The Ten-Minute Background--Post your characters!

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The Ten-Minute Background of Jil

Step 1: "Hide? In The World? Why do we have to run? We've been a part of this community for years! We have done nothing wrong! Surely our neighbors, our friends, would not cast us out!"

Background
1) They have taken everything from us. Our homes, our rights...and they would take our lives, if we let them. And all for a few mistakes some misguided ancestors made in centuries past. But the Eladrin have long lives and longer memories, and we were forced to leave.

2) Home, or what had been home, was a small vale known as Valis Tenarii. My husband, my son, myself, and another changeling family led peaceful lives among the kind folk of the vale. To all appearances, we were as they were, and we thought they harbored us no ill-will. We had shared our secret with them, and it seemed they had accepted us. My husband was a scout with the hunters, and I kept the home.

3) And then word reached us that the fabled changeling Enclave in Minas Elendrii had been raided and destroyed. The Wild Hunt began to move out from the Eternal City, hunting for pockets of doppelgangers, or "Fetch" as they like to call us, and calling on all the "right-thinking people" to "dispose of the trash in their midst." They came to Valis Tenarii, and our neighbors, who knew of us and had never voiced any discontent about us, pointed their fingers. We were lucky to escape. The other family was not, and they were burned alive on pyres after being branded with the arcane marks they use to identify our kind.

4) For three years we ran, hiding where we could, but it would never be safe for us as long as we remained in Eladrin lands. But we heard of The Faceless Underground, and it sounded too good to be true. A chance for a fresh start, in human lands, far from the grasp of the Wild Hunt? We managed to get in contact with this "White Fox Society," and crossed The Veil. We passed through St. Clarice, a human city. And then we were betrayed.

5) The attack came without warning. We had stopped outside of Clermont, in order to meet our next contact, when the ambush came. Eladrin appeared out of thin air, as they tend to do, and we were all captured. The humans we had been traveling with were put to the sword right there. My son, little Ael, disappeared in the confusion. We were tied, and then another prisoner, a human the Wild Hunt had mistaken for our kind, was tied up with us. He helped us free, but the Wild hunt heard our escape, and we were beset.

6) I fought, and was injured, and left for dead. My husband, seeing me fall, turned on our captors in rage and grief, and was cut down. The human nobly tired to fend the Wild hunt off, but he, too, was left for dead. When the fight was over, they captured most who had escaped, and left the rest to rot. I helped the human, named Zifer, and we fled back to St. Clarice. He goes to find answers. I go to find justice. I will see the ones who betrayed us dead. I sow vow it.


Step 2: "Where is he? Ael? AEL!? WHERE IS MY SON!?"

Goals
Short: Find out who betrayed the caravan to the Wild Hunt and bring justice to them. She has started to train as a paladin to achieve this end.
Medium: Find her son, though she suspects he may already be dead. She does not hold much hope in her heart.
Long: Destroy the Wild Hunt, or be destroyed in the process.


Step 3: "Enough of this. I am sick of being coddled, and I'm sick of hiding. I will show the world my true face, and if that causes me troubles, well, then fine. My troubles will have troubles with ME."

Secrets
Known) Jil knows a little about this "White Fox Society," especially with regards to the Faceless Underground. She knows the names of several members, including Angelique DuParis, Marcel DuParis, and Audric Cwellen. She suspects one of them is the one who sold her caravan out.

Unknown) Jil's son, Ael, did indeed survive. He was picked up by a band of halflings plying the river near where the ambush took place. These halflings are smugglers, and they are working on moving some contraband into St. Clarice...a trio of dragon eggs! Ael has taken the form of a Gnome to blend in to the band.

DM Secret) The one who actually contacted the Wild Hunt is the brelani Old Leroux, who has been manipulating the Faceless Underground since its inception. His goal is to lure the changelings into a place where they can be dispatched without fuss. But his agents in The Wild Hunt have come to St. Clarice, putting the operation in danger. They are looking for changelings in the city openly--and searching for a certain eladrin with a crescent-shaped birthmark...


Step 4: "You. Wizard. You do tattoos, yes? I see you recoil from me--I expect nothing less from your race. Well, then, go ahead and brand me. I will wear it in defiance of you, and all your race stands for."

Contacts
1) Zifer Cwellen is a noble human who tried to help us escape. He is seeking answers, but his commitmants with his adventuring band leave him with little time, and this isn't his affair to begin with. He can help me, but I will not wait for him to get around to it.

2) Angelique, the high priestess, seems friendly enough, even sympathetic. But she was our contact here, and she is one of the few who would have known where our caravan was heading. I like her, but I cannot ever trust her.

3) I trust even less the other changeling who has been seeking me out. He is too eager to get my attention. I heard that the enclave in Minas Elendrii was betrayed from within, by one of our own kind. No, I do not belive I shall put any trust in this persistent pest.


Design Notes
Jil is one of those characters that had more of an impact on the game than I expected.

She was created as a nameless NPC a few sessions ago as part of the party's introduction to The Wild Hunt. She was one of the changelings who had been captured with one of the PCs, who had to engineer an escape. In this fight, I decided to make things interesting for the players who weren't involved by giving them the roles of various NPCs. So three of the players took the role of The Wild Hunt members, while another took on the role of a changeling who had befriended the captured PC. This changeling had been the most talkative, and I'd spun a tale of how he and his wife had been captured, but their son was still missing. The PC and the changelings hatched an escape plan that very nearly worked, but a failed stealth check brought The Wild Hunt to check on them, and the battle ensued.

This was a very interesting battle, because it allowed the players to pit themselves against each other, something that wasn't normal. And it allowed me more time to moderate, instead of having to worry about running a whole mess of NPCs while the other players just watched.

Out of this grew a story. The player who was controlling Si'ari decided to snipe at some of the escaping changelings, but not shoot to kill. One of the changelings she happened to target was the one who I had designated as the wife of the changeling the other Player was controlling. Because of this, he turned from running to attack the Wild Hunt, in order to buy time for the others. The PC who was in the scene also fought, against very long odds. It was likely he would have died (he was fighting Trae'var, who has no mercy in him) but the player playing Spring Cat again decided to intervene, hitting him with an arrow that disabled, rather than killed, him. All in all, a wonderful bit of characterization that helped flesh out the Wild Hunt team dynamics, and I included the attitudes that were developed in that fight into their TMBs.

The story of Jil then became one of a character growing beyond the bounds I'd originally envisioned. I had her help the PC back to his feet, and together they went back to St. Clarice (so he could rejoin the group). I had intended to fade her out after this, but the PCs kept paying attention to her. She gained a name, and some background, and I think this bit of characterization is what made her compelling enough to keep.

Since the players have decided to focus some of their attention on her, I decided that it was time to do some more development with her. I'm sure those of you who've DMed have had similar experiences. This seems to happen a lot in my games--Angelique DuParis was not originally intended to play as large a part in the previous campaign as she wound up being (this time around I allowed for her to have a larger part).

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

I like Jil. The hunted angle is something that I could use in my own campaign.
I could see doppleganger parents switching the children of rich families with their own children after forcing the child to change forms if the parents really can't take care of their own child, and just want to see it grow up healthy (this'd be a reason behind our changeling fables). The doppleganger parents might even shadow the kid, and make sure it is safe, ever watchful for when it begins to learn of its talents (they'd even be hoping that their child never learns what it is, for its own safety).

Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.

The hunted angle is something of a major theme in the campaign I run, since two of the PCs are changelings and many of the others have ties to the Feywild. Both Xat and Bee, who've been posted before, are PCs who had the hunted angle in their backstories.

The eladrin empire in my game is an oppressive regime based loosely on pre-war Nazi Germany, so it made sense to cast another race as the oppressed and persecuted minority.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Aahron, The Martial Lord
Human, Monk


Background
"The difference between the people I trust and the people I don't..The ones I do have told me they want me dead."
Spoiler

1.Aahron is the martial lord of the twin continents. The title grants him recognition as being the greatest fighter of their type, in this case unarmed fighting. Aahron spent a lot of life in a temple of fighting monks in the western mountains; despite the lands, wealth and power the title grants him he still remains a brother of the temple but no longer resides within the temple itself but in one of the surrounding villages.

2.Aahron started life as a foundling, but he wasn't left at the temple, he was infact raised, until his teens, as a guild thief in the large city of Braghun. In his late teens Aahron suddenly left the guild and the city behind.

3.When Aahron left he joined up with a caravan of merchants as a mercenary bodyguard, but this was only a temporary situation for only a few months the caravan was held up in one of the temple villages where Aahron was able to catch a practice between two of the brothers, he was fascinated by their fighting style and when the caravan left he stayed behind to learn from the monks.

4.Despite starting his training in his late teens Aahron picked up the skills with ease, becoming adept at them in a surprisingly quick time; even with his cynical personality traits and untrusting attitude that had been embedded into him that contrasted with the monks philosophies he maintained enough discipline to become a brother at the temple himself.

5.After years living with the monks Aahon became restless with his skills, unable to use them in the outside world. The opportunity to use them finally arose when the martial lord before him died in battle, unable to be succeeded; a competition to find the replacement was held in Braghun, despite his fellow brothers protesting against him competing he went and fought and won. When Aahron returned the brothers did welcome him back, but because he went against their protestations he sensed hesitation amongst them and decided to stay in one of their surrounding villages out of harms way.


Goals
"I don't need to be one with the universe, I'm quite happy right where I am."
Spoiler

1.Aside from his need to keep his skills honed to maintain his title of the martial lord, Aahron fights to keep from being bored, so he likes to be challenged often so that he does not get soft.

2.Aahron is a man of simple needs, and apart from combat tries to stay away from the business of the outside world. So he aims to stay in his village for aslong as he can.


Secrets
"I don't trust people who say they don't have secrets, it usually means they have something really bad to hide."
Spoiler

1.The reason that Aahron left Braghun suddenly was because he was involved in a fight with another thief that resulted in Aahron killing the thief, Aahron knew that no matter the reason he would be hunted down by the guild and killed or worse.

2.Aahron wasn't his real name back Braghun, he changed his name after he joined the merchant's caravan. His name was previously Alexander Loddson, a foundling of the guild.

3.The competition also gave Aahron a reason to go back to Braghun to visit the girl he left behind after he left the city in haste.


Contacts
"The elders used to say I am like a rock, I suspect because I am dense and hard-headed."
Spoiler

1.Elder Sainon; Aahron's mentor while he trained with the monks. Sainon is am old strict elf with a very apparent lack of humour, but he is also a natural teacher and can often get through to the most stubborn students.

2.A fellow previous bodyguard with the caravan of merchants is an assassin named Janine, as quick with her wit as she is with her swords, but she is equally quick to anger so can often get into fights even with odds against her. She also has some skills as a thief which made the two of them better friends; whenever the caravan comes through the western mountain they can often stay up through the night talking about news and old memories despite only traveling together for a few months.

3.Amber is another thief, half-elf in the employ of the Braghun thieves guild, after killing the thief Aahron fled the city leaving behind his love, he had no idea what happened to her until he went back during the competition to fight for his lordship; he found there that she had become involved with a bard who worked in the royal court, however since it had been many years he was not saddened he was relieved that nothing bad had happened to her because of his misdeed.


Memories
"Time is money my friend, and you are costing me a lot by asking pointless questions."
Spoiler

1.Aahron remembers the feel of warm blood on his hands after killing the thief, he realised that he had taken a life and that scared him, it made him swear never to take another life again, but it did not take away his feeling to engage in combat that he considers friendly, this is also one of the reason he fights unarmed.

2.Watching two of the temple monks practicing their art, watching them move quickly and nimbly as they controlled their bodies with apparent ease, this was the first time he was inspired in any real way.

3.Running along the rooftops of Braghun as a thief, relishing in the freedom he had, in the cool night air and the thrill of whatever exploits he was going to do with the nights he had ahead of him.
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Snaga, goblin slave

"Peese no beat me, Masta. Me did nutting wrong. "

Background:
Show
1.) Snaga was bought by Harek Malk, a worgbreeder, from an auction block owned by an overweight human.
2.) After one of the worgbreeder's slaves nursed Snaga back to health, the bugbear Overseer assigned Snaga to a particularly nasty worg with only an 8-foot length of iron with a red-hot tip for protection.
3.) After a few times where he was nearly killed (with the prod barely keeping the worg from tearing him apart), Snaga accidentally manifested a bolt of wild magic. The worg left him alone after that.
4.) After learning that his best worg had been injured, Harek sent for her keeper (Snaga). He then beat the pitiful slave until Snaga had a foot in the grave.
5.) A week later, a hobgoblin arrived at Harek's front door, saying that she represented the Imperial Corps of Warmages (ICW) and that wards had been triggered by someone in his household using wild magic. Guessing that it had been a slave, the ICW rep has been asking if she could check for magical talent among the slaves. She offered to pay triple what Harek had payed for any slave that showed arcane aptitude. Snaga hopes that his master will agree.


