"It's a fool's game if you ask me. Anyone who plays it well enough maybe gets to be king for a few years before some trusted friend stabs him in the back, and it's only one in a hundred thousand that get to be even that lucky. Most die long before they get within sniffing distance of the throne. I've been living in the King's Keep for 40 years and I've outlasted 5 kings over that time just by minding my own business and keeping my venison stew recipe well guarded."
--Raef Coolingswart, royal chef
Things seem to have settled down a bit in Amaranthir. Aelfar Drygba, despite having claimed kingship nearly a decade ago has finally consolidated his base of power and appears to be ready to lead a unified Amaranthir forward into a golden age of prosperity. There's even been talk that the country will soon be strong enough to throw off the tributary yoke imposed on it by the Valkyrate, a once powerful but now crumbling neighboring Amaranthir to the south.
Today is an especially joyous occasion. It's King Aelfar's 40th birthday, and a large number of close friends, noblemen and knights have gathered at the great hall to feast and drink to their king's long life. Every one is seated and already full of good food and drink, eagerly awaiting for the king to make his appearance.
Your character would most likely be one of the noblemen. As such, they would be at least somewhat familiar with each other, but any stronger friendships are up to you, as would any pertinent background on how your character became one of the nobility, your actual title, and the nature of your dukedom/barony/etc.
Anyone may also feel free to find another reason for being present (a spy or particularly brazen thief may have been able to slip in, for instance, or a palace servant or nobleman's retainer).
Starting level: 1
5 Character slots available taken
Recruitment open until: depends on interest. If interest is high, I'll set a cut off and then select from submitted characters. If interest is low, we'll start once we get to 4 or 5. Closed for now. Players can still speak up if they want to be alternates in case of others dropping
game specific info Show
Character Creation: Standard character creation using the latest D&D Next Playtest. Use either the standard ability array or roll for stats.
Dice rolling: Please use any website that can link rolls.
Game Style: Machiavellian intrigue. I want the players to be highly involved in the world building aspects. They should feel free to make up NPCs, places, objects etc. Characters are not near invincible heros of myth and legend, but a few of the many cogs in a great machine trying to acheive successes that will make them stand out from the system and be remembered for all time.
Well I could tell from the forums that activity here is in a bit of a lull, but I was hoping at least for something. Is everyone just pretty full on games already, or is there something I could change to get more interest?
Thanks for the advice everyone. Time to get started on reading DnD Next rules then.
I finished making my character.
Character Sheet:Spoiler: Show
Specialty: Arcane Magic
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Eyes: Deep Green
Weight: 67 lbs.
Str 10 (+0)
Dex 14 (+2)
Con 14 (+2)
Int 18 (+4)
Wis 12 (+1)
Cha 11 (+0)
Speed: 25 ft.
Hit Dice: 1d6
Languages: Common, Halfling
Melee (Atk +2, Dmg +0)
Ranged (Atk +4, Dmg +2)
Magic (Atk +7, Dmg +4)
Tradition of Wizardry: Academic
Halfling Weapon Training
Knowledge (Arcana) +3
Knowledge (Sciences) +3
Knowledge (Forbidden Lore) +3
Knowledge (Nature) +3
Knowledge (Heraldry) +3
Save DC: +1
Lv. 0 Slots: 3
Lv. 1 Slots: 2
Ray of Frost
Tome (contains nature-related topics)
Paper (10 sheets)
Warinor used to live on a quiet shire just outside Amaranthir. However, this shire was burned down when the king of that time refused to accept the terms proposed by the valkyrs in exchange for continued peace. He lost most of the people close to him, except his best friend, Senerol. Senerol and Warinor journeyed far away, finding themselves in the frozen wastes of Vyshan. They finally collapsed, about to die. Fortunately, A wizard, named Algaris, took them in, and nursed them back to health. The wizard then taught them the art of spellcraft, and the two boys became very good wizards. They moved back to amaranthir a few years later, and by that time, king Aelfar was now on the throne. Both received invitations to the king's birthday, and they eagerly accepted, hoping they might be able to make suggestions for battle plans...
Warinor is motivated mainly by the pursuit of knowledge. He seeks to learn the deepest, darkest secrets of the universe. He also has a burning desire to avenge his village.
