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Finnian's Backstory
Finn grew up the only son of the leader of a clan of halflings that lived in a village in the north built around a gigantic cedar tree. They called it the 'Night Cedar' and everyone in the clan got a necklace when they were 10 with a piece of the bark of the tree on it. He had one sister who was three years younger than him. Finn didn't like it there because the clan was almost completely secluded from the outside world and he was pressured by his parents to do well in all that he did, because he would be the next leader of the clan. This gave him almost no time to spend on the one thing he loved to do, cook. It also didn't help that there weren't many decent cooks in the village, so he didn't have anywhere to learn, and that it was pretty much just wasteland around the village, so there weren’t very many natural resources for him to forage or hunt for. Finn felt cooped up in his village, and a few days before his 16th birthday, when he would have to start his training to be the next leader, he ran away from the village. He went to a dwarven village known for their artisans and begged them to teach him cooking. It turned out that there was only one old dwarf who had that much expertise in cooking in the village, and after much begging from Finn, he finally agreed to teach him. Finn spent the next two years learning all that he could from the dwarf. Still, there was a limit to what the dwarf knew, and there still weren’t very many natural resources to be found, so Finn decided to travel south, to the Crossroads, and then on to Zobeck. He found plenty of amazing plants and animals along the way, but he needed to get a job. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any credentials or anything, so the best job he could get for his cooking was at a temple to Baldur, the same god that he had grown up worshipping. Here, though, they were called Lada. Finn enjoyed the spirit of the temple and worshipped Lada in almost all his free time when he wasn’t cooking. Still, he wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to adventure, to find new places and people and to expand his cooking. He put these desires into his prayer, and to his surprise, Lada responded to him one day. She told him that if he showed his resolve and belief in her, she would grant him the power to get what he wanted.
Finn worked hard day after day, cooking for the people in Lada’s temple, praying to Lada, spreading her word throughout the city, and one day, she told him that he could not avoid his family any longer. He found a priest who helped him contact his dad and he spoke with him, apologizing for running away but explaining that he wouldn’t be coming back. His dad, glad that he was still alive, accepted this but begged him to stay safe. He talked with his dad a few more times and then told him that he would be setting off soon and that he wouldn’t be able to talk to him for a while. They said their goodbyes and Finn went back to the temple for one more prayer. Again, Lada answered him, and told him to do well in her name. Finn suddenly found himself in possession of the power that he had been promised. The next day, he set off.
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Character Backgrounds
Provide a brief background of your character and their thoughts about the letter they received.
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When Jerry is with us, who can stand against us?
Flossin stood precariously on the crossbeams of the Temple, a broad smile on his face. Last night he had felt fear are foreboding about travelling to the countryside to get involved in the economics and disputes of grain merchants. A fight over a woman had sealed the night as a bad deal all around.
But this morning, Flossin consulted his precious carved conduit into the mind of Jerry. Lo and behold, it looked like Jerry had Flossin's back today. Flossin knew that whatever happened today would be a sign and guidepost to guide him in the right direction. You could never trust what the Great Gygax had in store, so knowing that Jerry was with him reassured Flossin.
When Flossin came across the body of Leela, he knew that this was the direction they had to follow. And if part of the mystery meant stealing a sacred relic so be it. Life was about adventure, experience, and staying one step ahead of the Great Gygax's machinations.
Bringing his focus back to the present, Flossin quickly stepped across the beam to the net that held the crystal. With a quick motion, he grabbed the crystal. Immediately, crystal spiders came to life. Grabbing the rope, Flossin climbed, feeling alive and triumphant. He never doubted for a moment that he and his new friends would get away. When Jerry was on his side what could go wrong?
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Epic × 2!
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Mitch
Posted in Flameweaver
Two Truths & One Lie/Rumors
I had come across something a DM I follow on Twitter posted about encouraging character interaction/story advancement. Basically each person posts three rumors about their character or their backstory where two of the rumors are true, and one is false.

Example: Leofire
1. He's been trained by four of the five Old Masters in hand-to-hand combat.
2. He once drank a shot glass of Drider venom on a bet, and lived.
3. He had his stomach surgically replaced with a Bag of Holding, allowing him to eat and drink far more than normal mortals.

