CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Character Exploration 40 - Bruness Coldforge

This week we saw our charismatic female dwarf make her way into our random rolls. From the frozen north, residing in the Land of the Linnorm Kings, we need to determine if her people are like all the other dwarves of Avistan. Living underground with a mother and an older brother, she died at one point during her childhood; A follower of the matron of the dwarven pantheon Folgrit she values strict adherents to tradition–being Lawful Neutral–above all things. So what did we do with all of this information? What kind of character did I make?

First, let's talk about matching the creative process with the mechanics. Researching the Land of the Linnorm Kings it seems that not much lives up there other than the Ulfen, dwarves, gnomes and a lot of fey. To me, that means the dwarves there probably don’t fight a lot of goblins as is common with the standard dwarves. In looking at the alternate racial traits I saw that there is not only a trait to replace this defense against goblins, but also a trait to link her to the fey that permeate the land. I decided to swap them out.

The normal dwarf greed and stonecunning traits became fey magic. I did this because there is an invisible rift into the first world up there. Fey magic means the character gains the use of Cure Light Wounds, Enhanced Diplomacy, Purify Food and Water, and Stabilize once a day each as spell-like abilities. I also exchanged the Hatred ability for the Giant Hunter ability to make the frost giants of the frozen wastes her people’s natural foes.

As for class, I chose Bard. You’ll see why in the story, but this means I also rolled on the background chart for Bards on the random background generator.

Bard Training: [Gift] Someone gave you a special instrument or a collection of songs and stories at a time in your life when you needed them most. You have treasured this object above all other possessions, and it started you on a path to new songs and stories.

In the frozen wastes of the Land of the Linnorm Kings, only the hardiest of dwarves can eke out a meager living. Although their dwellings below the surface protect them from the worst of the cold weather, the land is notoriously short on veins of ore. The dwarves near the crown of the world mostly live there out of habit and stick to stonework instead of metalwork to fill their desire to toil.

The Coldforge family were once one of the few mining and forging dwarf clans in the north. When the vein of iron went dry and the forges went cold they had to stoop to becoming farmers in the fungus fields for one of the bigger clans. Bruness and her brother, Irngel were born into the Coldforge clan at this, their lowest point.

In her early years, Burness was always fascinated with the stories of her family’s life, back when they made weapons and armor for the other dwarf clans. Her brother thought of these dreams of old as fanciful, telling her that one day she would work like all the other members of the family. He counseled her to give up on the stories of the past and live in the future.

Although even the stone underground seemed frozen, there were many pathways around the small subterranean town in which Bruness lived. Some of these led to vast caverns that the dwarves used for storage. Others led deeper into the bowels of the Darklands. On occasion creatures from the deep would push their way closer to the surface and raid the dwarven village.

When the young dwarf was barely out of her thirties a raiding party of duergar attacked the town. They specifically hit the mushroom fields in an attempt to take off the workers as slaves. Bruness and Irngel were in the fields with their father that day and he stood forward to defend them. Bruness was frozen in terror as her father mounted his defense. The child turned to find her brother but Irngel was nowhere to be found. Bruness’ father died that day, and for a few moments so did Bruness.

Bruness’ death was short lived. Something in her began to warm, not just her body, but her soul from the inside. The warmth spread and she was healed, although still gravely injured. The young dwarf was carried out of the fields and brought to her mother. The town was so small that they had no healers of their own, as such Bruness was confined to her bed as she healed.

After her convalescence, Bruness lived as normal a life as could be had in the cold tunnels beneath the Land of the Linnorm Kings. She took up the faith of Folgrit, learning from the songs and stories in the book her mother gave her. Irngel eventually took up the life of his father, toiling in the mushroom fields. Burness fell in love with another young dwarf who toiled in the fields as well. If life had remained this way maybe, just maybe, the Coldforge family would have remained whole.

Eventually the duergar again attacked the fungal fields. They took Bruness’ one true love and a few others. Burness was there again, this time with more ability. She hid for sure, but she watched and she saw her own brother receive payment from the dark dwarves. Not only that, but she heard him admit his allegiance to the evil dwarven god Droskar.

Turning on your own is one thing but submitting to the worship of Droskar is quite another. Bruness was torn because it was her own brother, but turn him in she did. She went to the elders with what little proof she had. The questions raised were difficult for her brother to deny, but he did—just long enough to make his escape into the tunnels, presumably back to his Duergar masters.

With her family torn apart, her one love lost to the halls of the duergar, and the still lingering painful reminders of the initial attack that left her injured, Bruness Coldforge had only one place she could turn to. The book of tales that her mother gave her.  In her time of need, the words and songs in the book got her through. Not only that, they gave her power.

For many years the dwarves of her town hadn’t had a cleric, but the power of the songs made Bruness a healer. She discovered within herself the ability to heal the injured, and in some cases cure the sick. She became not only a healer for her people, but a historian. Caring for her people as Folgrit would for her own children, she counseled them to keep to tradition. To keep the tendrils of Droskar from finding their way into others, the old ways are the best ways. She believed the songs would not only heal, but keep the hearth of her people still burning.

All of that information has congealed into the story that is Bruness Coldwater. During the week I’ve seen some interesting backgrounds from other readers, but not from all of you. So what would you have built? Who is your dwarven follower of Folgrit? How did you make your decisions when fashioning a background like this?

Stories and songs are the heart and soul of human existence. If the stories I tell spur your own imagination, then consider contributing to my Patreon. Check out the Patreon page for a video message from yours truly. The CRB is also spreading across social media. You can join the community of gamers on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+. Come share your stories with everyone else.

No comments:

Post a Comment