He is somewhat reserved, and usually does not start conversations, instead waiting for someone to speak to him. He is slow to trust, but to those who earn his trust he is fiercely loyal.
He is a little different from other halflings in that he pays little regard to tradition, and prefers colors of darker hues, particularly blues and greens. Warinor is adaptable and intelligent, able to think of many different responses to situations. he is usually calm, but becomes restless and fierce when faced by setbacks.
I would really prefer to use the Wizards forums. Why can't you access them from work?
Another interested potential player here.
I started thinking along the lines of a retainer of one of the other players... then moved on to brother of one's significant other... or similiar non direct blood related tie. Maybe even brother of the nobleman's brothers wife....
Looking to be related enough to have a strong connection but not a retainer that has to exactly follow orders... so need another player that doesn't mind that type of connection.
Not fussed about which forum is used if I get accepted.
Thinking Rogue.. but could also try a warrior if that's more useful to the party.
I am interested. Never played a PbP game before but there is always a first for everything. Am very happy with Next rules as I'm running a weekly game (face to face) using them.
Will play a human cleric (seems there is a lack of interest in cleric so far) if that fits. My preference would be a cleric of the war god, but am easy if other options fit better.
In terms of background, I am happy to either be a noble, or to be the spiritual advisor to a noble.
If a noble I suspect I might be a bit devious. I might be a known warrior (always keen to take part in the local tourney's) but perhaps no one knows I am a cleric of the war god, and my aim is actually to destablize the kingdom and provoke conflicts and war. If this idea is too disruptive then I'll happily come up with something else.
Hope this is of interest and useful...
Knocked up a quick character for a cleric of war:-
House Ferrand has always been a strong house in Aramanthir. They have always pushed for independence from the yoke of Valkyrate. Lord Caer Ferrand is current head of the Ferrand House and has always been a strong voice in the ear of the king, pushing for independence, pushing for military action against their oppressors.
Lord Caer Ferrand is aging. He has two sons. Manard, the elder and heir, is a pacifist and Lord Caer despairs what will happen to House Ferrand when he dies and Manard takes over. Reynard is the second son and has been secretly sent to the temples of the War God, outlawed in Aramanthir since the Valkyrates have been in occupation here. Reynard is a blood thirsty warrior and his father's favourite.
Reynard has one goal in life: break the yolk that Valkyrate hangs around the neck of Aramanthir. He intends to do this by stirring up war. A settled and powerful royal house is good for his ambitions as he needs the country pulling together. A civil war, though it would provide a small offering to his god, would be nothing compared to the potential carnage a full blown war between the two nations would bring.
As his father is ancient and his older brother does not take part in tourneys, Reynard has become the defacto representative of House Ferrand on the jousting circuit. “The Young Dragon”, as he has become known, has much potential but has yet to break into the ranks of the tournament favourites.
Appearance and Personality:Spoiler: Show
Reynard appears as a powerful human, tall and broad, fit and good looking. He is known as a persuasive talker and a good listener. He is considered in court as a loyalist and a strong supporter of his father and his house. It is known he does not get on with his older brother. Reynard wears fine and expensive clothes when in court. He wears a suit of heavy chain and carries a large shield when there is risk of battle. His surcoat and shield both have the device of his house on them: a black dragon. He carries his longsword with him at all times - often to the chagrin of house carls who have him visiting.
Hmm, cleric is taken. Time to get to work on a fighter then, will post when done.
The next few days are going to be busy for me, but I hope to have my character ready by Friday evening at the latest.
At the moment, I am leaning towards a Wizard, or possibly a Rogue.
EDIT: Actually, nevermind. I managed to get a bit of free time to work on this.
Stat Rolls Show
1d6=5, 1d6=5, 1d6=4, 1d6=1 = 14
1d6=5, 1d6=3, 1d6=1, 1d6=3 = 11
1d6=1, 1d6=6, 1d6=2, 1d6=4 = 12
1d6=6, 1d6=6, 1d6=5, 1d6=5 = 17
1d6=6, 1d6=3, 1d6=3, 1d6=4 = 13
1d6=1, 1d6=1, 1d6=4, 1d6=4 = 9
Algaris Synell, the Viper of Vysharash Show
Algaris Synell, Level 1
Specialty: Investigation Specialist
Alignment: True Neutral
AC: 12 [10 base + DEX mod]
Speed: 30 ft.
