Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Panpiper

Character Backgrounds (free for all)

Recommended Posts

I've gotten a bit of a bug the last few days for the writing of character backgrounds. I am using one or two of these for characters I am playing. Some of them I am not likely to ever play. Rather than have these descriptions simply languish futilely on my harddrive, I thought it might be fun if other people could avail themselves of them either as inspiration, or even to use them copied and pasted just as they are.

 

I share these with you. Feel free to use them any way you please. Perhaps some of you might like to share character backgrounds as well?

 

Note I am not intending to provide full writeups for these characters. The idea is not to stifle other people's creativity but to inspire it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Background

 

Trenton was born third son to landed nobility, as his rather impoverished family was want to point out at every opportune moment. They did in fact possess some small land, the village of Linet, if a den of filth and poverty could so be called. His father held mayorship over a small village frequently beset by raiders, slavers, and all manner of fell beasts. What meager surplus crops the beleaguered peasantry were able to harvest were utterly siphoned away in a vain attempt to hold back the tide. In fairness to his father, Trenton must admit, the man tried. But his insistence upon his class, his privilege, and his right to anything and everything those under him possessed, ultimately drove Trenton into rebellion and estrangement. Trenton has little brook for snobs.

 

This was not before he was asquired however to a landless knight who taught him well. Sir Morgan had been born of common folk, and knighted on the field for his deeds and valor. It was to this knight, Sir Morgan, that Trenton feels the loyalty traditionally due his father. He passed into Sir. Morgan's tutelage at the age of seven and a few years later was officially squired to him. From the age of seven, somewhat in defiance of tradition, he drilled Trenton in the ways of war, but it was the stories Morgan told over supper and at night that served the greatest education. Trenton's heart was filled with the romanticism of adventure and heroes. He would of course never admit to such to his peers, but Trenton really would be a grail knight, if such were real.

 

Trenton grew to be a huge and powerful man, far more trained than was common for a squire his age. So it was that when Trenton was sworn to his liege at the age of 21, he had already seen a good deal of action at the side of Sir Morgan. His title and experience granted him immediate promotion and a posting that would make the most of it. He served with distinction wherever the worst fighting was to be found. For ten years since, Trenton's life has been filled with combat. He has suffered many wounds, and they have left their mark in scars across his body. For several years, Trenton believed that news of Sir Morgan's ultimate fall in battle was the worst of his wounds.

 

It was however the last wound he suffered that was the most grievous. He was struck in the head with a mighty mace blow in the thick of a melee. His helmet sundered, his skull was split. He lay there unconscious for many minutes till the battle was over. The unit's chirurgeon did what he was able though everyone believed he was lost. Trenton however, though unconscious, struggled and held onto life. His convalescence has been long, over a year. His compatriots saw to his upkeep as they could, as such lengthy medical care is not commonly available. Unfortunately the year made it quite impossible for his horse or even much of his possessions to be maintained. His possessions were sold off to pay for his care. He was left solely with his armor which was too big to find an easy buyer. Fortunately that armor was his prize, having been meticulously and lovingly fabricated just for him, not just so as to fit his unusual size, but also to fit his every movement.

 

His friends, simple soldiers that they are, have no further means to support his rest. Fortunately he is finally well enough to fend for himself, though he is far from fully mended. He retains his size and impressive appearance, but he is less of the man that he used to be. His strength, strength of body, even his strength of will have yet to fully recover. And his memory, that may never fully recover. For several months after he regained consciousness, Trenton was unable to recognize even his friends. Things have been coming back to him, but they have been coming back slowly. He has made effort to relearn some things, to study rather than simply remember, so at least the most essential heraldry is familiar to him. And some vigor to his natural abilities have finally started to return.

 

In the early days of his wounding he was assumed lost and struck from the Guard rolls. The cloudiness that remains in his mind, the redness of his latest scar, the relative weakness of his once mighty frame, have led the bureaucrats that administer the guard to believe that he is no longer suited to the life he once led, and he has not been reinstated to active duty. In Trenton's mind, this may be just as well, as he is weary of that life.

 

His friends gave him a bastard sword and scabbard, taken from a bandit, it is serviceable enough. They also pulled a weathered shield out of storage and had his arms painted on it. He has his old helm, showing still that heavy crack, in a sack at his side. It was a good helm, it can still serve, but that crack must be mended as soon as possible. He is 32 years old with a lifetime of hurt behind him.

 

And now his feet hurt. He is unaccustomed to walking. Sometimes has is able to hitch a ride on a merchant's wagon in exchange for the extra security the sight of him may bring. That and a meal, perhaps some small measure of coin. He was told rumors of opportunities out west. He could use an opportunity right now.

 

Appearance

 

Trenton presents a startling appearance to the world. He is big, scary big, though not ogre big, standing 6'5" and weighing 230 lbs, and that is after the significant withering he's suffered during his convalescence. He is weathered and covered in battle scars. He has a couple of exceptionally pronounced facial scars, including the biggest of them all, still showing some redness. His eyes take in a room with a piercing glare, the superstitious might well ward themselves. He is used to command and used to being obeyed, his poise and manner communicate it.

