Backstory


Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Silverwind Siivrell
Status: Warblade 1/Wizard 5/Jade Phoenix Mage 4

Somewhere in Aundair, some months ago…

A tall, silver-skinned illumian searches through an attic.

“I can’t believe I broke another sword,” she mutters. Eventually, she finds what she is looking for: a chest of weapons donated to the cabal for services rendered many years ago. Because of her own service, she’s being allowed to choose a blade from here. And also because she needs a sturdier weapon.

Beneath the other assorted blades, she finds a greatsword, with a large piece of jade in the hilt and the name Eiryavel etched into the adamantine. She takes it out, and tests its balance.

Perfect, she thinks, Almost as if it were made for me.

***

Siivrell leans back to think, staring at the blade on the table in front of her. “There’s something strange about you, Eiryavel, and something strangely familiar…” she mutters to herself.

“May I enter?”

“Certainly.” Siivrell turns to see Watcher, a warforged with whom she had fought before. “Can I help you with something?” She grins. “Hopefully with defeating something evil?”

“Perhaps a little later,” he says quietly. “I wish to speak with you on a matter of importance. Have you ever noticed that everything seems vaguely familiar? Perhaps remembering history you never learned?”

“I do seem to have déjà vu more often than most people. And history… you’re right. What’s all this about?”

“I believe you and I are a part of the same organization, the Order of the Jade Phoenix.”

“What?”

“We thirteen were the only survivors of the order after fighting to drive the daelkyr into Khyber, protecting Eberron from their destructive power. We swore an oath, to forever defend Eberron from the creatures of Khyber. That oath extends even beyond death. Your sword — the one you bear now — has become bound to that oath as well, through you.”

“The daelkyr? That was, what, nine thousand years ago?”

“Yes.”

“Almost unbelievable…”

“But true. The memories only need to be reawakened, as Eiryavel will reawaken.”

Siivrell shook her head. “Reawakened how?”

“I wish to perform the rite of waking. We only need talk a few minutes, and you will begin to remember…”

***

“Fantastic. All that history we had a hand in… Now, what was that about smacking something evil?”

Some people never change, Watcher thought, even after over a hundred lifetimes.

***
A few months later…

Siivrell walks down a road. “We’re not lost. I know exactly where we are.”

“Right, then, where are we?” asks a neutral voice coming from her sword.

“We’re, ah, in Thrane near the Mournland, and–”

“And? And?”

“Um…”

“I thought so.”

“But I’ve been here before!”

“Right, about six hundred years ago.”

A halfling leans out from the brush, and timidly says, “Um, hello? Who are you talking to?”

“Oh!” Where did he pop out from? Siivrell thinks. “Just Eiryavel, my sword. It’s always more fun to argue out loud.”

A little later…

“Were you really here six hundred years ago?”

“Well, closer to five hundred ninety.”

“How old are you?”

“Twenty-seven.”

Player’s Notes

I anticipate a great deal of amusement. Slightly cocky but easily lost fighter/mage with a talking sword. Note that Eiryavel has twice the wisdom of Siivrell. In any case, Siivrell is the official spell-casting meatshield. Yay!

Prior to levels and items and such:

  • Str: 15+2 = 17 (+3)
  • Dex: 10 (+0)
  • Con: 13+2 = 15 (+2)
  • Int: 16 (+3)
  • Wis: 8 (-1)
  • Cha: 8+2 = 10 (+0)

And Eiryavel:

  • Int: 12
  • Wis: 16
  • Cha: 12

…the adamantine, diamond-mind, undead-bane and slightly cynical weapon of mass amusement value.

The timid halfling at the end is Cade, a healer extraordinaire type character briefly played by Scott.

Player: Dave Zhang
PC: Blaze
Status: Paladin 2 / Cleric 6 (Silver Flame)

“I’ll miss you!” shouted the girl, with tears streaming down her face.

“Wipe away those tears, Freckle-face. What would the Cardinals say if they saw their dear Keeper in tears? Throw me in a dungeon, most likely.”