Senses: Low Light Vision (up to 30 ft.)
Languages: Common, Elven
STR: 9 (-1)
CON: 14 (+2)
DEX: 14 (+2)
INT: 18 (+4)
WIS: 11 (0)
CHA: 12 (+1)
1. Elf Weapon Training - Damage die for longswords, shortbows, and longbows is advanced by one tier, assuming proficiency with a given weapon
2. Keen Senses - Gain training in Spot and Listen
3. Free Spirit - Immune to the charmed condition and any effect that would induce sleep
4. Trance - Enter trancelike state for 4 hours, as opposed to non-elven slumber of 6-8 hours
5. High Elven Cantrip - Gain Mage Hand, a 0-level spell, as a free at-will, using INT to determine effects.
6. High Elven Intelligence - +1 to Intelligence as an automatic adjustment
1. Wizard Constitution Bonus - +1 to Constitution as an automatic adjustment
2. Wizard Proficiencies - Sling, Quarterstaff, Light Crossbow, Dagger
3. Wizardly Knowledge - Gain training in Sciences
4. Academic Tradition - 0-level spells can be cast at-will as long as one is memorized. In addition, Algaris gains an additional spell slot of the highest level he can cast.
Feats and Other Bonuses:
+ Alertness - As an Investigation Specialist, Algaris gains a +2 bonus to initiative rolls, as well as a +2 bonus to spotting hidden objects or creatures.
+ Knight's Station - As a Knight, Algaris is entitled to free accomodations and food for himself and anyone he names a companion for the duration of a stay with a nobleman or anyone who would recognize him for his station. For a noble to decline either marks him as an enemy of Algaris or as someone willing to invite the consequences of breaching protocol.
+ Knowledge [Heraldry] (INT) - Algaris possesses much knowledge of the noble families, their lineage and histories, the powers that be in society, and the social etiquette that has evolved over time.
+ Knowledge [Sciences] (INT) - Algaris is well-versed in knowledge of astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, and physics, even if not everyone might approve of scientific discovery. He is also familiar with whisperings of the Far Realm and the supposed lore behind such a chaotic place.
+ Knowledge [Warfare] (INT) - Algaris has studied a variety of topics pertaining to war, including weaponry, military tactics, famous battles and commanders, and fortifications.
+ Listen (WIS) - Algaris is adept at eavesdropping, detecting the approach of others, and listening to conversation through obstructions.
+ Persuade (CHA) - Algaris has a knack for convincing others to lend him aid, act in accordance with his wishes, negotiating with both friendly and unfriendly parties, and engaging in politics.
+ Ride (DEX) - Algaris has been properly trained to ride a horse and respect his mount.
+ Spot (WIS) - Algaris is adept at identifying concealed objects, detecting hidden enemies, and noticing particular details about something in sight.
Melee Weapon Attack: +1/+4 (+2 Class -1 STR/+2 DEX)
+ Quarterstaff - 1d20+4  1d8 bludgeoning damage
Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 (+2 Class + 2 DEX)
+ Light Crossbow - 1d20+4  1d8 piercing damage
Magic Attack: +7 (+3 Class + 4 INT)
Save DC: +1
Spellbook (* denotes memorization):
0-Level (x4): Burning Hands, Detect Magic*, Mage Armor*, Ray of Frost*X. Mage Hand - Algaris can conjure an invisible hand within 50 ft. of him. The hand lasts for 1 minute or until he casts the spell again. The hand can perform such actions as opening doors, grabbing items, or otherwise manipulating an object, though it cannot attack, activate magic items, or carry over 30 lbs.1. Burning Hands - Each creature caught in the blast of a 15 ft. cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. Those who fail take 1d6 fire damage, and those who succeed take half that. 2. Detect Magic - Algaris can detect any magical presence within 30 ft. of him for one minute. Although he does not learn what specific effect the presence suggests, he does learn if it belongs to a certain school. Certain obstructions can cause this to fail, such as 3 ft of wood or 1 ft. of stone between himself and the presence.3. Mage Armor - Algaris produces an invisible armor that bumps his AC to 14 (12 + DEX mod). This lasts for one hour, although it can be dismissed at any time. 4. Ray of Frost - A creature within 100 ft. of Algaris takes 1d6+3 cold damage on a hit. In addition, the victim's movement speed is reduced by 10 ft until Algaris's next turn.1-Level (x3): Charm Person*, Magic Missile*, Thunderwave1. Charm Person - Charms a living humanoid within 25 ft. of Algaris. If this creature is engaged in battle with Algaris or his companions, the humanoid has advantage on its Wisdom saving throw to resist the effect. The humanoid retains memory of being charmed.2. Magic Missile - A creature within 100 ft. of Algaris automatically takes 2d4+5 force damage [ Show
This spell can be prepared at higher levels to produce additional missiles, which can be directed at other targets
3. Thunderwave - Each creature caught in the blast of a 15 ft. cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. Those who fail take 2d6 thunder damage and are each pushed 15 ft away from Algaris. Those who succeed take half the damage and are not pushed.
