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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 03:31 PM
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The City at the Heart of Yesterday

Game NameThe City at the Heart of Yesterday
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemeUnravelling the truth behind a dark and forgotten city
FlavourExploration and investigation, role-playing and character development
Plot Summary
The Dark City


From the sunless world,
Your mirror is black, your spirit looks back,
As a slave of the dark world,

By a carrion,
Lost in the maze,
The real and human feel,

Feast your eyes on the black mirror,
Feed the beast, join the gathering, tell a tale,
Feast of fears is drawing nearer,

Beyond the human horizon,
Something terrifying sleeps,
It awakens, it calls to you,

The dark beast draws you in,
It swallows you whole,
It will never let you go.

Legends tell of a lost city that lies shrouded at the edge of consciousness itself. This lost realm of mirrors and shadows blinks into existence once every thousand years, forming into shape and substance where it was once both formless and ethereal for three days and three nights.

For three days and three nights this city of no name appears, allowing those clever and resourceful enough to find its shadowy walkways the ability to enter its dark and ethereal passageways. There is nobody alive who has ever seen the inside of this city, yet written records from a time before speak of a place where the laws of time and physics do not apply. They speak of a bizarre and twisted realm of floating castles and labyrinthine upside down streets. Time does not exist in this place, seconds and minutes forever hanging frozen inside a realm that defies reality — a realm of both dreams and nightmares.

Yet this city that lies at the heart of yesterday holds something unspeakably dark inside of it. The city is alive, in its own way, and it reaches out to ensnare certain unlucky souls to be caught inside of its shadowy embrace. These poor unfortunates are absorbed into this city of dreams and nightmares, never to be seen again.


The Frozen North


We are the children of the ice, we gaze into the heart of the world,
Here we are, the children of the ice, we are proud,
We listen to the words of the song of the snow,
The words that tell us that our pride, and our strength holds us firm,
This is our home, and we stand tall,
We are the children of the ice, and we are the future.

The Ten Towns of Icewind Dale.

A collection of villages that stand alone against this wasteland of snow and ice. Yet, the collective frontier of the Ten Towns are not just a bastion against frozen death. They are not just a collection of towns standing against the elements.

They are your home.

This is your world, and you have never known anything else. The landscape beyond is deadly, but it is also beautiful. It is the beauty in the eye of the beholder, one that draws you into its colourful embrace even as it slowly kills you. For you cannot leave this frozen realm.

One year ago, the borders of the frontier region of Icewind Dale were separated from the rest of Faerun by a deadly blizzard that sprung into existence around the edge of the Dale. There was no way through the blizzard, and those that made the attempt perished inside the depths of the fierce, frozen winds. None from outside the Spine of the World could pass through the killer storm, and magic was ineffectual against the storm. There was no way out, and no way in.

Yet worse was to come. Much worse.


The Shadows Call


Who will save your soul
When it comes to the flower now
Who will save your soul
After all the lies that you told
Who will save your soul
If you won't save your own?
Save your own

So we pray to as many different gods are there are flowers
We call religion our friend
We're so worried about saving our souls
Afraid that god will take his toll that we forget to begin

Who will save your soul
When it comes to the flower now
Who will save your soul
After all the lies that you told.

One morning, the sun failed to rise with the coming of the dawn. The beleaguered townsfolk of Ten Towns, already suffering from their isolation from the rest of the world, could only stare in impotent horror as the land was gripped under the veil of eternal night. The harsh, neverending winter intensified as the woods grew harsher, and the snow continued to fall. Every evening, a shadow would fly over the land. A large roc, this giant creature would carry its rider across the length and breadth of Icewind Dale. The Frostmaiden had decreed it so, and in her desire to preserve the Spine of the World beneath everlasting ice, she would look to kill all life within the boundaries of what she believed to be her domain. From the back of her roc, the Frostmaiden would cast her spell, and in doing so she would ensure that here, in the frozen north, the sun would never rise.

Yet there are things that even the Frostmaiden herself cannot control. It is almost a thousand years since the coming of the dark city that exists at the edge of midnight. For three days and three nights the gates will open to the dark city and it will make its seductive call. It will trap the damned who hear its siren within its twisted, labyrinthine depths. For it is an ancient, eldritch power that is far, far beyond even the comprehension of a goddess.