"Me so huuungy..."
Goals:
Show
1.) Figure out how to use more magic.
2.) Either become free or get a kinder master


"Me tell you, Masta, me no hiding nutting. Peese put club 'way. "
Secrets:
Show
Snaga recently stole a kitchen knife. He is hoping to lead a slave revolt.


"You be Snaga's friend? "
Contacts:
Show
1.) The Overseer: Like most of the slaves, Snaga has tasted the bugbear's whip. However, the Overseer generally treats Snaga better than the other slaves.
2.) (Unfriendly) Harek Malk: Snaga's cruel hobgoblin master.


Design notes:
Show
Snaga was created for a single purpose: to illustrate the slave caste of Kael Rantir. A list of castes, in order from lowest to highest (and the order in which I post exemplars): Slave Caste (goblins, bugbears, criminals; largest caste), Low Caste (freed slaves), Slaveowning Caste (anyone who owns at least one slave; second largest caste; pays taxes of gold or goods), Soldier Caste (hobgoblins who've enlisted or been drafted into the Imperial Army), Ruling Caste [split into Rakarni (nobles), Hakarni, and Karn].
Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne! Resident Invisible Man Lurker in the House of Trolls A Testament to My Glory
The Thornspire

"HOLD! What be yer business here at the Thornspire?" - an anonymous and suspicious member of the Mithral Guard
Background and City Information
1. The Thornspire is a mountain that juts out into the sky from the massive hedge that is the Vale of Thorns. It is the central home of the dwarves in the Vale, and almost every dwarf in the area has been there at least once in their life.

2. The Thornspire was settled by dwarves who wandered into the Vale and couldn't find their way back out. Without their clans and place to call their own, they made their own clans and forged a small community in the only mountainous area available. That community has since grown into a very large delve, that is home to most of the Vale's dwarven population as well as a small ammount of the other races.

3. The Thornspire is also the primary source of unrefined metal and stone for the entire Vale. The dwarves who first settled there were initially concerned that the ore would run out, and they'd be forced to resettle, but for some reason, their mines and quarries never seem to empty. The dwarves are as surprised about this as everyone else, but they've been careful not to take too much of the constantly replenishing materials, making sure to be ready if it ever does run out. They assume magic is responsible, as the Vale is saturated with it.

4. The dwarves are also the best weapon and armor manufacturers in the Vale, and they're rightly proud of it. So proud, in fact, that practically each weapon, shield or suit of armor made by them is unique. They make more money off the raw materials they sell to Firepoint and the other cities than from their smithing work.

5. The Thornspire delve is ruled by the Silverbloom clan, formed from the first settlers of the mountain. Virtually anyone in a position of major power in the delve is a Silverbloom. While other clans exist and sometimes positions of power do go to members of other clans, everyone acknowledges that the Silverblooms are the masters of the Thornspire, and no challenge to their authority has ever succeeded.

"We built here because it's the only right place for a dwarf. Honestly, who'd want to eke out an existance in that briar patch down there?" - Tarish, proprieter of the Bar of Gold
Goals
1. I created the Thornspire mainly because I felt I couldn't focus on Firepoint forever, and the Vale of Thorns frankly needs more settlements. It also gives the dwarves a reason to be dwarves there. Because I think dwarves rock. :P

2. The Thornspire is the only mountainous area in the Vale, and thus it's ostensibly the only source of metal and stone in the entire area. You can't build entire city states with just one mountain's worth of materials. I needed a reason why civilization in the Vale can readily produce metal and stone goods when theoretically the supply should have run out a long time ago, and the Thornspire gives me the opportunity to provide that reason.

"There are many mysteries in this place, but we're careful about messing with them. We don't want to delve too greedily or too deep." - Haralda Silverbloom, human, archmage of the Thornspire
General Campaign Spoilers
1. The reason the metal ore and the stone of the mountain seems to replenish constantly is indeed because of magic, but not the conflicting magic of the Feywild and Shadowfell, like in the rest of the Vale. Back before the Labyrinth sunk beneath the ground and the Vale grew over it, the Thornspire was a massive earthmote hanging in the sky above the city, brought there from the Elemental Chaos itself. When whatever disaster that banished the city beneath the earth occured, the earthmote fell from the sky and crash landed in the city. This is partly why the city was buried. The dust it threw into the air with its impact covered the tops of the tallest towers that still stuck up under the original burying. Because the earthmote had no passages in or out of it when it landed, it's one of the few locations in the Vale that's undead free, since there are no passages leading into the mountain from below, and any other passages to the surface are miles away from the mountain.

2. One of the Silverblooms is not actually a dwarf, but a human. Haralda Silverbloom is the greatest wizard on the mountain, and one of the most powerful in the Vale, despite being young by both human and dwarf standards. She was found as a baby by her adoptive brother, Dardath, when he was a little boy, exploring the mountainside. Dardath brought the baby girl to his parents, who raised her like a dwarf. Haralda is sensitive about the fact that she is a Silverbloom by adoption only, and does everything she can to appear dwarvish. Which is hard to do when you stand a head taller than everyone else in your family.

3. At the heart of the Thornspire, it is said that a powerful weapon resides, placed there when it still hung in the sky, waiting for a time when one worthy of weilding it appears in the Vale. Expeditions have been sent into the mines to try and find this weapon, but all have found nothing but dead ends.

"They say that from the top of the mountain, you can see the whole Vale, and into the World Forest beyond!" - Dardath Silverbloom, dwarf, Lord Marshal of the Borderlands
Allies and Enemies
1. Firepoint is obviously the Thornspire's most prominent ally. The dwarves have a prosperous trade agreement with the city, shipping ore and stone to them to be manufactured into fnished goods that are shipped across the Vale. The current king, Berich Silverbloom IV, (Dardath and Haralda's father) is a strong supporter of the new duchess, Ekaterina Lursis. He currently worries that the city's problems will tear it apart, especially since it's governed by an assassin.

2. The newly erected shadar-kai city of Narsopath has been watched very carefully by the dwarves. They know that they are in direct conflict with their longtime ally, Firepoint, but they are loath to get on the newly founded city's bad side. As a result, they have offered trade agreements with the city to help it gets on its feet, at the urging of the Silverblooms advisors, but Berich and his immediate family know that eventually they'll have to choose between the two cities.

3. The elven city of Naissus is another of the Thornspire's allies. Situated in the Grimmendeep forest, an island of trees in the sea of briars, they are the Vale's primary producer of lumber, leather and even ivory. Like the replenishing metal and stone of the Thornspire, Naissus mysteriously never seems to run out of resources. The elves do not suspect magic though, believing that it is through their careful harvesting that the forest is conserved.

"We dwarves have lived on the Thornspire since we first came here. The rocks here are very hard. This mountain's got tough bones!" - Grimbol Greatbeard, ex-mercenary, now captain of the Thornspire Militia
Fun Facts about the Thornspire
1. The Thornspire is actually made up of two settlements. On the slopes of the mountain lies Tradegate, the commerce district of the community. Ruled by Berich's son Dardath, this is where most of the Thornspire's trade takes place, and where most of the non-dwarf residents live or stay. Tradegate also serves as the way into the city, so the barracks of the Mithral Guard, the Thornspire's standing army, are located here to protect the city quickly. The Delve is the larger part of the city, and only citizens of the Thornspire and people who have business with the clans are allowed inside. Here, the population of non-dwarves takes a nose-dive, but some non-dwarves do live here.

2. Religion in the Thornspire is dominated by the worship of Moradin, and King Berich's brother, Ollamh Gamling Silverbloom, is the religious leader there. There is a small temple to Kord, Lord of Battles, in the Delve, as well as smaller shrines to other gods out in Tradegate.

3. While the Delve's grand entrance in Tradegate is supposed to be the only way in or out of the mountain, a number of smaller entrances can be found where the dwarf mines accidentally breached the surface. None of these tunnels lead to the Labyrinth, and the dwarves don't take kindly to trespassers creeping into the mountain through the mines, but they can be a handy entrance if one is not allowed into the Delve through Tradegate.
Sanga's cute. :D

And I like the Thornspire. Nice way to make an interesting dwarven settlement.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Thurche, Orc Invoker
Evil
Background
"I am not evil. I reject your rules!
spoiler

1) He is a priest of Bane and is utterly devoted to the concept of power through strength of will. To that end he seeks to attract a large group of warriors (he would prefer orcs) to fight at his side and set up a working government in deference to Bane.
2) He is a megalomaniac and is perfectly willing to sacrifice a few lives if it helps him look out for number one.
3) His entire tribe was destroyed save for him when Thurche refused to join the Orc warlord in his conquest of the countryside. The heretical followers of Gruumsh slew his fellow "civlized" orcs and drove him deep into the swamps.
4) Thurche slew a powerful Tiefling warrior who attempted to drive the orcs into attacking their neighbors. He proudly wears part of the warrior's skull as a death mask.
5) Thurche has wandered into civilization and is having some trouble fitting back in. He's looking for a group of manipulable individuals who he will mold into the perfect warband.


Goals
"We will crush all of the deceivers, and smash the non-believers!"
spoiler

Short: Spread the word of Bane!
Medium: Regain his honor by defeating the warlord who destroyed his clan.
Long: Marshal a massive force of orcs willing to stake a claim for a real nation.


Secrets
"I'm deeper than the 'barbarians' you are used to seeing among my kind.
spoiler
1) Thurche is insulted by the general view of his race as a mass of chaotic warmongers. He'd rather they be seen as a group of organized warmongers who conquer in the name of Bane. In part he feels that the worship of Gruumsh has stunted his people and stigmatized them.
2) One of the members of his clan was actually an Eye of Gruumsh. He did not approve of Thurche's blaspheming against One-Eye and called down the warlord to destroy Thurche. Now he hunts after Thurche, always a step behind him, in order to end the heretics life for good.


Relationships
"Another one bites the dust. Heh, do not worry, I'm gonna get you too.
spoiler
1) Thurche is being hounded by the Eye of Gruumsh from his old clan, the Stonefaces. The shaman is known as Bloodeye and seeks his blood.
2) The orc warlord has a vague interest in destroying Thurche but is too busy raiding and pillaging at the moment to really pay him much mind.
3) What's left of the goblin clan near his old village is friendly enough with Thurche.
4) Thurche has encountered a powerful dragonborn warrior named Torinn who happened to share many of the same views as him. He hasn't seen the dragonborn in a few weeks since he left the small village of Tabn.


Memories
"My mind is afire with your doom, heretic!
spoiler
1) Thurche remembers getting very sick with fever when he was young. He recovered but as a result his eyes have turned a bright yellow color. He was considered partially cursed his clan but he reveled in using this to cow his lessers.
2) Thurche remembers his initiation into the cult of Bane. He tore out the heart of a monstrous lizard and offered it in supplication to the priest. He was annointed in its blood and a symbol of Bane was burned into his right palm.
3) Thurche remembers the face of the warlord who destroyed his clan. His skin was rough and green and his teeth were jagged and numerous. His name is Jokros. Thurche will cut the beating heart from his body.
I just wanted to say that this thread has been a catalyst for my brain unlike any other. I particularly dig when you crazy cats post characters and NPC's from the same campaign, allowing a deeper understanding of how the world functions. Keep it up please!

Here's a villain I just wrote up this morning (I'll come back and add quotes tonight.) Post me some feedback if you'd like.

FOLKLANDS PLAYERS READ NO FURTHER!

Dark Fox, the Eladrin Warlord

"I see you are no stranger to the blade either. Don't worry, death by my hand is more than you deserve." - Dark Fox, moments before taking Nero's eye out in a duel
Core Concepts
1) Xanatos Grey is a half-elf born to Evangeline the White, Eladrin princess and daughter of the White Queen, and Edward Longshire, Lord of the North Coast of the Folklands.
2) Edward rescued Evangeline from a pack of murderous redcaps, and the two fell into a deep love affair that could have lasted for years. Unfortunately, the White Queen has no love for any non fey race, and when she quickly learned that her missing daughter was with a human, and that they were having having sexual relations (gasp!), the Wild Hunt was dismissed immediately to rescue the missing princess. Longshire’s Keep was ransacked and the only survivor was Edward’s son Erithian, a lad of less than ten summers.
4) Knowing that her mother the Queen would ruthlessly end the child’s life, Evangeline enacted some desperate measures when she realized she was pregnant, and using her witchlike powers, hastened the gestation of Xanatos. Named for his stone gray appearance, and the fact that the magic did not fade with his birth, Xanatos can expect less than half the lifespan of a normal half-elf. On the plus side, he reached maturity incredibly quickly, and learns faster than anyone he has ever met. He spent 6 years with his caretaker, the satyr Moart Spence, before he was ready to return to the Eladrin Court, having learned combat better than most eladrin ever do.
5) Xanatos is painfully aware of the fact that even elves are lesser citizens in his grandmother’s lands. As a half-elf, he would be unlikely to avoid slavery for long. Thus he returned as the assumed identity of Dark Fox, a legendary Eladrin Warlord. In the few years he has been at the court, he has learned many of the tricks the fey use. He is never surprised by the same trick twice, and his ability to improvise in battle or politics is unmatched.
6) Xanatos has a warped view of racial relations. Because he wants nothing more than to be a perfect eladrin prince, he blames his mother for carousing with humans. But he much more blames his father. Only his father has already been murdered, that entire line made extinct. There’s no revenge to be had, except against all of humankind. And so he hates them all, bitterly. He has found it to be one of his greatest pleasures to hunt men to the brink of terror and slay them.


