D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

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Re: D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:52 pm

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Trandir;24197154 wrote:Hello Tawmis, this whole thread is one massive work of art, and one of the best things I've seen here in the playground.
I'm not going to lie I am bad at writing backgrounds even the most cliche so why not ask a great storyteller to write one.

PC name: Rerat Zallend (male)
Race: human
Class: Fighter 2
Background: Sailor

His life brought him to a kingdom in the center of the continent far away from the sea.
This is little to nothing so you would have complete freedom to do whatever you want with it. If this is too boring for your standards I understand.
Anyway keep the great work and have a nice day.
I accept any and every challenge presented to me! The idea of a character being "boring" is a character without a backstory!
So it may "seem" boring to you - but once you dive into what makes a character be the way they are - you give them some soul!
So I enjoyed writing this!
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
I wasn't aware of what campaign you were playing (if it was Forgotten Realms or Homebrew)...
I assumed Homebrew... since there's no mention of Forgotten Realms...
So I made up a name of the town (can be changed to fit the world) and described it (also can be changed to fit the worl)
Let me know!
============================================

I have lived my entire life wanting to being free.

By the age of eight, I had run away from my home nearly once a week, but my parents, with their money, hired bounty hunters to track me down and bring me back home.

Was my life at home horrible? Was I beaten? Abused? None of that, really. However, my family was rich and they had expected me to behave in a certain manor; prim, proper, sit up straight, be in before it gets dark outside. Otherwise, I was given whatever I asked for and had free reign around the house, could even command my servants to fetch me things I wanted.

It was just the rules my parents put on me and the behavior they expected out of me. This is what I could not stand. I felt like one of their servants – demanded to act a specific way.

I was sixteen, when one day a rather eccentric dressing man met my father for one of his standard business deals. The man smelt of wine and wore long, hard boots, a hat with a large feather through it, and a red sash that nearly touched the ground. He had a swagger when he walked through the room that drew your eyes to him and the women in the house – including my sister who was only thirteen years old – all heaved a heavy sigh as he walked by.

Whatever business my father and he discussed behind closed doors lasted only an hour before he came sauntering out of my father’s office. He saw my mother then looked down at my sister, then back to my mother. “Are the two of ye – what – six maybe seven years apart?”

My mother flushed red, her cheeks a deep crimson. Even she seemed smitten by this individual. I followed him outside and shouted, “Excuse me, may I have a moment of your time?”

The man stopped, spun on one boot and looked at me with a coy smile. “Say what you will, young Zallend.”

“Who are you?” I asked for beginners.

“Me?” he placed his hands as if shocked. “Oh, I’m just someone named Captain Darick Eagletalon.”

“You dress like no other I’ve seen before,” I explained.

“That’s because I usually make your father come to the docks to do business, so he can see the goods I am bringing him,” Darick explained. “But this time, it would seem his schedule was too busy, so I,” he looked around, “ventured inland. Truth be told, I don’t like being landlocked. The sea,” he stretched out his hand and moved it across the horizon, “there’s nothing out there to obscure your view. No trees, no buildings, nothing – just the open sea as far as your own eyes can see.” He looked at me curiously, “It’s the only place to ever feel free,” he added, as if speaking directly to my soul.

“Would I be able to come with you?” I asked.

“What would your father say?” he smiled.

“To Hades with my father,” I snapped back. “I am sixteen. Well and old enough to do what I want.”

He looked at the house then back at me. “You have it easy here, boy. The sea – she’s beautiful – but she’s relentless, brutal. It’s not always beautiful and it’s not always kind. A storm can come along, dark as night, fill your eyes with blindness and pull you to the bottom of the sea.”

“I am willing to risk it,” I said, firmly.

“Then come along boy,” he gestured towards the wagon that had carried him here. “Do you plan to tell your family?”

“No,” I said matter-of-factly. “Let them wonder and worry.”

I sailed with Darick Eagletalon for four years aboard “The World’s Edge” until one day he docked and said he had business with my father. My father was waiting at the pier and when he saw me, he began to weep. “I thought we had lost you! Like we lost your sister.”

“My sister? What’s happened to Allana?” I asked, breaking free of my father’s hug.

“She took a wagon to Tarren’tor, where she was to be wed,” my father cried. “She is documented as arriving – but never made it to the castle. Her wagon was found with bloodstains in it, but otherwise completely empty.”

I looked at Darick and he looked back at me. “Tarren’tor is dead center of a large continent. I can sail you to the nearest dock, but the rest is all on you. You seemed to not care about family when we originally left.”

I looked at my father and sighed. “I’ve changed. I didn’t like being told what to do, back then. But my sister is another matter entirely.” I turned to my father, “I will find her, father. I promise.”

It took six weeks to sail to Port of Nayr; a large port for a massive continent. I booked passage on a wagon, using money I had earned while sailing with Darick, and for three weeks, rode until I reached Tarren’tor. It was a massive city, like nothing I’d ever seen; full of decadent people, all who seemed to be consumed with the sense of pleasure; whether that was through flesh or inducing or smoking to enhance the sensation. As I walked through the city, I knew, deadlocked as I was, I would be alone unless I could find others to help me locate my missing sister…

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Re: D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:52 pm

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GreyBlack;24202661 wrote:You know what? Sure!

