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Old 12-26-2018, 11:27 AM
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The Awakening: A Xera Tale

Game System
Dungeons and Dragons, 5th Edition

Advert Theme Music

Game Theme
Existential Crisis, Unique World Exploration

This game is an introduction to my home-brewed world of Xera. Initially, the players will deal with a dark and terrifying dungeon and some wilderness survival which will evolve into open world experience to discover the mysteries of Xera (and of the greater multiverse!). The player's choices and actions may have major impacts on Xera's world events, political landscape, and potentially much greater cosmic forces.

The AwakeningThomas giggled as his mother tickled his feet. The boy’s curly hair bounced with his laughter, which in turn simply encouraged his mother to try all the harder.

“Thomas” his father called, “come help me with the sheep!” The boy groaned in protest, looking to his mother to save him from the day’s work that was to come.

“Don’t give me that attitude young man. Go help your father.” His mother shewed him out the doorway with a smile and a laugh, patting him once on the head as he made his way to the stables. He blinked his eyes against the bright sunlight.

Blink

He couldn’t breathe. His limbs felt as if they were made of stone. His eyes strained to open, and were only to be met with a green glow. His vision was blurred, and he couldn’t make out his surroundings. The floor felt slick and cold against his naked skin... cold like an abandoned house. He couldn’t remember where he was, or how he had gotten there. His head felt like it was swimming in a fog. Darkness crept in from the edges of his vision.

Blink

Anne was riding ahead of him on her mare while Chester, his own gelding, racing to keep pace with Anne. Anne’s father owned the farm down the road from Thomas’, and as such he and Anne had spent many winters and summers playing. He often saw her during trips to the village with his father and mother to sell the wool from their sheep and the barley from their fields.

Thomas admired her long hair bouncing with the mare and blowing with the air as they rode. They were still young, but he had begun to feel the lust of a young lad for a young lass. He urged Chester on, and cut in front of Anne at the bend in the road, racing ahead of her towards the village. He let out a boisterous holler and a hearty laugh as he heard Anne’s protest. His eyes locked forward, keeping his face from turning to betray the grin which had formed on his face. The wind whipped at his hair and eyes as Chester galloped on. He closed his eyes against the wind.

Blink

He strained his eyes open once again. They stung against the stale air, which smelled completely foreign. The green glow solidified, and displayed… cages. Large cages which looked like gigantic alchemy vials contained what looked like people. Other than that, he could make out nothing in the dark. The darkness of the place overwhelmed him, but throughout the darkness, he saw the cages. Over and over… dozens of them lining the walls of the hallway in which he found himself. Some cages close to him were unlit, but many more were lit with the sickly green glow. Within each that he could see, a person was kept submerged in a liquid. They did not move, and Thomas could not tell if they were alive or dead.

His eyes watered against the sting and his vision grew blurry with tears through which he could not see. He slowly lifted his hand to wipe his eyes clear. His muscles ached but he forced them to obey. The watery veil lifted from his sight, and there he saw her. A woman standing in the hallway. He could not see her clearly, but his mind put Anne’s face on this stranger’s body. He reached out to her, but again his vision blurred.

Blink

He had carried the simple twine loop in his pocket for weeks. Anne’s presence had managed to elude him, at least for long enough for him to have been unable to ask before the yuletide festival. But now he saw her leaving the butcher, having sold off one of her farm’s only pigs. She seemed in good spirits, and he spied a smile on her face as she turned to leave up the street.

He bound after her, knowing this was the moment. After two buildings he caught up to her, his childish grin plastered on his face. Anne turned and joyously shouted as she heard him calling her name. She moved towards him to greet her friend, but before she could fully close the distance she saw what he was holding out in his hand. A small twine loop, intended for only one purpose. With naught but a nod of her head, the deed was done and Thomas and Anne were wed on that very spot in front of the cobbler. He closed his eyes briefly as they embraced, just to try and remember the moment as best he could.

