When we look back at our favorite RPG stories, it is not just the grand adventures that come to mind. Certainly there are impressive, even epic feats our parties have accomplished, victories and triumphs that warrant retelling. Yet equally memorable, if not more so, are the characters that made those events possible. We see this especially well in the high fantasy tales of Tolkien, Martin and Lewis. It isn’t just about destroying the One Ring, it is about Frodo Baggins. It isn’t just about claiming a birthright, it is about Jon Snow. It isn’t just about defeating the evil Witch, it is about Peter Pevensie.
So too, then, our greatest adventures are not about defeating the Arch Nemesis that emerges from the Void, it is about our Character! There’s no player that gets the fullest enjoyment from their role playing without first developing and becoming invested in their own character, their own contributions to the world. This is even more true when the party consists of sttentive and engaged players. The story will be both forever more memorable and immediately more enjoyable when you take an active hand in the writing, moving, even telling of the story.
To this end we are going to explore how we as players can tie our own PCs more intricately into the worlds they tread. What elements of the campaign setting are adapted to the character’s story, what motivations our characters have, how their flaws impact their decisions, right down to how a strong or favorite character can even evolve between chapters of a story, up to and including transitioning to new stories entirely. The hope of this article is to, by example, illustrate the benefits of developing a character, the merits of character investment, and the ways we can make an RPG more fun and engaging by taking a step into our roles more immediately.
For the purposes of this article we are going to follow the development of a Half-Elf Fighter named Victoria Steelsong, one of the favored PCs used by our own resident Game Master, Donald Lewis. You can join his Daily TwitterQuest by following @DonaldTheDM on Twitter, and also find updates there on Victoria’s current adventures. By way of example we will show how Victoria’s character fits into the ideas we will be discussing, and how to similarly mold your own characters.
Forging Your Character
Perhaps the first thing a player should consider before developing a character is how their character will impact party dynamics. Essentially we stand by the idea that you should play whatever character you are interested in, embracing it passionately and fully. If this means a party consisting of only melee focused Rogues and a lone Ranger, so be it! In principle players should play whatever characters they find interesting, following the ideas or concepts that are most striking or intriguing to them. That being said, it is worthwhile to consider your party dynamics before committing to a character.
In the case of our example, Victoria was developed in a four-player party that consisted of a Cleric, Wizard and Warlock. Taking this into consideration Donald opted to play a Fighter, which helped to better round out the group. Some consideration was also given to a Paladin or Rogue, but the decision was ultimately made to go heavy into melee since the rest of the group was well diversified into the various schools of magic.
It is relatively easy to say the class your character will be, with or without consideration to party balance, but a class does not a character make. To say that Victoria is a Fighter tells us nothing of how she will played, what governs her decisions, and how Donald will differentiate what she would do verse what he would do, which leads us directly to the next key point in developing a character; You are not your character.
When developing the idea of your character you should make an immediate distinction between the player and the character. Imagine yourself in a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as the titular role of Romeo. For you, the actor, to be convincing in your portrayal you must convey what Romeo would say, do or think to the audience. You must, in the telling of the story not play yourself on the stage, rather, play your character. So too with role-playing games. When you are playing your character you must make the crucial distinction between your own motivations and those of the role you are assuming.
Now, this is not to say the two cannot coincide, or even to suggest that they shouldn’t. You will find more enjoyment playing a character that fits with your own worlds view or ideologies. True, it can sometimes be enjoyable to take a step out of conventional norms or comfort zones and assume the role of a character very distinct from your own identity, giving you an opportunity to experience new challenges in ways you normally would not be able to given your own personality. However, as a rule of thumb you will find your character easier to play and easier to assume the identity of if you tend to agree with at least some aspects of what the characters chooses to do.
You should give consideration at this point to what it is that drives your character, in a sense what it is that makes them tick. We recommend taking a close look at the rules detailed in Fantasy Flight’s Edge of the Empire as well as Wizards’ Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition for some thought out and comprehensive ways of implementing your character’s ideals into a campaign. In particular you should look at your character’s Motivations, Duties, Obligations, Bonds, Traits, Ideals and Flaws. As a whole we are going to refer to these terms collectively as your character’s Personality.
