t keep slaves, nor would I allow them to be kept under my watch. I guard this island, not enslave it. I use my magic to ensure the people of this island have a safe home. I’m not sure what type of sorcerers you’ve met in the past, but I’ll assume they have little to nothing in common with me.”
Khamal let himself relax a little, but not entirely, he was still not convinced. As a rule, he didn’t talk about his past, and especially not to a sorceress.  
“Why should I believe you? Sorcerers and sorceresses are nothing but deceitful slave drivers.”  The little gnome sighed and pushed herself up to her full high, which left her about eye level with Khamal’s belt. She looked up into his eyes and dropped her arms to her side.
 “If I’m so evil then why would I bother to tell you about your power?, Hell, why didn’t I just burn you alive when I first saw you, if I’m this monster of a person that you make me out to be? Huh?!” The little gnome was clearly losing her temper, she poked Khamal in the stomach to emphasize certain words, but he hardly felt it. He didn’t know why, but he felt bad about upsetting the little sorceress, she did have a point after all. She had done nothing but act friendly towards him and he was insulting her.  He took a deep breath and sat back down, looking her again in the eyes.
“I’m sorry, I’ve just…sorcerers are not looked on well by my people. I apologize for insulting you.”  The little gnome crossed her arms over her chest and  stared at Khamal for a few seconds before she sighed and  patted him on the shoulder.
“It’s ok, big guy, you’re not the first person to think I was something horrible because of my talent. So what brings you to my island?” Khamal shifted his weight uncomfortably as he tried to decide whether to tell her the real story, or try to lie.
As if she was reading his thoughts, Kitlyn chimed in merrily, “And please, do tell the truth, I’ll know if you’re lying, it’s a trick of the trade.” So Khamal told his story, he wasn’t sure why he opened up to the little gnome, but somehow he felt good about doing so. Something in her eyes drew him to her.  They sat on that beach for the better part of the day, telling each other about their past. Khamal told Kitlyn about the slave camp and his escape, she in turn told him about her past travels and about the other islands. When he asked her how she came to be a sorceress , she told him about the Academy, or at least that’s the name she gave it.
The place she spoke of had many names, but they all meant one thing. It was a place of learning, a place where anyone could go and learn about their gifts. Where someone could learn to focus and hone themselves into a much more powerful being. She told Khamal that the first psionic she ever met was a teacher at the Academy, and that there were many more like him. It was a lot for Khamal to take in, but he knew right away that he had to go to this place. He had to know what his power could really do. At the end of the day he bid Kitlyn farewell and made his way towards the docks. He spent that night in a tavern, talking up one of the boat captains, and managed to charm himself a ride to the Academy’s island.  When he arrived on Izlansidi, he knew right away where to go. In the center of the island was a massive structure, bigger than any Khamal had ever seen, and on the front if was the word “Knowledge.” Nervously, Khamal approached the structure and made his way inside. What Kitlyn had told him about this place did little to prepare him for just how grand it really was. The ceilings seemed to soar up into the heavens when he stepped inside and the number of people he saw there was staggering. He saw humans and elves, dwarves and Halflings, orcs and all sorts of half-breeds like himself, along with a few races he’d never heard of. They all seemed to get along rather well, orcs mixed with elves, who then mixed with Halflings, it was all rather strange to Khamal.  Ahead of the main doors there was a sort of welcoming desk with a very pretty Xeph woman, who smiled at Khamal as he approached.
“Greetings,” she said in a sugary-sweet and obviously well-practiced voice,” and welcome to the island of Izlansidi. May I ask why you’ve come?” Khamal rest his fists on the table in front of the little Xeph, his thumbs facing each other and his fingers pointed back towards himself. He leaned in a bit and smiled back at her.
“Hi there, I was sent by a sorceress who once studied here, she told me that this place was here to teach people like me…” He paused, and took a look around at the multitude of people filing past. “…people with powers I mean.”
The Xeph looked Khamal up and down and held out her hand, “Then she sent you to the right place, this building exists to help people like you learn how to use their powers. I’m here to make your life a little easier. My name is Trina and I’ll help you figure out what we can do to help you the most. We help all sorts of people, so it’s not easy to say exactly what someone will benefit most from.“ She paused for a moment to make sure Khamal was listening and he gave her a friendly nod.
“Ok, so first I’ll need you to fill these out…” The Xeph pulled a few pieces of paper and a pen from a drawer on the underside of the table. She paused for a second before offering them to Khamal.
She bit her lower lip and gave Khamal a sheepish glance,  “You…uh…you do know how to write, right?”  Khamal rolled his eyes and nodded at the friendly little Xeph who seemed very relieved that he knew how to write, and that he wasn't offended.
“Oh thank the spirits,” she sighed, “I thought I may have to read everything out to you, and then take it down myself and that would take ages, plus it would be really-”
“I know,” Khamal interrupted, smiling good-naturedly at the Xeph, “I’d rather not have to spend our afternoon pouring over paperwork anyway. I’m sure we could put it to much better use.” He gave the Xeph a slight wink and she blushed at him, biting her lower lip again.  Khamal took the papers and began to fill them out. He had to lie on some of the questions: the ones about his parents and his origins, about his early childhood and where he got his former education. It wasn’t hard, before he left Kitlyn she had told him all about the island she lived on and it was rather easy for him to adapt it as his fictional homeland. Trina watched him as he filled out the papers and asked questions from time to time. Through their idle chit chat he learned that she was gifted with psionic power as well, though hers was different than his. She called herself a “soul knife” and it seemed as if she, like him, used her power to augment her body. She was easy to talk to and she made Khamal laugh more than he had since his childhood in the Youth Temple.
After he finished, she looked over his papers and made some marks on some papers of her own. After what seemed like a half an hour she looked up from the papers with a smile and handed him a list of his trainers and their locations.
“These will be your teachers, you’ll see one teacher in the morning to help you develop your psionic power, another in the afternoon to aid you with your physical combat, and a few times a week, in the evenings, you’ll meet with me, to learn about the local islands and social customs and stuff like that. Ok?” 
Khamal smiled at her and bowed his head, “I’ll look forward to our next meeting, thank you, Trina.” She smiled back and blushed as he turned to find his bedroom. Among the papers she gave him there was a lodging assignment and directions to his classes, along with a map of the school, and the names of his teachers.  He found his room rather easily, but found that it wasn’t his alone, he shared a room with 4 other students. They were all there when he entered the room, and strangely enough, they seemed unsurprised by Khamal. The first time most people see Khamal, they’re normally a little weary of him. After all, he does stand nearly 9 feet tall and is built like an oak tree. Since his arrival on Izlansidi, nobody had paid much attention to him, and he rather liked that. It was nice to walk down a hallways without being stared down by everyone he passed. He spent the next few hours getting to know his roommates and adjusting to his new home.
His roommates consisted of a cleric named Jareth, an elfish duelist named Ah-ki, a samurai whose name Khamal didn’t catch and a bard who left an impression, but not a name.  Khamal hadn’t had a chance to simply enjoy the company of others for a great many years and he had very much missed it. While his travels had made him much stronger, he still reverted very easily to the childish social butterfly his was when he was 13. He made friends rather quickly with his roommates and they told him a bit more about the school. 
