Original Short Description
Master duelist, would-be mage, and champion of remote estate on the border with Jer’li in the very very far north moors. Worked all his childhood to become a wizard but never could, ended up finding what he thought was a magic item that would help him fake being a wizard, but instead ended up a warlock bound to one of the old primordials who helped create the world, and with the ability to make a magical sword at will and cast spells finally fulfilling his life-long dream. Except that the local priest of the sun is a bastard, and the local aristocrat. Now he is tasked by the vestige of a dead primordial that is the source of all his power to try and bring it back to life, and by his lord who hates primordials for no good reason to banish the vestige forever. He doesn’t understand why no one believes him that the primordial isn’t evil and none of them would be alive without it. His lord sent him to town to get rid of him, then blacklisted him among the local nobility so he couldn’t complete his quest. Ended up making friends with a member of the royal family who is fascinated with primordials but who only cares about the theatrical fictional versions of the stories not the real history (IE wants to help, but is totally incapable of helping), and who never seems to understand why no one will help the hexblade, nor why he was told to send the hexblade to Whitehall.
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Blaspheme, level 3
Human, Warlock (Hexblade)
Pact: Elemental Pact
Human Power Selection Option: Heroic Effort
Dark Sun, Inherent Bonuses
Sarifal (Sarifal Benefit)
Theme: Elemental Initiate
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 15, DEX 12, INT 12, WIS 12, CHA 18
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 15, DEX 12, INT 12, WIS 12, CHA 16
AC: 12 Fort: 15 Ref: 13 Will: 17
HP: 37 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 9
Arcana +7, History +7, Religion +7, Stealth +7, Streetwise +10
Acrobatics +2, Athletics +0, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +2, Endurance +3, Heal +2, Insight +2, Intimidate +5, Nature +2, Perception +2, Thievery +2
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Elemental Initiate Attack: Disciplined Counter
Human Racial Power: Heroic Effort
Warlock Utility: Warding Chaos
Warlock Attack: Unraveling Strike
Warlock Attack: Elemental Wrath
Wild Talent Cantrip: Know Direction
: Arcane Defiling
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Bolt
Warlock Attack 1: Hateful Shade
Warlock Utility 2: Assassin’s Bane
Mark of Finding
Level 1: Arcane Reserves
Level 2: White Lotus Riposte
Blade of Chaos x1
====== End ======
Playing the blaspheme. Hexblade’s are warlocks but don’t use curses. Instead they fight in melee with a pact blade. This one is a duelist. After hitting an enemy with an at will power that enemy can’t counter attack or it takes Cha (4) damage automatically. Once all encounter powers are spent all at will attacks gain +2 damage, and if he’s using unravelling strike the target gains vulnerable 3, meaning they might be taking +10 damage from an at will. If an enemy misses, he has a counter attack, and several of his powers allow him to choose any damage type he wants so he can always take advantage of any vulnerability in his enemies, plus when he kills an enemy he can get any resistance he wants. Making this character a vicious duelist, and especially more dangerous as fights draw out longer and longer, but less helpful in mass combat. Unlike many other magical characters, if his magic is removed he is still a powerful unarmed combatant. Ignore the arcane defiling that came unwanted with the darksun cantrip.
At range he can use his eldritch bolt, but his best attacks are all melee. Unlike other spell casters he can wear heavy armor (specifically scale mail) so doesn’t rely on his dexterity for survival.
He has learned a few rituals, and after bonding with an earth elemental responsible for creating the planet he always knows which direction he is facing. Other than killing things, what he is best at is finding things. His best skill is streetwise so what he doesn’t know he can figure out who to ask, and his high charisma means he can probably convince them to help. He also has learned a lot in many different subjects through all the years of studying and is a great backup scholar.
He relies on his knowledge and innate charm to make friends and gets stuck when that doesn’t work. While he loves doing magic, he sometimes forgets that he knows anything other than battle magic. He really wants to know more versatile magic, but his patron controls what he can do, unlike wizards who can study whatever they want.
====== End ======
This character is based on Trouble from Grimm and Jonathan Strange from the BBC show of the same name.
Travelling North West out of Kentarre city one crosses an immense open land, full of wilderness, woods, and farms. Eventually the deciduous trees give way to evergreens, the weather gets colder and wetter, and between the rolling hills are horrid peat bogs and foggy swamps. Westward travel is impossible due to the ridgeline of cliffs and impassable mountains that form the natural border with Jer’li, the land of the dead.