Crossbow bolts (x100), Feed (7 days worth), Grooming kit for horse, Light Crossbow, Quarterstaff, Rations (14 days worth), Robes, Sealing wax, Signet Ring, Spellbook, Token of Affection, Traveler's clothes  64 gp, 8 sp
* Algaris also possesses a light warhorse w/ saddle and bridle *
Vyshan- a province where justice is meted out with the sword and intrigue is considered a virtue. It is said that a fool born in Vyshan is not long for this world, and there has certainly been enough to prove that proverb true. Many kings tried to bring Vyshan to heel, and few ever managed to earn more than a flippant grin of defiance from the Vysh. Those rare few who lifted a hand and whose commands rang true through the freezing winds of the northland domain were met with respect amongst the winterborn folk. However, as the history books will no doubt tell you, many more feebly grasped at Vysh and tried to place the yoke on those fearsome men and women, only to be crushed underfoot. Vyshan has never been a place where mercy and blind obedience have known popularity, and it is only within recent years that would-be unifiers have learned their lesson.
King Aelfar is one of the lucky ones to march into Vyshan and walk out alive. Years ago, he brokered an alliance with the most powerful clans of Vyshan. The exact terms of the alliance remain a mystery even to the King's advisors, but suffice it to say, Vyshan stands loyal to the Drygba, and the rest of the kingdom has found itself gobsmacked. What could the Vysh possibly gain from this? What has given them cause to show Aelfar a fairness that his predecessors begged for and failed to achieve? This has been talk in places high and low, but the answer lies with the most powerful clan of all within the wintery domain - House Norn.
An ancient line that stretches back into the first few pages of history, the Norn have unofficially ruled Vyshan for countless generations. Though never did a Norn take up a crown or call himself conqueror, the family has been regarded by their fellow Vysh as men and women born to rule. It is the Norn who embody the purity of the Vysh - a common saying is "The Ice of the Heavens flows through Norn veins", and to any Vysh, it is a show of respect for the bloodline's strength.
Naturally, the Norn have not earned their powerful position without the aid of several strong and loyal families, who tied their lot to the Norn back when man first began to see the benefit in going to war with outsiders. Of these houses, several remain in power today, bound to the Norn as a tree trunk to its roots. The Synells are one such family, tracing their lineage to Kal Syn, the terrifying archmage of ages past, master of storm and snow, who helped lay low the enemies of the Norn. The Synells are a proud family, and it is true that they identify themselves as knights. Although their virtues are met with suspicion and shock in most other territories, they are a respected line in Vyshan.
Algaris Synell is the sixth of eight children, a young man even by elven standards, who stands apart from his peers. The typical knight is the sort of chivalrous figure who gallops around on his horse, wooing his lady from near and afar, jousting, drinking (but never to excess), slaying wicked men and spreading good will from hilltop to hilltop. This is the sort of man beloved in the tales and in the public eye. It is that very eye that Algaris loves to spit in. In his teenage years, Algaris detested swordplay and courtly grace. He loved books and knowledge, and adopted the ageless adage that with knowledge comes power. His training as a knight was spent as much in the libraries of the ancient fortress Vysharash as it was on the field or in the churches. Algaris devoured tome after tome, and in the process, he unlocked a hidden potential within himself.