 

His hair is a rough cut, short brown mop usually, but he keeps clean and free of lice. He actually washes with soap, regularly! His armor is clearly not new, it bears witness to countless battles, but it is in excellent repair. He stands with an apparent easy comfort, but the well martially trained will see in his bearing that he is coiled and dangerous. His eyes are a bright steel grey to match, always watching, checking shadows, noting exits. And he never shows his back to an entrance. One learns a lot after half a lifetime of constant combat, and it shows.

 

 

Personality & Motivation

 

Trenton suffers a world weariness from having seen little but misery among the people he risked his life daily to protect. It is not despair, for that he would never allow himself, but there is an anger in him, an anger that the world should be so. And there remains still a hint of the boy, who sat long hours at the campfire entranced by stories of heroes, who made the world a better place.

 

Trenton is quite capable of boisterous laughter, he drinks hard, he wenches with the best. And sometimes he can be a bit too loud. But in the morning he will apologize if it be warranted, and he will pay his bills.

 

His laughter can strike at odd moments that most would find most inappropriate, and not understand, save the few who might have seen much of combat. They understand. They understand how the constant horror will either break a man, or teach him to laugh, and laugh hard, lest he cry.

 

Whether Trenton will leave the world a better place for having lived, remains to be seen. But Trenton will die before he allows it to be a worse place for what he has done. Perhaps there is a benevolent god who watches over the world, and if so Trenton hopes that he is watched with a smile, even if it be one of amusement. And maybe, just maybe, he'll someday have a chance to prove to the world that the heroes in those campfire stories, are real after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Trope's mother, Talahena, was a warrior Amazon, a powerful woman who had a glorious adventuring career. Stories were told of her in the dwarven drinking halls. High praise indeed for a warrior to be talked about in such halls, especially for one not a dwarf! For years she adventured with several of the Clan Irongrip, winning both their respect and their hearts. But as things are want when shared with those who are not dwarves, things changed, and the group went their separate ways.

 

A few years passed, hard years growing harder as a troll cheiftan tried to make a name for himself at the expense of Clan Irongrip. Talahena returned to her friends just as the fighting reached it's fiercest, she had heard of our plight and would stand with her friends. And valiantly did she fight! She herself put wounds to the troll chieftan as the clan finally brought him down and won a peace. But in so doing, she also suffered, a terrible wound that layed her low.

 

The Clan did what it could for her, but the troll chief's axe was cursed with some foulness of the troll's brood and her wounds would not heal. It was on her sick bed that it was discovered that she was with child. She would not say how it could be. Perhaps she did not know. It is hard to say for what times she was awake were filled with fevered delirium. She held to life for many months, staying alive that her child might be born. And hold on she did till she could hold Trope in her arms, hold her baby and know for a brief lucid moment, a smile and a kiss for her child, and then she lay down to an eternal rest.

 

Clan Irongrip owed this Amazon and Dwarves pay their debts. Trope was adopted by the clan. He might not be a dwarf, but he would be raised in a manner befitting a dwarf. Trope grew, big, tall and strong, far stronger than any human aught, even the dwarves were impressed. He took to his lessons as well as a human might, learning what he could in the short years before he was a man. But much of what the dwarves might teach is of little use to such a giant of a man as Trope. They taught him the ways of the axe, and dearly did he love to swing the axe. The swinging was easy for Trope, it was the rest that he could not learn, for the tricks of a dwarf do not work the same for a giant half again as tall. While it was a consternation for Trope's teachers, it did not bother Trope so much. Trope liked to swing his axe.

 

Trope learned not just fighting, but letters and numbers. He learned the ways of the forge. And for the short time he had been studying, the dwarves were not unimpressed. Given a few more hundred years, the way any dwarf apprentice would approach it, Trope might make a good smith. Good by dwarven standards anyway.

 

Trope became a man, and his human nature became all the stronger. Humans have a much shorter time than dwarves. Humans have to hurry if they are to experience all that life has to offer. And so, inevitably, the day came when Trope left Clan Irongrip to seek his fortune in the world.

 

Trope had read of the marvels of the world, but that did little to quell the excitement he felt at learning the likes of horses! And seeing cities beneath the sky! Quickly though he learned to temper his youthful enthusiasm and keep it beneath a scowl and a glare. For it was not long before Trope learned first hand of how dangerous and dark the world can be. Time and time again, Trope found himself between kindly folk who reminded him a bit of home, and foul creatures, both human and not, bent on rapine and pillage. Time and again he would bathe in their blood, dealing death to them in droves. People would speak of him in whispers afterwords, whispers sometimes heard. "Death Dealer" they called him.

 

"Trope Irongrip", The Death Dealer, is a mountain of a man, as tall and as wide as one might expect of a man almost as strong as a giant! He wears dwarven plate to shield his mighty girth and with his shield and axe is a force of nature on the battle field. His enemies swear his eyes glow red when he slays. His enemies say he is not man at all, but some beast from hell, come to collect souls for hell's armies. But what does it matter what his enemies think? His enemies are all dead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

"Me uses be called Runt. Me was little once. Little Runt me was. Chase'n rats with me little club. Other kids not play with me. Me scare little kids. Then get big. Big Runt they call me. Me have hard time say Big Runt. Sound more like B'runt. Me called Brunt now. Still chase stuff with club. Club bigger now. Stuff bigger now."

