Character Backgrounds and Interconnections.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 10 posts
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 06:18
Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Please introduce your character and offer some ways for other players to connect their character to yours, and some ways for the GM to connect your character to the setting.

As of this writing, we have Albers Josef, a rabble-rousing, anti-establishment (and anti-House) tiefling paladin who follows no particular deity but is inspired by the architecture of the city and what he dreams for the city; and Tham, dragonmarked heir of House Lyrandar, sorcerer and sometime-airship-pilot. Together they... fight... something. Possibly each other at times, yet they're also unlikely friends.

Albers recently lost two friends, one, Anni, murdered in a grisly manner that the Sharn Inquisitive only dared hint at, and the other, Walter, vanished. Anni had eyes for Albers, but was sought after by a rival dandy, Boris Steiner. Albers and Boris have conflicting ideas about the future of art in Sharn and have come close to actually dueling on more than one occasion. Yet, Boris seems shocked by Anni's death, and assumes Albers and Walter got her involved in something dangerous. Another challenge will be in the offing soon.

In fact, Anni, in an effort to deal with some financial issues she kept from her friends, had been serving unwittingly as an informant to an Aurum lacky. She passed along something about Walter and Albers and the others that set off a chain of events, starting with her own death. Walter is alive and hiding in a Ghallanda-certified hostel - cheaper than a House-run accommodation, but not nearly as secure - and is starting to think Albers might have set him up.

Being a dragonmarked heir is tricky to balance one's own life around. Tham has more responsibilities than he can deal with, and most of them are coming between him and getting back on the deck of an airship. The Houses are all busy trying to bulk their numbers depleted during the Last War, and this includes finding heirs who had fallen out of favor due to ineptitude, dangerous vices, scandal, or actual crimes, and giving them another chance to contribute. Tham has a list of heirs believed to be in Sharn and he's got to bring in the names on those list or give a damned good reason why he couldn't, since even death (his own or that of a name on his list) isn't always a real excuse for shirking obligations to one's House.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:21, Wed 05 Apr 2017.

Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 1 post
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 13:21
Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Hi, my character is Albers Josef - Urban Archaeologist and Architectural Detective. This debonair revolutionary parries and parties with urbane flair.

Despite being a revolutionary committed (in theory anyway) to overthrow all of the dragnmarked houses in Sharn, Albers has an excellent and long-lived friendship with Tham. To the other revolutionaries in his boozy club and design seminars, Albers pretends he is cultivating the friendship with Thames to get a man on the inside. The truth, is that the friendship is genuine, though the two may have different political views (often aired at five in the morning at some downtown afterparty). Albers secretly wants to be an Airship, Galleon or Lightening Train conductor - a fantastical destiny he is completely unsuited for, and has only ever shared with Tham.
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 1 post
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 23:46
Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
It's a pleasure to be introduce to Albers out of character and I'm very pleased that Albers and Tham are such close confidante's in character.

Tham d'Lyrandar has been destined for great things since the day he was born. Both his father and mother bear a dragonmark of House Lyrandar and though the expectations were high for Tham, he has exceeded them displaying not only a large dragonmark but an innate gift with the magic flowing through is blood and at his very core. He found it very hard to harness that magic as a youth and caused a few minor emergencies but all were looked over due to the display of his potential gifting.

Oddly enough, it was his tenure as an apprentice to an airship captain that provided Tham the structure and outlet he'd always needed to tap into the true potential of his magic. Tham found feeding/guiding/directing the elemental rings of the airship with his inner arcane power to be a truly gratifying outlet and as he learned more and more about it, he showed great aptitude as a pilot.

He'd thrived during the Last War, coming of age both in terms of years and in terms of ability and his piloting along with his Captain's leadership and the ingenuity of a few other crew members (GM we can plot on these or you can run wild with them) made their ship, the Silver Stream one of the few to escape the war unscathed and a number of famed encounters.

But when the war ended, Tham's house demanded the unthinkable. He was to relinquish his role as the pilot of the Silver Stream, return to Sharn and fulfill the pressing needs of procreation.


So that's as far as I've gotten. I haven't worked on a character sheet though I think that will be pretty straightforward. GM, we need to decide if I am betrothed, married or on the prowl.

I was asked at the last minute to travel for work today so I didn't have a ton of time to read all that I would have liked. My day started at 3:30 am and so my thoughts are likely eluding my brain at an alarming rate.