The next morning he woke up early and found his way to his first training session. His teacher was a sizably large human who called himself Tark. He seemed pleased with Khamal’s physical strength. He said it was much easier for him to unlock his inner warrior if his body was strong enough to handle the strength his mind wanted to bestow on him. The first few lessons with Tark were a little strange, lots of meditating and inner reflection, but before too long he began to teach Khamal new things. He showed him how to use his mind to secrete acid over his claws that was highly corrosive to anything it touched but did nothing to Khamal. He taught him to use his mind to focus his muscles and just plain hit harder. The lessons with Tark were the ones Khamal looked forward to most, that’s where he felt he learned the most.
His second lessons were with a woman named Rehji, she was an elf, and took an immediate dislike to Khamal. She saw him as a brute, the kind of student that should be relegated to the fighter trainers. Instead, he had been assigned to Rehji, who dealt more in the finer points of combat, the up close and personal stuff. Rehji was a talented monk before she took up her position at the school and she carried her grappling, hand-to-hand method of combat to her students. She taught Khamal, and the other students that trained with him at that time of the day, everything she could about grappling and bare handed combat. Most of them, like her, planned to be monks, Khamal and a select few fighters were the only ones who weren’t destined for that path. Khamal enjoyed the opportunity presented by Rehji’s lessons to show off a bit, but he was always forced to hold back because if he were to fight with everything he had, his sparing partner would end up with serious acid burns. It was in Rehji’s class that Khamal met Rikka. Rikka was a human monk, and apparently a close friend of Jareth’s. Her and Khamal got along rather well, and more often than not they ended up paired together for sparing. This was mostly due to the fact that Rikka was the only one brave enough to spar with the half-giant. Khamal is a very friendly person most of the time, but when he is challenged all of his kindness is thrown away. He fights to win, and Rikka was the only one that could match his intensity.
His third lesson turned out to be no less than a ploy to spend more time with him. Apparently Trina had a fondness for large men, and Khamal’s friendly disposition had drawn her to him. He was flattered and he took a few nights out a week to spend time talking to Trina, but for some reason she didn’t appeal to him romantically.  He was walking to meet Trina one evening when one of the sorcery lessons went a bit haywire in the courtyard Khamal was walking by. The class had been practicing using their magic to move objects without touching them and one of them had been trying to lift a brick out of the courtyard wall and got a bit overzealous. Now the whole wall was coming down. Falling walls were rather common at the school, especially in the sorcery and psion classes, so nobody paid much mind to it, but Khamal couldn‘t help but notice one of the sorceresses wasn‘t running away from the falling wall, or more accurately, she couldn‘t. Khamal saw that nobody was attempting to save the sorceress and acted without thinking. He knew there was no way he would be able to do what he was thinking, but he also knew that if he didn’t, the sorceress would be crushed to death. Without thinking, he barreled across the courtyard and launched himself at the crumbling stone wall, just above the unconscious sorceress. He fought with every fiber of his being to brace himself for the impact. Never before had he wanted so badly to be stronger, not for himself, but for the woman on the ground. He felt something stirring in his mind and found himself expanding, his entire body nearly doubling in size. When the wall fell against his hands he held it fast, nearly crumpling to his knees under the weight. His entire body felt as if it were about to buckle under the weight of the massive stone wall. He knew he couldn’t though, if he fell then she would be crushed with him. In reality, he only had to hold it for a few moments before the rest of the class realized what was happening and used their magic to push the wall back into place, but to Khamal it felt like an eon.  He fell back on the grass of the courtyard exhausted, his body suddenly wet with sweat, his arms bulging from the strain. The rest of the class gathered around him and the unconscious sorceress in front of him.
“You saved her life..” one of them muttered.
“He held that wall up all by himself…” another whispered in awe. In a matter of moments, the murmurs and whispers turned to cheers, the entire class erupting around Khamal. Normally, he would live for that kind of applause, but right now he was more concerned with staying conscious. He felt his chin fall to his chest and found himself staring down at the still form of the sorceress in front of him. A smile spread across his face as his eyes slid closed and he fell back on the grass. He was gone before his head hit the ground. 
When he woke up he wasn’t in the courtyard, nor was he in his room, he found himself in a bed that was too small for his body that smelled faintly of flowers. He lifted his head to take a look around and found himself eye to eye with an otter. The small animal was sitting on Khamal’s stomach and seemed to be rather comfortable. Khamal went to move one of his arms to pet the oddly adorable little creature, but quickly abandoned that idea. He found that when he tried to move his arms, his muscles sent searing hot waves of pain pulsing through his body. He rolled his head to the side and saw the sorceress from the courtyard asleep in a chair with her head on her arms at the edge of the bed. He realized then what must have happened. She must have taken him back to her room to look after him because she felt indebted to him for saving her. Khamal wasn’t the kind of person to turn down a kind gesture, but he knew that he’d be much more comfortable in his own bed, without an otter perched on his stomach.
“Hey…hey, are you awake?” he said quietly to the sleeping sorceress next to him. She mumbled something in her sleep, but nothing intelligible. “Hey,” he said a little louder, “Hey, wake up.”  This time his voice reached her. She lifted her head up slowly and stretched, letting out a long yawn and straightening up in her chair.
“Oh, so you’re finally up? Good.” She gave him a quick smile and set to fixing her hair. 
“Um…yeah, I’m up.” He replied, returning her smile. “I don’t mean to be rude but uh…why didn’t you just take me back to my room?” 
She gave him a sideways look and leaned forward on her knees, meeting his eyes, “Well, I wanted to thank you for saving me. I wasn’t sure if I’d get a chance if I didn’t take you back here. Plus, I…uh…I don’t know where you live.” She laughed and Khamal laughed with her, realizing that she couldn’t possibly know which room was his. 
“Heh, I guess that makes sense.” He replied with a shrug. “Well, first off, you’re welcome, but I was just doing what I thought I had to. I mean, I couldn’t just watch that wall fall on you. And second off, my name is Khamal and I live in room 7 in the west wing. I’d shake your hand, but I can’t really move my arms at all without feeling like they’re going to fall off.”  A concerned look crossed her face for a moment, and he could tell she felt guilty for him being in pain. He gave her a smile and another small shrug.
“But hey, that’s nothing to the kink you must have in your neck, the way you were sleeping.”  The concern left her face as she laughed and reached up to rub her neck.
“Yeah, it wasn’t exactly comfortable, but if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have a neck to kink up. My name is Streamers, and that’s my otter,” she said, pointing to the otter on Khamal’s stomach.  “Yeah, we’ve met,” Khamal replied, looking at the otter for a moment and then back to Streamers, “well, again, not to be rude, but I need to get to my room, one of my friends is a cleric and I’ve seen him do more healing in 10 seconds than 10 weeks of bed rest.”
“Oh, ok, I’ll help you up, are your legs ok?” Khamal braced himself for the pain and pushed himself into a sitting position on the side of the bed, wincing.
“Emph…yeah, they’re...eh…fine.” Bracing himself again, he stood up and half walked, half staggered to the door. He turned back, giving Streamers another smile.
“I’ll be seeing you around, thanks for taking care of me, Streamers.”
“Yeah, no problem, take it easy for a while, don’t be holding up anymore walls until I say it’s ok,” she replied with a smile.  Khamal made his way slowly back to his room, nearly knocking over more than one person with his half-staggering walk. When he stumbled through the door and collapsed onto his bed, Jareth was already there with a spell prepared. Khamal had pretty much expected him to be waiting, news like Khamal’s heroic rescue travels fast.  After his sore muscles were back in working order, Khamal told his friends the story, and then retold it again. For the next few days it was all that was on anyone’s tongue, the story of how the half-giant saved the half-elf sorceress from being crushed. By the end of the week, the story had been so warped and changed that some people swore the wall was a golem in disguise, who Khamal defeated single handedly. Others spun webs about the burning love affair between the two half-breeds, that, for the record, was purely fictional.

