Adventures of the Adamant Owlbears
Custom Bonds and Backgrounds
Bastion has always been a tumultuous, war wracked region, and now is no different. While the elves of the Thornwall hold the south in a lawless stalemate, the armies of the dead and damned close in around the northern capital of Caleah. Whether you were from Caleah or Southgate, or somewhere a bit beyond, your ability to listen to the winds of change allowed you to be one of the lucky few to escape with something more than the shirt on your back. You booked passage to the Holy Empire of the Sapphire Crown before things got any worse.
Skill Proficiencies Insight, Athletics
Tool Proficiencies One type of artisan tools
Languages One of your choosing
Equipment A set of artisan’s tools (one of your choice), a token of the life you once knew, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a belt pouch containing 15gp.
Feature: Bastion Survivor
Whatever your prior standing was, you are now one of the many refugees that have come to the capital of the Holy Empire of the Sapphire Crown, Queen’s Reach. You have an instant bond with any other refugees you meet, and find many sympathizers within the city. In Queen’s Reach this means that many people are very quick to help you find work, a hot meal, or a place to stay.
d8 Personality Trait
- I may have lost almost everything, but there’s never time for a pity party. There’s work to be done!
- I try hard not to let my thoughts linger on the past.
- I try to help those around me. You never know when you might need a favor.
- Someday I will get back home. It may take years, and I may have to go to war, but I will get there.
- I try to be charitable whenever possible. There’s always somebody worse off than you.
- I am over-prepared and always anticipate the worst case scenario. It certainly paid off getting me out of Bastion.
- I’m always the first to volunteer my services.
- I refuse to let this hardship get me down!
- Justice: Corruption has destroyed my home and harmed countless people. Demons, wizards, wretched men: I will fight them til my last breath.
- Acceptance: All I can do is try my best to keep safe, because clearly the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket.
- Hope: I know the Sculptor will protect and guide us on the path to victory over these great evils.
- Restraint: I am still extremely emotional about all that has happened, but I’ve learned to keep it to myself.
- Strength: The way the world is now, only the strong survive. Get strong or get left behind.
- Openness: I am unashamed and always willing to share my life story.
- This is my chance for a fresh start. I’m not going to screw up this time.
- I long for the day I can return to my home in Bastion.
- There was somebody or something I cared about in Bastion. I’m going to find out what happened to them/it.
- I will not show mercy to any foe of my homeland.
- I will never forget the people who helped me get back on my feet.
- Some say my people weren’t worth saving. I’m going to prove them wrong.
- I have no problem sacrificing the well being of others to save my own hide.
- I am an uncontrollable gossip and absolutely cannot keep my nose out of other peoples’ business.
- If something goes wrong I will always blame somebody else.
- I am completely irresponsible with money. I left a LOT of debt behind in Bastion.
- To cope with all that’s happened recently I’ve been doing a lot of drinking.
- I got bored on the boat to the empire and developed a bit of a gambling problem. I can’t resist the thrill of the chance.
You are one of many small time fishermen who ply their trade on the Blueblood River. While you never had the money to invest in a ship that could work the Bay of Sapphires, the river is bountiful as well, and your countless days rowing up and down the river to the mouth of the bay have acquainted you with fisher folk, dock workers, and port inhabitants of all sorts. While you are now leaving this life to become a soldier, you still visit from time to time.
Skill Proficiencies Athletics, Sleight of Hand
Tool Proficiencies One type of gaming set, vehicles (water)
Equipment Fishing tackle, one gaming set (dice, playing cards, or three dragon ante), a set of common clothes, rowboat, and a belt containing 5gp.
You grew up wandering the docks, beaches, and waters of the Blueblood River. Those you grew up around still remember you and treat you as one of their own. While in the waterfront district of Queen’s Reach, you will find many people who are willing to help you and your companions with food, shelter, or even a temporary hideout if needed.
d8 Personality Trait
- I’m a daydreamer. I always wondered where the river might take me if I just let myself float.
- I’m a fisher, but I secretly can’t stand the taste of fish. I will do anything to avoid it.
- I am incredibly superstitious. I search for omens and portents in everything.
- I believe Saint Caleah is my protector and try to always say a prayer to her before embarking on a journey over water.