Jaela punched him. “Can’t you be serious for once? I won’t get to see you again for I-don’t-know-how-many years. You’re the only one I completely trust; I’ll feel so much less safe with you gone. Not to mention, alone… with you gone, who can I tell my nightmares of the demon within the Flame?”

“I won’t be gone that long, dear Jaela. And you can cast Sending to tell me your nightmares.”

“It won’t be the same. Jermon, promise me you’ll contact me every week!”

The lad shrugged. “Can’t you just scry on me?”

He was punched again. “All right, all right, I promise.”

Jaela sniffled again. “I still don’t understand why you have to go yourself. Can’t we just send out a task force to do all of those things? I’ll promote you to Silver Retainer, and then you can be by me day and night.”

“You said yourself: I’m the only one you can completely trust. Any task force we assemble is bound to have at least one man on Diani or Krozen’s payroll. While my competence may be suspect, my loyalty assuredly is not.”

“I have every confidence of your coming success. But.. be not away too long, and remember that courage is the complement of fear. Be not fearless, for to me you are worth more than any artifact you can manage to recover or any army that I can assemble.”

Jermon nodded, took out his handkerchief, and wiped away the girl’s tears. “It’s about time for me to go.”

She nodded, stood up straight, and looked to her companion expectantly. Her friend hesitated a moment before giving her a friendly embrace.

She smiled when it ended, and incanted some words of divine power.

In a moment, the two of them stood just outside the gates of Flamekeep. The Keeper saluted her knight. “Sir Blaze of Flamekeep, I bid thee well.”


Jermon was born in Flamekeep, where the strong expression of his ancestral heritage was immediately recognized and put to good use. He began his harsh training as a Paladin at age four. Jermon’s parents were civilians, and did not have access to the inner quarters, but fortunately a kindly priestess (Meizi Daran) who lived next to his new quarters took care of him.

Meizi had just given birth to a daughter during Jermon’s arrival, named Jaela, and as Jermon grew older, he learned to love Jaela as a sister. When Jaela was selected to be the Keeper at age six, Jermon had assumed that he hardly ever again speak with the little girl, but was quickly pleasantly surprised. Jaela’s acceptance of the position was not unconditional: Most pertinent, Jermon and Meizi were both promoted to the rank of High Priest, with special priveleges of meeting the Keeper. Though a bit regretful that he must stray from the path of the Paladin, Jermon accepted, and applied himself to the arts of the Cleric.

Now, five years later, a number of threats to Jaela have surfaced. Jermon was in a unique position to observe them, for he was in a position of moderately high rank, yet most assumed him to be a naive brat up-jumped due to nepotism. Thus, the conspirators of this faction or that were much less wary than they should have beeen of the Keeper’s most loyal companion. Recently, though, that has started to change, as Jermon grew into young adulthood. No longer could he hear the whispers of usurpings and briberies, though he knew they still persisted.

Then, there was the demon in the Flame. The Voice of the Flame, typically attributed to be the Paladin Tira Miron, was but one of three that haunts Jaela nightly. The demon, though the least powerful voice of the three present, was dreadful when he did command the power of the Flame: Many a night did the youthful Keeper awaken in screams from the threats and nightmares the demon caused.

As a result of the above and others, Jermon decided to journey from Flamekeep to accomplish a number of goals. They are as follows:

  1. to reconnoiter the other nations and their states of readiness for re-kindled war,
  2. to discover the extent of Diani ir’Wynarn’s plans to usurp power,
  3. to seek an artifact that can permanently destroy the demon within the Flame and ease Jaela’s sufferings,
  4. to help solidify Jaela’s position within the Church and Thrane against the Council of Cardinals (esp. High Cardinal Krozen),
  5. to discover the secrets of the Day of Mourning that ended the Last War, and
  6. to recruit a loyal contingent of persons of high ability who would answer directly to Jaela.

Jermon, knighted as Sir Blaze in carrying the wrath and power of the Silver Flame, was nominally on a quest to find new converts for the Silver Flame and to destroy evil where ever it lurked. Many of those in power in Flamekeep viewed this move with little suspicion, thinking him to be but a haughty boy seeking his first adventure. He had even heard it whispered that some believed him to yearn the brothels of less puritanic nations. Jermon, prior to his departure, did his best to deny these rumors in the most unconvincing ways possible.