Name: Ssirath
Race: Lizardfolk
Background: Sailor
Class: Cleric (Tempest)
Alignment: Chaotic Natural

Character traits: So first of all, I'm going to use "he" for ease of speaking/writing. The character is genderless. He believes society needs to be taken down a couple notches to allow nature to reclaim its primacy. He also tends to be very survivalist; he has no problem with necromancy and butchering the corpses of humanoids for rations, but only because he doesn't want to waste the resources. With regards to Good and Evil, I'm not sure if he actually understands what they are, seeing them as unnecessary for survival.
I'm thinking he was raised as a shaman but was cast out due to his innate survivalist tendencies being frowned upon; some view him as corrupting the natural order while he views is as using every part of the animal. He was taught as a shaman but wound up scavenging from humans and has no problem with wearing metal armor.
I dunno... anything else?
This one became a lot easier to write once I looked up some of the Forgotten Realms gods that the Lizard People have worshiped...
Once I had that, the rest simply fell into place.
Since you mentioned "he" is generless - I wasn't sure how you wanted to work that, since said god, basically wants his followers to propagate once a month... and if they're sterile to do a ritual suicide. So you could simply change the god and a few lines, or go with a specific gender (and become even more ruthless... since he could, reasonably, take female lizardfolk, against their will to breed his bloodline on)...
Up to you with how you want to go from here - but hopefully I've given you SOMETHING to work with that works with you!
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
================================================

Long have my people sought to make peace with the humans who continue to encroach upon our lands. Human settlements continue to spring up and expand deeper and deeper into the lands like a sickening disease.

These stone walls push deeper and deeper into our lands as the human population continues to grow. The deeper the walls push, the more humans there are. The deeper the walls push, the less land there is for the wildlife, the more humans devour.

They are a festering disease.

I do not hate them because they are humans as a race; I hate them because of how wasteful they are. Not only do these ever expanding walls push on deeper and deeper, devouring the land which animals we hunt graze upon; more often than not, the streets to these cities and towns are overly large, allowing for large wagons to pass on both sides, with ample room.

Humans, other than knowing how to expand and breed, know nothing of keeping matters simple. Many of the humans I’ve observed become belligerent on some form of liquid that they drink in excess; many of them not even skilled enough to survive, choosing to trade with other races, such as dwarves for their armor and elves for their bows and arrows.

I have never shared the view of my people, who I believe are weaker for being more and more like the humans. Rather than hunt their own food, my people have continued to allow themselves to be hired as escorts through the High Moor in exchange for food and weapons.

I do realize that some of my people will intentionally steer a good sized party towards a goblin cave for shelter or a troll’s nest, to help get rid of the larger problems with the High Moor.

But civilizations encroaching on our swamps, such as Dragonspear Castle attracted unwanted attention from marauders after the castle fell. Trade Way and the Way Inn, attract adventurers who think there’s things to be found in the Misty Forest or High Moors. Julkoun, Secomber and Zelbross continue to expand in size as people travel to and from Daggerford and Waterdeep.

When I was young, I was taught about Semuanya who focused entirely on matters of survivaland nothing else. Considered utterly amoral, uncaring, and unfeeling, his Shamanistic followers had called on their kin to avoid contact with other races and to limit it to contact within their own kind. As our people grew further and further away from Semuanya’s teachings, the louder and louder I got, until I was cast out of my own tribe.

I did what I had to survive after that. I lived on the fringes of the swamp, praying on both animals and humanoids – whether human, goblin, gnome or kobold – to feast upon and put food in my stomach. I did not waste their bones, using them as traps or weapons and pieced together armor from the victims I devoured. I did not view this as an act of evil; I viewed this as an act of survival. Is an alligator evil when it devours a child that has roamed too close to the edge?

My people have become weak – but the power and message of Semuanya still courses through my veins. Survive. Propagate. Survive. Propagate.

My name is Ssirath and I will restore the glory of Semuanya and show my people the error of their ways.

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Re: D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:53 pm

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Goldlizard;24205089 wrote:i'll try. you do great work!
Name: Am Truesnout
race: Human
male
Class- wizard (evoker or war mage, not sure yet)
he's a chaotic Neural character, somewhat young. he is a Pyromancer, and he LOVES fire. he did't have a terribly tragic backstory, and he's not evil, but his Ideal/bond is "I want to watch the world burn" Not exactly Evil, he's just lost the ability to care. He comes from waterdeep, but he doesn't stay there for long.
Thanks!
Heh - this one has an Easter Egg if you've ever played the Sierra game King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human it will be immediately recognizable once seen.
If you've never played it, then it's fine just the way it is. Just a little extra pumpkin spice to the story for folks who may be as old as I am and played old DOS games!
That said, I had fun developing this story and this mentality...
As someone who loves camping, campfires, and fire in general... I was able to tap into myself a little...
Then turn it up to 11. (Spinal Tap, anyone?)
As always, would love to hear feedback!
=========================================

I admit I might have a problem.

You see, when I first decided to become to be a Wizard it’d been because during a visit to Baulder’s Gate, there’d been a massive explosion at Felogyr's Fireworks – and I witness several wizards shaping and controlling the fires to bring it under control. Something about the sheer natural force of fire was enchanting; as the flames danced and burned, I was enthralled as if the fires had been speaking some kind of secret sign language message to me.

I was only six years old at the time. Growing up in Waterdeep, I had access to the Great Library and began studying what it took to be a Wizard. Apparently it took a lot of study because manipulating the magical spectrum not only took a great amount of patience, but recalling the words of the spell, and studying them all night to have them memorized was a daunting task. One simple misspoken word or the word amount of salt being thrown could lead to catastrophic results.

By the age of twelve, I had convinced my parents to allow me to enroll in The Order of the Evocation. I studied under the widely known, but often cruel, Manannan. He took his Wizardry very seriously and would scorn us if we tried to take any of the spell components home to learn magic on our own. He explained that without his guidance we could turn our families into sentient green slime or bring the roof down around our ears.

Our first few sessions, after weeks of readying, studying and testing, was learning how to manipulate cantrips. There were some I enjoyed; such as Acid Splash, Fire Bolt and Shocking Grasp – but the others in my class seemed obsessed with things like Message, Mending, and Prestidigitation. When Manannan saw that my interests bled more towards things of violence he began to take a larger interest in me; I wasn’t sure if that was so I don’t burn myself to death or because he thought I could be trouble in the near future.

Three months in, Manannan approached me after one of the classes had ended and said, “I see your interest wanes when it is spells that don’t deal with fire specifically. I had thought learning Ray of Frost would interest you, since it was more of a damaging spell, which I’ve noticed you enjoy.”

