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Some people seem to like the character backgrounds I write up, either for inspiration, or for potential NPCs, or whatever other reasons they may have. So, since we actually have a People and Places forum now, I thought I'd put up the better of the character backgrounds for anyone thats interested. If you like any of them, feel free to use them as NPCs in your games, or whatever else you want to do with them.

Elyse, Shifter Artificer:
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Born in the Eldeen Reaches, Elyse never quite fit in with the others of her
kind. Where they were rambunctious, she was more quiet, more apt to wait
things out and watch than to dive into a fight she might not win. She would
have been destined to become a ranger or a hunter like many of her childhood
aquiantences if not for one fateful turn of events. A small skirmish from
the War took place not far from their villiage. She did not know who was
fighting, or really even why at that age, but she remembers the victors
passed through her villiage on their way home. One, a human following in
the wake of a large metal man, had all kinds of bottles and fancy sticks on
his belt and vest. When the man jostled, and one of the sticks fell to the
ground, Elyse was quick to claim her suvineer of the day.

This stick was nearly the length of her short arm, made of ivory and gold,
and other things she had never seen before, it was wonderful. Keeping it
hidden, she played with it only when alone, more often than not swinging
it around like a club or a sword. That is, until one day, while she was
alone in the woods, jabbing at the air with her toy, it shot out some sort
magic that blackened a nearby stone. She dropped it with a hiss, and darted
behind a tree, watching it. But, the stick simply laid there on the grass,
like nothing had happened. From that day, she became obsessed with trying to
make the stick work again. Where her friends found joy and focus in hunting
a simple rabbit, she found her purpose in hunting how to work her stick,
to coax every secret from it. Her prey wasn't a living thing like the prey
of other Shifters, hers was the prey of accomplishment, of creation, of the
Artificer.

That was many, many years ago. Her childhood wand has long since been
drained of any magic it might have once held, but she carries it still,
safely tucked away in her pouch, a momento, an embodiment of the moment
her desire for knowledge had been sparked. One day, she'll learn how to
make it work again, to restore it's lost power, maybe even improve upon it.
But that day is not today, and it may not be tomorrow either. But unlike
others of her kind, just like when she was little, she knows how to wait,
for the right moment to strike at her prey, when she knows she will be
guarenteed of success...

Crucible, Warforged Paladin:
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This is the tale of a Warforged, a warforged without a name. For the ease of the reader, we shall refer to this warforged simply as Blank. Blank, like most of his warforged brethern, was a lowly combatant during the War. He went where he was told, he fought who he was told to fight. Like the others, he did not question why he did what he did, it was simply the way of things. He was not happy, he was not sad, the days simply came and went, and he did as he was told. Until, one day, things changed. His commander addressed his unit, he said that the War was over, and that they were free. But what did "free" mean? All he understood was that, in a very short time, he had been given a small pouch of metal disks, coins, and was put outside, without orders.

Blank did not know what to do, he had never been prepared for anything like this. From the day he first awoke beneath the towering Creation Forge, up to that day, he had been told what to do. His life had order, it was predictable, orderly. But now, now things were differant. He did not know what to do, and there was no one to tell him. For a short time, he stayed with a group of other warforged from his unit, who were themselves in equal dissarray. He tried to learn about the new world he found himself in, but the more he learned, the more he despaired. The world outside of his unit was chaotic. People came and went without rhyme nor reason, and more often than not reacted violently to him whenever he tried to speak with them. Emotions, he did not understand why some were happy, while others were angry, when despair was the only thing he found himself capable of. There was no one to help repair him, and as time passed, his body wore down more and more. Blank often found himself wondering what it would be like to no longer exist. In fact, in the later days, he would sit in the alleys, in pouring rain or baking sun, looking within himself, and found nothing looking back.

Until one day, a man approached him. Instead of fear, or anger, Blank saw something new in his eyes, pity and sympathy. When the man asked Blank to come with him, he did not argue, he simply rose and followed. He was lead to a large building, made of white stone, and shown inside. There, young men and women in simple robes cleaned the grim of the streets from his joints, and fixed his hurts. Blank looked up to them, and spoke his first words in many long months. "Why would you help me? I have nothing to offer you." They responded with an answer he could not then understand, "Because it is the right thing to do." He was given a small room, which they told him was his for as long as he might need it. Not knowing what else to do, Blank stayed with these people, and came to know them. He saw them labor and toil, grow tired, and be forced to stop. One day, when one of the older men stopped to rest, Blank picked up the man's burden, and asked where it should be taken. "May the Flame shine on you" the old man said. What flame? There was no fire here, just a stone hall, and the wooden bench upon which the man sat. When questioned, the old man simply laughed. "Why, don't you know where you are, metal man? You are within the halls of the Silver Flame, which lights our path and gives us guidence in our darkest hour."

Guidence. He had been looking for that ever since the day he was released from the War. That day, Blank's life changed. The old man took him to one he called father, although this man was obviously far too young to be the father of the elder. It was from this man he learned of the message of the Silver Flame. To help those in need, as he had once been. To protect those who could not protect themselves, to be a light in the darkness. Somewhere inside of him, Blank felt something happen, something he could not explain. It was if a spark had flashed inside of him, and where he had seen only nothingness before, now he found something new. It was small, but after so long of having nothing, it seemed great to him. Blank listened, and he learned. The Church of the Silver Flame existed to fight evil, that which was dark and wanted everything else to be dark as well. The more he learned, the more he felt that initial spark grow. First into an ember, and then finally a small flame, like a candle in the night. He finally understood why they had helped him so long ago (long ago for him, anyway). Because it was the right thing to do.

Blank committed himself to this cause, because it was right. Although he faced obsticals, Blank pressed himself onward. Even here, there were those that thought him nothing more than a living weapon, not worthy of the same respect as those who had been born, not made. But this drove him only harder to prove himself. His quiet, stoich manner gradually faded away as he became more outspoken, more comitted. He was little more than a weapon when he was made, a sword to be fought with until it sundered, to be replaced at need, all at the whim of another. But not now. He was still a weapon, but now he was his own weapon, and now he had his own cause to fight. Blank wiped away what he had been. The insignia of his old military unit was engraved into his forehead, but that didn't matter, not when it could be covered. Blank endured the process to have the insignia of the Silver Flame permanently attatched to his forehead, over the old engraving. That day, Blank died. The symbol of the Silver Flame being moved into place was like the earth put on the graves of the people that died in the area. When the last screw was in place, a new being sat up. Running his fingers over the shape of the arrowhead he would carry for the rest of his days, he realized that he needed a name.

Months passed as he thought. In that time, he studied and trained. He worked his body, not in the same way the humans did, building muscle, but in a more litteral sense. Little by little, he replaced bits and pieces of his composite plating. What he couldn't replace, he reshaped. Finally, the day his training was completed, he walked into the great hall. As he passed the arched windows, the light glinted off of his newly finished armor. The smooth contours of his shoulder plates, the ripple of light playing off the back of his gold trimmed hands, the rhythmic click of his bootlike feet upon the stone floor. There was music in the air now, a somber tune that held an undercurrent of boundless hope. On the proper cue, he threw open the heavy wooden door, and walked down the path to the alter of the Silver Flame, where the man he had once heard called father stood, the man he now called Father himself stood. He was given the blessings of the Flame, was complimented on his perserverance, and charged with the lifelong duty of defending the innocent, helping those who could not help themselves, and to destroy evil wherever it appeared. At the end of the ceremony, Father said "Rise... I'm afraid I do not know the name in which you will serve the Flame, what do you now call yourself?"

The Warforged raised his head, and spoke clearly, the light in his eyes growing strong with every word, until by the end, it raged like the fires of his heart. "When I was made, I was part of a greater whole, strong as a great slab of stone. Until, one day, the stone was broken, and I realized I was little more than a pebble, rolling down the side of a great hill. When I hit bottom, I was picked up by a man, and brought here. Here, I was subjected to the Flame, my doubts and fears were burned away, as the slag is burned out from the iron. I became pure as silver, and was then forged, strong as steel, into a weapon of the Light. Now, I pledge to spread the Flame, so that others may be tempered as I was. So I choose my name. I am the crucible, which will burn away the darkness, leaving only the good to shine in the eternal sunlight!"

"Very well. Then raise, Crucible, defender of the Light, Paladin of the Silver Flame!"

Darrius, Shifter Monk/Warlock Gestalt:
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The Eldeen Reaches is a primordial place, with groves of trees that have
seen the rise and fall of Galifar, some dating back to the days when the orcs
themselves roamed the wood. Today, the Reaches are as they have always been,
a wilderness that rewards the strong, and seperates out the weak like chaff
from the wheat.

Especially in the south, where the Reaches meet Droaam, where most believe
that civilization ends. And in many ways, they're right. Sylbaran sits
nearly on the border, between the ancient forest and the monsterous realms.
Even it's proximity to Breland does little to tame the land here. But, for
those that live here, and know where to look, the old ways still survive.

When the goblin empires fell, much was lost to the mists of time, never to
be regained. But some small sects preserve what they can. Goblins,
Hobgoblins, and even a few Orcs that have kept alive their martial arts,
the ways of the warrior. Ways that said that after centuries of war, the
only thing you could rely on in combat was yourself. Weapons and armors
could fail you, but as long as you could stand, each and every individual
could be a weapon until the very end.

It was one such sect which was encountered by a pack of nomadic Shifter
hunters, following their prey. The goblins refused to give ground, and the
Shifters refused to back down to such seemingly weak opponents. The battle
was short, shifter ferocity was no match for the highly disciplined arts of
the goblins. The shifter hunting pack was destroyed, down to the last man
and woman.

The children were spared, and adopted into the sect, to be raised in the
old ways. Many of the older children rebelled, unable to stomach strict
discipline, and escaped back into the woods under the cover of night. Some
became withdrawn, and refused to eat, wasting away. Only one stayed with
the goblins, a child barely old enough to talk, who insisted his name was
Darrius, and stubbornly refused to be called anything else.

Over the years, his memories of the hunting pack faded into mear stories
his goblin masters told to him. He knew he was differant from the goblins,
and the hobgoblins, and the half-orcs, but it didn't matter, they were his
order, they were his family. Years came, and years passed, and Darrius
trained. Under the tutilage of his goblin master, Sharrask, whom he thought
of as a father, Darrius learned the secrets of the ancient goblin fighting
techniques, and the pride of the disciplined warrior.

As Darrius aged, and became a young man, Sharrask aged as well, the short
lives of goblins weighing down upon him. Seeing his time was short, and
that Darrius held great potential, he finally decided to impart the ultimate
pinnacle of goblin martial arts to his adopted son. The ability to focus
the inner spirit into an external blast of mystical power, an ability that
would take many years for any goblin to master. It was to be his final gift
to his son. After seeing the sparring dummy explode in a spray of straw and
cloth from across the grounds, Darrius immediantly took it upon himself to
learn this new technique. What should have taken him years to learn, he
learned in weeks.

Several years later, Sharrask died, his age finally overcoming the old
warrior. After his period of mourning, Darrius realized that he had
surpassed the skill of everyone else in the sect now that his father was
gone, but he still yearned to learn more, to perfect his skills and make his
father proud of him. One week later, Darrius said his goodbyes, took what
meager belongings he posessed, and struck out into the world.

The outside world proved to be far more chaotic than he had ever imagined.
No order, no fairness. The strong lorded over the weak, taking what they
wanted and giving nothing in return. He had been raised to not take sides
in matters of good and evil, that neutrality allowed one to see the world as
a whole. But how could he hold to this when innocents suffered through no
fault of their own, simply because they could not defend themselves? What
he found was not balance, but darkness. The only way to restore that
balance was to take action, to be pro-active. Darrius became a defender in
his wanderings, helping those that could not help themselves.

By the time he had reached what most citizens of Khovaire would consider
civilization, his mind was set. Two goals went hand in hand, to become the
greatest fighter in the land to honor his father's memory, and to use that
power to protect those that could not protect themselves.

Kencaide, Elan Psiwarrior:
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Years ago, during the Last War, Travais was a warrior, a common foot soldier in the armies of Breland. He had his standard issue sword, his standard issue armor, he was a standard issue soldier. Unlike some others, he survived his tour on the front lines, and made a bit of a name for himself. After being discharged from the service, Travais moved to the big city, Sharn itself. His experience and the name he made for himself in the War allowed him to join the Sharn city guard, where he served while the War wound to a close.

As part of the watch, he was assigned to patrol the Overlook district of the Upper Dura, which had become the home of the Kalashtar in the city. He knew nothing of the beautiful people that lived there, for while friendly enough, they rarely spoke of their personal lives, and never of their past. But, that was well enough, Travais took what they had to give in the way of friendship, and came to know many of them by name, and they him.

It was an easy post, for these strange people seemed quite capable of keeping their own affairs in order, with only occasional disturbances when outsiders came into the district and caused trouble. Until a year ago, that is. While on his daily patrol, the unnaccustomed sound of a scream reached his ears. Surprised, Travais drew his sword, and ran towards the source of the sound. In the back of one of the allies he found a woman he knew, by the name of Vishtani, on the ground. Standing over her were three men. These men did not have the same perfect visage as the Kalashtar, which ment they were likely outsiders, but one had a strange, glowing blade growing from the back of their hand, that flickered with a dull, oily light. Vishtani, for the first time that he had seen her, or any of the rest of her kind for that matter, had a look of pure terror on her face.

Whatever magic they had, it didn't matter. Travais had a job to do. With a yell, he charged the men, dropping one to the ground with a gash across his back. The next thing he knew, Travais had been struck, as if with a giant invisible hammer, and flung against the alley wall. The two men, now focusing on him instead of the woman, were closing in on him.

