- Apr 5, 2013
A collection of backgrounds for no reason
After that the villagers sent their most beautiful woman every 10 years to live in the tower with father. My mother was one of those maidens, she was always kind but distant and I would often hear her crying in her room. I spent my time wandering the gray garden, reading from fathers vast library of books and trying to cheer mother up, singing, dancing and telling her stories I had read.
When I was nine years old she returned to the village and I was forbidden to visit her. To celebrate my two older half-sisters beat me unconscious with broom sticks and locked me in the wine cellar for a week.
The next maiden was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and she had a child every year. Her beauty and fertility was only outdone by her cruelty and scheming, she wanted to ensure her own children were the favored ones. When I was 16 my wicked step-mother poisoned me and my two older half-sisters, only I survived. That is when father sent me to the bright world, he said he was sorry I was so weak, that he had been too protective and that I must find my own destiny.
Father sold me to a slaver from Rothga but the second night out from the Isle of Dreams a band of sahuagin sank the ship during a thunderstorm. Kept in a bubble at the bottom of the Kessan Sea in total darkness, each day the sahuagin would drag one of the prisoners off, laughing at their screams of terror.
I would sing my fellow captives to sleep to calm them down and as days passed we grew fewer and fewer. Finally I was alone and would sing to myself in the blackness, without the daily sacrifice I immediately lost track of time. After an eternity more prisoners were thrown into the bubble of blackness. Once a day they met the same fate as the others and all too quickly I was alone again. This happened seven more times before I quit singing, curled in a ball giggling in madness, that's when I met her.
At first she would just sing to me each day in her strange bubbling tongue, finally I went to her. We sang together for what seemed hours before she smothered me with fierce kisses, her fangs tearing my lips, the feel of her cold scaled skin in her crushing four-armed embrace comforting me.
During the next few months I learned her language and we professed our eternal love.
But even the king's daughter can only go so far against tradition and my sweet, sweet, four-armed, fanged, fish princess was ordered to eat me.
Knowing she would be filleted alive if she disobeyed I told her to do as her father wished. When the day came she pulled me into the icy depths of the sea on her favorite leash and I felt the water rushing by as I faded into unconsciousness.
I awoke washed up on the shore of (wherever the fuck the party will be when my first dude dies) pining for my lost love with only my leash and her trident.
Born the son of a gravedigger his mother died giving birth to him. Unwanted he ran the streets with a gang of urchins at night stealing whatever wasn't nailed down. During the day he would pick a lock and hide in the comforting silence of forgotten crypts. Half-starved, his fathers job and habit of sleeping in the graveyard earned him the name Bones, he doesn't remember his real name or if his father even named him.
Press-ganged into the emperors navy at 14 he served a few years under a drunken slob of a captain whose officers favored the lash. On a dark and stormy night, the waves growing ever higher, a trio of giant octopuses attacked the ship. While fighting them off the ship ran aground a few miles south of Haven.
The next day when the surviving officers tried their heavy handed tactics to get them to salvage what was left of the ship, the crew mutinied. After a two day drinking binge Bones headed for Haven wearing an officer's armor with daggers pulled from the captains back tucked into his belt.
Deer FingersWhere earth meets fire bright
Far below the green and light
Land of always night
The town of Zuul was founded by dwarves of the Fireblood clan 200 years ago near a vein of mithril. Most have moved on, searching for the next mother lode, but others have settled here next to the Stoneheart River and Zuul is a favorite rest stop for those coming from or going to the surface.
The oldest structure still standing is Black Hound Inn, a place known for its dwarven stout and the ravenous appetite of the clan of deep halflings that live in the beer cellar. Named after the halfling god of the dead in honor of those deep halflings who fought and died next to their dwarven brothers-in-arms in the troglodyte wars long ago. The folk of Deer Fingers clan pride themselves on their history of scouting for their dwarven allies and being able to fit into the smallest kobold infested rat warren has its advantages.