“Ray of Frost is fine,” I said with a smile, “but it lacks the punch of fire. Chilling someone’s bones rather than setting their flesh on fire seems so mild.”

“You would rather set someone’s flesh on fire?” Manannan raised a grey brow.

“Not necessarily,” I admitted, “I just feel like fire does so much more. It’s destruction when it burns through a home, but its rebirth when it burns down a forest.”

“Rain and water, and so by nature, ice,” Manannan contradicted, “are things of destruction and life as well. All of the four elements – whether they be stones falling from the sky, storm winds of great power, fires that rip through a city, or a watery flood – the four forces of nature are all symbols of life and death, depending on their use.”

“True,” I acknowledged, “but there’s something different about staring into an open flame… it’s like each fleck of fire is a soul, dancing in the planes of Hell… and the shadows the fire cause to constantly shift and move around you… the crackling of the wood, the explosion of small flecks of ash ascending to heaven, only to be snuffed out before their journey has ever begun… There’s something about the fire that talks to me.”

Manannan smiled and opened the palm of his hand where a small sphere of fire began to spin. “Good, I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. Now, let me show you the true power of fire…”

For weeks I would meet Manannan after the class and he would continue to show me the power of fires; and how, one could even summon a fire elemental to do their bidding…

There was so much to learn.

There was so much to burn.

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Re: D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:53 pm

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WadeWay33;24212091 wrote:Hey! I wanted to preface saying I LOVE the work you do, and it's always amazing! Anyway, is it possible you can write a background for a Whispers Bard named Warner Leroux, who is part of a society that is devoted to keeping magic safe, and out of the wrong hands. They hoard all secrets they can find, keeping it for the 'greater good' (Think Harpers + Zhentarim). He is relatively new to the society, and doesn't know that it has darker intentions beyond collecting information. He is a pessimist and he's ambitious. If this is too little or too much to work around, then either let me know or don't do it, I don't want it to be too difficult.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, he's a human. He's probably Lawful Neutral as well.
Heh – people need to not worry about if it’s too little/much/difficult. The entire idea that triggered this for me was having people who had these character concepts – no matter how little or how much information – and give me the details they have – and allow me to challenge myself to write something for them in less than an hour’s time. So if it’s too difficult (I’ve had some that have been difficult, like the MTG ones), too easy (some just speak to me), or right now the middle – I want folks to feel comfortable posting it, knowing – I will, at the very least, give it a try. There’s some I am going to hit the mark on perfect, and folks will love it – sometimes, I am going to be off the mark, but may provide enough for them to change some of the details and spur their own imagination!

So that said, let’s see where Warner takes us today…
As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
========================================================

I was like your typical hopeless romantic.

I had tried to use song and poem to sway the hearts of women I thought were beautiful into my arms but they’d always wanted to the “bad boys” – preferring the stronger, burlier, and typically much dumber men in the city.

Tired of having my heartbroken and certain I was never going to find love in Silverymoon. Frequently called the Gem of the North, it was nothing but a constant reminder of heartache.

So I did what any torn, broken, and emotional teenager would do; I ran away from home when I was sixteen years old thinking I had the world figured out and that life had to be better “out there.”

I traveled south with some merchants, one of whom had been a bard named Tyrell Stormshadow. He was an older gentleman but knew how to play the lute in such a soothing manner and during the stops where we formed a camp we’d sit around the campfire and just listen to his stories. He had a voice that was both commanding and soothing. One the night before we reached Everlund he sat next to me and looked me over. “Runaway?” he asked, matter-of-factly.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Seem to be running into a lot of those these days,” he sighed. (1)

He took a deep drink. “So what’s your story? Why did you run away?”

I itched my head, giving it some thought, because it was going to sound childish. “Well, I kept getting my heart broken… I just thought, getting a fresh start might allow me to do something with my life… break the cycle I was stuck in.” I was surprised that I spoke the truth when I had a lie on the tip of my tongue. How had that happened?

Tyrell heaved a deep sigh and took another drink of his tankard. “So what I see in your words… you used to try and sway the ladies with your words and songs and it just wasn’t working out?”

I raised an eyebrow, surprised he knew so much from so little spoken. “Something like that,” I admitted.

“Part of what makes someone like me be able to do what I do is experience,” Tyrell explained. “You can read a story about how some adventurers rescued a princess from some dragon in some distant tower; but until you’ve felt the dragon’s breath on your back, the beating of his wings deafening your ears, and the fear in your heart; and the victory at the end…” He tapped me on the chest, just above my heart, “When you sing from the heart, it will be hollow. In order to truly ‘wow’ the crowd with a song or story, you have to have lived it. Or… lived something similar to it. For example, there’s a haunted Manor in the southern tip of Neverwinter Forest called The Havenfall Manor… Entering the house would be… a terrifying experience… and probably fatal… but during The Hollowing Season… homes are emulating actual haunted houses and can cause the same nerve racking fear, without the true risk of death… Experience that, and you could easily weave a tale of how you braved the Havenfall Manor and came out of it alive. No one would be able to counter your story, because no one else is brave enough – or perhaps – foolish enough, to actually enter the Manor.”

He took another swig of his tankard and wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeve. “What you need to do is live a little. Why not come with me? See what we can discover together? Learn from me, listen to me, watch me – and see how I weave a story just as a seamstress weaves her thread; with a beginning, a middle and an end, and when it’s all done, it’s a beautiful image they’re left with.”

I traveled with Tyrell for three years, being his assistant. Getting him different musical instruments to play for the crowds he would gather. I listened as he spoke of various things; such as the tragedy of Havenfall Manor, and how he had gone in, all by himself, to see if he could find out what was the curse behind the Manor… he explained that an evil being, far too powerful for him, resided there and that he had barely escaped with his life, encountering ghosts and the like that still haunted the Manor grounds.

Three days later, at another town, much smaller, he had told me to tell the story. It had not worked out so well. They could tell – even though I had memorized how he told the story, word for word – that there wasn’t the emotion behind it.