Before we dive fully into these points though, we must make an additional note of consideration for the world’s Campaign Setting. You, and your fellow party members, should have a discussion before the game begins detailing the basics of the world you are about to enter. It wouldn’t due to generate a character skilled in horseback riding in a world where horses are herded by only the very rich, or to play an Dwarf in a world where their species is fully ostracized to the point of mobs attacking them on sight. It helps to know a thing or two about the sociology, political environment, history and geography of the area you are writing a character in to. You wouldn’t write Luke Skywalker into a Batman story, so too you wouldn’t write your own character into the wrong environment.
(Author’s Note: We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge that a Skywalker in Gotham would be perhaps the best portrayal of the Joker imaginable.)
Character Personality Breakdown
Motivations, in a broad sense, are the reasons behind why your character acts or behaves in a particular way. It is also a general reflection of your character’s deepest desires, their willingness to do something or to act for someone. In the case of Victoria her primary Motivation is to discover more of her Elven Heritage. Having been raised by her Human father in a Human town she only knew rumors and outlandish stories of Elvish tradition, retold too many times to be reliable. This is her driving force, her reason for exploring, truly it is her deepest desire. More than anything she wants to learn about who she is, who her family is, the history of her mother’s people and what it means to be a child of two very distinct worlds.
A Duty references your character’s moral and legal obligations, a list of actions or tasks that you are required to perform. In a general sense it is what you hold yourself responsible for, whether it is enforced by law, custom, theology or personal ethics. Victoria’s Duty stems from her father’s role as a former Officer in the local Garrison. She sees herself duty bound to defend the innocent, to oppose criminals, to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. When playing this character Donald often puts Victoria in what the party might consider compromising circumstance due to her personal obligation to take a stand for those in their kingdom most in need of a champion.
Obligations are a subcategory to Duty when considering character creation. Sometimes referred to as the Moral Imperative, think of your Obligations as the things your character can never say no to, or when forced to say no to it haunts them, nagging away at the back of their mind. Where Duty is what your character considers the right thing to do, Obligations are what your character must do. Victoria’s primary Obligation is to her Family, both Human and Elven. This is something she never could nor would compromise on. In fact, it is this very Obligation that ultimately proved devastating to her character when one of her relatives leveraged Victoria’s position as a Hero to incite an insurrection in the Kingdom. Ultimately this forced Victoria to choose between her Duty to her Kingdom and her Obligation to her Family.
A character’s Bond is their personal connection to the people and places of the world around them. This is why you are connected to your party, why you are connected to the people of the kingdom you’re in, and why you are in this kingdom in the first place. Now this isn’t to say that the bonds need to be positive or healthy, but it is to note your character’s personal attachment to the world around them.
Victoria’s Bond to her kingdom is one as a soldier and champion, as a folk hero to those around her. To the region she is an Arbiter of the Kingdom of Valondor, trusted with being the hands and eyes of the King himself. When she travels to neighboring lands her Bond does not change, but the perception of it does. In the Northern Empire of Tarseldant she is viewed as a figurehead of the oppressive warmonger to the South. In the far Eastern realm of Byrdania she is an ally of convenience, but also a reminder of the oppressive King that Byrdania struggled for independence from. Victoria’s bond never changes, but depending on where she is the roles her Bond has caused her to adopt does change how she is viewed and how the Bond is applied.
Traits reference your character’s most distinguishing qualities or characteristics. Qualities, distinguishing attributes and even certain personal properties fall under the idea of Traits. These can be physical, social or psychological, and depending on situation can be beneficial or hindering. Examples Traits might be written as being Aggressive, Easygoing, Relentless, Courageous, Reckless or Vigilant, just to name very few. A good way to do this is to examine your character’s highest and lowest Attributes Scores, and assign a Trait for each.
In Victoria’s case she has a high Dexterity, but a low Wisdom. Due to her affinity to Dexterity she has the Trait called Acrobat, reflecting how light she is on her feet, her keen sense of balance, her love for dancing and even her affinity for dodging blow in combat. It also is a nod to the graces bestowed on her from her Elven bloodline. However, her low Wisdom is indicative of how Humans are a younger species and less inclined to the magical disciplines. To this end she has a Drawback called Spell Vulnerability. Despite the affinity Elves have for spellcraft Victoria is exceedingly susceptible to magic cast against her, both due to her purely tactile grasp of the world and her general poor inclination to the deeper mysteries of the universe.
