Sunday, December 11, 2016

Steadfast Campaign—Bloodwolves

History of the Bloodwolf Mercenary Guild

Fall of Aureny, 790gcy (Gods Calendar)

Three years ago Theron recruited mercenaries claiming to want to hunt orc. He formed a band of mercenaries, which including Warren and Marc. Successfully leading the group during an orc ambush, thanks in part to Father Dominick, a traveling Paladin who happened upon them.

In a bizarre set of circumstances, the band managed to rescued dwarven slaves, defeat the Frowning Mountain orcs, kill devils summoned by a dwarf warlock, and delivered a succubus back to the abyss. A chain of events started because of a cambion's wager over the soul of a girl who claimed to be Marc's long dead child.

He discussed with Dominick the idea of hunting demons which Dominick quickly shot down, so he declared that they would instead hunt gnolls and possibly some orcs near his intended destination, but in truth, he continued to planned for a demon hunt into the Winterwoods. The expedition got off to a rocky start when Father Dominic offered a cold-iron necklace to Marc's daughter, Sasha, as a gift. Secretly, he meant to confirm if the girl was human with the cold-iron, but a drug induced Marc mistakenly thought the paladin was showing interest in his ten-year-old daughter. Things turned further disastrous after the expedition got underway and they tracking gnolls into the Winterwoods. Winter witches.

Father Dominick attempted to speak with a group of three Winterwood hags. Unfortunately, Marc attacked as Dominick talked to the leader of the witches when a lesser demands the elder allow her to kill the men encroaching on their territory. They defeated the three, but in the brief struggle, their ranks were reduced from fifteen to seven. The expedition ended less than an hour after it started.

In 791gcy, a year after the failed expedition and the departure of Marc, Theron, Father Dominick, and Sasha formed a much more successful mercenary group, now lead by Dominick, that called themselves the Bloodwolves. Theron claimed they were demon hunters, but encounter neither demon nor devil since the chance meeting at Hope Village.

Not until 794gcy, when they joined forces with a group of Winter's Haven refugees fleeing towards safety lead by Erik Bennett and a band of former bounty hunters.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Morgan Roberts—"Digging Your own Grave"

Journal Entry for Mysterious Tavern Campaign

After a few months break, the mysterious tavern has started up once again. A lot changed at the end of the last arc. and a lot has stayed the same. The Lich was defeated by the makeshift party, we freed lady Aimee from her centuries-old imprisonment in the ruby ring. Unfortunately, The lich wasn't destroyed completely and she escaped with little Lucy. Morgan reveals his feelings to Ichabod but not long into their journey they are separated after she was caught up in a magical portal. The remainder of the party has to continue on its journey with few clues and fewer options.



He had been digging for a while in the spot where the woman had been before she disappeared. The soil was cold and damp as it clung to Morgan's hands, face and the tunic he wore over his chain shirt.  Most of the grime that covered his muscular form were provided by the oversized fox that had recently joined them on their fool's errand. The smell of the musty unearthed soil put Morgan on edge because of his recent dreams, but desperation had a hold of him, and he couldn't imagine that he could stop knowing this was the last place she was before she disappeared. Even in the pirate's innermost thoughts, it was difficult to form the syllables of the sorceress's name. He had spent a great deal of his life cultivating his disdain for people who possessed magic. It pained him that he couldn't rid himself of his old animosity for the people he cared for; not Antoinette; not Lucy; and not her. He asked himself was his current efforts because he cared about them or an attempt to compensate for the guilt.

In short order—or maybe after a very long time, he was unable to recall just now—the little hole had become a small burrow in the corner of the cave room. The shaft descended beneath the floor at a sharp angle, still far enough to leave Morgan turban deep into the pit. As the hole expanded, Morgan tried to chase off the thought that his concern for Antoinette and Aimee were afterthoughts, a deception to convince himself that it wasn't insanity over the dark haired woman that gripped him.

He paused a moment mindlessly mixing the dirt on his hands with that on his leather leggings in a futile attempt to clean away the worse of the mud. His thoughts nagged at him as he again busied himself with his task. That the task was his duty wasn't at all true, wasn't even a worthwhile endeavor. Morgan figured if he thought it long enough it might become true enough for him to believe. It was a pleasant lie to himself as opposed to considering the similarities of his situation to his fathers.

Creeping up from its hiding place in the back of Morgan's mind came one of Ghalib sharp barbs delivered in his father's annoyingly amused raspy voice. "O'course it be an idjut like ye t'be diggin' y'own grave pursuin' a witch cunt ye sweet on."