"Watchmen! Assemble!" and a shrill blast of the silver whistle around his neck ripped the silence of the night as Travais dragged himself back to his feet. "It doesn't matter what kind of demon you are, you will not harm those in my charge! WATCHMEN!" The two men looked at each other, and seemingly weighing the odds, turned and ran from the alley, apparently not willing to stand and fight if it meant drawing attention to themselves. Travais helped the woman to her feet, and helped her home before returning to fill out the inevitable paperwork. A strange night, but odd things happen at night in Sharn. In the broad daylight too, for that matter.

Several days later, he recieved a sealed letter at his watch station, which simply told him to come to the Way of the Light Temple, with a time underneath. He wondered what it ment for the rest of his shift, and the several hours afterwards until the appointed time. Late in the night, he made his way to the Temple. Little did he know that his entire life would change from that night forward.

The old man that maintained the temple was there to greet him, along with Vishanti, and a half dozen of other members of the community, some he recognized as being quite influential. The old man started with a conversation about how the community had grown to appreciate and respect his work and friendship. Travais relaxed a bit, thinking that this would be some sort of honor award for service, something he was well familiar with from his time in the War. How wrong he was.

He was asked to tell the story of what happened with the three men that night, to which Travais responded with a simple retelling, minimizing his own importance, focusing more on the details of the encounter than on the reasons for it. Again, this is something that he considered common for an awards ceremony.

“So, you tell the same tale as Vishanti does, there can be no doubt. The Dreaming Dark were after something here in Overlook.” The rest of the night was spent with Travais asking questions, and surprisingly enough, getting straight answers. Come morning, he knew as much as any human in the city knew of the Kalashtar, and of the Dreaming Dark. As the first rays of the morning sun broke through the window, the old priest asked something lifechanging of the watch guard.

“You have protected us from harm, and the other night proved to us that you were committed, and that what we are about to ask you is worth the risk. You know that the three men that attacked Vishanti were agents of the Dreaming Dark, likely even the Inspired agents themselves. What we are about to ask, we do not ask lightly, and even now you may still refuse. We have captured one of the dark Quori, one that used his vessels to spy on us for many years, but we cannot hold them for long. If we do not imprison him, he will escape, and we will be in greater danger than ever before when the Dreaming Dark learns what he knows. However, there is only one way to imprison a Quori, they must be sealed away within a willing human host. Once so bound, the human is born anew, their old lives stripped away in the process. We would ask you to be this living prison. Do not worry overly much, you would still be you after the process is complete, your being and your memories will remain intact, but much of your experience will be wiped away to make room for the bound Quori. It would not be able to influence you in any way, unlike the Quori that we are bound to. However, while you carry it’s spirit, you will be able to draw upon it’s strength at need. As long as you carry it’s spirit, your body will never age, it will not grow old, and you will not die. By stealing the Quori’s power for your own use, you will become an eternal prison for it.”

Travais looked as if he had been hit between the eyes with a fully loaded cart, completely overwhelmed at what the elder Kalashtar had proposed.

“As I said, we can not ask this of you lightly, and it must be something you agree to do. It cannot be forced upon you. We also cannot wait to give you time to consider this at your leisure either, I am afraid. We need your decision now, or we will lose the chance forever. It would mean giving up the life you have had up until now, the good and the bad. Much of your time in the War and here as a member of the Watch would be gone, but your childhood would be left to you. It would be a chance for a new beginning.”

After several minutes of silent thought, Travais gave his decision.
“During the War, I saw and did terrible things, things that no man should ever have to see, much less do. Things that I have to live with every day. And for what? I didn’t really make a difference anywhere, did I? And this way, I would be making a difference, wouldn’t I? Taking one of those quory things out of the picture for good, right?

… I’ll do it.”

He was lead down through long hallways, and through a hidden door into an underground chamber. Well, below-level would be a better description, as there is no underground at the top of Sharn. There, in spinning rings of gold and silver, was a hazy white mist, which could only be the trapped Dreaming Dark quori spirit, struggling to escape. The ritual was long, and much of it remains hazy in his memory at best, but the one thing that Travais would always remember in perfect clarity was the end of the ritual, when the hazy mist was released, and as it tried to flee, he breathed it in. For a moment, he was filled with a darkness unlike any he had ever experienced. An instant later, an eternity later, he felt a bar of burning white light appear within him. Then another, and another. Slowly but surely, the bars built a cage around the darkness, and compressed it.

When he came to, the first thing he realized was that he was aware of this prison, somewhere in the back of his mind, a feeling like someone was standing just behind his field of vision. The second thing he noticed was that, while he could remember fighting in the War, it was hazy and indistinct. Certain moments stood out, but it was like remembering a dream, much of it kept slipping between his fingers every time he tried to grasp it. And almost as an afterthought as he stood, he realized the old pain in his leg was gone. That had hurt every time he moved the leg since he took an arrow in it in the War, but the pain was gone now.

He spent many days within the temple, learning to control the prison within him, and how to touch upon it to draw strength from the trapped spirit within. He learned how to fuel his body with it’s power, so that he did not require food nor water, and how to tap it to quicken his wits and his reflexes. A few things bothered him though. He no longer needed sleep, only to meditate for a few hours, and he knew he would miss the feeling of a good bed after a long day. But what bothered him most of all was that when he picked up his sword, he could not remember how to use it. He could remember using it, and using it well, but now it felt wrong in his hand. He had lived with that sword at his side for many years, but now it felt as if it were nothing more than a club.

“So, as long as I do not die, the spirit within will remain bound forever? Well then, I should make sure that I never die!” With that thought, he took up training with the martial arts once again, but this time, he made defense his first priority. He combined the styles of heavily armored combat with the power he could draw from the trapped Quori within. After several months, he emerged as a new man. Where he had once been a lightly armored swordsman, he now stood wearing the heaviest of armors, a large shield strapped to one hand, and a smaller shield combined with weighted blades, both shield and weapon at the same time. If it was so important that he remain alive, then by the Light, he would not die through his own lack of attention to defense.

As he stood watching the sun set, the elder Kalashtar asked him a question.
“What will you do now? Will you stay with us, or do you feel the need to be… out there?”

His reply was simple. “You have given me great power, and the knowledge of an even greater struggle. I cannot stay here while the Dreaming Dark is out there. I understand that now, perhaps even better than you do.”

“Very well, but remember, the Dark must not know what you carry, or they would harry you until they have recovered their brother, and then they would come for us for imprisoning him.”

“I know. Do not worry, I will not give away your secret, neither by my actions nor by my death.”

“I know you will not. So, Travais, where will you go?”

“I don’t know yet, but there is one thing though. I never liked the name Travais. And since I have a new life now, I think I can justify a new name to go along with it.”

“Oh, and what would that be?”

“Well, I’ve always been partial to the name Kencaide…”
And some of my quickies. Not fully developed background stories, more of just a quick idea I jotted down. Note that these are also two of my very first Eberron character ideas, so thats probably why they're a bit short, I didn't know the setting as well back then. I guess I really should get around to rewriting them someday.

Overdrive, Warforged Barbarian 1/Fighter X
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Overdrive, as he has come to call himself, was crafted in the years preceeding the end of the War as an experimental model. The concept was simple, a combat model that would combine the base combat abilities of the Warforged with the ability to temporarily increase they're own strength and resiliance, a process that was dubbed "overdriving" by the artificers overseeing the project. Certain inbuilt training had to be forfeitted to make room for the new ability, but what was gained was an incredibly impressive fighting unit. When going into overdrive, pieces of the unit's armor plating would extend and rearrange themselves to make room for the suddenly increase in bulk of the fiberous strands that comprised it's muscle (which had the unforseen side effect of lowering the unit's overall defense, but it was deemed and acceptable tradeoff for the increased damage dealing potential). Circular plates on the shoulders spin to life, as steam began venting from major joints and a network of glowing strands came to life, like veins of fire coursing through the unit's chasi. The artificers were sure to be well rewarded for their breakthrough.

Unfortunately, the overdrive systems had a startling regular tendency to make the Warforged harder to control in battle, more strong willed and bullheaded. In truth, it was discovered that going into overdrive would force all thought of strategy and adaptablity out of the unit's mind, leaving it to simply destroy all that stood in it's way. This was almost enough to end the project, but enough was salvagable to continue it, but for the final nail in the proverbial coffin. The strain on the Warforged's body from extended overdrives was extreme, and unmaintainable. An overdrive unit would become a monster comparable to the previous Warforged Titans while active, but in under a minute the strain caused a partial shutdown of the unit, resulting in drastically reduced strength and staying power.

In the end, it was decided that the temporary boost in battle prowess was canceled out entirely by the extended weakness afterwards, and the uncontrollable nature while overdriving made the units a liability in delicate situations. The project was terminated, the test models slated for deactivation and redesign. It was at about this time the War ended, and the units were never destroyed. In fact, they never learned of their near brush with death at all (for it was deemed unwise to inform an overdrive unit that it was to be quietly put to death for fear of it's rebelling).

Now these units, including the one who still refers to himself as Overdrive, roam the countryside with their more normal Warforged breathern. Few know that these models blend in with the rest, even amongst the warforged themselves. The ones that do witness one going into overdrive rarely survive to tell the tale.

And Bowman, Warforged Artificer/Fighter (archery based):
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Bowman, as he has come to be called, was built in the last years of
the War as a support unit, intended to provide cover fire from behind the
front lines during combat, and to provide repair services to damaged Warforged
units during the down times. He was kept in the homeland defense regiment of
Cyre for much of his days during the war, seeing little of the hardcore combat
the others of his kind were subjected to. His last encounter during the war
was when his regiment was sent out to investigate rumors of enemy incursion
past he Cyrian boarder. He, and his fellow troops, engaged the enemy scouting
party in a quick and decisive battle, and were pursing the remains of the
invaders past the boarders of Cyre in order to retrieve one for questioning.
Bowman was not a league away from his boarder when the sky turned white behind
him, and the Mourning devoured his homeland.

After the signing of the treaty, and his own emancipation, Bowman has roamed
the continent of Khovair much like the other Warforged. The only place he
had ever called home now a blasted wasteland, he has been making his way as
a mercenary when he had to, sometimes even recruited for his skills as an
artificer.
Wow dude! Crucible backstory is great! Very well done Edy, not that we expected anything less. :D Thanks for sharing.
Great characters man, especially love the elan you put together. Great way to bring them into the world

-X
Wow dude! Crucible backstory is great! Very well done Edy, not that we expected anything less. :D Thanks for sharing.

Actually, Crucible is my favorite PC out of all of these, I think he has the most potential for cool factor.

If fact, I just spent a good 2-3 hours expanding his background.
I'm putting the text from it up here for everybody, and I've also got it in a PDF for anybody that wants it.

Text:
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The Warforged Paladin

Character and Background by:
Edymnion


Prologue

Our story begins several years before the current day, during what we now call the Last War. Battles were fought daily, men and women died by the scores on both sides, while the Warforged soldiers marched relentlessly into the fray, unconcerned with if they lived or died. They had their orders, to fight until the battle was won. It is one such Warforged on which we shall focus our attention. Like the thousands upon thousands of other identical Warforged, this one has no name. However, that makes his tale a difficult one to tell, perhaps too difficult. So, for the ease of the listener and the teller alike, we shall refer to this nameless soldier simply as “Blank”.

Our tale opens with a recount of the days Blank spent in the war, but we shall not dwell on this, for in the grand scheme of things, it was unimportant. From there, we shall move on to Blank’s downfall, and the single act of kindness that would forever change, if not the world, than at least the life of a single soldier, who no longer had a purpose in life. Where the story goes from there, we do not yet know. That part of the story has yet to be written…







Chapter One

The day began in much the same way as yesterday had begun, and as the day before that had begun, and the day before that. Sunlight filters through the high, narrow windows, and falls upon the ceiling of the stark room he shared with nine other Warforged. As the light crawled across the ceiling and down the wall, Blank and his brethren stood motionless as statues, in neat and ordered rows. There were no beds, no chairs, no furniture or decoration at all in this room, merely four gray walls, and the stone floor upon which they stood.

Blank did not look around, he barely even thought, he simply waited. He knew that his unit were the only things in the room. Of his unit, half were general soldiers, their plating made from mostly stone with only small amounts of metal, covering only the most vital areas. The chorded darkwood, which served as their skin and muscle, stood exposed and vulnerable. Two were at the opposite end of the scale; great hulking masses of solid steel armor, with a layer of dark adamantine coating their central plates, like shadowy pewter.

The remaining three, including himself, were built as a balance between armor and maneuverability. Blank had no need of a mirror to know what he looked like, because he knew he was the same as these other two in every detail. The comparatively soft wood and chorded fibers were covered in sturdy steel plates reinforced in shining mithril. He was well protected. If not as heavily armored as the larger adamantine soldiers, he was faster and more nimble by far. As were his other two mithril brothers. Every Warforged had it’s place, from the brute strength of the adamantine line breakers, to the lightly armored foot soldiers, to his place as swordsman.

A human would have wondered what this day would hold, if it would be another silent day alone, if it would be a day of drills, or even if the unit would be called into battle. Blank, however, did not wonder. If something were to be done today, the human commander would come for them with their orders. If not, he would stand there, and wait for the next day. He was not happy, he was not sad. Neither excited nor bored. Blank did not question his existence, he simply existed, and followed orders. Little did he know, and impossible for him to predict, this day would not be like the others, not in the least.

Chapter Two

The door to the room opened, and the Warforged within snapped to a stance of attention at the same instant. The uniform crash of metal and stone echoed for several instants before dying. Blank looked straight ahead as his commander walked to the front of the room, and into his field of vision.