An Ideal is what your character sees as a strong, formed and molded opinion based on life experience or circumstance. This isn’t strictly something that can be interpreted as a personal stand point, though it is a reflection of something your character chooses to personally hold to. Ideals are neither firmly positive nor negative, they are rather the product of encountering the world around you. Generally an Ideal coincides strongly with your Alignment, as a reflection of how you address the world at large, a way you respond to the environment around you. Strong examples might be Responsibility, Independence, Faith, Power, Free Thinking or Logic.
Victoria holds to the Ideal of Freedom. She believes that all people, especially those of her own Kingdom, should not be shackled by oppression or abused by the rich and powerful. Everyone has the right to their own destiny regardless of their economic circumstance or class of birth. Further, she is a child of two world, the social cities of the Human realms and the free expanse of nature that is the domain of Elven-kind. Her Kingdom is her home more than any one building or town, and she travels candidly. She holds to this Ideal for better or worse, standing for those in need of Freedom and preferring the unfettered call of the breeze.
Perhaps most important to forging your character is choosing your Flaws. By definition a Flaw is a mark or fault that somehow mars a substance, object or person. This takes the form of imperfections, weakness, defects and even personal failings. These can be intentional, products of circumstance, or stem from plain rotten luck when you were born. In Victoria’s case her most glaring Flaw is that she is blindingly Naive. She is far too idealistic and trusting, seeing only the good in those around her, even redemption in the eyes of enemies who would just as soon stab her as seek to change. She holds so highly to her Ideal of Freedom, so truly to her devotions to her Kingdom that none are beyond aid, none beyond a second chance, and to be truly Free others must be given the chance to speak and stand by their words and actions.
Now an important note on considering your character’s Alignment. You can either build your character’s Personality in light of the chosen Alignment, or vice verse. Since an Alignment is in essence the two-word summation of your character’s moral and ethical inclinations it is important that your Personality and Alignment are complimentary. Generally we find that if you develop your character’s Personality first the Alignment will follow naturally. However, say your party were to consist of entirely Good Aligned PCs, it may behoove you to make a point of rolling a complimentary character, or at least one that can come off as complimentary. Victoria is generally of a Neutral Good inclination, seeing the best in people and hoping for the best for her Kingdom.
Characters Across Multiple Campaigns
If you enjoy the character you’ve rolled there’s no reason you can’t reuse the character in successive campaigns. It can be fun to roll new characters, adopt new roles, experience other perspectives, but equally fun to return to a beloved character time and again. Victoria has appeared in two campaigns so far, once in Pathfinder as a Level 6 Free-Hand Fighter/Level 4 Duelist, Mythic Level 2, then more recently as a Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Level 7 Champion Fighter. Though her Personality was largely unchanged between the campaigns, certain aspects of her character needed to be reforged to fit the games. In this section we will discuss some of those changes, and how to better mold your character to a particular campaign.
In the aforementioned Pathfinder Campaign the Game Master made an important distinction that certain Elves were Cursed for all generations, called the Forsaken Elves. Due to magical blasphemies long ago they are marred physically, even down to their souls. These Elves were forsaken by all, even their own kind, and generally lived lives as outcast wanderers at best, slaves at worst. Victoria’s mother was one of these outcast Forsaken Elves, and it was unheard of for any Human to even associate with these cursed beings, let alone take one into their home from out of compassion. Bearing this in mind Victoria was rolled with a Pathfinder Feat called Pass For Human. For all intents and purposes whenever Victoria is in a predominantly Human area she is physically indistinguishable from Humans despite being a Half-Elf.
On the one hand this could be considered a waste of a very valuable Feat slot. One might argue that this is something that could be role-played around and results in a less optimized character. However, we are of the opinion that Feats, Skills, Attributes and other aspects of the Character Sheet should be molded around a character’s Personality, and not the other way around. True, you should roll that character you want to play, and optimizing stats are a part of this, but it is also important to integrate your character into the story, and that means into the world. In this case Donald felt it was worthwhile to take the Pass For Human Feat to better integrate Victoria into the campaign setting, and tie her more closely to her Human upbringing, despite this leaving her a Feat behind other Fighters as it were.
We must note though that your character must abide to the rules of the Campaign you are embarking upon, and that means there’s a certain point where your stats may not fully align with the idea of your character. In Pathfinder Victoria was a Dexterity Based Fighter, taking several optimized Feats to supplement her Melee Damage at higher levels. As a Free-Hand Fighter she fought with a single-handed light Rapier, leaving her offhand open, which in games terms functioned effectively as a Shield so long as it remained empty.