I'm very excited to explore Sharn and some of the more theoretical and character based aspects of it.
GM
 GM, 11 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 04:16
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh):
He'd thrived during the Last War, coming of age both in terms of years and in terms of ability and his piloting along with his Captain's leadership and the ingenuity of a few other crew members (GM we can plot on these or you can run wild with them) made their ship, the Silver Stream one of the few to escape the war unscathed and a number of famed encounters.
Fendro, your somethingth-cousin of some long-dead ancestor, was security chief on the Silver Stream, and while dedicated and loyal was always quick to suggest plans that were far more destructive than necessary, and flexed the collective power of the crew's marks. He seemed to think that such havoc is what the Mark of Storm is for. His views attracted some notice and he's being groomed to be inducted into the Storm Front cult, a secret splinter faction of Lyrandar heirs. He'd like to bring some of his fellow crewmates in on what seems like a sweet deal. He'll come to Tham, before long.

Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh):
But when the war ended, Tham's house demanded the unthinkable. He was to relinquish his role as the pilot of the Silver Stream, return to Sharn and fulfill the pressing needs of procreation.

So that's as far as I've gotten. I haven't worked on a character sheet though I think that will be pretty straightforward. GM, we need to decide if I am betrothed, married or on the prowl.
Different houses have different methods of ensuring a maximum number of heirs. Half-elves, originating as they do from open-minded people, are capable of displaying a great deal of adaptability and tolerance for various unions and dis-unions. So, for fun, I'm going to establish that Tham is married, but that this doesn't necessarily tie him down.

While heirs can be distant enough cousins for it not to be weird (as was the case with Tham's parents), it's quite common for heirs to marry and have children with non-heirs. This can work out well or badly for the non-House parent, because not all Houses recognize them as "family" (and sometimes not even as "people") and the heirs (which the children are almost always legally declared to be, marked or not) tend to get surrounded by layers of special nursemaids, tutors, bodyguards and other handlers.

Lyrandar has been known to offer deals to outsider spouses who stay in good favor. Tham's wife, a non-House half-elf, cares for Tham, but has a contract with Lyrandar to produce at least two heirs in a three year period, after which she can receive, among other things, free luxury travel, vouchers for times of free weather manipulation, some access to House security and legal services, and generous visitation rights with her children, whether or not she elects to stay with Tham, which she's not required to do.

An observant person would note that the contract does not stipulate that Tham be the father of the heirs she produces. On the other hand, she has no recourse for appeal or complaint if Tham fathers children with anyone else, at any time. The House just wants heirs, and can't afford to be picky.

All that said: we're not going to be doing roleplayed love-scenes. Feel free to write them up, if you want, as long as you keep them tasteful.
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 2 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 13:35
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Albers has to lie low, and he's heard Tham's back in town, so he's gone to his oldest friend for a place to stay, and hide from his mysterious enemies. He's delighted to hear Tham needs assistance int he procreation department - Albers is full of suggestions and has arranged multiple parties with all the coolest beauties. This was going to be fun.
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 2 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 13:44
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
quote:
All that said: we're not going to be doing roleplayed love-scenes. Feel free to write them up, if you want, as long as you keep them tasteful.


No problem there. You actually answered my main question which is what limitations will the need to create heirs of the dragonmark put on Tham besides the obvious NO MORE AIRSHIPS :(

Oooh the Storm Front sounds like all sorts of fun and I can't wait for Fendro to introduce us to them!

Fendro sounds like a lot of fun all around actually!

I like all the details you added GM, thank you very much!
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 6 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Thu 6 Apr 2017
at 19:06
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
quote:
If you are interested in taking part in the brainstorming, please mention at least two aspects of Eberron that would be present in or have bearing on Sharn and which create an interesting situation to explore.


The Storm Front and captaining a House Lyrander Airship. Tham once mentioned that the Storm Front have once accepted a dedicated non-marked tiefling into their organisation (albeit a century ago) who went on to captain a ship. With famous tieflings so rare in Sharn, this story struck a chord. And now one of Alber’s dual ambitions is to captain an airship. Recently, he has considered asking Tham about joining Storm Front, but he’s held back: everything he believes in goes against their ideology (though he’s a good bluffer), but mainly he does not want to embarrass his friend.

