I like to make up backgrounds stories for my D&D characters – skip if you don’t like fantasy stories.
As promised in the 1st part of my Dungeons and Dragons posts, here are two of my favourite D&D characters their backstories in a condensed version. They are also one of the few I’d bothered to draw. So, meet Štefan and Antoinette!
Štefan was a spoilt half-elf punk with a crooked nose, which I played in one of the earlier D&D games. I’d joined an existing campaign after making some new friends and I started out as a level 3 rogue, who was originally named Seldur. However, his fate was inexplicably but firmly tied to that of another rogue, and because my friend couldn’t be bothered with the elvish name, he renamed him into Štefan. The name stuck and Štefan became Štefan.
Štefan was the son of a very powerful woman, the famous elf leader of the largest assassin’s guild, and for the first part of his life his mother spoiled him rotten. As one would expect, he became a snotty, conceited brat with a haughty demeanour that noone could stand. He also had quite a knack for spending too much of his mother’s money on whores and drinks, so mommy dearest decided to take drastic action. One day after a night of heavy drinking Štefan woke up in the middle of nowhere with a sack on his head. When he let out a string of curses the sack was lifted, revealing a very grumpy, annoyed older rogue. After throwing a major hissy fit and proclaiming he had been kidnapped, threatening the rogue with “do you even know who my mother is” and so on to no effect whatsoever except for an eye roll, Štefan finally run out of steam. It was then explained to him in no uncertain terms, that his mother had decided to send him for some intensive training so he would toughen up, effective immediately. He was to do as he was told, keep his mouth shut and learn to survive in the wilderness where the rogue’s party was currently
up to no good adventuring.
Naturally, that did not go down well with Štefan, so he got bitch slapped when the older rogue had had enough of his complaining. They reached an uneasy truce, followed by a review of Štefan’s skills: he was excellent at drinking, complaining and boasting, hopeless at preparing food, lighting a fire and practically any other useful survival skills, but he did know how to handle a bow. After shooting off a tail from a squirrel running up the hardest tree, Štefan felt like he might have finally gained some of the older rogue’s respect, until he blew it by haughtily asking “so, who is going to carry my bags?” when it was time to go. It only went downhill from there, when he managed to get the entire party into trouble by antagonising 20 lizard warriors by bathing in their sacred lake, but that is a story for another time.
Antoinette le Grit
Antoinette was the character I played while living in Sweden. She was a fat, middle aged, slightly dumb, but surprisingly charismatic and very idealistic goblin sorceress, who had a gift for getting in trouble.
Antoinette was born in a cave and spent most of her childhood reading books and gorging on food. Thus Antoinette, who was still called Grinda Grit at the time, learned about very important topics, such as royal gardening, knighthood, bard ethics, astrology, elvish beauty habits, dwarven courtship and the proper way of drinking tea, while her siblings grew up to be productive members of goblin society, so her father apprenticed her off to an old sorceress, who never seemed to cast a real spell.
Eventually Grinda stumbled upon an ancient spellbook: as soon as she started reading, her tongue moved of its own accord and suddenly the entire cave system started to shake. The old hag run into the room, took one look at the situation and stuck a giant chunk of sticky caramel into Grinda’s mouth, rendering her unable to speak. But the words kept writhing inside Grinda’s mind and smoke started coming out of her ears, the spell demanding to be finished. The old sorceress however, had dealt with stubborn spells before and proceeded to hit her on the head with her stick until the spell relented. The next morning the hag exiled Grinda out of the cave system and noone protested.
Grinda stumbled around for a while. Sometimes it seemed like natural disasters followed her around, but she chucked it off to astrological alignments and cosmic events, as she was smart like that. However, most everyone she met thought her kind to be vile, evil creatures. She tried to be friendly and change the horrible public opinion, but no one wanted anything to do with her, until she run into a travelling wiseman, who gave her shelter for the night. His name was Yodel, he was old, friendly and also a sorcerer, who lived in a strange cottage with sheep hooves. The cottage would follow him on his travels and obey his whistled commands. It also housed a giant magical library and Yodel taught her to control her magic. However, the old lecher figured that Grinda should repay her room and board with more personal favours, involving naked flesh. Grinda was beyond appaled. While she knew she was not exactly a highborn human lady, her books clearly stated that a period of courtship and marriage rites should be observed before any kind of nakedness. So, she reacted as her goblin nature dictated, smacked the old fool in the face, bit off his ear and left.
As she stormed off, she decided to educate the world about goblinkin and repair the image of her kind once and for all. She was a smart, educated goblin woman after all, who was well aware how to properly drink tea and act in polite society. Firstly, she changed her name to one more suitable for her cause and exalted personality: Antoinette le Grit. Next, she founded the G.R.O.P.E. – Goblin Rights Organisation for Peaceful Equality, which currently still consists of two members: herself and her sister. Her brother refused to join on the grounds of irreparable differences – the word peaceful was not exactly in his repertoire. And finally, she swore she would never again be thrown off balance and react negatively or violently. She learned to make pamphlets for G.R.O.P.E. and to disguise her natural smell with a poultice, which an old lady at the market swore was all the rage currently, although the casual observer would tell her, she now smelled distinctly like old cheese; and she traded cantrips for food and respect. She also very occasionally resorted to stealing, but over time the definition of very occasionally stretched to every couple of days.
Thus it came to be, that Antoinette was caught stealing two chickens, trying to stuff them down pants. The chickens were not particularly pleased and made a whole cacophony of clucking noise, which drew the village militia, who arrested her. On the way to the prison, Antoinette dazzled their tiny peasant brains with her worldly ways and educated charm and they were almost ready to release her, when a dwarf, leading a cow on a string that was clearly not his, crossed their path. He attempted to push the cow behind the nearby house, but the cow refused to walk backwards (as explained by Antoinette, everyone knows that cows are physically incapable of walking backwards) and the militiamen decided to take both of them to the prison. However, the prison cell was found empty the next morning: both thieves had vanished without a trace…