 

Brunt is actually not stupid. He was nailed with a curse as an infant, the curse being intended for someone else who used him as a shield. There is a high order of mental activity going on inside Brunt's brain, but only a little bit of it is able to penetrate into his conscious awareness due to the curse. Perhaps someday this curse may be lifted.

 

Brunt was found in his cursed state when he was an infant, chasing rats with a stick. It was a kindly innkeeper's wife who found him, the innkeeper tolerating his wife's adoption because he had a rat problem and little 'Runt' was really good at killing them. Where he came from, who his parents were, is unknown. The fact that he was cursed is also unknown, it being assumed that he is simply, simple minded.

 

Brunt thinks he is ugly and scary looking. In fact he is rather comely, the kids being scared of him simply due to him having a very high presence from his size and temperament. Brunt is in fact mostly human, but with touches of changeling influences that explain his extraordinary size and strength. He has never had the head for education or even more than the most basic of chores. He has his whole life, been chasing down whatever the village wanted hit with his club. He's actually quite quick of foot and good with his club. This lifetime of fighting biting creatures and running through forest branches while unarmored have given him a natural toughness as well.

 

Now that Brunt is largely fully grown, he is 'employed' by the village as a guard. The normal threats the village might face however have learned to keep a wide berth, and so Brunt is rather bored. Brunt is restless. Brunt would welcome the idea of adventure.

 

Anyone who gets to actually know Brunt will discover that he is in fact a very gentle soul, only wanting to hit 'bad' things, or 'good' things to eat. If he could ever get his full mind back...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Here's one of mine.

 

Karon was an orphan raised by the Clerics of Light. Everyday she would polish the famed plate armor used by the Legendary Paladin of Light. It was a boring job, but Karon was never one to shirk her duties. The legend said that one day, the hero would return to once again protect the city.

 

Then, one day, the city was attacked. Without a moment's thought, Karon rushed and got the armor. But the armor was too heavy to carry, so she put the helmet on her head, and wore the gauntlets... before long, she was wearing the famed armor of the Legendary Paladin of Light.

 

One thing led to another, and she found herself battling among her people and defending the city.

 

The famed Paladin of Light had returned!

 

Karon didn't have the heart to tell them that she was just a young cleric in training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Background

 

Tristan was raised in a very loving family, merchants who traveled regularly from their home in Laucky Barony to several of the greater cities in the realm. They were great believers in virtue, especially in family, friends and community. Indeed they were keepers of a great secret, a secret worship of Anjill, the goddess of loyalty, protection and service. Tristan learned those lessons, that secret, and all was well, until it was not.

 

He was eight years old when his parents were murdered in a strange city, Kerren, far away from home. Their goods were stolen, what guards or hired help they had, scattered or worse. And Tristan hid in a trash heap in silent terror as the deed was done.

 

Alone he was, knowing no one and having no money or possessions. It is a miracle he was able to survive. Yet survive he did. At first it was by the simple expedient of eating from refuse and hiding where no one else would deign to walk. But his talent for hiding grew to a talent for staying hidden while moving and picking up much nicer food from stalls and merchants. He was careful to not take too much from any one merchant, lest it be noticed. And he felt guilty doing it. His parents were merchants. They were good people and he didn't like stealing from them, but he was hungry.

 

It was the rich folk he wouldn't feel so guilty about, and so bit by bit, he learned the tricks of that trade. He learned to climb up through the shadows to places less guarded, he learned that locks are no barrier to the smart and patient. He was making out quite well for a twelve year old street urchin when the day came that he finally got caught.

 

Fortunately for Tristan, those that caught him were goodly folk, who quickly saw in him more than a thief. They discovered he could read, an unusual talent utterly unexpected in a thief. And they discovered an extremely bright mind, able to quickly grasp complicated subjects. So it was that the clergy of Asuna took him under their wing. They gave him a warm place to sleep and food so that he no longer would need to steal. And they taught him their ways, expecting always that he would grow to join them in their faith, perhaps one day becoming clergy himself.

 

But Tristain had been raised with a different faith. For him the study of Asuna was not a study of accepted doctrine, but rather a study of comparative religion. He tried to be careful of this heresy, for he was well aware that his clergy friends expected something quite different from him. He availed himself of their books to teach himself what he may. And he tried hard to read between the lines of what he read, to see through the single side of perspective that the devout are always guilty of. He learned much more than the priests of Asuna would have ever thought possible, about things they didn't even know were in their books.

 

The precepts of the faith of Asuna, he could recite and argue as well as many of Asuna's clergy. What was his undoing was when they discovered that he was just as familiar with and just as able to argue for the Old Faith, and even the forbidden knowledge of the Elder Gods! There are elements in the Church of Asuna who are not as forgiving as were his early friends in the church, and his transgressions in their eyes were as heresy, even though he had never formally sworn to their faith. It was the better part of prudence for him one day to take his leave, his street urchin skills serving him well as he quietly made his way out of Kerren.