"Use as many men as it takes, and raze their village to the ground. For every survivor, that's another blade I ram through your stomach." - Dark Fox to a Huntmaster just before they raid a small village
Goals:
1) If Xanatos could somehow become a full blooded Eladrin, he would do it in a heartbeat, no questions asked. Until it occurs to him to endlessly seek magic to make that a reality, he broods and angsts over his grandmother’s approval. He wishes desperately to someday reveal his true identity to her, to have her praise Xanatos Grey as she has been praising Dark Fox, and take his rightful place as heir to the White Court.
2) In the meantime, Xanatos is dedicated zealously to wiping every possible trace of humanity he can find off of the maps of reality. He is relentlessly aiming for the Wild Hunt operations in the mortal realm to expand, hoping at some point he can muster a full-fledged invasion and war. Which he plans to lead as general. And win. Though he doesn’t much care if his eladrin are crushed all around him, as long as humanity is made to pay in blood.


"One day, I'll tell them who I really am. They'll crown me and honor me, oh yes they will. I'll MAKE THEM."
Secrets:
1) Xanatos is keeping his relation to the crown a secret, instead relying on his skill as a Huntsmen and duelist to provide him with prestige. Only his mother Evangeline, and his caretaker Moart Spence know who he is. Of course, only Moart and Evangeline knew she had a half-elf child in the first place.
2) Xanatos doesn’t know that his half-brother Erithian Longshire yet lives.
3) The magic that perverted his natural growth cycle has not stopped acting on him. He is recently plagued by nightmares, which include a shadowy figure he somehow knows is the Nightmare King. The destiny these dreams want to lay claim on him he rejects, though he doesn’t know what it is. To avoid them, he has been sleeping little as late, which has only made him a more dangerous and unbalanced individual. The Nightmare King is the Lord of Fomorians, and he plans to use Xanatos in a plot to take the Eladrin lands and wealth.


"By the power of the White Court, for the Queen that none can hide from, let the Hunt begin. Loose the hounds."
Contacts:

1) Boris ‘Sevenfingers’ is a Mercenary captain that Xanatos has been working closely with. Since he has only a small regiment for his Hunts, he went to the Redcaps: murderous, cruel, and life-hating gnomes. Previously, they’ve been hunted for sport, or used as slaves by Eladrin, but they have a knack for finding ways into the Middle World, and they will surely kill for money. Boris is an agreeable sort, who lost 3 of his fingers to hounds when pillaging a castle for children to eat. Xanatos finds Boris a like-minded fellow and companion; especially compared to the Eladrin he commands.
2) Moart Spence is the satyr that raised Xanatos while he was but a babe. Mentor, confidant, and even friend to Xanatos, Spence is charming and disarming. If he does not agree with Xanatos’ genocidal efforts, he does not show it, supporting the young lad in any way he can. Of course, Moart has his own schemes aplenty, some for the fun of trickery, and some out of lifedebts, like the one he owes the White Queen...
3) As an up and coming star in the White Court, Xanatos has made many enemies, but none so fervent as Nero ‘Glass Eye’, nephew of the Queen. Nero has waited patiently for power to come to him, slowly gaining favor in his aunt’s Court, and would have had quite a position by now if it wasn’t for that fateful day when Dark Fox appeared and put out his eye in a duel. Ever since, Nero’s watched his position crumble around him as Dark Fox garners more and more of the accolades Nero himself deserves. His patience is running thin, and with the Warlord away he knows the time to strike at his politically popular enemy is at hand.


"Play that song again Moart, the one I like, the dirge of sorrow and darkness. Fie, then, give me those pipes and I'll play it myself."
Memories:
1) Due to the magic that ages him, Xanatos has memories from almost the time he was born. His first is of his mother’s face as she hid him away, with the tall, pale spires of the Court behind her. He treasures this memory, because when it happened he had no idea how his mother had betrayed him.
2) He still remembers the first time Moart Spence showed him a glyphstone circle, a gate between the Faerie realm and the Middle World. He denies it even to himself, but the memory of feeling like he belonged on the other side of the gate is undeniable.
3) Xanatos has always had a soft spot for music, since he heard Moart playing the pan pipes for the first time. He remembers how it was one of the few things that could uplift him when he was feeling out of sorts.


"As long as I'm awake I'm safe, he can't find me. Haha I'm truly an eladrin now, I'll sleep nevermore, ah hahaha!"
Design Notes:
Xanatos is a prime example of why I love the TMB so much, his original design started as an Eladrin general. Once I looked at him and wondered why the fey invaded one particular noble's lands in specific, it became a personal vendetta against that lord's affair with an eladrin princess. Which led me to the idea that she should have had a child so that Erithian the PC has an unknown half-brother. Only that child would only have been around ten years old, hardly old enough to be a threat. Why would he need to age faster? The same reason the humans were wiped out in the first place, a hatred of non-eladrin and non-fey, requiring his mother to be concealing and quick in his birth. Before I started Xanatos earlier, I had no idea that the fey were so racist in my campaign.

I plan for him to appear as a nemesis to the PC's, his half-brother in particular. Foiled once, he's likely to become relentlessly personal. As an incredibly fast learner, he should challenge me to heighten my tactical and role playing skills as well, I hope to have him in-game learn from tricks and never be twice surprised, as opposed to merely having DM fiat for that skill. He also serves as a lot of plot exposition, since he's a major mover and shaker behind the continued fey campaign against the Human realms.


As the masked and ruthless leader of shock troops that can teleport in and decimate their opponents, he should embody the terror of being chased by the Wild Hunt. For that matter, I'm curious if anyone has any suggestions for his alter-ego. Dark Fox is the best I have so far, but I get the impression that it may be mocked a little too much for him to keep his intimidating impression. Anyone have any other name suggestions?
IMAGE(http://www.spiritualmagus.nl/images/dnd/Vicross.jpg)

Vicross Serpenthelm
Human Fighter

Chaotic alignment
Sarcastic, tactical, dry remarks, won’t jump into problems which aren’t his just to help someone out…not in his current state anyway. He used to be lively, driven, motivated…but now down to earth, dry humor, doesn’t care for much any more either, relaxed and not easily intimidated or scared, a levelheaded tactician

Vicross Serpenthelm is currently unaligned to any gods. He feels abandoned by them. In the course of his future travels he will either become a follower of Shevaresh (Vengeance) or Tempus (War)

Biography

Vicross is currently imprisoned after murdering a group of Halflings…but before we get there let me begin the story from the beginning.

As a small boy Vicross grew up in a small village near the east end of the Dragonmere called Saerloon. His parents, Jerek and Salina, raised him alongside little Zahlia. Nothing of note occurred during his early uprising. The parents, sister and Vicross lived on the farmstead and made due with what they grew and traded. At the coming of age he decided that being a farmer was not cut out for him, nor being a fisherman trading with the dwarves. and thus decided to become part of the local militia.

Shortly after joining the militia he met an ox of a man called Halmer Dore. Under this man’s watchful eye Vicross learned the basics of wielding a sword and shield, patrolling the farmsteads and taking care of the occasional goblins, bandits such as Tigerclaw barbarians or other pests. But most of the time they were tracking lost cattle who wandered off and brought them back to their worried owners. Several moons waxed and waned and even though the change was welcome it still wasn’t quite what Vicross was looking for.

Halmer told Vicross to go to the big city where he had a contact that might be able to help him further. The name of this contact is Ymes Agade a woman who can often be found at the local tavern. This place offers a meal and place of rest to travelers, which allows her to run an unofficial guild of adventurers. A guild master would be giving too much credit, but due to her street contacts there are always jobs and rumors to spread around for the right amount of coins.

Anyway…Vicross packed his things at the farmstead and said goodbye to his family and childhood friends. A few people from the community had heard the news and came to say their farewells. Everyone reminded him to come back to visit once in a while. Several weeks passed before Vicross finally reached the city of Marsember. A busy city with mainly merchants, traders, a dock and several organizations. Without too much trouble, and a few helpful directions from passersby, resulted in finding the tavern.

Ymes looked rather intrigued by this unexpected visit, but took Vicross in. For weeks he did menial tasks within the boarding house itself as well as running errands for Ymes. Until the day several travelers came in and were looking for information of nearby ruins which they were investigating. After a long conversation the party was convinced to let Vicross join them and thus his true adventuring days began.

Years went by and Vicross seen a lot of Cormyr and beyond. Together with his new friends and comrades he took care of many situations and amassed quite some wealth. Some of it he’d send to his family and at times to repair or get new gear, but rarely did he indulge himself. A lively, energetic, driven fella he was…

You see…a month or so ago he came back during the night. His armor was torn apart, covered in blood all over the place and he looked plain awful. A pale face with a defeated look in his eyes totally oblivious to anything around him. He made his way to the Nentir tavern and started drinking. Vicross never was a drinker, but when he started he didn’t stop for days. Every time someone close to him asked about what had happened and why he wasn’t with his comrades resulted in no reply at all. We can only assume that something truly horrific happened which scarred him from within. Something with the spell scarred orcs is what we assume. Several people, some of which Vicross doesn’t know, are quite caring and concerned for him.

Ahh the reason he’s in jail right now? I totally had forgotten about that. After a few days of heavy drinking and stumbling around town without freshening up apparently gave a group of traveling Halflings a reason to pick a fight with Vicross. At first he didn’t react to the petty comments and insults, but then one remark hit a delicate note it seemed. He drew his sword and made short work of the Halflings. Such brutal murder was the cause for my Purple Dragons to take him in. He’s in custody for several weeks now. Hasn’t had a drop of alcohol nor said a word…just sits there in his cell staring to the opposite wall.



5 things of his past

1. He’s brought up on a Farmstead with a father, mother and sister. Didn’t like being a farmer and joined the local militia before joining an adventure group in Marsember.
2. He remembers the adventures he’s been on both as part of the militia as his group of comrades. The smell from sweetrolls some of the elderly women would give from time to time as gratitude for his work.
3. The anxiety he felt the first time Vicross stood face to face against a band of goblins together with Halmer and the militia. Doing well until a goblin knocked the sword out of his hand. Luckily one of the men struck that same goblin down and helped him back on his feet with a smile and a relieving sarcastic comment.
4. His father being warm and patient every time when teaching Vicross how to work the land or fish.
5. Camaraderie with his adventuring group, friendship and the fun he had with them. The things they taught him. Vicross vaguely remembers a town they visited, but can’t remember the name of it. He was intrigued by the interesting architecture.


Goals for Vicross

1. Find the remaining living comrade of his prior adventure troupe and get some sort of closure. Either by revenge or simple answers. Why did that person betray them?
2. He has lost all of his amassed wealth due to drinking and wasting it in his depressed state. A poor man with nothing left He needs to get back into the saddle and start adventuring again. Some social contact would do him good to heal his wounds as well. Or so people around him assume and advice him.


Describe at least 3 people that are connected to Vicross through either romance, blood etc

1. The family Jerek, Salina and Zahlia which are all on good terms with him
2. Halmer Dore and Ymes Agade which are also on good terms with him. Ymes is pretty neutral and needs to be convinced to help Vicross since she is a money driven opportunist most of the time. Business before pleasure.
3. The living comrade.


Descibe at least 2 secrets. 1 that the player knows, what he doesn’t know and 1 the DM adds.

1. Vicross is the only one that knows what has happened the night he came back to town
2. There is a woman artificer/alchemist in Marsember which has a crush on him, but isn’t capable of expressing or attracting his attention without being clumsy about it.
3. The living comrade has betrayed the group of adventures. Was with the group while in fact being a member of a cult that was investigating to open the Rift at the Shadowfell Keep. Need to read the H1 etc chapters to figure out what role this living comrade plays and what his name etc is. Perhaps incorporate that comrade to link it with the follow up quests Sons of Gruumsh or Red hand of Doom.