I traveled with him a few more days, feeling down that I couldn’t make him proud. It was then that he had stopped me and looked back and said, “I am proud of you.”

I looked up at him, wondering how he had read my mind.

“I can’t read minds,” he suddenly said.

“Then how – “ I started.

“Because of your body language,” he explained. “It’s shouting, almost deafening.” He slung his arm around me, as we walked into Olostin's Hold. “Listen, you just need to build up experiences in your life. Don’t try too hard. Just let it happen. But while you go stumbling through life, beware of those who wear masks and hide behind them. After tonight’s performance, you and I will have to part ways. I have some other people that I need to see – and can’t have anyone with me. Private business, I am sure you understand. Besides, you’ve learned a lot traveling back and forth between these few towns. It’s time for you to stop living beneath my shadow and live your own life, create your own experiences and your own songs.”

That night at Boukar’s Tavern & Drink, I sang a song about how I would miss a dear friend of mine in the near future, and the crowd was on their feet applauding me. When I turned to look at Tyrell to make sure he saw – he wasn’t there. The stool he’d been sitting on was empty. I felt a sting of pain for a moment by it was put at ease when I felt a hand on my shoulder. A man, one of the actors of the play coming on after me, wearing a beautiful snake mask said, “Hey kid, that was pretty good. We could use you.”

“We? You mean the play?” I asked.

“Well, the play is a part of it,” he whispered. “But it’s a College, if you will. Listen, we travel around various cities, as a part of this play – but what we’re doing is having our donation collectors who constantly walk around the crowd, listen to our patrons – because there’s a lot of magic in this world, and people are using them for all the wrong reasons. We’re out there to try and find these items and stop them from getting into the wrong hands. It will land you a gig with us and be quite an experience! You in?”

I quickly shook his hand, and whispered, “I’m in.”




(1) This is a reference to: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsing ... tcount=530 where I used the same Bard name. Tying these two origins loosely together, though not needed – it’s something in this thread that’s been called “The Tawmis-Verse.”
(2) What’s this business about Havenfall Manor? Oh! It’s a module I wrote! https://www.dmsguild.com/product/291151 ... fall-Manor

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Re: D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:53 pm

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Mythalidor;24212745 wrote:Alright, so one of my players made a somewhat interesting character, but have no backstory for them, so I was wondering if you could think one up for them.

Name: Vernon Kirkwood
Race: Hill Dwarf
Class: Nature Cleric
Background: Haunted One

And here is the interesting part, they asked before the first session if they could have a pet goat, and I agreed, and they named it Goatzart. What the player then mentioned to me is that their character believes that Goatzart is the deity that they worship and that it whispers into their mind, so I pushed it one step further and made Goatzart into an actual demon possessed goat that is tricking the cleric into believing that they are a nature god, rather than having their character just be crazy. Also the goat is telling them to do evil things, but the cleric thinks that they are doing the right thing when they listen. I was thinking for the demon possessing Goatzart could be Baphomet, or Bar'garius from your Tawmis-verse could be really fun.

Whatever ideas you would have would be great and helpful for my player.
This was kind of fun to write... explore a more ... simple, superstitious, type community...
It explains why a demon would possess a goat (but why he remains is entirely up to the DM... is he stuck? Or is there a reason for his acts of evil?)...
And sets up an example of an evil act, believing it's a good act... and removing the character before he sees the results...
And leaves a mystery, at the end for the DM to explore if they wanted - maybe the Hill Dwarf learns of the abduction and knows her and wants to rescue her...
Plenty to play with...
Hopefully works for you - as always, would love feedback!
====================================================


South of the Rauvin Mountains but just north of the Nether Moutains, Greyhaven sat peacefully between a number of rolling hills and home to the Grayhaven Dwarves.

My name is Vernon Kirkwood, and I am a proud Hill Dwarf of the Greyhaven Dwarves. My family was composed of simple farmers, often trading wools from the sheep and milk from cows, with our Mountain Dwarf cousins who resided in the Nether Mountains. Life was relatively simple. There was the occasional raid from the goblins that would come through the hills, but because of the relationship we had with our Mountain Dwarf cousins, we were typically well equipped and as long as we had enough warning, we could keep them at bay and drive them back.

I was pulling Goatzart on his lead, after he’d done a bit of grazing and was alarmed to hear a voice in my head, “You should burn the northern guard tower.”

I looked around and saw no one else in the field – just me and Goatzart. I hastily pulled Goatzart into the barn and joined my family for a delicious dinner, choosing not to speak of the mysterious voice I’d heard. As I laid down that night, the voice came again, “Burn the northern guard tower. Burn it before they come.”

They? I sat up in my bed alarmed. Again, I looked around and saw no one else with me. However, Goatzart was peering in my window, mindlessly chewing on some straw. How had he gotten out of the barn? I quickly put on my overalls and walked outside to the brisk night and grabbed Goatzart by his lead and began pulling him towards the barn. Just as we got to the door he put his foot down and refused to budge. “Burn the northern gate tower before they come.”

I turned and looked at Goatzart. His eyes were locked with mine. “Burn. The. Northern. Guard. Tower. Before. They. Come.”

The voice emphasized every word.

“Who are you?” I found myself asking Goatzart.

“I am your goat,” he replied in my head.

I was so stunned he replied that I tumbled backwards over the empty water trough. I peered back over the water trough. “How is that possible?”

“Something’s gone wrong,” the goat’s voice said in my head. “I had hoped to come to you as an Avatar – but apparently your bond with this goat is so strong it pulled me into it. I am here to warn you the goblins are coming.”

“The goblins are coming!” I jumped up screaming.

“Silence!” the goat shouted in my head. “This is only for you to know. I need you to do this to save your people. If you awaken the others, then what would happen next would even be more disastrous. Get down the hill and burn the northern guard tower, so asks Artemis.”

“Artemis? The… the…” I stammered.

“Yes, the god of nature,” the goat’s voice replied.