By the time he was entering manhood, Algaris discovered that he had a knack for spellcraft. As a boy, he had sometimes managed to make things move by willing what he mentally envisioned to be a hand and having it grasp or knock over things. Years later, he discovered that it was a part of him, and that other spells lay within his reach. Under the tutelage of one of the Locharaen, an ancient cabal of witches devoted to the fey queen Ilekina, he honed his craft, toiling away in the yearlong winter of Vyshan as he mastered one spell after another.
He continued to further himself as a knight when not studying magic with the Locharaen witch, Syme. He participated in a number of raids against neighboring territories, all under the creed of "knightly vigilance and righteousness". Those who crossed swords with the Vysh and survived spread word of a silver-haired elf atop a horse, sending bursts of frost and flame to scour his enemy's ranks. They said he had the face of a serpent - unsettling without blatant malice, cold without absolute heartlessness. In this way, Algaris soon picked up the name "Viper", which gave him a bit of mirth as he returned home. In truth, the Vysh had enjoyed exploiting the vulnerabilities of their neighbors, and they got away with it due to the King's unwillingness to rebuke his much-needed allies and namesake "subjects". Algaris made his family proud, and the Norn-Synell friendship continued to remain as strong as ever.
Upon receiving an invitation to the King's birthday, Ondaryk Norn, patriarch of the family, elected his second son, Morryk, to attend the celebrations as his proxy. Needing a proper honor guard, Morryk requested for Algaris, an old friend, to accompany him. Bidding Syme - his former tutor, now his mistress - farewell, he has traveled to the Court in order to ensure that no harm befalls his friend and perhaps future lord. Algaris, like most Vysh, cares not for the southerners or their ways, and he is not particularly enamored with the Drygba family, yet he believes there may be magic for him to study, and so he looks forward to perusing the foreign libraries and colleges.
The elves of House Synell have long been likened to the snowfall in the northlands - beautiful to behold, yet undeniably cold. To gaze upon Algaris is to understand this concept. In terms of his physical appearance, Algaris is the stuff of those old knightly fables and tales. He wears his silver hair to his waist, having never felt the need to cut it. His ivory skin is unmarred by scar or blemish, and his pale lips often curl up into a look of disdain when dealing with liars or cowards (yet it can also be said that such a face does know heartfelt smiles in the company of those rare few who can elicit such a reaction). His eyes are twin pools of cerulean, a trademark of his mother's side of the family. He stands close to six feet in height and his rather lean, having never developed the same muscles that are obvious on the bodies of more outdoorsy types.
Algaris prefers to dress in dark blues, greys, and blacks. His current set of robes is a frosty grey, far lighter than charcoal but far darker than silver. He also takes a set of traveler's garb wherever he goes, as well as a bit of finer dress for those situations that demand something nicer than a wizard's robes. His boots are jet black and seem the sort of thing that would drive librarians mad, for they easily retain mud and grime (yet Algaris has by now learned to clean them with the most minor of spells). Rarely does Algaris allow others to gaze upon his spellbook; given to him by Syme, he considers it his most prized possession, and has entertained thoughts of slaying those who might attempt to steal it.
Unaccustomed to more serious martial weapons, Algaris relies on his trusty stave - or, as is his preference, his trusty crossbow. Still, it cannot be denied that when battle rages, he does what any wizard would do, and uses his spells to bathe enemies in fiery blasts and thunderous bursts.
May I present Javier Tischler, only a lesser noble but still a fine companion and friend to many. Recently returned from serving on the staff of the Amaranthir's Ambassador to the Valkyrate where he was doing various administrative type things for the ambassador.
Edit: Have updated his skills, equipment somewhat and started adding backgroud information. Still a WIP
Rolled Stats using Invisible Castle... first time so not exactly sure if linking is going to work as neatly as LordM's
STR 10, DEX 16, CON 12, INT 13, WIS 10, CHA 16
Here is Nicolaus [yet to decide on a last name], a human fighter and a knight. He is disgusted with the dishonorable conduct of his fellow nobility, and so has set out to do something about it! ... but he doesn't know what yet.
