Note: Chevalier is the in-game name for the warrior caste of the Brittanic people. The word is also used as the game rules name for this background, but each race and culture has their own name for the caste. Thus, a Free Dwarf who takes this background would write "Chevalier" in the Background slot on his character sheet, but in-game he would refer to himself as barak colan (see below). The image is iconic-- a mighty warrior, born and trained from the time she can hold a weapon, bound by a code of conduct to uphold the virtues of her society and defend it with her life. Nearly all cultures and races of Brittanis have their own variation on this theme (with two notable exceptions; see the note below), and each culture has slightly different values and codes of conduct for its warriors. Regardless of the subtle variations, the Chevalier is a member of that born-warrior caste, those who know from their earliest memories that their purpose in life is the defense and protection of their communities and the embodiment of the ideals of their culture. For some of the peoples of Brittanis, the Brittanic and Erin'Tar especially, the idea of the chevalier is tied to the noble class. Those who are born to wealth and have the time, equipment, and training to learn the warrior's art. The able-bodied children of these families are expected to, from the earliest possible age, learn the use of armor and martial skills of their people. Only those who show an aptitude for magic of one kind or another are exempted-- and some families have a storied tradition of battle-mages or fighting clergy as well. Chevalier (shuh--VAL--yay) is the Brittanic term for these noble warriors; the High Elves call them maernlyth (MERN--lith), which translates roughly to "defenders of the blade." For others, such as the Brynn, Norn, and Free Dwarves anyone can aspire to the ranks of the warrior caste, but they must prove themselves worthy first. Skill and desire, not birth or blood, determine entry to the ranks of these warriors. At some interval (usually every year, accompanying a festival, holy day, or other such large gathering), those who wish to join the ranks of the chevaliers (or their cultural equivalent) are tested. The means of this test varies from culture to culture and sometimes even neighboring settlements can have subtle or extreme variations on how these warriors are chosen; regardless, the result is the same. Those who succeed enter a period of intense training and initiation into the ranks of the chevaliers; those who fail return to their normal lives. Some cultures allow a person to attempt the testing more than once; others allow the applicant only one chance to prove their worth. For example, the Brynn allow a person to attempt joining the ranks of the Fianna once per year until they are 40 years old. Free Dwarves constantly struggle to preserve their culture amidst lives as refugees. Thus, the continuation of their warrior traditions is of utmost importance to them. The barak-colan (bear-ROCK coh-LANN) is seen as a holy duty, and any dwarf can join. The initiation and training phase is long and incredibly arduous, however, and many do not succeed. Those who do not quietly return to their previous lives and continue on as if they had never attempted to join at all. Norn are a warrior culture from start to finish-- their rites of challenge to become acarl (KARRL) -- which literally means "warrior"-- are long, complex, and both physically and mentally exhausting. Once the warrior has succeeded, they take on additional duties and can be called many things, such as: huscarl-- also called housecarl, a warrior sworn to defend a particular noble and his lands byrncarl-- a heavily armored warrior efencarl-- many carls can band together and mane themselves shield-siblings, referring to each other as efencarl ranncarl-- a soldier who fights on the vanguard, usually with a two-handed weapon; a breaker of the shield-wall The list goes on and on; this is a way for the many warriors of Norn culture to differentiate themselves from one another. Regardless of their race or ethnicity, a chevalier is required to uphold the social ideals of their people. They are required to believe in and behave as exemplars for those who look to them for protection and often for leadership. As such, while normal characters normally choose three Character Values, a chevalier must follow FOUR of these, as determined by their race or culture. Brittanic: Prowess, Justice, Defense, Nobility Brynn: Courage, Faith, Industry, Etiquette Norn: Prowess, Defense, Courage, Principle Free Dwarves: Prowess, Loyalty, Defense, Industry