Blink

He rested with his eyes shut, still unable to truly move. He had managed to roll onto his side, but not much else. His limbs felt as if frozen by ice but burned with fire when he attempted to move them. He heard the lady humming a sweet tune, and knew she was approaching him. He wished to call out to her, but his voice cracked and he hadn’t the strength to muster anything more than the slightest whisper.

He could hear her humming growing louder, but he realized he couldn’t hear her footsteps. He opened his eyes once again. His eyes stung less, and he was able to see her through the darkness. The green glow of the cages seemed more prominent now. He could see further in the darkness, for his eyes must have been growing accustomed to it. He managed to move his head enough to allow him to look back. To his horror, he saw what must have been his own cage. It stood empty and dark, the door open. The slickness of the ground beneath him, he realized, must have been the liquid from his cage.

He turned his head again, the woman was close. Her features were still difficult to distinguish in the dark. Her hair was long and flowed like water as she walked. Her gait was fluid, almost as if she wasn’t even touching the ground. She seemed to reflect the green light in an unearthly way, making her seem more a figment of his imagination than anything of the world with which he was familiar... though the world in which he now found himself was entirely alien. Her humming continued and he thought of Anne. He tried to remember her face, but it was becoming difficult. The memory slipping from his mind, as the memory of a dream upon waking. But this was the dream, wasn’t it? He closed his eyes to try and remember her face more clearly.

Blink

As his father had when he was younger, he called his boys out to help him tend to his flock. Anne stood in the doorway of their house, watching them work. He loved her and wished he could give her more. A better life.

He loved his boys too, and their baby girl. His love is what kept up his spirits when he was conscripted into the king’s army. The orc raiders had risen up to the west, and were steadily growing bolder. Thomas had heard of raids less than a hundred miles from his farm, and he had feared for his family’s safety.

They had met on a warm summer morning. The crows cawed, and the insects buzzed. The king’s army had pinned down a group of the raiders, but they were putting up a fight. They had holed themselves up in an abandoned garrison, little more than a stone house built into a hillside. The captain in charge of his regiment called for an advance, and Thomas was one of the first unlucky souls to be forced through the doors after the battering ram had its way with it. It wasn’t the sword that ended his life, though he was cut several times by it. His body was trampled by his fellow men as they swarmed the garrison, rushing over the fallen bodies in order to advance on the invaders. Boots pressed against his gut and chest, and he struggled to breathe. His mouth gaped open, but his jaw shattered as one man's heel found it during a rushed stride. Blood filled his lungs, punctured by ribs crushed by the advancing infantry. He tried to cough up the blood, but he was unable. His last thoughts were of Anne.

Blink

Thomas looked up at the woman as she knelt beside him. His eyes grew weary, he was having difficulty keeping them open. His arms refused to move and his neck could no longer hold his head up. His voice refused to work, and he managed nothing other than the slightest of whispers. Anne. He closed his eyes and let the sweet dark embrace take him for the last time.

About Xera/Campaign InformationXera is a unique home-brewed world that the players will be able to explore and make their way in as they see fit. This game will serve as the introduction to the world, which contains many ancient secrets of the multiverse itself! The players can pursue these secrets, but may also find themselves torn between choices which will have significant implications on the world at large. While I am torn between releasing information about the world or keeping it secret, I believe it will be far more interesting for the players to discover the world I have built through their own eyes rather than me telling about it here. Later games which take place in Xera will have more information about the world available.

Players are encouraged to explore. I will lay down breadcrumbs but not railroad tracks. Eventually, players will be able to break from the main group should they so choose, but that won't become a factor for quite some time.