Albers’ most intense affair was with the Muriel d’Cannith. Unfortunately this was the daughter of Merrix d'Cannith, head of House Cannith, and a famously witty and beautiful socialite. The affair lasted two years, but she eventually ended it. He remains in love with her – but he also harbours a fantasy of being accepted by her into the house and being allowed to work on designing airships and lightning rails.

Albers is a post-graduate of the Design School at Morgrave University. He left just before receiving his cert – he is a bit coy about why, but implies it was due to his refusal to follow traditional architectural models, though fellow radical students Anni and Walter were both able to complete their courses. His often wanders the University Library and attends parties. His main regret is that he never got the funding in place to conduct his PHd on the structural foundations of the City of Towers – to see if they could be rebuilt in glass and steel twice as tall. This would have involved expeditions to the subterranean ruins on which the City of Towers is build.
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 7 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Thu 6 Apr 2017
at 20:57
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
quote:
Along with the character, please include a reason why your character needs to stay in Sharn (or not be away from it for long) for the foreseeable future.

He’s on the run from whoever killed Anni (and possibly Walter) and is hiding out at Tham’s house. He does not know anyone outside Sharn, and does not want to attract attention.
quote:
Please also include a fact about your character that someone holds over them. Don't specify the identity of that person at this time.

For a while, as a student, Albers dabbled with the Blood of Vol. He was fascinated and seduced by this strange cult, but also repelled. He never took it very seriously and never got far, but some people found out, and for this he was expelled from Morgrave University. He pretends to others he was expelled for drinking and womanising too much, as he prefers to keep the truth hidden.
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 8 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 02:12
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
quote:
Along with the character, please include a reason why your character needs to stay in Sharn (or not be away from it for long) for the foreseeable future.


Tham is stuck in Sharn to make babies and as many as he can, preferrably ones with dragonmarks.

quote:
Please also include a fact about your character that someone holds over them. Don't specify the identity of that person at this time.


Oooh, what if Tham has a child out of wedlock with a woman from another dragonmarked house?
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 8 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 18:05
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
That sounds fun Tham. Perhaps she is also secretly a very high-ranking member of the Blood of Vol cult. Albers could have met her during his brief flirtation with the group.
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 9 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 18:26
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Nice addition! I like the "yes, and" that's going on here!
GM
 GM, 26 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 18:45
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Excellent! That will get Tham into a lot of interesting trouble. I'll post more on that later.

You guys have got lots of good hooks. We can come up with more, as necessary. If we build further (which I hope we do) please focus on tying threads back in (which will still broaden things out but allow us to focus in). I encourage you to develop the other threads too, with a focus on what they mean for Sharn, and adventures in it.
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 10 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 18:51
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Yes I was a bit insular in my thinking last night as I was working on my character sheet.

As I was doing that I was debating my choices as I've inadvertently chosen a lot of area of effect/burst spells that are probably great for a game with maps and where area control is a strategic imperative and now I'm wondering if they aren't a little strange for what I know of this game.

Then I started thinking, well actually maybe they'll be perfect for this game as they will force me to be more descriptive in my actions around casting spells and such in combat!
GM
 GM, 29 posts
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 01:16
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
I'll speak to tactics in the OOC thread.

As far as the out-of-wedlock child:

The mother's name is Yasmin d'Medani, but Tham doesn't know that. Nor does she know his name.

Through a complex series of connivances, House Tarkanan maneuvered the two of you together for at least one tryst, without either of you ever realizing that you were heirs of dragonmarked houses. This was assisted by the fact that Yasmin doesn't bear a mark herself, and that she is not a very public member of the house. She naturally keeps to herself and tries to be very independent, and she's not thought well of in her own House for various reasons, so close tabs are not kept on her - ironic for the House of Detection.

Her rebellious nature led her into the fold of the Blood of Vol, which compounded her reclusiveness with the need to keep an actual secret. House Tarkanan worked with this and manipulated her into saying and asking too little to realize with whom she was getting involved.

Yasmin, on learning she was pregnant, decided to keep and raise the child, as a true test of her independence. House Tarkanan is also hard at work keeping Tham and Yasmin from discovering who the other is. They want the baby for themselves, and if any of the Houses learn of its parentage, the child may be destroyed. If necessary, Tarkanan will use this threat to keep Tham and Yasmin quiet.