It is said that all tales have a beginning, a middle and an end. This is one such tale, and to understand what is about to unfold, we will have to go back to the beginning. Not the beginning of this tale, but a beginning.

The year is 1489 DR. It is the heart of winter, but for the hardy folks who live in the Spine of the World, that makes no difference. Here, it is always winter, where the cold snows fall from the sky, an almost neverending blizzard to test one's willpower and resolve. The land itself is been trapped under the grip of eternal night. A dark spell cast by a dark goddess who would claim the land for her own.

Soon, a small group of companions will come into their own. They will come to realise their place in an intricately woven tapestry spun by the hand of fate. They will be the recipients of a great destiny, and the bearers of a terrible burden. Soon, these men and women will find they are the carriers of a great power within themselves.

This is their story, and it is the story of their journey, and their stand against a terrible and forgotten evil, a relic left behind from another age -- a castoff of a time long gone by.

Yet, before we arrive at that tale, we must begin another. We must tell the tale of how these strangers met, yet more importantly, how they came to be.

As in all tales, we must go back to their beginning.

About the GameFirst of all, I should clearly specify that this game is not going to be Rime fo the Frostmaiden. I am simply using the setting and events of that module as a backdrop for this adventure, which is one of my own creation. I wanted to clearly state this up front as anyone expecting Rime of the Frostmaiden is probably going to be disappointed. You won’t be caught up in an adventure to save the Ten Towns from Auril, although I guess if this adventure is a success there is scope to carry on and look at this aspect of the campaign going forwards if the will is there.

This game will be a small, intimate tale where the predominant focus will be on role-playing, character development and positive interactions between PC’s and also the colourful cast of NPC’s I will provide. I tend to use combat at a premium, and only if it’s there to advance the story. I certainly won’t throw combats in for the sake of it. For that reason I’m only going to be taking four players on for this game, any more than that will compromise the type of story I want to do.

Below you'll find the specifics in terms of the game and character building, please don't start work on your sheet until I confirm acceptance to the game.

Number of Players: 4
Post Rate: 1-2 a week.
Starting Level: 1
Acceptable Sources: PHB, Sword Coast Adventurers Guide, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Monsters of the Multiverse, Tasha’s, Explorers Guide to Wildemount
Races and Classes: Anything in the above sources
Stats: Point Buy
Starting Equipment: As per Class and Background
Closing Date: Applications will be selected the week commencing the 20th February

Application DetailsNothing too extravagant here, please include the following as part of your application:

Name:
Race:
Class:
Description: A short description of your character.
Character Overview: A high level overview of your character concept
Backstory: A short backstory for the character. You have lived in the region of Ten Towns all your life, specifically the town of Bryn Shander and will likely know the other characters selected. We can work on connections with each other when the game begins.

Finally, provide me with a small roleplay sample from that character's perspective.

Last edited by Demandredd; Jan 24th, 2023 at 03:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old Jan 24th, 2023, 03:34 PM
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Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is it ok to apply if I’m new to PbP and/or 5e? Yes that’s fine.
  • Do the characters need to be lifelong residents of Bryn Shander? No, as long as they’ve lived there for a while, also see below question.
  • Does my character need to live on Bryn Shander or can they come from one of the other Ten Towns? Another town is fine as long as they’ve spent enough time in Bryn Shander to know the other PC’s


Applications
Player NameCharacter NameRaceClassStatus
TrashkingBenholdt AutumncrestHumanPaladinComplete
TyealLjorn BestelFirbolgBarbarian/RogueIn-Progress
Disaster MasterTara JardethHumanClericIn-Progress
morganthaBlythe FarstriderHumanRangerIn-Progress
TogotBilcock BannonHumanWizardIn-Progress
AndorUlfgar FrostbeardDwarfFighterIn-Progress
DukklordHerkimer SwiftfootHarengonRangerIn-Progress
BlackDragon0Kaine StrongbladeHalf-ElfFighterComplete

Last edited by Demandredd; Today at 02:09 PM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 04:52 PM
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Super interested! Working on a character concept now. (:

Edit: Are you okay with someone who is a novice at pbp, and not quite an expert in 5e? Or would it be a drag upon the game?

