New D&D Player- Help with character Dev-Lvl 4 Assassin

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Hi guys,

So I am pretty new at all this. Have played on session as a monster than another when I created my actual character. Here is the back story for my Wood Elf assassin. Tell me what you think and how I can make it better!!! 

Also my character's purpose for joining the party is because I was hired to kill a paladin within the group. This was written & promoted by the DM. So far the group distrusts me, only because I am new. I'm NEVER going to tell them im an assassin, hopefully. My character has grown to respect the paladin's combat prowess and continues to manipulate events so that the battles are harder. I want to know what are my options. What do you think my character should do? The group consists of a paladin, a fighter, a warlock, a cleric, and a rogue. We are all lvl 4 or 5. Let me know what you think. 

The Tale of Valez


Valez Du’Urth was born under a bright full moon beneath a cold winter sky. His mother was lost that night, but his father, Valliant Du’Urth raised Valez the best he could. Valez grew up to be bright eyed and curious. His love for music and dance made him popular among those living in proximity of his father’s farm. He would habitually explore the Amber Woods for days when he was young. His black hair was often dirty and covered in leaves from the outings and his bright green eyes reflected the growth in his soul as the dirt did the crops that his father grew every year.

Living on a farm outside of Lysion, a grand elven city, Valez and his father often made trips to the elven city convenient. Valliant was poor though and during an incredibly bad crop season Valliant had to send Valez into the city to work at a private school for nobility. The school taught the children of the upper class within Lysion of proper etiquette, history, and magic. The university prided itself on producing fine magic users who would then return to their families after graduation to prosper. Valez worked hard to make sure his family could save enough money to survive the harsh winter. He could see his father only once every two months when he was allowed to leave the confines of Lysian and the university. It was in the university that Valez met Lady Sophianya Woodsoul.

Lady Woodsoul was the only daughter of the Woodsoul family, a noble family who gained much of their prestige and wealth as clerics. Often the Woodsoul family could be counted on to keep the ruling family of Lysian healthy. Sophianya had the brightest brown hair and greenest of eyes. She was known for her beauty and compassion, which seemed to gather the very creatures of the wild to her. She was also a very adept cleric even for her young age. She was a promising protégé and the university prided itself on her achievements. She would often stay up late at night and study by candle light on balcony looking over the Amber Forest. It was a night when Sophianya had to stay especially late that she met Valez.

It happened under a full moon and this was why Sophianya did not have an extra candle while she was studying. The moon went behind several clouds and Sophianya found it hard to see. She went in search of the candles, heading down stairs to the supply cabinet she came across Valez dancing around a broom in a classroom. Sophianya watched Valez and came to enjoy his enthusiasm and passion. His delight, innocent and passionate in such a simple task captivated her imagination. The realm of her spirit yet to be stoked and made rusty by years of analytical thought. She smiled and in that instance Valez became aware of her presence. Their eyes met and then a glance became the beginning of a beautiful and wondrous friendship.

The end of winter gave way to a beautiful spring. Valez’s father thrived thanks to the money gained from his apprenticeship. Valliant sent a letter to Valez asking him to come back home, but Valez refused. He enjoyed his apprenticeship and was given a chance to stay on with several new responsibilities, more so he wanted to stay with Sophianya. He continued sending money to his father and the years went by as such till it came close to Sophianya’s graduation. Part of the graduation process required the upcoming graduates to travel and perform their craft for the benefit of society. Sophia was charged with venturing to Cayden and healing a family in dire need. Her family hired bodyguards for the trip and she left promising Valez that she would return soon.

She didn’t though. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months. The Woodsoul family grew more and more concerned as the days went by and word from their daughter ceased. Half a year passed and Valez became scared for Sophianya. It was a sunny day when the Woodsouls received a ransom note smeared with blood. Valez heard about it as the students spoke to each other after class fearful of their own upcoming trips.

That night Valez left, not waiting for any more news. He stole a horse from the university’s stable and road hard on the road to Cayden. It was near Evansdael on the King’s Road that Valez suspected Sophianya was captured. It was months prior, but Valez was confident that he could find the trail. He spoke with caravans and travelers as he rode and heard about a group that seemed suspicious living near the goblin tribes in Evansdael. Using the last bit of gold he had saved up he hired a huntsman to protect and lead him. He found the trail heading North into Evansdael and found the group three days later.