Feedback/criticism is always welcome...
IMAGE(http://www.spiritualmagus.nl/images/dnd/Magen.jpg)

Magen Nalnore
Female dwarf rogue


Golden Monolith, Honorable Point is the meaning of her name.
Shy, makes jokes when she feels uncomfortable and giggles when
someone asks her something. Or is it just a façade…

Biography

Magen Nalnore is the daughter of Bregor and Ildra Nalnore. An ordinary
stout dwarven family in the mountain city of Hammerfast. A city carved in
the Sunset Mountains of Cormyr. Famed for its craftsmanship and known for its industrious, economical and flourishing prowess. Within Hammerfast are various clans
and districts to be found. Armories, smiths, metalworkers of many kinds,
alchemists and anything else you could ever wish for. Many secrets are not
known, nor shared, with the outsiders.

Magen had an ordinary childhood, but she showed a great aptitude with
daggers. This frightened other children at times which resulted in very
few individuals that came near her. Eventually she joined the Vaultbreaker
Clan led by Rucda Darkfounder. She taught Magen how to get even more
proficient with her daggers as well as anything else that would proof
useful for a rogue. Magen passed many tests of agility, stealth, knowledge
about locks. She got mentally hardened and calculating and eventually
choose to take a few steps on the path of an assassin for which she was
not yet ready.

During the past few years Magen has used her skills for clan operatives to
spy/steal from other clans or set-up security measures. She has proven to
be quite talented and capable. So well in fact that her name got mentioned
in the higher parts of Hammerfast. One day a man named Hgas Farbeard
called upon her for a private audience. He tricked Magen to steal a
specific metalwork formula and bring it to a dwarf in Marsember. Not
thinking too much of it she took the job and got paid handsomely, but
partially, up front.

Magen has stolen the secret formula and brought it to Barstomun
Strongbeard in Marember. Barstomun runs a porter’s guild, but has some
side business not everyone knows about. Now Magen realizes what she has
done with great regret and seeks out adventurers via Ysma to “hide” among
for her own safety. Pretending to be shy, giggling when people ask her
things when she’s uncomfortable. She has no idea what to do at this time
except doing her best to stay alive while being hunted by Hammerfast’s assasins.


5 things of her past

1. Raised as a regular girl by her parents Bregor and Illdra
2. Partially shunned by other kids due to her talent with knives/daggers
3. –
4. –
5. –


2 goals for her

1. Find out why she has been set-up by Hgas, who the contractor is that
will receive the formula and what he’s planning to do with it.
2. Hide among a group of adventurers and use them to protect her against
assassins that are sent after her by the dwarves…and use the group in her
other goal without the adventurers finding out.


[sblock=Describe at least 3 people that are connected to her through either
romance, blood etc]
1. Her father Brega and mother Ildra who once were respected warriors
themselves
2. Rucda Darkfounder who was her tutor in the rogue art. Rucda is
disappointed in her, but after some explanation Rucda might be persuaded
to assist Magen from within Hammerfast
3. Hgas Farbeard…a foe? A puppet in a larger scheme?[/sblock]

Descibe at least 2 secrets. 1 that the player knows, what she doesn’t know and 1 the DM adds.

1. The reason of the appearance of assassins once in a while is due to the
stealing of the metalworking formula.
2. Hgas sold his services to an operative of the Army Red Hand of Doom.
They in turn want to use the formula to make armors and weapons to aid in
their upcoming war.
3. -


Feedback and criticism is welcome...

Oh and also some help filling in the blanks. Writing a biography is fairly easy compared to naming a few things in a list :P
You've seen the hub city of our campaign and some of its neighbors. Now it's time to see one of our enemies. Behold the city you've heard so much about...

Narsopath

"Do not take one more step near the gates, foreigner, or my soldiers will rain arrows down upon you." - an anonymous and xenophobic member of the Hooded Crows
Background and City Information
1. Narsopath, meaning "Raven's Flight" in the language of the shadar-kai, is the newest city in the Vale of Thorns. It was founded by the shadar-kai who invaded and razed the eladrin city of Lunaer. All the beauty of the old eladrin city is gone now, replaced with high-density, efficient and entirely ugly housing. The shadar-kai residents made a concentrated effort to destroy the eladrin's past and replace it with a city based purely on functionality and resource management.
The result is dull, grey, and spirit-crushing, but equally strong, defensible and stable. Its four walls almost form a true perfect square.

2. The most prominent feature of shadar-kai is the caste system that the shadar-kai created at the city's founding. There are four castes: upper, middle, lower, and untouchables. The upper caste rules the town, filling the role of politicians and nobles. The middle castes are the administration, doctors, lawyers, merchants and teachers. The lower caste is a slave caste, comprised almost exclusively of eladrin captured during the invasion. They take the more menial yet essential and skilled jobs of the city, plumbers, builders, cleaners, farmers, butchers and bakers. The lowest castes, untouchables, are the outcasts of the system. Some still fill a role and are thus eligible for housing and food (albeit of the worst quality), such as undertakers and tanners, but most are those who have been rejected by the town entirely and have only begging or thievery to survive on.

3. Narsopath's people are heavily paranoid and xenophobic. The flow of goods in and out of the city is strictly controlled by the merchant of the middle caste, with all items transported immediately to warehouses upon arrival and distributed among the people according to need (and caste). Furthermore, the shadar-kai insist on an extremely spartan lifestyle. No luxury items are allowed, and the only way to buy something is through the thieves of the untouchable caste. Narsopath has immediately opened to trade with other shadar-kai settlements, and is currently debating allowing trade with the dwarves of the Thornspire, but the city mostly tries to remain self-sufficient with communal farms inside the city walls tended by eladrin slaves.

4. Narsopath's army is largely comprised of members of the middle caste, often called the Hooded Crows because of the beak-like hoods on their black cloaks. They serve as the law enforcement of the city and seem to be everywhere, swooping in to stop crimes almost immediately after they start. Almost everyone in Narsopath is afraid of them, even members of the upper caste. In the event of a full-scale invasion, the entire middle and upper castes mobilize into a fighting force, thought the upper caste tend to be in positions of command, such as captains or even generals. The Hooded Crows also are very strict about one of Firepoint's harshest laws. It is illegal to cast spells or carry a weapon in Narsopath without a license, and any caught doing so are immediately executed upon arrest, without trial or prison time. Usually only such liscences are available to members of the Hooded Crows or the upper caste. No foriegner has ever attempted to obtain a license, largely because the shadar-kai have thus far refused to allow any non-shadar-kai in or out of the city.

5. Narsopath is governed by a parliament of 50 men and women, all hand-picked from Narsopath's upper caste from an early age. Other members of the upper caste serve as advisors to the parliament and administrators of the city's major public services, such as the army, the hospitals and the schools. Societies or organizations of any kind are strictly forbidden apart from the parliament and the two General Meetings for the middle and lower castes, which are held every six months. At these meetings, representatives of the castes bring relevant matters to the attention of the upper caste, such as the state of housing or the rationing of food. Organizations outside of the General Meetings that are discovered by the Hooded Crows usually do not live to meet again.

"Why did we pull down the "glory" of Lunaer? Why do we fight still? The answer is simple. We fight for revenge against the despoilers of Narcica and for the glory of our everlasting Queen!" - Dendara, Doomlord of the Raven Queen
Goals
1. The destruction of Lunaer, and the subsequent founding of Narsopath on its ruins, was the event that kicked off our campaign, with most of the PCs being in the city when the attack began and escaping the city through the Labyrinth below. Also, as it's been implied in my other TMBs regarding the Vale, the shadar-kai of Narsopath are likely to be recurring enemies in the campaign, though the campaign itself isn't centered around taking Lunaer back or anything.

2. In every story, there's that one place that no one wants to go, yet all roads lead there. Mordor in The Lord of the Rings, the Mountains of Ignorance in The Phantom Tollbooth, The House of Pride in Book I of The Faerie Queene, etc. I wanted Narsopath to evoke as much of that feel as possible. My co-author, when designing it, drew on several systems and concepts in the real world, such as the caste system in Hinduism, the fact that the entire free population of the city can mobilize for war, like ancient Sparta, and the general feel of oppression and squalor, like some portrayals of the Soviet Union.

"Untouchable scum! What makes you think I will say anything to you?!" - Lord Vuforvosh, a member of Narospath's parliament and typical upper caste citizen
General Campaign Spoilers
1. Narsopath's upper caste is currently eyeing Firepoint as the next jewel in their iron crown. They've publicly declared a truce with the city, but at the same time have contacted shadar-kai within the city and other people who might be sympathetic to the shadar-kai cause to undermine Firepoint from within, so the shadar-kai might finally take back what was once their city, and from there, build a shadar-kai empire in the Vale.

2. The shadar-kai, however, are being tricked as well. One group they have come into contact with is a mysterious cult of self-professed nature-worshipers calling themselves The Thornheralds. The shadar-kai have formed a secret alliance with them to destroy Firepoint once and for all. What they don't know is that the Thornheralds, while they are sincere in their intent to destroy Firepoint, have no intention of letting the shadar-kai keep it. The Thornheralds want nothing less than the complete destruction of all civilization, so the Thorns may claim the whole Vale. They plan to turn on the shadar-kai when Firepoint is destroyed, and attack Narsopath while they're recovering, thus destroying the two most powerful cities in the Vale at once.

3. While the shadar-kai did have the advantages of surprise and numbers when they attacked Lunaer, they also had something else that aided their victory. A powerful artifact that contributed greatly to the shadar-kai's success. Currently the artifact is held by the parliament, and is being kept safe should the city need to use it again. A secret group of rebels, largely made up of untouchable and lower class eladrin, are scheming to steal the artifact and use it against the shadar-kai.

"The city's enemies are numerous. I can't think of anyone who'd want to help these bastards after what they've done!" - Mishaka, eladrin plumber and member of the lower, or slave caste
Allies and Enemies
1. The city of Firepoint is obviously Narsopath's greatest enemy, since the city was built over the ruins of the shadar-kai city of Narcica. The shadar-kai have sworn they will never forgive the eladrin for this, and will not rest until every last eladrin bows before them. This desire to put the eladrin "in their rightful place" has been drilled into shadar-kai children virtually from birth. While Narsopath maintains ostensibly non-hostile relations with the city, both sides know of the hostility seething underneath the pleasant facade.

2. The parliament is currently debating the efficacy of opening their gates to the dwarves of the Thornspire, who are allied with their enemy, Firepoint. However, they know that the Thornspire is the only source of metal ore in the area, and since that is the one resource they cannot obtain on their own, they are forced to allow a small ammount of trade. The shadar-kai hope not to have to deal with them for long though, for once Firepoint is under their thumb, it would not be so difficult to siege the mountain and claim the dwarves' mines and quarries for their own.

3. Not all shadar-kai live in Narsopath, and not all shadar-kai share the unreasoning hatred of Narsopath's people. Just south of Narsopath stands the shadar-kai city of Marlos'kaern, which was founded by refugees from Narcica. Back when the eladrin razed Narcica and built Firepoint, the shadar-kai refugees suffered an ideological split. Those that founded the settlements of Niem and Nathek, and later conquered Lunaer to build Narsopath, wanted revenge on the eladrin. Those that founded Marlo'kaern believed that a war with the eladrin would be pointless, and that the shadar-kai should seek to mend the bridges between the two people. While Narsopath is very coridal with Marlos'kaern, trading with them freely and making overtures to an alliance, the shadar-kai of the city know their new neighbors aren't fooling anyone. The shadar-kai of Narsopath view the shadar-kai of Marlos'kaern as traitors to their own race, and that each and every one of them deserve a fate worse than death.

"You are very lucky to have gained entrance, outsiders. A word of advice. Don't go poking around in the business of our people. You will only regret it." - Filledares, Narsopath customs officer and world-weary member of the middle caste
"Fun" Facts about Narsopath
1. Narsopath's parliament rules the city, but its caste system is actually a meritocracy. If a person works hard enough and goes above and beyond the call of service to the city, they may be allowed to ascend to a higher caste. Despite this, the system IS weighted more towards the middle and upper castes, which are composed almost exclusively of shadar-kai. And so far, no eladrin has ever ascended beyond the lower class.

2. While ostensibly Narsopath's people are devoted to the Raven Queen, the city is decidedly secular on the whole. Most shadar-kai in the city privately believe that the Queen abandoned them when she apparently did nothing to stop the destruction of Narcica, her favored city. The fact that the Raven Queen's faith is the strongest in their enemy Firepoint only exacerbates their anger at the goddess they purport to love with all their soul.

