ZEITGEIST Linking PC's to the world


So with the release of Level Up and Adventure's in Zeitgeist as well as a committed group who all want similar things from DnD, I decided now is the time to finally run the Gears of Revolution adventure path! We had a session zero a couple weeks back and the players all excitedly got their backstories to me (thanks to those here who provided character questions for inspiration!) with our first game kicking off tomorrow.

I'm now trying to find ways to link player characters to the world and major NPC's to tie them into the story even better, and would welcome any ideas people here have. I'm currently thinking a tie in to Kasvarina (the ideas here on making a PC her daughter/son in law is veryyyy cool) and perhaps Nevard. Attached are my players backstories and information.

Honey, former Eladrin/now Deva, Wildling, Vekeshi Mystic, Druid
Honey - backstory

Rosamund felt the gentle morning breeze caress her cheek as she loudly smacked her lips to make the ox dragging her cart walk faster. The morning had been bountiful indeed, she had managed to gather an unusually large amount of herbs and flowers on her journey back to her cottage. As the clouds parted in the sky a few rays of sunshine managed to make their way through, making Rosamund spot a few daffodils beautifully lit up by the sunshine.
"Don't mind if I do" she said with a chuckle, pulling the cart to a halt and hopping off with remarkable agility for a woman her age. As she stuffed the freshly picked daffodils into her already overflowing satchel she spotted something out of the corner of her eye; the corpse of a young woman. Rosamund rushed to her side and grabbed her wrist, only to notice that the girl had no pulse.
“Oh, no. Oh, honey, it’ll be okay”, Rosalind mumbled desperately as she tried to ascertain what had caused the young woman to meet her end. That's when she noticed something strange on the girls’ face; beautiful silver patterns covering her skin and giving her an almost ethereal look. Rosamund sighed in relief when she noticed it.
“You could have told me you were one of them, would have saved me the heart attack”, she muttered as she started pulling the lifeless corpse towards her cart.

She woke up to the lingering scent of smoldering herbs and something she couldn’t quite put her finger in. She groaned as she stretched her arms out, getting reincarnated always seemed to leave her quite sore.
“Oh, good, you’re awake, and just in time for tea! How are you feeling, honey?”, asked a chirpy voice from the other side of the room. The purple skinned woman opened her eyes for the first time in days, looking up to see an older halfling woman looking at her while stirring what looked to be some kind of stew.
“Uhm, sorry, who are you? And how did I end up here?”. The halfling woman smiled at her questions.
“Well, my name is Rosamund”, the halfling woman dished up two bowls of stew and put one on a small table next to the straw covered bed her guest was currently occupying. “And you’re here because I found you practically dead in a ditch by the road and figured you could use a more comfortable place to rest. Now what’s your name, honey?”
The purple skinned woman frowned. “Ehh, I… I don’t know. I can’t remember. Honey works for now I guess”.
“Honey it is”, said the halfling woman with a wide grin. “Now eat up, you look like you could use a bit of food”.
Honey smiled. Strangely enough, she felt quite at home in this strange new place.

Over the course of the following weeks Honey told Rosamund all about herself, though there wasn’t much to tell. Rosamund had quickly figured out that she was a deva, a creature that no matter how many times they died, would not stay dead for long. Honey, however, did not remember much of her previous lifes, but there were three things she remembered with certainty. One, she had been there on that fateful day, 500 years ago, and had watched as the goddess Srasama was killed in battle while fighting for her people. Two, she was a druid, and her bond to nature was far too strong to ever be severed. Three, the reason she had survived the death curse of the goddess, the one that had killed so many other eladrin women, was because she had been wild shaped, fighting the enemy forces as a shape??, and it was a form she had sworn to never take again.

