It is one year after the signing of the Thronehold Treaty and the official end of the Last War. Your experiences during the war have left their mark upon you, and you are still learning how to deal with it. Not everyone fought in the war, but no one has escaped its wide reaching ramifications. Survivor’s guilt, the horrors of war, atrocities committed on all sides, massive loss of life, betrayals beyond counting, families lost or torn asunder, and countless other traumas have left their mark on the people of Khorvaire. Despite the best efforts to put the troubles of the last hundred years behind them, but there are already signs that peace will not last. Nations are beginning to rebuild their armies; They are seeking new and more powerful weapons of war— both magical and scientific. Hidden blades run red with blood and the sale of poison is brisk. Intrigue is rife on the continent as players and wannabes at every level of power try to push forward their disparate agendas.
You find yourself near the border between Aundair and the Eldeen Reaches, having suffered a setback in your agenda. Aundair is a land of scholarly insight and peaceful farming villages; This combination offers a great deal to a populace that is weary of conflict. The Eldeen Reaches is a magnificently vibrant place, its forests and fields abound in flora and fauna, and its druid and ranger protectors have a great deal of wisdom to offer. You have become a minor celebrity in the small town where you currently dwell, having gained a reputation as a person of extraordinary abilities.Soon people are bringing their problems to you to have them help solve them. While this does bring you some rewards both personally and financially, you have come no closer to meeting your goals.
Due to your notoriety and the frequency of requests you receive, It is routine to find yourself seated across from a stranger as you take your nightly meal in the inn. Wearing clothes stained from travel the plain faced person faces you squarely, “Who am I? My name changes as often as my appearance, but you can call me Renix,” and you catch the quick change in her eyes as his irises shift through the colors of the rainbow. You know you are sitting across from a changeling, and know he is are taking a risk as her race is not well loved among the common people. His gaze meets your curious eyes. “I know who you are, and more importantly, my employer knows as well.
“You and I both know that you are meant for greater things than running errands for commoners, while great powers in the world make their move. My employer means for you to have a part in this, and he is willing to reward you well for your service to him. The lives of thousands are at stake, as well as that of the lord’s own daughter. If this is not reason enough for you to come, think of the rewards a nobleman’s gratitude can bring. His trust must be earned, however, and you will have to agree to spend the winter training under his roof. He must insure that you are as capable as you seem, and that he can risk so important a task in your hands. You will be tested, you will know pain, but in the end you will find that you have been joined with other people of a like mind and ability and become more than the sum of your parts. If this appeals to you then you will meet him at this place and time.” She pushes a small pouch into your hand and moves to rise, wishing you a pleasant evening and thanks for the conversation.
Upon returning to your room you open the pouch. Inside is a small amount of gold and a note. The note says to arrive at Trevek Manor on a certain date. On the back of the note is a well drawn map showing the location of the manor. It is already mid-autumn and you are at dead end you cannot overcome with your own resources. Although you find this offer very strange, the opportunities it can grant you are too great to be ignored. Working for someone in a position of power would give your character access to money, resources, influence, people and places that some wanderer off the street would never have access to.
The journey to Trevek manor is peaceful enough, but it is certainly off the main roads. Trevek is on the southern end of the Chanthwood, and the small community seems like it is danger of being swallowed up by the trees. You stop to ask directions to the manor from one of the local people. She gives you a questioning look and says “Another one? There’s been strangers coming all day,” before giving you the directions you seek. You are unsure what you will find when you arrive, but you feel that you must press on.
The manor itself is an older building, but stoutly constructed. Six foot walls surround its well maintained lawns. Two men at arms at the gate regard you warily until you produce the note. They nod a greeting to you, and one of them touches a softly glowing stone set in the back of the wall and speaks quietly into it. He seems satisfied with this and leans back. Soon the manor door opens and a warforged comes striding out to greet you. You are surprised to see a warforged here in this rural nobleman’s setting, but you think better than to question him. You can see that he bears the scars of battles proudly, not having bothered to contact a magewright to have his armored body returned to an unblemished state. “I am Breaker,” he says, speaking calmly. “I will see to it that you are settled in comfortably and have a chance to wash off the trail dust before you meet with Lord Vanwick.”
He brings you into the manor and leads you to an area that seems to be the servant’s quarters. “I hope you do not mind sharing a room with the servants and guards. This house is not well suited to so many guests, but my Lord does as he will. Think of it as a barracks, and you will be fine. If it’s good enough for a soldier, it’s good enough for you.” Unsure if you have been insulted or not, you take your leave of Breaker and go in to meet your fellow new arrivals.
You and your fellows are given enough time to make introductions and to refresh yourselves before you are summoned to meet with Lord Vanwick. The group is brought into a well appointed study, with books of both magic and science on the walls. Lord Vanwick is a man just into his forties, with a muscular build and dark hair that is beginning to go gray. What would have been a handsome face is marred by scars that travel up the left side of his neck. His shirt is pinned closed at his left shoulder. He rises as you enter, and gestures at you with his one arm to stand comfortably.
“I thank you for agreeing to meet with me under such mysterious circumstances,” he says in his measured and cultured voice, meeting your eyes as he speaks. “Not all those I contacted were equal to your measure it seems. I apologize for not meeting with you myself and leaving that to an agent, but I have reason to be cautious. I can not tell you everything now, but be assured that by agreeing to undergo a season’s training under Breaker’s experienced hand, you will not only have proven yourselves to be people that I can trust but will have gained a better understanding of your own skills. For now I can say that what you will do for me will prevent a great catastrophe in the future, a threat that could result in the loss of life in the thousands, the devastation of the Eldeen Reaches, and the death of my own daughter. She is my only child, a girl of 14 years. You will be greatly rewarded when you succeed. If any of you plan to leave, now would be the time.” You and the others glance amongst each other, but no one seems inclined to leave now. “Breaker will be your master for one year. He is used to obedience, and has trained many capable soldiers. I leave you in his trust. Please feel free to approach me with any concerns.” With these words he gestures for you to depart, and your winter of training at Trevek Manor begins.
This little pre-story is intended to give you guys both a definite starting point to the campaign (this is where you end up, but how you got there is up to you) and help set up some ideas for your character’s past. I will not ask that you submit a lengthy write up of your character’s past and deep dark secrets. However, you should have an idea of your character’s history, motivations and goals they are working towards. Everything else will be fleshed out more during play.
Here are some questions that you should be able to answer about your character to have a basic idea of who they are. Please don’t have a bunch of lone wanderers who have nothing in this world but a burning desire for revenge.
- Where is you character from? Your race may have some influence on this. Player guide is pretty useful for this but I know way too much about this stuff so feel free to ask me as well. Also the wiki has very broad location information.
- What relationships does your character have? Khorvaire has an excellent mail system so it’s likely you will be able to keep in touch with people no matter how far you travel. Who do they drop a letter to when they get the chance? Does your character have an enemy or rival?
- What did you character do during the Last War? How were they affected by it?
- What is you character trying to achieve now that the war is over? Why would they agree to meet with Lord Vanwick?
- With an opportunity to train under a master like Breaker, what aspect of themselves would they most want to improve?
- How will working for Vanwick advance your character’s personal plot? What do they intend to accomplish with the money, resources, influence, people and places that they will gain access to?