I'm afraid this intrigue calls for Albers to have been something of an unwitting pawn in Tarkanan's plan. But it was going to happen with or without him. If this doesn't fit in with anyone's idea, please add to it until it works for you.
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 11 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 01:30
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Hmmm... Albers and Tham's friendship has a bit of a darkside.
GM
 GM, 30 posts
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 01:36
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
In reply to Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh) (msg # 15):

In what sense? I didn't mean to establish that either of you had knowingly done anything wrong.
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 12 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 01:43
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
The unwitting pawn part, I didn't mean he meant to do it necessarily.
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 10 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 14:00
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Albers was an unwitting pawn in Tarkanan's plan to acquire a child via Tham. Tarkanan had scoured the university for someone who was confident, flash, ambitious, and very gullible; and in Albers he found exactly what he was looking for.

Tarkanan planted a few pretty rent-girls at the right parties, and gradually incubated in Albers the curiosity to discover the Blood of Vol. Albers was invited to a fabulously decadent party (think Eyes Wide Shut) where he was introduced to the cult by Mistress Yasmin (actually Yasmin d'Medani). As Tarkanan suspected, Albers was fascinated and seduced by the lure of high society, beautiful people, taboo cultishness, and the promise of introduction into the highest society. Mistress Yasmin insisted he get a dragonmarked reference, so he dragged Tham to the next meeting.

Tham thought little for the Cult activities, but he thought a lot about Yasmin. Albers got his introduction and further explored the cult, while Tham got Yasmin. Once Tarkanan got what they wanted, Albers never got invited back, but he often tried to crash the cult parties and try to discover what they were planning, to no avail. He rationalises the situation by believing it was he who rejected the Cult: that he grew up and moved on. And to this day he has no idea he was being played all along.
GM
 GM, 39 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 14:37
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
In reply to Albers Josef (jacktannery) (msg # 18):

Yes, Yasmin must have been in on it as well and she represents another side to the whole thing, because she's been sufficiently indoctrinated to believe that she is above the laws of the Houses, and that she is the one manipulating House Tarkanan. She's not interested in creating aberrant marks, but she believes that she's part of a process to recreate the long lost Mark of Death.

There are multiple layers of intrigue, here, that are going to quickly get too difficult to track. What I'd like to figure out is what all this is likely to mean in terms of difficulties for Tham and Albers. When it comes to this situation wants what from them at this point?

If any of the Houses find out about Tham's paternity here, he'll face severe charges for fathering a child with an heir of another House. So will Yasmin, but she doesn't care. Albers would be viewed as complicit and, while outside of House rules, would have the Houses as enemies, which is never good.

The bottom line is that Yasmin (and the Blood of Vol) and House Tarkanan have leverage over Tham and Albers. It's a matter of what tasks those groups might want the PCs to perform, in exchange for keeping the secret. And a matter of what Albers and Tham would do to get out from under this, once they learn of the deception.
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 11 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 14:56
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
quote:
There are multiple layers of intrigue, here, that are going to quickly get too difficult to track. What I'd like to figure out is what all this is likely to mean in terms of difficulties for Tham and Albers. When it comes to this situation wants what from them at this point?

Well, I get what you're saying: all this background stuff is only useful if it actually affects our play. I was following on from and building on Tham's background and the things he was saying he was interested in exploring.

I posted above (post 7) the things I wanted to explore in the game. I was excited about the Storm Front being an organisation obsessed with blood purity, which sets up a conflict with my character's ideology and a connection with Tham, but I gathered you weren't interested in exploring that when you said 'I guess I don't see the game as really being about that.' Which is totally cool. I also thought the Blood of Vol thing could be interesting in terms of the blood purity aspects. I see Albers as being fundamentally opposed to those concepts, even as he is fascinated by them and wants to belong in those groups.

I'm not really that interested in exploring the dragon marked heir aspects alone, as Albers is a tiefling and can never even pass as a dragonmarked heir. It's just not his world.

I guess that's what I was trying to get at. I'm attempting to draw connections between the things I have stated I am interested in exploring, and the the things Tham is saying he is interested in exploring. You don't have to like all of them - so long as just one thing I say clicks with you, then we can all get behind that and get the game going. Or at least that's how I'm thinking about this.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:59, Tue 11 Apr 2017.