Before he could start in on dear old dad's imaginary voice, he was thrown suddenly backward. Snapped out of his reverie, he realized he was being pulled by the scruff of his neck up and out of his recent excavation. Too exhausted to fend off whatever had likely made a snack of the halfling before sneaking up on him, he was dragged helplessly up and out of the small pit by the creature. The beast panted quietly, despite what appeared to be little effort on its part. His own breathing was still labored from his previous efforts, and he lay helpless and weary on his back awaiting his fate.

Moments later, two heads crowded his vision, one of a halfling, Vira or something like that, other of a fox, it had a silly name he'd failed to remember. They started telling him something, but it was drowned out by the sound of falling dirt and stone collapsing nearby and the gravelly mound of dirt he was pulled onto was distractingly comfortable as well.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

SW Age of Rebellion—Taraest Marlov

Character created for the quarterly Semi-Organized Play Starwars Firestorm.


Species: HumanGender: Female
Age: 28Height: 180 cmBuild: Bulky
Hair: BlondEyes: Green
Notable Feature: Speaks with a heavy accented

Career: EngineerSpecializations: Saboteur
Duty: Support
Motivation: Quest
Thrill. PC seeks out thrills and dangers, and war has it in great supply.


Background

Taraest Marlov was born on her families farm on Lathol, one of two daughters and the youngest of all six siblings. She enjoyed helping her father when he repaired the equipment around the farm when she wasn’t rough-housing with the boys or other choirs around the farm. When her father heard news of the Empire seizing farmland, he sold their land to a neighbor who thought to ride it out. Their neighbor had been eyeing the property for years and paid enough for one of them to relocate to Garel. Her father made the decision to stay, sending off with the promise he would earn the money and soon re-join them. It was a promise he would never keep, soon after they left, he was shipped off to a resettlement camp where he would later die.

Despite being a frequented spaceport, Garel suffered economically under the Empire. In Taraest time on Garel, she demonstrated that what lacked in formal education she more than made up for with natural talent, tenacity, and questionable behavior. The aging spaceports became a nearly endless supply of old and broken electronic equipment for Taraest to hone her skills with computers and other mechanical equipment. Within several years she became proficient at creating and repairing things out of spare as well as dismantling valuable bits of technology. Unfortunately, the owners of said equipment were less than approving. Her crimes eventually caught up with her after she fell in with a group of thugs claiming they acted in support of the rebellion. She didn’t particularly care if they were or not; they were stealing, causing wanton destruction, and managing to stay one step ahead of trouble. That suited her just fine.

The gang eventual stirred up a loth-rat nest after rigging a transport ship to explode. It galled the local Imperial forces; they hunted down the entire group, and the survivors hauled in for questioning. The Empire likely intended to coerce a confession out of the would-be freedom fighters before putting put them to death. They would have if they hadn’t also drawn the attention of the actual rebel forces operating in the sector. A rebel agent aided their escape and then offered them the opportunity to truly join the rebellion against the Empire. That suited Taraest just fine.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

CofD:Marshall Barsoom—"Tough Call"



Marshall picked up his phone. He recognized the number; answered it anyway.

(on phone)
Hello, This is Marshall with…(sigh.) Hi, Maya…No, I can talk now…Yeah, I took a few weeks leave…Yeah, Paris. I know I’m not in the Airforce anymore. You spoke to Matt..? I know he is your son-in-law too, that’s not the point…He didn’t need to tell you…I know he isn’t one of my airmen…What command voice?! (deep breath.)…Do you mind if I put you on speaker..?

Marshall tapped an icon on his phone. “Okay. I’m sure you didn’t call to have this argument again, so why did you call..?”

Maya answered, “No I didn’t. Matt sounded concern when he talked to you a few days ago. He said you were planning to go to Saudi Arabia after you left France.”

“That’s right,” he said crisply.

“Our son-in-law thought you sounded like you didn’t plan on coming back.” She spoke as if he’d already confirmed the notion. It was one of the things the aggravated him when they were married.

Marshall offered an explanation in a guileless voice, “I’ve taken a few language courses online, and I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to immerse myself.” He could sense his ex’s expression tighten after his lame attempt at levity. The corner of his lip uncurled from its smirk as his voice took on a serious tone, “I’m just looking for closure.”