Application DirectionApplication Deadline: January 14 (Monday), end of the day

Applications for this game are going to be somewhat different than normal. I don't want you to spell out your character's race, class, etc. Instead, I want you to craft an application post that describes many of those things from the viewpoint of your character in an active and engaging way. The application should be descriptive enough to guess (close enough, it doesn't have to be exact) as to what race and class your character is, as well as have enough information to infer how your character behaves in general. Is your character an upstanding citizen, are they a hardened criminal who doesn't care what others think, do they put on a front to show society one part of them while keeping their true nature secret? Note the next section for how you could potentially handle your character's alignment (which is really more about personality and morality than anything else). Your application should emphasize elements of your character's personality and background. Remember, leaving a little mystery to be explored can leave the door open for much more role-playing and background exploration later on.

As a level 7 character, your PCs have been through enough experiences that you should have plenty to pull from. There is no limit to the events you can put in your character's background, except that it should be relatively indicative of a 'standard' D&D world (i.e. no futuristic sci-fi or post-apocalyptic, think Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms). Your character must die at the end of your tale. Characters selected to participate in the game will awaken in a room, very similar to Thomas. Do not include that in your application post.

Images can be used, as well as music, to portray your character. Use them to enhance your character but don't use them as a crutch.

Applications may be made partially or entirely in secret posts if you so wish. Note, if you want the application to truly be secret, please also put it behind a spoiler button due to interest in the game from one of the site mods.

Finally, this game may be on the darker side in general. One of the reasons I am constructing the applications and alignments in the way I am is so that we can delve into some of the more questionable aspects of humanity. We will be adhering to RPGX's PG-13 policy, but keep in mind that some level of adult content (torture, sex, drug use, slavery) will be a part of this game at some point. Applications may want to reflect this (you don't have to by any means).

Application Judgement Criteria:
  1. How vividly can I imagine your character and their story? How real does your character feel? I don't want a bunch of two-dimensional cookie-cutter characters.
  2. How well will your character fit in with the other characters? This doesn't mean they will play nice. In fact, it may mean that there could be significant conflict between your character and the others! Conflict drives storytelling (after all, D&D would be really boring without a big bad to drive conflict).

Character Creation Guidelines
You do not need to create a character sheet at this time. You may wait until after players have been selected for the game.

- Starting Level: 7
- Ability Scores:
Score Cost
8 0
9 1
10 2
11 3
12 4
13 5
14 7
15 9
27 Point Buy

- Books Allowed: PHB, DMG, SCAG, EE Player's Companion, XGtE, GGtR - UA with DM approval

- Races Allowed: Only Humans (variant), Dwarves (mountain and hill), Elves (high and wood), Gnomes (rock and forest), and Halflings (Lightfood and Stout).
- Classes Allowed: All classes are allowed. Sorcerers have some additional rules and restrictions (see the Xera PHB below). UA subclasses by DM approval. Revised Ranger, Artificer (not recommended for this game), and Mystic from UA are approved.
- Note: Players will not be able to start with companion animals and familiars, wizards will be without their spellbooks, and equipment will be sparse for a bit. Don't worry too much about this though, as all of the characters will be made whole in due time.

- Equipment: The player may purchase up to 500 gp worth of equipment and select 1 uncommon magic item. While the character will not begin the game with these items, it will be given to your character at some point within the dungeon.
- Backgrounds: Any in the books allowed or may be customized using the rules in the PHB on pg. 124

AlignmentAlignments (as well as quirks, ideals, bonds, flaws, etc) will not be used in the typical D&D sense. Because no person is strictly “Lawful Good” or “Chaotic Neutral”, alignment bins are not used. Instead, characters exist with personalities and moralities (or a lack of moralities). Characters may generally act selfishly or altruistically, but their decisions and actions when faced with difficult morally ill-defined situations are what truly defines a character’s “alignment”. Players may make characters that are "evil", but just be aware that you will have to get along with other characters... at least for a while. Players may not make characters that are insane, psychotic, or sociopathic.