There are other halflings in town, there are the rat-humping hicks over at the Stained Axe Tavern, a place known for its cheese and foul tasting, watery ale. And theres the twins, a pair of stuck up glimmerskin paladins who stay in the temple of Clanggedin Silverbeard.
Small one from the dark
Beavers milk and willow bark
Silent shadows hark
Father should have known, a winters moon celebration with myconids and gallows fey isn't the sort of party where you take your family. No one knows who invited the dark creepers or when the redcaps showed up, but when someone released the basidirond spores things went bad, very bad. As the maelstrom of chaos and confusion spread, father gathered up the family and hid in an empty beer barrel. The last thing Deer Fingers saw was the tentacles ripping through the ground before the barrel got knocked into the Stoneheart River, of course it could of just been the hallucination spores...
Chews-softly was upriver looking for willow trees and saw the barrel smash on the rocks at the bottom of the waterfall, and being the gentle soul that she is, brought the half-drowned Deer Fingers to the lodge. Three-paws said it was bad luck to bring in an outsider pup but Morning-song had lost one of hers and nursed him alongside her other pups despite his protests.
After nine years Deer Fingers thinks of himself as one of the People of the Lodge and the time before was just a bad dream. Even though Morning-song didn't want him to go she still made him a set of bark armor and watched him chase butterflies as he disappeared into the woods.
Deer Fingers wandered aimlessly for a few weeks, talking with birds and rabbits, eating nothing but berries and bugs. So when he stumbled across a goliath food cache he gorged himself and fell asleep. The goliaths found him snoring, holding his swollen stomach, after a moment they started laughing. Deer Fingers woke up, smiled at them, healed one of the injured hunters then followed them back to their camp.
Old GooseberryThe wide-eyed folk in the fishing hamlet of Dresdip have seen some odd looking babies for the last decade or so, ever since Old Jeb caught that thing. Jeb said he ate it, but the older folk knew that he kept it in his cellar, they could hear it wailing late at night and knew no good would come of it. But then everyone started catching nets full of fish every time they went out, even if they smelled worse than usual and would lay there not flopping around and just stare. For a while it seemed like everyone would get rich and most folk were happy, but then the young uns got sick and died or snuck out at night and drowned.
Thats when Jeb started calling himself Father and built the temple to the sea gods, said it would bring good luck. The following spring all the women had babies, even the old widow Lindsey found a young un, a baby wrapped in seaweed she found washed up on the shore while gathering driftwood. Now the folk of Dresdip have always said the sea was in their blood and their eyes were a little wide apart but these children also had thin lips and no chins, just like Old Jeb and they were pale skinned, almost snow white and the bright sun hurt their eyes.
The one that widow Lindsey found was extra ugly, fish-eyed, pale bluish white skin and yellow eyed with arms long as its body. Gooseberry also grew fast, too fast, and big, big as a damn horse. But something about his good natured, trip over his own shadow personality and easy shark toothed smile would just melt your heart.
Father Jeb said throw him back into the sea but the old widow wouldn't hear of it. When he was four years old Jeb and his cronies did throw him into the sea one stormy night and Gooseberry showed up on the beach the next sunrise with a smile to match.
The widow Lindsey knew he couldn't stay in the village any longer and sold Gooseberry to a traveling freakshow the following fall for 18 copper pieces and a new spittoon. As he grew bigger and clumsier the cost of feeding him and fixing things he accidently broke outgrew his novelty and they sold him to the Sewer Workers Guild of Netiri.
Old Gooseberry labored hard and long, always singing, tripping and falling into the muck and keeping his co-workers smiling. At night he would lay beneath the sewer grates in front of taverns listening to tales of the sea and songs and often would join in.
Born the youngest son in a large peasant family on the outskirts of the city of Netîri. The idea of endlessly hacking away at the jungle to raise a crop of stunted turnips and skinny mud covered children of his own never made Dun Paduse feel particularly content. That is until he turned 16 and ran off to the city to find fortune and fame and found out that getting drunk and meeting a press gang in a dark alley while puking his guts up was much, much worse.