In disbelief, Maya returned, “Closure? We lost our daughter, Marshall. Now you’re intent on wallowing in self-pity and wandering into the desert to die.” He couldn’t dispute what her words; Maya was right. She had a habit of being right more often than was absolutely necessary.

He spoke in a somber tone, “You don’t understand. That night, I lost everything. I saw…I did something terrible and haven’t been able to move on from that night in Khafji. I grasped a few of the crumbling pieces for a while, but everything else, everyone else…” he paused, “continued on without me.”

“You’re right,” the frustration evident in her voice. “I can’t understand. You wouldn’t tell me, remember? You just put on a brave face and tortured yourself for the last twenty-five years because of a lapse in judgment that got you a medal.”

“And, I still can’t tell you.” Marshall knew she would take it the wrong way, she always had, but he preferred her anger over whatever potential reaction she’d have to the truth. “I need to confront my demons, and I need closure.”

After a long silence, Maya replied in a flat voice, “Fine. Don’t talk to me, but think about our foundation, Whatever you think you did or didn’t do, there are others that have gone through what you have.” After a brief silence she added, “Marshall, talk to someone.”

“Yeah. I will. Say hello to Bill for me,” he said sounding exhausted.



He sat thinking about the last thing his ex-wife said; he’d met people who had also survived a similar experience. Unfortunately, He helped destroy a book they were after and was sure he had burned that bridge. The image of Shandi pop into his mind; he cringed visibly at the dark thought.

Marshall tapped the red hang up button on his cell then uncocked his sidearm before placing it on the desk in his hotel room. He looked down at the gun which now lay between the phone, his passport and the one-way ticket to Saudi Arabia. He thought, “Maybe I should iron the shirt for the flight in the morning.”



Marshall was halfway through ironing his clothes when his cell started buzzing. Unknown number; answered it anyway.

(on phone)
Hello, this is Marshall Barsoom with the Homefront Foundation…Oh! Hi,Natalie. No, I can talk now. I’m just doing a little ironing…

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Chronicles of Darkness—Marshall Barsoom

Poor Brandon didn't last long in the Contingent. He died after foolishly trying to help someone get out of a cursed iron maiden. It wasn't a particularly satisfy death, but it was probably an appropriate one since he had alienated himself from both hunter teams he had joined. 

After two sessions Chronicle of Darkness, I have a better feel for the system. Still got hung up on the breaking point questions. They should be answered first but is awkward to me. I prefer just start writing and let the character form as I write. Fortunately, the one of the GMs took the time to help with it all.


Breaking Points

What is the worst thing your character has ever done?
He killed a fellow soldier under his command in self-defense. He then claimed the man died from wounds sustained hours before when their aircraft crashed.

What is the worst thing your character can imagine himself doing?
Murdering someone in cold blood.

What is the worst thing your character can imagine someone else doing?
He finds torture aberrant but understands that success sometimes places the decisive action ahead of the best action.

What has your character forgotten? 
He has forgotten many of the details of what happened that evening Khafji. Marshall doesn't recall the creature that had attacked, that it was responsible for the death of the enlisted man or that the soldier had been dead for hours before rising to attack Marshall.

What is the most traumatic thing that has ever happened to your character?

The recent death of his daughter aboard a FedEx airplane. She was captain of the doomed Flight 508.Marshall’s most prized—and cursed—possession is his purple heart. He’d earned it while piloting a Spectre, the Lockheed AC-130. His aircraft had been shot down in Khafji during the Gulf war. Of the thirteen member aircrew, only he and one of his airman survived the crash; he was the only one to survive until rescued.

Background Story

The Spectre went down after a SAM exploded into the aircraft. Two men managed to escape the mangled wreckage, narrowly avoid Iraqi infantry. They located shelter against the cold desert night and attempted to patch up themselves while await rescue.
Though they elude enemy combatants, they’d gain the attention of something else. A creature came out of the Arabian night and attacked the two men huddled in an improvised shelter. The bipedal creature’s sharp teeth tore chunks out of the already enlisted man’ soldier before it could be driven back into the darkness.

The officer did his level best to keep his remaining crewmen alive, but the soldier had lost a lot of blood. He could only offer the comfort of kind words to the dying man as they waited for him to succumb to his numerous broken bones and lacerations. The pilot marked the soldier’s death late that evening.

Before dawn, the enlisted man’s eyes had snapped open suddenly. He seemed not only alive but completely mad. The soldier groaned violently and lunged at second his captain. Had it not been for dying soldiers assortment of injuries the officer would not have been able to fend the man off. As it were, a jagged piece of the Spectre’s fuselage had landed near their shelter. The airman saved himself at the cost of his subordinates life, dead, impaled on the sharp piece of metal. It would be the last and most unfortunate of the vessel’s..his vessel’s, list of confirmed kills.