“Unit 733-2, Cyre Boarder Guard.”

The Warforged remained silent. The designation was correct. If it had not been, it was the duty of one of the basic model Warforged to respond with the correct unit information. There were many units such as his, and while rare, it was not unheard of for a commander to walk into the wrong storage room.

“By the terms of the Treaty of Thronehold, signed the 11th of Aryth, in the year of Galifar 996, the War has ended. Furthermore, the Warforged are officially recognized as sentient beings, with all of the rights and responsibilities thereof. You are each to be paid a sum of 100 gold galifars for your service to Cyre, and immediately released.”

With that, the commander turned, and left. Moving for the first time in days, several of the Warforged turned to look at each other, to see if the others had an answer. None did. A short time later, another human entered, and the Warforged once more snapped to attention. They were led outside of the compound to the training fields, to find other units similar to themselves, along with men standing behind tables with large bags. Blank and his brothers were arranged into lines, and cycled through to the tables. When his turn came, Blank approached as the man took a smaller purse and a scroll of paper from the main sack and handed it to him.

“One hundred galifars, and your release papers. Next!”

Before he really knew what had happened, Blank found himself, along with many others, standing outside the compound walls. They had not been given orders, and virtually all had returned to standing motionless outside the gates. They would have likely have stood there for days, had one of the human commanders not come out and told them that they had to leave the premise. Blank and his brothers were free, but no one had bothered to take the time to teach them what that actually meant.

Every day of Blank’s existence had been essentially the same. From the day he first awoke beneath the massive form of the Creation Forge, up to this morning, he had been given orders, told what to do, and when to do it. His life had had order, predictability. But not now. No one was there to tell him what to do, and for the first time in his life, Blank was afraid.

Chapter Three

In the beginning, Blank stayed with his unit as they began to explore. None understood the purpose of the pouch of metal disks they had been given, so they did not particularly care when, one by one, the pouches were taken from them. Although all Warforged could read written orders, their releasal papers proved equally useless.

And life on the outside was… confusing. The Warforged were used to strict, orderly conduct and purpose. The outside world though was chaotic. People came and went without rhyme or reason. Those that did not run away from them, screaming, that is. Those that didn’t run were often hostile towards them, although their attacks were mainly limited to thrown fruits and vegetables. Blank and the other Warforged did their best to avoid encampments of humans after a time.

As time passed, the unit began to fragment. Some simply vanished into the night, alone. Others, including the Warforged that knew how to make repairs, were destroyed by angry mobs. In short order, Blank found himself alone in his wanderings. Unable to perform even basic repairs upon himself, Blank’s body began to wear down. His once shining plate had long since been covered in the muck and grime of the world, and there was little he could do about it.

He found that the humans did not react as harshly to a single Warforged as they did to a group of them, but they still showed him nothing but hatred and disgust. Blank could see them laughing from far away, but he did not understand it. Happiness, anger, it was all alien to one that knew only fear, and despair.

Time passed, as it often does, and still Blank wandered. Not needing food nor rest, and with no place that would even allow him to stop, he had little choice. He longed for the simple life of order that he had been forcibly evicted from. He now found himself, as often as not, sitting in back alleys as the rain pelted down on his shoulders, or on the side of a sun parched road. Sitting, and looking inside of himself for answers to questions he didn’t even know how to ask, and found only the vast expanse of nothingness looking back at him. Blank wondered what it would be like to no longer exist.

Until one day. He was sitting, alone, in the alley of some city, he knew not which, nor did he care. The scuff of footsteps made him flinch (if a Warforged was capable of such a thing, that is) as he looked up, expecting another kick, or thrown object. Instead, he saw something new. A slightly balding man stood there, but there was something about his eyes. Blank knew the look of fear, he knew the look of hate, but he did not know this look. It was a face full of pity, and sympathy.

When the man asked Blank to come with him, the Warforged did not argue, he simply followed. He was lead to a large building of grand design, and he stopped. Blank new he was not supposed to get near buildings such as this, the humans did not allow it. But, the man said it was alright, and to follow him, so Blank did as he was told, and took a bit of comfort from that fact.

Once inside, Blank was lead to a back room with a stone table. Several young men and women in simple robes entered, carrying cloths, tools, and water. With the utmost care, they cleaned the grime from his joints and fixed his hurts. Blank looked up at the man who had lead him in, and for the first time in many long months, spoke.

“Why have you done this? I have nothing of value to offer you.”

The man replied with the strangest answer that Blank had ever heard, one he could not then understand.

“Because it was the right thing to do.”

Chapter Four

After his repairs, Blank’s armor once more shown in the light, as it had once done in the morning sun in the barracks. He was shown to a simple room, with a bed, chair, and simple wooden desk. He was told that they were his, for as long as he felt that he needed them. These were the first things that had ever truly belonged to Blank, and he did not know how to reply.

For days, he simply sat in his small room, and watched the daily business of this place through his window. Things were still chaotic, but as he watched, Blank saw order as well. Things happened at roughly the same time every day, and he could see the daily chores of those that lived here. He watched the people start the day fresh, toil in the sun of the garden, and grow tired in the evening, to then retire to their own rooms for sleep. Then, they would do it all over again the next day.

Eventually, Blank began to walk some of the halls, and to go outside into the inner garden. On one such walk, he was passed by an old man, who carried a pair of water buckets across his shoulders with a wooden rod. Blank watched the man pass, and watched as he sat his burden down to rest. Without being told, he reached down and picked the water up, and asked the man where it should be taken.

“Ah, thank you my friend, may the Flame always light your path, but I will be alright, my bones aren’t so old yet, but I appreciate the offer.”

Flame? What flame? Blank looked around, but he could see no flame. There was the garden to his left in the sunlight, there was the stone covered walkway where he stood, and the wooden bench upon which the old man sat. There was no fire. When he asked the man what he meant, the old man simply laughed.

“Ho ho, metal man, don’t you even know where you are? You are in the great city of Flamekeep, and this is a temple of the Silver Flame, which lights our path and gives us guidance in our darkest hour.”

Guidance. That is what Blank had wanted, had needed since the day he was freed. After a brief talk, the old man conceded that if the Warforged really wanted to learn about the Silver Flame, that he was not the best one to do the teaching. Blank was introduced to someone the old man called “Father”, although it was quite apparent that this man was far too young to be the father of the elder. For the rest of the day, Blank listened, and he learned the purpose of the Silver Flame. To help those in need, as he had once been. To protect those who could not protect themselves, to be a light in the darkness.

Somewhere deep inside of himself, Blank felt something happen as he listened. There was a spark. Not a real one, but this was the closest comparison that he could draw. It wasn’t much, but after so long of having nothing inside of him, it was almost overwhelming to the Warforged. The Church of the Silver Flame existed to fight evil, that which was dark and wanted everything else to be dark as well. Over the next several days as he listened, Blank felt that initial spark grow larger, becoming a tiny glowing ember, and eventually a small flame, like that of a single candle in the night.

Finally, Blank understood what the main had told him the day he was brought to this place. The man had helped him, because it was the right thing to do! By the time all was said and done, Blank had committed himself to the Silver Flame. He had finally found a purpose to his life.

Chapter Five

Over the next few months, Blank devoted himself entirely to studying the scriptures of the Flame, and learning it’s ways. Even here he encountered those that showed him contempt for what he was, who called him little more than a sword without a battle. And, he realized, to some extent, they were right. He had been built as a weapon, built to fight. The War was over, but he still existed, he was still a weapon.

Regardless, he pushed on. And as he pushed, he found his own confidence growing. He learned that, to be taken seriously, he had no choice but to stand up for himself. If they thought he was a weapon, then that is what he would be. There was no denying what he had been made for. But now, he was his no longer a weapon of war, but a weapon of the light. And he was his OWN weapon now. Blank discovered that when he pushed, more often than not, he succeeded, and that emboldened him.

One thing held him back, however. Or at least he believed it did. His forehead was still engrained with the insignia of his unit from the War. He was, and would forever be, marked with the sign of what he had been. Or would he? It didn’t take Blank long to realize that he wanted nothing to do with what he had been, and wanted no reminders of being someone else’s tool. Two days later, he decided to do something about it.

One of the artisans of the temple was a metalsmith, whom Blank had befriended soon after arriving at the temple. It was from this smith, Galek, that he had learned to make his own repairs, and in the process, the intricacies of armorsmithing. Now he needed Galek’s help again. After Blank had detailed what he wanted done, Galek was reluctant. The procedure was not going to be an easy one, and it was going to be a painful one, even for a Warforged. Blank didn’t care, his had already decided, and over the months he had been at the temple, he had become rather bullheaded once his mind had been made up.

One week later, to the day, Blank was laying on a stonework table next to Galek’s forge. His steel and mithril faceplate now had a ring of holes drilled into it around his rune. A very unsettling thing, but it was nothing compared to what was to come.

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Yes, do it.”

Blank watched as the smith lifted the end result of a week’s work, a finely wrought crest bearing the emblem of the silver flame, made of rare flametouched iron, a holy metal, over his face, and laid it over his rune. As Blank found himself waiting yet one more time, he thought about how similar this must be to when a human dies, and the lid is slid over his coffin. Galek used a probe to line up the holes in Blank’s forehead to the holes he had drilled in the emblem’s outer edge. The symbolism of the death of the old and the birth of the new did not escape Blank as Galek drew a red-hot pin from his forge with utmost care.

While he was considering this, Blank’s head was filled with blinding, searing pain as Galek placed the still glowing pin into the hole, and slammed his hammer down, forever riveting it into place. The halls of the temple echoed with the unnatural sound of a Warforged screaming in pain. And then the next pin came. And the next. In all, five fiery pins were riveted into the Warforged’s skull, holding the symbol of his new faith in place. When it was all done, Blank ran his fingers around the edges of his new emblem, and realized that his old life was now truly gone. He needed a name…

Chapter Six

After the ordeal of having his emblem attached, Blank realized that he could do more. During the day, he developed his mind with the teachings of his religion, and the skills to repair himself from his metalsmith friend, Galek. At night, it was something different. He did not sleep, he didn’t need it, but he was still left with many long hours to himself, which he used to work on his body. Not as a human would work on his body, adding muscle, but in a much more literal sense. Many nights passed with the sound of his crafting floating in the air.

What plates he could remove, he did. Those that could not be removed, he reshaped. During this time, the Warforged wore heavy linen robes, concealing his unfinished body from prying eyes. A deadline was fast approaching, and he would have his new armor done in time for it, no matter what. Galek was the only one to have any idea what might be happening, as it was he that provided Blank with the extra steel, mithril, and other metals he required to finish his work. Then, early on the night before his deadline, Blank’s work was finished. He spent the rest of the night with a soft cloth and a ceramic jar of metal polish, and worked himself into a gleam before putting on his heavy hooded robe.

Chapter Seven

Blank stood in the stone hallway, fidgeting. It wasn’t something he had ever done before, but this was the single most important day of his life. Everything had to be just right, and he knew it. There is music in the air, a somber tune with an underlying current of boundless hope. There is a voice, someone is speaking, but not to Blank. Its coming from the next room, who’s door he new stands before. The music is climbing to a peak, and on cue, Blank drops his robe to the floor, throws open the heavy wooden doors, and strides into a warmly light temple filled with people.

The light gleams off of his rounded shoulder plates, and glints brightly off the gold trim of his gauntlet like hands. His bootlike feet click rhythmically on the floorstones as he strides purposefully towards the front of the chamber of the Silver Flame, where the man he once heard called Father stands. Where the man he now calls Father himself stands. Upon reaching the dais, the Warforged kneels, his heavy armor’s polish making it virtually glow in reflected light of the room as the Priest recites the blessings of the Silver Flame upon it’s newest representative.

The ceremony goes beautifully as he is charged with a lifelong duty to protect the innocent, to provide assistance wherever it is needed, and to defend the Light. Finally, at the end, the priest reaches a stumbling block.
“… here in the presence of your friends and your peers. Now rise…”

The Father stumbles, and then quietly says to the Warforged;

“I am afraid that I do not know what name you wish to serve the Flame in. What are we to call you now?”

Blank, who was Blank no longer, raised his head. He had been waiting patiently for this. He spoke in a strong, clear voice, the light in his eyes growing brighter with every word, until they were practically raging, like the flame that had grown inside the Warforged’s chest.

“Father, when I was first made, I was part of a greater whole. Together, we were as strong as the mountains themselves, or so we thought. One day, the mountain was sundered, and I found myself to be little more than a pebble, rolling down hill. When I had hit the bottom, I sank into the mud, and there I would still be if not for one man. He saw me, he picked the pebble up, and brought it here. While here, I was subjected to the Silver Flame, and my doubts and my fears were burned away, as the slag is burned out from the iron so that it can be shaped. I was forged strong as steel, and pure as silver into a weapon of the Light.

Now, I pledge myself to carry the Flame to others, so that they may be tempered, as I was. And from this purpose, I take my name. I am the Crucible, and through me the darkness shall be burned away, leaving only the Good behind, to shine forever in the eternal Light!”

Where the room was quiet before, now it is dead silent, save for the music. Not a single person dares so much as to breath as the Father smiles down upon Crucible.

“Very well. Then rise, Crucible, Defender of the Light, Paladin of the Silver Flame!”

The last words are almost drowned out in the thunder of applause and cheers that fill the room. The simple, unquestioning Warforged that was once a simple tool to be used until it broke, and replaced just as easily was gone. In his place stood a monument to perseverance and courage, gleaming in shining steel, gold, and flametouched iron. He was still a weapon, but now he was a weapon unlike any the world had seen before. And he was his own.


PDF:
Crucible's Backstory.
I even gave it the parchment background outta the PHB.