To determine how your character may act, consider answering a few questions such as:

- What would they do if faced between the choice of killing a very bad person or monster but letting a dozen innocent villagers die, potentially saving hundreds?
- If they saw a drunk man stumbling down an empty alley, would they help him home or lift his coin purse? Would they do both?
- Does your character hold certain races, nations, gods, or actions in a higher or lower regard than others?
- Would your character give a few copper coins to a beggar, or would they keep their coins for themselves?
- Is your character more likely to try and fight first and ask questions later, or try to talk their way through situations?
- Would your character accept a bribe?
- Would your character break the law to help a starving child?
- If your character had the opportunity to lie and say a job was done in order to collect the payment, would they? What if time was critical and they needed the payment to aid them in a greater quest?

Any mechanics in D&D 5e that relate to alignment will be handled on a case by case basis.

Additional RulesXera Player's Handbook

As a general note, I am aiming to have ~1 game post/week as the DM.
I will be taking 6 players.

FAQQ: You mentioned to keep background information generic, i.e. Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms. Are you OK with F.G. specific locations, or should I make that generic?
A: Any location-specific details are perfectly fine with me for the background, but be aware that the game will take place in a unique world and will not include locations in other settings. I'm trying not to reveal too much about the setting since there is information that I want to leave for within the game for the players to uncover themselves and not spoil it during the application process

Q: Are Half-Elves included in the universe, since you didn't mention them in the races?
A: Half-elves and half-orcs can exist as NPCs within your background concept, but will not exist within Xera (i.e. PCs cannot be half-elves or half-orcs). I never really liked the half species idea personally. I have some replacement species for them which are not available for this game.

Q: Will players be allowed to have mounts or pets/companions?
A: Eventually, yes. Starting out, no. Given the pace of PbP, it probably won't be a while IRL before the characters are in a place to gain those things. That said, relatively early in the grand scheme of the things your characters should have opportunities to acquire companions/mounts.

Q: Is there a pantheon of deities or set of patrons to pull from?
A: For your backstory you may use gods or patrons from any setting or invent your own if you wish. Thematic details of divine and pact magic working within Xera will be discussed later, but mechanically it will work as the core rules state.

Character ApplicationsNote that just because I say the app is finished doesn't mean that you can't make updates. I will review all updates after the deadline and decide at that time.
CharacterPlayerApp Status
Giovanna "Vanna"UngainlyFoolFinished
SeragusBheloganFinished
FlukeDialPforPicklesFinished
Falco StonehillTiesKnotsFinished
Grey IchoriMeredithSFinished
Singrid CrowcallerTinuvielFinished
Lithoniel BloodfyreSarsprillaFinished
Ursula SteelehammerMIniSchnauzerFinished
Erixa "Eri"Ucha NekomeFinished
Danelli DaggerdashJohnStoneWIP
Tai StonesplitterlydkleinFinished
William OlekEd StarwindFinished
YorickMundayKnightWIP
Socorro VelastitchlippedFinished
Carol-Jean WatkinsvoodoozombieFinished
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Last edited by Giot; 01-15-2019 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:45 PM
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You know I'm in, Giot!

Modeling my app after your ad: WIP All done
 
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Last edited by UngainlyFool; 01-10-2019 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:55 AM
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Application - SeragusSeragus sat around a small campfire, a short distance off from his other adventuring companions. His long silvery hair covered most of his face. It was a style he usually wore, but recently had become a necessity. Underneath, his face was rotting away. Half of it was still the beautiful elven face he was born with, and one would expect. The rest was decaying, from some unnatural curse. There was a plague sweeping over the land, and he had fell victim to it. So, had the rest of his company. It was only a matter of time before the rotting would consume them completely. They were all walking dead-men. As such, taking on a suicide mission was an easy decision. But before he threw his life away, Seragus had matters to attend to. A dozen letters had already been sent off, taken by carrier pigeon, to far away destinations. Now, he started to work on the hardest of the letters. He had put it off until the last, though it would be the first read.