Alignment: Lawful Good
Armor Class: 17
Hit Points: 13 (max: 13 + lvd10)
Strength: 18 (4)
Constitution: 16 (3)
Dexterity: 14 (2)
Intelligence: 10 (0)
Wisdom: 12 (1)
Charisma: 9 (-1)
Speed: 25 feet
Hit Dice: 1d10+3
Longsword: 1d8 slashing (+7 to hit, +5 to damage)
Lance: 1d12 piercing (+7 to hit, +5 to damage)
Hand Crossbow: 1d6 piercing (+5 to hit, +2 to damage; disadvantaged if loading and attacking same turn; range 30/120)
Fighting Style: Protector
+1 to abilities, except one which is +2.
Durable (can reroll Hit Dice)
-EQUIPMENT AND TREASURE-
Hand Crossbow (20 bolts)
Token of Affection
Light Warhorse (Saddle & Bridle)
Feed (7 days)
As a knight, can expect quarter from other members of the nobility.
I went ahead and filled in the rest of Algaris's information. Hopefully the lore I have introduced won't be a problem.
Oh, and to my companions, don't worry; contrary to what his background might suggest, Algaris isn't really a bastard once you get to know him.
Some superb characters and lore building up here.
I have just updated my PC with background and appearance/personality: community.wizards.com/play-by-post_haven...
For the DM: I have just added some lore that the worship of the War God has been outlawed by the oppresive Valkyrate occupiers. Now I'm playing a cleric of the War God which means using my default class skills might get me in trouble if spotted by Valkyraties. I'm happy with that restriction if you are.
I would like to know how much the Valkyrates are evident in Aramanthir? Are there soldiers in every town? Are we all Aramanthir citizens and the Valkyrates a distant oppressor with little weight in the country now?
Can someone point me at a good dice rolling site which works for this sort of game?
Lastly, be aware I'm in the UK so might be on a different time zone to the rest of you. Hopefully that won't be an issue with PbP, although having never done this before I'm not 100% sure how it works.
Is house Ferrand wealthy? Javier's elder sister could have been married off to Manard. She would be the dutiful daughter and be willing to do her bit for the family even if it meant marrying a wussy heir.
Javier would be keen to screw with the Valkyratites however he can. Hence his position as administrative assistant (spy) whilst in their lands.
Oh... And as for time zone. I'm in Hong Kong so equally out of whack with all the US players.
No idea for dice rolling site suitable for a game on these forums. I do play/run PBP games but on another site with integrated dice roller.
Followed LordM's lead and rolled using InvisibleCastle...
Improved Javier's Str, Int and Cha.
STR 9 -1 INT 13 +1
STR 11 +0 INT 14 +2
I updated my character with a background. Blakey, Can your character be the wizard who taught warinor?
I don't really have a specific problem with an offsite game, I just would rather have it here. I can deal with a slower pace.
Knocked up a quick background, complete with appearance and personality. Probably should have done this when I created the character sheet, but ah well.
30 years before the birth of King Aelfar, the Aidara family made a name for itself -- literally, as they were serfs at the time, and metaphorically, as they rose up and were knights within a year. That year was the year of the Fourth Peasant War, a three-way war which broke out when Amaranthir rebelled against the Valkyrate, but lost several major battles. To pay for the war, the much-unliked king, Mitha, heavily raised taxes on his vassals, who promptly raised taxes on the peasants. This might not have ended badly, but the Valkyrate waged total war against the southern duchies of Amaranthir, burning down entire crop fields and causing countless peasants to starve to death. They took up arms both against the Valkyrate and Mitha's troops, and managed to besiege Amaranthir's capital; they severely outnumbered Mitha's troops, most of whom (that weren't noblemen) betrayed the king and sided with the peasants. They killed Mitha, but his son secretly bargained with the Valkyrate to pay more tribute in exchange for aid in bringing down the rebels. In fact, the tribute was not very high before the war, which broke out among pride more than practical need to keep wealth in Amaranthir. The serfs, surrounded, surrendered and were massacred by the Valkyrate and what was left of Mitha's army. An estimated 3000 peasants were killed on the last day of the war alone.
One of the first noblemen to fall to the rebel army was Mirwyld Orval, a generous halfling lord. A peasant named Drak whose life had been saved by Orval and considered him one of the finest lords in the land turned on his fellow rebels, and helped secure the Valkyrate victory at the end of the war. Orval's son, Kylmil, knighted Drak in thanks, and he took the surname Aidara, reverse of Aradia, the legendary witch who was said to grant peasants dark magical aid when they rebelled against their rightful masters.