Honey stayed with Rosamund for four years, all the while learning everything Rosamund had to offer. She found out that Rosamund was a woman of medicine, using her knowledge of herbs, flora and fauna to treat any traveler that came to her door. Honey quickly realized that her druidic powers could be useful to help these people, both for finding herbs and such, but also for helping treat an infected wound with magically imbued moss, or for heating up Rosamund's tools to allow them to quickly cauterize a particularly deep slash. One day a very special traveler, a high elf named Emon, knocked on their door, requiring aid. While neither Rosamund nor Honey was able to fully treat him they did let him stay with them in the cottage for a few weeks while they did their best to minimize any symptoms he had. During his time in the cottage, while Rosamund was out gathering herbs, he sang to Honey a song about the fallen goddess, and how her sacrifice did not have to mean her end. Honey was entranced by this, she had never met anyone who had truly felt the loss of the goddess on the same emotional level as herself. Well, at least not that she could remember. The longer the mysterious guest was there, the more he told Honey about his connection with Srasama, and how he believed Honey could reach the same level of connection if she promised to trust him completely. Well, she did. Honey said her tearful goodbyes to the woman she practically viewed as her mother, then followed Emon on his travels to the city of Flint.

Once they finally reached Flint, Emon told her that before he could tell her everything and truly show her how to repair the damaged bond she had to Srasama, he needed to know he could trust her. He explained that if Honey was willing to go through three trials to prove that her belief was pure, he would teach her everything he knew. Honey agreed, not knowing just how painful these trials would prove to be.

She endured. The trials were draining, cruel and painful, but she endured. And once she passed the final trial she finally felt it, the bond she had been missing for the past 500 years. She finally had a connection to her dear Srasama again, and she could feel the goddess’ power in her veins. After the trials finished Emon appeared once again, pride gleaming in his eyes at her endurance as he taught her all about the way of the Vekeshi.
Once they existed the Dreaming, the realm where the trials took place and that she had once been so familiar with, Emon informed her that it was time for him to leave town. But before he left he told her how to contact a fellow Vekeshi in Flint, a human man named Liam Flynn.

One year later
Honey had adapted to her new life in Flint rather well she thought. She had found a long abandoned hut in the outskirts of the Cloudwood, and had quickly made it her home. She guessed the reason it was abandoned in the first place was the rather imposing amount of poison nettle that had grown through the water damaged floor boards. Honey didn’t mind though, in fact she found it made a welcome addition to the otherwise dull looking hut. A year after her moving in the hut was anything but dull looking though; she had used thick, thorny vines to reinforce the roof and protect from rain, and in the swampy area outside she had planted many types of colorful fungi and mushrooms. In fact, maybe a few too many as they had started creeping up the walls of her hut.

Only a few weeks after moving in she had set up her own business, doing the same kind of work she had done with Rosamund. Well, except that most of her clients couldn’t afford to pay her. With healers and doctors being less common so close to the Nettles many of the residents there would come to her for help with minor illnesses. One day she had an unusual visitor, a police officer who had injured his leg after chasing after a fleeing suspect who had run into the Cloudwoods. Honey had offered him aid, but since the injury was more severe than she had originally thought he had to stay the night so that Honey could regain her strength before casting more healing spells on him. They ended up becoming good friends, and a few weeks later he popped by her hut and told her about a job opening on the police force, and that he could put in a good word for her. Honey accepted as she was eager to do something new, something… more, and a few days later she found herself getting hired. Being hardworking and honest she managed to become a patrolling officer fairly quickly, and that’s when she was noticed by the RHC. They had told her that they were looking for dedicated individuals with a unique skill set, and Honey eagerly accepted the job. While she had all the best intentions for accepting, she was still fiercely loyal to the Vekeshi and their cause. Of course, this was not something she shared with her employer.


With which of the major faiths/philosophies do you most strongly identify?

“Elfaivaran philosophy argues that living well is the best revenge. That one should grieve, endure, and rebuild from weakness to prosper with strength.”
Also seedism, which she believes is equally important for those with shorter lifespans as she believes everyone goes through some kind of reincarnation.

Were you born in Risur, or did you come from elsewhere? Why is your character loyal to Risur?
  • She was born in Elfaivar, though she can’t remember exactly where. She is loyal to Risur because it’s the only place she can remember living in, and she loves her “home”.