This doesn’t really translate well to 5th Edition, so certain concessions were made. Her primary stat became Strength in Dungeons and Dragons, and she opted to carry an actual Shield into combat. Now, this is where some player interpretation comes into the rules. The idea behind Victoria was always that she favored Dexterity over brute Strength, in reflection to her Elven lightness of foot and affinity for acrobatics. Her 5th Edition Attacks all follow the letter of the law for Strength Based sword blows, however, they are described in terms of Dexterous precision. For example, her Strength Score of 18 yields a +4 Bonus to Attack Rolls and Damage, but rather than describing the blows as crushing or brutal Donald describes them as particular, deliberate and specific. Though the attack is Strength based, it is described in terms of Dexterity.
Similarly, in Pathfinder Victoria relies on Dexterity and Dodge Feats to avoid Damage, wearing only Light Armor. In 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons she wears Full Plate Armor. Again, Donald follows the letter of the rules and plays his character accordingly, but role-plays in terms identifying with Victoria’s character. Even though her High Armor Class is attributed to the Shield and Armor, Donald will more often describe a near miss by an enemy in terms of a fortuitous dodge or deftly blocking the blow with the Shield, much as he would describe the Victoria from Pathfinder as deftly redirecting a blow with her free hand.
The takeaway here is to understand that you can play your character in certain terms while also adhering to the rules. Victoria’s Skill scores or Attack Rolls don’t change depending on how they are described, rather, they are subject to the rules being used. She is always depicted as being of a lighter frame and described in terms of good balance, even though on paper her numbers are vastly different between systems. Most Game Master would, and should, be generous in allowing you to describe your character’s actions, so long as they remain reasonable. So long as you follow the rules of the game you should have some reasonable room to describe how your character aesthetically performs in the game.
Make a point of speaking to your Game Master as an aside about some of your interpretations before the game begins to ensure that what your intents are can be understood, and to allow the GM or DM some room to help you implement them. One Game Master suggested to Donald that, since Victoria is aesthetically Dexterity based, he could describe her using a crowbar on a chest as leveraging the right angle with precision as opposed to using brute Strength, even though it was strictly a Strength Roll with Advantage in mechanical 5th Edition game terms.
However, that same Game Master made the point that even if Victoria was described as Dodging Blows, mechanically she was actually physically taking blows on her Armor, which does affect the quality of the equipment. Even if the loss of Hit Points is described as fatigue from near misses over absorbed blows by sheer bodily power, it is important to note that a mace striking Victoria in the back is very different from ducking under the blow, even if both are translated as a loss of Hit Points. Be sure to listen to your Game Master’s input, as they are the referee of the game and interpreter of the rules. Ultimately decisions are theirs to make for the sake of the game, and players are obligated to concede that point. That being said, we believe you’ll find most Game Masters are incredibly amicable when you come to them to work with them, rather than turning a disagreement into an argument.
You’ll find that your favorite characters are ultimately going to be the ones you put the most time into developing the Personality of, and implementing in games consistently. There’s no reason you can’t make your character somewhat ridiculous or unique in addition to being thought out and memorable. A character that comes to mind is the Barbarian Sir Howl, who has also been translated from Pathfinder to 5th Edition.
Sir Howl is played by Donald’s cousin and his back story is, to say the least, absurd. He claims his parents were a Wolf and a Mountain (A very literal made-of-rock Mountain). He has an absolute hatred of Dwarves who are, as he describes it, slowly murdering his Father by mining out his insides. This is the same character that once carved a compass into a wooden rowing boat to ensure he was going the right direction. On another occasion he believed himself to be invisible when he was very visible, due to the party’s Wizard yelling out, “You can’t see us because we’re invisible you idiot!” In the case of Sir Howl we see that it is possible to play a functional low Intelligence character in a very fun and memorable way while still being true to his Personality. All absurdity aside, Sir Howl is one of the most effectively played Barbarians we’ve ever had in a gaming group, and certainly not an adversary to stand in the way of!
More to the point, Sir Howl highlights the most important aspect of any character, and any role playing game. The experience should be a fun one! It isn’t enough to make a thorough well developed character, nor to write a detailed backstory, you have to also be able to enjoy the game is a tactile sense. There is enjoyment in the writing, enjoyment in the playing, but ultimately the most enjoyment stems from time well spent in the company of friends.