Erin'Tar: Industry, Prowess, Faith, Nobility Note: Khemri humans and Gael'Dar cannot take this Background. Their cultures simply do not have the same kind of ordered, traditional warrior castes. For the Khemri, each member of the clan is trained and schooled in the use of weapons and arms for the good of the clan; the Wild Elves in contrast are a society of hunters and stalkers, and their culture does not, as a whole, focus on the kind of stand-up fighting the Chevalier embodies. Tier 1 Arms-Bearer (0 CP, 0 Stamina; Battle) You have been trained and drilled in the use of your culture's fighting style. When using these weapons, your strikes are particularly powerful. When wielding a weapon from your race's Cultural Weapon list, you may make 2 melee or missile attacks for “X Damage by Heritage,” where X is the character’s Tier+1. Tier 2 Valiant Respite (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Day) You strike home against a foe and knowing that you are fulfilling your life's purpose renews your will to fight. Once per day, you can make a melee or missile attack with a weapon from you race's Cultural Weapon list for, "2 Damage by Heritage." If the attack hits and is not blocked, defended against, or otherwise negated, you can immediately call, "Refresh 2 Stamina to Self by Heritage." Tier 3 Bastion of Honor (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Burst, Day) You hold the line at all costs, dealing death to your foes and letting enemy formations crash around you like water from the rocks. You plant your right foot (burst keyword) and so long as you do not move that foot (pivoting is okay, but dragging it across the ground or lifting it ends the skill), your base melee or missile damage is increased by 1. This skill ends when you rest for any reason, use another called melee attack of any kind, or move your right foot for something other than pivoting.
Crown Guard During his reign as the Pendragon, High King Julius Ambrosius instituted a policy of mandatory military training for every able-bodied man and woman under his rule, from the lowliest peasant to the highest-ranking noble. During their training the best, brightest, and most skilled would be invited to enlist in the Crown Guard-- the standing army of the Pendragon. Today, two generations removed from High King Julius, only three kingdoms still require mandatory training-- Albion, Malagant, and Lyonesse. these three kingdoms each have their own separate forces, but all three nations still refer to their best soldiers as the Crown Guard. Some exceptional few even progress to become Crown Knights, officers in the King's Army. When they enlist, every single Crown Guard trainee goes through a grueling 6-month training course-- regardless of social status, for the nobles and commoners in the Crown Guard serve their basic training side by side without regard to their blood. They go through a grueling physical training regimen, as well as advanced training in weapons, armor and tactics. They learn military customs and traditions, and those who cannot already are taught to read and write. Those who begin the training phase with the required skills earn quick advancement, so the children of nobles who don't need the book-learning sometimes end the basic training phase as Yeomen. Once their initial training is finished, Crown Guards are assigned (based on aptitude tests at the conclusion of the basic phase) to specialty schools corresponding to the branch of the army they will be serving in. These branches are designated by color, and as a soldier increases in rank they wear stripes upon the sleeves of their clothing to show the rank they have achieved. All rank chevrons are worn pointing up, in the middle of the upper arm on each side. All rank insignai are in the color of the soldier's branch-- Infantry, Dragoon,Engineer, or Support (see below). Every Crown Guard starts his career as an enlisted Trooper. Once a soldier has attained the rank of Yeoman, he can attempt to obtain a knighthood and become an officer, referred to as a Crown Knight. NOTE: No player character can START play at a rank greater than Yeoman. Advancement can (and should) come through playing the game, and opportunities for doing so will be provided via plotlines and adventuring. Enlisted Ranks Trooper-- first rank in the Crown Guard, usually put in charge of civilian militias or organized into tactical units. Wears 1 chevron Yeoman-- typically in charge of several troopers, overseeing groups of militia in times of danger, or directly in command of a squad (6-8) of troopers. Wears 2 chevrons. Sergeant-- non-commissioned officer rank, usually