3. Most eladrin in Narsopath, while they are treated as second-class citizens, are beginning to grow accepting of the caste system. Some eladrin are even trying to ascend to the middle or even upper castes to try and temper the hatred of their masters. One eladrin lady is even going so far as to disguise herself as a shadar-kai, and is attempting to insinuate herself into an upper class family.
I just wanted to say that this thread has been a catalyst for my brain unlike any other. I particularly dig when you crazy cats post characters and NPC's from the same campaign, allowing a deeper understanding of how the world functions. Keep it up please!

Oh, I intend to, and thank you for the kind words. But at the moment I'm kind of low on NPCs to post--most of the major, and a few minor, characters have already gone up, and not all my players have provided me with a TMB.

Show
Xanatos is a prime example of why I love the TMB so much, his original design started as an Eladrin general. Once I looked at him and wondered why the fey invaded one particular noble's lands in specific, it became a personal vendetta against that lord's affair with an eladrin princess. Which led me to the idea that she should have had a child so that Erithian the PC has an unknown half-brother. Only that child would only have been around ten years old, hardly old enough to be a threat. Why would he need to age faster? The same reason the humans were wiped out in the first place, a hatred of non-eladrin and non-fey, requiring his mother to be concealing and quick in his birth. Before I started Xanatos earlier, I had no idea that the fey were so racist in my campaign.

I know the feeling. Several developments came about through writing TMBs for my characters. For instance, Bodak Steelgrinder, the very first TMB I did here next to the example, was originally a character of mine that I wanted to put in a position of power over the local adventurer's guild. I also wanted to add some conflict there for the PCs to explore, so I put him in debt to the Merchant's Guild. It only made sense that the guild would be offering to alleviate his burden by offering him some shady deals. And that was the genesis of Gaston Duchamps, who is the BBEG of the current adventure the characters are on.

Another example is Mai'ali and Dominique, who were originally intended to be separate characters. I used them already in a previous campaign, and I wanted to do something different with them this time around, so I thought it would be good to dust off an idea I had a long time ago--and combine them. It's certainly turned out well.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Narsopath is finished!
I know the feeling. Several developments came about through writing TMBs for my characters. For instance, Bodak Steelgrinder, the very first TMB I did here next to the example, was originally a character of mine that I wanted to put in a position of power over the local adventurer's guild. I also wanted to add some conflict there for the PCs to explore, so I put him in debt to the Merchant's Guild. It only made sense that the guild would be offering to alleviate his burden by offering him some shady deals. And that was the genesis of Gaston Duchamps, who is the BBEG of the current adventure the characters are on.

I really like Duchamps, I find it much harder for the players to respect or hate a villain that is dangerous through social power, and not more talented in a fight than they. Seems like he really shines through as quite the bastard.

It's difficult after reading through the whole thread not to blatantly plagiarize ideas from all you creative fellows. There's some tremendous stuff here. Thanks for keeping it together Stray. One request though, on the offchance that a player in this campaign happens by here, would you mind sblocking the text that talks about stuff they haven't learned yet :D
I really like Duchamps, I find it much harder for the players to respect or hate a villain that is dangerous through social power, and not more talented in a fight than they. Seems like he really shines through as quite the bastard.

It's difficult after reading through the whole thread not to blatantly plagiarize ideas from all you creative fellows. There's some tremendous stuff here. Thanks for keeping it together Stray. One request though, on the offchance that a player in this campaign happens by here, would you mind sblocking the text that talks about stuff they haven't learned yet :D

Well Duchamps does have SOME capacity in a fight (D&D being the kind of game it is, I had to at least be prepared for one, and I got to use that "Demagogue" template in the DMG) but yes, he's mostly dangerous because of the resources he can bring to bear against those who cross him, as the players are in the unpleasant process of finding out. They already found him gross and disgusting (thanks to how I RPed him) but the hate is growing as they discover just what sorts of horrible things he's involved in, and the lengths he'll go to make their lives miserable. He's like my version of The Kingpen from Marvel.

If you get some inspiration from the stuff I've posted, feel free to take those ideas and run with them. I'd be happy to see some alternative takes on some of the characters I've posted.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Narsopath is finished!

I love the cities you post, man. They rock, and I really should post more of my own.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Well, there are plenty more to come!
Well Duchamps does have SOME capacity in a fight (D&D being the kind of game it is, I had to at least be prepared for one, and I got to use that "Demagogue" template in the DMG) but yes, he's mostly dangerous because of the resources he can bring to bear against those who cross him, as the players are in the unpleasant process of finding out. They already found him gross and disgusting (thanks to how I RPed him) but the hate is growing as they discover just what sorts of horrible things he's involved in, and the lengths he'll go to make their lives miserable. He's like my version of The Kingpen from Marvel.

If you get some inspiration from the stuff I've posted, feel free to take those ideas and run with them. I'd be happy to see some alternative takes on some of the characters I've posted.

Heh, what I do these days is keep a file of every name I ever heard and didn't despise, so I never have to waste time thinking of names. So chances are sooner or later I'll have NPC's with names similar to yours. The ideas filter in slowly and subtly in comparison
Heh, what I do these days is keep a file of every name I ever heard and didn't despise, so I never have to waste time thinking of names. So chances are sooner or later I'll have NPC's with names similar to yours. The ideas filter in slowly and subtly in comparison

One of the most useful books I've ever had is Gary Gygax's Extraordinary Book of Names. I'm decent at coming up with names on my own, but there's nothing like a resource to help jog your ideas. Of course, there are other resources to help you--a phone book for a major metropolitan area or a website full of baby names can be an endless source of inspiration, and I've used both. Dragon magazine also had a few Random Name Generators for various races which I've gotten some mileage out of, and you will find name generators for Elvish and Orcish names littered across the Web.

The right names help add a good feel to a world, I think. You may have noticed that I use a lot of french-sounding names, which is intentional because it gives a certain feel to the setting. I use names from other sorces specifically because after hearing a bunch of names like "Pierre" or "Renard", a "Sven" sounds foreign and exotic.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Since I couldn't get a concept for the lower caste, I decided to add to the background of Kael Rantir. To save whoever wants to see the changes some time, I'll repost the changes here.

Relations:
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(Temporary ceasefire) Dwarves/Elves: Karn Nekal is looking to begin cordial relations with the dwarves' mountain holds and the nomadic elven tribes. The dwarves receive his emissaries well; the savage, xenophobic tribes of elves, on the other hand, have difficulty overcoming their racial hatred of the goblinkin.
(Open war) Human City-States: Goblinkin are warlike creatures, so while the more moderate among the goblin races want peace, most are happy with the war.


Design Notes:
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In the first campaign I ran, the party was fighting an orc horde called "The Dark Gauntlet" . These orcs turned out to be a less organized prototype for the hobgoblins of Kael Rantir. The orc horde became a recurring theme of mine throughout 3.5. By January 2007, I realized that hobgoblins (which I'd previously had as Hextorite slavers) fit that niche (world threat) even better, with a few tweaks.
The more morally ambiguous parts came because I wanted to give a reason for the other common races to ally with the hobgoblins and the fact that, well, they're humanoids too, so a THEY'RE ALL PURE EVIL standpoint didn't make sense, as they're all individuals. The slavery part just felt right.
Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne! Resident Invisible Man Lurker in the House of Trolls A Testament to My Glory
Here's the background for a PC I want to play soon.

Reag is a male Tiefling who was born in a small village of about 50-60% Tiefling. When he was about 5, his father forced him into an infernal warlock pact for his protection (his father had one as well). Reag naturally assumed he should at least pay some respect to Asmodeus, to keep on his good side. His father taught him to use his powers until he was 10, when a barbarian horde destroyed the village and scattered the residents. Reag was left alone and wandered towards the mountains. To his luck, there was a rather large, mostly Dwarven town there, so he went. He couldn't live on the streets for very long, however, so he joined the militia. There he was taught the Dwarven way to fight, drink, and speak. While living there, he learned to respect Moradin, putting him on his list of gods to worship. He proved a true hero on the battlefield, sometimes using the Infernal powers his father taught him. Soon people heard of his power on the battlefield, and Reag soon joined an adventuring group.

Reag's ideals are somewhat bizarre, seeing that he worships two almost incompatible gods. They are as follows...
  • He is loyal to his group
  • He willingly oppresses all that oppose him
  • He upholds the law. Reag realizes that cheating isn't always the way to profit.


Background Benefits:
Due to his training, Reag gains Dwarven Weapon Training as a bonus feat and counts as a Dwarf for the purpose of magic items.

That's it.
Here's the background for a PC I want to play soon.

Reag is a male Tiefling who was born in a small village of about 50-60% Tiefling. When he was about 5, his father forced him into an infernal warlock pact for his protection (his father had one as well). Reag naturally assumed he should at least pay some respect to Asmodeus, to keep on his good side. His father taught him to use his powers until he was 10, when a barbarian horde destroyed the village and scattered the residents. Reag was left alone and wandered towards the mountains. To his luck, there was a rather large, mostly Dwarven town there, so he went. He couldn't live on the streets for very long, however, so he joined the militia. There he was taught the Dwarven way to fight, drink, and speak. While living there, he learned to respect Moradin, putting him on his list of gods to worship. He proved a true hero on the battlefield, sometimes using the Infernal powers his father taught him. Soon people heard of his power on the battlefield, and Reag soon joined an adventuring group.

Reag's ideals are somewhat bizarre, seeing that he worships two almost incompatible gods. They are as follows...
  • He is loyal to his group
  • He willingly oppresses all that oppose him
  • He upholds the law. Reag realizes that cheating isn't always the way to profit.


Background Benefits:
Due to his training, Reag gains Dwarven Weapon Training as a bonus feat and counts as a Dwarf for the purpose of magic items.

That's it.

A dwarven tiefling, eh? That's an interesting concept.

Would you be willing to reformat this background to conform to the TMB template?

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

A dwarven tiefling, eh? That's an interesting concept.

Would you be willing to reformat this background to conform to the TMB template?

I hope this is right. I'm not too sure what TMB is but...

Dwarven Soldier
I may not be short, and I may not be stout, but I'm a dwarf all the same!
For whatever reason, you have been raised among dwarves, and though your features give you away, you're at least 50% dwarven. You have been trained for battle with the dwarves, learning their fighting styles, learning their language, and even drinking the same way. You may have also learned to incorporate your race's strong points into the dwarven way.
Benefits: You gain Dwarven Weapon Training as a bonus feat. You also count as a dwarf for the purpose of magic items. If you can select a language at level 1, then it is dwarven. If you have a set language other than common, that language is dwarven. Regardless, you can only learn dwarven once.

Hope this is right. Tell me if it's not.
Well, the format most people use on this thread is:

Step 1: 5 background elements

1) Bullet one (born in village where majority of population is tiefling)

2) Bullet two (Forced into pact by father for protection)

etc

Step 2: 3 goals

Short Term:

Mid Term:

Long Term:

Step 3: 3 secrets (one known to the character, one known to the player but not the character, and one the DM makes up)

Known:

Unknown:

DM:

Step 4: 3 contacts (two friendly to the character, one hostile)

Friendly:

Friendly:

Hostile:

Step 5: 3 details about the character (such as descriptions, lasting memories, interesting mannerisms or quirks)

Description:

Memory:

Mannerism or quirk:

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Never mind, the question's already been answered.:embarrass
Real time.

Background
  • Reag was born in a small village of mostly Tieflings. He never met his mother, and honestly doesn't really want to.
  • When Reag was 5, his father forced him into an Infernal pact to protect him. His father recieved his pact in the same way. In this way, Reag learned to respect Asmodeus to get on his good side.
  • Reag was trained by his father in the ways of the Infernal pact until he was 10.
  • When Reag was 10, an Orc barbarian horde destroyed the town and many who inhabit it. Everyone who survived was scattered.
  • Reag, desparate, went towards the mountains because he knew that's where the freshest water is. He instead found a Dwarven city.
  • Fortunatly, the dwarves let him join the militia where he learned to fight, talk, and drink like a dwarf. Many of the dwarves worshipped Moradin and, wanting to fit in, accepted his teachings.
  • Reag was devastating on the battlefield, and news of his heroism quickly spread. He was invited to join an adventuring party and, not wanting to stay in the militia forever, joined.


Goals
  • Find his father, dead or alive.
  • Master both the hammer and his pact.
  • Win power and leadership somewhere.


Secrets
  • Reag has a greatly esteemed ring that belonged to a powerful and influential devil. He hopes to use this ring to become a leader in Hell.
  • Reag doesn't know that he is of a long line of powerful nobles in Bael Turath, including those who first found out how to make a pact with devils.
  • Reag's father is still alive.