Well done, Mad_Jack. Though she is what some may call nauseatingly sweet, I would call her well written. Her personality is tangible and clear; I could see someone roleplaying her easily with the groundwork laid here.

Pelor, the god of the sun, summer, and the harvest, a.k.a. Mr. Sun 



Well, despite being originally conceived as a less-than-serious character, the sort you'd find in a party with Bob the Wizard, I just felt compelled to push it a bit further - I rather enjoy taking stereotypes, archetypes and tropes and tweaking them or coming at them from different angles. I have a complicated brain, and uncomplicated things rarely come out of it, lol.

Being a blatant characature of the stereotypical annoyingly cheerful and spunky little redheaded cartoon girl with the voice that sounds like she's got a cold, I couldn't help but decide to play her completely straight  - a psychological exploration of how someone with a childlike simplicity and two-dimensional black-and-white moral vaues interacts with a shades-of-gray world...

The difference between playing a two-dimensional trope and an entertaining, well-rounded yet comedic character is that the trope is a cardboard cutout in a white shirt labelled "Look at me! I'm Funny!", who has nothing but their one schtick. Whereas the comedic character is entertaining because they simply are who they are, and do things because it's what they would do, not intending them in any way to be funny and not understanding why others might find them funny... Play a funny character and it will be vaguely amusing for awhile. Play a character - one who just happens to say or do funny things sometimes - and it will be entertaining for a much longer time.

 

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

Ah! Glad I stumbled across this one, I've got a whole party that I can contribute.

Artemis "Art" Belisar, Dragonborn Ardent and Talaric Strategist(LG)
"Nothing exists except empty space and us. And we are but a handful of thoughts."

The Artist: Art is a lithe figure, a woman that moves with grace in her step. Unlike the typical rusty browns and reds, her scales are a pure silver and have a slight sparkly sheen to them, a trait most noticeable in the sunlight, and they contrast well with her deep blue eyes. Her "hair" is long, reaching to the middle of the shoulder blades. Her armor is a suit of blue-and-amethyst splint mail, similar in design to old samurai armor. Her right hip holster contains a compact repeating hand crossbow that mechanically unfolds into its ready form. Her left holds a short sword whose handle extends and converts it into a greatspear at the press of a button.

Art is an upbeat and cheerful soul with a natural inclination towards learning new and interesting things, but she has a certain sense of serenity as well: She is not so much a child, running from toy to toy and giggling, but more one who finds the new fascinating and worthy of study. Her innate telepathic abilities have led her to be somewhat controlling as a person, however subtly. She is intellectual and tactically-minded, using her powers to plan complex stratagems, and she is a rather accomplished artist, hence her nickname. While not meditating or planning, she enjoys painting telekinetically, sitting in front of the canvas with eyes closed and head tilted upwards while the paint and brush move of their own accord to copy the image solidified in her mind. Her civilian wear is often elegant and slightly mystical in appearance, much like herself.

Art's voice has a smooth and refined english accent, as well as a slight flanging effect with the occasional syllable that becomes more pronounced when using her powers.

(It should be noted that dragonborn in my campaign settings are a bit more slender than the near-neanderthals that vanilla ones are, and that they have tails.)

The Scholar: I remember vaguely how my tale began. I was a child just like any other, playing in the streets, learning the values of life. Things were simple before I learned that I could influence those around me. Hate, love, fear, joy, I could make them do as I wanted with but a thought. It occurred to me on my sixteenth birthday that I had a great power, and with it a great privilege... No, a great task, to right things wrong in the world. Unfortunately, I was not aware of the underlying delicacies of said world. My 'repairs' were like taking a mallet to a pocketwatch.

It did not end well.

With no home and the weight of a village left in turmoil on my shoulders, I left to the city to find other means of using what I then thought was a curse. It was there that I found a group of young mercenaries, or 'adventurers' as they called themselves. Among them, a human fighter named Flint and an elven rogue. Her name was Aniya. I decided out of hunger for food and friendship to join them. And so, with time, the three of us became good friends. With Flint's strength, Aniya's dexterity, and my influential prowess, we were an unstoppable team... For a time.

Of all the mistakes I could have made, of all the good deeds that could have been punished, my crime was not reading the minds of those I trusted. A terrible mistake. Two years after my joining I learned firsthand that my human friend harbored more than just a friendship for me. Shocked and a little dazed, I politely declined his request. He pleaded, tried to show reason, but I still refused. Perhaps it was because I felt it wasn't my place, that I couldn't feel the same way about him. Perhaps it was because I had glimpsed the darkness inside him in passing, and it kept me wary. Regardless, he did not take it well. A typical rain of curses, foul names, and vows of revenge rang through the air. With a sigh I reached into his mind to soothe him- And was almost physically thrown back by the anger that permeated it. Unlike the anger of most men, quick to flare up and quick to subside, this was genuine: He meant every syllable. I ran as far as I could from the one person whose hatred I couldn't simply wave away. I ran and hid.

Even through my exploits, I felt like I was missing something. Something that I found while traveling through a small mountain range somewhere in the north. I found a university, a small, ancient order dedicated to the gain and spread of knowledge tucked deep within the mountains. They took me in, surprisingly, with little trouble. And there, I found what I had been missing: Knowledge. The ability to pull the puzzles of the world apart, analyze them, and put them back together. Here I learned, I honed my talents, and I began to understand the world like I had liked to pretend I did all those years before. 

The Veteran: Several years have passed since my induction, and since then I have found life, peace, and even love. But after a while, my scales began to itch for something else. Something that arrived, quite unexpectedly, when an old communication artifact from my adventuring days lit up. Aniya required my assistance with an adventuring matter, and so I packed, said goodbye to my draconic love Asharr, and moved as fast as I could. The reunion with my old friend was great, and the exhilaration from the quest at hand was staggering. With a rekindled heart for the glory days, I sent my notice to the university and began my adventuring life again.

The Future: Artemis now has a dilemma: She is caught in a balancing between two lives, and while she is maintaining both right now, it is quite unlikely that such a thing can last. In addition, the mistakes of her past have not simply faded away: Sir Elias Flint is now a respectable and powerful knight of the realm, with many contacts both legitimate and underground that he can use to accomplish his ultimate goal: His now monomaniacal fixation with hunting down Art and ensuring his revenge. While her past is far from catching up to her, it is much, much closer to catching up with her other past. Will she be there in time to prevent the ruin of her settled life? Will she choose the peace and quiet of the university over the thrill of adventuring? Or will all be for naught, another big mistake to hang on her shoulders as she continues down her path to a glory that she might not truly want?


Cloudscar Wolfcry, Minotaur Barbarian/Fighter and Master of the Calm Fury(LN)
"War is an art, and like all arts, it requires emotion. Rage, love, grief, righteousness... All are conduits for the perfect kill."

The Beast: A testament to the strength and military prowess of minotaur-kind, Cloudscar stands at a massive 7'6", and very little of him is not powerful muscle. With onyx fur, ebony hooves and horns, and maroon-colored eyes, most mistake him for a thing of evil. This notion isn't helped by his armor, a suit of dark steel and blood red plates, lined with the unmistakable fur of dire wolves. On his back, a massive axe displays a geometric design on the bronze disc in its blade: His clan's sigil. On his left, a handaxe, similarly designed and just as deadly. A powerful repeating crossbow rests holstered under that, a small contraption that mechanically extends to its full size.

Despite the dark and imposing nature of his being, Cloudscar is anything but evil. He stands for honor and justice, and to him warfare is a means to either end. A gentle and contemplative (if not stern and efficient) soul, he has a certain affinity for animals, art, and games of logic. When not considering stratagems or caring for his equipment at camp, he can be found reading, stargazing, and even playing chess. His civilian wear is simple and formal, but belying of a more subtle quality.

Cloudscar's voice is deep and thunderous, ranging from a low, contented rumble to a terrifying roar.