How did you get in to the Royal Homeland Constabulary?

Recruited from police force.

What did you do during the last Yerasol War?
She does not remember this well as it was about a year or two before she was reborn as Honey.

Who was influential in your character's life thus far? Mentors? Parents? Lovers? Rivals?

Rosamund, Emon. Her familiar.

Describe a contact in Flint?

She is on friendly terms with Ardie, a middle aged human woman who often sells hard-to-come-by herbs and flora at the local farmers market.

She has sporadic contact with The Old Stag who she meets up with when necessary. She does not know much about him except for his voice and that he is a high ranking military officer.

As a constable in the RHC, you are granted great leeway in the manner in which you perform your duties. What boundaries do impose on yourself? Does the end always justify the means, or are your actions tempered by some greater sense of morality?

No killing unless absolutely necessary. The end generally justifies the means, but that does not excuse cruelty or necessary suffering. She would have a very hard time performing an action she thinks Srasama would disapprove of.

What are your attitudes toward technology?

Technology is a wonder, and a type of magic in itself, but if it includes cutting down forests and desecrating sacred fey-lands then she wants nothing to do with it.

What are your attitudes toward magic?
Magic has been here as long as the mountains themselves, it’s a force of nature and should be seen as a natural part of the world.

Here I think I want to use Kasvarina heavily, maybe having the player secretly being her daughter or something similar.

John Nettles, Cosmopolitan Human, Yerasol Veteran, Rogue
Backstory John Nettles

John lived the typical life of an orphan growing up, he stole, fought and lied and did any means necessary to stay alive. It was the definition of survival of the fittest, sure he gained allies and friends along the way but everyone was always looking out for themselves, and there were never any hard feelings because of it. That was simply how things worked growing up on the inner streets of the city.

as a teenager, John got his first well-paying work as a stable boy, and seeing how the wealthy had no regard or respect for other beings left John even more cynical.
The day the household was attacked by an unknown creature, killing everything within its reach is an image that still haunts him to this day. Not so much seeing his fellow workers being ripped to pieces but more seeing the master of the house using them as mere meat shields.

After that day Jonh swore to do something useful with his life, and as a young adult was able to join the RHC. He worked loyally and hard protecting his country and rose within the ranks. but all of the death around him simply became too much and at the age of 40, he reclaimed himself as retired.

Only for his old boss/drinking buddy getting him to come back to work once more for the safety of their country. How could he possibly say no to that? I mean he sure tried but as his persistent buddy got him drunk and asked for the 100th time, he drunkenly agreed to come back.

around 45 as the game starts. Friends call him Jonny boy.

questions answered

With which of the major faiths/philosophies do you most strongly identify?
religion ain't really his thing. simple wishes everyone would follow simple human decency.

Were you born in Risur, or did you come from elsewhere? Why is your character loyal to Risur?
Born and raised baby.

How did you get in to the Royal Homeland Constabulary?
wanted to make a change and do some good, got in the force by trie outs? recommendation? however, it works.

What did you do during the last Yerasol War?

Who was influential in your character's life thus far? Mentors? Parents? Lovers? Rivals?
not so much anyone specific, but just that he meets some good people along the way that has kept his faith in humanity going.
another orphan boy who helped him out when he was in need, a cute girl showing him kindness. good people within the RHC fighting for the safety of their country and their people.

Describe a contact in Flint?
an old friend from his orphan days, who know runs a guild and an old lover who runs a bar/in

As a constable in the RHC, you are granted great leeway in the manner in which you perform your duties. What boundaries do impose on yourself? Does the end always justify the means, or are your actions tempered by some greater sense of morality?
Save as many as you can, no clear right and wrong you simply do what is necessary to save as many lives as you can and keep the damage to a minimum.

What are your attitudes toward technology?
don't despise it, simply don't understand it and don't have any interest to learn it.

What are your attitudes toward magic?
magic has have always been there, and it often comes quite handy.