Valez and the huntsman waited till nightfall to ambush the party and rescue Sophianya, but upon nearing the encampment they discovered the group to be allied with the goblins and there number had doubled. Valez was also astonished to find that the group was made up of some of the bodyguards hired to protect Sophianya. He remembered them vividly when he waved at her as she left Lysian.

Valez clenched his fist and pulled an arrow from his quiver. He felt a hand touch his forearm and he eyed the huntsman warily as he was anxious to save Sophianya who sat at the edge of the group facing away from him. The huntsman shook his head and held out his hand as if he wanted more money for the venture. Valez felt despair as he had no more, but whispered that he could pay him back later. The huntsman shook his head and disappeared into the forest leaving Valez alone. He shivered in the night and at the task he felt himself compelled to follow through. He loved her after all and couldn’t bare the thought of her spending another day with the criminals. He thought of a plan to save her and moved into position. He shot an arrow with rocks tied to it out towards the direction of where the Huntsman left and waited till the group heard the rustle and crash of rocks against the trees.

They responded just as he thought they would with the goblins rushing towards the sound with reckless abandon and the others gathering their weapons to pursue. They left two people to guard Sophianya, an elf and a human. Both characters seemed to be well-versed fighters with the elf casually grasping the two swords at his waist. The human seemed more formidable as he scanned the forest around the campfire. Valez had seconds before the group came back though he hoped that they would pick up on the huntsman’s trail and continue the pursuit. He circled around till he was close enough that he could see Sophianya’s face. She looked weak and sick and his heart continued to melt as he saw a bruise on her face.

Valez pulled an arrow out and aimed it at the elf, knowing he had seconds before he sensed him. He let loose and the arrow drove into the back of the elf slamming him into the ground. The human turned towards Valez and immediately pulled a great sword from behind his back charging at Valez. Valez tried to pull an arrow out, but he quivered while doing so and dropped the arrow. He dodged to the right narrowly missing the great sword as it smashed against the stone that Valez had rested on, sending a sharp sound into the night that drove the birds from their nests. The man wasted no time in lifting his sword back up, but instead kicked out catching Valez in the chest and sending him sprawling dangerously close to the campfire. Sophianya watched anxiously as Valez recovered and stood up. He held up his hands to block the knee that was aimed at his stomach, but untrained in the martial arts, his defense was shattered and he was once again sent to the ground coughing in the dust.

“This was a very weak attempt at a rescue elf,” the man said to Valez. He circled the young elf as he tried to catch his breath and rise, but every time he did so he was met with a hard kick to the ribs.

“It was an irrational thing for you to do and yet you did it still. It begs the question, what drove you to do such a thing?” He eyed Sophianya and she shuttered under his glare.

“For love? You can’t win battles with love. You should have left fighting to real men. For such a disrespectful attempt at a rescue just for the sake of love she will bare your mistake.” Valez looked up at the man and spat at his face before the man kicked out driving Valez’s head into a rock. He heard screaming and then shouting. There was a fight and then Valez felt hands wrapped all about him.

Valez woke up and he could already tell he had been out for several days. His head was bandaged, but a headache was already starting to grow. He tried to push himself up to inspect his surroundings but fell back into his bed, tired from the struggle. He coughed into his pillow and fell back into darkness.

He felt hands shaking him and heard screaming again. He opened his eyes and was met by several faces, elf faces. He rose from the bed and was slapped across the face. Confused Valez kept his head against the pillow and eyed the group. They were older and seemed familiar to him, but he couldn’t remember how.

“Young man, do you know what you have done?” the closest elf to him said.

Valez shook his head not truly understanding anything at all.

         “You have acted on your own, have endangered someone of noble blood and have disgraced your family. For that I want you out of this city. You will say nothing to Sophianya nor will you tell her why you are leaving. You will be allowed to see her once before you go, just to see what you have done, but you will say nothing of this conversation. Do you understand?”

Valez shook his head and tried to speak but he felt another slap and sparks blurred his vision. Valez then nodded and was helped out of his bed. He was confused and wondered what he had done that was so terrible. He found out what an hour later when he was allowed to see Sophianya. Asleep in her bed she seemed so peaceful so perfect and yet he knew something was wrong with her. He approached the bed under the careful scrutiny of the old elves who he now knew were her parents. Two healers had their hands on Sophianya and they whispered prayers of healing. Valez almost threw up when he saw the deep gash on Sophianya’s neck. He sputtered and collapsed to the floor and was promptly lead out of the room and pushed into a wagon outside the noble household of the Woodsouls. Valez had a lot of time to brood over his actions as the wagon carried him outside of the city. It felt like several hours had passed until the wagon stopped and Valez was shoved out into the dirt road. Sophianya’s mother eyed him coldly and threw a sword at his feet and a bag filled with provisions.