The Prince: My people are not what you think. Barbarians, you call them. Savages steeped in the acts of brutal combat. We are not these things. We the Wolfcry clan are proud warriors, artists in the field of battle. We are civilized and cultured, and uphold honor and justice above all else. To call us savages would be akin to calling your 'kingdom' a hut in the swamp.

But this is not why I am here. My story begins many years ago. Twelve, if I remember correctly. My eighteenth birthday, the mark of a boy progressing to a man, and when this man is the chieftain's eldest son, it is an occasion. Well-learned in our arts, our culture, and our ways of battle, I was given the weapons and armor that all Wolfcry soldiers bore. I was ready to learn more than just how to fight, how to paint, how to theorize plans of attack. I was ready to learn how to lead as my father did. And I was ready to choose a mate, a decision that I had made long before this day, though she likely did not know it. Wayaha was her name, I remember. That moment was one of great anticipation, and one that never came: My younger sister, Tsinga, stormed into the great hall and informed us that the chieftain, my father, had been slain, and that the evidence pointed solely to me. In an instant, the people were swayed against me. I did not protest. I did not object. I knew that to try and calm a stampede was to end up trampled. I simply shouldered my weapons and armor and left in voluntary exile. A last look at my intended told me that, despite the roar of the crowd, my guilt was not universally believed.

I did not kill my father. I had spoken to him, happily, only minutes before. I knew that Tsinga was ambitious. I knew she continually wanted what I had. It was my mistake to not try and stop her. It was my mistake not knowing that she would go so far. And it is a grim reality that I face every waking moment.

The Exile: Now I travel, a perceived beast in the realms of men. I exert my rage on my enemies, keeping my talents sharp and my blades sharper. I move from place to place, learning what I had never learned before, keeping the new in mind. I work as a mercenary for just causes, and lost ones. May the spirits have mercy on those who stand in my path.

The Future: Cloudscar left his clan when they needed his guidance the most, and it has since become a shadow of its former self. Her sister's twisted ideals has turned a once thriving group of noble warriors into a band of terrible sadists and savages. Will Cloudscar return to lead the clan back to its true glory? Or will he accept it as a lost cause he simply cannot fight for? And what of his old love, Wayaha? Spirits only know if she still lives.


Sir Marcus Drake, Human Paladin of Pelor and Dragonslayer(NG)
"I don't want to hurt you. That doesn't mean I can't. Stand down."

The Boy: The stereotype of a knight in shining armor is what people believe a paladin looks like. The stereotype is not what Marcus is. Boyish and mousy in appearance, he hardly looks like he can lift his own sword, much less swing it with any actual skill. His short, raven black hair is neatly kept, and only lends to the notion. His armor is a suit of silver platemail, his old and elegantly-engraved greatsword a shining example of chivalry. He is everything a paladin should be... And yet he isn't.

For a paladin and young man of the faith, Marcus is strangely reluctant on the field of battle. He only fights in defense and only kills when necessary (which it is, much to his chagrin). Despite his surprising prowess with blade and offensive holy magic, he seems much more comfortable, perhaps even favoring, healing and protection. This is changed on the off chance that something angers him, however: At that point, he becomes aggressive to the point of brashness, perhaps even savagery. Other than that, he acts much like one would expect a (proper, non-zealous) paladin to: He's courteous, kind, a defender of good, and an opponent to evil. He also carries a certain sense of innocence and cheer, though one that belies a much darker side to the boy. When not polishing his armor or muttering what one could assume to be prayers, he tends to flit from party member to party member, observing and asking about their hobbies, usually in a way that's not so much obnoxious as genuinely curious. Marcus' civilian clothes are high-quality but simple commoner's clothes, much like what you would expect a squire to wear.

Marcus' voice is mid/high-pitched and smooth, and is quite boyish like the rest of him.

The Squire: I never wanted this. This whole 'defender of the faith, chosen of Pelor, righter of wrongs and vanquisher of evil' job. I was just a farmboy before this entire mess. A farmboy with an eccentric father. Somehow he had gotten it into his mind that I would make a great champion of good. Something about how all great heroes had humble roots, farmboy being one of them. So when I became of age, no questions asked about the fact that I was perfectly content to be a farmer and maybe a little bit of a poet, I was packed up and sent to the nearest city's temple of Pelor for training and initiation.

I want to be perfectly clear: I hated it. The grueling training, the scripture I had to memorize, the grueling training, the lectures in discipline and right and wrong (things that I had known long before my time there)... Did I mention the grueling training? Because that was especially bad. Now don't get me wrong, I respect Pelor, he's my chosen deity and I'd do well to follow his teachings. But that's the worst part of it. It does get a bit lighter from here. For a bit, at least.

I served under a paladin as his squire, a man named Duncan. My time with him was possibly the only time that I enjoyed there. Whether cleaning his armor or just fishing by the lake after the day's drills, he was always a pleasure to talk to, and truly seemed to embody the ideals of our god. We would talk in private about how the church was using the faith for their own benefit and not the way our teachings held to be true and good. And though on the outside I raised childish counterpoints and parroted teachings, I secretly agreed with him on every count. It was with him that I felt like I actually meant something, that I was actually doing some good, that I wasn't just a confused boy forced into being the church's puppet. He was more of a father than that eccentric man back at the farm ever was. But that didn't last.

Duncan was sent off for a mission of dire importance, and never returned. My training was deemed complete, and I was given my title, my armor, and my sword, and was sent out to spread good in the name of Pelor in a hurried and discreet ceremony. Days later, I found the body of a dead paladin in a ditch by the road, pierced with an arrow that was clearly inscribed with the holy symbol of Pelor. I knew instantly who it was. I buried my father and took up his sword.

The Knight: I travel now as I was commanded to, spreading the true values of my deity. I wish I could avenge my father immediately, but I am not nearly that powerful. But one day, that will change. One day, I'll become the champion of good that he and the farmer hoped me to be. I would be the dragonslayer in those tales. And my first dragon will be the organization that killed their own kin, and my own father, just to keep a secret.

The Future: Marcus' goal is clear, and his methods are certain, but the church is much larger than any one man can face. He will need an army- and the will of a hero- to achieve his hope of accomplishing the impossible. Or perhaps he will simply target the church that killed his surrogate father, his battle serving as the ultimate warning to the rest of Pelor's officials: There are men who don't agree with your teachings, men who have been wronged, and they are coming.


I've got another three on the way, coming soon. 

Eyriish, that was quite the tale you spun there, and--golly--long, too. Just when I thought Khamal would settle down or receive the impetus he needed to become an adventurer, he left the situation and entered a new one. The background is almost more suited for an actual short story, says I.

Skyesby, did you create the format in which you present your backgrounds? It has a certain template feel to it. Regardless, I like what I have been reading. My eladrin, like your minotaur, was framed and exiled, too. It's interesting to note your paladin was forced into religious service; that's not common among a character drawing his power from the gods. I just have one thing about Artemis; I don't know about other people, but I never felt like reaping violent revenge against someone who rejected me romantically. Maybe that's just me. >.>

I have another character I remember well. In fact, you guys know his name. And his race. You just don't realize it. Well, you know his surname and can probably guess his race. Anyway . . .





Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
Skyesby, did you create the format in which you present your backgrounds? It has a certain template feel to it. Regardless, I like what I have been reading. My eladrin, like your minotaur, was framed and exiled, too. It's interesting to note your paladin was forced into religious service; that's not common among a character drawing his power from the gods. I just have one thing about Artemis; I don't know about other people, but I never felt like reaping violent revenge against someone who rejected me romantically. Maybe that's just me. >.>



Indeed I did. Just sort of came up with it one day, and so far it's been the best way to make characters easy to visualize so far. I'll admit it's a bit formulaic and repetitive if you have a bunch of them lined up, but I stand by it still.