Now I just need to find somebody that will draw me up a nice illustration of Crucible to put on the cover :D
Edy I rember well when Crucible didn't even have a name you weren't sure if he was even going to be a paladin. If I recall correctly you initially wanted to make him an artificer. I'm glad you ended up making him my favourite class, here is another spectacular reason why paladins are cool.
Btw, for anyone that is interested, I'm also making a mini for Crucible:
[thread=403354]Minor Conversion: Warforged Paladin[/thread]
If others haven't looked at Edy's thread above, I suggest it. It is very worth it! An awesome job Edy, very talented!

So I can point somebody to it.
Very nicely done, Edy. (referring to both the backgrounds and the mini)
I hope you don't mind if I share my own PC backstory. This was for my first Eberron game I played in. By the way, Edymnion, Crucible was brilliant. Definitely walked down a different road then I did with impressions of post-war Warforged.




Interceptor the Warforged Monk

Entry 1

And so, I begin. A thought, a mental pulse, flashes through my core and is transferred to hand and then to paper. I sit, metallic joints folded beneath me in a cross legged position, and write.

I am unusual.

I am an Interceptor Class Mark 7. I do not understand why I was allowed to remain sentient, but my studies show all I should have been destroyed on the assembly line. However, I was not. While all of my sister Mark 7s were created, frowned upon, then scrapped, I alone was given a chance. I was shipped out and stood long hours in the shuddering belly of some iron beast, exited the cramped quarters into sunlight, then ushered along to the ‘front lines’. I made my way out onto the battlefield, unnoticed among the wave of steel. I hunted where I was told to, sometimes alone, sometimes among the Mark 8s. What an interesting bunch they are. Quiet, cold, almost emotionless. As I moved with them, I realized our differences, I reveled in the bloodshed, I found a place in the eye of the storm, a calm inside the maelstrom. They seemed bored by the ordeal. I often found myself reciting poetry in the heat of combat, and drawing strange looks.

Eventually however, mistakes were made. Someone noticed my differences, perhaps a particularly intuitive Mark 8. I do not remember much, although I know I was nearly dismantled completely. When I could move again, I knew things were different. I knew by the frost on my hands that winter had blown in, that I had been inert for months, or even years. I had forgotten my familiarity with my swords, how to crouch in the darkness without making a sound, how an arrow flew in the wind. My skill was dulled in the coma.

An interesting coincidence crossed paths with me though. A most remarkable man had found me on the battlefield and dragged me home. I sat for years propped against his backdoor. I am convinced he left me there even in lightning storms, since no mortal blow suffered in battle could have created the magnificent dent on my cranium. I sat there among weeds and rusting metal until he acquired the resources to repair me. His name was Rasic d’Cannith and he told me of my origins; how he had smuggled me off the assembly line, saving me from the fate that befell the other Mark 7s. I must admit, I admire the man. They had wanted to do away with my line, to eliminate me. Rasic told me it was because we derived joy from slaying, didn’t take orders well. It startled the customers. I read books and letters in his cluttered shops, some mentioning my Mark. “The mentalities of serial killers have no place in the minds of Canniths toy soldiers, a persuasive essay by Johanlin Sivas.” I tore that one in half. I am not just a killer. In an effort to prove so to Rasic, I am trying to find other hobbies, like this diary. Rasic has provided me with a pamphlet that he says will help. It speaks of calming exercises and meditations, contemplation and thought. With my now clumsy hands and the boredom of the stuffy little shop, I have given in and read it. Cover to cover. Many times.

So, here I am now. A warforged, alone, one of a kind. Intended for scrap metal, but sneaked out into the world to hunt. Dismantled, but given another chance. Now I have returned to one of the men who helped build me. My dulled edges still bother me. Accepting the fact that my assassination skills are gone, I have turned to what must be a desperate hope, what separated me from the Mark 8’s; my core and my spirit. Maybe I will find some achievement in my meditations. Perhaps, with the ultimate goal of mastering myself and achieving perfection, the warrior will return.
I still have to read the others but the story of Crucible really is fantastic, it moved me and this doesn't happen often (I must be tired . Anyway, great job mate, thanks for posting !

cheers

SeTh

PS: I have a party myself that I'm still fleshing out. Once finished I want to start an adventure where my players take these premade characters for a change and roleplay them instead of roleplaying their own inventions (and often just themselves) all the time.
I would be greateful if you could take a look at them, maybe help me here and there if they inspire you. (I would start a new thread ofcourse, not to spoil yours)
I wish my PCs had backgrounds like crucibles...
Interesting. In our first Eberron campaign we played in, one of the PCs played a Shifter rogue/dread pirate named Kincaide. He spelled it differently, and we began calling him Dirty Kincaide on account of his dirty tactics and ruthlessness. Strange coincidence, sort of...
Btw, for anyone that is interested, I'm also making a mini for Crucible:
[thread=403354]Minor Conversion: Warforged Paladin[/thread]

Btw, if anyone is still interested, I FINALLY got around to finishing Crucible's mini. Check the link above, hit the last page, yadda yadda yadda.
I heartily encourage everyone to look and enjoy. Edy's paint work is excellent, definately worth the few moments of your time.
I heartily encourage everyone to look and enjoy. Edy's paint work is excellent, definately worth the few moments of your time.

Bah, unless you're on CoolMiniOrNot, they're currently giving it a 4.3, below tabletop quality.

Bunch of snobbish S.O... nevermind.
Now I just need to find somebody that will draw me up a nice illustration of Crucible to put on the cover :D

I seem to recall that you are a fan of Rich Burlew's "The Order of the Stick" comics; you could see if any of the posters on the message boards over there would be willing to draw you a portrait in the OOTS style, or find a previous picture.
Bah, unless you're on CoolMiniOrNot, they're currently giving it a 4.3, below tabletop quality.

Bunch of snobbish S.O... nevermind.

;)

Actually, I'm not. I think you're referring to the website, or the thread? I forget where I saw it... Maybe a site referred to in a thread? :D

What do they mean by 'tabletop' quality? I did see some of the stuff show there (thread or site, whichever?) and it was good. But I think Crucible the fig has more character to it. Maybe because I know his character history, but the fig is really cool.
I seem to recall that you are a fan of Rich Burlew's "The Order of the Stick" comics; you could see if any of the posters on the message boards over there would be willing to draw you a portrait in the OOTS style, or find a previous picture.

Nah, I can do OotS.
In fact, I do do OotS. I had a mini Eberron OotS strip on the boards a while back.
Man I loved the warforged history! Any chance on writing some of his adventours?

I also enjoyed the elan, can we/I hear more about him aswell? :D

Great work man! You are very good at writing! Cheers!
Man I loved the warforged history! Any chance on writing some of his adventours?

I also enjoyed the elan, can we/I hear more about him aswell? :D

Great work man! You are very good at writing! Cheers!

Actually, I have tossed around the idea of writing a few short stories for them all. Maybe making a party out of all of them. We've got the zealous warforged paladin, the elan thats afraid of dying, the shifter with the wand...

If I would only get around to converting my faerun storm themed sorceress over to Eberron (which would give her a MUCH better fit as a half-elf with the Mark of Storms), I'd have a great little party going on!
Okay, I've had the idea of how to convert my storm sorceress over kicking around in my head for a few days now, and I think its finally gelled conceptually into something that will give the same feel and personality, while still being uniquely Eberron. In fact, I think I'm going to try doing the background story a bit differantly than I have before. I'm going to try telling it in First Person Narrative instead of Third Person Limited Omniscience.

Amythest, female Half-Elven Sorceress:
Show
"You noticed the ears, didn't you? Yeah, I'm a Khoravar, for what it's worth. Much to my father's shagrin, seeing as how he was human, and so was my mother. Yeah, you see the problem, right? Human plus human typically doesn't equal a khoravar, and my father knew it. Fact that we lived in the same quarter of Wroat as the Lylander enclave didn't exactly help matters either. My father always said I was adopted, but I think everybody pretty much put two and two together and figured out what happened, but dad kept the appearance up anyway.

Pretty normal childhood growing up. I always loved the rain though, and I don't know if you've ever been to Wroat or not, but it rains a LOT in Wroat. I loved splashing in the puddles. Still do, actually... Anyway, never was very close to my father. Oh, he was fatherly enough, in public where people could see, but in private, "distant" doesn't quite convey his attitude towards me. So, I spent most of my time as a child with my mother. Dad was a ledger, a book keeper for some minor noble or some such, and mom was a calligrapher. She had the prettiest handwriting you ever saw, and insisted that I learn to write properly as well.

Things were okay, until I was about 14, when mom died from the fever. Yeah, that one. For about a year after she died, I stayed with my father. Now that was a delicate situation, I can tell you that. Ever spend a year walking on eggshells? I did. Dad was distant when mom was alive, but with her gone, everything seemed to be my fault. Looking back at it now, I can't really blame him. I mean, people tell me I look just like my mother did at my age, except for the ears, and it must have been tough on him to have me constantly reminding him of what he lost. Especially when I also reminded him every day that he saw my ears that I couldn't have really been his. He never said it, didn't even talk about it when mother was alive, but I could see it in his eyes.

Then "it" happened. The one thing that he couldn't explain away to the neighbors. We were having a screaming match at each other, which had been getting more and more common, when suddenly the house was rocked by a blast of thunder. Which was odd to say the least, considering that was one of the rare days when the sun was shining in Wroat. He just sort of turned pale and took a step backwards, quite as a ghost, and I couldn't figure out why. He just mumbled something and left the room. It wasn't until I got to a mirror that I saw this.

*pulls down the top of her high necked shirt to show the base of her neck, and the sprawling lines of a dragonmark*

Its the Lylander dragonmark, the Mark of Storms they call it. No one would have put a blood member of House Lylander up for adoption, and everybody knew it. It was painfully obvious to anyone with eyes that my mother must have had an affair with one of the stormship captains, and there was no way dad could hide it anymore. As if that wasn't enough, turned out that I made the thunderclap. Didn't figure that out for a few days, but apparently the mark also came with some extras.

*holds up her hand as electrical sparks crackle up her fingers*

Seems I was also a sorceress. Dunno if the mark gave me the power, or if it was just a coincidence that they both appeared at the same time, but everything I can do seem to be tied to storms, so make of it what you will. Combination of the reminder of my... origins, and the fact that I was suddenly a lot more dangerous to have around, it was just too much for dad. Wasn't long before he kicked me out on the street. Oh, he gave me a big pouch of sovereigns and galifers and his best wishes, but he still kicked me out.

There I was, 15 years old, and alone on the streets of Wroat, and not a clue as to what to do. Ended up spending a few days at the Lylander enclave, the mark was more than enough to get me in the front door. But things got... uncomfortable... after a while. Wroat is infamous for political intregue and all that, and the enclave was no exception. It wasn't long before the half-elves were staring at me, and whispering behind my back, usually about who's daughter I must be. Nobody came forward, and they weren't about to have me move into the enclave for the rest of my life. Eventually, they very politely told me to leave. I bounced around for a few years after that, mainly staying with differant Khorvars for a few days, weeks, even months at a time. The hospitality of the khorvar may be famous, but its not unlimited.

I was pretty lucky, actually, what with being a sorceress and all. I don't even want to think what would have happened to me if I hadn't been able to defend myself from thieves and... worse types... with a flash of lightning or two. Eventually, it was a temple of Aureon that took me in. It was one of the priestesses there that helped teach me to control my powers. I had been using them out of instinct up until then, Elia helped me learn how to use them when I wanted, and more importantly, how NOT to use them when I didn't want them.

Elia, the priestess I was telling you about, she keeps telling me how I'm destined for great things, and that I can't "keep hiding here in the temple" as she puts it. That its a big world out there, and that I need to go out and see it. So, here I am.

Eh, my name? Well, the six forbid I shame my father any more than I have by telling people I'm connected to him. But, my mother always used to call me her little amethyst, because of my eyes. See? They're purple of all things, the same color as an amethyst. You know, a bit of a tweak, and it could be a name... yeah, call me Amythest."
Alrighty, my first post-Five Nation character, I'm hoping this one will be a bit more detailed than some of my others (my sorceress just didn't transfer well in the detail department). And I think I'll try this one in the first person again, as it helps it feel a little more personal. Written on the assumption that he's being interviewed by a party to become a new member, and they've asked for his life story.

Warning though, its a long one

Garrick Dorn, Human Rogue 1/Fighter X, Karnnathi

"Well, most of my past isn't something I'm too proud of. Lets just said I originally came from Aundair, where I did things I shouldn't have done, and was given the unnofficial option of leaving the country, or spending the rest of my life there, if I liked it or not. So, I left, and they were happy to be rid of me. For the better part of a year I bounced from place to place, still doing things best left unaddressed, until I heard about Fort Bones in Karnnath. They said that you could get a fresh start there. You could just walk in the front door, and you could sign up with no one questioning who or what you were. Well, like I said, I wasn't proud of the way my life was going, and this Fort Bones sounded like just like where I needed to be.

So, I crossed the border into northern Karnnath using a set of forged papers. Lets just say that nobody bothered to tell me to start out early in the year. Travelling during a north Karnnathi winter is damn near suicidal, but by the time I found that out, it was too late to turn back. Obviously I made it through, but its not something I'd want to repeat. Managed to scrape together enough galifers for the Lightning Rail, mostly by dishonest methods. It got me to Vulyar, and I walked the rest of the way.

When I first saw Fort Bones, it had to be one of the most horrifying things I'd ever seen. I mean, I grew up in Aundair hearing stories about the dead walking in Karnnath, but I had been in the country for months, and I hadn't actually seen any of them, until now. It was well named, the very walls themselves were made out of bones. Well, the walls were stone, but they were covered in bones of all kinds, including human. And on the tops of the walls, the dead wore armor as polished as the living, walking rounds. It was almost enough to make me turn back on the spot, but I had nowhere else to go.