- I have a certain level of resentment for wealthy folk, and love to pull pranks on them when I think I can get away with it.
- I’m a curious sort, I love meeting new people and seeing new sights.
- I’m very fond of singing, and by now I must know every sea shanty there is.
- Years of fishing has given me the patience of a saint.
- Calm: There’s a time for everything. Mend your nets when it’s storming and sail when it’s not.
- Windblown: I do what I want and go wherever the wind takes me. Nobody controls me.
- Aspiring: I dream of entering a higher station – either through the patronage of an aristocrat or by wooing somebody wealthy.
- Salty: I want to be regarded as an expert of my craft. Those who disrespect my experience earn my ire.
- Selfless: I always help those who are struggling. No one man can keep a ship afloat, it takes a crew to get through life.
- Let them Drown: I would never risk myself or my livelihood to help some fool who got themselves in a bad situation. If you can’t swim stay out of the water.
- I got attacked by quippers once and Saint Amalah’s Hospice patched me up free of charge. I owe them my life, and now do what I can to serve Saint Amalah’s causes.
- At one point in my life I had nothing but my rowboat. I love that damned boat.
- I got robbed once taking my catch to the market district. You can bet I’ll never let that happen again.
- My brother was a soldier who was killed during the Great Hunt of Saint Azrael. I have a deep respect for anybody who serves in the military.
- I was nothing but a starving orphan until the riverfolk taught me to fish. I would do anything for them, and try to pass their wisdom and kindness onto others.
- I grew up with a guy who ended up having some sort of magical powers. Watching him burn made me question a lot of things.
- I drink more than any reasonable person should, and it often makes me late for things.
- I think books are nothing but a waste of time. Nothing replaces real world experience, and I have zero respect for anybody who thinks otherwise.
- If I can find a way to cheat at something, I’ll do it.
- I’ve been arrested before, and I know there’s another warrant on my head now.
- I make a lot of promises I can’t keep, mostly to impress people or to make them think better of me.
- If there’s a bar fight, I’m in it.
You are one of the many enslaved citizens of Queen’s Reach. Whether your entry into military service is a reward or a punishment from your master is up to you. Slavery is a complicated issue in the world, and there are many other things to consider as well.
First you must determine how you became a slave. In addition to any brands your owner might place upon you, it is mandated for sale purposes that you bear a mark relating to your origin.
- You were captured in a battle. Members of this category are marked with a tattoo of an arrow on their forehead.
- You were enslaved as punishment for a crime, and have a number of years to serve or coins to pay before you are released from your bondage. Members of these category receive a tattoo of a bee on the inside of their wrist.
- You were born into slavery. Members of this category have an image of a bird tattooed on the back of their neck.
Skill Proficiencies Are based on your purpose during your time as a slave. See below.
Tool Proficiencies Also based on your purpose during your time as a slave. See below.
Equipment One tool related to your proficiency, one simple melee weapon, a set of common clothes, a pouch with 1 gp.
Your purpose during your time as a slave will determine your skill and tool proficiencies. Choose one:
- Hard Labor – You were forced to do difficult physical labor of some type, such as farming or construction. Your body grew strong out of necessity, and you learned how best to keep it going through the long days. You are proficient in athletics and survival, and have some skill in carpentry. (Artisan’s Tools)
- Entertainment – You existed for someone’s amusement or recreation. You may have played music at dinner parties, tumbled about like a jester, or tumbled into your owner’s bed. Regardless of your focus, the job demanded your body be nimble and always ready to put on a show. You are proficient in performance and acrobatics, as well as one musical instrument of your choice.
- House Servant – Your life was dedicated to menial tasks around your master’s home, such as cooking and cleaning. While not exciting or terribly gratifying, you did at least lead a more comfortable existence than many other slaves. Over the years you became comfortable with creating a number of home cures using the herbs from your master’s garden, and even learned how to pluck a few treats from the kitchen. You are proficient in medicine, sleight of hand, and cooking. (Artisan’s Tools)
- Personal Servant – Your duty was to one person. You were at their beck and call each and every day, helping them dress, fetching their food, and accompanying them on their trips. This constant close proximity to the upper crust, watching the dramas of your master’s social life unfold, gave you a great deal of proficiency in both insight and persuasion. You also managed some proficiency in sewing (Artisan’s Tools) after all the years mending your master’s clothes and helping them construct new outfits for their various social events.