in charge of an entire platoon (~50) of soldiers. A platoon is usually made up of several squads. Wears 3 chevrons. Most battlefield mages and/or healers are defaulted to sergeant rank (see below). First Sergeant-- senior non-commissioned soldier in a company (~100). In charge of the welfare of every soldier in his company. A company is usually made up of several platoons. The First Sergeant wears 3 chevrons with a diamond at the point of the chevrons. Sergeant Major-- senior non-commissioned officer in a regiment or battalion. Cavalry units call a grouping of companies a regiment; infantry and engineer units call a grouping of companies a battalion. Typically in charge of 300-1000 soldiers. Officer Ranks Once a soldier becomes a Yeoman and serves with distinction, he can petition to become an officer-- a Crown Knight. Yeomen candidates are required to have knowledge in advanced tactics, engineering for the battlefield, etc-- thus, nobles with access to formal education before enlistment outnumber officers from the common classes, but it is not an exclusive arrangement. Crown Knights are literally knighted by the King or a Crown Knight of high rank-- they are technically nobility in their own right, and those who survive their entire term of service (20 years) retire as lords, gifted with lands by the crown. However, in most situations, the non-military lords of a land have authority in most situations save those of military consequence. Thus, Crown Knights are looked down upon and given the nickname, "swordbloods" by those whose family, not military service, granted a noble title. The tension and conflict between the swordbloods and non-military nobles during times of war can be very great. Instead of chevrons, a Crown Knight wears a crown that sits horizontal to the soldier's arm in the same way as the chevrons of enlisted soldiers. Depending on the officer's rank, the crown might have additions or modifications to it. All rank insignia are in the colors of an officer's branch-- Infantry, Dragoon, Engineer, or Support (see below). Knight-Lieutenant: oversees a platoon. Wears a crown with a single horizontal bar underneath the crown. The Executive Officer in a company (second-in-command) wears a diamond on top of the bar in the center. Knight-Captain: oversees a company. Wears a crown with two bars beneath it. Knight-Major: oversees a task force or a group of companies (but not an entire battalion or regiment). Wears a crown with a shield beneath it. Knight-Colonel: oversees a battalion (infantry or engineers) or a regiment (cavalry). Wears a crown with a pair of crossed swords beneath it. Knight-General: oversees an entire army group of at least two battalions. Wears a crown with a single 5-pointed star beneath it. Branches There are three major branches in the Crown Guard, and a fourth pseudo-branch that exists scattered within it. Each branch is comprised of a particular kind of military unit, and even a soldier of a different function, when permanently assigned to a unit of that kind, will change the color of his rank insignia. For example, an infantry soldier (blue) who gets assigned to an engineer unit (red) would change his stripes at the first available opportunity. Unit color is determined at the company level, so even if a cavalry company (yellow) with three companies of cavalry soldiers has a platoon of infantry and a platoon of engineers to support the main combat force, that entire company would wear the yellow cavalry, because the UNIT is designated as cavalry. Infantry: soldiers who fight on foot, focused on heavy armor and weaponry. The largest and most numerous branch in the Crown Guards of Albion and Malagant. Dragoon: troops who go lightly armed and armored, focused on maximum mobility and shock value. The largest branch of the Crown Guard in Lyonesse. Engineers: specially-trained soldiers skilled in designing, building, and breaching fortifications, sieges and siege engines, bridges, etc. Support: This is the least-numerous branch of the Crown Guard by a massive amount, and is comprised of those with magical or technical skills that is most useful when added to a conventional unit. This branch includes battle-mages, druids and shamans of primal beliefs, clergy of various deities (Dagmar, Rhaine, and Ghorn most commonly), as well as "personnel elimination specialists," rangers, scouts and field guides. A character with this background gains their advanced skills depending on their Branch. Tier 1 Basic Training (0 CP) Your initial military training has hardened your mind and body and given you basic weapon skills. You gain a +1 to your base maximum