The LetterDear Alanora,

I write this letter to you, to serve as proxy for me in person. As you know, with the passing of our father, the duty has fallen on my shoulders to be the teacher of our family’s secret arts. I trust your elementary training in the arcane has nearly reached its completion. I’ve heard your marks are good, though there could be room for improvement. That is of little concern though, your current teachers will no longer be guiding your path.

First, an explanation and an apology. I fear I will not be able to teach you in person, as Father taught me, our traditions. As I write, my company is camped along with another squad of adventures from Force Blue, preparing for an assault in the morning. We are only a diversion. Nobody would be crazy enough to assault a Lich’s lair from the front entrance. That is what we are banking on at least. We are simply a distraction, while a third force will use the window to sneak in and take the Lich’s phylactery. Not to slay the horror, but to use it as a negotiation tool. Either way about it, none of us are expecting to survive. Our sacrifice, however, is the best chance we have at finding a cure for the plague of our lands. Please, think of me and remember my passing with honor.

Now, for your lessons. I shall walk you through the beginning of your path, the same way father taught me. Some might think it is crazy to put aside the study of the arcane, to learn to swing a sword, or in my case a whip, with the speed and precision needed to create a song. Hopefully, the first few lessons will make this necessity clear.

First, you must travel east to one of the great coastal cities. Any will do, they all have their own flair and commodities, but in the end they all share something in common. A beggar districts. Go there, and watch. Look closely and the urchins, and see how they act. They seemingly run around like rats, scamming and stealing what they can. As we sat on a rooftop watching, father would ask me, “What do you see?”. I would explain, and then he would give his usual sigh of disappointment. “Seragus, you are not paying close enough attention”. I hated hearing that, but it was true. It usually was, and often still is the case. “Look closer,” he would explain, “until you see the patterns. You see, they run in groups, three of four of them at least, but you would never guess it.” As I observed further, it was true. The troublemakers were not running around at random, as I had originally thought. They were simply a front, to cause a distraction. The real danger lurked from the two or three urchins who got to work once a shopkeeper, or passerby had their attention drawn, the real thievery would begin.

As I noticed, I asked father if we should not report such criminal activity. “We need not concern ourselves with the morality or legality of what they do. It is simply the only way they know how to feed themselves. Would you rob them of their food? Besides, for us, they simply serve as a visual analogy. You see, your weapon, with which you will learn to perform a bladesong, really serves the same purpose as those urchins who run the streets. It serves as a distraction and a form of protection from where the real danger lies. Your magic.”

Come to think of it, isn’t it ironic? My first lesson, and the first lesson you must learn, has such a parallel to what my final moments will be. Causing a distraction. Drawing out the danger, to protect that which is the true threat.

Now, you may think that reading my description of these events will be enough. However, they are not. You must see this in person, in at least three cities. Note the differences in how the schemes work. Observe who the players are, who are the victims. And, also note those who are weary and wise enough to avoid such traps. Learn all of their patterns, and kept them etched in your mind. You will need them. Draw them out, point to point, until their patterns are simple muscle memory. You will need to call upon these patterns in your next lessons.

Master Ulthorn of the Silvery Spruce elves will be your next point of contact. I am writing to him as well, with instructions on how to proceed. He will test you, to make sure you have learned your first lesson well. Once satisfied, it will be his duty to teach you to wield your weapon of choice to perfection. Further instructions will also be left with him on how to proceed.

Sincerely, from your loving brother

- Seragus


Seragus rolled up the piece of parchment and tied it to the leg of his last carrier pigeon. This one would be flying home. A land far away from the stinking bog of rot and despair he now camped in. Some details had been left out, of course. The memory his sacrifice would be stronger without the tainting knowledge that he was going to die shortly anyway. Footsteps behind him started Seragus, and his slim body stiffened to attention, had hand clenching the whip at his side. Then, he turned and relaxed as he saw the source of the intruder was one of his companions. As often happened, Seragus was so caught up in the moment, and what he was doing, that he missed some of what was going on around him.