Quickly, I gathered some supplies and ran down the hill and ignited the northern tower. It quickly went up in flames, even as I saw an approaching hoard of goblins! He’d been right! The goblins were coming! But without the guard tower this would be disastrous! But it soon became clear – the goblins were holding up their arms, covering their eyes, stepping away from the massive blaze. My god had come to me and given me a sacred mission and I helped save my people!

I returned to Goatzart and explained that I had done as he’d asked and even saw the goblins being driven back!

“Good,” the goat said inside my head, “there is much more to do now. Come. We must leave. The world awaits.”

“Leave?” I stammered.

“Yes. Leave. I am giving you a holy order,” the goat snapped in my head.

“Yes! Of course, let me say goodbye to my family,” I began.

“No time for that! Come! Take the rope! Let us leave!”

Together Goatzart and I set out on a greater mission than either of us could have imaged.

Hours earlier…

A demon stood before a pack of eager goblins.

“Listen to me,” the demon smiled, “I have a plan. The Dwarves of Greyhaven are simple; but they keep you at bay because of the weapons they’ve been provided by their Mountain cousins,” he explained. “I plan on doing something that will make one of them burn the northern guard tower. This will leave the northern branch vulnerable. Attack the following night, to the north. This will allow you free reign into the Greyhaven Dwarves home. Take their livestock and kill who you will – but there is a young girl there named Ellanar Twohill. You must capture her and bring her back here and speak the words I’ve given you. This will transport her to me. She will easily be identified as a Tiefling – she is a daughter of mine, the great Bar’garius!”

The goblins cheered.

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Re: D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:54 pm

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Mongobear;24213413 wrote: Been awhile since I asked for one early on, but glad you're still going strong.
I have a bit of an odd request, but it's sorta similar to what you're doing here--Can you write a quick background for a large town's unique feature?
I went google s earching and found a map for a large Town named Thornwall, it's got a huge wall covered in thorns completely encircling it (big shocker!).
The wall is factually of Elven design, and is maintained by a Druid Circle actually living within the town (it's approximately 2 miles in diameter, and 15ft thick/tall, and appears to be one solid piece of stone, like they carved a collosal Boulder down to a circle, and there's a section of farmlands, a forest, and a Lake within, plus the actual Town.
I know the city was originally made for some other setting, but I can't find what, or where. I'm trying to make up a bit of history to explain it's existence, as the PCs will inevitably ask, as they're not from the town.
The world follows the books version of the Norse Pantheon, but they're not culturally Norse. Elves are just elves, Giants and trolls aren't god-threatening entities, there's no World Serpent, etc.
The region with Thornwall is similar to GoT's Winterfell, secluded wild region with harsh winter's and sparsely occupied with small vilages several days apart, Thornwall is the central hub of the region.
The lake within the ring is fed by two small streams from the mountains a few days south, which form a barrier between Thornwall's region and the rest of the kingdom it is apart of. They are treacherous at times, and infested by Orcs and Goblins, but there is a well built trade highway through them, but armed escorts are still required.
The lake also drains out into a pretty massive river that flows north into an Arctic sea port on the border of an unsettled tundra region (think the area North of the Wall in GoT, just without zombies and a 500ft tall wall), the port would be Hardhome, but larger.
Historically, the world is quite old, the wall and city are recorded to have existed for several millennia, the original are what's unclear, think Illefarn or Netherese type empires from Faerun. However, this is the only "massive ring" of stone in the known world.
Magic is less *the Weave" and more just a raw primal energy in the world. There is no Mystra, magic is something that just is. There are Leylines, which cover the world, and intersections of them are able to boost magical powers or cause Wild Magic surges. Most Wizards will build their sanctums on top of or very close to intersections of these Leylines.
Planar cosmology is the standard inner/outer/prime material planes, except that it is possible to crossover to them without magical means if you can find a path. Fire Elemental plane is at the heart of a MASSIVE volcano, Earth is the bottom-most level of the Underdark, Air is above the clouds, and Water is at the bottom of the Ocean.
Hope this is enough? I can answer more if needed.
Side note – I think I found the original source of Thornwall – appears to have been for Pathfinder.
https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/2 ... thornwall/
Obviously you will probably have to change the name of the gods I used, since you mentioned they were Norse based, so I used them for the foundation of some lore, which may or may not fit in your world. But hopefully you can adjust accordingly, if needed, and find some use of it. (May even just be able to skip the party about the gods, and just go to the main part) – but it’s me. When I create lore, I like to dig deep.

As always, I'd love feedback - especially since this is more of a lore/legends thing rather than a character background.

===================================================

The legend states that when the world was first found, it was bleak and dark.

Odin called upon Frey to create a sun to grant light to the world. Frey reached into the heavens and collided two stars in his mighty hands and held them together as they exploded into a fury of fire and flame, and so the sun was born.

Next Odin called upon Aegir to place life in the vast oceans, lakes and rivers of the world; and so Aegir pricked his celestial hand, and each drop of blood fell into the sea, slowly populating the oceans with life.

Odin called upon Njord to breathe life into the world; and so with a deep breath, did he exhale upon the world and the winds were born, and the world began to spin around the sun.

Nature began to take its course, but it lacked something.

Odin called a council where he requested Freya, Hermond, and Skadi to join him.

They explained to Odin what was missing was someone to worship them. Odin agreed.

Calling on his wife, Frigga, goddess of birth and fertility, she entered the council’s chamber and offered her blood in a vail to draw from and bring life into the world.

And so, Freya, goddess of fertility and love, plucked a feather from her most trusted falcon and draw a circle upon the woods, and brought the most beautiful of all the known races – The Elves – into the world.

Skadi took the vial and dripped Frigga’s blood upon his hammer and brought it hard and heavy upon the mountains, and from the sparks, Dwarves were born.

Hermond took a strand of his own hair, dipped it in the vail, and laid it upon the hills, from which the hairy footed, and unusually lucky Halflings emerged.

Odin poured some of the blood into his hand and held it tightly so that it dried, and released the flakes upon the world and explained that Man, though short lived, will be able to live anywhere – whether it be forest, hills, mountains, frozen tundra, or plains, and so Humans came into the world.