Have you ever recycled a character between campaigns? How, or did, that character change between the telling of the stories? What aspects of the rule sets to you interpret in different aesthetic senses? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts, and always remember the cardinal rule of any game!
Victoria’s Back Story
(The following is the Back Story Donald wrote for Victoria at the onset of the Pathfinder Game she was created for.)
I have my mother’s eyes.
That’s what father always told me growing up. I think it made the long days of work easier on him when I came home and he saw my eyes. He always smiled, a soft genuine smile. So tired, so kind…
I never met my mother. I must have asked father a thousand times to tell me about her, who she was, where she was from. He would always smile and look off, as if trying to make out some speck on the wall. His expression always softened when he spoke of her, like he was remembering a beautiful flower in spring while he stood in the dead of winter. He wouldn’t tell me much when I was little, he only described her in simple terms, terms a child could hold to and understand.
She was the kindest woman he had ever met. He never did say how they met exactly when I was little, but he did tell me he knew he loved her from the first time he saw her eyes. She was quiet, and didn’t like the company of strangers or crowds. He didn’t tell me why, not at first. Rather, he told me of how soft spoken she was, how her thin lips formed a perfect smile and how her silvery hair would catch the moonlight just so. I wish I had that silver hair, but my father’s black full locks are precious to me as they are. My hair can’t shine like my mother’s did, but in the right light I’ve been told I’m beautiful too.
My father used to be a soldier. He never served in the wars, he was always in the garrisons. Even so accidents can happen. His leg healed, mostly, you can’t even see the scars unless you know where to look, but he can’t hide the limp so well. I found out later he met my mother shortly before his accident. He began work repairing armor straps and the like for the garrison when he could no longer hold his post. He eventually saved enough to open his own small smithy some years before I was born.
My first memories are playing while father worked. I was young, and didn’t notice how hard it was on him to stand all day, working the fire, hammering at his anvil. I would swing sticks and poke at the ash, pretending to be like the soldiers who came to him for their repairs. Father knew everyone in the garrison, so he never had to worry about finding work, and his friends were always kind to me. One man, I don’t recall his name, gave me my first sword. It was an old fencing foil, not even pointed, bent awkwardly in the middle. Rather than melt it down father gave it to me. I couldn’t care less if it was crooked and no use for real swordplay. It was perfect.
When father’s friends came to visit, after the day’s work was done, we all got a great deal of amusement practicing with my foil. They would smoke their pipes by the fire, lean forward in their chairs and laughing kind heartedly correct my stance and nudge my guards. That was the happiest time of my life.
As I grew older I changed as all girls do, but not quite in the same ways. I had always noticed the slight point on the top of my ears when I was little. I used to pretend to be an Elf as I ran through the woods just outside our town. But as I grew so too did the points, becoming much more refined, much more noticeable when my hair was pulled back. I didn’t think much of it, lots of girls have odd shaped ears, and I really liked my points. It made me feel magical, like I was in a fairy tale.
Then something else changed. The first time I noticed my markings, my stigma the merchants called it, I was bathing in the nearby creek. I thought the midday shadows were playing on my skin through the leaves casting odd shapes. But the shapes started to move with me, and over the weeks grew more visible. The shaped markings curved from my knees down and around my legs, up my right side and around my back and a small circle around my neck. They were colored no darker than a birthmark, and except for the size and complexity were otherwise not that unremarkable. I didn’t think much of it at first, but since birthmarks aren’t very appealing to younger men I covered them up. I wouldn’t say it was out of self-consciousness or even to fit in. I just didn’t want that handsome baker’s son across the way to lose interest before I had even made my move.
I remember the first time I saw a Forsaken Elf. I had only heard of them in passing from father’s friends, they never spoke of them around me except in whispers. I know why now.
I watched as that old Forsaken Elf went through the market. His traveling garb was so worn, he must have come a long way. His coins were strange but the vendors accepted them reluctantly. All the kind merchants I had grown up with looked at him with eyes of disdain I had never seen before. As I walked home I heard the sounds of fighting up the street. I turned and saw a group of men beating the old Forsaken Elf, whipping him with sticks, calling him all sorts of foul things. I ran inside and told my father. His face paled. He locked the door and closed the shop. I had never seen father close the shop during the day before. He suddenly looked older as he asked me to sit with him by our mantle.