So, inside I went. No one looked at me twice, nobody asked me what my business was, they didn't seem to care about one human walking in the front door on foot. I finally stopped somebody to ask how you signed up, but didn't get the first word out. He just looked me over, and told me to report to the administrative building, and told me how to get there. Once inside, it wasn't long before I was face to face with the Captain of the Skull. Meanest looking woman you've ever imagined. Didn't even bother asking who I was, or what I wanted, just asked me for my papers. She just scanned it down to where my false name was written, and asked me 'Garrick Dorn, do you relinquish all ties to whatever nation you hail from, and swear alliagance to Karnnath and it's king, Kaius the Third?' I said yes, mainly because this was not the kind of woman you EVER said no to, and that was apparent just by looking at her.

And with that, she absent mindedly tossed my papers into a brazier burning next to the table and told me I'd be issued new papers with my correct information on them. Next thing I knew, I was being issued armor, a sword, and shoved into the barracks. Didn't have a clue how to use any of it, never had to before. I was more the type to use a knife than a sword, and I was starting to worry that I had made the wrong choice. Especially when most of the other guys in the barrack wouldn't even talk to me. They all ignored me, actually, except for one of them.

Guess he saw my boots shaking, because he struck up a conversation, told me not to worry, that they'd teach me everything I needed to know in training. Khyber Week he called it. 'If you can make it through that, you can make it through anything.' Shook my hand by grabbing my arm, said he had duties to attend to, but if I needed somebody to talk to, he'd be back later. He was half way across the barracks, still pulling his boots on, when I remembered to ask him what his name was. Yelled around a mouthful of boot 'Jaron Gates' and was gone.

Few minutes later, the sergant came in, ordered us all into our armor, and outside for inspection. He wasn't amused to find out that I had no idea how to put on a breastplate, other than just putting it over my head. Chewed me out something awful while he cranked the straps about two knotches too tight and shoved me out the door. Was outside in the training field, doing my best to stand at attention when something out of a nightmare walked out. A man in a suit of black armor, covered in the bones of humans and elves. Deep voice echoed out of the closed visor, telling us that only the best would make it through the next week, with several veiled hints that the dead walking the walls didn't make it past Khyber Week either. It wasn't true of course, but it got the point across well enough. We had signed up for a year, and we were going to serve out that year one way or another.

Then I found out EXACTLY why they called it Khyber Week, because it was. It was pure khyber. No sleep, the more experienced troops yelling at us at every turn, and the constant drills. Marching, weapons training, armor training, combat training. I wasn't half way through the week, and I already felt like dropping dead, even if it did mean my body would walk the walls. But the man in the bone armor, the Bone Knight they called him, all he had to do was LOOK at you, and you kept going out of pure fear. Working yourself to death suddenly seemed infinately preferable to anything he would do to you if you failed.

And at night, when I was finally allowed to drag myself back to the barracks, Jaron was there with a bowl of hot gruel ready for me. Didn't know how he had the energy to go to the mess hall, much less bring anything back for me, but he did. Every single night. Didn't have the energy to talk much, but it was always fun to compare who got the worst bruise from training, something I unfortunately won more often than not.

I don't know how I made it through that week, but I did. So did most of the recruits, you didn't dissappoint the Bone Knight. The ones that did were never seen again. Oh, sure, we found out later that they were just kicked out of the fort and told not to come back, but at the time, it was a threat that was always lurking at the back of our minds. Anyway, end of the week, the Sergant was congratulating us, and telling us that it would get easier now, for a while. We'd be taught the finer points of combat, but that the hardest part of the training was behind us. You could hear the collective sigh of relief we let out from a hundred paces. Which turned out to be a BIG mistake. As if on cue, the Bone Knight came out from the side and roared that we were still inferior maggots. He walked down the ranks and glared at us. You couldn't see anything but his eyes surrounded by that black bone helm, but that was more than you wanted to see. He finally stopped right in front of me, of all people, grabbed my shoulder, and threw me out of formation.

'You, maggot! Show me what you learned, defend yourself!'
I nearly wet my armor at the sight of that monster coming at me with his sword bared. I barely had time to get my shield up to keep him from cutting me in two, and the blow still rattled through the shield and knocked me to the ground. Rolled to my feet like they had taught me and just barely avoided that sword from splitting my head open as it cleaved into the dirt. Got a few swings in, which just glanced off his own shield. 'This is insane' I thought, 'I don't know how to fight somebody like this!'. And I was right, the next instant my shield was in about a thousand pieces, and my arm felt like it was in similar shape. At least that was enough to make him stop his attack. He just laughed and called me pathetic. Grabbed my injured arm and yanked me up off the ground by it. 'Next time, I'll take it off!' he said, as his hand glowed and most of the pain vanished. Kicked me back towards the formation and told me to get back in line, and left.

Did I ever have a tale to tell Jaron that night, and a bruise running from my wrist half way up to my shoulder to prove it. Apparently he had already heard that the Bone Knight had picked me out, because he had some kind of salve from the medical building that must have been some good stuff, because it took the rest of pain out, and even cleared up most of the bruising.

For the next couple of months, we kept training, but at a slower pace. We learned the finer points of combat style, how to care for our armor and weapons, and the way the Karnnathi military worked. By the end, we were spending as much time reading books about tactics and the like as we were actually practicing fighting. That part wasn't so bad, actually, I even got paired with Jaron as a sparring partner.

When training was finally over, there was an elaborate cerimony where we swore a formal oath to Karnnath. Then, one by one, we entered a small stone building. And one by one, the others came out with a look of pride on their faces, and a wrapped bundle in their hands. When it was my turn, I walked into that small room, and there was the Bone Knight, and the door closed behind me. 'You again? So you made it all the way through, thats a surprise! Maybe even a mistake. Give me your sword!' So, I drew my sword and handed it to him. He looked it over, and told me that it was 'a sword of a proud cadet in the training of Karnnath' and that I had no right to weild it. He raised his knee, and snapped the blade in two like a twig. I was crushed, all of my work and training were going to be for nothing. Then, he did something odd. He stopped standing so rigid, reached into a container behind him, and pulled out a wrapped bundle just like the others had been holding. He unwrapped the top, revealing the pommel of a sword, with a silver skull decorating the hilt just below the blade. 'The sword of a cadet is not for you. You are now a full member of the Company of the Skull, and you will be outfitted as such!' He rewrapped the sword, and told me to report to the armory.

And I, like the others, walked out of that room literally beaming with pride. I had made it. Even the Bone Knight seemed proud. Not with me personally, but with the fact that I had passed the tests, that my training was complete. At the armory, they took my armor, that I had worn and cared for for months. The unadorned, plain metal vanished into a crate as they brought out a wonderful new suit, specially fitted just for me. It was dark steel, with a white laquered bone motiff that made it vaguely resemble a rib-cage. The right shoulder plate was fashioned into a stylized skull, the emblem of the Company. A similar shield was issued next, equally dark, also laquered with the skull emblem. Just like the ones worn by the men on the walls, both living and otherwise. Last thing they gave me was a new set of identification papers, with the once false name I now considered to be the new me written across the top. Garrick Dorn. Nationality, Karnnath. Order of the Skull.

I was moved from the cadet barracks into much more private quarters. Instead of sharing a room with a hundred, it seemed I was to share a room with only one other. You could imagine my relief when Jaron walked into the room. First thing he said was 'Wow, a lot nicer than the cadet barracks, isn't it?' Same thing I had been thinking. I didn't know if there had been a mistake or what, but we were in some of the finest quarters I had ever seen in the fort, which still wasn't lavish by any stretch of the imagination, though.

Apparently Jaron had already been to the quarters, as he flopped himself down on one of the beds without a second thought. Said we had better get some sleep, that we had patrol duty in the morning. So, I carefully packed my new armor and sword into the foot locker, and we called it a night. Next morning, I woke up from a pillow in the face and Jaron telling me to get up already. I was so eager to try on my armor, I finished my shower and was back in our room, halfway into the armor before he even walked in the door. Laughed at me for being too eager, and said 'Since you're already done with yours, help me put mine on, will ya?'.

I nearly dropped my new sword onto the stone tile out of shock.
Jaron had opened his chest, and was pulling out a pair of gauntlets. Jet black, and covered in bone.

'What, you didn't think you got quarters this nice on your own, did you?'
Jaron, my best friend for the past six months, was the Bone Knight. The monster I had hated and feared was the same man I had compared injuries to and swapped horror stories about the Bone Knight with. Jaron, the Bone Knight, just chuckled as I numbly helped put his armor on. There was no doubt about it once he clicked the helm into place. This was no joke, this was no mistake. My best friend, and my worst nightmare were the same person.

Turned out that he liked to go through the motions of the training with recruits every so often to... how did he put it... 'keep in touch with normal people', or something like that. He took a shine to me from that first day, said I reminded him of himself when he had first reported for mandatory military service when he was younger, and that he had seen real promise in me after our little duel. I was still half in shock when he took the helmet back off, slapped me on the back, and told me to get to the wall.

We stayed good friends, once I recovered from the initial shock, and he never did ask me about what I had done before I came to the Fort of Bones, which I never did truely thank him for. We spent a lot of time together on the wall, playing Conquerer while we watched the horizen for the elves. I don't know how many Valenar I killed while I was there, and I didn't really care. It became as much of a game as Conquerer, seeing how fast we could stop the damned elves in their tracks. My year of service came to an end, but I stayed on with Jaron, that was where I belonged.

Until the last big raid. The Valenar came five times as strong as they usually did, but Jaron and I rode out to meet them just the same, along with the other troops. Things didn't go well, for every one I struck down, it seemed like two more popped up to take his place, but we held. Then, one of them with a scimitar swung it like an axe, cut my sword in two like firewood. Jaron came through just then, and mowed the elf down before it could recover from it's swing, and then two more in quick succession. He took one look at the broken hilt of my sword, and tossed me his. A big black hilted sword, with as much bone on the hilt and back of the blade as was on the rest of his armor.

'Don't worry about me' he said, as he raise his hands and two of the fallen Valenar stood back up, 'I can take care of myself.' And he could, I knew that. So, I kept fighting. Unfortunately, I found out later that the other Valenar didn't take kindly to that act. They swarmed him on the other side of the field, there were just too many of the bastards. My friend Jaron didn't come back to our quarters that night, and he never would again.

After that, it just didn't feel right inside the Fort of Bones anymore. Every corner had a memory in it, memories I didn't want to be reminded of every time I turned my head. So, I requested extended leave, and here I am. I'm not ready to leave the Company of the Skull yet, but I couldn't stay there either."

Patting the hilt of his jet black sword, covered in bone, he continues.
"I've got some things I still need to work out, and a friend to honor as best I can. One day I'll return to Karnnath. Perhaps even to Fort Bone. But not today, and most likely not tomorrow. But some day."
That's friggin' brilliant!Wow,amazing story.If you woudn't mind,I posted the backstory of one of my characters on another thread.If you get the chance,could you read it?Any comments are appreciated.There's a link to the thread in my sig.Thanks for the wonderful story.
One question, if you don't mind. You didn't see Jaron as the Bone Knight coming, did you? Doubt you did, but when you found out, did the pieces click together enough to make it believable?
One question, if you don't mind. You didn't see Jaron as the Bone Knight coming, did you? Doubt you did, but when you found out, did the pieces click together enough to make it believable?

I didn't want to say it Edy, but I saw it coming as soon as he broke the sword. Before that I had my suspicions, but when I really think about that one aspect, its pretty obvious, just the sort of story that a future Karrnathi hero should have. With a story like that I'd actually expect him to be some long lost relative of Kaius', or some other destiny of greatness.
One question, if you don't mind. You didn't see Jaron as the Bone Knight coming, did you? Doubt you did, but when you found out, did the pieces click together enough to make it believable?

First, awesome story, I wish I had your skills.

Yes I did see Jaron as the Bone Knight but then I have always been good at picking things like that out.

Most of the time when I do not get it is when the foreshadowing is so bad that what occurs is really out of place. You did a great job.
Garrick:

Physical Description
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Height: 5'9"
Weight: 176 lbs.
Age: 24

Garrick stands several inches short of six feet, and despite a well toned layer of muscle, he still has an appearance of having a somewhat slim build. Its not something that is immediantly obvious, but as you look, you definately get the impression that he was once much lankier than he is now, and that his current strength is a relatively recent addition to his frame.

Short black hair, which appears to have been recently washed and trimmed, matches his equally dark clothes. While unadorned, they appear to be thick, sturdy, and well made, if of relatively simple design. Which, when taken into account with his armor, is likely quite intentional. Ornate and highly polished, he wears a breastplate of dark steel, inlayed with with several lighter colored steel bands across the chest, which give it an almost skeletal appearance. The right shoulder plate, which has been sculpted into a stylized skull only reinforces the bone motiff. Had the clothing underneath been equally ornate, it would have simply been a distraction. As is, it perfectly accentuates the quality of the armor without being intrusive itself.

While the armor gives the appearance of being bone, the sword hilt his hand rests upon is another matter. It actually IS bone. Or more precisely, it has a large deal of bone worked into it's design. The steel pomel is nearly pitch black, wrapped in black leather studded with small bits of bone for grip. The hilt itself seems to have bone embedded directly into the steel as well. Its rather morbid, managing to look out of place on him, even despite the skeletal theme of his armor.