Contacts
  • Friendly: Reag is loyal to his entire adventuring party.
  • Friendly: Thom is a dwarf he was great friends with when he was in the militia.
  • Hostlie: Orcs in general. Reag despises all orcs, especially barbarian orcs, feeling they are all pathetic destructive monsters who are no better than demons. He doesn't feel quite the same way with half-orcs, but he is slow to trust one.


Other
Description: Reag has a thin, but strong build and has straight horns. His skin is a deep red and he has decently long, dark blue hair. His tail is about 4 feet long and Reag is 5'11". Reag has no scars and has Asmodeus' symbol tattooed on his back due to his pact. The tattoo covers the top half of the back in between his shoulder blades.
Memory: Reag has a clear memory of his life since he was 3, but doesn't dwell on the past much. The only memories that have an effect on his life are him getting and training in his pact, and his village's destruction.
Mannerisms or Quirks: Reag speaks a lot like a dwarf. He has adopted most of the accent and pretty much all of the phrases. When nervous or "in the zone" he likes to swish his tail around in circles.


Benefits from Background
Reag gains Dwarven Weapon Training as a bonus feat. Reag also counts as a dwarf for the purpose of magic items. If you can select a language at level 1, then it is dwarven. Reag's second language is dwarven.


That will be all.
Another TMB from the Vale of Thorns! Meet one of our archnemeses...

The Thornheralds

"It is for all who dwell within this place, that the Thorns will take back what was stolen from them, whether cut wood, carved stone, or fields sliced by the plough."
--Traditional Thornherald mantra.

Organization Information and Background
1. The Thornheralds are one of the most insidious threats to the Vale of Thorns. They are a cult of fanatical nature worshipers (mostly drawn from the Primal classes) who worship the Thorns of the Vale as some kind of sadistic god.

2. The average Thornherald one encounters is the stereotypical raving street preacher, ranting about the evils of civilization and predicting a day of reckoning in the near future. They are usually dismissed as poor fools who wandered from the roseways for too long.

3. The truth is much more terrible. These street preachers serve as the face for the Thornheralds, so that city dwellers view them as harmless kooks. In reality, they have established cells of sleeper agents throughout the cities of the Vale, plotting to undermine them and destroy them, so the Thorns may grow over them.

4. There are a number of Thornherald enclaves scattered across the Vale. In these places, members of the cult will congregate to discuss and coordinate their schemes, scream about the coming apocalypse and indulge in the occasional human sacrifice to the glory of the Thorns.

5. Every city has a cell of Thornheralds working within it. They are made up of Acolytes, led by a Master who takes the information they gain and comes up with plans. These masters, in turn, relay information and coordinate with the leaders of the cult, the Masters of the Circle, who hide in various isolated locations throughout the Vale and only meet on the equinoxes.

"My children, you have your orders. When the Rose Moon blooms in the heavens, and the beshadowed Ones strike, the defilers will fall!"
"THE DEFILERS WILL FALL!"
--End of a Thornherald Master's speech to a group of sleeper acolytes.

Goals
1. The immediate goal of the Thornheralds is the gathering of information about the various settlements of the Vale and their respective weaknesses.

2. Once the Thornheralds feel enough information has been gathered, they will begin to make themselves known, allying themselves secretly with the cities of the Vale. They will then try to pit the cities against each other in a Vale-spanning war, and then destroy whichever city remains the victor in the aftermath when it's been weakened.

3.
Show
Some Thornheralds feel the current plan is too time-consuming and fragile. At least two of the Masters of the Circle are planning a massive and blasphemous ritual that will lash the soul of a powerful being to the Thorns, endowing them with true conciousness, and then give the Thorns the ability to effectively rise and walk, creating a massive Thornbeast that will crush the cities underfoot.

"The time of mere resistance has passed. Soon, the Thorns themselves will rise and take what is theirs...by FORCE!"
--Master Dumalis of the Circle.

Secrets
1. The Thornheralds are not a completely unified force. Some, mostly within the ranks of the acolytes, are only interested in the power the cult can give them, believing that they will rule when the Thornheralds win. Others are mad, but not truly wicked. They prefer a doctrine of cooperation with the Thorns, rather than servitude to them.

2. While the Thornheralds infiltrate civilization, they themselves are being infiltrated, both by suspicious members of Melora's church, who believe the Thornheralds are completely disregarding the sanctity of the balance between nature and civilization, and by vistani agents of Avock, the God of Dreams, who keeps tabs on everything going on in the Vale.

3.
Show
The ritual that some of the Masters of the Circle are preparing was actually planted by minions of Orcus, who plans to siphon the souls of those the Thorn construct kills in a bid for godhood (still hoping my co-author will approve this one.)

"We are everywhere, like the Thorns of the Vale. We are everyone, your mother, your friend, your enemy. We are everything, everything that will be left after the Thorns take what is theirs. You cannot stop us, defilers!"
--A captured Thornherald acolyte during an interrogation.

Contacts
1. The Thornheralds currently have a secret alliance with the shadar-kai city states of Narsopath, Nathek and Niem. The shadar-kai believe the Thornheralds are spying for them in the "eladrin" city of Firepoint, so they can take it back and rebuild their original city of Narcica. The Thornheralds naturally plan on betraying the shadar-kai after Firepoint and the other fey cities of the Vale are destroyed.

2. The Thornheralds have a strong dislike of the church of Melora. They believe that Melora collaborates with the "defilers" of the Vale and that the Thorns are the only true god. Melora's church, in turn, believes that the Thornheralds are insane heretics.

3. The Thornheralds have also made enemies of the other druidic circles in the Vale, who view the Thorns as a perversion of nature that is choking the life out of the Vale.

"There be many secretsie there, saplings! Careful ye should be, lest thems with whips and dark thoughts beatsie the sap out of ye!"
--Jakben, a former Thornherald.

"Fun" Facts about the Thornheralds
1. The Thorns themselves do have an alien intelligence of their own, but the Thornheralds seem to be beneath their notice. While the roseways and glades have been known to move or even disappear forever, it is always by some random whim of the Thorns. The Thornheralds force the Thorns to grow, which aggravates them.

2. The Thornheralds were an offshoot of the Vale's most prominent druidic circle. It's founder, his name now lost to history, attempted to travel blind, cutting his own path in the Thorns, and apparently experienced some sort of vision. He emerged a year later, half-naked and with thousands of thorn scars. He claimed to have a vision from the Thorns, but he couldn't remember his own name.

3. The only reason the Thornheralds have grown as they have is because of the maddening influence of the Thorns on unwary travellers. Aside from the selfish acolytes who only joined for the benefits and the saner acolytes who bailed, most of the Thornheralds are Thornheralds because the Thorns enslaved their minds. While the Thorns really don't do anything for them, they view the Thorns as the ultimate beauty and the only thing in the world that deserves to exist.
Here's a villain our heroes will meet the next time we get a chance to play

Boris 'Ten Fingers'

"Why 'ello dere chaps. Come to join t'party?"
Background
1. Boris personifies the Redcap stories of trickery and thievery. He has had many forays into the Middle World, for treasure, pleasure, and to take the measure of the mortals there. He delights in tricking the poor, slow, and stupid out of their secrets and valuables.

2. Boris has a way with people. He gains their trust effortlessly, and never seems to take the blame when things go wrong. He's used this to his advantage, and has mellowed out after decades of preying on the mortal realms. That doesn't mean he isn't infiltrating, tricking, and stealing, just that his blood has cooled, but he is much more willing to run with the fingers he still has than stay and fight.

3. In the past few years, Boris has made himself indispensable to Dark Fox. Organizing differing groups of Redcaps, Boris has established a network of killers and spies that prey on the unprotected lands between towns. Boris still tackles the important missions himself, as long as they aren't too high risk.

4. He lost a finger years ago, to hounds in the north when he was young and still looked around settled lands for the flesh of children. The second he includes in that story, though he actually lost it stealing from a wizard decades ago. He never talks about the third, of which he lost to the Prince of Carrion, a black dragon that still rattles him to think of. Of course, he excludes the first two stories when talking with mortals; "Y'ever 'ave someone say, don't meddle wit' da affairs o' dragons? Well, don't meddle wit' da affairs o' dragons." He also has a hat that's grey, although he can enchant it as a free action to be any color he desires. He also eschews the heavy metal boots his cousins enjoy using to stomp skulls with.

5. Some time ago, he found a wife, Wegwin the Witch. She matches his own talents for trickery and deceit, and his hidden cruelty. The shouting matches they can get into are legendary, but they have stuck together through thick and thin. Wegwin has unusual talents, but does not commonly venture into the Middle World, although she helps how she can with Boris' attempts to organize the Redcaps into a union of mercenaries.


"Me name's Boris, but me mates call me Boris 'Ten Fingers.' Bit of a lark at me own 'spense I s'pose."
Goals
1. Boris is beginning to realize that the way the Fey treat his kind is decidedly unkind. He'd like to get his people to be treated less like slaves at least, and like equals in a perfect world. This is why he is so motivated to form the Redcaps to a Union.

2. He also hopes one day to retire with his wife and unimagineable wealth, gold all tucked away in a pot, at the far end of a rainbow.


"'Twas dat elf Fenwick what caught me. Spent months tracking me. Had himself convinced I was some terroible beastie he did, t'weren't near enough emeralds in a dragon's hoard to tell him diff'rent."
Secrets
1. Boris is secretly a compassionate sort (well, for a gnome.) as well as educated. The wizard that he lost a finger to also trained him in many histories and arcane tricks, keeping him as a slave for one year and one day as payment for him stealing. Thus Boris realizes that it wasn't always the Eladrin enslaving the gnomish race, originally it was the Fomorians. Indeed, many gnomes exist in the Fomorian underground kingdoms still, toiling away on ingenious and beautiful creations for their heartless masters. In fact, as far as he knows, what's left of his family are slaves to the Nightmare King, a great and terrible Fomorian Lord.

2. Unbeknownst to Boris, the wizard that taught him for a year and a day is dead. And the wizard's grandson, Gihren Zabi, has inherited his grandfather's means of checking in on the magic wand that Boris 'borrowed' so long ago.

3. Boris is of course not a very good person. He's survived by murder and betrayal, and although he believes strongly in the rights of his people, he doesn't hesistate to enslave those weaker than him. His lairs always contain many human slaves, underfed and abused, that he has either tricked into the feywild, or stolen. He's just as intolerant as those he despises, he just feels he has a right to it because his kind's been treated poorly.


"Loverly chat and all, but I'm 'fraid youse the blokes me boss is lookin' for. Hold still while I cut out your tongues 'lright?"
Contacts
1. Wegwin the Witch is his wife, confidant, and advisor. She is also a Redcap, and is voraciously clever, with a wicked sharp tongue. She helps him in any way she can, though he is loathe to be too indebted to her at any one time.

2. Boris has trained a Fey Panther, and has taken to feeding it, riding it into battle, and having it guard his lairs. He calls it Kitkit.

3. The Prince of Carrion is a younger black dragon that lives in the swamps somewhere to the south. Although it has its own plots and designs, it remembers Boris the thief well, and would ruin anything of his it could were it to happen upon him.


Design Notes
Redcaps are what I've turned gnomes into for my game. They've been enslaved by Cyclopses and Fomorians, and later by the Eladrin and lesser Fey. They are the stuff of nightmares, from Rumplestiltskin to the more mundane tales of them simply murdering innocent travelers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redcaps. I haven't found a good place in this setting for kobolds or goblins, so this serves a much more campaign appropriate low level opponent. Plus it makes my players think a little harder, as they would zone out before a description ever takes place if I used goblin to describe a monster .

Boris is one of the first that I plan to have them encounter, and although he's stacked heavily to be a villian, they may be able to sell him on helping them instead (not that he won't betray them anyway.) If he survives a few sorties, he'll be showing up in all sorts of interesting places, owing to the sneaky and magical abilities of gnomes. Now that I've shown the party to be afraid of gnomes and their fey ways, it's time to show them to be most afraid of the ones that stop to chat before they try to kill them.
Redcaps are what I've turned gnomes into for my game. They've been enslaved by Cyclopses and Fomorians, and later by the Eladrin and lesser Fey. They are the stuff of nightmares, from Rumplestiltskin to the more mundane tales of them simply murdering innocent travelers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redcaps. I haven't found a good place in this setting for kobolds or goblins, so this serves a much more campaign appropriate low level opponent. Plus it makes my players think a little harder, as they would zone out before a description ever takes place if I used goblin to describe a monster .