Vitality and Stamina, and you gain one free Medium Weapon skill. Tier 2 Foot Soldier (Infantry) (0 CP) It takes a lot of endurance to march everywhere, in armor and weighed down with a heavy rucksack, for a living. Your base maximum Vitality is increased by +1 and your base maximum Stamina is increased by +2. Move Fast, Hit Hard (Dragoon) (0 CP, Battle) To you, mobility is everything. If an enemy stops you from moving, you're as good as dead. Once per battle, you can call, "Resist by Background" against a Slow or Root effect. I Fix Things (Engineer) (0 CP, Watch) Through extensive experience, you have become skilled at fixing things that are broken... and you also happen to be really good at breaking them, too. Once per watch, you can do ONE of the following: Touch an object that has the Destroy effect and call, "Cure Destroy by Background" to remove the Destroy effect. Touch an object and call, "Destroy by Background" Touch a suit of armor, spend 10 seconds of Activity time roleplaying fixing the armor, and call, "Refresh Armor by Background" Hard Target (Support) (0 CP, Watch) Spellcasters and other specialists on the battlefield often become "prime targets" because enemies want to finish you off first. You have learned to shrug off powerful enemy attacks, though the effort in doing is incredibly painful. Once per watch, when you take a Damage effect of 5 or greater, you can call, "Reduce to Agony by Background" and immediately take an Agony effect that cannot be negated or defended against in any way. Tier 3 Grizzled Veteran (Infantry) (0 CP) A career of leading foot soldiers has made you tough as the boot leather you march upon. Your maximum Vitality and Stamina are increased by 2. Always Ready (Dragoon) (0 CP) Cavalry must always be on their guard-- being stationary is dangerous, and being caught unawares is even worse. Once per watch, you can completely negate a backstrike attack by calling, "Resist by Background" Experimental Ordnance (Engineer) (0 CP; Event) You have been working on a special new kind of demolition technique. Each event, you gain 3 alchemical items that, when thrown, call, "5 Damage and Slam by Fire." You are the only one who can make these alchemicals work, and they expire at the end of the event. Note that the player is required to supply the orange packets for the alchemicals. No Time To Bleed (Support) (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) On the battlefield, a healer can't afford to use his time or energy to mend his own wounds, a battlemage is far more useful destroying enemies than bleeding out on the ground, and the scout is usually so far away from help that he has to be self-sufficient. Once per watch, you can take 5 seconds of activity roleplaying binding wounds, casting a minor spell, or just catching your breath. Then call, "Heal 3 to Self by Background."
You are the representative of someone-- a noble, guild, group, order, coven, council...or maybe something else entirely. Regardless of who sent you, they have an interest in what is going on elsewhere in Brittanis, and so they sent you. You are the eyes, ears, and hands of your patron(s) abroad. You learn all you can for them, and you carry out their will when you are given instructions. Sometimes the will of your patron will co-incide with your own desires, and sometimes not-- but you must remember that you represent them in everything you do. Those around you will believe that everything you do is sanctioned or even ordered by your patron. Tier 1 Letters From Home (0 CP; Information Skill, Downtime) Letters and written communication are the standard for you; expect to get some kind of communique from your patron on a regular basis, both asking for updates and information as well as delivering their instructions to you. You can use this skill to request information from your patron(s) as well. So long as the information requested is in their area, you can expect a reasonably accurate reply. Using the skill in this way costs 4 hours of Downtime. Tier 2 Patronage (0 CP) In return for your proven service, your patron sends you a stipend of cash. You receive 3x Tier in silver per event. This money is expected to be used for room and board as well as furthering the aims of your patron (bribes for information, buying supplies needed back home, etc). Tier 3 I Speak As My Master (0 CP) Your service has pleased your patron well; you now are their ambassador in the world. You speak with the voice of your master-- your word carries equal power to theirs. In addition, you can make 3 packet attacks per Watch for, "Silence by Awe," as you channel the inner strength of your patron.