 

He found employ with a merchant caravan, a trade he had some recollection of from his youth. He felt somewhat awkward strutting about with a bow and sword as if he knew how to use them. But often for a caravan, the important thing was to 'look' like you were ready for a fight. Tristan remembered however that terrible night when looking proved to be not enough, and so he practiced with his props, as often as he might. There were those among the other guards who knew enough to teach.

 

For several years he traveled, with several different regular caravans. He learned to be good with his sword and bow, and he was called upon to use his skills on more than a few occasions. And then it came one day that the caravan he was with found itself in the company of the Rangers, as his caravan was attacked by Bezzi raiders and the Rangers showed up to help drive them off. The Rangers noticed his talent with his bow and jokingly suggested that he aught to join them.

 

Tristan saw the merchant to his destination, ending in Laucky Barony and then there he was, waiting for another contract. He met one of the Rangers who had helped defend the caravan he was with, and the two started talking about adventures, and the Rangers. His Ranger friend learned more of Tristan's history, and of some of the skills he had acquired while living on the streets, and realized that this was indeed a prime recruit. And so it was that Tristan was inducted into the Rangers and taught their ways.

 

Tristan proved to be good at what he was taught. Very good in fact. Tristan developed a virtually uncanny understanding of the ways of raiders. He could track them unerringly, and once found, his bow rarely missed. For years he served with the Rangers honing his skills. So good did he become that he began to be sought out, at first by other Rangers for help, but ultimately by other persons sometimes distant from Laucky Barony. And those from outside Laucky Barony would pay him for his service, usually a lot more than he was paid to be a Ranger.

 

Now Tristan is not a mercenary. He genuinely wants to do the right thing. The teachings he learned early in his life were not lost upon him. But those communities who payed him for his help against raiders who preyed upon them were every bit as deserving of protection as any other. And Laucky Barony had the Rangers, while most of these other communities had no one who could do the job. It was after much soul searching the Tristan came to the decision that the greater good was served by him leaving the Rangers so as to better serve those in even greater need. The fact that he earned more in the process was only a minor consideration.

 

Appearance

 

There is no mistaking Tristan and what he is competent at. He appears to be supremely well equipped, his gear meticulously placed for maximum utility. He wears a harness over a dark tunic, with glints of well oiled chain hinting of steel reinforcing his leather. Numerous pouches adorn him tight to his harness, keeping anything he might need close to hand. He carries a wickedly powerful longbow, a longsword at his hip and a mean looking hunting blade on his chest, two quivers can be seen, one peaking out from behind his right hip, the other over his right shoulder.

 

His eyes are like a hawk, and one has the impression he really is seeing more than what the rest see. He is clearly at home with his gear, his weapons, his profession as a hunter, a hunter of men. And there is something about the way he moves, something perhaps unnatural, for humans are not built to move like cats. And can it be that he leaves no tracks?

 

A dark cowled hunter in the night he is. A hero to some, a nightmare to others.

 

Personality & Motivation

 

Family, friends, community, these are the things that Tristan learned were holy. But Tristan has no family, and the life of a Ranger is a lonely one. His community tends to be whichever community has most need of his service. Tristan wants to be loved, perhaps more than most, having known it so thoroughly once from his family and then having lost it. But even more important than him having love, is them having the protection he can give them. That is the greater love, the love of sacrifice and devotion to duty. Love cannot be selfish if it is to be true.

 

Tristan can be very sober, that is the lot of someone in his line of work. He sees much pain and sorrow. He knows however that he also prevents much more than he sees by being devoted to his work, and this brings him much comfort. For the kindly people of the world, he feels nothing but love, and in his experience, there are many more of them in the world than most people realize. Loving families, good hearts,wanting to do the right thing. And he will do what he can to let them live in peace.

 

Some have questioned his convictions in the goodness of the world. How can he hold to such a belief when he sees the evidence of evil everywhere? The thing is that yes, he sees that, but he sees much more. He sees young couples kissing, he sees the look in the eyes of families that love one another, the camaraderie of friends and how they would die for one another if it came to that. There is much more to the world than sorrow. Those that see that easily find the motive to do the right thing. It is those who do not see that, those are the ones Tristan often finds himself hunting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Wow Killer Shrike, I am flattered. Your site has been both a boon and an inspiration for me this last week as my passion for the Hero System has reawakened. I would be honored if these characters were made even more real by being part of a world. Who knows, they might even see an incarnation into the shared worlds of others around the globe!

 

I would ask however, that you or someone else of great skill with the Hero System take responsibility for any final character designs that would go with my descriptions. I can write three such descriptions in the time it takes me to actually perfect a character design. (I'll agonize for hours over a handful of points.) I've gotten rusty I suppose in my long absence from tabletop gaming.

 

I can give you basic writeups that you could tweak, make fit more closely especially the magics of your world, and perhaps fine tune the balance as well.

 

Next up perhaps, Scheherazade, the Vim Dancer? "Once a slave, now the master!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Wow Killer Shrike, I am flattered. Your site has been both a boon and an inspiration for me this last week as my passion for the Hero System has reawakened. I would be honored if these characters were made even more real by being part of a world. Who knows, they might even see an incarnation into the shared worlds of others around the globe!