Blessed of Ilmater
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Name: Benholdt Autumncrest
Race: Human (Illuskan)
Class: Paladin
Description: Standing near six feet and of heavy build, Benholdt Autumncrest cuts an impressive silhouette. Upon closer inspection, he bears the tokens of a life of hardship. His face, pockmarked and weatherworn, is often creased in a soft smile, showing his teeth stained from years of pipeweed use. His hair and beard seem to be graying prematurely and his large hands are calloused and worn.
Character Overview: My concept is a multiclass Paladin (uncertain of Oath atm) and Sorcerer (Divine Soul). I'm far from a min-maxer and leaning towards the sorcerer for a little utility and spell slots for Smiting.
Backstory: Born and raised in Bryn Shander, Benholdt has been a citizen of Ten-Towns his entire thirty-one years. His family was never particularly wealthy nor powerful, his father scraping by with some talent in hunting and trapping. Ben was taught how to provide from a young age, learning field dressing and developing some skill in tanning.

In his early teens, Ben fell very ill, succumbing to a mysterious sickness that contributed to his pockmarked skin and nearly took his life. Pleading to a local priest of Ilmater at the House of the Triad, Ben's mother spoke of his great suffering. Having been moved by this, the priest came and sat with the ill boy. She took on a measure of sickness and suffered with Ben, never leaving his side. Once both had slowly recovered, Benholdt found within himself faith, believing that without the priestess he would have died. He joined the priesthood of Ilmater as a young man and has served the community of Bryn Shander well, doing his level best to ease any suffering he could find.

In recent years, Ben has even assisted the local sheriff, providing support to the guard in Bryn Shander. It has given him a feel for wearing something heavier than vestments, and for holding something more than a censer. It seems Ilmater has blessed Ben with more than a priest's heart.


Roleplay Sample Benholdt awoke a couple hours before dawn, as was his habit. He sat up in his bed, taking a deep cold breath. "So live it well," he whispered beneath his breath, sighing and pulling himself onto his feet. He glanced around his spartan single-room flat, the room dark save for a few smoldering embers in the small wood stove in the corner of the room. Appraising the small pile of split wood nearby, he elected to use only two small pieces of lumber -- he was getting low and others had need. He set a bit of loose tinder over the coals and situated the wood, blowing softly to catch the tinder alight. Ben rubbed his hands together trying to provide a little warmth from the friction.

Taking a pitcher from the small table in his flat, Ben poured a measure of water into a pot, and waited for the fire to catch. He threw his blanket over his shoulders, pulling open one of the shutters over his single window. He took a seat in his one roughshod chair, slowly and deliberately packing and tamping his pipe. Sighing again, he struck a tindertwig -- pipeweed and the pricey alchemical tindertwigs being the only luxuries he provided himself -- taking a deep draw on the pipe. Blowing out a cloud of smoke, he peered out the window watching the grey morning slowly dawn in contemplation, a personal form a prayer and meditation he practiced daily.

After his daily reflection, Benholdt finished his morning rituals -- boiling water for tea, washing his face and hands, and dressing in something warm -- all the while a cloud of smoke following him like a living chimney. Pulling on his cloak and grabbing the few coins he had, he gathered his remaining firewood and left, heading down the lane. He nodded greeting at a passing gongfarmer, and continued his walk to the market. At such early hours, the market was nowhere near bustling, but a few men and women gathered. He perused the early morning wares, purchasing a small bit of pitch, a bucket of cold mud, and a few handfuls of straw. With only a few silver coins left, he headed to a nearby bakery, the smell of warm bread mixing with the odors of the woodfires and street refuse. Ben spent his last coin there, buying a few day old pieces of bread and a couple savory pasties.

The day had become as bright as it would, the cold gray light providing little in the way of comfort, a constant reminder of the horrifying storm that had settled in Icewind Dale this past year. Ben struck another tindertwig and lit another bowl on his pipe, surveying the busying street. Turning his back to the town center, he made his way toward a less kempt area of the city. He stopped outside a flat that looked much like his own and listened. He could hear the sound of a person or two moving around inside. This was the home of a small family, the Fenwoods; a single mother and her two young children, not yet having seen twelve winters. She had fallen ill, and with no one to provide, the weight of Ilmater's purpose weighed on Ben. He looked at his meager offerings, a bit of food and firewood, and a bucket of mud, pitch and straw to help seal the holes in the walls of the flat, his best attempt to keep the freezing winds out of their home. He mentally and emotionally prepared himself to share in the suffering of his neighbors and rapped lightly on the door.