In the three years that followed, Jermon has been moderately successful in most of his tasks. He established contacts of some sort or other in most major cities, and is relatively confident of getting at least one day’s warning before any major political manuevers. He recruited some twenty men and women of various talents and the highest moral benchmarks, and sent them back to Flamekeep. Jaela named these the members of the Inner Guard, and placed them in positions of low nominal rank but high strategic importance within Flamekeep. He even recovered an artifact bracelet from Aerenal that allows Jaela to suppress dream invasions (for obvious reasons, the Keeper does not use it continuously though).

That is not to say that he was entirely unobstructed in his quest. Blaze was killed once when he snooped on the dispositions of the royal family in Korth a bit less than subtly. Jaela cried secretly for days, and hoarded diamond offerings for weeks before she could cast the True Resurrection spell. (She dared not draw from the official Silver Flame treasury, though she was fully entitled to–at best, the people of Thrane would view her as profligate and whimsical; at worst, the conspiratory Cardinals would realize that their puppet was no longer mindless.)

Other than that unconventional method of returning to Flamekeep, Blaze has returned twice to his city of birth. Both times though, he felt tails on him, and thus refused to see the Keeper except on the most formal occasions.. for which he had to apologize profusely afterwards. Blaze realizes that eventually the other players would realize that neither he nor Jaela are pawns any longer, and on some level he yearns for that day to quickly arrive, for then he could see the Keeper once more. But every extra moment the two of them had to solidify their position was precious, and Blaze was not so selfish as to jeopardize Jaela’s life for a moment’s worth of reunion.

For now, he journeys to try to understand the Day of Mourning, and the significance of the powers that caused it on Thrane.


The last message Blaze sent to Jaela via sending (scroll):

“In Sharn. Warforged revolt involves Emerald Claw. South House Cannith arrested for creation of new warforged. Rumored undead dragonmarked warforged. Headed to Xen’drik. Miss you.”


Player’s Notes:

This build will be focusing on two combinations:

  • Power Attack + anyspell (wraithstrike) for damage
  • delay death + Diehard for HP invulnerability

Aasimar Paladin 2 / Cleric 6 (Silver Flame)

Base Stats:

  • Str: 14 + 2 (leveling) = 16
  • Dex: 10
  • Con: 10
  • Int: 12
  • Wis: 14 + 2 (race) = 16
  • Cha: 13 + 2 (race) = 15

So, I wasn’t sure whether to wield a Falchion or a Scythe, but then, I read through the Eberron campaign setting again, and found the perfect weapon! Talenta Sharrash, 1D10, 19-20/x4 range, reach weapon. Tack on a Keen to that, and you get an extra 60% damage from crits! (Put another way, 37.5% of my damage output will be due to crits). 1 Feat? Cheap.

I’m hoping this backstory will be somewhat integrated into the coming adventures. I mean, come on: eventual lead-in to romantic subplot and deus ex machina true resurrection… what could be better? 😀 Plus, it’s intrigue-heavy, and very much in the spirit of everything being politics in Eberron.

Depending on where Blaze actually shows up to join the party, the last message may have to be edited.

The Inner Guard: 18 NPCs recruited by Blaze for Jaela’s personal protection, as well as being Eyes and Ears inside Thrane. All are either Neutral Good or Lawful Good, possess above average intelligence, and are strongly devoted to maintaining peace and prosperity within Khorvaire. Character levels range from 4 to 7, and class composition vary from Rogues to Monks to Fighters to Wizards. All of them know Blaze moderately well (i.e. interacted closely for at least one week), and all of them regularly report to Jaela herself.

