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Panpiper

Character Backgrounds (free for all)

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Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

Iron shod doors thrice the height of a war horse opened thunderously under the strain of the males. Battle armor glistening in the torch light, a grizzled matron of countless combats strode through with purpose. "Imperious General, the technoworms have a new report about that vortex they've been babbling about." The Centurion groveled before the throne of the Victrix.

 

The general favored this Centurion who wore battle honors. "Why would you disturb me with this? I have little time and no patience for the concerns of scientists. I have wars to plan and victories to savor!" She might have no patience for scientists, but she would listen to this warrior with as many scars as years.

 

"Aye Victrix," If anyone deserved that title it was this General, "but they say now that this vortex is no longer just a curiosity but now may well be a gate, a gate to a new world General!"

 

"A new world?" The general muttered in thought, absent mindedly scratching under her armor at the scar of where her left breast used to be, "A new world, new enemies, new battles..." She shook herself. "But can this be? It is more seemly of tales that males might tell to while away the hours."

 

"The scientists believe it so, Victrix." The Centurion had her doubts, but the scientists were very excited. "They are of course too cowardly to test their theory themselves, but they suggest that perhaps a reconnaissance would be in order."

 

The General harrumphed at their temerity, but the worms were right. If a new world were at their doorstep, they could not let the opportunity go unchecked. They were likely incorrect, so the general would not risk her seasoned veterans on such a boondoggle, but there were other options. There were war prisoners slated for execution who might appreciate a chance at reprieve.

 

*

 

The split in the sky shimmered as something dropped through.

 

It was a long way down. "Oh Shit!"

 

Wind blew across Alahandra's ears, or not wind so much as the sound of her picking up speed as she dropped. Oh well, at least it will be quicker than what that general had planned, Alahandra figured that was her last thought as the ground rushed up at her.

 

Then she noticed the tree, sticking up at her like some frigging phallus. Oh the irony.

 

The tree top bent and snapped, Alahandra bounced to a branch and it snapped too. Bounce! Crack! Smash! In seconds the tree was demolished and Alahandra hit the ground flat on her back.

 

She lay there for a while.

 

She stared up at the sky. She could just about dimly make out a shimmering point so very high up. That high...

 

"Ouch."

 

Alahandra started to take inventory, trying hard to not move in the process. Two arms, check. Two legs, check. Her mind scanned her body. She would be feeling pain for a long time, but all her parts seemed to be there. The question now was whether the scavengers would eat her before she bled out. She had all her parts, but she was in bad shape.

 

She lay there some more. And then she herd a scratching, scrambling sound. Alahandra feared that this time, it was it. Some hyena pack had shown up for an easy meal, or worse, vultures. Hyena's would make short work of her, but vultures would eat her alive!

 

Then she heard muttering. A human voice muttering. She couldn't understand what was being said. The ancient face of a hag thrust itself into her view, inches from her nose. It spoke a few words, with an accusing tone. Alahandra's nose curled from it's breath.

 

Roughly, but without inflicting any extra damage, the hag's hands explored Alahandra's injuries. Bandage and splints she applied. Then the hag produced odd instruments and waved them about in the air, it's voice cackling. And Alahandra felt strangely better. The hag wandered off. Alahandra lay there some more, still not able to really move, but not feeling so much any more that she would wind up scavenger food.

 

She waited a while. Then the Hag came back leading a burrow. She started tugging and pulling on Alahandra, hauling her onto a travois. Then she got dragged off, the travois of course helping her to feel her every injury with every bump.

 

They stopped 'finally' at a rude hut. More dragging ensued till she was inside on a rough bed of rags. Hag mutters accompanied hag fidgeting with cookeries. Alahandra managed to move her head just enough to watch, as the hag prepared something that might be edible in a dirty cauldron.

 

The meal done, if one could call it that, the hag came back to spoon feed Alahandra a thin stew. Dutifully Alahandra swallowed, trying to not think too much about what she might be swallowing. Swallowing hurt.

 

Shoot... 'breathing' hurt.

 

Feeding done, the hag again had it's face over Alahandra's. It was speaking. It kept saying one word in particular over and over, pointing at her. "Ganesh!" It said. "Ganesh!" Alahandra tried to repeat the word, but all that came out was a croak. The hag threw up it's hands in disgust and wandered off, muttering to itself, and Alahandra drifted to sleep.

 

For weeks Alahandra was nursed by the hag, slowly regaining her strength. Her wounds knit, her bones mended, she was able to sit and even help with preparing food. And she had started to learn Hag Speak.

 

Apparently this hag was more than just an old woman with cantrips. She was an ancient, how old was hard to tell. And she knew magics, big scary magics it would seem. Alahandra didn't believe in magic, not until she came through that gate anyway and saw the hag do stuff. It was her that had opened up that gate apparently, intending to summon something for a great task, a retribution of some kind against great enemies. Obviously the spell had gone badly wrong.