Last edited by Trashking; Today at 01:51 AM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 04:54 PM
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I've been having an itch to ease back into a game or two. And this seems like a solid, dark adventure to get in on.

Character App
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Name: Ljorn Bestel of Clan Oslegeth
Race: Firbolg
Class: Barbarian (Zealot)/Rogue (Phantom)
Description: Ljorn is something of a living history lesson. Resembling nothing of what most folks recognize as a Firbolg, he looks like a very tall mountain man. Some might even claim half-giant, well out of earshot. His clan, and others like his, are natural mountaineers. Well adapted and hearty to the frigid north of Icewind Dale. His clan home is a few days ride from Byrn Shander where Ljorn has made his home. Acting as a hired hand/tour guide, offering honed strength and helpful advise in equal measure to those that need it most.

As for his antlers? He doesn't like talking about them...
Character Overview:
 

Backstory:

Bravery, Effort, and Honor over birth
The tribe's honor before your honor
The blood of a runt is the blood of a king
Give one thousand for nothing
Truth is the honor of the tribe


These are words Ljorn grew up with, lived and died with, as did everyone in Clan Oslegeth. Following this creed is what kept them alive for so many generations in the frozen wastelands of Icewind Dale. Even as each generation grows smaller than the last...

Ljorn was teased and poked fun of for his antlers. Even as a child they made him stick out among the other Firbolg boys and girls of his village, not to mention affected his balance as his grew. As a child he was reserved and withdrawn, speaking softly but politely to his fellow clansmen. His parents would comfort him with such pearls of wisdom like 'Words spoken in truth will be heard by all.' Or something like 'Even a storm can catch the hunter unaware.' His adolescence was the most difficult. His antlers growing larger affecting his balance and ability to fight, survival training where he was shot at more than once over being mistaken for a particularly large elk or moose. And each time he just brushed it off and resumed his task. Not shouting, not raising his voice, not even a scowl.

Then Ljorn got a vision. To seek out a certain tree, dry out its bark, and chew it. The dream was weirdly compelling. And it was something he couldn't shake. Even when speaking of it with the clan's herbalist he suspected it was a mostly harmless tree Ljorn described. So he found the tree of his vision, collected the bark, and popped a piece in his-

He awoke an hour later bound in ropes, covered in cuts and bruises, guarded by three other clansmen. Their Leader, Barslov the Tall, explained that Ljorn had gone on some kind of rampage through the village. Blindly fighting anyone and everyone in his path and fought three trained warriors on his own and held his ground. Ljorn didn't know what to say; He had never felt like he had after taking that bark. Something just... awoke inside of him. He did mention his vision but left out the part with actually taking the bark. Ending in Barslov forbidding him from learning any more about that tree and warning the village of its blood boiling properties. If such a plant could make someone as soft-spoken as him go wild, who knows what it could do to someone else?

Time passed after that incident. Then, one day, Barslov called everyone together for an emergency meeting. He had been approached by some group of bandit leaders as well as a man in a fine black coat, with rings on all his fingers and around his neck. He explained that he planned to pay Barslov handsomely for their ancestral lands as they had all heard rumors there was supposedly an untapped silver vein running deep underneath the burial grounds of Clan Oslegeth. Naturally, he spat on the offer. The well-dressed man then promised to bring his forces here and merely take it all for himself. And rode off with the bandit leaders. Barslov explained the deep gripping fear that fancy man gave him, and took this threat seriously. He gave everyone able the task of either raising funds or gathering forces and supplies, demanding that they would need everything they could muster to ensure their homelands didn't fall to this strange, alarming man.

That was a year ago now. Ljorn took to Bryn Shander, thinking his more gentle nature could let him work more easily with others and gain their favor. He still towered over everyone there but he was a patient Firbolg. And has been steadily amassing what coin and power he can to ensure his clan's future. Unaware of what lay further down that path...