A heavy black winter cloak draped over the back of the chair next to him, combined with the proudly maintained armor and the overall impression of death can mean only one thing. He's Karnnathi, and a soldier from the looks of it.
Basic Crunch:
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Alignment:
Lawful Neutral

Abilities:
Str 14, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 12

Skills:
Climb, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge (Local), Move Silently, Open Lock, Sleight of Hand, Search, and Spot: 4 ranks
Sense Motive: 3 ranks
Knowledge (War): 1.0 ranks
Ride: 1 rank

Feats:
Action Boost, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (Longsword)
Garrick's story is one of the best PC backgrounds I've ever read

It well written and the internal facts work quite well and once you've read the whole story, it makes sense that Jaron was the Bone Knight
Awsome story, Edymnion.Really though. I was really suspicious of Jaren and whom he was, and even though it somewhat came as a surprise that he was the Bone knight, it made some sense immediately. The healing part seemed to give some hints. Not to mention that when one was present the other was not, at least it seemed so. Either way, good job. I really like to read your stories. Give us more

I especially like the part where he says that he participates in the recruit training to "stay in touch with the normal people". It really made sense, as a matter of facts it is what made it fit in, really. Made the character more "human". Although another reason might be that he (Jaren) simply wanted to train with them to keep in shape...or something. Aren't Bone knights semi-undead by the way? Semi-undead, damn physics and damn that Schrodinger and his cat.

As you may expect I have not seen the Bone knight yet. Looks cool either way. At least according to the word on the street

You really gave me urge to write something about a Knight of Thrane or something like that (a holy/royal knight)
By the way, am I the only one that thought of the french foreign legion ?
Aren't Bone knights semi-undead by the way?

Only the very high level ones. Their bonecraft armor gives them some nice properties, and it permanently fuses into their bodies making them very undead-ish, but thats only at the highest levels. Until then, they can take it off and look normal.
You really gave me urge to write something about a Knight of Thrane or something like that (a holy/royal knight)

Heh, did you read Crucible's story, up near the top of the page? :D
By the way, am I the only one that thought of the french foreign legion ?

Well, considering the piece in Five Nations there at the end specifically says "This was inspired by the French Legion" was a bit of a give away, yeah :P
Only the very high level ones. Their bonecraft armor gives them some nice properties, and it permanently fuses into their bodies making them very undead-ish, but thats only at the highest levels. Until then, they can take it off and look normal.Heh, did you read Crucible's story, up near the top of the page? :DWell, considering the piece in Five Nations there at the end specifically says "This was inspired by the French Legion" was a bit of a give away, yeah :P

I read Crucibles and I loved it especially the end. I also liked the one about Overdrive, really cool and somewhat futuristic. But as the saying goes, it all good.

Either way you did a damn good job, I really enjoyed reading it and I really want to develop a character at Fort Bone (and I want read the 5 nations too, lookes awesome).
Well then... this is a backstory of mine... any questions, comments, problems? Feel free to borrow at will =)
X'en'aal --
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Corporal X'en'aal Na'kiir – b. Zarantyr/20/877 in Metrol, Cyre.
(A first level elven fighter aimed at BOTH the Bladesinger and Arcane Archer prestige classes)

The Na'kiir family has lived and served in the Cyran Arcane Corps since before the reign of King Galifar. The family traces its line back to Aerenal, with ancient ties to the Valaes Tairn, but has lived in Khorvaire for over 1200 years. While predominately martial, there has always been a strong affinity for arcane magic in the bloodline. After Wroann's betrayal of Queen Mishann led to war, X'en'aal was raised as a camp brat, traveling with her parents in defense of Cyre. Her father, Qale [Ftr5], was a Combat Archer in the Arcane Corps Support, and her mother, Val'aana [Wiz8] was a Combat Wizard in the Royal Cyran Arcane Corps. Young X'en'aal served as a back lines courier and runner, always finding a way to be useful, and always managing to get in some training time. Surprisingly, she was a very happy child, loved both of her parents dearly, and was very proud of the important work they did for Cyre. She spent almost her entire youth following the 10th Brigade, First Division, Arcane Corps as they engaged Aundair, Thrane, Breland, and Karrnath. Alliances faltered, goblin mercenaries entered the war on all sides, Karrnath adopted the use of undead warriors, new nations formed… many things changed during the war, but the thing that disturbed X'en'aal and her family the most was the appearance of the Warforged. This development struck at the heart of the soldiering families pride. Man-made warriors? Abominations! Sure, they were coming from the Cannith forge in Metrol, and pouring to the front lines of the beleaguered nation, but at what price? X'en'aal felt much as her parents did about the warforged… until she met some. In person, these new beings were very understandable to the young elf: they were soldiers. Just like her.

The new warforged troops helped stem the slow downward plunge of the surrounded nation, but soon, everyone else had warforged as well. X'en'aal could feel her nation being slowly eaten by the carnivores on all sides. She could not stand by and watch it happen. In Zarantyr 982, just after her 105th birthday, X'en'aal ran away from camp. She made it to Easton, lied about her age, and joined the 12th Brigade, 7th Division, Arcane Corps; "Wands Ever Ready" easily qualifying as a fighter support/wizard trainee. She served under Captain Vynce Halkeson, NE mH Ftr3/Wiz2: a good fighter, a good wizard, a good trainer, and a coward. He was amazingly adept at interpreting his orders in the safest light possible. He was, therefore, deeply loved by his unit. X'en'aal hated him with a passion, trying desperately to get the unit to light a fire under his ass. The veterans of the 7th Wands were not convinced. The corps was actually very good at what it did, simply cautious about when to do it. X'en'aal spent the next 12 years fighting with them, distinguishing herself enough to earn several field promotions. Her role as Arcane Support was crucial, but not combat intensive. A division can only spare so many fighters to protect their magic-users, so these few must be very good. Towards the end of Olarune, the 7th crossed the Brey into Thrane, effectively cutting off supply lines to Arythawn Keep. They were supposed to lay siege to the Keep, but needed to wait for back-up. Late in the day of the 20th, they learned that back-up would not be coming – ever. Cyre was no more.

Their Commander quickly ordered a retreat, with the majority of the 7th holding position just south of the Brey. The Arcane Corps was ordered to make their way through Breland to the Cyran border to investigate the rumours of her annihilation. Four days later, the advance scout reported sighting the wall of mist. The captain ordered the corps to fall back and set up camp. X'en'aal had had enough. For the first time in her life, she disobeyed an order, sprinting headlong into the murky haze. She wandered in the cloying mist for what seemed to be days, tired, thirsty, disoriented, scared and lost. At last, the vapors thinned. Stepping from them, she stared out over a dead blasted plain. Nothing seemed alive. In the distance, the ruins of Easton bore witness to the terrible powers that had devastated her homeland. She decided to head for Metrol, to see for herself how much of her land was affected. Surely, the reports that the entire Kingdom lay cloaked in the mist must be an exaggeration, rumours fueled by fear. The bizarre energies pulsing through the land disturbed her greatly. By Dolurrh, what manner of magic was this? Only hours into her journey and at last, something moved. A purple mist thickened, humped upon itself, and rose up, turning as if aware of her, chaotic energies swirling through the heart of the churning fog. X'en'aal called upon almost a century of martial training, and choose the course her soldier's heart dictated… she ran. A week had passed by the time she made it back to Breland. Sinking to her knees on the hated Brelish soil, the tears finally fell. Her parents, Metrol, Cyre, the Queen… all gone? She found her unit. Several other wandering clumps of magic-users had joined up with her corps, with Capt. Halkeson doing his best to maintain order and morale. She reported her findings to him, suffered his wrath, but was not disciplined. He left to report her reconnaissance to the Commander. She found the Fighter Support tents, scrounged a quick meal, and collapsed into her bedroll, emotionally and physically exhausted. Sleep probably saved her life.

X'en'aal awoke to the sound of distant combat. The Thranes from Arythawn Keep had followed and attacked in the dead of night, exacting revenge for the months of losses from the 7th. It was a rout. The Cyran forces lacked the heart to put up a good fight, and scattered before the warforged infantry of the Thranes like frightened sheep. The 7th was no more. X'en'aal quickly surveyed the camp and realized it had been taken, the warriors moving about her all bore the Arrowhead of the Silver Flame. She worked her way to the quartermasters tent, quaffed a potion of invisibility, requisitioned a handful of curing draughts … then made her way out of the camp and into the night, heading south. The next day she stumbled onto an Orien Trade Route. A steady stream of bedraggled refugees headed west, towards Sharn. She joined them, questioning anyone who would let her for particulars. There were none. There were a thousand rumours and fantastical tales, but very little that seemed reliable. She pieced together a few facts though: -- The war was all but over. -- No one seemed to know who did this horrendous deed, and none had claimed responsibility, though each person seemed to have a theory. -- There did not seem to be any Cyrans alive that had been within the area covered by the mist, though several had ventured in afterwards as she had done. -- Persistent retellings concerning a battlefield in southern Cyre seemed to lend credence to the reports of entire armies laying where fallen; yet not seeming to be truly dead since they did not rot. --There was also the oft-told rumour that Breland was offering a place of refuge in Sharn. She walked along with the herd, her Cyran uniform drawing jeers and insults from the Brelish guardsman that patrolled the clogged roadway.

Sharn. City of Towers. Beautiful, majestic, exotic, magical… the city lived up to its reputation. But to the weary refugees from Cyre, herded like cattle into High Walls, it was a prison. The district had been a detention camp during the war, and the only discernable difference now was that the gates stood open. Otherwise, conditions had actually gotten worse due to the overcrowding. There was not enough food, not enough shelter, too many rats, too much disease, and far too many Brelanders. The city took them in, but not with open arms… more like the beggar that you toss scraps to out the back door and then allow to weather the storm on the porch with the dogs.
Corporal X'en'aal has lived in High walls ever since, nearly four years. She volunteered to help Capt. Narain and Greykell; helping Cala train a few of the remnants of the Cyran Army in the use of the rapier, and serving under Greykell in the High Walls Militia. Greykell was forced to order her to stop wearing her Cyran tabard and cloak, but she still wears her army issue studded leather, marked with the insignia of the 7th, the crossed wands of the Corps, and the Star of Cyre. This last sigil also blazes from the pommel of her army issue rapier. While she still hates all things Brelish, Sharn is now her home. Yet, she seldom ventures out of High Walls, whose confines feel reassuringly familiar to this child of war; camp life is all she has ever known. She does not know what the future holds. She has found no living relatives. For now, she is content to help here in High Walls; New Cyre seeming to her a sad echo she would rather avoid. She considered briefly journeying to Valenar, but came to the surprising realization that she has more in common with a peasant from Breland than she has with her distant warrior cousins. (It was rumoured by gossips in the 12th Brigade that the Na'kiir Family had maintained ties to the Valaes Tairn. It was also rumoured that Val'aana was instrumental in suggesting to Queen Mishann that she call upon them to aide Cyre. But it was not believed that the family, loyal to Cyre above all else, knew of the planned betrayal and formation of Valenar, so X'en'aal suffered no backlash from these suppositions.) There is one desire that burns constantly in the breast of this young fighter, to be there the day that vengeance is exacted for the wrong done to Cyre.

X'en'aal acts frequently as a bodyguard to one of the few success stories to come out of High Walls; Alana is an actress whose star is on the rise, dating a lesser scion of one of the Sixty, and drawing the attention of Lady Celyria herself. Ambassador Jairain has taken an interest in her career as a public relations boon to the Cyran community. Additionally, X'en'aal's best friend is Tyrala, the Cyran spymaster who lives in Ambassador Towers. She has aided Tyrala in some of her schemes and intrigues, but has had no difficulty in refusing to participate in a venture she feels is too extreme or shady. The two remain friends in spite of this, both driven by a still burning desire for vengeance that Capt. Narain and Greykell do not share. She is wary of Doras, whose outspokeness seems destined to enrage the Brelish authorities.

X'en'aal's personality: She is cocky, arrogant, honorable, steadfast, honest, abrasive, short-tempered, decisive, glib, flippant, cynical, & a smart-ass. While she does not have a chip on her shoulder, she will not hesitate to prove her skill if pushed. Usually, she will try to warn the victim, but not always. The armor and weapons she wears seem well worn, and well cared for, simple & functional. Deadly serious about her combat abilities, she is still fond of making sarcastic remarks during a battle, to either friend or foe. Although quite confident on the battlefield, she is well aware that she has plenty of room for improvement. That said, she also knows that she is a better fighter than 99% of the planet. Extremely competitive, she will participate in almost any test, and bet on almost anything. Just past her majority, 120, she appears about 15. The young corporal wastes no effort towards her appearance. Nearly asexual, she is rarely concerned with 'exchanging fluids'. On the rare occasions when there are seven or more full moons, she will feel 'urges', which one quick tussle with nearly any available male of any sort will dispel. She is inordinately fond of heights. She does not like adventurers, referring to them as 'Scavengers'; from her point of view they waste time and talent grubbing for gold. She has always labored for a purpose, the defense of Cyre, and now that this focus is gone, strives to find a new reason to drive her. (Other than, of course, her burning desire for vengeance.) X'en'aal has several possessions she prizes above all others: A Master Rapier fighter's manual given to her by her father. A spellbook and Arcane primer written for her by her mother. (Both found in her backpack when she arrived in Easton). Her Cyran Army Tabard & Cloak. She is also never without the Na'kiir family crest signet ring she was given on her 100th; or the simple bluestone necklace and elegant gold ring, (a dragon biting it's tail) which she received from her parents upon her promotion to Corporal in 993.

Expletives, which she uses often:
"By the Dragons!"
"Dammit to Dolurrh."
"Shitfire and shoot the griffon."
"Aureon knows."
"Onatar's Brass Balls!"
"Ahhhh, Siberys smiles on me."
"Did you see that? Dol Dorn's Longsword, I'm good!"
"Well struck, you Spawn of Khyber."
"Tys the wrath of Shavarath."
"That one's for Cyre!!"
"By the Five Nations."
"Mishann's Ghost!"