Player: Dave Zhang
PC: Xame
Status: Rogue 1 / Cleric 4 / Divine Oracle 2

In a conversation with Taris:

My childhood? Bah, who remembers such trivial details? I fed myself as best I could, and managed to do so well enough to do so well enough to live till now. Been locked up a couple times for petty crimes, and once or twice the diseases from the filth of the jail came awfully close to doing me in. If it’s contacts you’re looking for, I know a couple people in Sharn where you can drop off and pick up second-hand goods, but that’s about it. Also know a couple people in some places–Trolanport, Rhukan Draal, so forth. People I met along the way.

My family? Oh, that’s right. I suppose I must have had a father and mother, at least. Don’t remember much of them. Fat lot of good they did in providing for me. They’re not native to Sharn, for sure, I knew the streets better than they did even back then. Abandoned me back when I was five. Came home one day after playing with the locals, and they were just gone, along with every last possession of theirs. Guess their pasts were catching up with them.

Nah, never really gave much thought to investigating them or my ancestry, though I suppose it wouldn’t be so hard now. Like I said before, I really kinda view G as my foster parent nowadays. I doubt meeting my birth folks would be rewarding in any way or form, and most likely they’d eye some of my new-found wealth with avarice. Don’t really hate them or anything either, so not motivated to go try the clutch of Orcus spell on them.

One thing about them does kind of rouse my curiosity though. At the time, I thought they were tattooes, but now I’m pretty sure my folks had dragonmarks or some sort or other. Don’t ask me which mark, I was five then! How the Hell would I remember? In fact, they might actually be tattooes that intentionally look kinda like dragonmarks. I haven’t developed one yet, at least.

Say, why are you so interested anyway? I doubt we’re cousins or anything..

Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Taris Talandro
Status: Ninja 1/Swashbuckler 3/Ninja +1

Left on a table-top some months ago in Thaliost, Thrane…

Dear Everyone:

As I hope you have all realized by now, I am never going to hear the call of the paladin, and I am never going to find the necessary discipline to become a cleric. Mother, even your guilt trips aren’t going to do it. I realize you’re all disappointed, but you already were anyway.

That said, I intend to use what talents I have to the fullest. Never fear; I will honor the Silver Flame in what I do. I’m going to be traveling around Thrane with some friends of mine of whom you would disapprove. Hopefully l’ll figure out what to do with my life. Something more useful than be lectured at by well-meaning relatives.

Just so you know, I have also decided to take my inheritance with me before I go. I figured you wouldn’t really miss it.

Don’t worry about me too much. I learned a few useful skills when you weren’t paying attention.

Taris

***

I’m off. Here’s to traveling. I’m going to travel a bit with a couple of the other young ninjas, and see what I can see. It’s a good thing the parents never found out about those little forays out at night. Well, it’s a good thing they just thought I had a boyfriend or something.

***

Something of a disagreement as to where we’re all going to be going. Whatever. I wanted to travel more than these two were interested in. They just want to hone their skills; I want to know why I’m doing what I’m doing. And be somewhere other than Thrane, where people aren’t competely people unless they’re completely human. The Church has some problems it needs to work out, I think.

***

I met a fellow by the name of Eldon today. Interesting fellow. He was a Cyran sorcerer-soldier during the Last War. He’s planning on looking for some relatives who were lost in the Mournland when that all happened, and wanted to have somebody who can skewer things if there’s trouble. From what he says about the Mournland, there’s likely to be trouble. Oh, and I let him know I have some ninja training. He wanted to make sure I could handle myself in the Mournland. At least he agreed to keep it quiet.

Player’s Notes

This is going to be a serious change of pace from Antinua, that much is certain. A lot less zapping and a lot more skewering. (Taris’s unofficial motto appears to be “I don’t poke things, I skewer things.”) As you might guess from the note she left to her folks, Taris is a somewhat chaotic character. The interaction between her and Xame should be highly amusing…

In any case, the long-term game plan involves a mix of swashbuckler, ninja and duelist levels. Think rapier-wielding redhead with some stealth thrown in. And a few other things. The drawback is the need for Int, Wis and Dex to pull it all off; oh, well. So much for charisma. In any case… after gaining that first level of duelist (which won’t be for a while… alas) she’ll be adding Int, Wis and Dex bonuses to her AC… which will be highly entertaining. Plus fun feats involving two-weapon sorts of things, and avoiding trouble sorts of things.

