A good friend invited me to join a Dungeons & Dragons campaign a few months ago, set in the Hollowrim Archipelago.

[A knowledge of classic fantasy such as Lord of the Rings or the Dungeons & Dragons setting is helpful but not necessary] 

The story here will follow the trials and tribulations of my character Taman Galanodel, a half-elf bard whom you’ll soon learn has an alter ego and a rather disturbing past.

This is all linked to his back story, which I present in my character concept below:

Half-elf Bardic spy – working for the Cult of Ptah

Birth name – Taman Galanodel, but usually goes by a pseudonym to protect his identity, currently 'Raef Talwyn'.

Age 29, 5’11” tall, blue-green eyes, light brown hair (long and straight), mostly wears drab brown travelling clothes, but keeps more dressy wear for court attendances, so that he’ll be less displeasing to sight n smell. Raef plays the dulcimer, flute and sings.

He also keeps a hooded cloak for travelling and more ‘stealthy pursuits’.

History:

Taman’s young human mother Teela, was enthralled by the voice and presence of Taman’s father – Thamior Galanodel, when his troupe passed through her little town, Uswick on Marasir Island.

After the troupe moved on, she found herself with child and shamed. Her initial instinct was to seek out the troupe and Thamior to raise him together, but her family pressured her to seek the priesthood for help instead. She became a devotee and her child Taman, was raised by the Priesthood of Ptah.

Taman’s natural charm and skill with instruments shone through from an early age, as if somehow bestowed upon him from his absent father. He also had his father’s mischievous streak however and the church saw fit to use this for their other interests, in the Cult of Ptah.

They trained him to use his charm to beguile and enthrall so that he might steal secrets from, or assassinate the enemies of their church. Taman became quite adept in his task, using the network of contacts and travelling far and wide. But after a time he too followed in his father’s footsteps, charming a young devotee of the church, one promised to her God.

Taman however chose to steal Mara, Daughter of Ptah, away from the Temple at Coral Palace on Weroth Island, so they could attempt to raise a family.

He used his skills to travel far away, yet still using the network of contacts to pick up the odd job, for he carried the symbol and knowledge of the secrets of his order.

Unfortunately his family were a burden to his career, making his movements sluggish and more predictable. He made a mistake on one of his jobs and they were discovered at Rava Hes in Stepstone Bay and murdered by a group of hired thugs. He’d lost his love, a Illuskan beauty Mara and their daughter Kethra, of only 3 years.

Deacon Malcer at Rava Hes knew of Taman’s path up until leaving with Mara. He resents that theft and remembers.

In his rage he spent the next few months tracking down the thugs and their employer. Two of the thugs were relatively local and unskilled. They were easily dispatched and provided the other names he required. The employer was easily found; the family of his ‘target’ some months earlier. Taman slipped into their family home and slew the entire Pashar household in their sleep.

He couldn’t find the Master-at-arms, who’d led the attack on his own family. Somewhere the Damaran, Grigor Bersk still roams, awaiting his doom.

In the aftermath Taman realised how he’d done just as evil a deed as his target’s family by killing them all in that bitter retaliation. He swore never to kill innocents again unless his own life depended on it.

After a few more years of doing the same work and rethinking all those jobs before, Taman has had a moral awakening and decided, “It’s time to find a way out…….”

Rights/Wrongs:

  • Look after those close to you.
  • A dangerous foe should be eliminated at the opportune moment.
  • Killing is fine if they have wronged myself, my allies or have committed evil deeds.
  • Killing of innocents is not my business.
  • Deception is the sweetest way to victory.
  • If I take it, it is mine. If u take it from me, it is still mine.
  • If I give it to you, only then is it yours.
  • I lost my wife and daughter to a revenge attack, because I got clumsy, that will never happen again. I killed innocents that day in retaliation. These two events are my greatest regrets.
  • I will never reveal my employer.
  • I recount the dishonorable deeds and honorable deeds of my victims after their death. All should be remembered for all they were.

Sins/Virtues:

Pride         3 2 1 – 1 2 3     Humility

Envy          3 2 1 – 1 2 3.   Kindness

Gluttony   3 2 1 – 1 2 3     Abstinence

Lust           3 2 1 – 1 2 3     Chastity

Anger.       3 2 1 – 1 2 3     Patience

Greed       3 2 1 – 1 2 3     Charity/Generosity

Sloth         3 2 1 – 1 2 3     Diligence

Foes:

  • Those whom I am tasked to remove and those who try to stop me.
  • Those who hire me to kill innocents become my enemies.
  • Grigor Bersk – murderer of my wife n daughter.
  • Potential Foe – Deacon Malcer, Priesthood+Cult of Ptah, knows my past but not seen me in 6 years. Will he bear a grudge, or sympathise?

Friends:

  • I have a network of contacts across the Hollowrim Archipelago and beyond whom I can pass and receive messages through.
  • Garven Helm, a merchant in cuttersley whom I have to used to gather missions from before. Owes a favour after saving his life from Cultists.
  • Friends are few and they must earn my respect.

Goals:

 Short term

  1. Collect payment for my last job
  2. Await next task set by the Cult of Ptah

Medium term

  1. Maintain my cover
  2. Consider routes out of this grisly trade

Long term

  1. Leave the Cult of Ptah
  2. Escape to a new life

Quirks/Traits:

Plans are made to be broken, I’ll happily ditch a plan if I can achieve my goals another way, in fact its fun to change plans and do the least expected… I can’t always help myself.

Plays the flute and sings – a guise that although enjoyable in the act, also allows a path into trusted environments where his targets let their guard down.

Avoids sharing personal details or getting too close to anyone. If they get close they’ll either be killed or might reveal me to my enemies.

My life involves maintaining secrecy of My true identity at ALL times, and keeping on the good side of the Cult of Ptah.

 

Hopefully this will provide an insight into the character and motivations of Taman / Raef as he leads you through the adventures to follow.

What do you think of Taman so far?

Are you ready to follow him into his first adventure?