 

I would ask however, that you or someone else of great skill with the Hero System take responsibility for any final character designs that would go with my descriptions. I can write three such descriptions in the time it takes me to actually perfect a character design. (I'll agonize for hours over a handful of points.) I've gotten rusty I suppose in my long absence from tabletop gaming.

 

I can give you basic writeups that you could tweak, make fit more closely especially the magics of your world, and perhaps fine tune the balance as well.

 

Next up perhaps, Scheherazade, the Vim Dancer? "Once a slave, now the master!"

 

And then some of us are very good at the mechanics, and not so good with the narrative.

 

We all have weaknesses to work on, and strengths to play to.

 

I think these are some impressive backgrounds.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says it's obvious that Panpiper has a Background Skill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Scheherazade was the name given to her. A proud name indeed and one fraught with expectation. She was the result of a breeding between two of the finest pleasure slaves in the land. Her mother gave the infant Scheherazade what love she could in the small time she had breast feeding her, but at an age that infants were sure to not remember later in life, she was separated and taken to be raised in a slave creche.

 

Her breeder was quite happy as she matured, Scheherazade learning well the skills of dance and seduction that were the birthright of a pleasure slave. And Scheherazade knew her place, she knew that any sign of rebellion or noncompliance and she would be branded, and sold off to some brothel as a common whore. Her clean unbranded state was a proof of her having been bred for one purpose, to be the utterly subservient companion to whomever she was sold.

 

Rarely did the breeding and training not take. Rarely however, it failed gloriously. It was as if the universe consipired to store all the freedom and talent of those who were raised perfectly tamed, and release it all at once, every once in a while. Scheherazade was one of those rare ones, rarer still for having the presence of mind to conceal her spirit and hide her lust for freedom.

 

She commanded a small fortune in her sale price. Her breeder did well, a price for which he has yet to pay. She was sold to a great wizard, a Winder, a weaver of the wild currents of Vim, one of the most powerful mages in the land. It was the likes of he that could afford the price of the likes of her. She was fascinated by the power he wielded, the things he could do. And she knew, this was the road to her freedom, these magics, if she could learn them, would carry her away.

 

And so she seduced her owner, she seduced him with every once of skill and talent she could muster. She was the best pleasure slave anyone could ever be. And it worked, the wizard fell in love with his slave. He would at first do little things for her, for he loved to hear her laugh. And reveling in her delight, when she asked to try herself, it never dawned on him to not try to teach her those little tricks that she so enjoyed. She got good at the little things. She played her game well. So utterly besotted was her master, that not once did it occur to him that teaching a slave dangerous magics, was dangerous. For Scheherazade was so beautiful, so exquisite as she laughed and played and loved him, or so he thoroughly believed.

 

Scheherazade reached the point where she had enough grasp of the magics to finally slip away, and discovered to her great consternation that she did not want to. She might be a slave, but her master had in fact shown her nothing but kindness. And she was still learning, he was still teaching her. That was her rationalization to herself, why leave while she could still learn so much? But the troubled thought would occur to her often, then hastily beat down, if maybe her slave training hadn't actually done it's job? For a good slave was intended to love her master. And here she was, a slave, in love with her master.

 

Fortunately for Scheherazade's freedom, though not so fortunately for her master, the Winding can be a dangerous magic. It came to pass one day, long after the day that Scheherazade had mastered enough magics to leave, that her master was working on a new spell and things went terribly wrong. She was not there when the thunderclap woke the tower, but she rushed in moments later to find her mentor, already dead, his flesh being torn from his bones by demons from some fell dimension. And more still were coming through the tear in space that the thunderclap had heralded!

 

She howled with rage and loss and let loose her own magics. Vim currents hurricaned about her. Her master would have been proud, were he alive to see it. Beast after beast she cut down, pouring out her agony into their flesh. But they didn't stop coming through the hole, and with every one she brought down, now chasing her through the corridors of the tower, two more replaced it. And the other occupants of the tower were torn asunder, Scheherazade powerless to stop them all. Till finally she was at the top of the tower, nowhere left to run, and demons poured out from below.

 

With a last cry of sorrow for her loss, she leapt into the air, the Vim currents lifting her high, her tears in the wake of her new found freedom.

 

This is the story of Scheherazade, the Vim Dancer, originally incarnated in Killer Shrike's thread on Winding.

http://www.herogames.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1933100&postcount=7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

 

Trenton was born third son to landed nobility, as his rather impoverished family was want to point out at every opportune moment. They did in fact possess some small land, the village of Linet, if a den of filth and poverty could so be called. His father held mayorship over a small village frequently beset by raiders, slavers, and all manner of fell beasts. What meager surplus crops the beleaguered peasantry were able to harvest were utterly siphoned away in a vain attempt to hold back the tide. In fairness to his father, Trenton must admit, the man tried. But his insistence upon his class, his privilege, and his right to anything and everything those under him possessed, ultimately drove Trenton into rebellion and estrangement. Trenton has little brook for snobs.

....

 

Are you cool with this?

 

Trenton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Are you cool with this?