Let me know if this seems like something people want to do, might give Matt more to work with for our characters. Or at least fuel more shenanigans.
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Tags: backstory , Group
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Mitch
Posted in Flameweaver
Lost Days, Chapter Two
Mitch let the door close softly behind him, the dull clunk of wood against wood putting an end to the interrogation. He pressed two fingers against the bridge of his nose, trying to fight back the headache that was even now creeping up at the back of his mind.

"Have a nice chat with our little friend, did we?" The voice was female, cutting through the moment of quiet like a hot knife through paper. Letting the hand drop from his face, Mitch glared back at her with tired annoyance.

"Do we really need to do this now?" The words practically rasped out of his throat.

"We do, and you know that. Or are you gonna start lying to y'er old pal Ellie now too?" The woman smirked at him knowingly, the second party to a dance that the both of them had gotten tired of long ago. The difference was, she could still put barbs to him by making it happen.

"No. No I am not nor have I ever lied to you, Ellie-"

"Ah ah. Manners now." She cut him off, tsking at the affront but showing no real offense to it. "I'm bankrolling this little witch hunt of y'ers, the least you could do is be polite." The Paladin straightened in her seat, folding her hands together on the table in front of her like a teacher trying to correct a mistake. "Now, again?"

Mitch glowered at her, but obeyed the request all the same. "No. No I am not, nor have I ever lied to you, Lady Ellebrius of the House Uhrhammer, Holy and Righteous Paladin in the Service of Helm."

She practically bounced in her seat, clapping happily as the mage continued to stare daggers back at her. "I knew you remembered the whole thing! Y'er presentation isn't great but you know all the words and that's a great start!" She scooted on the wooden bench and patted a spot next to her own, looking up at him. "Come on, I'll get you something to drink."

"Food first. If I start drinking on an empty stomach nothing I say will mean anything before too long." Mitch let the prisoner's spellbook fall on the table with a dull thud and sat down next to her, waving a server over as he did so. Within a moment or so a bowl of thick stew and a mug of something that smelled faintly of alcohol were placed in front of him. As the server looked at him expectantly, Mitch tilted his head towards the woman beside him. "Her tab, she's the bankroller after all."

Ellebrius smiled good-naturedly and rolled her eyes in a 'what can you do' fashion towards the mage before dropping two silver coins into the server's waiting hand. He bowed slightly to her in thanks and departed. Before he had so much as walked away Mitch was already halfway through the meal and all but done with the drink. The Paladin watched him eat in silence, propping her head on one hand against the table. After the meal was gone and no words had come from his mouth she cleared her throat loudly at him.

"I know, alright? I was in there for..." He looked at her questioningly. "... how long was I in there?"

Ellebrius turned her head towards the nearest window and then back to him. "Three, four hours maybe?"

"And that is a very long time to consistently lie to someone!" His words had a heavy anger behind them, and a tired resignation that it wouldn't matter this time any more than it had in the times before it.

Her expression scrunched into one of mocking pity. "Oooh, I'm sowwy. Did you get tiwed wying to anooda apooooostate?"

"I AM-" He caught himself halfway to standing up. After a long and drawn out breath, Mitch sat down next to her once again and continued in a strained whisper. "I am not an apostate!" He practically spat the word back at her. "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't ask for these powers! I don't want these powers! I want to find what is causing this and stop it so it doesn't happen to other people like me!"

"An' it's that helpful attitude a'yer's that'll keep you in my good graces and outta the stocks." Her words had a happy lilt to them as she spoke, complete with the woman giving him a friendly smirk and wink.

"Lest I ever forget." He rolled his eyes, knowing the flirting was an empty gesture on her part. He had fallen for it early on in their... working relationship, but now it rang as hollow as an empty bell. With one last sigh of defeat Mitch slid the spellbook over to sit in front of them. "His name is Bhavalus, he comes from some unimportant little farming who-cares well off the beaten path between Baldur's Gate and Waterdeep." He continued, stopping on certain pages of the book and flipping quickly past others. "Got to see a passing gypsy band as a kid, one of them performed some little magics and the kid became obsessed."

"What is this, a life story?" She looked from the book to him, an indignant expression on her face.