As for Art's fighter 'friend', sure you haven't. Then again, you're not insane and capable of commanding a small army. Some people have a bad habit of taking vindictiveness to a whole new level.
Eyriish, that was quite the tale you spun there, and--golly--long, too. Just when I thought Khamal would settle down or receive the impetus he needed to become an adventurer, he left the situation and entered a new one. The background is almost more suited for an actual short story, says I.



Thank you, both for the feedback, and for forging your way through the whole tale. It was originally much shorter, but I really enjoyed the character, so I went back and lengthened it. I feel like it could use a bit of rewriting, but that's just because my style has changed since I wrote that almost 4 years ago. 
Alright, here's the background I have so far. Critiques are VERY
welcome, as I'm fairly new to writing backstories for characters.
Also, I apologize ahead of time for the sloppy writing. I'm throwing
it together as I type. =P

Muk was born in to an Orcish clan, that wandered outside a large town
known as (to be named later). As best as anyone could tell, he was
born from one of the clan, and someone in the town. Nobody would own
up to it, though, so they were going to kill him. Just as the
executioner raised the axe to dispose of him, the wind stopped, and
the sun turned red. That night, the moon was as blue as the ocean.

The town spared his life, and Muk was adopted by the chieftain. He was
to fulfill a prophecy that had been passed down from generation to
generation. He was to lead an assault on the town on his sixteenth
birthday, and bring it to ruin. As Muk grew older, it became apparent
that he had an affinity for the psionic. The leaders of the town
argued about how he should be taught, but finally settled on Monk
training. They trained him from as early on as possible, pushing his
physical limits thinking that he was invincible anyway.

The night before his sixteenth birthday, Muk decided to run away.
Through his training, he realized that being a monk, and using psionic
powers wasn't about imposing your will on others, but putting things
right. He wandered, challenging those he thought would benefit from
fighting him, whether they won or lost. He challenged people to battle
both to learn, and also for a reason he didn't even know himself: He
felt weak. He subconsciously wanted to prove to himself that he didn't
run away from destroying the town because he was afraid, but because
he knew it wasn't right.

After years of wandering, he made his way to a mountainous region.
He'd heard tales of a city there, where Dwarves and Orcs lived
together in peace. On his way to the city, he heard a mighty fighting
sound, and ran in to the nearby cave that the sound was coming from.
As he ran in, he saw what looked like a mighty Warforged get crushed
beneath a Troll's foot. He jumped in to battle and helped these people
fight off the trolls. After conversing with them, they decided to take
him in as a new companion, and they ventured further in to the cave.
After a long struggle, the adventuring company defeated the troll king
and headed to town.

Now, Muk had never been particularly religious, but since he had grown
up with Orcs, he worshiped Grumsch, the one-eyed god of the Orcs. Muk
came to find that the Orcs and Dwarves were at peace because of an
uneasy treaty Moradin and Grumsch had made. Muk also found out about a
dragon that was plaguing the city. He decided to join these new
companions on their quest to defeat this dragon.

The dragon lived in some mountains to the East, so that is where they
headed. They stopped in the tallest mountain because that is where
they thought the dragon lived. When they entered the mountain, it
turned out to be an honored shrine of Moradin. Muk, being ever
inquisitive, started messing with it. He was struck dumb.

Later, they found the dragon's lair and saw that he was being
controlled by a Dragonborn worshiper of Grumsch. Muk helped dispatch
these foes, and as he killed the Dragonborn, he regained use of his
voice, and got a blessing from Moradin. After the battle, Muk went to
the temple of Grumsch and tried to get this boon from Moradin taken
away; however, they turned their backs on him. This built up a
resentment towards the gods in his heart, and he decided from then on
that he wouldn't help any gods.

(P.S. Sorry for not putting it in Spoiler tags, but alas this is my first post, and I am quite noobish. Forgive me this time, I beg of you all!!)
Yesninja, not many characters have this variety of what I will call "religious struggle"; it's a good premise.

As a piece of fiction, it needs less exposition and more dialogue and action. In other words, characters need to say and do stuff instead of the reader being told what happened. It's allegedly the difference between simple and sophisticated fiction.

As a background, it goes a little far. A background should serve to bring a character to the point of adventuring if not nearly so, or so I believe. I suppose there is nothing wrong with writing your character has some experience in adventuring and has done some fantastic things in a previous setting or with a former party. You will still need to begin as the level the Dungeon Master picks.

Disregarding the introductory paragraph of your post, the first three paragraphs of the actual background work nicely. I would have stopped there; that doesn't mean you have to.

The fourth paragraph sounds as though the character Muk was inserted into a recently vacated spot previously occupied by the warforged. Is that so?

The remaining three paragraphs sort of breeze over a lot of happenings. Sometimes summing up can rob your character of the opportunity for personal development.






Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
Shisgokken, thanks for the comment! Your reading of it was spot on. Muk is starting in a level ten adventure, and yes, he is replacing a Warforged Barbarian. Further, though, you read exactly correct in your assessment of the background. The first three paragraphs were what I made up. The last few paragraphs were basically summing up what all has happened in the adventure so far, but it probably is better to not include that in the background eh? Tongue out I'll definitely take what you said in to account, thanks!

On another note, however, do you have any ideas on how I could flesh out my character more? Make him have more of a personality, and not just be a generic "struggling with inner turmoil over religion" type person? Maybe some personality quirks or something? Or would that be taking it too far? Sorry for all the noob-osity. I've been away from roleplaying for QUITE a while.
On another note, however, do you have any ideas on how I could flesh out my character more?

What your character says and does affects the way other characters see him or her. What your character chooses to say and do is drawn from their personality. Their personality is a combination of their racial tendencies and values (or their fight against them), their societal values (or their fight against them), and the people you know and have known (the way he or she was raised, trained, taught, punished, treated, or otherwise interacted with).
 
Make him have more of a personality, and not just be a generic "struggling with inner turmoil over religion" type person?

The more detail you provide on why this struggle exists, the deeper your character becomes. Specific places, people, or events can color a background well. Mentioning these things also gives your Dungeon Master the opportunity to develop special plot hooks for your character. Also, the way you dress, your pattern of speech, and the types of weapons you choose to wield say a lot about you, and therefore build a broader personality.

Maybe some personality quirks or something? Or would that be taking it too far?

As above, having a reason behind those quirks adds depth to a character. For example, if your culture is filled with the teachings of honorable combat, perhaps you never take advantage of surprised characters. Maybe to honor a fallen warrior you place his or her weapon in their hand. Maybe after seeing a slain foe rise as an undead, you behead anything you kill. The possibility are endless.

One thing I really promote is clarity. In the first paragraph of your background, you don't mention who lives in the town. Are they dwarves? Is Muk a hybrid of orc and dwarf? Are they humans? Is Muk a half-orc?

Overall, I guess what I am promoting here is detail, detail, detail. Not an overwhelming amount, but enough to make someone, something, or some place unique and distinguishable. Good luck.






Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
Merry xmas ). 

Azrael of the House of Macreane 

enjoy 

  T 
Yeah. I did just kill your BBEG with a vorpal frisbee. Problem?
Wow, thomas. This is really a full-fledged story--well beyond what is needed for a background. It's impressive.

I'm curious about some of your proper nouns.
  1. Is Shadrim your word for tiefling?

  2. Did you get "Caer" as in Caer Ingrath from Prydain or are you a scholar of Welsh legends?

Also, would you say Azrael is a warlord or a fighter or something else?




Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
Shisgokken - "These are all very nice, and holy cow, Lhiannan, were you just waiting in the bushes for a thread like this?"