- Bodyguard – You were chosen to guard your master or somebody close to him. You were expected to give your life to preserve this person, and to be vigilant to threats against them. Over time your learned what to look for, and how to handle problems with efficiency, and often without causing a scene. You are proficient in perception and intimidation, as well as a gaming set of your choice from the hours of boredom.
People will often treat you differently once they realize you’re a slave. While not all of it will be good, some of it can be worked to your advantage. Other slaves or former slaves in any land will of course have a kinship with you and will do what little they can to help you. You’ll find people of higher station often do things in front of you that they wouldn’t normally do in front of other people, which can make you privy to a lot of information.
d8 Personality Trait
- You’ll never hear me complain. I’ve seen or lived through worse.
- I do not speak unless spoken to.
- Often without realizing it I will call people “master” or “mistress.”
- Covering the scars, brands, and tattoos that indicate my slavery dictates my choice of dress.
- I blend into crowds easily. At parties I draw as much attention as a chair.
- I have developed a strong phobia of being confined or chained, and panic whenever I see objects my master would beat me with.
- I do all matter of chores and errands for those around me out of habit.
- I remember nothing of my life before slavery except for what I see in painful, confusing dreams.
- Equality. We are all people, we all deserve to share the same rights and the same burdens.
- Apathy. I don’t waste time thinking about things that are out of my hands.
- Spite. I want all slave owners to suffer.
- Status Quo. Everybody has a place in society, and every place is needed to keep it running, no matter how unsavory that place might be.
- Indifference. People are individuals. Who they are is vastly more important than what they are.
- Freedom Fighter. All slaves must be freed – by law, coin, or sword.
- I dream of returning to my homeland or family.
- All I have left of my former life is this trinket.
- I am in love with someone who is not a slave.
- I’ve been beaten extensively and my body is covered in horrible scars. Scars I intend to repay.
- I know a dark secret about the family that owned me.
- I heard a story about some place and ever since I’ve dreamed of going.
- I am indecisive and don’t handle responsibility well.
- Somebody wants me dead for a past transgression.
- I feel the need to savor every material pleasure I am confronted with.
- I frequently lie to cover my own ass.
- I steal and horde any little thing I can.
- I’m a coward.
You were afforded an education at one of the world’s most prestigious learning institutions: Choose either the University of Queen’s Reach, or the University of Caleah.
University of Queen’s Reach
The university has a sterling reputation, and people travel from all over, and pay a large amount of money, to attend. Whether your family has been attending the university for generations, or you scraped your way in all on your own, you have entered an elite circle that few have access to. And whether you graduated or not before leaving for the crusade, you are confident your education will open doors for you in the future.
University of Caleah
A centerpiece of Caleah, the university has been standing nearly as long as the city. While it lacks some of the centuries old wealth and prestige of its rival institution in Queen’s Reach, it more than makes up for it with its somewhat nefarious reputation. Many strange and wondrous discoveries are made in its highly secretive compound. Furthermore, unlike its counterpart, the wealth of the dwarven kingdom allows for many students of exceptional skill and un-exceptional means to attend. Regardless of how you entered the university, you surely emerged with many fascinating secrets and stories.
These are based on your focus in school. See below.
Tool Proficiencies / Languages
Also based on your focus. See below.
Belt pouch with 10gp, set of common clothing, bottle of black ink, quill, journal, book pertaining to your area of study, school identification badge.
The university is divided into schools, which are broad containers for a number of more specific disciplines (majors). Choose the one that best suits what you studied. The first four are the most prominent at the University of Queen’s Reach, while the rest are more prominent at the University of Caleah. (But you can certainly make a case for some version of any of them appearing at either – with the exception of the School of Artificery, which is exclusive to Caleah.
1. School of Medicine
The most prestigious of the University’s schools, the School of Medicine is the bleeding edge of alchemical and anatomical research. Students can take classes catering to both internal medicine and surgical methods, as well as learn appropriate research methods to forge new cures and treatments. The school of medicine gives you proficiency in medicine and investigation. You also gain proficiency in alchemy and healer kits. Additionally, add 5 bars of soap to your inventory.