Unbeknownst to them – they were not alone in Odin’s chamber – for Loki, god of Mischief, had also observed it all, and brought with him a god, whose name has been stricken from the legends – a disfigured god named Khorus.

Khorus had long despised Freya for her beauty and grace, though all her life she’d been kind and gentle with him. Khorus broke out of the spell that had kept him hidden and grabbed the vail of Frigga’s blood and shouted, “I shall have people in this world! People like me!”

Freya instinctively launched an arrow to try and knock the vial from Khorus’ hands; only he raised his hand to defend himself, and instead the arrow struck his eye. And so, in his blind rage and fury, did his blood seep into the vial and unable to see, he collided into the table that viewed the world, spilling the mixture all over the world.

The gods gasped in horror as Khorus backed up and began to laugh manically. “Orcs! Orcs will rise all over the world! They will know my hatred! It burns in my blood and so too, shall in burn in theirs!”

And so did Odin banish Khorus from the Realm.

But the gods had stared at the map and the damage had already been done.

Many, many millennia and generations later… On the world down below…

Barius Strumjord, a Ranger who followed Ullr, the god of the Hunt, had been drawn to out of the woods, where he could hear a beautiful song. He followed the song until he felt the presence of the sound all around him; but there was nothing that he could see causing the music.

Barius called upon the Druids of the Wind to help him to determine the root. The Druids quickly heard the song and felt the presence of peace all around them. The Druids built a Druid’s Circle, just to the Southwest of the center of the focus, so that they could quickly teleport to and from, and gather information.

As the Druids continued to study it, a small village began to spring forth, as they spent more and more time here. Other Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings were brought it to begin establishing the town of Freesong.

The people of Freesong erected a statue in the center, just above the source of the song, believing that it’d been Freya’s voice, singing with love for the people of the world, of Freya herself. The statue had become a place for those seeking to have children, or hoping to find love, would come and pray to, often leaving tokens for Freya’s favor.

It was a Human wizard by the name Kara Aasveig who discovered the source; there’d be a Leyline – a “fault line” of magic bubbling just beneath the surface. The origins of Leylines vary – some say that when the gods touched the world, they brought with them, their celestial magic that entered the atmosphere and some of it bled into the world itself, especially after Skadi had struck it with his hammer.

When the Orcs learned of the erected statue of Freya, they began to launch their relentless attacks on the town. Barius Strumjord led the defense against the orcs, who had gone on to recruit goblins to help in their war against the light.

Barius Strumjord knew that it would take more than what they had to defend the growing city. The Orcs were ruthless, brutal, and driven by sheer ferocity, often still charging forward when they were dead. Barius Strumjord called for the Druids around the world to come and help defend this Holy City. Hundreds perished in the battle, but it was Kara Aasveig who helped turn the battle. She channeled the magic from the Leylind – and used it to empower the Druids who formed a circle around the city, sacrificing their bodies to become one with the world beneath their feet, creating a massive barrier composed of poisonous thorns.

Freesong, in honor to the Druids who gave their life to defend this holy city, was renamed to Thornwall, and grew to become a major hub on the world.

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Re: D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:54 pm

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Daghoulish;24213582 wrote:So, I haven't been here in a while but I really loved what you wrote Tawmis and was wondering if it was bad to ask for a second? I haven't checked if anyone else has but it's been 15 pages so I hope I can ask for another. I've really fallen in love with this npc I made to the point of deciding to remake them as a pc and am going to play them at some point. I'm uncertain how much info you want but I actually have more this time. (P.S. you put Krusk as a half-orc in the op but he's a full orc)

Name: Zunda Rocktooth
Gender: Female
Race: Deep Gnome
Class: Eldritch Knight Fighter
Background: Mercenary Veteran
My Dm Bullet notes on personality: Very friendly, married to the job. Loves a good fight, and a stiff Drink. Willing to help teach newbies and generally be helpful to good people.

If you'd like I can also give her mercenary npc friends she works with in the game.(I don't know if it's too much but I'll throw it out there anyway and you can choose to ignore it if you want.)

Mercenary Company
Akra Draacis-Female Black Dragonborn-Hexblade Warlock(Uses a long bow made of a red crystal)-Quiet, a book nerd. Likes a good joke.
Nalos Naragath-Female Triton-Shadow Monk(Has a Javelin of Lightning)-Very proud, enjoys exploring the surface.
Duchess-Female Giant Hyena pet of Akra

All female I know, I actually didn't write them with genders in mind so I flipped a coin for each and got the same result 4 times. Sorry if this is too much but as I said, I really liked these npcs and was wondering if you could give me something for Zunda. She's definitely my favorite and the rest are just in case you want to include them in your story.
This was fun to write...
I could have probably gone into way more detail about the other two...
But wanted to keep it to a summary rather than a novel...
But I give enough clues about each to expand upon if you wanted...
As always, hope you enjoy and I'd love feedback!
=========================================

Survival.

I have spent most of my life in the Underdark doing everything I can to survive. Whether it’s resisting being pulled into a lake by an Aboleth who had made the lake their home; or avoiding stepping beneath a deceptive Cloaker or Pierce or Roper. Then there are the Dwarves such as the Derro or Duergar, or the Drow Elves, and of course the Illithids and Beholders. If that wasn’t enough, just about every single plant life in the Underdark seems to feed off the nutrients of the dead, making them lethal.

Because of this, I learned to fight to survive. It was from watching the Drow, with their dark magics, did I begin to learn how to manipulate magic myself. It was dangerous – being as close as I was to the Drow, but as a Deep Gnome, I had the keen ability of standing next to a rock in the shadows and be virtually undetectable. This limited exposure gave me only a fraction of the magical abilities I saw the Drow doing; but it was enough to help me continue to survive in the Underdark.

I first took up the job as an escort through the Underdark. It wasn’t the safest way, cutting through caverns that dipped into the Underdark, but in some cases it would cut weeks of travel out of their travel time, rather than going around a mountain.