Every hero starts somewhere, learns their skills somewhere. Even the greatest natural talent has to be honed and trained to greatness. For you, that time of training has recently ended and you have moved on towards your own destiny, but the lessons learned during your training will stick with you for a lifetime. They are as much a part of you as your blood and bone; your time learning the skills of your craft have made your tools part of yourself as well. Whether it be sword, wand, holy symbol or woods-lore, your time in training has shaped you into who you are today-- and it is with that knowledge, training, and power that you step into your own story. Journeyman is a broad-focus Background that can accommodate just about any character concept. It is designed to be versatile and useful, while providing background options for characters that are flexible and carry the weight of story with them. Being a Journeyman means that you have spent a great deal of time--years, most often-- learning the skills of your trade. Some important questions to ask are: What skills did I learn? (Stealth? Weapons? Magic, etc) What kind of place did I study in? (Formal academy? Tribe-style training with each teacher instructing their own specialty? Informal training group? One-on-one apprenticeship, etc) Who did I learn with? (Fellow classmates? Other trainees? Family members? Coming-of-age group of relatives? Solo studies with a mentor, etc) Who taught me? (Single instructor/mentor/teacher? Multiple teachers for different subjects? Family member teaching their specialties in a clan, etc) ) What was my relationship with my instructor(s)? (Like family, strict and regimented like a military academy? Adversarial? Replacing lost family, etc) What were the circumstances of my leaving? (For those who left early under bad terms, see the Renegade Mage and Deserter backgrounds) Tier 1 Learning the Basics (0 CP) One of your first lessons was a simple but basic technique that set you on the path to greatness. You gain 1 skill from the General Skills list or the list of your Source Skills (not from a Class). This skill must cost 3 CP or less. You must meet the Requirements of this skill as normal. Tier 2 Advanced Studies (0 CP) From time to time you go back to your studies and open new doors of knowledge, learning new techniques, skills, and tricks. You gain 1 skill from Your Source Skills or 1 Class associated with your Primary Source. This skill must cost 3 CP or less. You must meet the Requirements of this skill as normal. In addition, you may, during Downtime between events, assist another character in learning one of the skills you have already purchased. You must state the character you are assisting and the skill you are teaching in your PEL. Your assistance reduces the Downtime that character must spend on learning the skill by 1. You may assist up to 2 characters in this manner per Downtime. Tier 3 Teach Us, Master (0 CP) You are a master at your chosen vocation, and you are capable of adding to the skills of those who follow behind you. You can work with the Director to design a new skill to be added to your Source header list or any Class header list you have unlocked. You will have this skill as if you bought it, and that skill will go on the master list for the game. In addition, you may, during Downtime between events, assist another character in learning one of the skills you have already purchased. You must state the character you are assisting and the skill you are teaching in your PEL. Your assistance reduces the Downtime that character must spend on learning the skill by 2. You may assist up to 4 characters in this manner per Downtime.
You are a priest-- an anointed representative of an immensely powerful magical being of some kind. You might be a wandering priest, a tribal witch doctor, a sly infiltrator sworn to the Unseelie Court, or an empowered servant of a mighty dragon-- or maybe something else entirely. Regardless, your abilities have been enhanced by the magical power of your patron. Others may be Empowered by their patron, but you have trained, learned, and studied to learn the secrets of your patron's true power. You are more knowledgeable, more thoroughly prepared, and more focused in your service. You are a professional, and as such you are usually deeper in the confidences and plans of your patron as well. You are, after all, a proven and loyal devotee. Patron Options: White Court:Arturian,Aenryia, Aureus, Dagmar, Emrys, Ghorn,Liriel Three Sisters: Eldrea, Rhaine, Sarai Archfey (lords of Faerie) Primal Spirit (World Tree, Great Bear, etc) Other (email us if you have an idea for a patron! We'd love to hear it.) Tier 1 Empowerment (0 CP) You gain the 1st-level Tier 1 Empowerment skill for your patron for free. After all your study and training, you've certainly earned it. If you're a follower of the Three Sisters or the White Court, click the appropriate link in the list above to take you to the god/goddess's wiki page; their Empowerment skills are located there. Note: If you have an idea for a patron, let us know. Staff will need to build Empowerment skills for your patron! Tier 2 Patron's Magic (0CP) Your knowledge of your patron's power is deep and powerful. You unlock one Spell List from your patron's Minor list. You can now buy and cast spells from that list according to the Spellcasting rules. Tier 3 Devoted Servant (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Event) You can harness the power of your patron into a burst of energy that fuels you in battle. Once per event, you can perform a 1 minute ritual beseeching your patron for assistance, and call, "Refresh 5 Stamina by [Patron Name]."