“I am not completely without mercy, though you deserve worst. She will live, but she will never again be able to speak. You acted rashly and have caused great harm to my daughter. Fulfill your penitence and never return to Lysian again or I will personally make sure you never see the light of day again.”

She walked back to the wagon and Valez watched as it disappeared in the distance. Valez became overwhelmed by his actions in the later days and eventually joined up with a mercenary group he found on the King’s Road hoping to payback those that preyed upon the innocent. He happened to be the innocent in this case and was robbed and left for dead by the group he traveled with. As he lay on the road naked and bleeding from several wounds he had a vision.

A women dressed in black feathers approached him and offered him her hand. She did not speak and yet he knew she was giving him his chance to become stronger, a chance to redeem himself, a chance to become someone who could protect Sophianya. He took her hand and woke up in the Shadowfell. It was there that he spent the next sixty years surviving and eventually learning shadow magic from Tenebrous Cabal within Gloomwrought. He became an assassin and while the first thirty years proved the hardest for his physical being the remaining destroyed the innocence within Valez as he had to steal and murder in order to stay alive and in good graces with the factions within the dark city. He often thought of Sophianya, but he knew that that was a light he could never touch again. Sixty years exactly from the day he first showed up in the Shadowfell he woke up back in the plane he was born wearing nothing, but a necklace with a raven’s feather on it.

He had grown to suspect that the Raven Queen had taken an interest in him and this was more so confirmed by the sudden appearance in the normal plane as well as the addition of the necklace. He pledged himself to the Raven Queen on that day and became the great leveler for the Raven Queen, dedicating each murder to her as he built a reputation in the cities to the east and west of Lysian of being somewhat of a nightmare. He never ventured close to Lysian, though at times he thought of it. He once visited his father and watched him as he slept, but left before the sun shed its first light into the room. He did inquire about the health of Sophianya and even hired someone to gather information for him. He learned that she was doing well and was a famed healer in Lysian, though she had a scar on her throat and could not speak. Valez longed to be with her again, but every time he thought of racing to her, to home he need only look at his hands and what he had become and all thoughts of love fled his heart. He was a shadow of his former self. He was the night stalker.


You've obviously put a lot of thought into your character, and that's great, but you might want to slim it down a little bit when you present it to people.  Most forum-goers won't bother to read something this long.  To sum up, your character:

1. Apprenticed at a school for magic;
2. Fell in love;
3. Failed to rescue said love after her abduction and was exiled, though she still lives;
4. Spent 60 years being an assassin in the Shadowfell;
5. Works for the Raven Queen.

Now he's been hired to kill the party paladin.  Why, and by whom?  What are the party's goals?  What god does the paladin serve, and how might murdering his/her disciple in the name of the Raven Queen (a non-evil deity) affect the relationship between the two gods?  The answers to these questions should inform Valez's actions at least as much as his history.

Well thank you very much for reading it. I understand it is very long.

Your summary is spot on. I guess your summary point 5. "works for the Raven Queen" is not exactly what I wanted for Valez. More so I wanted the designs of the story to say that the Raven Queen has a plan for Valez. While Valez owes much to the Raven Queen he does not know why she has chosen him or what she has planned for him. In this regard he has an affiliation with the Raven Queen and worships her. So it is not a direct relationship and I wouldn't say that Valez works for her. I should probably specify more so my intentions in the story

so to answer your questions...

1) Valez has been hired by two men who were shamed in a bar fight with the paladin and have recently acquired some wealth. They desire vengeance and has paid Valez half for accepting the job and will pay the other half upon completion. This party was written by the DM. 

2) the party's goal is to get the last remaining dragon eggs in the world so they cannot be used for malevolent purposes. 

3) The paladin serves Avandra.

4) I realize that Avandra and the Raven Queen are allies because of both of their association with fate. Valez has killed people in the past in the name of the Raven Queen for money because he believes it doesn't matter if you live or die. Death comes for us all and if someone hires another to kill and he is successful then that was your fate. To Valez he believes if he succeeds than he was fated to do so. 

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