Personal Quote: "I kill you, then we talk. Or the other way 'round. Your choice."



********************************
I have others for a full adventuring party, Sharn based, that also are in a chamber music quartet that plays the ten torches and other venues

I'll post these as well, iff'n ya'lls inerest'd ;)

~~ X'en'aal ~~
X'en'aal, great post, I vote to see the other PC's. Please Post!
I need to edit 'em up a bit -- get em up after the first :D
You've actually inspired me with this character. I'll be making my own Cyre refuge. ((hopefully))
You've actually inspired me with this character. I'll be making my own Cyre refuge. ((hopefully))

Well, I was definitely influenced by the City of Towers novel, specifically the character of Daine...

BTW: the expressions that X'en'aal uses were such a hit that I've expanded them... post them in a bit, along with that promised group of 4 (+ sort of an NPC Artificer)
get em up soon...
~~ This is a group that I rolled up as a PC crew, expecting to use only one of them. My DM liked the crew so much that I am running them as a sort of side thing, and had to roll up another PC to run in the Campaign (That would be X'en'aal). They are Sharn based for now... Anyway... The Dragon's Guard --

Kit, m Gnome Ranger:
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Kit
mG rgrX/Extreme Explorer 5/Horizon Walker X/Heir of Siberys 3



~~ Kitar Merren Sivis, "Kit", was born 8/21/937 (3rd Sar, Barrackas) in Newthrone, Q'barra. His parents, originally from Korranberg, are both in the service of Duke Ven ir'Kesslan; His father, Ensu Merren Sivis [NG mG exp3], is the Duke's Librarian, and his mother, Bitha d'Sivas [NG fG exp4], is Chief Accountant. Members of the Notaries Guild of House Sivis, Bitha also has a Least Dragonmark. They have been with the Duke for years, so they both made/survived the pilgrimage to Q'barra in 928. Kit is proud to be a native son of the colony. Although not eligible for official schooling in the Duke's household, Kit was a particular favorite of the Duke's Tutor, Samm Chaelson [N m½L exp4]. Samm raised Kit on stories of the glories of Galifar, as well as tales of Calazar Tash, the Talentan trickster hero. The young Kit also loved to read articles culled from the pages of the Korranberg Chronicle about expeditions to Xen'drik, the Demon Wastes, and the like. He was a rambunctious child, forever traipsing off into the jungle on adventures of his own devising, often oblivious to the only too real dangers around him. His mother swore he'd never reach 40.

~~ Newthrone seemed quite removed from the troubles of The Last War, except for the occasional arrival of refugees, deserters, and outlaws. The colony busied itself with just surviving and trying to establish a permanent home. This meant that Kit was hardly aware of, or even affected by, the war. Until, of course, the Day of Mourning. Not only the shock of such an unparalleled event, but also the following influx of displaced Cyrans, woke Kit out of his naiveté and made him sharply aware of the realities of the world outside Q'barra. Only 57 at the time, Kit ran away from home, jumped a lightning rail to Fairhaven (?), lied about his age, and managed to join the Aundairian militia. (He'd wanted to fight for Cyre, tried to go there first…) He was too late. The war was basically over. He spent a pointless year marching in circles, and then was released from active duty. He decided it was time for the country boy to see the Big City. With the help of his Drill Sergeant, Kit applied for, and was greatly surprised to be accepted to, Morgrave University. The support of his parents was crucial to this acceptance; as they were willing to help him do anything rather than be a soldier. (Especially after he failed to manifest a dragonmark during his 'Test of Siberys' on his 60th birthday. (Much to his relief!))

~~ Kit has enjoyed the past two years in Sharn. Early on, he managed to befriend a fellow student, Tiph, a changeling born in rural Aundair. The two of them have spent as much time rampaging in the city as they have studying, always just managing to avoid any serious complications. They now live in Center Bridge, Lower Menthis, in a cheap, small one bedroom flat. Kit takes the couch. Tiph talked Kit into forming a musical troupe with her, and that is how they met the darkly quiet elf, Seledra, and the hulking giant of a warforged, Ansirius. This quartet of misfits, called Red Dragon's Breath, have made a small success for themselves on the chamber music circuit, mostly in the more bohemian back-alley cafes. Things are looking up though, as they recently managed to land a gig headlining at the Ten Torches, on a Far no less, and were quite well received. But there is no doubt in any of their minds what the future holds: Not school, not music.... but Adventure!!

Political views: Wants Galifar united again. Considers Queen Wroann and Breland in particular, as well as Thrane and Karrnath, to be traitors to Galifar. Views Prince Oargev ir'Wynarn as the rightful heir to the throne of Galifar.

Expletives: "By the Five Nations!", "Sovereign Lords!"

Personal Quote: "Let's go!"

Future dreams: Wants to explore underwater Xen'drik ruins… believing them to be less pilfered.



Tiph, f Changling Bard:
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Tiph
fC brdX/Master Inquisitive 5/Exemplar X



~~ Tiph was born the 19th of Lharvion, 982 in Wyr, Aundair. Her father, Tab of Wyr [N mC exp4], is the foreman of a winery which produces a fine Iltrayan Red, her mother, Jil [NG fC com1], is a housewife and manages the household gardens. They are both ashamed of being changelings, and have been "passing" as human since their arrival in Wyr years ago. This infuriates Tiph, and has inculcated a fierce sense of 'Changling Pride'. Except when necessary to do some investigation, she usually remains in her natural changling form. This includes when she is performing. She does love a good prank though, and often uses and abuses her abilities when playing a joke.

~~ Life in pastoral Wyr was hard, yet boring for Tiph; too much work, and the constant strain (for her) of 'passing'. Her only relief came from sneaking out of the house and roaming the countryside. Her talent for finding things manifested itself early, and she made a small side career at finding lost articles around the village. She had a particular success when she found a stolen goblet for the local Lord. The servants in the manor never knew that a young changling had mimicked an old washerwoman to listen in on their gossip. As a young teen, she frequently visited the Monastery of Orla-Un in the guise of 'Colwyn' a young male initiate to the warrior-monks. There she received her early musical training from the monk's resident bard, Greeves [NG mH Brd3]. Discovered eventually, she was severely punished by the local Lord for trespassing and not paying dues to the Monastery. She spent two years on a Troubled Youth work brigade in Ghalt. Her time was cut short there due to an attack by Thranish forces. The sights and sounds of the nearby battles affected her strongly, and she began composing some of her first original works in response. After returning home, she realized how much music meant to her, and began to practice fervidly.

~~ After the cataclysm known as the Mourning, which her parents viewed with typical stoic apathy, Tiph knew that her place was out in the world. She managed to win a scholarship to Morgrave based on her bardic talents. There she has also been taking classes in research, investigative techniques, and indulging her passion for all things monstrous. She lives in Center Bridge, Lower Menthis, in a cheap, small one bedroom flat. She and her friend from the University, Kit, formed a Chamber Music Quartet, Red Dragon's Breath. They have made a small success for themselves on the chamber music circuit, mostly in the more bohemian back-alley cafes. A recent gig at the Ten Torches went quite well… excepting that bar fight started by that Cyran ex-pat … oh, and the rather jarring mid-air, mid-set arrival of that strange Githzerai from Xoriat… otherwise though, it went superbly… But there is no doubt in any of their minds what the future holds: Not school, not music.... but Adventure!!

Notes:
~~ Tiph has heard of the Circle of Song in Sharn and plans to approach Mandyran about joining.
~~ Tiph 'loses it' if angered. (Her parents grew Iltrayan wine in a Shavarath manifest zone).

Expletives: "Aureon's Scrolls!", "Onatar's Beard!", "By the Light of Dol Arrah!"


Personal Quote: "Hey, look at that!"



Seledra, f Elf Phiarlan Rogue:
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Seledra
fE rog4/Dragonmarked Heir 5/ Shadow Dancer X/Ninja X



~~ Seledra Tialaen d'Phiarlan was born the 21st of Sypheros, 875 in Sharn, Breland. Her mother, Sinia [CE fE exp2/rog3/ass1], is an undersecretary to Baron Elvinor Elorrenthi d'Phiarlan, and some say her lover as well. Sinia started working for the House as a 'Quality Entertainer' (high priced *****), before moving up in the ranks. Seledra has never known, nor ever really cared, who her father was, though it has been intimated that he was definitely something other than 'just a client'. Sinia, now fairly important in the House, runs and coordinates a goodly portion of the espionage conducted by the Baron. Her insatiable desire for power and prestige within the household has left her little time for her daughter; she has left Seledra in the care of House tutors and nannies for the majority of her life.

~~ Seledra, for her part, was an uninspired child. She never showed any interest in the day to day workings of the household, nor any desire to follow in her mother's lurid footsteps. Her only joy she found when out in the city, thieving. Her talents were adequate enough to attract the attention of the House Spymaster, who enrolled her in house sponsored training sessions at Morgrave. (Discovered when the House had to bail her out after a botched robbery attempt on some visiting Wardens of the Woods.) She has not qualified as of yet for the more specialized training offered in-house, and if her grades and her attitude at Morgrave do not improve, she never will.
The house continues to assign her small jobs, although since the recent manifestation of her Dragonmark during her Test of Syberis three years ago, these have grown in complexity and importance. (Obviously, her father's of the Phiarlan bloodline, since her mother is not.) The mark is located centered on her breastbone; a dress with décolletage exposes it. Her mother is overjoyed at the appearance of her daughter's Least Mark, and is currently jockeying to get Seledra 'Favored in House' status. Seledra is bemused at her mother's sudden interest in her life, but remains unattached to this distant and manipulative woman.

~~ Seledra is unsure how much of her future is tied to House Phiarlan. Her only real love is for the thrill of a daring theft against high odds, done quietly and well. Strangely enough, this over-indulged, oft-ignored girl cares little for the material gain of thieving, loving it for the challenges overcome and the adrenaline rush. The jobs she has been getting from the house are too minor and too easy for her ambitions, so she continues to practice her craft on her own. Seladra doesn't concern herself at all with the power struggles in Khorvaire - or even the local ones in Sharn. Considering her self primarily a second-story artiste, she would gladly align herself with any of the crime organizations in Sharn -- if they'd let her operate solely as a cat burglar. So far, no one has come knocking. Nights spent hanging around the Deathsgate Adventurers Guild have yielded no results or any decent prospects… yet. So, she has been monitoring her fellow students, hoping to find a fledgling adventuring crew that seemed worthy of her. Kitar Merren seems destined for either death or greatness; the kind of Heroic Soul she has watched for. Seledra deigned to audition for Tiph and Kit's band, glad for once in her life of all those dreary years of violin and madrigal lessons. The Changling and the Gnome are a bit too eager and excitable for her tastes, but she understands the cold-blooded zeal with which Ansirius talks of killing. As long as she gets to do what she loves, she will put up with their company. For now.

Personal Quote: "Must I?"

Seledra's Mother:
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Seledra's mother, Sinia Tialaen (fE exp2/rog3/ass1)
b. 11 Rhaan 744, Port Verge, Lhazaar Principalities

842-65: Hooker in Port verge
865: Becomes Prince _____'s Chief Concubine
867: Escapes off ship in Sharn, works as street ***** for the Boromars
868: Begins to work as Call Girl for House Phiarlan
875: Seledra born
884: Becomes bookkeeper for Madame _____.
907: Begins to train as spy/assassin
952: Special Agent representing Baron Elvinor of Cyre's personal interests in Sharn
996: House Phiarlan and Baron relocate to Sharn after Day of Mourning
998: Sinia is an Undersecretary to the Baron, runs the Baron's personal Covert Ops Unit.




Ansirius, (m)Warforged Fighter: (WARNING, WARFORGED POETRY INSIDE!)
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Ans (Ghulra: " )|( ")
mW ftrX



~~ The warforged was fabricated in 965. Commissioned and bought by the Council of Cardinals to serve Thrane, he carries the sigil of the Silver Flame engraved on his chest, back, and delts. Assigned to Captain Otherro of the First Battalion, 'To Defend Crown and Country'; that insignia is affixed on the left side of his chest and back as well. In Eyre of 965, he was assigned to a warforged unit in the 7th Infantry. He stayed with the same corps for the next 29 years, never distinguishing himself. Simply too good at killing to ever be considered for anything else, he stayed a frontline soldier. Because his kill count well exceeded quota, he never qualified for any further training. Besides, his Thranish commanders viewed warforged as nothing but cannon fodder.

~~ And this warforged was quite good at killing. He kept count throughout his battles and managed to rack up a total of 7447(!) confirmed kills, an average of five a week over his active service. His Warforged Unit, known as the Gyr Wolves, called him Dasher Prime. This unit, part of the First Battalion, 7th Infantry, specialized in fighting Karrn undead. He personally developed their tactics for fighting these heavily armored creatures: The adamantine "fronts" carried tower shields and fought in total defense. The brute strength "polers" would use guisarmes to trip, then the dexterous "dashers" would step up to the fallen and attack them when their defense was lessened. He had the position of first dasher, which is why his personal kill count was so high. While studying the nature of his enemies, he discovered that the Gyrspike, with its' ability to slash and smash, worked well on either zombies or skeletons. He trained himself in the use of this obscure weapon, then taught his technique to the rest of his dashers: Ready yourself… then a two-handed swing with the appropriate end… step back and wait for the undead to stand up… attack again as they rise… and then do it all over… until the thing was "re-dead" (his units term for destroying an undead). He could have taught the Thranish army his deadly technique, but no one had asked the lowly warforged. Besides, he was not in command of the Gyr Wolves; one Lt. Hemming (NE mH war3) had that position, and he unabashedly took all the credit for his units' success. The warforged's extraordinary kill count, and the several times he was severely damaged, did warrant his receiving no less than seven commendations of excellence (though, of course, no promotions). He didn't care. He loved his job, and was pleased to be able to continue at it, killing things.