“Wow, you are jumpy,” Janice joked. “It’s Ok. We all are. Anyway, it's time.”

“Thank you,” Seragus responded as he gathered his things. Both he had Janice had books bound by their sides, though they served very different purposes. One was full of prayers, the other arcane symbols that made sense to very few. “You know I don’t like giving speeches. And, there really is nothing for us to look forward too.”

“Then don’t,” Janice offered. Her words were usually filled with guiding wisdom, and Seragus had learned the value in following them. “Just talk about the past instead. Share the good memories. Remind the men of our past triumphs. Remind everyone what you saw in them, why you recruited them? Maybe tell about the time we chased off that band of Hill Giants while riding giant mastiffs? Or how we got out of that mess when the hags of the forgotten forest had us all tied up except for Andrew? What did he say to them, to convince them to let us go? I’ll even give you extra credit if you can get Nog to reveal his secret ingredient for his famous rabbit stew.”

The last suggestion made Seragus wince. “I think he would have to be dead a hundred years before giving up that secret. Besides, I’m not sure that the rest of us are ready for that particular piece of information to be revealed. The last thing we want is everyone going to battle tomorrow with knots in their stomachs, thinking about what they have been eating over the last decade.” A chuckle. A little humor even in the worse circumstances can help make things bearable.



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Old 12-27-2018, 03:25 PM
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Ungainly and Bhelogan, great to see your interest. I have gotten a few other PMs as well, so with all of the secret text and PMs I feel like people are being shy or taking the option for secret applications very seriously. Come on in folks, the water is murky .

Seriously though, I'm more than happy to answer questions and provide feedback, be it via secret text, PM, or just posts in this thread
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:24 PM
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I'm cool with the rest of my app being private if that is what everyone s doing. Glad you are getting some interest and I'm still interested. Feel free to give feedback in PM if you have the time or desire.
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:40 PM
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It's up to you. I don't have a preference either way. I am allowing secret apps and pretty open character concepts, so if people decide to go a route they would prefer not to reveal at this time that is fine with me.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:50 PM
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Making mine public once I give it another go over.
Note to other applicants - if you don't want me to see your app though, you will need to put it in a spoiler, in addition to being in a secret.

Edit - my online dating profile is now public.
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Last edited by Bhelogan; 12-27-2018 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:13 PM
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Bhelogan, can you like... un-admin yourself from game folders? I'm sure I will be using secret text often, and the way I do combat is virtually entirely with secret text, so yea... it could get awkward, though if you were playing a diviner I could forgive it!
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giot View Post
Bhelogan, can you like... un-admin yourself from game folders? I'm sure I will be using secret text often, and the way I do combat is virtually entirely with secret text, so yea... it could get awkward, though if you were playing a diviner I could forgive it!
Lol, no. But if you put things in spoilers, I'll respect your privacy.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:16 PM
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This sounds like a great game and app process.
What is your opinion on UA Phoenix Sorcery (sorcerers??). What about Mark of Passage Humans?
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:17 PM
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Fluke

Application



"Concentrate. Where is that smell coming from?"

The smell of blood and smoke lay heavily on the wind as Fluke made his way back home after several days away.

He had been sneaking off like this for nearly two years now; he told Lil and the kids that he was selling the arrows he made at market to make up for the poor harvests. They believed him because he made wonderful arrows and was a Very Famous Hero, as his children would say. When he came home and dropped the purse full of gold coins on the table they would cheer and hug and kiss him and tell him he was their hero for keeping the farm alive. But they didn't know.

They didn't know that "selling the arrows" meant that he was secretly taking jobs again. Nothing big or long-term, mind you, and nothing too dangerous. But they were definitely the type of jobs he promised Lil he would stop taking when they bought the farm. They were definitely the type of jobs he swore he didn't think about anymore when the first child came. And they were definitely the type of jobs he needed to keep secret until this last one. This one would be the last--no more lies, no more shame.