Here in among the small villages and hill forts is found a large estate named Cait. This estate is poor, but more than self sufficient and manages to send some tithe back to Kentarre nearly every year. They mostly grow oats and raise particularly shaggy cows, but also have famous heather honey and many types of sweet berry that are in high demand. And here was born a young man who dreamed of the big city and magic, and being a champion.
He was short, only 5’6”, and scrawny, and not at all fit to be a warrior. He was reasonably quick, but never had the agility and patience that makes a good hunter or ranger. He loved his warm bed and the comforts of village live too much to be a druid or learn the skills of the wilderness. But he was smart, and charming, and had great tenacity, so he told himself his only path to fame and to becoming the village champion was to be a wizard.
His village had the most powerful wizard in Cait, but this wizard wasn’t great by Kentarre city standards. He was mostly a bookworm and studied more than he worked magic and the boy pestered him until the wizard took him on as an apprentice. Though he tried hard, read every book, memorized every hand position and chant, and even tried ritual magic, the boy had only the weakest gift. With great effort and cost he could manage the simplest of rituals, but nothing more. Eventually the wizard told him, that he could remain as his servant but he would never be an apprentice.
This didn’t stop the boy, because he knew that his town’s wizard supplemented his own talents with magic items. Maybe, thought the boy, he could find a magic item of his own and use it to learn magic. Or even, collect a bunch of them and be not so much a wizard but a master of magical tools.
So he went back to the books in the library and looked for any mention of treasure hordes, lost temples, or great magical events that might have left behind the sort of treasure that would let him achieve his life’s ambition. It took two years of searching, but he found a mention of a particular standing stone circle used by hunters but much older, predating even the time of the Demon. And he looked until he found that the stones were all that remained of an old temple to a primal spirit that once defeated a primordial, and had his servant faeries build him a cairn to imprison the primordial and a place to remember the battle. The stones marked that victory, but the cairn was lost.
This seemed like his great opportunity, and ancient lost crypt. There were other stories about the Demon slaying most of the primal spirits of the realm, and how few new spirits had ever returned, so he knew that the stones were no longer guarded by such a great being. At most a few wilderness creatures might be there but the local hunters were on ok terms with his lord, and they tended to keep the worst of the worst away.
So he packed for a journey and went out seeking the lost cairn, armed with clues from the old stories of where it was in relation to the stones. It took over a year but eventually he found the cairn, and it was still unpillaged. Clearly the hunters knew about it as they had marked it with symbols and wards. Nothing harmed him or kept him out, so he explored within. Inside he found a glowing rock pillar twice his height and wider around than a tree, covered in glyphs and runes he assumed were carved by Hunters but that were unrecognizable to him. He spent two days in the cairn trying the few rituals he was able to perform in order to identify anything that might be magical, but found nothing. On the third evening, while he slept, he had nightmares about being buried alive. Sadly he gave up and decided to return home and try to find another treasure trove. The whole journey back his nightmares kept coming and getting worse. Visions of being crushed, of emptiness, of rivers of flowing lava, of chaotic images of the world breaking and reforming and especially of one enormous rock fist.
He realized that the pillar he found in the cairn was just the smallest finger of that fist, and that no earthly hand carved those runes. The finger was all that was left of the great primordial. With this discovery, the visions got more extreme and intense, coming even as hallucinations during the day. He barely made it back to his village in his deranged state, and was taken in by his master the wizard. The wizard tried to figure out what was going on, but no spell could bring him rest. Finally, knowing that many priests have pulled power from primordials just like from deities, he prayed to the dead primordial and begged for peace, saying that he would do anything but please, please just let him be.
He heard, and his master heard, the ground beneath his bed speak “The bargain is offered and accepted” though both heard it in different tongues both understood exactly what was said. His master later explained that it was spoken in Supernal, the language of the gods. He passed out and slept for three days. When he awoke, he was completely changed.
Magic now flowed through him. Everything he had ever wished for was his. He could make a magic sword appear and disappear at will. He could project blasts of energy. He was stronger, had more endurance, and more agility. He felt healthier and more capable than ever in his life. But his master was very concerned, and said that he had struck a poor bargain. He had become a warlock of an unknown primordial from the dawn war, the race of immortals who sought to destroy the world and unmake creation so they could do it over again.
The young warlock tried to explain that he had seen this primordial, and he was one of the servants of Mother Terra who created life. But the wizard would hear none of it. All primordials were evil he thought.