As a further note, Taris is not particularly likely to write letters back home to her parents, siblings, or other assorted relatives. Her journal is written in Infernal… to make sure that her parents/relatives/most other people can’t read it.

And her unboosted abilities are…

  • Str: 10
  • Dex: 16
  • Con: 11
  • Int: 14
  • Wis: 14
  • Cha: 8

Player: Daniel Thai
PC: Tuiluilan
Status: Fighter 1

I want, above all else, to do the right thing. To uphold what I believe to be right and true, even if it puts me in danger.

But let me tell you a bit more about me. I was raised in a very fine home, to a pair of human parents, Jonas and Higgar Flax. Themselves raised by half-elves (though they themselves were not), the understood how to stride the line between the complexities of the elven culture, and the fast paced lives of humans. And they loved me, ever so much. My father was a blacksmith, and made the very finest steel blades that are to be found in the land. But I didn’t want to be a blacksmith. What fascinated me was not the forging of the blade, the hammering of it, the tempering of the steel, the minute additions of the impurities to the iron that gave the steel its great strength, its great ability to cut. It was the design of the sword that fascinated me. How long should the blade be for a given arm, and a given strength? How heavy should it be for a given strength? Is it to used primarily for stabbing or for slashing? Do you have to block with the sword? How large should the grip be? So I suppose that you could call me a blacksmith if you wanted to. But my father understood. During his apprenticeship, he told me that he learned how to make swords. But not how to dream swords. He also had a few big ideas which he was able to try out—creating some of the finest swords in the land. But when I was born, and when I manifested, at an early age, a keen intelligence, he realized that my destiny was more than simply a trade. My father is a wonder, a genius when it comes to making swords that someone has already made. Through care and diligence, he makes swords that were as good as anything ever made, better if the person making it before was not a master. But he’s not quite up to the challenge of making new, better ones. And he looks to me to do that.

My mother was similar to my father. Smart, although a little forgetful, she tried to raise me in the way I should go. It was she who punished me when I went astray, who really instilled in me, at the same time, a great kindness, I would hope, and a great love of what is right. It is because of both of them that I am here today. She was also musically inclined. No one could play the lyre better than her, and her voice, although my brother and I used to make fun of her, was really very good. She told me that her mother, or actually, the person who adopted her, instructed her in voice lessons. They were made for each other. They were made to raise me and my siblings too. I’ve met a lot of other people, but I assert that my parents were the best to be found in the land. Of course, others probably think the same thing, and that’s fine.

Through many evenings spent together as a family, my parents basically instilled in me a great love of what is right—or at least, what I think to be right. I’m not naïve enough to think that what I think is right, and what is right are necessarily the same. But at least, I’ll try to do it. And the other thing is, that might be a little weird is, I like authority. I like being told what to do. If there’s a law, then there’s no ambiguity about—if not the right thing to do, then at least what the authorities want you to do. And unless there’s some clear reason not to obey the law, I’ll generally obey it. Besides, most fences are to keep you from running off of a cliff.

The other thing that really influenced this attitude was the war, but I’ll get to that a bit later.

My father looked to me to help fight, with my mother, in the war, when I reached manhood on my 15th birthday, he realized that I needed a weapon. He asked me to ask him for a weapon, and I described my favorite weapon. 6 feet long, with a 3 foot hollow steel center, and a pair of steel blades on each side, it was a derivative of a double sword. More similar to the quarterstaffs that I had been using before, rather than the more traditional double swords that I saw. Real double swords are so hard to use. And so, I went to fight in the war.