These and other thoughts occupied him until he smelled the blood and smoke on the wind and realized it was coming from his farm. From his family. From the people he should have been there to protect while he was out playing Hero behind their backs.

Blink.

“Concentrate, young one.”

The way the syllables reverberate in Fluke’s sinus cavities lets him know that this feedback comes from the Master—he could have picked out that contra-basso whispering in a crowd of 500 after all these months. He takes a deep breath and focuses all of his energy on one fixed point 50 yards from his nocked arrowhead. His awareness spreads throughout his body like an analgesic, searching for weaknesses in his form, his stance, his fingers. Finding none, he looses the arrow at his target, trusting it would find its mark in the same way he trusts in the teaching of the Master, and hears it thrilling in its target a moment later.

Blink.

“Concentrate. Don’t lose control.”

It always happens a couple of days into the job.

The merchants recognized Fluke from the stories and brought him on to help guard their caravan through the mountains at the last minute and at great expense. But people are people and people like having a pecking order, so there’s always someone who wants to test their mettle against the guy from the stories. This time it’s a barbarian named Vargis—he stinks of cheap liquor and beard spittle, and he wants to know if the Big Hero is all he’s cracked up to be.

Fluke stares into the campfire and says nothing, his heavily jawed face a mask of passivity, even while Vargis’s fingers jab repeatedly into his ribs to punctuate his questions. He is hoping that his lack of response will bore Vargis; it does not. The barbarian loses his temper and tries to snatch away Fluke’s longbow to taunt him.

The logs of the fire collapse into themselves, and before the sparks finish weaving their way upwards, Vargis’s legs are swept out from under him, and a kick to his solar plexus sends him flying backward into an ancient stone wall.

It always happens a couple of days into the job. The trick is making sure it only happens once.

Blink.

"Concentrate. Do NOT let them see weakness."

Today is Naming Day, the day the clan's elders meet with the children of the village. They will ask each young dwarf a series of questions designed to test their gifts, interests, and temperament. Then they will determine what station, if any, they might occupy in the village, and once they have done so, they proffer that child their name.

The boy is trying to stand as tall and as proud as he can--he can't help but notice the other children are all standing taller and prouder and not trying as hard. He hears the elders speaking to the children farther down the line, considering their answers, and officially welcoming them into the clan. When they finally get to him, they do not hide their reaction to his appearance.

The oldest one speaks first: "Yer a runty little thing, aren't you?"

"I am as Moradin made me, Elder. He has shaped me for his purposes."

The tallest one speaks second: "That remains to be seen. How do you spend your time, young one?"

"I watch. I listen. I explore the caves and woods of our lands. If I am still enough, I find more things to watch and listen to, more places to explore."

The stoutest one speaks third: "Do you never play-fight with the other children? Or watch our smiths or miners at their trade?"

The boy clenches his jaws to keep his chin from quivering and speaks through his teeth: "I'm not strong enough to wear my father's old armor, and I'm not tall enough to help work the bellows, or fit into a harness."

The oldest speaks again: "So what service do you intend to give to your people, then?"

A long pause follows. The boy is not used to speaking this much, and he fights within himself to keep down a slew of sarcastic responses before taking a deep breath and replying: "That is for the elders to decide."

His response raises a few eyebrows, and the boy becomes acutely aware that the elders are deliberating much longer over his fate than they did over the fates of the other children. When they look at him, they notice that he does not look away from them, or fidget, or shift his weight from one foot to the other as the other children do. The oldest speaks: "We name you Fluke: you are bony, grounded, unforeseen. The clan has no need for a child who cannot wear armor or smith or mine. You will go to the Monastery and find your purpose there. Farewell."

Blink.

“Concentrate, old man.”