Though the Arcanum in Rendayn appears on the outside merely a bastion of learning and education (and it is that), it also serves as a secret agenda of its own. Every single student of the Arcanum—whether they study magic, history, rhetoric, or any other subject—has their family lineage recorded for some undisclosed reason. Those who study magic give a vial of their blood to the Arcanum as well, again with no explanation given. Those who do not agree to these stipulations are forbidden from study. Additionally, every student of the arcane arts, at some point in their studies, must submit to the Harrowing, a test of magical ability and personal will that judges whether a mage is capable of resisting the temptations of the Otherworld and the extra-planar entities who would corrupt inexperienced mages and release their evil into the world. Those who study under Arcanum-trained mages outside the school itself are still subject to a Harrowing, administered by their master mage. Regardless of where they take it, everyone who desires to call themselves a Journeyman of the Arcanum must submit to the Harrowing. Those who fail the test are never seen again. Those who refuse the Harrowing likewise disappear. Instead of facing death, you left. You had studied at the Arcanum for years—long enough to learn the basics of magic, but for some reason the Harrowing was not an option. Family obligation forcing you to choose between the Arcanum and your family/clan? Did one of your friends die in the Harrowing? Refuse to take it and disappear forever? Did you learn some secret about the process and couldn’t reconcile that knowledge? Regardless of the reason, you left the Arcanum and ever since have been on the run from their hunters. It was surprisingly easy to leave—after all, who would flee the Arcanum, center of learning and enlightenment? By the time they knew to look for you, the ship carrying you to the mainland was long sailed, and you began life as a renegade mage. You barely remember the exhausting, frightened months of travel. Eventually you reached the heartlands of Brittanis and found that nobody asked about your past; those that did accepted the vague answers you provided. Only then did it occur to you to stop running and think about the future. You can never go back—those who flee the Harrowing are already assumed to have succumbed to the dark whispers from beyond the Veil of worlds. You will be slain if captured, there is no doubt. How do you live? Do you hide your magic? Pose as a graduate? Disguise yourself as a savage, those the Arcanum considers beneath them? How do you get by day to day? Tier 1 Dazzling Flare (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Spell) A bright flash of light causes your pursuer to stop long enough that you can escape. Make a packet attack for, “Short Paralyze by Light” Note: The incantation for this spell must be 5 syllables long and must comply to all spellcasting rules. Tier 2 Disappear (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Day, Spell) In a pinch, you can will yourself to vanish from sight to avoid a foe. Once per day you can become insubstantial to the real world so long as you do not move. This skill can only be activated in a location where there is no direct sunlight. Pay 0 points of Stamina, gather your cloak around you and call out "Imbue by Magic" to become a spirit. So long as you do not move, speak, or use any other game skill you gain the Spirit defense. You gain the Magic trait and the Spirit trait. Any attack that is "to Magic" or "to Spirit" will affect you and, if they are not beneficial, knock you out of Spirit form. Otherwise you will stay in spirit form until you choose to move or dawn comes. Tier 3 Mage Silence (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Spell) Those sent to capture or eliminate you are often fellow arcanists. You have learned a trick or two to give yourself an edge against them. Once per watch you can make 3 packet attacks for, “Silence by Background.”
