Wednesday, September 2, 2009
A Test of Character - 9/2/09
This installment of A Test of Character delivers my first true fantasy character. Fantasy's easily the most popular genre of role playing, and I hope that this ToC is usable for many different settings. This entry is also unique because it originates from a little experiment I began when we started to play D&D4e. Death can happen in 4e, so I wanted to make my characters mean something even in death. So, I created the Seaborn clan/bloodline and based all of their names off of "Sam" (Samith, Samyr, Samtra, etc.) based on the race he would be from. The name's stolen from Sam Seaborn from the West Wing (pictured here). Not my favorite character, but I thought it was a great name. I will warn however, there may be elves ahead if that's not your type of thing...
There is hardly a more prodigious bloodline or plentiful surname than that of the Seaborn. Whether raised in a tribe, litter, or extended family, the Seaborns claim divine heritage as well as bits of genetic diversity ranging from trolls to gnome to elf. It's true that you can find a half-orc Seaborn if you looked hard enough, but here's the shocker: it's quite likely that he or she would actually have a bit of the old Seaborn blood in them, you just need to be persistent enough to find it.
Seaborns are known as adventurers, inquisitive beings, and even thrill-seekers. They are often called to exploration around the year of man or womanhood and have likely been training years already at this point to go out on their own.
It's not difficult to find a Seaborn in any port town or wandering at random through thick woods. Samgym Seaborn, a half-elf particularly skilled in witchcraft and sorcery has tried his hardest to fulfill all the expectations the Seaborn name carries. Joining the imperial ranks as a mage of the 4th army, he harnessed his prowess with the dark energies and achieved skill in precision attacks unrivaled by any other in his rank.
It wasn't long before Samgym retired from his service and duties when he went into deep seclusion in the Ickrim Forest in the North. He had hardened his mind, now he sought to harden his body. He felt great regret in leaving his squad mates behind in the army, but he was plagued with unusual frailty for his race and was determined to best his weak composition.
Solitary life was good to Samgym. He grew to adore the quiet solace of being alone in the woods with nothing but his skills and natural resources to keep him alive. He thrived for the first time. It was confusing that it took this hermit lifestyle rather than all his training and tours of duty to change the course of his life, but it was transformative.
One night, as he sat cross-legged in the snow with a light dusting covering his skin, far off a candle light appeared accompanied by soft murmuring. Keeping his rigid position and without motion, he saw a party of young warriors with no solid uniform or colors to tie them together. They grew loud and passed within 8 feet of the meditating and observant Half-Elf when he decided to test them. He spoke, but threw his voice all around them. Within an instant weapons were drawn, the leader was speaking orders under his breath, and the jovial conversation had been swapped in favor of a stern disposition full of concentration and weariness.
It was not malicious and none of the party were shouting threats. Samgym knew, somewhere deep inside, that perhaps one of these young adventurers could be another Seaborn, and it would be Samgym's responsibility to bring him to his potential and honor his name...