Very much cool with this, yes. Feel free to include any and all such character backgrounds as I might concoct.

 

Do you want to write up an optional/example point build, or should we simply leave these as fodder for the imagination? I'm not saying 'you' have to do the point builds. And in fact, there is nothing to prevent having two or more such builds, likely from different people, showing different ways to approach it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

By the way folks, believe it or not, I do not possess an overabundance of imagination. What I do have to some small degree is a talent for writing and a love for characters and what might motivate them. ('If' I had a head for plot, I might make a decent novelist.) I could use sometimes additional inspiration.

 

If you have a really cool idea for a background, but feel you cannot do the character justice yourself, try sending the idea to me. Your idea just might find it's way into Killer Shrike's online world. I should note that I am mostly focused on Fantasy, and while I might take a stab at a superhero background or something else, it would not come as easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

I suppose I should do a character background for a classic cleric. And maybe one for a more traditional mage as well. It would be helpful if someone looking for a 'standard' background could at least find one example of each of the classics. And I suppose Tristan is neither the average thief, nor the average ranger.

 

I do have a conception for a 'stone molder', someone who has a magic talent they use as a professional skill, typically for 'sculpting' architecture rising straight from the bedrock. How does one get those tall skinny castles on the tops of steep mountains? Stone molders are the key. And the castles they build are strong too, for they are not made of bricks that can be easily knocked apart, the rock is sealed and smooth as glass.

 

I am not sure how to define the power however and without knowing that, it is difficult to write the background. I always assumed it would be some sort of cumulative, area effect transform, the special effect of which would look like the stone in the area of his control would flow like telekinetically controlled water, rising and being molded to fit whatever shape the molder desired. Appropriate architectural skills would need to be taken to supplement the power, lest the resultant construction look more like what a child would sculpt in a sandbox. Anyone want to take a stab at defining a magic school based on a practical application of such magic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Bartholemue Blaine was born to a humble but hard working folk, devout in their service both to their lord and their faith. Many a time were he and his family tested. But they knew that was because they were close to god, for only those close to their god would be so deserving of such testing. Such were the teachings of the faith, and they were fervent.

 

Every worship, Barholemue would be there with his family and the other devout of his community. Sincerely would he pray, for the tests he and his family endured were severe indeed, as their lord required much support for his holy endeavors. The extent of Bartholemue's faith was apparent and noticed it seems, as he was given special attention by the clergy, invited to wear vestments and assist in the services. It was a high honor that his family was happy to pay for, as poor as they were.

 

Bartholemue showed great promise, his meticulous attention to detail was appreciated by the clergy who often would miss things. And his faith was unquestionable. It was decided that he be given formal schooling and was sent away to the Lord's church, there to study. He was taught to read, and to read the doctrines of his faith, to do so incessantly till they were a part of him, memorized. He learned the rites, the rituals, the words for blessings, the secret signs, and finally the mystery teachings, so very different from what the profane believed, the profane such as his family.

 

This troubled Bartholemue, that his utterly faithful family should be taught one thing, when the clergy knew amongst themselves something else. He was told that this was the way of the world, that all religions were thus, that the profane could not understand the truths given to the enlightened. And he was inducted into yet more sacred rites, the rites of the flagellants, so that his doubt and the ways of the flesh could be beaten from his spirit. And still Bartholemue's faith endured, as his back bled virtually incessantly from his observations.

 

Finally he was sent back to his village to work there as part of the official clergy. But when he arrived he found things different, very different. Not so much different in the way things were, but in how he now saw things, felt about things, so very differently than before. The less than devout were being purged of their apostasy with the very same flails that he used on his own back. And then he was ordered to help, for the lord required tribute and these faithless were shirking their duty. And then he found himself facing his family, and they too were to be beaten. And he stood there, trembling, as a war so secret waged in his heart, a war that had waged forever it seemed, a war so hard fought because his faith was true, while those who pretended to be true, were in fact not true at all. And then something in him broke.

 

He collapsed to his knees, the world around him seeming to grow silent, distant and dark, as a great figure of light appeared before him. He felt the hand of the light rest upon his brow as he wept. "The truth is in your heart my son," spoke the great figure, "Not in the words of men. Follow not words, follow not men, follow the dictates of conscience, for it is there that I speak to you my son." And with that the figure was gone, and the day was bright, but he felt still the touch of god upon his brow.

 

"Enough!" He bellowed, the sheer power of his voice resonating through the village as everyone stopped. He spoke with the authority of his god and none of these impostors posing as clergy had any power to resist. He marched through the village, seizing the flails and using them to whip the mewling liar clergy before him. They huddled in a terrified mass before him as Bartholemue turned to the people in what was once his village and spoke, still in that thundering voice; "You know the truth that is in your hearts..." He began... And he sermonized them with the truth in his own heart, the truth he knew came from the conscience bequeathed unto all by their god. And they heard, and they understood. And the heretics before him did not.

 

He drove the weeping former clerics before him and marched them the distance to the lord's church, for there too the worship of his faith had been overwhelmed by the corrupt and the faithless. There too the heretics needed to be purged. But they heard of his coming and a few came to see while he was still distant. They saw, some fled, a few reported back. By the time Bartholemue arrived, the church was nearly empty, save for a very few who knelt quietly and prayed. They were the few who truly believed, who truly were devout, who truly wished to do god's work. He sermonized them, that they might understand, and they too wept.