2. School of Lore
The school of lore is broad and encompasses of a number of fascinating areas. They are the keepers and writers of history, studying the ruins of the ancients and recording the cultural practices of today. They are the archaeologists, the anthropologists, and the historians, chronicling cultures, legends, and customs new and old. The school or lore gives you proficiency in history and investigation, as well as cartography tools. You may also choose one additional language from the entire list.
3. School of Language
The school of language encompasses both literary pursuits and linguists. Whether you aspire to be a playwright, an author, or a translator, the school of language will provide you an excellent foundation for a number of careers. The school of language gives you proficiency in both performance and history. You may also choose two additional languages to learn from the standard list. (As your motivations for learning are either to translate your work for more people to read, or to facilitate communication between people.)
4. School of Law
The school of law is the university’s oldest school, teaching law, politics, and the interactions between the two. In the empire especially, people with this sort of education are highly valued to help solve disputes without the interference of the church, or to help defend them should things escalate that far. The school of law gives you proficiency in persuasion and deception. You may also choose two common languages of your choosing, to better communicate with your clients or better reach your constituents.
5. School of the Arts
Locals love the school of the arts, which has long filled their city with public works and performances to admire. Students can take classes in a broad range of subjects, from writing and painting to acting and music, and exceptional talents spend a great deal of time showing off and crafting their own masterpieces under sponsorship from the school. The school of the arts gives you proficiency in performance and perception. You may also choose two tool proficiencies from among any suitable artisan’s tools (such as painter’s supplies or potter’s tools, for example) or musical instruments.
6. School of Artificery
The school of artificery, housed in what is now affectionately known as “Leafsworth Tower” is the most secretive of the university’s schools, likely on account of its dangerous areas of research. Students of this college are engineers, alchemists, and inventors, performing experiments that the church might not approve of, playing god with only the tools of man. Many of the world’s biggest scientific leaps will no doubt come from these fearless students. The school of artificery gives you proficiency in arcana and investigation, as well as tinker’s tools and alchemist’s supplies. In addition, add one copy of Gyle’s Guide to Botanical Basics to your inventory.
7. School of Political Science
Bastion is by far the nation with the most complex and rigid political structure, and as such there is great demand for the ability to study its nuances. Students of this college are primed to become diplomats, bureaucrats, and council to the local nobility. In fact, a number of dukes and counts send their children to this school in order to prepare themselves for the burden of leadership, allowing for excellent networking opportunities among students. The school of political science gives you proficiency in history and deception. You are also proficient in calligrapher’s ,supplies, and gain one additional language of your choice from the standard list.
8. School of Philosophy
Bastion is a nation that was started over, and has often fought over, philosophical differences. Hence the need for its youth to study a variety of schools of thought. Students of this college are critical thinkers, excellent debaters, and often excellent teachers in their own right due to the sheer number of topics and subjects they study. While many have historically discounted the school of philosophy as “useless” or “fluffy,” the recent surge in cult activity throughout the country has put its students in high demand due to their intense study of various religious practices. The school of philosophy gives your proficiency in religion and persuasion. You may also choose two additional languages.
Feature: Student Resources
You have access to some of the finest learning facilities in the world. Your professors will always be happy to offer you advice, and you have a large network of peers with which to confer on educated matters as well. And of course, nobody will bat an eye if you want to borrow a book from the university library.
d8 Personality Traits
- I tend to talk over peoples’ heads, (sometimes needlessly) using a lot of jargon specific to the area of my study.
- I present everything I say as a guess or estimate so that I don’t look bad if it turns out to be wrong.
- I am seldom seen without my face buried in a book.
- I am extremely proud of the school I attended, and will boast of it whenever possible.
- I am extremely condescending when conversing about areas I am knowledgeable in.
- I set very high standards for myself, and expect others to do the same.
- I am entranced and inspired by my chosen area of study – I will take any opportunity to learn more.
- I have no patience for superstitions and prefer hard evidence.
- Impressing. I will make my professors proud.
- Altruism. I will use my education to improve lives.
- Selfish. I went to school so that I could have a lucrative career. I still intend to profit from what I’ve learned.