RP Sample: WIP

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Last edited by Tyeal; Today at 12:21 AM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 08:46 PM
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Posting interest! I don't have a concept in mind off the bat but if I can think of one in a timely manner I'll write up an app.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 10:30 PM
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OK I have a drow who I played in a one off and didn't lv. And a half elf that died in an adventure. So if I could use one of them I'd be happy to.

https://www.rpgcrossing.com/profiler/view.php?id=88532

https://www.rpgcrossing.com/profiler/view.php?id=89758
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Last edited by BlackDragon0; Jan 24th, 2023 at 10:33 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 07:08 AM
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Hi Demandredd! This is an intriguing ad, and looks to have the makings of a very atmospheric adventure. I'm considering applying, and have a quick question if you wouldn't mind clarifying! Should our characters be lifelong residents of Bryn Shander, or is it enough that they live there now? Also, can they live somewhere else in the Ten-Towns entirely (assuming that they do spend time in Bryn Shander, at least enough to form an adventuring party there!)?
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Old Yesterday, 09:20 AM
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Trashking - absolutely fine with me. The game is open to all skill levels for 5e.

Blackdragon - ok for you to choose whichever character you want.

Flying Fox - its not a hard requirement that they be lifelong residents, I'm ok for the character to just live there now. You needn't necessarily be living in Bryn Shander, but you should have spent enough time there to know the other characters when the game starts.

Last edited by Demandredd; Yesterday at 09:20 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for clarifying! I'm actually planning an adventure in Icewind Dale myself, so my head's been full of all these places lately
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Old Yesterday, 10:17 AM
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Its an absolutely fantastic setting, and one thing I will give props to Rime of the Frostmaiden for is the fact that as well as a adventure it doubles as a sourcebook as well. In fact, as I found out, its perfect for taking elements from and inserting them into your own homebrew stuff.

I've had an affinity for the area ever since the original Crystal Shard novel and there's just so much depth and lore to the area.
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Old Yesterday, 11:57 AM
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WIP
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Name: Tara Jardeth

Gender: Female

Alignment: Lawful Good

Age: 22

Race: Human (variant)

Class: Cleric

Domain: Twilight

Background: Noble

Faith: Helm

Lifestyle: Aristocratic

Personality Traits: Despite my noble birth, I do not place myself above other folk. We all have the same blood. My eloquent flattery makes everyone I talk to feel like the most wonderful and important person in the world.

Ideal: Noble Obligation. It is my duty to protect and care for the people beneath me. (Good)

Bond: The common folk must see me as a hero of the people.

Flaw: By my words and actions, I often bring shame to my family.

Description: WIP

Character Overview: WIP

Backstory: WIP
Roleplay SampleWIP
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Old Yesterday, 12:50 PM
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Work in Progress

Blythe
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Name: Blythe Farstrider
Race: Human
Class: Beast Master Ranger
Description: Blythe has the blue-black hair and high cheekbones typical of her tribe. She is average height with a lean, straight build. She can most often be found in plain work clothes, except her coat, which is marked with the elaborate embroidery of the Yenfolk. The coat is symbolic of a person's growth. Each year on a person's birthday, family and friends embroider another level around the coat with symbols of the wearer's journey. Blythe has a calm demeanor that may come across aloof to those who don't know her.

Character Overview: Blythe is a quiet, sensitive young woman who generally prefers the company of sheep and horses to humans. As a young girl, she was chosen to train for a leadership position within her tribe. Though she didn't ask for the position, she deeply desires to live up the the expectations set forth for her. Both because of her nature, and because of her cultural upbringing, Blythe is quick to share or lend a hand to anyone, though she is more stoic than friendly in doing so. Despite her calm exterior, Blythe is somewhat impulsive and impatient. She dislikes being idle, feeling confined, and large groups of people. Once she has given her word, she hates to break it, and will go to great lengths sometimes at personal expense to keep her promises.

Backstory: Blythe comes from the Yenish tribe, a pastoral and nomadic group that makes it's home outside of the Ten Towns. During her early years, Blythe traveled with her tribe from place to place. In winter, they would camp near towns and trade with the sedentary peoples, and in the summer they would return to the wilds to tend to their herds of sheep, goats, and horses. The Yenfolk are a highly collective culture as well as small in number, so Blythe was parented by the tribe as a whole and lived a carefree life exploring the wilds on horseback with her siblings and cousins.