Anyway, the war really hit me hard. Somehow—adolescent feelings of superiority, I thought that I could be invincible, at least at first. Actually, it’s really not that straight forward. Say that I knew that we’d be scheduling an attack at dawn. Right before the battle, I’d be nervous, and it’d be obvious that I was nervous. I’d be talkative, too talkative, with my comrades. But once the battle actually started, the training took over. It was at that time that I thought myself invincible. It was like performing or something, I guess, except that instead of my mom scolding me for another disappointing performance on my swordplay drill, it was real combat. But in combat, it was different. I could scrape my arms, or receive minor wounds, and not even feel it. My arms could be sore for days afterwards, and I could have a bunch of red gashes on my skin, but during the combat, I just wouldn’t feel it. I guess that that’s normal. Anyway, I got out of the war relatively unscathed—for me it only really lasted two years, though it was an eternity. I’m glad to be out of it. Really glad to be out of it.

The war didn’t so much change my personality so much as confirm it. It was absolutely necessary to be lawful during the war, lawful to the orders of my captain, as well as the established rules of war. It was pretty simple, for two reasons. The first was that loners that charged forward out of the group quickly were focused on by the enemy and killed, and rather quickly. The other reason was this. Those that didn’t work together couldn’t properly form the necessary bonds of camaraderie. Once those bonds were formed, then in those groups, I saw men willing fight to the death. If those bonds were not formed, people broke and ran when they thought they might be killed. So obedience to the rules, and working together, in general trying to obey the laws and not make anyone mad at you—that’s very important.

The other thing is that people will obviously fight for what they believe in, but more importantly, they fight for people. Humans, at the core, are sociable people. We thrive on relationships. As motivating as it was for me that I was fighting for the righteous cause of Mishann, whose claim to the throne was uncontestable, even more so was the fact that if I lost, the enemy would do who knows what to my parents and my sister. Ironically, it was the value of life that was impressed upon me in this time of conflict, despite the fact that I was killing people. It’s really what you’re fighting for, more than anything else, that motivates you to fight. People that have nothing to lose, often also have nothing to gain from fighting, and therefore no reason to fight. It’s those that have everything to lose—their life, their country, and especially their family—that fight to the death. In those, you read hatred in their eyes in combat—or maybe just resignation. For those that have nothing to lose, you often times read fear in their eyes.

The other thing is, having seen what death is, I’m not necessarily afraid of it. Either I die now, or I die later, and I’ll still suffer for eternity when I get there. A finite number over infinity is zero, so it doesn’t make a difference. I might as well make my mark on the world now, fighting and dying for what I believe in. It wouldn’t be much fun trying to live it up, anyway—that stuff gets old really fast. The other thing is, it’s a place of despair, and I won’t much think of myself as Tuiluilan anymore, so what does it matter?

Obviously, not knowing much else, I went home. My Father and Mother then informed me of some very bad news: I was to part ways with them, and make my own way in the world. As my father informed me, the sovereign host had loaned me to him, and now, the lease was up. Now I was to trust the Sovereign host, and more importantly, my own kills, and not my family as my primary refuge. That there was only so much that they could do for me anyway. After my time in the war, I was looking forward to a more ordered, if not an easier way of life, but that was not to be. So I set off to seek my fortune in the world. As terrible a world as it is in many ways, it’s sure better than fighting. And it’s a lot better than having to look people in the eyes as they die.

Interesting People I Met During the War

Marish Kethstar

I didn’t really know where he came from, but I did know that he was an enemy fighter. His name was whispered on our side during the war. Rumors flew around. How he had killed ten men with his bare hands. How it seemed like he knew when the enemy attack would come before it happened. How his unit was always ready when we attacked.

I had the misfortune, one day of attacking his unit.

Now I never got any command rank in the unit, but after a year of combat, you develop a rhythm, a method of combat. The leaders recognize that. Anyway, one day I was told that we would be attacking, and his unit. I put on my armor, and then it was on. Although I kept my eyes upon my opponent, who happened to be a nervous, dextrous human about my age, I could tell that things weren’t really going our way, but neither was theirs. Eventually, he worked up the courage to strike—a decent strike, but one that was ineffective against my weapon. I dropped to one knee and blocked up, catching the sword with the middle hilt of the weapon. Then, I pivoted, and sliced deeply into his neck. I wasn’t good enough to chop off his head.