He stared back at her with an annoyed expression and let a moment of silence pass. "Yeah. Done?"

She shrugged and wore an innocent expression. "I'll let y'eh know."

"Anyways, his parents managed to scrape up enough coin to send him to a mage's school. Nothing fancy, just some hole-in-the-wall in Baldur's and after a couple of years he was an honest-to-goodness Wizard. Can't get work anywhere good because he never learned that contacts are just as important as books, and gets stuck performing for petty coin on the streets."

"So why not go home?" The question lacked her usual sense of sarcasm, so he treated it seriously.

"Shame, I'd assume. After his family did so much to get him there it might have been impossible for him to go home empty handed." Mitch shrugged and looked back down at the spellbook, not meeting her eyes. "After failing so badly he was probably willing to do anything to make it right again."

"We aren't just talking about him, are we." When the mage looked back up he was surprised to find Ellebrius looking at him with something approaching earnestness on her face. She was concerned, and for once didn't try to conceal it from him.

And just like that it was there. The look. The goddamn look that he had spent his entire childhood enduring and explaining back to indifference. Expressions of pity that only wanted to help, but instead of accepting them the boy had always assuaged their worry, covered up the fact that he in fact did want help.

In that moment Mitch hated the woman sitting next to him, but knew it wasn't her fault all in the same instant.

"We are right now. Besides, I might be giving this guy the benefit of a conscience that he doesn't have." With his walls firmly back in place, Mitch continued. "Hell, the guy didn't flinch when I said we had his family. He was fine with us torturing and killing them until I showed him-"

"Hold on. You what?!" The empathy in her features was gone, replaced by a stone-faced anger that practically radiated heat in its intensity. "We are NOT-"

"I know that." He held a hand up to slow her, calm her somehow. "I know that, and you know that." The same hand pointed to the still-closed door across the way in the inn. "He doesn't know that."

"Y'eh were just supposed to get him to talk, not threaten torture!" Her words had calmed to an angry shout of a whisper, practically hissing the words as she continued. "I didn't send y'eh in there to threaten..." Ellebrius let the words wither away in her throat, taking a calming breath before continuing. "All right." Her breastplate rose and fell with each exhalation, almost as if it were a second skin to the woman. "Ah' don't tell y'eh how to get information, an' y'eh don't tell me how to worship. Ah' know."

"Just..." She paused, staring fixedly at the table before continuing. "... tell me that was the worst thing y'eh threatened him with." Her copper eyes marked him. "Can y'eh do that?"

"More or less, yeah." His own face remained blank, numb having already gone through what she was experiencing for the first time. "Threatening him didn't work, I had to take a different approach."

"Aye, supposing y'eh did." A single angry huff left her lips before the Paladin turned her attention back to him. "'Tinue."

"Right. So Bhavalus gets noticed by some people. They tap him to do some little shill jobs for them, sleep some guards, petty shit like that." Mitch turned pages as he spoke, stopping when he arrived at a page wholly unlike the ones before it. Broad strokes of heavy ink crisscrossed the paper like fault lines, accented with a myriad of smaller circles and diagrams notated in a sinister looking language.

"Tha' don't look like any petteh' shit there." Ellebrius was staring down at the page with concern, trying to make heads or tails out of it in the process.

"It isn't. This is dark stuff, and well beyond what anyone of his ability should be able to comprehend, let alone conduct. How's your Abyssal?" His eyes jumped from the page up to her.

The woman gave him a clueless smile. "Might be faster if y'eh walk me through it."

"It seems like something designed to send people, or at least their life energy.... somewhere? The wording is vague, almost like whoever made this wasn't told everything about it." Mitch's words trailed off as he continued to stare at the page, growing more unsure of the magic contained in it by the minute.

"Somewhere? Y'eh don't know?" Her eyes were going back and forth from the spellbook to the mage.

"Do you want to read it?!" He shot her an angry look, then deflated as she held up her hands in surrender.

"Not tryin' to make y'eh mad, y'eh just don't sound sure 'bout all o' this." She gestured a hand to the book, then grimaced at the writing for a moment. "Not tha' I'm blamin' y'eh. Nasty bus'nuss."

"It is." He shut the book angrily, pushing it towards her. "That can't be left alone. You know that, right?" Mitch met her eyes with no humor. "This can't go to some reliquary or church library, no matter what you think could be gained from it."

Ellebrius nodded. "Council won' be pleased ahm' destroyin' evidence." She chuffed. "Again. But if'n its got you spooked can't say as ahm sorry to burn it."

"Burn it until it won't burn anymore. I'm going to see what I can do to forget I ever saw it." Mitch started to push off from the bench, but a plate-covered hand caught his arm.

"Why are y'eh doin' that?" It was a question, but her words had a gravity unlike anything he had heard from her prior.

"Because whatever gave me the powers I have touched him as well. Me having the knowledge of that kind of magic in my mind is a liability." The mage turned back to her with a serious expression. "And if I retain it there is a chance more innocent people will die."

The Paladin nodded in understanding, releasing his arm. "So, one book well-done. Anythin' else?"

"His associates?"

"Took m'ah coin an' fucked off. Seemed happy to be free a'him." She smiled bleakly back at him. "Apparen' they weren't fans ah' their boss."

"Imagine that."

Ellebrius punched him in the side, then laughed as the Half-Elf doubled over in pain. After the ache subsided, Mitch seated himself on the bench once again.

"Family members?" He tilted his head back, taking a deep breath and trying not to vomit up his recent meal.

"Took m'ah coin an' fucked off as'well. Believe it or not, he wasn' popular with them either." She grinned, rubbing the hand that had punched him against her breastplate as if shining an apple.

"I believe it." Mitch felt his throat begin to relax as stew and ale slid back down into his stomach. "And Bhavalus?" He felt his eyes drawn to the closed door just as much as hers.

"Knows too much." The grin on her face died.

"Then bring him up on charges and hang him. Burn the remains so no one gets a chance to bring him back, find out what he knows." The mage felt the humor drain from his features as he spoke.

"Tha' shouldn' be hard. I tell the Council it's an apostate with dark magic an' the warrant'll write itself." Ellebrius raised her eyebrows to him. "An' y'er okay with this?"

"Why suggest it if I wasn't?" He looked at her confused.

"Well, with y'eh bein' like him an' all. I jus' thought-"

Without warning one of his hands raced forward, grabbing the collar of her breastplate and yanking the Paladin forward. Her copper eyes met his as the mage spoke in a low and furious whisper.

"I am cursed, as he is cursed. That does not make us kin, or even allies. I am not an apostate, and I am nothing like him.."

Whatever initial surprise Ellebrius felt when she was grabbed was gone, replaced by the unflinching resolve of a soldier. "Good t'eh hear." Her speech was quiet but hard, as unafraid of him as he seemed to be of her. "Jus' one problem."

"Which is?"

"How are y'eh gonna forget tha' spell?" Her gaze never wavered, never drew back from the threat. If there was a chance the mage would be turned against her the Paladin seemed unafraid. Almost prepared.

"I am going to drink until I forget I have these goddamn feet, let alone magic. By morning this will all just be another bad hangover." Little by little his grip on her armor relaxed, and the woman leaned back into a more comfortable sitting position. "And you are going to pay for me to do so."

"Am I now?" She managed a half-smirk, cocking one eyebrow to complete the look.

His hand fell away. "Yes you are, Lady Ellebrius of the House Uhrhammer, Holy and Righteous Paladin in the Service of Helm." His previously severe expression gave way to a self-assured grin.

She looked at him with the same smirk for a moment or so, then relented with a laugh. "Ah, go on with y'eh." She tossed a small pouch towards him and he caught it, looking inside it before pocketing it with a disappointed expression.

"Don' be givin' me tha' face! I don' want y'eh stumblin' into the room tryin' to make relations at me again. I'm a rare beaut, too precious for the likes a y'er fumblin' hands!" She mock pushed him away, laughing as she did it.

"That never happened." He drew the words out dismissively. "Besides, if anything it's you who can't resist me, my lady mine. More than once you've crawled into my bed asking me to hold you, how you're so cooooo~ld and loooon~ely-"

A second, heavier bag of coins flew from the table and struck him squarely in the face.

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