Blythe's untroubled existence drew to an end in her late teens, when she was chosen by the tribal chieftain as a potential heir. She and a small group of other young people began training, and gone were long afternoons climbing trees. Instead, they learned to hunt and trap, manage conflicts and know the land, among other things.

Now, while her people are nomadic, Blythe spends most of the year in Bryn Shander managing a small cattle farm owned by the tribe and liaising with the local townspeople, along with a small number of other chosen Yenfolk. Those chosen to stay near the Ten Towns are generally training for leadership in the tribe, as being able to blend in seamlessly with townsfolk is a highly valued skill among the Yenfolk. Though Blythe would never break her word to her tribe, she longs to return to the wilds.

RP Sample: WIP
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Old Yesterday, 03:18 PM
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Name: Bilcock Bannon
Race: human
Class: wizard
Background: guild artisan
Character Overview: Bilcokk will be a diviner and utility wizard who can also handle social situations



Appearance: Bilcock is a young man of average height and build. He has sandy brown hair that he keeps well-groomed and has a clean-shaven face. He wears simple yet well-kept robes. He always has an inquisitive look as he tends to analyze everything.

Personality: Bilcock is an intelligent and inquisitive man with a friendly disposition. He is obsessed with knowledge and hates not knowing things. His curiosity tends to get him into trouble as it overrides his common sense at times. He prefers to outthink people rather than fight them and considers a battle avoided to be a battle won. Resorting to violence is a sign that you have failed.

Backstory: The son of a successful merchant, Bilcock had a more privileged upbringing than most in ten towns. He was kept warm and never went hungry, and he got first dibs on many of the items that were brought into the town by traveling merchants. One such item was a spell book which he began studying earnestly. It was written in code, but Bilcock was clever enough to start decoding it and learn a few simple spells. This triumph only fed his obsession and lust for knowledge.

His magical talents make him stand out in ten towns. Some are impressed, but many others are fearful and superstitious. This did not bother Bilcock too much as his parents’ position in the town protected him from any violence. Then one day one of the barbarian tribes came to town to trade furs and meat. This brought them to Bilcock’s family store where Bilcock laid eyes on the barbarian chief’s daughter, Saskia. She was tall, fair skinned with golden hair and exoptic tattoos. Bilcock became infatuated with her instantly and tried to get to know her. She wasn’t impressed with the wizard’s scrawny frame, but she was intrigued by his ability to use magic. Bilcok gave her a gift to signify his interest, and Saskia would return over the years with her father for more trading. While she did not dislike Bilcock, she made it clear that as the chief’s daughter, she would only marry someone who was powerful and noteworthy. To this end, Bilcock redoubled his studies in the hopes of gaining power, and he is eager for an opportunity to prove himself.
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 03:54 PM
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Andor Andor is offline
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Name: Ulfgar Frostbeard
Race: Shield Dwarf
Class: Fighter
Description: Ulfgar, to most non-dwarves, looks pretty typical for a dwarf: long red hair and beard braided and adorned with rings and decorations, pale skin, light blue eyes, and typical dwarven stockiness. To dwarves, and those more familiar with them, he's taller than average, with premature white highlights to his hair and a particular icy shade to the blue of his eyes that marks him as belonging to the Frostbeard clan. His youthful (to other dwarves) features show that he is not far beyond fifty years of age, not long an adult. His chainmail shines brightly and sits him perfectly, with hefty shield slung across his broad back, polished to gleaming brightness. At his belt, on his left hip and opposite his pouch, rests an oiled and sharpened bearded axe.
Character Overview: Dwarven fighter/tank eager to prove himself and make his mark on the world before settling down and potentially starting a family. He's young for a dwarf, and not as settled into the typical dour, scowling, gruff xenophobe usually encountered. He even gets on well with elves...as long as they're respectful.
Backstory: Ulfgar was born and raised in Ironmaster Vale, among the Frostbeard clan, who didn't hold a particularly strong political or financial position compared to the more powerful Brighthelm clan, though Ulfgar didn't particularly mind being of a lesser clan. He was content to grow up learning the craft of smithing alongside his father, though his family seldom produced weapons or armor for the thanes or military. Instead, they focused more on day-to-day production, such as metal utensils, hinges of all size for the great portals that guarded various passageways, creating and repairing ore carts and the tracks they moved along...nothing glamorous, but good, honest work they could be proud of. "Brighthelm's work is only seen during war time or ceremonies," Ulfgar's father used to say, "but Frostbeard creations are a part of everyone's life."