Lol.  I've been primary DM of my group for several years, so I have a large stable of characters rolled up that haven't been played, since I seem to enjoy creating PC's more than playing them :D

"Lhiannan, did you make up all of your proper nouns? I like them; they fit the tone of your characters very well. I have always had trouble with creating "organic" proper nouns like that. Also, you write well. Kudos.

(snip)

I have to say so far none of the backgrounds have been rainbows and butterflies, mine included. I wonder if people actually write lighthearted ones."

For the most part, yes.  I have some characters that have appeared in short stories, so there are some established backgrounds and settings.  For person's names, I either make them up or use a generator (EBoN, the everchanging book of names, is a fantastic program)  And thanks for the writing compliment  :D

As for "rainbows and butterflies", that's what Draelen's all about.  And bloodshed.  He literally was bored into a life of adventure.  lol.

Vrrhanah and Ranyu's tale is being told here.  Eventually, I'll get some of the other characters statted up.

Eleanor Brown, Human CannyBard


Character Background

You’ve heard of my family, whether you realize it or not.  My father is John Brown, a humble peasant and decent farmer.  A common enough name and common enough profession.  But, he plays a mean fiddle.  Ah, now you realize who he is.  That’s right, he’s that John Brown.  Nearly thirty years ago, he was just known as Johnny.  And Asmodeus found out for himself just what a mean fiddle Johnny plays.  Ten years later, when I was just a baby, Asmodeus tried a second time for my daddy’s soul.  Johnny was still the best that ever was.My daddy’s fiddle, Asmodeus’ fabled golden fiddle, was stolen just a short while ago.  I doubt it was Asmodeus who did it, for though he’s a wholly evil SOB, he still abides by his contracts.  Oh no, some other dark and dirty little scum got their grubby paws on it.  I fully intend to track that pile of excrement down and retrieve what even the devil couldn’t get back.

 Fire on the mountain, run boys, run.
‘Cause I’m comin’ to the house of the risin' sun.


Appearance

Eleanor Brown is a slight girl, with long ash brown hair and large brown eyes framed by dark lashes.  She favors earth tones and homespun fabrics, her favorite outfit being an ochre dress of felted wool with dark brown leather gloves and soft boots.


Personality

Eleanor presents herself as a bubbly young lady, chatty and friendly.  But, behind her lovely smile is a keen mind and a sharp tongue.  She had already been traveling to the nearby city in the few years before the fiddle was stolen, attempting to gain an education and rise above the occupation that she would have achieved, that of farmer’s wife.

Friends and Foes

Asmodeus, ironically the arch-devil falls into the role of both friend and foe.  He wants his fiddle back and if he can use Johnny Brown’s own daughter to do it, then all the merrier is he for it.


Zarâg Zarâgad, a freewheeling dwarven merchant and Infernal scholar who runs one of Eleanor’s favorite haunts, a reading room and coffee house in the undercity. Zarâgad is friendly for a dwarf, but thinks of most matters in terms of profits.

Whatever stupid git had the gall to make off with that fiddle!  Heaven and hell (and Eleanor) will converge to get it back.
Wow, thomas. This is really a full-fledged story--well beyond what is needed for a background. It's impressive.

I'm curious about some of your proper nouns.
  1. Is Shadrim your word for tiefling?

  2. Did you get "Caer" as in Caer Ingrath from Prydain or are you a scholar of Welsh legends?

Also, would you say Azrael is a warlord or a fighter or something else?




Heya - 

Thanks much ).  Yeah, I'm debating stringing it into a book at some point.  

And yes - Shadrim is our campaign's name for tiefling - tiefling just sounds...weak ).  I'm afraid I'm not a scholar of Welsh, I just like to pull words from different languages to establish flavor.  In the case of Caer Ingrath, it was Ichaer's military fortress and pretty much the central point of the Turathian army, so a suitably brooding name was required...

Azrael was actually a bard at the time - after being attached to Sybarron he morphed into a hybrid bard/warlock, and may at some point become a full warlock.  

  T

P.S. Fair warning - before getting into the "foray into arkhosia" thread, that scene isn't complete yet.  T 
Yeah. I did just kill your BBEG with a vorpal frisbee. Problem?

Eleanor Brown, Human CannyBard




Cute. I have never seen a background based on a song before. I suppose Asmodeus would be "the Devil", wouldn't he?

The following link takes you off site.
Stephen Lynch's Beelz





Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.


Cute. I have never seen a background based on a song before. I suppose Asmodeus would be "the Devil", wouldn't he?

The following link takes you off site.
Stephen Lynch's Beelz




You would be correct indeed.  I was inspired by this picture and a comment by one of my fellow gamers wondering exactly whose fiddle she was carrying.
These are great!

Here's my deva invoker, Remiel, I created for the FR Bloodstone Lands Campaign that I joined recently:

Description

Standing before you is a tall and relatively slender deva, slightly   gangly looking but possessing the same physical stillness as others of   his kind. His skin is predominantly a pale delicate gray, with striking   purple streaks that run from his eyes down his cheeks, and travelling   towards his shoulders down his neck, and finally branching out across   his collar bone fading into his chest. While he retains the ageless   features of an immortal, the skin on his hands and feet show signs of   hard work.

His travelling garb is that of a holy man: a simple   ankle-length grey or white linen tunic, tied at the waist with a red   cord belt, often accompanied by a heavy woolen cloak to protect against   the weather. His movements are slow, deliberate and stately, using a   long quarterstaff as a walking aid at most times; and although he   carries armour pieced together from the hides of mountain animals, he   only dons such attire if necessary.

The milky white eyes of the deva seem startlingly aware of his   surroundings, despite their unnatural lack of pupils. His voice is one   of reasoned calm, and the outlook expressed usually optimistic, but   realistic. Although not overly social, he is quick to find and engage   the downtrodden or neglected whether in the tavern or on the street,   even if it is just to ask them the time of day or to listen to whatever   it is they have to say.


Background

Remiel was last reincarnated in 1450 DR, the Year of Holy Thunder, alone  on a rocky outcrop within a stone's throw of the Monastery of the  Yellow Rose high in the Earthspur Mountains. He was blessed and taken in  by the mostly human monks of the monastery, taught the ways of Ilmater  and local history, both of which he took to like a duck to water. While  he quickly got used to his new adult body and life, Remiel became  consumed by a passionate faith in Ilmater and his teachings, sensing the  faint memories of his past lives joining him in his daily prayers.

A  good twenty years passed, and although his quiet life of reading,  discussing, praying and physical labour was rewarding, a part of Remiel  knew that there would come a time when he would have to move on. One of  his elderly priestly mentors had sensed this early on, seeing the  voraciousness of Remiel's hunger for the texts and teachings of his  faith, something he had known himself as a young man. Bit by bit the  tutor pointed the deva in the direction of texts that discussed the  paths and lives of particular Ilmateri faithful, those who had attained  closer connections to the deity through the study and mastery of the  divine magic the Gods used in the creation of the world and the war  against the primordials.

As the years went by, the tutor taught Remiel his own knowledge of the  invoker's art, and eventually helped Remiel to enter his own personal  covenant with Ilmater around five years ago. As the monastic community  gathered for the swearing of Remiel's covenant, the deva could feel the  presence of his deity and the distant memories of the Astral Sea  stirring within him. The ceremony proceeded, the community proud of  their immortal cousin, blessing him as he made his oaths... but for  Remiel, the clamour was all inside his head, so many of his previous  lives shouted forth praising both Ilmater and the pantheon of other  deities he had served over the centuries. As the pact was sworn, to the  onlookers the divine magic surged forth from the pale flesh of the deva,  a radiance that wracked his body with pain although no cry was heard.  Remiel collapsed, and recalls none of the after direct aftermath of his  oath, except a rapid recovery in the monastery infirmary accompanied by a  renewed awareness of the all of the gods' presence in all things, and  the surging divine magic now at rest in his soul.