Boris is one of the first that I plan to have them encounter, and although he's stacked heavily to be a villian, they may be able to sell him on helping them instead (not that he won't betray them anyway.) If he survives a few sorties, he'll be showing up in all sorts of interesting places, owing to the sneaky and magical abilities of gnomes. Now that I've shown the party to be afraid of gnomes and their fey ways, it's time to show them to be most afraid of the ones that stop to chat before they try to kill them.[/sblock]

Sweet, I had this same idea for my own game (check out the TMB of Robin Redcap). I Like the cut of Boris' gib.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Avock, the Master of Dreams

"Hello...I have not had visitors for a long time...please...do come in."
Background and Character Information
1. Most of the gods sit on their gilded thrones in the Astral Sea, staring down at the mortals that worship them and pushing them around like pieces on a great gameboard. Avock, the youngest of them all, is not that kind of god. He lives humbly, in a cottage hidden in the dark mists of the World Forest. He doesn't manipulate mortals and is content to watch over the World Forest, and the Vale of Thorns cradled in its center.

2. Avock appears to most people as a large wraith, a ragged black cloak with two pinpoints of orangish light staring out of the swirling darkness within. Despite his unnerving appearance, he is actually very soft-spoken and cordial. Most people leave him with the impression of a doting, world-weary father.

3. Most mortals in the Vale itself aren't aware that Avock even exists. The stories of the Master of Dreams are bedtime stories for innocent children to comfort them in the face of growing up in a place like the Vale, openly hostile to mortals. The mysterious vistani, who wander both the Vale and the World Forest, however, know the truth. Avock is their patron, but demands nothing from them. For generations, the spiritual leader of the vistani has also been Avock's wife, siring a daughter who later takes up her mother's mantle as the wisest of the vistani, and Avock's bride.

4. Avock is an ancient being. Even Avock doesn't remember the mortal he was before he became a wraith. Perhaps he was always one. He was present during the war between the gods and the primordials, the great city of the genasi that is now buried beneath the earth, and the Fall of the earthmote that created both the Vale and the World Forest. During a particularly harsh battle, Corellon dueled against a primordial lord whose name is now lost to history, knocked the earthmote that had hung over the city since its founding, out of the sky. The impact caused a massive conflagration of dust and magic that buried the city and caused the massive planar bleed of both the Feywild and the Shadowfell that caused the Thorns to grow, and the World Forest to become a sort of world-between-worlds, connecting forests all over the multiverse. This great surge of power also coalesced into a divine spark that Avock recieved, making him the youngest god in history.

5. For a time, Avock was not sure what to do with his newfound power, but he soon found something to take charge of. The magic let loose during the Fall destroyed the dreams of the surviving genasi. Without dreams, they could not sleep, and thus some began to go insane. Avock felt pity for the genasi, and took the souls of the genasi that had died in the fall, and tasked them to dream for those still living. This has been the way of the world ever since, the dead of the past dreaming for the living of the future. Every now and again, the Raven Queen allows Avock to take a few souls of the recently deceased to dream eternally. These souls will never awaken, only knowing peaceful slumber for eternity. No matter their former destiny, exalted or damned, all find comfort and peace in the Master of Dreams.

My only concern...is the safety of the dreamers..."
Goals
1. Avock's most important priority is naturally his divine duties, to protect the dreaming souls in the World Forest from being molested by interlopers and to allow the dreamless people of the Vale to dream.

2. Other than that, Avock once in a while provides guidance to the vistani, who are his favorite children. Their current spiritual leader, Sela Layla, is Avock's current bride, just like her mother was before her, and like her daughter will be. She loves her divine husband dearly, and Avock loves her too, so he protects her people, giving them safe paths through the dark and confusing World Forest.

3. While the World Forest is his domain, Avock also maintains a protective influence over the mortals of the Vale of Thorns. Though they don't know him or worship him, he sees them as his children too. It is Avock's influence that resulted in the creation of the roseways and glades, so the Thorns would not choke all the life from the place.

"Many secrets...hide in dreams...To find them?...That task I leave to you."
Secrets
1. The form of Avock that most people see is not the form that Avock's bride sees. While Avock began as a single being, his vast knowledge is somehow separate from his immediate conciousness. Almost like a library has an archivist that changes when the old one retires, Avock's identity has changed many times, usually with each generation of vistani. When his bride looks upon him, she does not see a cloak of tatters and shadows, but her perfect husband. Avock would never take a bride unwillingly, and the love between Avock and his bride, most currently manifested in Sela Layla, is deep and pure.

2. Avock's power as a god is vast. His control over dreams, something all beings in the multiverse have, even the gods, makes him disturbingly powerful. He could remove the dreams of a being with nary a thought, condemning them to an eternity without sleep or death. Despite this, Avock has only used his power once or twice in his existence, and prefers guiding mortal champions as a mentor or helper, instead of commanding them like the other gods do. He believes that mortals are more than capable of solving their problems on their own. They just need someone to point them in the right direction.

3. If there's one thing Avock fears, it's the fact that the Thorns seem to be growing in strength. Over the centuries, the corrupting influence of the Thorns has drawn more people away from reason and freedom into blind servitude. This is especially evident on the equinoxes of the year, when their influence extends even to the roseways. Residents of the Vale have learned not to travel on those days, and Avock worries that soon the roseways and glades won't be enough to protect his children.

"The dreams...and the dreamers...they are all my children...even you..."
Contacts
1. Sela Layla is Avock's current wife. She is a powerful warlock and diviner, and is the spiritual leader of the vistani. Her position is not one of inherited power, or of merit, but of wisdom. Her marriage to Avock only cemented this position. She relays messages between Avock and the vistani, and is in charge of deciding which mortals may have an audience with Avock (this is very, VERY rare.) Selna hasn't visited Avock since the birth of their daughter, who is now a teen. Soon, she will be ready to take her place, but Avock told her at the child's birth that she would be very special, and shouldn't know of her father until she is ready. When that time comes remains to be seen.

2. Of all the other gods, the Raven Queen is the one who is in contact with Avock the most. She is only a small bit older than Avock, having overthrown Nerull shortly before Corellon's duel that caused the Fall. She allowed Avock to keep the souls of the countless genasi that were killed in the Fall, and helped him teach them how to dream for their still living kin, and all the races descended from them. She allows a few souls to come to the World Forest to serve Avock rather than to travel through her realm in the Shadowfell to whatever lies beyond. She dislikes the fact that Avock allows the undead that infest the Labyrinth beneath the Vale to run free, but she respects Avock's non-interventionist approach, and has settled for exhorting her clergy in the Vale, as her faith is the most prominent there, to keep the undead at bay.

3. While Avock maintains cool relations with the other gods, even the cunning deciever Zehir and the destructive monster Gruumsh. If there's any god he truly hates, it is Lolth, the betrayer. Her poisonous lies brought the evil of taint into the world, infecting the elven race and creating the twisted and pathetic race that is the drow. Avock pities the drow for bearing the brunt of Lolth's wickedness, and does what he can to soothe their suffering, but unlike other instances of taint, where it is the mind or body that is corrupted, the drow have tainted souls, and it would take more power than Avock is willing to invest to undo it. It would also draw the ire of Lolth, who uses the drow as her agents and works to infect the entire Vale and the World Forest beyond.

I...have seen all...from the beginning...I have the power to...reshape this world a thousand dreams over...but today...the ones who must make a difference...are you, my children."
Memories
1. The memory that remains freshest in Avock's mind is that of the Fall. He stared up at the orange-red sky at the young fey god Corellon and the vile primordial lord, his form too horrible to mention, dueling fiercely. He remembers the screams of terror from the genasi in the city below them, and the deafening clang as Corellon's blade was forced back, knocking the earthmote that would become the Thornspire out of the sky. Then a great thunderous noise, and a blast pure and white.

2. A memory that Avock looks on tenderly is his first bride. He was more active in those days, traveling in disguise amongst the other races. When he met the young vistani girl, sitting in the sunny meadow of a Feywild glade, he was immediately smitten by her. When she saw Avock, she was immediately smitten by him. When he revealed his true form to her, she replied she did not see it. She only saw the gentle and sweet young man she had fallen in love with. After they married, in the vistani customs, Avock blessed the vistani race. They would not settle in cities and towns like the other races, but the whole of the Vale and the World Forest, now called the Forest of Dreams by the vistani, as their home.

3. One of Avock's most recent memories is the terrible war between the eladrin and the shadar-kai that resulted in Firepoint's birth. He felt greatly ashamed of these wayward children. Their ancestors threw off the Curse that the Thorns put upon all the fey, gaining their freedom, only to squander it by fighting over petty hatred. He hopes that this mistake will not lead to more. He views the destruction of Lunaer as a sign that they still have a long way to go.
The Ten-Minute Background of Jerek Redscar

Step 1:

Background
1) Jerek le Roy, more commonly known as Jerek Redscar, is a mercenary from Notre Dame. He's a nasty piece of work who's done dubious jobs for rich benefactors all over Coralton.

2) Doing freelance mercenary work brought him in conflict with The Draconic Brotherhood, so he decided to join them instead of deal with the hassle. However, he disliked the restrictions the Brotherhood placed on what sorts of contracts he could take.

3) Eventually he and his band wandered to St. Clarice, where they were placed under the supervision of Bodak Steelgrinder. A speciesisct, Jerek disliked working for the Dragonborn, and often bucked at his authority. The disagreements came to a head after a bar fight Jerek started at The Black Oak inn. Bodak severed his contract with the guild.

4) Now freelance again, Jerek managed to get his band hired by Gaston Duchamps, who had his own problems with the Draconic Brotherhood. Jerek has been busy, watching over Gaston's warehouse and working as enforcers for his guild.

5) But Jerek has found himself in jail after tangling with The Coralton Slayers, Bodak's replacement band. He was caught trying to assassinate someone on Gaston's orders, and realizes that he is in deep, deep trouble. he's currently trying to figure a way out of his predicament, because if Gaston doesn't have him killed, Sheriff Bulrick just might.


Step 2:

Goals
Short: Escape from the St. Clarice stockade without getting killed.

Medium: Recruit a new band of thugs.

Long: Get revenge on the bastiches that got him locked away--The Coralton Slayers!


Step 3:

Secrets
1) Jerek knows some interesting things about the Merchant's Guild and the smuggling ring, though he's sure that if he talks, Gaston will find a way to silence him. Unfortunately for him, Sheriff Bulrick seems more interested in getting the information he knows "the hard way."

2) What Jerek doesn't know could fill volumes. As a minor adversary, Jerek isn't privy to a lot of private information. For instance, he isn't aware that his planned escape into the Shroudmist Forest is a very, very bad idea.

3) One thing he does know, though he doesn't realize the significance, is that the smugglers are moving people as well as contraband. He thinks they're being sold into slavery, but they aren't. They're actually changelings traveling along The Faceless Underground.


Step 4:

Contacts
1) Up until recently, Jerek was on the payroll of the Merchant's Guild, and his band was used as muscle to lean on the Dockworkers as well as move "delicate cargo" at the Guild's private warehouse. With his arrest, however, it's likely that this relationship has come to an end.

2) Jerek has managed to get on the bad side of Sheriff Bulrick. That's a bad place to be, especially now that he's fallen into Bulrck's "tender mercies."

3) About the only people he hasn't alienated or angered is his band. He's adept at getting thugs to follow him with promises of wealth and violence. However, several embarassing setback (and his recent arrest) have put a damper on his ability to recruit.


Step 5:

Mannerisms, Description, Quirks
1) Jerek is a large, somewhat ugly human who has seen hardships over his career. His most distinctive feature is a triangular red scar just beneath his left eye.

2) Jerek is rude, crude, and self-serving. He likes flinging insults at his opponents in battle.

3) Jerek's preferred weapon is the halberd. He likes the brutality of the axe, but also likes keeping his opponents at a distance.


Design Notes
Jerek is a minor foil for the party, a rival mercenary who has been a thorn in their sides for two campaigns. He has actually changed very little from the previous games. He's just a nasty jerk.

Incidentally, "Jerek" came from the word "Jerk." I wanted to find a way to suggest his personality when I introduced him, so I used the One Letter Trick (even if I didn't know what it was called at the time).

Jerek is a stereotype, admittedly. He's a flat character, and he's not a mastermind. He's a great thug to vex the party with, usually because he comes off the worse for whatever conflict he's on with the party.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Sweet, I had this same idea for my own game (check out the TMB of Robin Redcap). I Like the cut of Boris' gib.