He spoke to me in a shaky voice, and he kept apologizing for not telling me sooner. My mother was a Forsaken Elf, a wanderer like the one I had just seen. She had no money and the clothes on her back were tattered from her own long journey. Father and his closest friends were walking home after their watch one night when they came across her. Father noticed down an alley a pair of big men, drunkards, brawlers, harassing a woman. My father’s men paused to listen and heard their lewd comments and suggestions, the things they would demand of her just for a small piece of stale bread. Father didn’t take kindly to that.
He didn’t know she was a Forsaken Elf until after those brutes had run off, leaving only a trail of broken teeth and blood behind them. He saw my mother, disheveled and shivering. He admitted that he, much to his shame, hesitated before helping her further. Our town never had taken kindly to non-humans, and Forsaken Elf were particularly not trusted. But, looking in her eyes, he saw past what she was, saw the starving worn woman, and took her into his home.
As the days passed she recovered under my father’s care. It was just as she was recovering when my father suffered his accident, or should I say his accident found him. Those two brutes were waiting for him when he got off shift one night. They broke his leg horribly before his friends could run back and stop them. Father didn’t tell me what happened to those thugs, but I know anyone who hurts a member of the garrison is never seen in town, or heard from, again. Frankly whatever their fate, it’s what they deserved.
My father opened his shop not long after that and mother helped him keep it as he recovered. They grew to love each other during that time, and for years built a life together. The town never gave my parents much trouble despite mother’s heritage. Father’s connection to the garrison quickly dissuaded anyone who asked too many questions or paid too much attention to them. I’m also sure now that what happened to those brutes may have been mentioned to any townsfolk that thought to give my parents trouble. Father stopped and smiled there, saying the happiest day of his life was when mother told him she was expecting me.
Father grew solemn as he told me how they didn’t know that there could be certain complications when two species interbreed. They knew there would always naturally be the chance that something could go wrong, but nothing like this. Mother must have been in a great deal of pain the last months of her pregnancy. The midwife told father it’s a wonder she made it to term at all. She died giving birth to me. Father couldn’t tell me more about it. He fell silent and trembled slowly, quietly. He never said anything more about what went wrong, and I didn’t ask. It was too painful, and besides, it was enough for me to know the life they had together.
When I was born I looked as human as any other little girl, and father considered it a miracle that not only I survived my mother’s ordeal but that my skin did not bear the stigma of the Forsaken Elves. Now that I am older it seems my Elven blood wants to make itself more known. Not that I mind of course. My mother was a beautiful woman, and her blood is just as beautiful in me.
I don’t know what happened to that poor old Forsaken Elf I saw in the market, but after that day, knowing the truth about my heritage, I felt compelled to learn more. I could get no reliable information in my home. The townsfolk, though kind to father and me, knew very little of the Elves beyond stereotypes and proper slurs. No one had even heard of a Half-Elf in my home, let alone a Forsaken-Half-Elf . That wasn’t enough for me. I had lived among humans my whole life. I wanted to know about my mother’s people, and what these markings really mean to me, and what it means to be of two ancestries.
Father was very opposed when I told him I wanted to travel, to meet other Forsaken Elves, to learn their story. He warned me that the world beyond our town would not be so kind to someone of my, ‘disposition’ he called it. Father was always so sweet, trying to be gentle when speaking of mother’s heritage. I couldn’t stay though, I had to know more. I knew that Forsaken Elves are travelers, wanderers in this region, maybe it’s the Elven blood in me that compelled me to leave, to seek answers. Where was their home? Why do they wander from it? Why are they so harshly treated by humans?
Before I left father gave me my first real rapier, so sharp and keen, and I have fortunately only needed to use it a precious few times since leaving. All those years of playful foil work seem to have paid off. I’ve found I’m decently good with swords compared to most other travelers. You should have seen the look on that pickpocket’s face when I slashed his dagger from his hand and cut his belt in front of the whole bar, leaving him to flee outside in his drawers. I kept that dagger. I feel like I earned it, a trophy of my first real fight.
It’s been almost a year now since I began my wanderings. I’ve met many kind people, humans and Forsaken Elf alike, and many who were not so kind. I’ve gotten some answers, but it still feels like I’m missing a piece of my story. I need to write father again when I make it to the next town. He made me promise I’d write him every town I reached in my journeys. I heard rumors the next town down the road is getting their own garrison soon and a festival is planned. I’m sure that will give me plenty to write to father about there. A festival will also be a good chance to show off and perform the new moves I’ve been practicing and earn a few extra coins.