Monday, April 25, 2016

Morgan Roberts—"Hate & Hypocrisy"

Journal Entry for Mysterious Tavern Campaign

In the last few weeks of the Mysterious Tavern, The lich had former members of the party killed and turned into vampires. Having just won a battle against former allies, Morgan was forced to question his beliefs; a collapsing house of cards made of his prejudices against magic and an impractical chivalrous-pirate code.
It was at that moment that I realized the depth of my hatred of magic. Not because of Lucy's deception, though it was that which hurt the most; not because we were forced to battle former allies taken by vampirism; Not even because the Lich, that seems to delight in our misery. What made apparent the truth of my depravity of my hatred was what I was unable to do. 
I charged past Lady Triton, a woman that was as surely deserving of her fate as Lord Triton himself. I couldn't raise my sword to attack Arowyn, though she was the most capable warrior amongst the vampirelings. Tassalia. I had cut down without any hesitation. 
The fight had left little time to think. It was afterward, after defeating the lich, when once more we stood stymied by god forsaken magic; when it felt there was nothing but time. I spent all my litany of curses, cast all my accusatory stares; now there was nothing left that would defer my reflections. 
I surely regretted my decision to stopped drinking so heavily.

I had attack Tassalia because she was a magic user. I hadn't seen her as a person or a woman. I had effortlessly cast aside my personal code because of my hatred; because of my fear. Then my thoughts drifted to Lucy, whom I held dear since the moment I met the child. She had suffered. Once I learned she wielded magic, all I could offer was additional suffering. As for Ichabod...My soul was as warped as the derro of Ichabod's tales. The hate I felt had corrupted me as readily as any magic.

At that moment, and long after, I believed myself to be a monster; now consider it the moment when I stopped.

Memoirs of the Scarlet Corsair, Morgan Roberts

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chronicles of Darkness—Brandon Smith

Created a character for the Contingent. I wasn't excited about my character concept going into the first week of season 3. However by the end session, I am surprisingly pleased with him.

Background Story

Hello,

You can call me Brandon Smith. Is it my real name? No. Though it was the name on my passport, and it serves its purpose. Lost the real one the day I lost everything.

I work for the Cloverleaf Corporation as a private accountant. Well, I use to anyway. I committed a dozen white collar crimes and helped keep crooks on the street. One day, those same crooks thought I was too much of a loose end. You know, when you worked for criminals then doing a good job is a clear sign of a lack of integrity.

They tried to kill me, no surprise; but they ended up getting my wife and my father instead; that one hurt. I had expected Cloverleaf to come after me, Maggie and Dad were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately, I got off the grid with the kids before they could finish the job. Already had money stashed away, burner phones, birth certificates, and passports; the whole works. Nothing to trace me and the kids. I could have been home free. I should have been home free.

Then I met Samantha Dahl. How I met her, your guess is as good as mine just another thing that I seemed to have lost along the way. One minute, I was getting the youngest out of the car seat, the next, I was mid-lecture at Starbucks in the BWI airport. She explained that Cloverleaf wouldn’t be looking for me, as long as I avoid drawing too much attention, that my two girls would be safe, and now I worked for her. That was the deal. 

Why I’d trust a woman I just met is one for the ages, so I protested; as you do. 
Sam said my kids would be safest with her, and she couldn’t just give two little girls to a man that doesn’t even know their names. I knew she was crazy because what kind of father doesn’t remember their kid's name. Right. This guy. 

I had those passports made and even been saying those names to get comfortable with them. No matter how hard I tried to remember, the names eluded me. I’m good at finding things that wanted to stay hidden. Excellent in fact. But the two most precious people left in this world were gone, fake passports and all. Like they never existed. I know they existed. I have to believe they existed. There are too many fragmented memories of my girls; too much pain from losing them. 

The saddest part of this whole deal? At this point, I’m not sure that I work for Samantha because that’s the only way to keep my daughters safe, or because it lets me continue to believe they existed in the first place.

—Brandon

Note

I decide to write this character's background in the first person. I love to read stories with unreliable narration, but I'm not good at that sort of thing. This year, I want to make a concerted effort to write more. In the past, I let my desire to avoid the perception of being incompetent to overwhelm my desire to get better at writing.