 

The hag called her Ganesh. Alahandra tried to tell the hag that her name was Alahandra, but she kept being called Ganesh. Alahandra tried many times to get a name out of the hag, something to call her other than hag, but she muttered something about names and power and would not answer.

 

Alahandra worked at her recovery, training daily with a quarterstaff the hag had. Her rifle and pistol were smashed beyond repair. But Alahandra was an extremely well rounded soldier as were all the women of her unit. She could handle herself just fine with a quarterstaff or pretty much any other weapon she could get her hands on.

 

Her strength returned, she was none the worse now for her great fall. She didn't know if the gate was still open, but she couldn't see it when she went back to examine her landing spot, to gather what gear she might that wasn't destroyed by the fall. She was quite certain that even if the gate was still open, any other unfortunate the general sent through would fare even worse than she.

 

Then one day, her now back in form, the hag waved her off, rambling on about something involving work or task. She shooed her away from her hut, gave her a bag of cooked tubers and the quarterstaff and sent her on her way. Alahandra got the message, she was to leave now. She tried to thank the hag, and the hag looked at her strangely and waved her hands in the air cackling again as she was so want to do. And she stormed off into her hut, and closed the flap.

 

So there she was, an amazon soldier alone in a strange world, possessing little more than some torn clothing others in this world were sure to find odd, a stick for a weapon and a rudimentary command of Hag Speak. She had no idea where she was or where she was going for that matter. She found a stream, and followed it's flow.

 

Who would have thought she would come to this. She'd been born to a small nation of free people that was unfortunately in the path of conquerors much larger. Her people trained hard so that they would be ready to sell themselves dearly when the time came. And when Alahandra had been captured her people were still fighting hard. There was nothing she could do for her people now. She now had to find a place for herself in this world.

 

Her first contact with others was a small band of extremely unlikely characters, who had made camp where she had herself intended to make camp as the sun was setting, just outside of some strange ruins. She greeted them amicably, though staying cautious, for who knows how strangers are received in this world. Her caution proved prudent when those she greeted responded with similar caution. They were surprised perhaps that she had approached so closely to their camp without having been seen before greeting them, but stealth was a habit ingrained in Alahandra from a great many years of training. What surprised Alahandra was that they were all males!

 

Alahandra tried valiantly to address them in her Hag Speak. The others exchanged blank stares and shrugged their shoulders. Alahandra figured it was probably because she spoke really 'bad' Hag Speak. Then a robed one stepped forward, the others in the group she encountered all wore ancient style armor of various sorts. The robed one waved his hands and chanted.

 

"Who are you and what do you want with us?" The robed one questioned, in impeccable Imperial Common. Alahandra failed terribly in her attempt to hide her surprise.

 

"You speak common? But..." She looked about at the strange land she was in.

 

The mage waved off the question, "I speak whatever is necessary for us to understand one another. Now again, who are you?"

 

"My name is Alahandra."

 

"Just Alahandra?" The mage cocked his head. Apparently second names were in common usage here.

 

"Alahandra Ganesh" She replied. Why not. She'd been given that name by the one who had saved her life.

 

The mage was taken aback. He looked at his compatriots and exchanged a few words with them. They too seemed oddly struck by what was said. The mage turned back to Alahandra.

 

"Ganesh means 'Avatar'."

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Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

I do have a conception for a 'stone molder'' date=' 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.[/quote']

In my fantasy campaign world, I have a order of wizards sort of like this. They are feared, not because they can build impervious castles for themselves, but because they can dismantle others' castles. They're colloquially known as the "Dun Wizards".

 

I have a low-level character of this order. I used a Transform for making rock soft and pliable like clay, you can then mold it, and the spell wears off after a while, hardening back into normal stone. The low-level guy can only do a small hunk at a time, about a cubic meter or so, and it takes a while. High-level Dun Wizards can mold large amounts of stone (such as a whole castle wall), do it instantly, and shape it from a distance, telekinetically.

 

They have many other earth-stone related spells.

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Re: Character Backgrounds (free for all)

 

So true that if such a talent could be used to build something, it could also be used to take it down. I was thinking that if such a school of magic existed, they would either be superweapons, the fantasy equivalent of small atomic bombs, or there would be a counter enchantment that would be available that could turn stone impervious to such manipulation. Quite possibly that enchantment would have been something researched by the Stone Molder school itself.

 

If any normally built castle can be reduced easily by stonemolders 'as well as' a castle build by stonemolders, stone molders will have employment opportunities only in reducing walls built before the school existed. Because nobody will build walls anymore. They will be too costly for something too easily neutralized. However if stonemolders developed their craft 'and' came up with a transforming enchantment that would make stone impervious to their magic, then they would have massive employment opportunities, for building things themselves, charging extra for the 'impervious to stonemolding' enchantment, as well as casting that enchantment on stoneworks built by normal means.

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