It was then I’d met Akra Draacis, a female black dragonborn with some magical abilities. She convinced me to work with her together. Now, normally I might question the fact that she was clearly descended from a Black Dragon – who have less than a good reputation – but being a mercenary, that often worked in our favor. So few people crossed her when she got in their face. Her giant hyena named Duchess, snarling at her side, certainly added to the already threatening gesture of a Black Dragonborn, towering over them, demanding payment. If they’d only known her, like I had gotten to know her. On the days it was slow, and we were on the road, between jobs, she would have her nose deep in a book, reading everything from history, to even songs and poems written by a somewhat famous bard named Tyrell Stormshadow, who she had frequently mentioned that she’d like to meet one day.

On one such day, between jobs, while headed for Daggerford, we saw several goblins attacking a lone figure. When we approached, we took note to the humanoid’s unusual appearance – with skin that looked to be made of the colors of the waters and skies, this figure fought valiantly against the goblins who outnumbered her considerably. Though it did not look like she needed the help, both Akra and I were curious to learn more about her – and what better way to gain someone’s trust than to help them? Both Akra and I jumped into the fight and made quick work of the goblins. The woman, Nalos Naragath was a Triton. She explained that though she had a javelin of special “qualities” she did prefer hand to hand combat. She explained that she’d left her aquatic kingdom in hopes of discovering the surface world. As it turned out, several ships had sunk near her kingdom and some of the things she found that came from the surface world drew her curiosity to see what the world beyond the ocean was like.

The three of us formed an unbreakable friendship. I was the Blade, Akra was the Arcane, and Nalos was the Fist.

My name is Zunda Rocktooth and these are my sisters… Sisters of Steel.

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Re: D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:55 pm

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Sparky McDibben;24214922 wrote: Hey Tawmis,
I have a character for an upcoming campaign, and I'm stuck on backstory. His stats are as follows:

Variant Human Fighter 1 (going Battlemaster)

STR: 11 (+/-0)
DEX: 19 (+4)
CON: 17 (+3)
INT: 13 (+1)
WIS: 13 (+1)
CHA: 7 (-2)

For feats I took Ritual Caster (Druid) because I want him to have a druidic vibe. I'd like to take Magic Initiate (Druid) as well. He has a longbow, rapier and shield (dueling fighting style), and his Dex focus means he can hit from anywhere. The focus of the campaign will be in a civilization ruled by magi (of all stripes except warlocks, not just arcane casters), and the characters will be vigilantes judging these casters for their various crimes.
Thanks!
Because this sounded like a custom/homebrew setting, I didn't use any Forgotten Realms references...
As such, created an island to explain your character's ties to being a fighter with some druid skill...
And went on to create the organization that manages these Magi (your DM can use it, rename it, or discard it)... Could easily be explained, you did this on your own, and it's not required...
I also explain why, as a fighter, you focused on Dex and Con as stats....
As always, would love to hear feedback....
===========================================

Breathe in, breathe out. Control your breathing.

The very plants seemed to tear at my flesh as I ran through the jungle. But this was no ordinary jungle; this was anything but ordinary.

The Jungles of Skarn’tahl.

Skarn’tahl is an ancient phrase that means “violent death.”

Legend states that, long ago the fabric between the Shadowfell and the Prime Material Plane ripped apart as a great weapon from a demon had cut the fabric of reality open. From that tear in the fabric, creatures of unimaginable horror spilled out of the Shadowfell and landed here in the jungles of Skarn’tahl.

I don’t live on this island where this lethal jungle resides. I didn’t get shipwrecked here.

I came here willingly.

All of my life, I’ve trained to become a part of the Vigilant; an organization of vigilantes that judge casters for their various crimes. Being thrown into the Jungles of Skarn’tahl is done for many reasons. First and foremost, the entire jungle is alive with beasts not seen beyond these jungles. Panthers that blur with large tentacles called Displacer Beasts, Hook Horrors, Basilisks, to name a few are all infused with magical properties. As if the beasts of Skarn’tahl did not pose enough of a danger, the floral of these dense jungles were also often enchanted – as beautiful as they are lethal. Hidden in the floral, such creatures as blight, gas spores, shriekers, and shambling mounds were all painful methods of promised death.

Years of studying plants and with Druids has given me a deep understanding of how to hone my body to understand the natural order around me in preparation for this day.

In order to survive this jungle, you learn to use the jungle in your favor. I lure the Displacer Beast chasing me right into the explosive arms of a Gas Spore, floating aimlessly that I’d seen before, using my dexterity to leap onto a branch and out of the way of the explosion of the Gas Spore, which violently and painfully infects the Displacer Beast.

It takes nearly a week to make it from one side of the island to the other. An incredible feat of endurance since most of those nights are spent wide awake, because when there are beasts and fauna both seeking to devour your flesh for nutrients, there is little to no time to sleep.

I knew this was the test. I knew that, despite years of training to fight and be ready, the test ahead of me would require endurance and agility rather than raw strength to survive. I relied on a longbow I forged in the jungle to hunt for my food, rather than engaging up close. The one weapon I was allowed to bring was my rapier, which I often used to deliver the killing blows in the back of the creature’s neck, after I had struck it with my bow. A shield made of a turtle’s shell had spared me many times from the venomous attacks from snakes and even plants, whose pollen would burn my flesh or make me slumber, had I inhaled them.

I am glad to be done with the Jungles of Skarn’tahl. I’ve seen what magic – uncontrolled – can look like and I now understand why the Vigilant must endure this test. Not only do we see the horrors of magic gone wrong; but we learn how to survive it.