The following year was a blur of back breaking labor and constant beatings, his fading memories of the farm seemed like one of the seven heavens. Apparently others thought so too, a few days later most of the crew mutinied after picking up a cargo of fine elven wines. It wasn't long until the crew was passed out after merrily drinking themselves into a stupor while murdering and dismembering the captain and his officers. As the sun set a few were still feeding bits to the sharks that always followed the slave galleys, then the weather-pennant on the stern began to flutter.
Within moments a fierce squall set upon the ship and those seamen still awake ran around the deck unsure what to do, some lowered the sails, others began to pray or curse the gods as the sky darkened. In the pitch black the waves grew ever higher, tossing the ship about like a toy. Dun tied himself to the mizzen mast as wave after wave crashed over the ship and after what seemed like years, finally passed out, cold and exhausted.
When Dun came to, the ship was beached on an island covered in shadowy black trees, the sky was wrong and he could hear drums. The few crew members left alive didn't put up much of a fight when the shadar-kai came.
Again Dun faded into darkness when someone clubbed him from behind. He awoke to the sound of someone screaming, unable to see, his mind formed horrible images, when he tried to move he realized he was bound and a voice whispered to him from the darkness in a language he did not know. Dun and two others were spared, the haruspicer said Wee Jas had other plans for them, they were to rebuild the ship and join its crew in red handed raids and wanton butchery.
The crimson sailed ship of reavers stained the shores of that dark land for a year and a day before getting caught in a storm. The raging winds tore the sails and the foundering ship smashed into the jagged coast, dragging all but one down into the depths.
When Duns unconscious body washed ashore he was found by some fisherman and taken to Baron Vilks castle. As he slowly recovered his strength he noticed the odd looks people gave him and when he finally looked into a mirror he didn't recognize the face staring back at him, his hair, skin and right eye had turned snow white while in the Plane of Shadow.
Baron Vilks had adventured in his younger days and became lord of his own castle through the strength of his sword arm and by gathering like minded souls to serve him. Half-mad, destitute and with no where to go Dun chose to serve the baron and swore an oath of fealty to the one man who had shown him kindness.
Less than a month later a large raiding party of brigands ambushed the patrol Dun was in, he begged for his life and offered to help them take the castle in exchange for his life. Dressed in the uniforms of the slain guardsmen with the rest pretending to be prisoners Dun led the bandits into the castle and betrayed his lord.
When the fighting started he rode off as flames lept up the walls of the castle behind him, screams still echoing in the night.
Dun is back in Netiri and has changed his name to Kas Nakts.
He wears a holy symbol of Wee Jas and keeps a barbed dagger on his belt, trophies from his pirate days. He wears a chain shirt and has a bastard sword strapped to his back, gifts from Baron Vilks. He traded his horse for passage back home and traded his boots and cloak for a hot meal and a nights stay in the Ragana Inn...
Tok the MadFrom the razed xeph city of Saeed, he started as a feeble, frail, starving urchin stealing to survive, depending upon his nightsight to spot his enemies first. As he grew older he eventually became the leader of a small but brutal gang of thugs who specialized in stealing riding lizards and preying on slavers, slum lords and tax collectors. With enemies like these it wasn't long before most of the gang was captured and publicly executed.
Having no where to go, Tok decided to hide out in the dwarven ghetto where he was caught stealing by Rolnar Antkiller, a Hammer of Moradin, famous in his neighborhood for destroying a plague of vermin. Rolnar had heard of the exploits of Toks gang and having no sympathy for the evil humanoids he once preyed upon and saw potential in Tok and took him in. Rolnar instilled a deep respect of all things dwarvish and a strong sense of honor that led to Tok becoming a paladin.