You grew up on tales as old as Brittanis— gods and titans, heroes of the mortal races, knights and warriors and mages and priests. But you were also raised on tales of the most ancient empire of legend, the empire of magic and grandeur and power unlike anything mortals have known before or since. You were raised on the oldest stories of war and hubris—the stories of ancient Aquilon. As you grew and matured, the stories of Aquilon became more and more real to you, and eventually you decided to investigate the stories of ruins, artifacts, and fallen majesty. You mourned the loss of Aquilon like its fall had just happened, but that just increased the passion of your hunt. You seek the mysterious treasures and lost lore of Aquilon as if they are heirlooms of your own family. Who knows? Perhaps the reason you feel such a strong connection to the Empire Beneath is because somewhere in your ancestry is one of the refugees who survived the Breaking? Your search has not proven fruitless—far from it, in fact. The lore you have gathered and knowledge you have learned have proven (to you, if no-one else) that Aquilon had a more settled presence in Brittanis than sages previously thought. This means that ancient Aquilonian crypts, tombs, relics, and artifacts are waiting to be found—and you mean to be the one to discover them! Tier 1 Swallowing Waves (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Spell) You have learned to briefly conjure the dark, hungry waves that drank old Aquilon to the ocean’s bottom. Make 3 packet attacks for “Short Repel by Water.” Note: Use of this skill must comply with all the Spellcasting rules, and requires an incantation of 5 syllables. Tier 2 Drowned Lore (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Event) The magic of Aquilon was potent beyond modern understanding; you’ve learned a trick that lets you refresh your fighting spirit and energy. Once per event, you can call, “Refresh Daily Skills by Background” and refresh all skills which have the Day keyword. Tier 3 Secrets of the Deep (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) The final days of Aquilon are filled with mysterious and terrible secrets. It is known that the Magisters, mages of unparalleled power, violated their pact with the gods and tried to open the locked gate at the heart of Aquilon’s capital city; the secrets they unlocked drove every single Magister insane in a single instant. You harness some of that madness and inflict it on your foes. Make a packet attack for “Drain by Madness.”
This Background is focused towards those who move unprotected from place to place with regularity-- something dangerous and rave in the monster-haunted lands of Brittanis. These are the rovers, wanderers, explorers and those who journey through the wild in search of lore, treasure or glory. Many attempt it; precious few return, and even smaller is the number of those who decide to do it again. But you are such a one-- brave or crazy enough to embrace the perils of travel in these dark times. Tier 1 Whispers Of The Road (0CP) Your time on the road-- and in those place without roads-- has taught you much. You get any 2 Knowledge Skills (EXCEPT Military) for free. Tier 2 Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride (0 CP, Day) Your wanderlust is a powerful force within you-- it drive you to shake off any attempt to lock you in one place or keep you from moving. Choose Root or Slow when you get this skill. 3 times per Day, you can spend 3 seconds of roleplay shaking off the effect and call, "Purge [Chosen Effect] by Background!" and negate the effect. Tier 3 Ain't Nothin' Gonna Slow Me Down (0 CP, Day) Your ability to keep on moving is nearly supernatural now-- legends might be told of your feet and how they always move farther down the road. You call "Resist" against whichever effect you chose for Tier 2, and you can Purge the other effect as listed in Tier 2. Example: Micah is a Traveler, Tier 3. He chose Slow at Tier 2, so he can now call, "Resist by Background" against a Slow effect 3 times per day. He can also now spend 3 seconds shaking off a Root effect and then call, "Purge root by Background!" 3 times per day.
In the social ladder of Brittanis, there exists a small but growing group of folk who cannot neatly be qualified as Smallfolk or nobility. This new group is comprised of people skilled in a valuable trade (smiths, tanners, carpenters, stonemasons, etc) and those who deal in the goods produced by crafters (merchants, traders, teamsters, etc). These valued, often-wealthy folk are an anomaly in society, for they are often looked down upon by the nobility as upstarts while at the same time carrying tremendous influence in their local communities. Many times the Reeve, Elder, Mayor or other non-religious leader of a community is often a tradesman of some type-- they tend to be pillars of the community and their skills bring value to the communities they live in. As the name implies, Tradesmen (usually used as a gender-neutral reference despite the spelling) are those who deal with a skilled trade. Either directly as a producer of items and goods or indirectly as a merchant or distributor, the Tradesman has his fingers on the pulse of trade and his ear to the ground in his community. Her hands are agile, strong and make things of beauty or value that increase the status of her community and put food on her table or gold in her pockets. Villages and towns thrive or die by the quality of their tradesmen. Their influence in a community goes far beyond the wealth they often accumulate-- when there is only one smith in town, being the sole person able to make nails, tools or weapons is an incredibly powerful position to hold. The concept of a Guild or Merchant House is in its infancy in Brittanis, though there are a couple such economic powers in existence. In the south, a group calling themselves the Iron Circle has risen to prominence. They have grown from a group of metal-smiths who agreed to set standards for prices and quality into a conglomeration of interests who now have separate branches devoted to mine the ore they need, smelt it into usable metal, craft it into goods, transport the goods, and even a less-than-reputable mercenary group dedicated to guarding their shipments through the dangerous wild. Only time will tell if this idea of "corporation" will take off, but it certainly seems to have given the Iron Circle effective power equal to a noble house, if not greater.