GM
 GM, 40 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 15:23
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
In reply to Albers Josef (jacktannery) (msg # 20):

Message received. I didn't see how to work those ideas (Getting in good with Storm Front, a past dalliance with a Cannith heir, and a lost opportunity to explore the Depths) into current actions, but that's on me to add to them. I think what gave me pause was that those suggestions each seemed to get sort of "retracted" at the end, if you see what I mean.

So:
Albers has recently received some tantalizing notes from Muriel. The notes are stiff blank cards that fold themselves into tiny automatons that perform a lithe little dance and then evaporate in a puff of her perfume. She's clearly interested in meeting, but it's because she knows Albers will execute a task for that she and the cults plans to sabotage a new airship. She cares for him, but House needs come first.

A group of young university students with more money than sense came across Albers' detailed proposal for exploring the Depths. They set off a few days ago and haven't been seen since. One of them was Crissoff d'Orien, so there's an outcry to get him back, unharmed. With his papers in the students' possession, Albers is the only one who might know what route they took.
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 12 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 19:03
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Thanks GM, I really appreciate that.

Two ideas to link those things all together, but if you had other ideas feel totally free to ignore.

1. Albers remembers Crissoff d'Orien. A student of Dokumentation and Kryptology, he’s a jerk, but at a party recently he boasted that he had discovered a way to fake a dragonmark.  If so, and if Albers could make him indebted, then Albers could potentially infiltrate Storm Front (helping Muriel – but more importantly maybe CAPTAINING A SKYSHIP WTF!!!)

2. The planned airship sabotage team includes a hesitant wayword Lyrander heir.
GM
 GM, 42 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 19:33
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Albers Josef (jacktannery):
Thanks GM, I really appreciate that.
No, my apologies. I wasn't taking my own advice. There are some things the game isn't "about" as much as it's about other things, but in future, I'll try to demonstrate more collaboration, instead of correction.

Two ideas to link those things all together, but if you had other ideas feel totally free to ignore.</quote> If I had other ideas they can go out for a smoke until they're needed.

Albers Josef (jacktannery):
1. Albers remembers Crissoff d'Orien. A student of Dokumentation and Kryptology, he’s a jerk, but at a party recently he boasted that he had discovered a way to fake a dragonmark.  If so, and if Albers could make him indebted, then Albers could potentially infiltrate Storm Front (helping Muriel – but more importantly maybe CAPTAINING A SKYSHIP WTF!!!)
One overarching game point I'd like to make: Any plan or approach I create will always be intended to be potentially doable by all members of the party, without needing major upgrades. So, in case anyone feels like I'm establishing something they can't take part in, that's never my intent.

But, well done accepting and adding on. Yes, he thinks he can fake dragonmarks, at least temporarily, which would be a major game changer. The Tyrants have a definite interest in this. Crissoff's idea involves some surgery and a regular infusion of a particular potion. He has yet to really formulate it, but could gin something up if properly motivated and supplied with the ingredients.


Albers Josef (jacktannery):
2. The planned airship sabotage team includes a hesitant wayword Lyrander heir.
Yep, he'll be on Tham's list.
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 13 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 21:12
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
This sounds great!
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 23 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Tue 18 Apr 2017
at 03:12
Re: Character Backgrounds and Interconnections
Albers Josef (jacktannery):
2. The planned airship sabotage team includes a hesitant wayword Lyrander heir.


Two options here for Lyrandar heirs that might be involved (or both could be)

1. Mezzaria d'Lyrandar (Mez) is one of Tham's oldest friends and second cousin. She is the quintessential swashbuckler (think Rogue in terms of class). She and Tham grew up together and have a sibling rivalry/friendship though that has been pushed to the back burner since they were "grounded" and Mezzaria has remained barren (by choice). She is now actively seeking to liberate an airship or find some way to subvert the need to bear children.

2. Nataniel d'Lyrandar is a distant uncle and middle-aged half elf. He is a Druid and has only recently come to Sharn at the behest of the leaders of House Lyrandar. Though fascinated by the elemental magic at play in the city of Sharn, Nate has no desire to spend anymore time than necessary and is looking for his own way out of Sharn. He is not the rebellious type though, having outgrown those impulses.

Please riff on these ideas as you see fit!