Well that's almost certainly where I got the idea haha. I got to introduce Boris last weekend, and he was a hit, leaving most of the party befuddled and unsure if he was trustworthy. Right as he was leaving though, the rogue pulled a fantastic bluff through the use of the cloak and mask of a previously defeated cultist, and got some important information out of the gnome. Not without cost of course, Boris was very excited when he pulled off Erithian's mask and learned there was a Longshire heir still alive. I'm sure they'll see more of him in the future.
Shedinir Arjhad


1) He is a paladin of Kord and is on a crusade against the goblinoid armies who burned his village to cinders.
2) He possesses an immense strength and has a commanding presence on the battlefield, those who get on his bad side find that he can be like an enraged dragon.
3) He is very loyal to his comrades but is willing to torture to get what he needs.
4) He has crimson scales and is of an immense size
5)



Step 2

1) Shedinir wants to bring honor to his family's name through the obtaining of glory in war and adventuring.
2)It would be interesting to see what happens after Shedinir gets his vengeance on the hobgoblin leader.


Secrets


1) Shedinir is the last known son of the Arjhad line, which is the greatest reason for his quest for fame. This he knows.
2) Shedinir's father, Bahadur is still alive, having fallen far from his once greatly-esteemed post in the army in a prominent city, Shedinir does not know.
3) Shedinir is occasionally has strange visions of what he believes to be a draconic ancestor of his.


People he knows

1) A tiefling warlock known as Morthos, Shedinir does not fully trust any practitioner of the arcane arts, but knows that Morthos is a good man.
2) Cursain Turator is an old enemy of Shedinir's, a mercenary known amongst adventurers as "Plaguebringer." Shedinir and some of his comrades fought and supposedly slew him two years ago, Shedinir has heard rumours that he still lives, and is ever-watchful for his return.
3) A rough, no-nonsense dwarf barbarian that he met recently and knows only as "shorty." Shedinir likes his personality but dislikes his tendency to interfere and to be impatient.
[/i]


Memories

1) Shedinir still remembers his father as well as his associates in the military teaching him to wield a greataxe when he was around two years of age, he was abnormally strong for his age and favored the weapon, sages amongst his clan looked to tales of great warriors in the past who wielded axes.
2) Shedinir remembers the hatred he felt when he found his village destroyed.
3) Shedinir remembers his deeply-devout human mentor, Brandis, teaching him the ways of Kord.[/i]


design notes for Shedinir
Shedinir is a very strong individual, and not just physically. He's the first to take charge in group situations and rightly so, he's a natural leader.
WoTC has gotten rid of the forums I came to know and love, if you think that the old Gleemax forums should be restored, add this to your signature.
The Ten-Minute Background of Nym, The Found Child

Step 1: "Nym not lost. Not no more. Nope! Nym found by Pretty Smiling Lady!"

Background
1) "Nym grew up in village a long, long time ago, in a land far, far away. Nym had a nice family, and a nice furry cat who could walk through walls! Nym was very, very happy."

2) "Then the Bad Things happened. The Black Man came, bringing black fire and death...Nym scared! Nym's poppi and mommi died, and Black Man grabbed kitty and turned it into a dead thing that walked...horrible!"

3) "Nym thought Black Man would kill him, too, but then The Voice came, told Nym that it was a friend, and would save him, and teach him things, too! Nym listened to The Voice, though now Nym knows he shouldn't have. Voice hid him, helped him use magic--then Put Nym Away."

4) "For many long years, The Voice Put Nym Away, and occasionally Brought Nym Out to do things. Not nice things. Voice said it was Nym's friend, but the Voice lied! Nym always cold, hungry, and scared of being Put Away again. Nym was never allowed to grow up. Poor Nym!."

5) "But then, one time when Nym was out doing things because Voice told him to, a Pretty Smiling Lady came to Nym, and she quieted the Voice! She made The Voice go away! And the Pretty Smiling Lady let Nym stay awake and everything! Then she asked Nym to help her find the Pieces, all the Pieces scattered about the world. She wants to keep the Pieces apart, you see. So Nym does this for her, because Pretty Smiling Lady is Nym's bestest friend!"


Step 2: "Nym find you. You seek the Pieces. Nym can't let you do that. Nym sorry."

Goals
1) Nym's main goal is to find the Shards of Jillian for the Smiling One, in return for her breaking The voice's control over him.

2) Nym also needs to find others who are seeking the shards, and dissuade them from their search. He'll trick them if he can, and plead with them, but if they can't be swayed, he's not above attacking them.


Step 3: "Ooo! Nym knows things! Lots of things! Lots and lots of spooooky things! What? Oh...um...Nym can't remember them right now."

Secrets
1) Nym is, or rather, was a Lost Child, a child tricked into making a pact with Verkinx Kazrael after the destruction of his village by The Dark Reaper. For thousands of years, Nym was Kazrael's servant, following The Voice's urging to keep from either being forced into magical hibernation or being tormented with the memories of his home being destroyed. However, recently The Smiling One took pity on Nym after a chance meeting, and helped him break the link to The Nightmare Prince. He serves her now out of gratitude.

2) The Smiling One didn't help Nym completely out of compassion. She hopes to use Nym and perhaps other freed Lost Children to help her thwart The Queen of Air and Darkness. She also uses Nym as a messenger and herald.

3) Verkinx Kazrael is not happy that one of his favorite toys was stolen from him. Not happy at all. And his vengeance will be terrible.


Step 4: "Come and play! Come and play! Come, everyone, it's a wonderful day!"

contacts
1) "The Voice said it was Nym's friend, but The Voice lied. It said it would keep The Bad Things from Nym, but showed them every time Nym didn't do what it said. It Put Nym Away for long, long times--Nym sleep forever and ever! Nym never was able to grow up, thanks to Voice. Nym glad Voice is gone!"

2) "The Pretty Smiling Lady is pretty and she smiles a lot. She helped Nym escape from the Voice, and Nym help her do stuff. She is not like the Voice; she only asks, she never threatens. And she's nice, and tells Nym stories, and teaches Nym cool magic tricks! Nym likes her."

3) "Nym found a Piece! Or is it two? Nym not sure. One piece is nice, if scared all the time, but the other is mean and evil, like The Voice. Nym not know what to do, so Nym watch her for now."


Step 5: "Look at all the pretty pictures Nym made on himself!"

Description, Mannerisms, Quirks
1) Nym is an eternally youthful gnome who seems to be about 12-13 years old. He is painfully thin, and his body has scars all across the arms, legs, and torso. Many are self-inflicted, due to him learning the Sacrifice to Caiphon feat. He dresses in ragged clothes rather too large for him, and he often has his arms wrapped in crude bandages. He has solid black eyes and a messy mop of thistledown hair.

2) Nym speaks in the third person, and he tends to mangle his sentences.

3) Nym likes to crouch instead of standing straight up. He move rather like a cat.


Design notes
Ah, Nym. Another holdover from the previous campaign, reimagined from his original form for this game.

Nym actually came from a PC idea played by one of my first players, who played a mad half-elf named Nyy who had a voice in her head. Her character was memorable, and I wanted to do a version of it when she left the group. Thus grew up Nym, who had a similar backstory to hers. Nym was a great Creepy Child who would appear, worry the players for a bit, and be cute as hell while doing so. He was fun to play.

While working on this new campaign, I wondered whether I should being Nym back or not, but I didn't have any hook for him in this current game, which focuses less on his patron, Verkinx Kazrael, than the last game did. However, I also wanted to do more with The Smiling One, who is tied to the Shards of Jillian storyline. So I did something I was kind of aiming for in the last game but never got around to: freeing Nym from The Voice's influence.

You can tell when a change works by how excited it makes you feel. I like this version of Nym, and I hope the players do once he's introduced.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Hey all. I found this thread and decided to try out making a character background with it. Holy smokes is it easy! My DM for the game this character will be played in said I gave him a lot to work with as well.

Quick note: We're playing using the Pathfinder world and deities, but for all intents and purposes Iomedae is just a female version of Heironeous.

Without further ado, Ataren Velacrux, the Cleric of Iomedae.

Physical Description
Ataren stands at a height of 5 feet 8 inches, and carries himself proudly but in a withdrawn manner. His raven-black hair is short and tends to sweep backwards. His eyes are a mysterious silver that manifests every few generations in his bloodline.

He keeps his body in top physical condition, for the need to battle in the name of Iomedae may come at any time. His arms and torso are covered with small, almost unnoticeable marks from his long years of training, and his right hand carries a scar carved into the back of it in the shape of a rune. This scar was carved by Ataren himself, as a child, when his sister left. The rune is the only one of its type that Ataren knows, but he knows its meaning: an oath of blood. He swore that he would wear the scar forever to remember the oath he swore to find his sister one day.

He tends to wear simple clothing under a set of cleric's vestments whenever he is not in battle. In battle or while traveling through dangerous areas, he augments this style with his preferred armor: scale mail. Though he is trained in the use of plate, he finds the weight and reduced mobility the armor brings is detrimental to his ability to combat enemies.


Ataren stood and watched, leaning against a column in one of the halls of the Church of Iomedae, as three of the younger acolytes argued about the true meaning of valor and courage. As one went to strike another of his fellows to show that he wasn't afraid of fighting, even his compatriots, Ataren stepped in and caught the youngster's wrist with his right hand. "True valor," he spoke while staring into the younger boy's eyes with his dark silver ones, "is not something you can decide you have one day. You must nurture it, like a small flame. Over time, your strength of faith will show you the true path."

Background/Concept Elements

1) He is withdrawn and reserved most of the time, preferring to keep his thoughts to himself, but he can be diplomatic when the situation calls for it.
2) He has served the Church of Iomedae for 6 years, working his way up from an acolyte to a full cleric of the church, but is starting to distrust the church's leadership and the influence that he suspects the Queen has on it.
3) He has no real lasting friendships, as the church has taken up his whole life. Friendship is something that must be earned, not given.
4) He is dedicated to justice and valor, especially in battle. He frowns upon deceit and trickery, and avoids using them whenever possible.
5) He sees the Church as a beacon of hope in the dark times that are upon the lands, and hopes to be a light in the darkness for any who are in need.
6) He is prone to reminiscing during the night when he is on watch or has some peaceful time to himself. He will often sit outdoors, looking at the stars, wondering where life has taken him and what might lie ahead.


Ataren stared out the window of his quarters, overlooking the East Shore section of Korvosa. His mind was teeming with thoughts of the people, and how they needed someone to lift their hearts and minds above the dark times they were sinking into. "One day," he mused, "you will be set free, and I hope to bear witness to it."

Character Goals

1) To see Ataren become a shining example of leadership and hope for the people around him
2) To face and defeat a great evil, known to the people, to inspire them to their own lives of greatness.


The dark-haired cleric sat upon his cot, staring off into space, the fingers of his left hand absently stroking the runescar on his right hand. His mind flashed back to that day, the day his sister left to 'find her fortune', as she called it. He recalls the tears running down his own face as well as their mother's, and his voice cracking as he screamed after her to stay. As the memory faded away, a lone tear fell from his cheek to the simple cloth sheet on the bedding.

Character Secrets

1) (Character knows) Ataren had an older sister who went off 'adventuring' to find her destiny and never returned. He secretly hopes to find his sister alive somewhere.
2) (Character is unaware of) Ataren's sister was one of the adventuring bands that tried to brave the Raven's Bluff pass, and became corrupted somehow. She has turned to a life of evil, remembering little about her past.


As the cool water refreshed his parched throat, Ataren paused in his training to reminisce, as he is often wont to do. He stares blankly at the practice dummy in front of him, not truly seeing it. Memories surface and fade, until one takes hold and plays back its copy of events long past. Shaking his head to clear his mind of thoughts not on the task in front of him, he once again hefted his longsword and began to cut away at the straw figure.

Character's Memories

1) Ataren remembers the day his sister left town, leaving her family and friends behind. He vowed to become strong enough to go find her, which eventually led to his joining the Church of Iomedae.
2) Ataren was one of the best speakers in his study classes, leading his elders to give him extra lessons in the art of diplomacy and dialogue. He used to be prone to speaking often, until one of his 'inspiring speeches' led to the death of three other acolytes. That was the day he began to withdraw into himself and rarely speak.
3) Ataren remembers the days of the paladins, and the valor and righteousness they represented. As their numbers dwindle, he harkens back to the times when the paladins upheld all that was good and right in the world. He secretly wishes to emulate that stance, but worries about whether he has the strength of faith to accomplish it.


I didn't include the part about any people linked to the character, since he has spent the last 6 years inside a cathedral and anyone who knew him on the outside is either dead or missing. He also rarely makes friends inside the cathedral, so I left that section up to my DM to determine.
Can't wait to see TMB's for the PHB2 classes/races :D
Hey all. I found this thread and decided to try out making a character background with it. Holy smokes is it easy! My DM for the game this character will be played in said I gave him a lot to work with as well.

:D You, sir, have just made my day!

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

:D You, sir, have just made my day!

You're welcome :D

I've actually been asked to write up backgrounds for at least one other character in the group, and this is the exact method I will be using. I might take some of my other, older characters from other campaigns and write them up this way for all to see.