~~ All that changed of a sudden one day in Cyre. On Ollarune 20th, 984, he was in his usual place, the center of the front line. He has no memory of The Day of Mourning itself, a fact that disturbs him, all he remembers is 'coming to' an indeterminate time later beneath a pile of inert Karrnathi zombies. [Events on the Day of Mourning: As his Thranish battalion moved to engage a division of Karrnathi Undead, he realized he still had some minor damage. He pulled out his allotted vials of Oil of Repair Light Damage, and began to apply one as he marched. That's when the cataclysm occurred. Heaped beneath a pile of Karrnathi zombies, his remaining two vials broke. This was enough to keep him alive, but inert. He stayed that way for about three weeks. Then, the bizarre energies pulsing through Cyre generated a Font of Healing, which is what finally 'awakened' him.] This 'coming to' was a disorienting feeling; he equated it to what the 'meat' must feel when they 'wake up' from sleeping. He dug himself out of the pile of dead, himself barely functional and surveyed his surroundings. The plain in front of him had been transformed into a twisted mass of molten glass. Around him, no other sign of life was visible. He retreated to the edge of the Field of Ruins, waiting for orders. No one was alive to give them. Several months went by. Eventually, he reasoned that since no one else was about, he must be his own commander. He ordered himself to make his way out of the Mournland (7451). A startled farmer outside of Vathirond informed him that he was in Breland, and that the Last War was all but over.

~~ Not knowing what else to do, the battle scarred warforged made his way to Sharn, and surrendered. The kindly Guardian of the Gate on duty tried not to laugh too much, and did not accept. Informed once more of the end of hostilities and the impending Treaty, he was offered a position as a free recruit in the Brelish Army. When yet again informed that there would be no more killing, he declined. Luckily, the Guardian took pity on the disoriented Thranish veteran, and helped him to get a job. For the past three and a half years, the warforged has worked as a janitor for the Department of Magecraft at Morgrave University. Tara, an over-educated TA in the Department named him Ansirius, after one of the founding wizards of The Twelve.

~~ Kit Merren, a student at the university, and his friend Tiph, took an interest in the hardworking warforged. In return for the dry impassionate tales of battle he recounted for the two, they gave him something he had never known before, friendship. Tiph found the massive warforged to be surprisingly good at keeping a beat, and he found himself a member of one of the odder Quartets to ever hit the Chamber Music circuit in Sharn, 'Red Dragon's Breath'. Ansirius has taken to treating Kit as his superior officer, and blindly follows his 'orders'. This has kept Ansirius out of Warden Towers on more than one occasion; when his naiveté and battle training have gotten the upper hand... say some late night in the Ten Torches... when an incautious remark is made... "Sir, Can I kill it?" Ansirius asks Kit in an expressionless voice, while a frightened underclassmen dangles from a massive fist...

~~ Ansirius is far from stupid. He has taken to examining his life, his past, and his place in the world after the Last War. Kit's crew offers him an occupation that uses his innate talents, without a return to being a mindless cog in a mindless killing machine. He'll still get to kill, but now at least it will be for a nobler purpose... Fame, Greed, and the various other absurdities that go along with the Adventurer's life...

Politics:
~~ Frequents The Red Hammer every night, knows Blue and Smith and Crucible. Smith wants to promote idea of changing their racial name to Forged -- Ans disagrees.
~~ He knows of, and disagrees with the philosophies of the Lord of the Blades.
~~ He knows of and is intrigued by Big Bara and her Breakers in Argonth.
~~ Doesn't understand the causes of the war -- Why did Wroann oppose Mishann? The fine distinctions and webs of rationalizations don't seem to equate to his perceived reality.
~~ Swore not to kill any more Warforged if possible, only in self-defense.

Hobbies:
~~ Recalling every kill he ever made, in detail. It takes him over 20 hours to relive them all; he spends 3 hours a night on average reviewing. (His count is comprised of about 90% Karrnathi undead, and most of the rest were Goblinoids and Orcs. He hasn't killed many humanoids and is curious about how they die compared to undead.
~~ Oh… and poetry (!). He spends 4 hours a night writing his Very Rhymed and Metered poetry. Most warforged have a limited understanding of Common. Ans didn't like this, and has taken "Common 101" classes at Morgrave, one class a semester -- not having much else to spend his small salary on.
~~ Decided that knowledge and information are tools he needs to function in this new battle called "day to day living". By simply watching, listening, and learning, He has come to know more about Sharn, and its' behind the scene power struggles, than most of the inhabitants of the city.

Personal Quote: "Sir, can I kill it?"

Privately, Ansirius misses the war.

Ans's Kill Count:
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7451 =
3217 - Karrnathi Zombies
3302 - Karrnathi Skeletons
715 - Goblinoid Mercenaries: Gob, HobG, Ogres, Trolls, etc
143 - Orc Mercenaries
47 - Warforged [3 in Mournland after DoM]
3 - ½O
2 - D
2 - ½L
3 - ½E
1 - G
6 - E [4=patrol of Valenar]
4 - S
5 - C [3 were Spies -- Didn't know they were C till they died]
1 - Living Spell, Burning Hands
0 - H, and/or Kalashtar - (Ans's corps was considered cannon fodder, sent into the thick of the infantry skirmishes... seemed to be mostly undead and mercenaries... and of course, warforged, that were sent to the front lines

(Numbers don't reflect kills in Sharn while adventuring with the Dragon's Guard)



Warforged Poetry (!)
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NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT STEAL THIS POEM -- ENJOY IT, STEAL THE IDEA, BUT THE POEM IS MINE -- THANX!!

Tourney of the Princes
by Ansirius the Warforged

The gilded trumpets of bright morn pealed,
When the Red and the Gold Knights took the field,
Both worthy men and massive steeds steeled,
Each would with lifetimes practice wield,
His pointed, plum-ed lance and painted shield,
And neither one the day dared yield,
Till victor of might and right be revealed.
Her Favored by each Noble had appealed,
But both Kingdoms' Fates were waxenly sealed;
Edicts proclaimed could not be repealed.

At the Tourneymans signal, the chargers they wheeled,
Both knights bore down, faces concealed,
With great sound they met, the land about reeled --
The Gold Knight be struck! Horse 'neath him hath keeled!
Next him right quick, his squire he kneeled,
And carefully as could, rent armor he peeled,
Exposing wounds, too deep to be healed;
Soaking the ground, red red blood congealed.
-- At a Princely cost were the two Kingdoms annealed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ans ~~~~~~~~~~~~

(NO, I don't own a rhyming dictionary, TYVM!)




~~ This next is more of an NPC at this point, the DM is running an Artificer as his NPC along with our other Crew, and since Tara was not an integral part of the Dragon's Guard, she is just kind of hanging at Morgrave. (But I kind of liked her story, so...)

Tara, f Drow Artificer:
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Tara
fDrow Artificer X



~~ Taratar Yanalecia was born the 8th of Aryth, 860 in Fairhaven, Aundair. Her parent's Xana'quaa [CG fDrow Adp2 and Quario [N mDrow War3], were captured by Governor Wrogar of Aundair in Aryth 853 during an expedition to Xen'drik, and kept as showpieces of the Aundair court: displayed in their 'barbaric' Umbragen attire on state occasions. After the outbreak of the Last war, the pair, and their young daughter were sent to Wrogar's Keep as part of the Aundairian militia. Both parents died defending the Keep from a nighttime raid by Brelish forces in 902. The young Tara was 'adopted' by Dereks the Castellan and his wife Ranya, working in the stables in return for her food, board, and education. Unbeknownst to Ranya, Dereks molested Tara frequently. This made the child turn inward. She withdrew from the world and escaped into her studies.

~~ Tara has felt like an outsider and a freak all of her life. She wears a hooded cloak and keeps her race a secret to the best of her abilities. She feels no ties to her blood and has never cared to know anything about her tribal ancestors. She considers herself Aundairian. Tara is frustrated in her desire to remain anonymous by two things: 1) the unavoidable reality of her race; her ebon skin and white hair are hard to disguise; and 2) her beauty; she is astonishingly attractive, a fact that is a burden to her. She has neither concept nor desire to learn how to exploit this beauty to her advantage, so it will probably always remain a handicap to her, rather than a boon.

~~ The driving force in her life has been her talent. She feels a deep connection to magic of all kinds and has no desire other than to gain as much knowledge and ability as an Artificer as she can. Her Magecraft teacher at Morgrave sees her as one of the most promising pupils he has had in years, and is continually pushing Tara to the limits of her abilities. It was his idea to get Tara to join an adventuring party. "You will learn much out in the world... much that can never be learned from books or in the laboratory".

~~ The idea of leaving Morgrave scares Tara to death; she has no desire to leave its safe confines. But she is intrigued by the possibilities of supporting a crew in the field, especially one with a warforged. Tara is not that comfortable around people, and feels more connected to the objects and weapons she enchants, than to the living breathing students around her. This has generated a reverence and fascination for the warforged - if it were possible, she would become a 'forged herself - an idea she dreams of disturbingly often.

~~Tara has formed a deep infatuation with the Warforged she met one day in the hall, whom she named Ansirius. She has tried to profess her love to him, and tried to explain the intricacies of this emotion to him. He does not get it.

Personal Quote: "Um - I'll wait here."
~~ This is the expanded list of X'en'aal's expletives. Imagine a 4-8, 95 pound spitfire of an elf, rattling these off in mid combat... Her delivery is usually rather dry and sarcastic...

WARNING: R RATED for Language. If it bothers you, don't read em!!
Feel free to steal any of the quotes that have Eberron references or obvious DnD references... the other more personal one's I would rather you stole the idea, but made up your own, K? (N.B. -- See the post in Eberron Expressions thread if you really need to know which ones are fair game)

~~ Oh, and the numbers are so I can roll 'em randomly while playing... so far, it's been a hoot!

~~Oh the second -- Anything set off in parens I use optionally


"Wow" and CRITS:
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"WOW" and CRITICAL HITS



1) "By the Dragons!"
2) "Sarlona's Shores"
3) "Mishann's Ghost!"
4) "By the Five Nations!"
5) "Eberron's Eyes!"
6) "By the Fury!"
7) "(That one's)For Cyre!"
8) "Remember the Mourning!"
9) "(Did you see that?) Dol Dorn's Longsword, (I'm good!)"
10) "****-fire and shoot the griffon!"



FUMBLES:
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"Damn!", "****." and FUMBLES


1) "Damn-it to Dolurrh."
2) "Suck a Darguul!"
3) "Daze me."
4) "Aw, Dragon-****."
5) "Onatar's Brass Balls!"
6) "Fireball me running!"
7) "Son of a bugbear!"
8) "Sovereigns be damned!"
9) "**** a Thrane."
10) "Oh, **** on a Pegasus."



SHE HITS:
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Used when she has just made a successful attack --



1) "No, not like that, like this…"
2) "Hello? I'm over here…"
3) "Suck-eth to be you!"
4) "Ahhhh, Siberys smiles (on me)."
5) "You are useless. Just… run… away."
6) "Watch it, watch it… I said WATCH it, silly."
7) "Sorry, I meant to do that."
8) "Now, I'm going to feint left… then lunge, Ready? Tzah!!"
9) "Careful now, I'm armed."
10) "Yes, well, incompetence is its own reward."
11) "Shall we keep at this?"
12) "Your mother is going to miss you."
13) "That had to hurt."
14) "You shouldn't let me do that."
15) "Um… are you feeling up to this?"
16) "One shouldn't drink and duel."
17) "Are you really that inept, or am I just that good?"
18) "Are you sure you're really trying?"
19) "See, you shoulda practiced like mom said."
20) "Having a bad day?"



SHE IS HIT:
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Used when some lucky dog manages to hit her --



1) "Excellent. No really, that was great!"
2) "Pixie-****, that hurt"
3) "Kiss my Astral Plane"
4) "OW… stop that!"
5) "You hit me… bad idea!"
6) "(Well struck, you) Spawn of Khyber."
7) "Go to Fernia."
8) "Nice shot… for a change"
9) "Well done, I see you found the sharp end"
10) "Excellent… I just might break a sweat."
11) "Not bad, for a dead man."
12) "Yes, but can you hit me if I don't fight like a moron?"
13) "Brilliant move… got any others?"
14) "Ah… so you can fight…"
15) "Oof… Now that was a mistake."
16) "Idiot… no blood on my new chemise."
17) " Great, now you've gone and made me mad"
18) "I feel I must inform you… I'm not left handed."
19) "Yes! This may not be boring after all."
20) "Dear Boldrei, I surrender! … Or not."



DYING
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Heh, haven't had to use these ... yet --



1) "If you're not too busy, a little help over here…"
2) "Now that wasn't very nice."
3) "So, then that happened."
4) "Fine, we can do it that way."
5) "You could have just asked me to shut up."
6) "Yeah, so… feel better now?"



OTHERS:
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Probably will add to these as we play and I think of 'em --



"Aureon knows (when…)."
"Five one, Galifar the other"
"You are such a blight."
"Enervate this."
"Don't be such a Myconid."
"(Why don't you) Stick a wand (of Searing Light) up yer arse (and activate)!"

I like Kincaid most actually since the idea for a bound Quori as a prison is an excellent idea and one that I'm surprised hasn't been seen in cannon. I salute your idea here.