 

He then noticed that a large crowd had gathered outside of the church. It seemed that the whole town had gathered for they had heard of the driving of the heretics and had come to learn the truth of the matter. And so again, Bartholemue spoke with the authority of his faith, and spoke of the truth revealed to him in his heart, and how each of them had that same truth in theirs. And they were moved.

 

Bartholemue looked to the trembling heretics, too exhausted from their weeping now to do more than whimper. He tore from them what vestments remained on their bodies, and drove them away. 'Begone, lest mercy be tempted! Begone!" They fled into the crowd, while the crowd was still in the sway of their sermon. Bartholemue saw the town's lord watching from afar. He knew now that the lord was not faithful at all, that he had used the church to his own temporal ends. He also knew that those days were now done. The faithless had been driven from the ranks of the church, the people had heard the truth, there would be no more using the church by this lord.

 

But there were other lords who used their churches, other faithless clerics who preyed upon their faithful. Bartholemue knew that his work was not done, that his work had in fact just begun. He had a quest now, to spread the enlightenment, to restore his church. He would have to travel far, and the road might be hard. But Bartholemue knew in his heart that his faith would be with him wherever he may go, and whatever he may face. And he would not falter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

T'is an error to praise an intelligent child. Such was the belief, not wrong, of Talon's parents. Praise a child for work accomplished and especially tasks completed and you will raise a child strong in will and self discipline. Such is the key to success.

 

Talon's father was a smith of high talent, sought after and commanding a high price for his workmanship. Talon learned a lot from his father, developing an appreciation for quality of workmanship and attention to detail. His father was a wealthy man by tradesman standards and so Talon was not lacking for educational opportunity. He was taught letters, numbers and scholarship by fine tutors. More, it was seemly for a smith to understand the use of that which he forged, and so Talon was schooled from a very early age in the use of weapons. For Talon, it was not so much the idea of learning to fight that lent him his enthusiasm for this instruction. Rather it was the discipline itself, the perfection of form, the perfection of mind to be found in the art. Talon learned the use of all the common weapons but quickly he focused upon the most beautiful of the weapon styles using an elegant cutting blade. It was perfection of the 'one' that he sought.

 

So it was that when Talon started to evidence a talent for more than things physical as he reached puberty, that he was gifted with instruction at the academy. His father regretted loosing his son as an apprentice, but while he would never say so to his son, magics made his father very nervous, even though he did fairly often contract with the mages of the academy who sought his work as the foundation for their enchanting experiments. (The easiest enchantments simply enhance qualities already present, and so for the enchanting of weapons and armor, it is best to start with the highest quality to begin with.)

 

Talon took to his studies with relish. While previously he had owned merely a few books (actually a huge extravagance on the part of his father) and had access to a few more through his tutors, at the academy there were hundreds of books! Maybe even as many as a thousand! Talon wasn't even sure he would have enough time to read them all!

 

The morning is difficult for most to rise and be alert for studies. Not so for Talon, for his martial instructors did their own training at sunrise and Talon continued to train with them. And so he was alert and in top physical condition while most other students tried to finish their sleep. The other students didn't much appreciate the teachers pet that Talon soon turned into at the academy, but Talon was too busy availing himself of the opportunity of studying there to much care.

 

Talon quickly discovered that there was much in common with the martial discipline and the martial application of magics. He found that the focus of mind and will essential to mastery of the art was the same in both, and that he had unwittingly been perfecting those very qualities he needed to master magics, the whole of his life. He started applying that which he learned in the academy to his training with his instructors in the guard. And he quickly discovered that he needed to tone himself down in order to not embarrass them. They understood though, and he was well liked, so they cooperated so that Talon could continue to hone both his magical as well as his martial talent while in practice.

 

At the academy as well, his early training in the disciplines served him greatly. Talon blew through the early training, mastering several grades at once and leaping through the curriculum. Quickly he found himself studying much of what was not in the regular curriculum and having much time to practice. So he was able to focus on honing those martial magics, while the rest of the students were still practicing cantrips. He spent a great deal of time in the sanctum sanctorum, that special place in the academy specifically constructed to be able to absorb and contain the most powerful of magics. There Talon practiced for hours on end, just as he had learned to practice with his cutting blade. Attack, defend, counter, riposte all had their parallels in magic, like a chess game it was and Talon made certain to keep a whole range of stratagems well honed.

 

His teachers saw him for what he was, a rising star, and already a formidable martial mage. He had spent years with them, and now a man he had well surpassed any regular graduate of the academy. And so it was that when the day came that their services were needed to deal with a terrible magical threat, Talon was asked if he would join with them. Talon quelled the leap in his heart, knowing that for all intents, this was his graduation, he soberly agreed, and kept hiding his enthusiasm.