Tier 1Skilled Trades (0 CP; 1 hrs Downtime)
- Skills from Crafting headers cost 1 less CP for you (minimum
- Each event you gain 4 points of Trade that can be used in place of Quintessence when using a Crafting skill. Each unused point of Trade can be cashed in by spending 1 hours of Downtime. Trade points cashed in this way is worth 5 silver shillings.
Tier 2Pillar of Trade (0 CP; Information Skill; 4 Hrs Downtime) You are a skilled at your craft, and the people of your community trust your judgement. Your influence often allows you to learn of the goings-on in your community. This is an information skill. Ask a specific question of staff in your post-event letter on a matter relating to the goings on in your home community. If gossip, rumor, or hearsay might be able to gain you the information, your chances of success will be greatly increased. The more specific the question, the more specific and useful the information gained is likely to be. Information is likely to be delivered at the next event in text form, though it may occasionally arrive in other ways. This skill costs 4 hours of Downtime. It may also attract the attention of others concerned with the subject matter of the gossip, so very dangerous subjects or sensitive information might carry some hazard, too.
- You gain 2 CP to be spent in any Crafting skill of your choice.
- Your Trade Points can now be cashed in for 1 gold piece per point. This still costs 1 hours of Downtime per point leftover.
Tier 3Who Rules Bartertown? (0 CP; 3 hrs Downtime) You are a master of your art; your influence in your community has grown along with your affluence. Now you trade not only in goods or services, but in favors and in power.
- You gain 4 CP that must be spent in Crafting skills. These skills cannot be spent all in the same header.
- You can ask two questions per Post-Event Letter using Pillar of the Community. Each question costs 3 hours of Downtime.
- You start with 6 Trade Points per event.
This background is for those who are currently a student at the Arcanum in the Erin'Tar kingdom of Rendayn. The school is the only one of its kind in Brittanis, dedicated to the study of academics and higher learning. The Arcanum began as a college of magic, but it has since evolved into something much greater. Today, every subject imaginable is taught at the Arcanum, and students of all races from all over Brittanis are educated there. Magic is still the primary subject for most students, but some come to learn history, economics, and ancient lore as well. A strict code of conduct comes along with admittance to the Arcanum; students must represent the school well at all times and send any knowledge gained back to the Arcanum for storage in the Great Library. Tier 1 Book Learning (0 CP) The basic education offered by the Arcanum is thorough; it teaches a great many subjects. You've managed to retain some of it, too. Choose any 2 of: Diagnose, First Aid, Knowledge (any Novice). Tier 2 Graduate Research Assistant (0 CP; Information Skill; Downtime) You have access via letter to the Great Library at the Arcanum. Its vaulted halls hold the greatest repository of knowledge in all of Brittanis. You can write a letter to the scribes there and ask a single question per Downtime. This skill costs 3 hours of Downtime, but the results are usually detailed and (somewhat) accurate. In addition, the 2 skills you chose from Tier 1 improve by 1 rank (Novice to Student, for example) or by 1 Purchase. Tier 3 Learned Master (0 CP) Choose 2 more skills from the list in Tier 1. You gain those skills at Novice/Apprentice rank. In addition, the 2 skills you chose from Tier 1 improve by 1 rank (Student to Sage, for example) or by 1 Purchase.