In the last few years, Remiel developed his control over his new found  powers, aiding the monastery in its every day tasks with increasing  ease. More and more, he began to look forward to the arrival of monks  returning from travels, bearing news of the area to be recorded in the  monastery's extensive library. Much of the news is troubling: the  increasing ruthlessness of the Frostmantles; political opposition to the  church of Ilmater; the advancing forces of the brutal Warlock Knights;  and rumours of worse sufferings abroad, including cults worshipping  demons and primordials. Remiel knew it was time for him to leave the  safe confines of his home, say farewell to his brothers in faith, and  descend to the valleys below to work in the name of Ilmater.

Please, share more! \o/
Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
I used Harm for Undermountain. The DM's face when I announced that i was playing a female gnoll Hybrid Warlock/Ardent was beautiful. The players learned to love her.








Harmony "Harm" Ashclaw, Female Gnoll Starlock/Euphoric Ardent.

Backstory
Harmony was once the priestess of Yeenoghu for her clan. The Ashclaws occasionally raided a nearby human city for sacrifices to their demonic god until a paladin from out of town rallied the townspeople to strike back. Most of the tribe was slaughtered in the attack-the rest were imprisoned.  This paladin was hailed as a hero, but in truth, he was a servant of Orcus, who destroyed the gnolls only to please the Demon Prince. He sacrificed each prisoner, one-by-one, to his dark lord, until only Harmony remained. That night, trapped in her cell, she renounced Yeenoghu, deeming him to weak and not properly protective of his subjects. Then, a dark star in the night sky whispered to her in her dreams. It asked only for a vow of service, and in return, she would gain enough power to escape. She accepted, and in the morning, killed the paladin with a blast of fell magic, then escaped.

She wandered the world for ten years, nurturing her powers. Along the way, she found two things: the worship of Torog, and her only friend, a shadar-kai bard named Shiro. The two take up adventure wherever they can find it, while all the while hoping to avenge those she has lost.

Goals


Harmony wants nothing less than to kill Orcus and Demogorgon to take their mantles and become a Demon Prince(ess). She also wishes live with Shiro forever. She is quite aware that these goals conflict (as Shiro worships The Raven Queen and she wishes to reign over Undeath). She has no resolution planned.


Secrets
Part of her vow of servitude to that dark star involved her body becoming a vessel for that dark force from beyond all known realms. It hasn't happened yet, but she knows she only has so long to complete her goal.

The paladin that massacred the Ashclaws yet lives. Orcus has assigned him the task of murdering Harmony, and granted him a small army of ghouls to aid him in his task.

People

Shiro is a shadar-kai from a small village called Onefeather. An unknown force attacked while he hid. Only he survived. He feels as though he betrayed his friends and family by living like a coward instead of dying a warrior. He rejects Harmony's feelings for him, and is confused by his own.

Squishy is Harmony's familiar. He is a Tiny Gelatinous Cube. Harmony doesn't remember manifesting him "(I think he's always been here."). Shiro finds him repulsive. Harm thinks he's cute.

Horn of Orcus was a human worshiper of Orcus. He was nearly killed by Harmony many years ago. Now, he wishes to finish what he started with her. His teeth are pointed, and his skin rots-evidence that he is becoming a ghoul.

Quirks

Harmony has no impulse control. Door? Open it. Bar wench mouthing off? Slap her. Meat? Eat it. Shiro looking particularly... *ahem* "appealing"? You get the point.

Harmony has a barbed set of tongue piercings running down the center of her tongue. They are quite new, so she'll often sit there, feeling around her mouth with her tongue instead of paying attention.

Her eyes are a piercing pair of golden points with slitted pupils, though sometimes they will change appearance. Sometimes as subtle as a minor tone change, all the way to pupils changing shape and colors rapidly changing, or even emmiting dim light.
Shaman: "Why doesn't the squirrel shoot the wizard?" DM: "Because the last squirrel who tried to shoot the wizard missed, then was pulled out of his tree and incinerated." Wizard: "He has a point."
Interesting stuff, Fey.  I've always had a hard time coming up with good backstory for "barbarian" races.  Nice job.

  T 
Yeah. I did just kill your BBEG with a vorpal frisbee. Problem?
Any more background authors out there?
Life will knock you down. It is up to you whether to get back up.
Sure. Here's one of my favorite backgrounds from a character I still play.

Of Sin and Savior
Early in the morning, one Bethany Honeyham found herself chasing an escaped pig into the wilderness. Being a gnome, Bethany's legs weren't much longer than the pigs and she chased it for some time before halting suddenly at the scene of a recent skirmish. Seeing many dead drow among the bodies, Bethany worried for her safety and turned to leave, but she stopped when she heard the sound of a baby crying. Nervously picking through the corpses, she discovered that it was a male drow infant. Deciding that she couldn't leave him there, she picked him up in her arms and hurried back home.

She informed her husband, Windsor, that they would adopt the child if nobody came to claim him, and he agreed, as he always did with his wife. And nobody came to claim him. Windsor felt that this was probably for the best, as drow inquiries regarding a missing baby were likely something best left to the imagination. And so they named the child Erland Cinder Honeyham and resolved to see to his upbringing. Although their pig ranch was closer to human lands than any other, they even set about teaching Elven to Erland as they felt it was appropriate for him to learn his native tongue. But as he grew older it turned out that he was always most at home speaking Common.

Raised with three gnomish siblings, he was teased and bullied while he was small. Later he began to outgrow them and thought to fight back, but their invisible reprisals frustrated him. Eventually, in a fit of fury, he lit up his older brother with Darkfire and proceed to beat the snot out of him. The bullying stopped.

His pleasure with the discovery of the powers granted by his heritage was offset by the onset of recurring nightmares. He would sometimes wake screaming. Distant neighbors, never entirely happy about the adoption of a Drow in the first place, complained that his screams "somehow" alarmed their animals. One morning one of the neighbors found a mutilated squirrel in the forrest and claimed Erland must of done it in the middle of the night. The Honeyham family objected to this baseless accusation, but it was clear that most townsfolk silently suspected that it was true. Even Erland found himself wondering if it were true. He never remembered his nightmares, but always woke with a horrible feeling that some dark force wanted him to do horrible things. Harmful things.

Eventually a group of mercenaries arrived in town. They said they needed someone who knew the area and could guide them to a nearby mountain. The job was simple and they offered decent coin. A neighbor's boy was almost chosen, but when they learned of Erland they immediately insisted on him. Erland agreed. Once at the mountain, they offered him additional coin to accompany them into a cave as a torch bearer. "In case the torch goes out, you have good eyes," they explained. Again, he agreed. And his torch did indeed go out, as did all the others when the vampire attacked. By the time it occurred to Erland to light up the foe with Darkfire, half the group was dead. In the end the mercenaries won by stabbing the vampire with some sort of magic sword, but with only four survivors, all wounded, some quite badly. Erland dressed their wounds and helped them to the surface. They offered Erland yet more money to help them back to their main camp. Once again, he agreed.

The mercenary leader, upon hearing his men's story, thanked Erland for saving his men and said if there was anything he could do for Erland, he had but to name it. Erland said he wanted the magic sword that killed the vampire. The mercenary leader laughed. "It didn't actually kill the vampire. It's a special magic weapon we were given for this job, and it trapped the vampire inside it. Such weapons are rare indeed, and giving that to you is out of the question. But listen, you have skills we value. I'd like to offer you a job. Join us. We'll teach you the sword arts and show you the world. It's late in the day now. Stay here with us tonight and sleep on it. Give me your answer on the morrow."