As Ulfgar grew older and stronger, he began to desire more than the simple life of a blacksmith, though. He joined the army and learned the art of war, as well as refining his smithing to craft weapons for the regular troops. He enjoyed it at first, for he made friends easily and enjoyed the camaraderie. Unfortunately, he eventually came to understand some of the uglier truths about the dwarves of the valley when he completed his training and began accompanying patrols. He didn't mind the occasional clashes with the other denizens of the mountains around them: orcs, Reghed barbarians, verbeeg, yetis, remorhazeven, even the occasional frost giant. What did bother him, though, was when some luckless and clueless travelers would wander beyond the menhir-like stone markers outlining the valley and wind up in dwarven territory, forbidden to non-dwarves. The patrol would often attack the intruders without warning or mercy, which - though Ulfgar knew the dangers of allowing strangers close to their home - didn't sit well with him. Even if ignorant travelers were spared, the dwarves usually confiscated all weapons, armor, and other valuables. These travelers were blindfolded and guided out of the dwarven territory by ship or through the tunnels to Hundelstone, or simply abandoned in unfamiliar terrain, practically a death sentence. Eventually, Ulfgar's guilt over waylaying travelers, many of whom were likely innocent and/or simply lost, got the better of him. Returning home, he resigned his post, bade his family farewell, gathered his meager belongings, and traveled to Bryn Shander, the nearest trade hub.

Once there, he felt renewed at the vast array of cultures, races, and products that wound up in Bryn Shander. His smithing skills allowed him to earn a comfortable enough living, and his experience as a soldier made him a valued member of the town watch. For years, he was content to work hard, defend the town and its people, and enjoy the dwarven ale that was in decent supply. Life was good, and Ulfgar even began to wonder if he might meet a nice dwarven woman and start a family.

The Frostmaiden changed everything, however. As the blizzard swept upon the town, and life beyond the Ten Towns was severed from them all, Ulfgar saw his contentment and dreams freeze and shatter. At first, most folks seemed eager to dismiss the unnatural weather as a temporary occurrence, willing to wait it out. As more time passed, and the situation became more desperate, there began to be talk of "someone doing something" and "we must find a solution". Naturally, this talk faded to dross, as such talk usually does.

Then the darkness came. Most huddled deeper within their homes, poking the fire to drive away the gloom, and even fewer dared venture out at all anymore. This, to Ulfgar, was the last straw. He believed he'd met a few individuals who would possibly do more than talk, or hide. He needed to find whoever he could to help him end the Frostmaiden's grip on the town.

Pulling on his chainmail, strapping on his weapons, and tugging his warmest cloak, Ulfgar pushed the front door open to trudge into the darkness of the blizzard, determined to find the help he needed.

"And I know just the buggers to ask," he grunted, squinting against the freezing gale pelting his eyes and forming icicles in his beard.

RP Sample: Pushing through snow that was waist-high on him, Ulfgar plowed a dwarf-wide path through the streets, ignoring those who fell in behind him while scurrying quickly from one warm haven to the next. Wonderful, he mused, stalwartly parting snow with his trudging. If I don't succeed as a warrior or a smith, I can always rent myself out as a snow plow. It seemed too cold and dark to chuckle out loud, as if merry thoughts were unwelcome in the dreary atmosphere, so Ulfgar just tugged his cloak tighter around himself and continued trudging.

He wondered if his clan back at Ironmaster even knew the full extent of what was going on. Depending upon how far out the blizzard went, the patrols might not even be aware of the Frostmaiden's effect. Their focus was keeping people out, not checking on neighbors, after all. He also wondered if anyone traveling outside of Ten Towns had been driven back by the blizzard and wound up in the valley. They could bring news to the dwarves of what was happening...if they lived long enough. Whether his people would care or not was a completely different matter. As Ulfgar shook his head in frustration, bits of snow and ice flew free of his beard, some whipping back to sting his face, but he continued undeterred.

He felt that there was more than just bad weather in effect here. The snow, the wind, the darkness...all were gloomy, to be sure, but there also seemed a presence, a sense of foreboding more unnatural than the weather, as if something were pressing down upon the town to smother it. It raised Ulfgar's hackles and ate away at his will and determination, beckoning him to give up hope, return home, and wait to die. But dwarven spirits are not so easily broken, and the thought that something might be trying to oppress him only stoked the forge of his soul with greater heat, lending stubborn strength to his legs as they churned through the snow.

Reaching the first door of his list of destinations, he peered up to critically examine the portal. Then, raising a mailed fist, pounded solidly upon the sturdy door.

*BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!*

"'Tis Ulfgar, open up!" he bellowed over the howl of the wind. His voice was long-accustomed to being heard over the clamor of a forge, but somehow he seemed to struggle to shout over the wind. "We've got work to do!"

Finally, provide me with a small roleplay sample from that character's perspective.
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  #15  
Old Yesterday, 10:35 PM
Dukklord Dukklord is online now
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  • Character name: Herkimer Swiftfoot
  • Race: Harengon
  • Class: Ranger
  • Description: Herkimers fur is a dusty grey, with long tufts on his joins. You'd be forgiven for thinking he has a beard, but the fur on his already fluffy has gotten that disheveled and unmaintained. His ears are long and drippy, hanging down low nearly past his ribs. If he cleaned up his fur and got rid of his bear guy, Herkimer might have at one time been an attractive Harengon. However in his current state, he can easily be mistaken for a homeless man.
  • Character Overview: An overconfident washed up high level adventurer/guide who blames himself for something out of his control, and drinks to forget, and has let his talents waste and rust to the point of being Level 1 again. Outlander background, intended subclass is Fey Wanderer, with potential to Multi-class into Bard or Archfey Warlock.
  • Backstory: Herkimer grew up in a sheltered tribe, a burrow that rarely left to see the world outside. They grew all their food on their own, and would seldom attempt to gather any other kinds of supplies from the wilderness around them. Herkimer didn't agree with this way of life, and would often sneak out in the dead of night to explore the lands on his own. For awhile things went fine, during the day Herkimer would nap and argue with the elders about this policy of theirs. At night he would leave and do all the things the tribe forbade. When someone noticed Herkimer arguing with less vigor than usual they watched his home in the night and caught him sneaking out.

    The elders knew he would likely just sneak out again, so as punishment, they gave Herkimer what he wanted and banished him from the tribe, never to return again. Herkimer reveled in this for a time, but he grew to miss his family and neighbors. While he would explore to his heart's content he never traveled too far from his old home. He took to guiding travelers and adventurers through the lands around his home, keeping them on the safe paths away from the monsters of the wilds.

    One day Herkimer caught word of an orcish raiding path that led over his burrow. Knowing the orcs would surely demolish anything in between them and their true target, Herkimer ran. He ran for over 25 miles without break, arriving just in time to warn his people and evacuate their homes to a place away from the threat. His people celebrated him, welcoming him back into the tribe and granting him the name Swiftfoot as reward for his deeds.

    Herkimer cherished his new name, and despite being welcome back to his old home, would spend most of his time traveling. He would return to the burrow from time to time, but having that option made him feel comfortable traveling further. Eventually his adventurer's would lead him into the feywilds, his adventures there were long and meaningful. When he returned once more he got wind of another raiding path headed for his burrow. Once more Herkimer Swiftfoot ran to his people, but he was too far, and the journey too long. By the time Herkimer arrived his people had been massacred, his home demolished. There were no survivors.

    In the years since then Herkimer has moved to Bryn Shandar. While he still offers his services as a guide to would be adventurer's, Herkimer has more and more found himself at the mercy of a bottle. Spending every coin earned on booze to drown his sorrows, to try and forget his people and the name he failed to live up to. His talents have waned and Herkimer Swiftfoot is no longer the adventurer he once was. If you can find him in a bar at the bottom of a barrel his services are still for sale, if you can't find anyone else anyways.
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