Aiydan Aidara, a descendant of Drak, was trained in knighthood at a young age, like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before him. Aiydan never questioned his birthright and, like the other Aidaras, treated peasants like pawns -- not even having to kill them, with his terrifying size, and long brown beard. He never took off his thick steel armor, not even when going to bed, to increase this intimidation factor. When he did take off his helm, his face was very light skinned due to lack of exposure to sunlight, and his hair was a long dirty blonde. His eyes alone showed that he had feelings: he would close them in despair when somebody he cared about was harmed. He was never seen without a weapon, be it the longsword passed down from the first Drak, or a common crossbow.
House Aidara collapsed the day Aiydan's father, named Drak after /his/ great-grandfather, went to a major jousting tournament in the capital. His opponent, the dwarf knight Tondan Fulin, was said to never be defeated by the same foe twice, but outside of jousting was not a very notable warrior, and was considered a coward on the battlefield. Drak and Tondan battled for two hours, until Tondan's horse collapsed under exhaustion, and he fled.
Drak pursued Tondan through the crowd, both of them literally hacking through spectators to escape. Finally Drak's horse caught up to and kicked Tondan to the ground. He submitted.
Tondan got his revenge, however: in the pub that night, he took his maul and ambushed Drak, who grabbed his lance. Aiydan, who was in the other room, heard the scream for help, and tried to save his father. But it was too late. Tondan killed Drak and Aiydan killed Tondan, but not before Tondan admitted that he had been paid a large sum of money by a jealous baron to secretly kill Drak, who was widely respected among the nobility for his skill and bravery. He wasn't sure if he was going to go along with it until his fury at being defeated by Drak in the tourney.
Aiydan, the last living male descendant of the first Drak, could not stand to keep his name. He knew the family history, but had never looked at it from the peasants' point of view. But the screams in pain of both his father and the spectators were the same. The wealthy fought for more power, never thinking of their vassals. How could he be part of this? He took the lance, changed his name to just Nicolaus, and left the duchy for a neighboring one where he was not recognized easily. To be safe, he cut off his beard with his longsword, scarring his shoulder in the process. He also began praying to Bahamut four times a day to atone for his actions and gain the strength and wisdom to do what he considers his duty. He stopped worrying about his life for himself, but only so that he could be kept alive long enough to change something, anything, about the feudal system -- and he believes Bahamut will reserve him a special place in the heavens.
He knows the other PCs well enough (with the exception of Warinor, since he started off in the "lower classes"), and was a childhood friend of Jarvier (if that's okay with Blakey). He pretends to not know any of them, however, and only came to the king's birthday celebration along with the rest of the knights he was living with after fleeing his home duchy. They most likely don't know the truth about him (or even recognize him) -- in fact, he believes only he and his trusty warhorse Marbuksus know the truth about who he is, and what became of House Aidara and Tondan that fateful day.
I also vote for Valkyrs; it's actually pronouncable.
RE: logistics, I live in California (UTC+8... or UTC+9? I don't know), but have an odd schedule and am on at varying times. Usually, though, I'll be on around 2 UTC to post. Offsite games aren't a problem for me and as for the diceroller, I'm cool with using Invisible Castle (though I used the 27-point distribution system rather than rolled stats for Nicolaus).
Blakey's character is Reynard.
Javier is mine.
If it's Javier you were thinking of being a friend of that's quite okay with me.
Must admit I too get a little lost in this thread. I don't find this forum the easiest to navigate or view but I will survive.
For ease.. and my own reference. We currently have.
Our esteemed GM (Eis9_M0th)
Nicolaus (Aiydan Aidara) - Human Knight (Catuse)
Reynard Ferrand - Human Cleric of War (Blakely)
Javier Tischler - Human Rogue (Cynan)
Warinor Hilltopple - Halfling Wizard (Snarguffle)
Algaris Synel - Elf Wizard (LordManshoon)
Also have added a picture to my character.
Oh.. I meant for LordManshoon's character to be the wizard who took Warinor in. Thanks for posting the reference cynan.
I'm almost ready to start. I just need a response from LordManshoon.