As the ship sails into view in the distance, the sun setting behind it, I know I am ready for my life ahead of me…

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Re: D&D Character Background Challenge (It's Own Thread Now)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:55 pm

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togapika;24223079 wrote:Name: Delsyn Corvos
Race: Triton
Class: Paladin of Conquest (Though he uses a pirate code instead of the book's code)
Gender: Male
Rough idea: 1. Captured by slavers
2. Saved by the captain who was supposed to transport the slaves to sale
3. Falls in love with said captain and marries her
4. She is hung for thievery
5. Attempting to end his life he is saved by a minor god and convinced to become his paladin.
The Guardian is a minor god. "There's a legend of a man who lives beneath the sea. He is a fisher of men, a last hope for all those who have been left behind."
I don't think I've written a Triton background before...
So this was kind of fun to do...
I left the Captain nameless - wasn't sure if you had a name for her already - but originally I had her down as Allera Searunner.
I touch on how she becomes a little more "redeemed" making the tragic loss of her hanging more impactful...
As always, I look forward to your thoughts!
===========================================


I have lived most of my life free.

Deep in these oceans there was nothing I could not do. I was not bound to the ground; I could swim up or down, side to side, as deep as I wanted, or breach the surface.

Like many of my kind, I was curious about the Surface Dwellers and their magnificent ships that sailed across the very seas we called home.

What am I? I am a Triton – and along with Merfolk, we often protect humans who have been cast or fallen overboard from the likes of Kuo-Toa, Merrow, and Sahuagin, to name a few. Long have we, along with the Merfolk, waged war against these oceanic races that thrive on destruction and chaos.

One night – a particular night where the Storm Goddess raged furiously – the skies were black with clouds that drowned out the light of the moon and the stars, and the tides were gigantic fists of fury slamming into anything and everything – there’d been a large ship I’d been following called “The Siren’s Wail” – which had taken several hits – and when a woman was washed overboard, her crew threw out a net to save her; at the same time I had gone to her side to save her from the wrath of the Storm Goddess. I found myself encased in the net as well and our bodies were pushed together and she stared at me in wide eyed wonder.

As we were pulled aboard the crew cheered; and I thought it’d been because the woman had been saved; but as they quickly jumped on me to restrain me, I could see other cells on the top of the ship with others who were imprisoned. This was a slaver ship. As they helped the woman up, they all cheered and applauded her for helping capture me and it became clear to me she was not just someone who had washed overboard, she was this ship’s captain.

As they took me away and threw me in a cell her eyes never left me. It’d been a week before the storm broke and I could hear the crew speaking about how much I would fetch on a slaver’s market to be an exotic pet of some kind.

The woman, a beautiful human with brown locks of hair that, once dry, pulled into tight curls; her eyes were a softer brown than her hair, approached my cell and whispered, “What were you doing?”

I placed my hand on the bars of my cage as I leaned forward and said, “Trying to save you.”

“Why?” she hissed in whispered tones.

“Because the Storm Goddess was furious… and when she’s furious she does not care who she harms or kills,” he explained, “all are susceptible to her fury.”

“Would you have still saved me knowing that I am a slaver?” she asked, leaning against the cage.

“I would have,” I replied. “I am not one to judge others. I saw a person in danger and sought to help them.”

When the ship arrived at the first port, many of the other slaves were taken, sold or traded for gold, services, food or supplies. I was not released to be sold, however. The second, the third, then the tenth port, and all the slaves they collected, were sold or traded, all save for me.

One night, as the captain passed, I asked, “Why have I not been sold? I’ve heard I would fetch more gold than all of the slaves you’ve already sold?”

She stopped and looked at me, and did something unexpected. She opened the gate.

I stayed inside my cell, suspecting this might be a trap – that if I tried to leave she would kill me for trying to escape.

“You are to come with me and I will show you why,” she said and turned her back to me and began walking towards her quarters.

I followed her – and what came next surprised me more – we shared an incredible night of passion.

As I laid there next to her, I turned my head, “But why?”

“You’re asking why?” she laughed. “Because you’re different. You see me with different eyes. You don’t see me as your captain, your captor, or even a slaver. You see me as a person.” She leaned over and kissed me again, deeply, passionately.

I became a member of the Siren’s Wail crew and widely accepted by the other crew members; there wasn’t a single one of them that I didn’t save in the coming weeks as we ran into countless storms, and at least one of them would be swept overboard.

A month later, the captain and I married out on the sea, and committed to one another.

This was not the life I imagined for myself. My presence slowly began to change her from slaver to trader. She relied more and more on the resources they’d gathered as slavers from previous trades, to trade and sell, rather than selling slaves.

However, while she seemed to change for the better, her past sins were not forgotten. A fleet following the orders of Commander Terak Steelhaven had caught up to the Siren’s Wail while she was at port, most of her crew out and about, and launched an attack. An explosion from one of the ship’s cannon’s struck the side of the Siren’s Wail and hit with enough force to send myself and the captain flying backwards, losing consciousness.

When I awoke, I don’t know how much longer, it was to a horrible visage of the captain – my love – hanging by her neck – as a warning to all other slavers, on the edge of the pier. Wrapped in fury I swam to the fleet, just setting sail into the sunset and climbed aboard the ship and managed to kill several of their crew before a large man plowed into me and sent us both overboard. The impact against the rail had knocked the wind out of me and I blacked out before I hit the water.

When I awoke I was washed ashore on some small island. I screamed at the heavens in unbridled fury.

I heard a voice, “Your heart is pure. So pure that it was capable of making someone who had lost their own way – following the light of yours and rediscover who they are.”

A massive watery figure appeared before me, made up of the ocean itself, “I am the Guardian,” he said, reaching out, “And I would like to employ you as one of my devoted. Follow my words and you shall find the peace that you once felt.”

I was in awe – in all of my years I’ve heard the stories, the legends - "There's a legend of a man who lives beneath the sea. He is a fisher of men, a last hope for all those who have been left behind."

These were the words – the lore – of The Guardian.

And now he stood before me.

“Grant me the peace I seek, and I am yours,” I said.

“Peace and vengeance shall be yours,” The Guardian whispered, “for Terak Steelhaven did what he did because his king commanded it; but Terak is a man of evil and vile much deeper than the very oceans itself, and it will be you who must find and stop him, once and for all.”

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