Then, as I stood up, and as the blood drained from the wound, staining the ground a red color, I saw him, the enemy. However, during the combat, I didn’t recognize him as being the one whom I feared—we had no physical description of him, only a name. He thrust straight in at me, always a hard attack to block. I tried to pivot, and couldn’t in time, but I got lucky. It hit one of the metal studs in my leather armor, and only bruised me. Then I tried to sweep his legs out from under him, but he dropped to the ground and used his shield to block the strike. Down like that, he made a tempting target for a kick, so I feinted the other way, made him raise his sword, and then kicked him in the forehead.

I would have killed him, but the call to retreat was given, so I left him there, dazed. As I backed out of the fighting, I heard him call out after me.

May we meet again. And when we do, you will be dead

Later on, I figured out exactly whom I had been fighting, and went pale. I also realized how lucky I had been that that opening blow hadn’t sliced me open. It’s something to think about for a long time to come.

Mendorst Harkine

My commanding officer. He operated on the rule of the velvet glove and the iron fist. Gain his trust, and he’d be your friend. Betray him, and he would be an enemy. Betray him in battle, and face instant death—or at least as instant as he could deliver it. I managed to get on his good side, which wasn’t hard to do. Sounds simple, like I could dissect this person’s personality. It’s battle. You want friends in battle. I suppose the cliché is that you want friends in battle to support you, because it’s combat after all. But there’s more to it than that. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s all about the formation of these primary groups. Loners and malcontents can’t integrate themselves properly into the group—and they often wind up dead, ignored by their friends, and unsure who to trust.

My commanding officer learned that a long time ago. But there was more to it than that. He would be the one in front. Not as a loner to charge the enemy, but to lead us. It’s hard to lead from behind, and he knew that. Also, with the exception of my mother, who fought in a different battalion, he was the most formidable warrior that I have ever encountered. No matter how hard the enemy attempted to focus and kill him, they never did. Once, they pulled a tactic specifically for that purpose—rush us, and cut him off from the rest of the squad. He held out gloriously while we slowly moved through the enemy forces separating us from him.

As far as I know him, which isn’t very much at all, I admit, I’d like to be like him.

Player’s Notes

All of the other player characters have written something about their characters and their motivations for creating the characters, so I suppose that I shall do likewise. Basically, I wanted to play this character as straight-forwardly as possible. With low Wisdom and Charisma scores, it definitely gives me the opportunity to say kind of what I want, even when it doesn’t necessarily advance things or even when it’s not the most tactful thing to say. Also, I bought a big and shiny weapon (a double bladed sword), that I thought was really cool at the beginning of the adventure. Get in, bash some evil heads together, and then do it again. Preferably while not dying in the process.

From a role-playing perspective, Tui is the ideal character to be doing something like this. He was absolutely obsessive about grabbing parchment and writing something down. Unfortunately, I write this after Tui has actually died, and remembering what happened may be a challenge.

Attributes:

  • Str: 15 (+2)
  • Dex: 15 (+2)
  • Con: 14 (+2)
  • Int: 11 (+0)
  • Wis: 8 (-1)
  • Cha: 8 (-1)

Player: Michael Busch
PC: Anethilzair Mykispar (Mike)
Status: Monk 1

You have told me much of the flocks of Xen’drik, and I feel I owe you a story in turn. I will tell you of myself. You will think me strange for a member of our race, but I am used to that.

I was raised in the Mykispar monastery, on top of a ridge in western Cyre. I did not know my parents; they left my egg in the monastery nursery. With the other fledglings, I tended the gardens and learned from our masters.

We were not much affected by the war. No one who could not fly was allowed past the walls, save for glidings leaving for the Walk. The hunters reported bodies and battles and a shortage of game. Once, a battalion of infantry tried to occupy the ridgeline. They were persuaded to leave when one of the masters went out at night and knocked all of their sentries unconscious.

There was one other effect of the war. Two glidings were found by the hunters, cut down only a day into their Walk. When the time came for me to Walk, I climbed to the highest point of the monastery and looked in all directions. There was smoke and flame and moving groups in all directions, except to the west. So I walked in that direction.