In the morning, the mercenary leader returned, and he didn't look happy. But this unhappiness was not directed at Erland. "Before you give me your answer, I've reconsidered the matter of the magic sword. Join my band, and it will be my gift to you." Erland, not being exactly thrilled with his life as a pig farmer in a town that suspected and feared him, was quick to agree. He hurried home, informed his family of his decision, and left to begin his new life.

Erland was informed by his new comrades that "Honeyham" wasn't sufficiently intimidating name for a mercenary, and they called him by his middle name instead. In no time at all, Cinder was reduced to Cin, which sounding like "Sin" immediately stuck to him like glue.

The mercenary leader, as it turned out, was very right. The vampire had not been killed. It was very much alive and trapped within the weapon. Sometimes he could feel a desire within it for blood. Sometimes, when looking at the reflective flat of the blade, he got a feeling that something was looking back out at him. And sometimes, rarely, it seemed to speak into his mind. Sin realized that this was likely the real reason the mercenary leader had become willing to part with the weapon. It was essentially cursed. But Sin didn't mind. When he kept it close, it seemed to prevent the feeling that the other dark force was trying to invade his mind, make him hurt his loved ones. He stared sleeping with the sword clutched in his arms. The nightmares stopped. And while the sword wanted blood, sometimes badly, it didn't especially seem to care how much, who suffered, or where the blood came from. It could come from bad people. Animals. Erland himself. The sword was easy to please.

As much as he liked his new sword, he did not trust it. It seemed to want him to go places where powerful wizards resided, or forgotten empires once stood. Erland became convinced that the vampire trapped within the sword was trying to engineer a situation in which he could free himself. So most of the time the sword's rare words fell of deaf ears.

The cursed sword said it's name was Unvalus, but Sin ignored that too. He called it Savior.



And here's my inspiration for that background, and a bit about the game he's a part of.

Background for the background
Back when 4e was still very new, my playing group had finished with the Keep On The Shadowfell, which was our introduction to 4e. Our DM said he wanted to continue on with the Thunderspire, but told us we had the choice to continue to play our old characters (the stock pre-generated characters that came with KotS) or roll up new ones. I asked if any of the Monster Manual races were on the table. He responded that they were, but instructed us that we would have to explain how a "monster" came to be interacting with the more civilized races and adventuring, and further cautioned us that many "normal" people might adversely react to our race. Most of us jumped at what we expected to be a rare chance and immediately started planning our new 4th level characters.


This was all before the Adventurer's Vault was released. Paging through the PHB for magic item ideas, I noticed the Lifedrinker Weapon (PHB page 235). I tried to imagine what a weapon like that would be like. Imagining it to be somewhat of a vampiric blade, rewarding its wielder for bloodshed, I had the kernel of the idea that turned into Savior.

After writing my background, my DM was so taken with it that he ran with the idea. He'd actually have the sword speak into my character's mind from time to time, encouraging certain actions. He even wrote up a concordance sheet for it as if it where an artifact, and I had to track how often it tasted blood. If it was happy, I gained bonuses to things like Perception, but if it became unhappy I'd take penalties to Diplomacy. At the bottom end of the scale I might even attack my allies, but since I could always keep the sword somewhat content by drawing it across my own flesh for 1 HP worth of damage once a milestone, I was never really worried about the worst-case scenario. Every step of the way, my DM was improvising great scenes full of flavor to complement and build upon my background.

Once we were chasing an enemy who looked like he was going to get away. He was the leader of a bad crew, and we wanted to take him alive for questioning. I couldn't reach him in time, so I threw my sword as an improvised ranged weapon. There was an ally standing between me and the enemy, and my DM looked at me meaningfully and said "You don't want to roll a 1. You sure you want to try this?" I said I was going to roll anyway. I rolled a natural 20. My DM turned to the other player and told him that he ducked in the nick of time, allowing my sword to fly over his head. "You feel it part the air an inch above your head. It feels as if death itself is passing you by." When it struck the enemy, he was described as as withering into a blackened, desiccated husk before our eyes. As his body fell and struck the ground, it shattered into chunks reminiscent of charcoal and ash. My group turned on me, shouting "WTF?!? You said you wanted us to take him alive!" I didn't want to admit that I had no idea what was going on, so I instead replied "I changed my mind."

My group became increasingly edgy about the sword after that.

Things got a little more intense when I eventually got dropped by a strong enemy and failed my 3rd death save. Rather than dying, I stood back up, but with no control over my own character. I'd been taken over by Unvalus. A Hunger of Hadar actually parted around my body rather than touch "me" as I walked through it, and I was later found hunched over the body of a powerful NPC enemy we had been hunting. The throat was ripped out and I was drinking his blood. I snapped back to the real world when an ally forcibly poured a healing potion into my mouth. Then I started vomiting the blood I had been drinking a moment ago. Spectacular, I thought. I could not have asked for a more exciting, flavorful game. My allies? Yeah, they started talking in secret behind my character's back, arguing about when they should hold an intervention for me and convince me to lose the sword. But they also convinced themselves to have that intervention some time "later", because "that sword is pretty useful." I laughed and laughed.

Once we finished the Thunderspire, my DM took a break. When we eventually resumed the campaign with the same characters, my DM wasn't using a module anymore. He was inventing his own plot line and setting. One where my vampire had escaped from the sword and was trying to destroy the world. And he's been doing a pretty good job of it so far. And so my sword became the BBEG. How cool is that? How often does a background inform the plot of a campaign?

I could not be more pleased. 


My current character. It's a little more generic and uninspired than I'd really like, but I came up with it in fairly short order, and it got changed a few times due to events in play.

Sophisa Tempscire, Eladrin Swordmage and Sigil Carver


Born on the night of an alignment of the constellations, they expected the daughter of a powerful Eladrin Sorceress to be a formidable mage in her own right, especially when the baby opened her eyes and revealed their colours, one the deep blue of a summer sky, the other the cloudy mottled grey of a marble pillar. They were wrong. All her lessons, all her training as she grew proved one thing. Sophisa had the power, but not the will or the drive to be able to bring it forth in much more than a torch's flame or a bucket of water.

She took to her lessons quickly and displayed a keen and eager intellect, but her continued failure to manifest any sorcerous power disappointed her tutors. Their rebukes and reactions left her with a sharp tongue and a desire to prove herself. She never got the opportunity - after coming of age, she was sent to join the military. If she couldn't use magic to serve her people, then she could at least fulfill her noble duties with a blade in hand.

Her powerful mind and the natural grace of all her race served her well in that role, but the boredom of guard duty had the unfortunate side-effect of further sharpening her already pointed demeanor. It was while guarding the family of a minor noble that she found her calling. A group of fey hounds, driven from their home by fomorians, hungered and irritated, attacked them while they were travelling. Sophisa and the other guards fought off the hounds, but it was only after the battle that she noticed the others, her charges included, staring at her, and harrowing her with questions almost as thoroughly as the hounds with their fangs. Her sword was covered in a flame as blue as her right eye.

The head of the family introduced her to Elcia Fein, a Swordmage of great renoun, who agreed to teach Sophisa the art of the flying sword. It was during this time that she found how to use her power - only by focusing it through a blade as sharp as her mind, with the will and courage to use magic in someone else's defense could she truly call on her sorcerous heritage. Studying arcane formulae under Elcia and her wizardly companions made it easier, and magical history and theory held a fascination for Sophisa she couldn't shake.

After completing her training, and at Elcia's recommendation, Sophisa set out to improve her powers in her own way, and to learn as much of magic and history as she could. She puts her talents to use, signing on as a sellsword or a researcher (or both!) whenever an expedition is made to ancient ruins or places of great magical power.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine