Saturday, August 9, 2008

My First 4e Character: The Final Product

The dragonborn took a few steps forward - wide paces and a steady gaze. His body was covered with dark brown scales, while his eyes were of a similar color. Most of the creatures body was hidden by plate armor, including the helm which covered half of his head and face. In his hands, the dragonborn hefted a long spiked chain ending in a deadly looking flail on either end. The whole weapon seemed to crackle occasionally with black energy. The man was built as a warrior and dressed as an adventurer. A backpack, along with a bedroll and several other basic adventuring items were strapped to his back. Two sunrods hung on small stands of twine from his belt. Around is neck, a steel holy symbol hung on a leather cord. Upon it, a dark image of a raven's head was intricately painted - though the detailed image was weathered and faded. The dragonborn walked with a slight limp in his left leg, and his body seemed worn from the years. Nevertheless he seems to be in top physical condition, with the occasional scar that prove he's more then seen his share of battle. Finally he spoke, in a low and aging voice. "My name is Arjhan Rav'nos, and my story is not one of joy. Build us a fire. I will tell it."

"It was autumn when the Ziagtin came. He blacked out the sky like a raincloud. I lived in a small village full to brimming with ignorant cowards. We were blind to the ways of things, and by first frost we were slaves to the black dragon. They called it worship. 'Surely,' our elders said 'this beast is a servant of Bahamut.' And so we built Ziagtin his temples, and offered up our meager wealth. I was ten then. The night of winter's first snowfall was when the dream first came...

I was soaring. That feeling of flight that so many young dragonborns like myself wished for. The soothing windy breeze against his scales. But I knew... somehow I knew that where scales should have been, there were feathers instead. Rich black feathers. And as he passed the mountain's peak, he glided down over their valley. But his village, far below, was no more. All that remained was a graveyard which stretched over the hills. And I knew... somehow I knew that they were all gone. All of them. They were gone.

At first, the dreams were terrifying. As the years passed, they became sad. And as I became an adult, eventually the dreams were just dreams. I was no fool. I saw what Ziagtin was doing. I saw when the elders started disappearing. I saw his dark ways. That night, I had the dream for the last time, when I finally embraced it. I began to wish for the dream's reality. Then, at least, we would be free. We would be at peace. Finally... at true and final peace.

When I awoke, I was free from the anger. I was free from the sadness and the fear. And upon my windowsill, a regal black raven was perched. I knew... somehow I knew that this was my chance. In minutes I had gathered up what few possessions I had and was out the door. I never looked back.

Ziagtin had told us that we were doing the work of Bahamut - and to leave would be blasphemous. I knew what he meant. Any who left would be caught, and killed... This didn't stop me though, and through the roads of our small village I ran like Ziagtin himself was chasing me, following this little black raven as it made it's way through the cold winter air. I followed. For miles I followed.

I escaped.

The raven brought me to a small abandoned hut five days away from my home with nothing but a bed and a book of prayers within. Prayers to the Raven Queen. There, I lived for twenty seven years. People began to hear stories of the hermit dragonborn that lived in the woods, which brought many to learn from me, or to challenge me. Some brought gifts - thinking me some sort of wise man. I suppose that is what I became after a while.

Finally, when I was forty years old, the dream returned, and I knew my time had come. I traveled back to my home and liberated my people. Not much was left, but Ziagtin remained. I fought him and he fled - weakened and fat off of years of hedonistic tyranny. My people heralded me as a hero, but I could not stay. I had abandoned them as a child, bringing dishonor upon my family and myself. Even though they had forgotten, I had not.

So, I left my village and my hut behind. Now I travel, following the path that my Queen lays down before me. I am no hero. I am no savior. I am simply a paladin of the Raven Queen, making my way in this world as best I can. Now, we should probably get some sleep."

- - -

Arjhan's Personality

Arjhan's goals are two-fold. First and foremost, he wishes to prove himself a true and devoted servant of the Raven Queen. Secondly, he is constantly looking for ways to restore his honor. Arjhan feels that he has committed a great betrayal against his people and wishes to set this wrong right.

In social situations, Arjhan is a fairly reserved individual with a grim outlook on life. He believes in fate and destiny, and is convinced that the Raven Queen has some unseen plan for him. As far as Arjhan is concerned, all that happens was destined to happen.

If ever put in the position where decisions must be made, Arjhan can be quite the commanding individual, and will not sit quietly by while decisions he believes to be foolish are made. He is impatient and wishes decisions to be made quickly so as to not distract him from his true quests.

He is old for a dragonborn (43 years old) and knows that his time is running short. In this light he tries to waste no time in anything, and always acts efficiently. All in all, he is very honest and trustworthy man who always tries to be as honorable as possible.

When the going gets tough, Arjhan gets tougher. The paladin is an incredibly brave - some might say foolishly so - since he sees death as nothing but the greatest reward. He knows his limits however, and is very aware that the Raven Queen will not look favorably upon his passing if it is fueled by foolhardiness. He is tactical and unshakable when combat is joined, though he is equally passionate and driven to succeed.

"The raven who flies too high, sees not the worms below"
Arjhan tries to be a humble man, knowing that those who are fueled by hubris generally meet an early and rather painful defeat. This is his warning to others when he sees pride begin to get the better of them, or as a reminder to himself.

"To you my Queen I deliver this soul. Take him/her into your arms."
Arjhan has a great respect for the dead and will say this small prayer over the body of recently deceased enemies. If a friend or companion of his dies, he offers to say a eulogy for the departed individual. Arjhan has no concept of resurrection and generally frowns upon it, though not as much as necromancy. Arjhan will even sometimes shout out this prayer after felling a foe in battle, making it sound more like a war cry.

War Cries
"No pity! No prisoners!"
"Your time has come!"

"Your judgment has been passed!"

"For honor!"

"For the Queen!"

"The Queen has called for you!"

- In times of peace, Arjhan will often open up his prayer book and read through it.
- If engaged in conversation, Arjhan will sprinkle his dialog with talks of fate and destiny.

Power Prayers
All of Arjhan's powers are linked to a prayer.

Divine Challenge
"The queen has sent me for you! Your judgment has been passed!"
Lay on Hands
"With death comes life. Be still, and accept Her gift to you."
Holy Strike
"None can ignore judgment!"
Valiant Strike
"You cannot flee destiny!"
Raven Queen's Blessing
"With this soul I deliver, grant me Your blessing!"
Divine Mettle
"It is not your time! My Queen grants you salvation!"
Divine Strength
"The Raven Queen grants me strength! None shall escape judgment!"
Dragon Breath
"I serve Winter's Mistress. Accept her cold embrace!"
Piercing Smite
"You all have been marked! You all have been judged!"
Staggering Smite
"None can stand against the Raven Queen!"
On Pain of Death
"Death lingers within you! It begs for freedom! Accept Her embrace!"
Martyr's Retribution
"The Queen of Ravens guides my blade. None can stand against her executioner!"
Martyr's Blessing
"Strike at me if you dare! I do not fear death!"
Wrath of the Gods
"We are the executioners! Your time has come!"


Anonymous said...

Oh I LIKE that! Very, very neatly done characterization :)

Storyteller said...

greywulf: Thanks! Yeah... can you tell that I have way too much spare time on my hands to think about character personalities? Oh well, at least it makes playing the character that much more fun!

Geek's Dream Girl said...

Love the little sayings for each power. So far, my dwarf Mielka just usually squeals "SPARKLES!!" before letting loose Lance of Faith. ;) I'll have to think of some more battle cries for her. :)

Storyteller said...

geek's dream girl: Glad you enjoyed them! I think I played with a guy who used "SPARKLES!" for his glitterdust spells. I highly suggest "RAINBOWS" and "BUTTERFLIES" as well. It doesn't matter what you're casting - anyone will be demoralized if they get hit by a butterflies spell.