 

And so for the first time in his life, Talon left the security of the walls of his home city. Indeed, Talon had never even been outside of the high quarter, that (half actually) part of the city that the well off and nobility lived in. The 'below' as it was called in private, was an unseemly place where bad things happened, and Talon had never had a reason to venture where he might find danger. Him traveling now was the biggest lesson he learned thus far. It gradually began to dawn on him just how much of a privileged life he had led. He had known intellectually that others were less fortunate than he, but knowing that distantly in one's mind is very different from living that down in the mud, where he now found himself.

 

The squalor and poverty of the people he passed, the utter disdain with which his instructors treated these people, all were lessons that drove deep into Talon's heart. How could he have been so blind? How could he have been so self centered? How could his erstwhile instructors be so callous? These poor people begged him for food, and he knew there existed magics that would allow him to feed them, but he had never bothered to study those magics! He saw people with terrible diseases, crippling injuries and had nothing in his arsenal that could help them. His arts were entirely focused on the give and take of combat, and such injuries were long past any combat healing. And yet he had found magics that could have helped them, if he had done more than speed read through them to get to the 'good stuff'. By the time they reached their destination, he was filled with a deep shame. How could the world be so, and how could he, he of all people, have been so ignorant?

 

The academy mages approached the site where their magics were called upon. It was a great cave where the evil apparently had retreated to, and it had erected a barrier that the lord's men could not penetrate. The academy mages went to work attacking the barrier. And Talon too worked, but while it looked to any observer that he was assisting, what he was really doing was looking. His efforts were not efforts to break the barrier but to see past it. He had learned a very hard lesson these last few days, and he would no longer allow himself to act in ignorance.

 

And see he did. There behind the barrier was a solitary mage, straining valiantly to maintain the protection and visibly weakening. Standing, waiting behind were a handful of others, weapons at the ready, and nothing about them looked evil. They were rather steadfast, grim and resolute. They were ready to make their last stand. Talon extended his senses and perceived a little further back in the cave, huddled by the wall, a great many men, women and children weeping in terror, all of them the same sorts of broken and downtrodden that he had seen along his trek here.

 

Talon broke away from the rest of the academy mages, who paid him no mind, for few of them were as martially trained as he and they needed their full concentration to maintain their magics. Talon confronted the captain of the lord's forces who stood waiting eagerly to finish their job. "What is the meaning of this?" Talon demanded, "What crime have these people committed?"

 

The Captain hesitated, perplexed as to why he would be asked such a question from one from that most elite of academies. "Why, they are rebels good Sir."

 

And something inside Talon snapped. He'd never experienced it before. It was quite not in keeping with his training.

 

Rage.

 

A massive blast erupted in the midst of the academy mages, hurtling them aside. Unseen by Talon, the mage maintaining the barrier collapsed in relief. Talon turned to the assembled lord's guard and another blast flung them too, backward. Talon began flinging attacks left and right in utter disregard for the peril he had placed himself in. Alone, as talented as he was, he stood no chance against the forces he had just pitted himself against. But he was blind to his fate. He could not live and let himself be party to evil. And the lord's forces advanced upon him as the academy mages turned their power against him.

 

And then there were shoulders standing side by side of him. A knight in shining armor, a cleric glowing bright, and the others of that handful that had seemed so grim, so resolute. They fought with him, they would stand by him, even if it meant their own peril. Talon would defend those who needed defending, as would these brave souls, no matter the odds. Such would be his path from now on.

 

All they had to do was first, defeat this army.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

"Nice folks don't have as much nice stuff to steal usually." That's how Sly justified it to his 'friends' in the thieves guild. They would tease him about his squeamishness, how he leaves the regular townsfolk alone and only goes after 'Big Game'. Sly knew though that they were just envious, and too afraid to go after the big prizes.

 

In truth though, Sly didn't go after the regular townsfolk, because they couldn't afford to loose the little they had. Sly was not in the business to make people's lives miserable, especially if he didn't need to. In fact Sly did so well for himself swiping loot from those who lived large off the backs of the regular folk, that he could afford to play games with the regular townsfolk. Sly would use his skills to break into the homes and shops of those folks who were in the most dire straights, and he would leave them 'presents'. Nothing so large or obvious that it would get them noticed or in trouble, but Sly thought it was hugely amusing to fill an impoverished family's shelves with food, or the like. The looks of utter perplexity on their faces when they discovered his prank was gutspittingly hilarious to Sly. Often those families would get awfully religious, offering up thanks to their god. Sly didn't mind being their god for a time.

 

Sly had no idea who his parents were. As long as he could remember, and that was far back, Sly lived on the streets. Bigger kids took care of him and gave him jobs to do like being a lookout or making distractions. And they taught him, first just picking pockets, knowing how to bait&switch and such. But as he got bigger and more able to handle himself, he learned the rest of his trade as well. Sly was a smart one too, and he leaned his trade well.

 

It was the really big prizes though that Sly most was interested in. The ones kept in vaults, or under guard, or those things that might be buried in tombs, that themselves might be locked and guarded. Great things, magic things, really valuable things, those were the real treasure. Living well was easy and little challenge for someone possessed of Sly's skills. And challenge was what Sly wanted more than anything.

 

And the more Sly thought about it, the more intriguing it sounded, that quest those adventurers were talking about, that he of course eavesdropped in on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...