As they argued, they heard screaming from outside the master’s home: A band of Hunters were attacking the village. The wizard and warlock ran out and together drove off all 7 attacking warriors, with the warlock slaying three. Before they left, the Hunters warned the town that the warlock had defiled their sacred place with his magic rituals and if they kept him, there would be more attacks. The lord came in response to this news but decided on principle, that he could not give in to demands from the Hunters. He sent the Champion of Cait, a great archer to protect the village. Three times the hunters attacked different villages, and each time they were driven off by the Champion. Twice the warlock fought as well, and both times he killed at least two. After this the lord named him as the junior Champion of Cait.
He had everything he ever dreamed. He was a champion, he was magical. He had strength and power and had even proved himself in battle.
The Hunters petitioned the lord for peace and asked that the warlock perform a ritual of appeasement to the land. The warlock agreed and for the first time ever found magic came easily. The hunters were amazed that the sacred standing stone in the cairn responded to the warlock’s power for they thought it was a marker of the primal spirit and the warlock did not tell them any different.
But still there was strife between the people on his account, so the lord sent him to the edge of Cait, in the foothills, where a small village needed a champion to ward them against the incursions of the restless dead. They had a priest of the sun as the local aristocrat, but he was not a warrior, and was growing old. The young warlock, at his lord’s behest swore loyalty to this priest and promised to give his life protecting the village if need be. But the first time he destroyed a ghoul that came down into town, the priest saw the truth of his powers. As the gods banished the primordials in the dawn war, the priest of Ixion demanded that the warlock renounce his powers, “or else”.
The warlock could not. They were everything he ever wanted and he had given his pact to the primordial. The priest demanded to know what it wanted in return, and the warlock told him it wanted to live again. For that he had to use his powers and grow stronger. Horrified the priest accused him of betraying life itself and trying to undo the gods work. The warlock again tried to tell a master that the primordial was not evil, that all life on Home would be impossible without it, but like the wizard the priest would hear none of it. He laid a geas upon the warlock, binding him as his champion to complete a quest. The warlock thought this might be the opportunity he was looking for to make amends and so accepted. “I give you the Quest to slay this abomination from the elder days forever. Go to Kentarre, find the way, and with the power of Ixion and the gods finish the work of the dawn war.” The warlock bowed his head in defeat and with tears in his eyes agreed.
He set out for Kentarre the next morning. But found that word arrived before him. All the knightly orders turned him away. Every aristocrat with a private archive denied him access. All the reserved and restricted books in every library were beyond his reach. The priest had called in every favor he had to blacklist the warlock so that he could not learn anything that might help him bring the primordial back to life and so that the boy would die a failed champion for he could also not complete the priest’s quest. He tried to explain the situation, and realized that the knight he was talking to was getting concerned; where the priest was angry but recognized the warlock as a champion appointed by the local lord, this knight was starting to see him as a dangerous heretic or abomination. He hid the truth of his powers and just spoke about his quest, but still the knight would not budge.
Questioning others more carefully he learned that throughout the world most people thought all warlocks received their powers from pacts with demons, and that they all were heinous and evil. IF anyone learned the truth about him, his life was in danger. Now, the very source of his joy was a burden.
He tried to earn a reputation in town and make friends by offering his services as a warrior and a champion, but though he was the second greatest warrior in his estate, he was a nobody in the big city.
Eventually, in need of cheering up he found his way to a theatre where a play was telling the story of a primordial and a primal spirit that wagered on the honor of a Hunter. In the audience he met with another young man who like him was rooting for the primordial. This man was not a scholar, but still had read many of the same books the warlock had and many more as well. He was fascinated with primordials and everything about them. He had, in fact, commissioned this very play and was seeing it now for the first time.
They talked long into the night and the young man offered to help the warlock find the information he needed, certain that his influence would be enough. Days later he received a letter that the young man was not able to get him access to the library he wanted. But he had a few books to loan the warlock. Sadly, they turned out to be fiction stories about primordials, nothing that could help find either kill one or raise one from the dead.
Week after week this went on, where the young patron would try to help but only could provide the most basic and useless trivia. The warlock despaired.
Finally, the young man invited him to meet at the imperial palace, he said he had a new idea. The Warlock wondered if perhaps the Empress had a policy like his own lord to meet with the common folk and let people petition for boons. Instead he found that the young man was a member of the Royal Family and had asked his uncle, who was an important man in the court to act on the Warlock’s behalf. The young man handed the warlock a small invitation card, much as he had seen the upper class use among each other all through town. On it was written in magnificent silver calligraphy “Whitehall upon lachfinnen street”. Nothing more. The young man smiled, “My uncle says when all else fails, try here”