- Cold. I don’t get emotionally invested in anything but my work.
- Driven. Everything I do is to further my research.
- Rebellious. The school was holding me back from my true passions and curiosities. Now I strike my own path.
- I had a romantic relationship with a fellow student. I still love them.
- I saw less and less of my family as my education progressed. I still feel homesick.
- I started my training alone, with whatever books I could find. I don’t need anyone to get me where I’m going.
- I was pushed or encouraged into my field by my parents. Their approval means a lot to me / I resent them for it to this day.
- I always share my discoveries with colleagues in my field, to further advancements in our area of study. I hope to be respected among my peers.
- I owe everything to the group that pooled their resources to have me educated.
- A scandal prevents me from returning to my place of education.
- Sometimes I go too far in my search for knowledge.
- I refuse to give aid to those of a certain race or nationality, no matter how desperately they need it.
- I look down on uneducated people.
- People absorbed in superstitions are idiots, not worth my time.
- I get so distracted by the mystery and wonder of my chosen field of study that I can forget everything else happening around me.
Born in the crystalline caves of the Howling Woods, you have grown up quite differently than previous generations of elves. Your people are now a cautious and stoic one, unbending in their principles, and at times as aggressive as the giant wolves they live alongside. Considering your clan’s stalwart reverence of the goddess Iskamor, your choice to join the Sculptor’s crusade was likely not popular. Unless, of course, you were sent as a spy…
Skill Proficiencies Nature, Animal Handling
Tool Proficiency Herbalism Kit
Equipment Traveler’s Clothes, Waterskin, 5gp, A Trinket
Feature: Part of the Pack
While your people are few, they will do anything for you. Encounter trouble anywhere in Thornwall and if they can they will come to your aid, providing supplies, shelter, or even killing to protect you.
d8 Personality Trait
- I’d rather be part of a group than alone.
- I am especially fond of animals – I treat them better than most people.
- I am extremely protective of what is mine.
- I prefer to remain quiet and observe things.
- I have absorbed a number of mannerisms from wolves.
- I feel far more comfortable outdoors, even if it’s a cave.
- I don’t often forgive, and I never forget.
- I am grateful for everything I have.
- Dominance. The only sure way to get what you want is through blood.
- Ambassador. What I do reflects on my people as a whole.
- Compassion. There is too little kindness in this world. I try to treat all with common decency.
- Defender. Nature is the greatest provider and should be protected.
- Pride. I will earn great glory for my people.
- Chaos. For the world to find peace again, everything must change.
- I will destroy anyone or anything that stands in the way of the elves returning to Yesteska.
- I will rescue my elven brethren in the East.
- I have seen Iskamor, and will do anything to serve her.
- I will help my people rebuild and become great again.
- As a people we are responsible for dispelling the rumors and half-truths that surround us.
- We will die out if we don’t learn to work with others.
- I am suspicious of anyone not of my clan.
- I become violent when someone takes something from me.
- After years of sleeping in a pile of warm, fluffy wolves, I find it nearly impossible to sleep alone.
- I am painfully closed minded and will rarely change my position or try something new.
- Many have died trying to hold a grudge longer than me.
- My curiosity is so intense it often leads me into harm’s way.
Under the leadership of Baron Lucian Askamar, you and your fellows hunt down the evils that terrorize the people of Thornwall while the elves sit and watch. Bandits, beasts, and all matter of fiendish creature have fallen to the blades of your order. You are well loved by the people you protect, hailed as heroes in these dark times. Little did you know however, the Baron owes a Captain in Queen’s Reach a very big favor…
Skill Proficiencies Survival, Perception
Tool Proficiencies Herbalism Kit, Navigation Tools
Equipment Traveler’s Clothes, Torch, 10 gp, Trinket, 1 Silver Melee Weapon
Feature: Favor of the People
In Thornwall, the mark of the Fangtakers makes you a hero, whether you’ve actually killed anything or not. Common folk will be insistent on providing you with food and shelter, and will be open to helping you in other ways as well.
d8 Personality Trait
- I enjoy collecting trophies of my hunts and adventures and telling the stories that go along with them.
- It needn’t be hunting a vampire – I’ll chop firewood for an old lady if there’s money involved.
