Sunday, 22 November 2015

Introducing Aseir (Al'Farok) Aerendgast

We've started a new D&D game here at D4sign! Don't worry, we'll continue playing The Long Game, but we're also playing a game run by fellow D4sign blogger, Mike! Today's post is all about my character for the game, and how he came to be!
Dallas Kasaboski

Before the game got started, the DM brought the players together to learn about the world of Saba. As will be made public and viewable soon, the world of Saba is broken into many continents, each with their own people, religions, and traditions. Our characters, each about 16/17 years old, were raised in a small farming community known as Bringamthorpe, on the continent known as The Commonwealth of the Great Provider. The Great Provider is also known as Erathis and, as such, the ideals of community, civilization, and invention are most prevalent.

Along with this, the players had to consider the fact that spirits and souls are a very real thing in the world of Saba. Simply put, everyone is born with a soul, which grows and develops, becoming one's main purpose/goal/desire in life. Spirits, however, are sentient creatures which often form on the basis of ideas (the spirit of community, for example), yet no matter their origin, spirits choose to bond with sentient creatures shortly after birth. Spirits drive a person's desires, their ambition, often sharing them. In this way, while a soul represents one's purpose, their spirit represents their drive. 

Therefore, the players were encouraged to think about their character's soul purpose and spirit companion. Did they have a mighty and ambitious T-Rex (since dinosaurs exist in the world of Saba) or did they have a meek mouse?

Finally, the DM had some background elements that he wished to include in the game. It did not matter to him who had which feature, only that they be represented, to be used and developed later. To that end, I chose for my character to be a spiritwalker (able to see and communicate with the spirits) and to be taught the old ways of magic, whatever that meant. 

The rest, was up to us.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I had decided to play a wizard well before I knew anything about this game. I was excited about switching roles and trying something new, making it my own. 

Reading through the 5th edition Player's Handbook (PHB), I decided that I wanted to play an elf. I have been playing a dragonborn for years, and a shifter before that; I don't like playing a human, I like being different, but I didn't want to be "that" different this time, plus it wouldn't make much sense in our current setting. Elves have some neat features which can really help a spellcaster, so I chose elf! After a perusal of elf subraces, I chose high-elf, favouring knowledge of magic over the classic wood elf, or the dark elf.

The choice of elf drove my character's backstory. Elves were not common in the Commonwealth, so I had to work up a reason as to how/why my character was there. The high Elves of Bel Marid, are lightly tanned, and primarily consist of the upper class. Why did my parents move? When? What were they doing before? 

After a lot of thought, I worked with the DM to create the story that my parents used to live in Bel-Marid, before the last conflict between the two continents. They were Intelligence Officers, enjoyed their work, were good at it, gathering, organizing, decoding information. However, their work led them to learn that war was coming, and when my mother learned that she was pregnant, my parents' perspective changed. They did not want to live a life of conflict, and while they had grown up with the Patient God's way of life, they were not as closely attached to those beliefs as others. Rather than leaving things to fate, they took their chances, used some contacts and money they had stashed away, and made their way to the Commonwealth. There, they acquired new identities, and set themselves up as the postmasters of Bringamthorpe. Over time, they began to embrace the ideas of the Commonwealth, but they still kept some traditions from their former life, including teaching me the old ways of magic.

It took a while to come up with these details, and I'm quite proud of them. They offer so much depth to my character that I will be able to draw on later. It explains why a high elf is living in the middle of rural Commonwealth, explains why I was taught the old ways, and gives me a lot to build off of in terms of personality, which I'll talk about in a moment.

5th Edition encourages the use of set Backgrounds which not only gives depth to a character, but offers statistical advantages, such as stat boosts and skill proficiency. Once again, our DM had some custom backgrounds, so I chose Tinkerer, which gives me proficiency in Investigate and Arcana, which allowed me to take other skills as a wizard.

So, tinker, wizard, elf, spirit-walker. With all this, I was able to think about my character's personality. My character is an optimistic, cheerful, friendly person, who spends his days working for his parents in the post office of Bringamthorpe. He dreams of adventure and exploring new lands, always wanting to learn more about the world, and the stories to be told within it. Raised with the ideals of the Commonwealth, my character believes strongly in community, yet respects the traditions his parents set down for him, without knowing exactly where they're from. He spends much of his time reading (fiction and non-fiction books about Saba), dreaming of adventure, and tinkering around with odd little inventions. He dreams of exploring the world and sharing knowledge and his inventions with others, to make the world a good and fun place.

For as long as he can remember, he can see the spirits. This is an extremely rare gift, and his parents warned him that many people would not understand. A person's spirit can be a very personal thing and others may not take too kindly to someone else being able to see that. So, my character keeps that to himself, his friends, and anyone he trusts. However, sometimes the spirits are just too funny! Sitting on people's heads, running around, so my character can't help but laugh! Thankfully, most people pass his interactions with the spirits off to his jovial, and absent-minded, nature.

If you've ever read or seen any fantasy, you may recall the stereotypically chipper, happy, young character. The one who dreams of being a knight, and the one who knows all the best stories. This was what I was going for with my character. If he could be a Ninja Turtle, he would be mostly Michelangelo with some Donatello thrown in. It's great when you find an idea that works that even Fate seems to agree with, as you'll see below.

5th Edition also encourages new characters to have a trinket, some memento from their early life. Rolling the dice, I ended up getting a pipe that blows bubbles. This is perfect! Fun, silly, while appearing serious, I was thrilled to add this to my character's equipment. 

Next, spirit animal, what to choose? I needed something that reflected my character's nature. Something cute, fun, silly, but maybe somehow also reflected the idea of community. A friend suggested the Fennec Fox, and one look at it helped me make the decision.

Finally, his name. This part usually takes me the longest. Names are very important to me, and I take a long time to make sure the name works because I'll be stuck with it for a long time. I wanted something foreign sounding (Egyptian if possible, since Bel Marid is similar), something that could be shortened to something fun and easy. After a lot of research, I came up with Aseir (Al'Farok) Aerendgast! Aseir can be shorted to Ash, which is how he usually uses it, Al'Farok is his true last name known only by his parents, and Aerendgast is Old English for "errand-spirit", perfect for a spirit-walking son of a postmaster.

And here he is! Special thanks to Juliette for drawing him! I'm very excited about this character, this drawing, and this game! I look forward to discovering the world of Saba!

Thanks for reading!

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