While Tok was scouting for the Hammers of Moradin who were hunting down the followers of Gruumsh, Rolnar was slain in an ambush. He was consumed by guilt and spent a year in mourning in the wilderness of the underdark, living in a bat filled cave eating bugs. When a young dire bat fell to cavern floor Tok took pity on it and raised it.
When he returned to the city he found that everyone had been killed, overwhelmed with even more guilt, he snapped, and after slaying an ogre looter he fashioned a beard out of its red hair. Skulking around the razed city one day he heard the sounds of battle and when he got there he saw the party and the Sack's dire bat.
When he approached them...
Vampire Hunter B
Born the son of a gravedigger his mother died giving birth to him. Unwanted he ran the streets of Disnath with a gang of urchins at night, stealing whatever wasn't nailed down. He would hide in his mothers crypt during the day and awaken just after sunset dreaming of someone singing to him. On nights that he didn't roam the streets the ghost of his mother would dance with him and silently sing him to sleep at dawn. In his dreams he could hear her voice.
Half-starved, his fathers job and habit of sleeping in the graveyard earned him the name Bones, he doesn't remember his real name or if his father even named him.
Once while prowling the night he came upon a girl trapped in a giant spider web, screaming in terror and struggling frantically, further entangling herself. Bones had seen others caught in the webs before and knew it wouldn't be long until the spiders came, wrapped her in silk and disappeared into the night.
To keep her from drawing the spiders attention while he looked for something to burn away the webs he started singing one of his mothers songs. Just as he got the torch lit he heard a voice from the darkness "keep singing little one" and the torch went out. Then the spiders appeared, the girl started screaming again and he ran as fast as he could.
Since then he often felt like he was being watched...
A few months later he was following a trio of duergars who had flashed some silver coins while buying bread. Bones signaled his friends who were waiting on the crowded stairs that lead down into the undercommons. He saw his friends deft hands dart in and out of the duergars pouch and then everything went black.
When he awoke a pale skinned lady was staring at him, "welcome little singer" she said, a shiver of fear went through him as he recognized the voice from the spider alley and she began laughing.
Bones spent the next six years as a slave, singing for his mistress at the vampires nightly parties and trying to escape during the day. He escaped many times regardless of the beatings she would give him and she always found him the next night.
There were other singers and she promised to make each one a vampire when they grew up so they could live forever. The other singers didn't understand why he kept trying to escape and shunned him. Bones didn't need them, when in the hole for 30 days after an escape his soul and mind roamed free in his songs and dreams. Being fed often and well combined with his constant struggle to escape Bones grew strong.
Eventually the vampiress came to him "its time little one", she bared her fangs and faster than he could see she was at his throat.
As she promised, she turned him into a vampire and as he struggled against the chains that held him to the spire on the roof of the sunken temple he thought the sunrise never looked so beautiful. With tears of blood he began to sing, at last he would be free, and then screamed as he burst into flame.
When Bones awoke he could hear a distant pounding, as his mind cleared he realized it was his heart. Having no idea how he was alive again he racked his brain, what had happened? He vaguely remembered someone talking to him, but what was it they had said?
Sitting in the darkened tavern he saw the cards spread before him, he somehow knew he shouldn't draw one but he did anyway. The room began spinning and he came to in a swamp, he could hear people talking...
La Cagada BlancaAn albino dragonwrought kobold with the amphibious template from Stormwrack...
The legend of La Cagada Blanca
The exact origin of poor, wretched Cagada is unknown, some say he was eaten by a diseased hill giant that couldn't digest his food properly, others tell of a mad god playing in his own filth and giving it life. Whatever the truth is the poor woeful creature is pitied and shunned by all, just like Wes is.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Happy Birthday Wes
Raised by a gaggle of kindly otyughs who liked the way he smelled, they vomited up the undigested remains of their past victims in order to raise enough money to send Cagada to a healer boarding school for girls. He didn't mind pretending to be a female, he acted like one most of the time anyway. But he really missed wearing his gimp suit and falling asleep in his mothers tentacles each night before she tenderly locked him in his box...
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