- I trivialize the depth/magnitude of situations.
- I have little patience for those who can’t keep up with the hunt.
- I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and care little if it profits me.
- I am extremely protective of those I work with, as though they were my own family.
- I have immersed myself so thoroughly in the habits of my quarry that I have adopted some of their behaviors.
- I like chasing skirts as much as I like chasing monsters… Maybe even a little more.
- Contentment. The pay is good and the work is steady. Certainly beats tilling a field. What more could I want?
- Light in the Dark. I fight to destroy the evil which corrupts our world.
- Teamwork. I have learned that the most successful hunt is the one that involves skilled allies.
- Bloodlust. Gold pales to the brilliance of the life draining from their eyes.
- Balance. My quarry defy the natural order and destabilize nature.
- Research. I must divine every aspect and secret locked away in the bodies of these creatures.
- I grow stronger with each hunt. If I continue, soon no creature will be able to oppose me.
- I am fighting to protect something or someone important to me.
- Thought my friends are few, I owe them my life many times over. I would happily die for them.
- My loved ones were taken from me by a beast. I want vengeance.
- I want to hunt for the greatest, rarest beasts.
- It is to the Baron I owe all that I am, and for him I will continue this work.
- Sleep, when it comes, is no sleep at all. The things I’ve seen/heard/smelled have left me skittish and paranoid.
- I am secretly terrified of the things I hunt.
- I often lie about my successes.
- I refuse to believe anyone can be trusted, and before I get close to anyone will root through their personal life until I’m satisfied they are not a vampire/werebeast/doppleganger/necromancer/evil witch/etc.
- Avarice often gets the best of me and drives me to anger.
- I make a lot of promises I can’t keep.
Whether you were orphaned, lost, or your parents simply didn’t want you, you somehow came to be in the care of the Winged Arms, a division of the Society of Saint Amalah dedicated to the care of children who, put simply, have no one else to care for them. Your childhood was not uncomfortable, but it was highly regimented – designed to make you a pious and obedient citizen of a land where the Sculptor’s law rules. Now that you have taken your first steps into adulthood, you have to figure out what to do with yourself without their constant guidance.
Skill Proficiencies Religion, Performance
Language Celestial (or, if you already know that, you may take Abyssal instead)
Tool Proficiency One Musical Instrument of your Choice
Equipment Musical Instrument, Holy Symbol, Belt Pouch with 15gp, Common Clothes, Prayer Book
Feature: Nest Egg
The Winged Arms support of you does not end at your 18th birthday. They want to help you achieve your goals and set you up on a good path to the start of your adult life. For the entire duration of your time with them, they have put aside money for this purpose. You may ask them to release this money to you with sufficient proof of a good use for it. (Typically this is something like tuition for university, or as the down payment on a home.)
d8 Personality Trait
- I’m not a fan of change – I find routine comforting.
- I try to exhibit the selflessness and compassion of Saint Amalah.
- Calling me sheltered would be the understatement of the century.
- After years of regiment, I am eager to try anything new and different.
- I am very grateful for everything I am given.
- I enjoy discovering ways to break rules.
- My manner of speaking is often overly formal and polite.
- I am highly prone to daydreaming.
- Community. I believe in supporting those around you and being supported in return.
- Discovery. The world is vast and I have much to learn. I can’t wait.
- Selfless. We must give of ourselves to make the world a better place.
- Faith. I know that no matter what happens, it all happens as it is supposed to.
- Independence. I am ready to live my life without anybody’s guidance or supervision.
- Atheist. If I never see another church again, it’ll be too soon.
- The Winged Arms took me in when no one else would – for that I am forever grateful.
- I have a bone to pick with my parents for leaving me like this.
- I live to serve the Sculptor.
- I would never leave anyone behind.
- Someday I will give my children the life I never had.
- I would stop the church from meddling in peoples’ lives if I could find a way.
- I have no idea how to even begin to be a self sufficient adult.
- I feel entitled to the assistance of others and become petulant when people do not help me.
- I have absolutely zero respect for authority.
- I am painfully naive and easily taken advantage of.
- I am utterly unaware of my own limitations.
- I have become enamored with one or more “un-pious” behaviors.