The life of a warrior is lived on a razor’s edge, he remembers the Master saying. Too far down one side or the other and all is lost, and so we must find balance in all we do. Sometimes that means sacrificing what we want now so that we can have what we need later. Right now it means shutting out his ability to identify the various scents of what is burning (Gods above, they’re not screaming anymore, they’re already dead) so that his blade can cut through the support beam at just the right speed and angle to slice it in half. The smoke and flames mar his vision and siphon his strength, but he knows his own house. He also knows that making this precise cut will bar his escape and doom him to die (hopefully of suffocation), but it will also cut off the orc’s means of escape and doom them to die a bit sooner than him.

Blink.

“Concentrate. Don’t screw this up.”

She is beautiful. She is smiling at him.

He is sweating. He is sweating and he is panicking. He is trying to think of something to say to the girl who is beautiful and smiling at him.

He is failing.

She continues to smile. At him. For the first time in his life, Fluke is caught entirely unawares. Gods above.

“I’ve never known one of your kind to be so shy. What’s your name? I’m Lil.”

Blink.

“Concentrate, boyo.”

As Fluke begins his assault on the monster, his ears mark the fluttering of raven’s wings and their angry retorts as they rise, interrupted, from their feast. The oni has laid out quite a spread for them—all the caravaneers and their beasts of burden lay on the blood-soaked ground on the cobblestone road just outside the village. In the back of his mind he wonders if the ravens had followed the monster all this way for the free food, and if they feel any affinity with the creature for feeding them so richly. All those questions he dismisses for the moment as he dodges a silvery obelisk of freezing air and looses another arrow at the creature. He keeps his distance from the monster for as long as he can, peppering it with barbs to wear down its defenses. Then, as it begins to stagger and slur its grammarye for its darksome spells, he closes the distance, and lets his own dark talents guide his blades into the creature’s softest spots. A dim awareness that some of the guards from the nearby village are watching and reveling in the sight of him harrying his prey creeps around his ego. He does not yet know that this story will get him more than a few free drinks and a place to sleep tonight.

Blink.


“Concentrate, and then you can rest.”

His right arm has just enough strength to cut through the half-burnt support. The last thing he hears are the shrieks and dying curses of the orcs who raided his home and tried to smoke him out. Having finished his work, he closes his eyes and smiles bitterly as the roof collapses on him.


Last edited by DialPforPickles; 01-05-2019 at 10:44 PM. Reason: addenda, edits, and formatting
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  #12  
Old 12-28-2018, 03:12 AM
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I like the concept.

 
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2018, 08:40 AM
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Great Wyrm
 
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I might apply if the mystic is allowed, or possibly the artificer.
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Old 12-28-2018, 08:47 AM
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All done with mine. I really enjoyed that.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:10 AM
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Welcome everyone. Looks like we have a few more applications . Glad to see it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lydklein View Post
This sounds like a great game and app process.
What is your opinion on UA Phoenix Sorcery (sorcerers??). What about Mark of Passage Humans?
I'm going to say no to the Eberron races, but let me look closer at the dragonmarks and see how I feel. I'm generally not a fan of the setting but I might actually end up borrowing the dragonmarks depending on how they function. For now, assume no though.

For the Phoenix Sorcery origin, let me start off by saying I really like sorcerers in 5e. I like them so much I modified how they work a bit (see the Xera PHB link at the bottom of the advert post). In my world I am planning to limit sorcerous origins based on race, and I believe fire genasi are the only ones I have tagged to be able to take the phoenix origin. That being said, if you really wanted to take phoenix, you may, but your application post will have to be rather exceptional for me to want to bend my world building rules .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericg1s View Post
I might apply if the mystic is allowed, or possibly the artificer.
Mystic is most definitely allowed. Artificer is also allowed, but not really recommended for this specific game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UngainlyFool View Post
All done with mine. I really enjoyed that.
Glad you enjoyed it! I enjoyed reading where it was the last time I reviewed it, and am definitely looking forward to reading the finished version
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Last edited by Giot; 12-28-2018 at 10:14 AM.
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