I thought it might be interesting to detail the events of our ongoing Spelljammer campaign here on the blog. So this is that then! Today I will be sharing the character backstories as written by the players, Brandon, Nicole, Cora, Dale, and Jack, along with some of my thoughts on each character. Enjoy!
Isaac Lothfort – Human Rogue
The son of the infamous Pirate Captain Cornelia “Devil’s Hand” Lothfort, Isaac grew up in the primary care of his aunt while his mother was chasing after the rarest treasures the world had to offer. Any time she would return home he would listen to her tales of the adventures she and her crew with rapt attention, and dreamed of one day joining them.
Isaac was born sickly. As a young child he was constantly bed ridden, some days unable to even feed himself. Thankfully, due to his mother sparing no expense (or bounty on her head) to pay for treatments and medicine, he began to recover. He would never be as strong or hardy as others, but he would live.
Growing up he spent his time assisting his aunt in her alchemy shop. He quickly disovered a talent in haggling, and took over the storefront for her. His mother also arranged for the best tutoring for him. He figured that even if his body would never be strong enough, he could train his mind.
When he was 16, however, his mother dissaperead, with no sightings of her or her ship. All Isaac had to remember her by was her rapier and a compass, gifts for his birthday, each engraved with her ship’s Jolly Roger.
He eventually signed on with a ship captained by a friend of his mother’s, who had retired from pirate life long ago in favor of becoming a simple merchant. Isaac learned much from the old pirate, from swordplay and ship routine to the less than legal arts of burglary and lockpicking. He even managed to pick up a few minor magic tricks from a wizard who had booked passage once.
Wanting to put his abilities to the test, and desperate for that spark of adventure that had captivated him listening to his mother’s stories as a boy, Isaac began pulling off various heists whenever they would reach port. Minor things to start, a necklace, a ring, etc. Eventually he graduated to bigger and more heavily guarded items. He would usually avoid attention, but there were a few times that caught him at odds with the local guards and constabulary. Thankfully he was a master of talking his way out of (and in to, sadly) situations, and he never saw the inside of a jail cell for anything more than a drunken tavern brawl a time or two.
He still searches for clues about his mother, and has grown increasingly wistful for the life he dreamed of as a boy, one full of grand treasures and adventures.
DM notes- Although Isaac is the captain of a very sketchy pirate crew, Brandon built him with a good alignment and absolutely plays him that way. This makes for interesting game-play since Isaac seems to take a more romanticized view of piracy than everyone else. Perhaps Cornelia only told him stories of the ship battles and the adventure, but spared him the more seedy details of pirate life. It will be interesting to see if Isaac is able to maintain a high moral code throughout the campaign especially as he discovers more information about what really happened to his mother.
Crimson Mystia – Gnome Wizard
Mystia was a black sheep from a young age in Gnome society due to her insistence of asserting her gender identity, and rebellion against the idea gender is determined by Gnomesomes. She began studying magic in secret with cultists, rejecting her technological heritage, until she had learned enough to flee Gnome society leaving burning buildings and parents turned into newts.
Mystia used her new freedom to transition as well as tweak her appearance some to match the new moniker she would give herself, Crimson Mystia. She decided she would make her name one known and feared everywhere. She began working her way through the criminal underworld before meeting a crew of pirates and hearing about the Pirate Queen. Mystia joined the crew and vowed she would one day hold that title and command a pirate armada from her throne.
DM notes – Crimson Mystia acts as first mate for the Spelljammer, but Nicole plays her with clear desires to one day be captain of the crew. Crimson serves Isaac and the rest of the party only because it fits her agenda. Besides being duplicitous and possibly slightly unhinged, she is anti-technology and definitely anti-gnome. These two traits will be put to the test by her relationship with Panifan, a malfunctioning Autognome who believes that it is a real gnome.
Elianna Dritch – Human Cleric
Elianna had a very happy childhood growing up in a traveling fleet of small run-down ships with her family. Jethro Dritch, her father and a priest himself, had trained Elianna and her two older sisters, Lockett and Nessa, as clerics from a young age. Her family and several dozen others who populated the small fleet were members of a cult called the Reapers of the Black Sun, worshipers of black holes, chaos, and entropy.
The Reapers are amiable people who feel that free will is of paramount importance, that the chaotic forces of nature are evidence of the chaotic nature of the human spirit, and that both should be embraced. This belief has not made them especially popular in most societies, so they never stay in one place very long. They travel across the universe, supporting themselves however they see fit. Sometimes this means manual labor, such as picking crops during the harvest season of a local planet. Sometimes this means assassination, sabotage, or arson for hire.
Recently, the Reapers accepted a job to take over a strange castle on a small remote planet. The operation went well until they went to collect payment, when they were attacked shortly before dawn by a group of bizarre creatures. After waking up on a strange ship, heavily wounded, all that Elianna can remember are long claws and screaming. Now she is trying desperately to find her father and sisters.
DM notes – Elianna is played by Cora and was built using the Cleric: Death Domain villain class option from the DMG. Because Elianna gains her divine magic from worshipping black holes, chaos and entropy she is able to maintain access to these powers in all of known space. Besides being the healer and occasional Spelljammer of the group, Elianna has another unrevealed aspect to her character unknown even to her. This will be brought into the light at some future point in the campaign and tie together with the location of her family.
Karrios Es-Thalgar – Minotaur Barbarian
Karrios Es-Thalgar hails from a clan of outland minotaurs, cut off from the organized ranks of the Sea Reavers of Krynn. Worshipers of the migratory pods of killer whales that passed by their islands every Spring and Fall, the minotaurs of Thalgar were efficient pirates on a small scale, preying on ships that strayed too far from the shipping lanes from outrigger canoes.
At least, they were, until his small tribe was abducted in its entirety by a passing neogi vessel in search of new sources of energy for their Lifejammers. Thinking the Thalgar tribe represented a rich new resource, they were rapidly (and magically) subdued and transported aboard the arachnids’ ship.
Karrios watched as the members of his tribe succumbed, one by one, to the drain of the Lifejammer; slipping his bonds by chance, the onetime seafarer hacked his way through the alien crew, only to find himself the sole survivor of his tribe.
Too far from Krynn to find his way back, Karrios quickly found himself returning to the predatory ways of his people among the pirates plying their trade between the spheres.
DM notes – Karrios was built by Dale using rules introduced in the Waterborne Adventures Unearthed Arcana. Dale also made some tweaks to the Path of the Totem Warrior by adding the Orca as a Totem Spirit for the barbarian. Karrios is the tank of the party equally proficient at kicking down doors or splitting enemies in half with his giant axe. Karrios definitely has an axe to grind (pun absolutely intended) with the Neogi who enslaved him. We will have to see how that plays out in the future.
Oskarr Greenbeard – Dwarf Druid
Oskarr Greenbeard had always been more fond of the natural world in which he lived than the treasures that could be mined from it. This made him a misfit within his clan. As the years went by and Oskarr matured, it became obvious that his interests in flora and fauna weren’t merely a passing phase, and the others started seeing him as untrustworthy rather than simply peculiar. Besides, aside from his innate skill for brewing, he was useless in dwarf society. He decided to leave for the surface world before he was forced into exile.
Ah, the surface! Oskarr loved his new home, but quickly found that he was unequipped for life in the wild. He struggled to trap small game. He didn’t know how to set up shelter and spent several nights sleeping under the rain. During the sickness that followed, he added injury to injury when he poisoned himself on a dinner of berries. Dehydrated and nearing death, he was chanced upon by a circle of wood elf druids. They rescued him and nursed him to health, and took such a liking to him that they let him stay, teaching him how to survive in the natural world, and eventually how to alter and control it through druidcraft.
Unfortunately, he had chosen the worst possible time to come to the surface. While he was learning all of his new skills, a terrible war was brewing between the dwarven clans underground. Many of the most lucrative mines were now depleted, leaving the clans scrabbling for new territory and better machinery to locate new sources of raw materials, for their own infrastructure as well as for trade. The traditional ways of dwarven noble rule had started to fall, and as the strongest fighters and most ingenious inventors gained power, the battles for land became increasingly brutal while the machinery used to fight and to mine grew increasingly more technichal and impressive.
Morghenn Osidion, a prominent weapons engineer, was frustrated by perpetual war and appealed to any god who would listen for a solution. When help was offered, she was quick to accept. She created a new device with help from her new divine mentor and named it Armistice. And stop the wars it did. The soil was poisoned and the entire world blighted, and all who could flee the planet did so, as survival became all but impossible. Oskarr was among the many refugees.
In the infinite void of space, Oskarr felt awestruck at every new thing he saw. Experiencing the full extent of nature’s beauty for the first time, he found his true calling as a druid. The nature of the universe wasn’t specific to plants and beasts: all sorts of life, unimaginable sorts, were possible. All the rules of his old home did not exist in the new one. Space, gravity, and time itself were malleable. Realizing he didn’t have to have a green thumb to venerate the natural order, he set off on a new path.
Before long, however, he found himself haunted by the loss of his home world and overcome with fantasies of
vengeance justice. His anger led him to drink, drink led him to debt, and debt led Oskarr to piracy.
DM notes – Oskarr, played by Jack, is probably one of the oddest choices of characters I have seen (even among the menagerie of odd characters in this party): a dwarf druid that was forced to flee his natural environment and found his true calling in the void of space. He is basically a space hippie. Oskarr has so far served as the main Spelljammer for the party. His fascination with space will definitely be put to the test as the party encounters weirder and wilder dangers among the stars.