A day into my Walk, the monastery was small on the horizon behind me. I ate sparingly and started to make a nest for the night. Then there was a sound of thunder. I turned and there was a wall of mist less than a mile from where I stood.

For a week, I sat there, debating if I should try to return, risking the unknown. Then, at dawn, there was a break in the mist, which lasted for several minutes. I saw the monastery: it and the surrounding territory were either burning or burnt. Even the stone of the outer walls seemed to have melted and flowed. The scorched land stopped just before the mist. No fledglings could have survived. Some of the masters might have, but I saw no-one, though I sat there another week, this time debating if I should stay or leave. The mist did not part again.

Eventually, I left. I kept walking westward: through the Marguul Pass, along the northern side of the Howling Peaks. I hunted wild boar when I could, ate bread from the hospitality of villagers, and eventually came to Wroat. There I heard that others of our species came to Sharn on occasion. I only knew of settlements that had been inside the boundaries of the Mournland, so I turned south. I arrived here six months ago. The towers are wonderful and I am learning to fly by jumping off of them and dodging the bridges.

For the last several months, I have been traveling with a group of adventurers. They are a strange bunch, but are most amusing and instructive. If you wish, I will tell you of our journeys.

The above is a transcript of a conversation on the top of one of the towers of Sharn, between Mike and a raptoran skypledged visitor to the city. It was spoken in Tuilvilanuue and illustrates the raptoran tendency to be verbose among themselves.

Player’s Notes:

I plan to play the Book of Exalted Deeds with this character, in particular with regards to voluntary poverty. Consequently, we have a monk, with the implied specialty in unarmed combat, and a backstory heavy on survival with minimal equipment and asceticism. I will probably have him take levels in kensai eventually, although the XP for six natural weapons (hands, feet, wing-claws) is relatively high. For the kensai’s oath of service, I’m thinking of having him join an order dedicated to Dol Arrah, although there is option for him to swear loyalty to a cause, which might better fit with his past.

From a role-playing perspective, I can’t have Mike keep an adventure journal, because raptorans don’t generally write things down (it being easier to remember your map, directions, and shopping list than to carry them while flying). Hence the device of him having a conversation with another of his species. Fortunately, I can keep notes of all the things he is supposed to remember.

Attributes:

  • Str: 14
  • Dex: 12
  • Con: 12
  • Int: 10
  • Wis: 14
  • Cha: 10

Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Antinua
Status: Wizard 1

Antinua is a gray elf, born and raised in Fairhaven. Both of her parents were mercenaries working for Aundair during the Last War, particularly protecting Fairhaven. Her mother died doing just that when Antinua was roughly seventy. Despite the family profession, she showed little interest in the art of war, and instead learned much about the arcane arts from her uncle.

She came of age a few years before the Last War ended; her participation was limited to assisting her uncle with his work, since she lacked fighting skills and her knowledge of magic was still fairly limited. Afterwards, she spent some time studying in Arcanix, to learn more rigorously what she had only learned in fits and starts from her uncle.

Her time studying in Arcanix was cut short by what she refers to as “a rather unfortunate incident back home.” She spent a few months in Fairhaven, then left Aundair entirely. An “unfortunate disagreement” made remaining in Aundair somewhat uncomfortable. She fully intends to return when the everything has calmed down a bit, and tries to keep in touch with family still in Fairhaven.

In the meantime, she intends to take full advantage of the traveling life by learning as much as possible about everything she encounters. And if her knowledge can assist someone else along the way, all the better.

Player’s Notes:

This is my first time playing D&D, and therefore my motivation behind the character creation was very straightforward. Elves are cool and magic is interesting. And the intellectual inclination of the wizard sounded like fun.

Unfortunately, this leaves me with the problem of trying to role-play a character who is considerably smarter than I am…

Attributes:

  • Str: 9 – 2 = 7 (-2)
  • Dex: 12 + 2 = 14 (+2)
  • Con: 14 – 2 = 12 (+1)
  • Int: 16 + 2 = 18 (+4)
  • Wis: 10 (+0)
  • Cha: 10 (+0)

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