The Rhodene Marches
Noble gone Mercenary
The Ten-Minute Background
step 1: 5 background and concept elements
1. born as a bastard son into a noble family. Although he was not given any official social status, he was raised with by his noble father. Was a very talented blacksmith, and had great skill with the blades he made. His father also provided him with the finest martial training.
2. 5 years ago, he was framed by his younger half-brother, Bertrand, who poisoned father out of jealousy and greed. Gaven tried to flee, but was cut down by Bertrand’s men and left for dead.
3. He was found and taken in by Dion Fulgarr, a friend of his father
4. During his time with Dion, he survived by working as a mercenary known as “Crimson Steel”. This served to hide his true identity from the pursuers and scouts his brother might send.
5. He possesses incredible strength and believes highly in justice. He will ultimately do what his heart feels is right, despite governing laws or contracts, which has caused some tense negotiations in his mercenary work. Laws are manipulated by cowards, and chaos preys on the weak.
Step 2: goals
1. wants to get revenge on brother (who has expanded his territory/power/rank)
2. become renowned as a great warrior, a man of justice, and to restore honour to his family name
Step 3: List at least two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet.
1. His identity. He wants his brother to believe he is dead, so he does not yet want his name spread around, nor his face recognized. Not until he feels he is ready to defend himself against his brother’s wrath, or if he believes his brother has already discovered his identity. He is not completely paranoid about this, and will relax his guard in far away lands where it is unlikely anyone would have even heard of a bastard son of a dead noble.
2. His mother. He was told she was one of the family’s maids, who died giving birth to him. She could still be alive, or the whole thing could have been a lie, and his mother is someone completely different.
Step 4: Describe at least three people that are tied to the character.
Hostile: younger brother Bertrand Steelhand. See above for more detail
friendly: friend of family/tutor/engineer Dion Fulgarr. See above.
friendly: Some mercenary group he has had relatively good dealings with in the past.
Step 5: Describe three memories, mannerisms, or quirks that your character has. They don’t have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.
1. He keeps a journal, which he writes various notes in. These include a detailed record/battle log of all his fights, design notes and rough blue prints for his inventions, and military strategies. He frequently rereads and studies these notes. These notes appear scattered and disorganized to most observers, but to Gaven they make perfect sense.
2. Although he is more than capable of enduring the rough life of an adventurer, while traveling he prefers to travel in style and comfort. When space allows, he sets up a large, 4 person tent for himself, and uses the extra space to setup a small shrine, using lavish pillows, candles, and a mirror. He uses this shrine to meditate, and to write in his journal. The tent is also surrounded by bells which are tied to fishing line as a rudimentary alarm system.
3. While his helmet of disguise is ultimately meant to help conceal his identity from his brother, he often uses it to only make slight alterations to his true appearance. He wears fine crimson breastplate in combat, but uses the helm’s power to make it appear bulkier and more intimidating, like full plate. The helmet itself bulks up to a full helm to conceal his face, complete with large horns. He crafted his heavy blade himself, which includes 2 slots which hold sunrods to give the sword a glow (and light source!) as desired. The blade also has a serrated edge, which he sometimes gives a “chainsaw” like effect to using the helmet. While he prefers to keep his gear, and himself, as clean as possible, he will alter his appearance to make his armor appear extremely well polished.