This one I have less idea's aboout. Initially I thought having Stover being his previous CO who managed to pull him back in to help lead this new unit would be interesting, but I don't know if that will be overly exciting for the character as the game progresses.

Nefarian, Lizardfolk Dialetician, Spirit Medium, Cleric
DnD backstory Nefarian

Nefarian was brought up in the lizardfolk's place. At the young age of 11, he started to travel the lands and lived with dwarfs for a while befor he ended up at Risur. he grew fond of the new place quickly and it wasn't long until he was a patriot through and through. After some time in the new City Nefarian was scouted into the army and fought for his new country Risur. this is also where he meet commander Maligos that became like a mentor to the young Lizard. The commander is a Dragonborn and came from the same country as Nefarian. as the two grew closer it made Nefarian even more fond of the new city Risur, as his commander showed the citys beauty.
after a lite time in the army Nefarian was once more scouted but this time for the RHC to witch he quickly obliged.
Nefarian questions awnsered.

With which of the major faiths/philosophies do you most strongly identify?
Cleric hes faith is the king alengens to the kigdom.

Were you born in Risur, or did you come from elsewhere? Why is your character loyal to Risur?
he was born in Bare? #the dragon place. but when he was out traveling and saw Risur and was scouted by the army he agreed because he had grown fond of Risur.

How did you get in to the Royal Homeland Constabulary?
after the army, he was scouted once more to join the homeland thingy.

What did you do during the last Yerasol War?
he was a baby. he's 15 today.

Who was influential in your character's life thus far? Mentors? Parents? Lovers? Rivals?
a mentor in the army. commander Maligos.

Describe a contact in Flint?
Commander Maligos, still working in the army.

As a constable in the RHC, you are granted great leeway in the manner in which you perform your duties. What boundaries do impose on yourself? Does the end always justify the means, or are your actions tempered by some greater sense of morality?
anything and everything for the kingdom whatever it takes to keep the kingdom safe.

What are your attitudes toward technology?
he's a fan, he likes technology and is interested in new technology, but is also aware of the dangers it can pose towards the kingdom.

What are your attitudes toward magic?
he's a cleric, magic is natural. not a fan of unnecessary magic though, but fighting magic for the kingdom is a good thing.

This character I am not sure where to include backstory links overly either, besides knowing different philosophers from his travels.

Šanaa, Forsaken Tiefling, Skyseer, Herald
Šanaa was born into a small cult in the malice lands. She grew up learning about how the archdevils stepped in and saved their lives when Srasama died. They believed that without their intervention they would all have died and that Srasama ‘gave up’ on them and forfeited her life. They sacrificed animals, occasionally sentient beings as a way to pay tribute to their twisted saviours.
When Šanaa was around 4 years old most of the group were killed by a wild animal. Šanaa and her mother managed to escape and after a long journey to Cherage. She tried to make a living working at a bar. Šanaa was often found there playing in a corner or talking to customers and became very comfortable around strangers at an early age. At 6 years old Šanaa’s mom had tried to convert people to her belief system but it came out to the public and her mother was a cultist. Some people believed she needed to be stopped and in their citizen arrest Šanaa’s mother was killed. An executore, Hilde, took pity on her and brought *** back with her to Ursalina when she returned.
Šanaa’s was trained as a executore and while some of the others were sceptical of bringing her in at first but she quickly earned their approval by her hard work and good heart. They quickly found that Šanaa embodied their ideals by giving second chances and giving people resources to grow and improve themselves. In Ursalina they often found her trying to help other children, sharing her food and hiding animals in her room so they didn’t have to be out in the rain. When she started coming along on missions she was the first one to reach out a hand and give advice on how to grow and also check up on their progress. This made her a darling of the executore group she was raised with.
When Šanaa was 16 she met a druid called Aina who was gonna travel back to Flint were she was raised. The druid wished to travel over/through the mountains and the forests between Bole and Flint but was worried about the danger. Šanaa felt kinship with Aina and decided that she wanted to come with her and make sure she got there safely. While Šanaa had seen been in many parts of the world she hadn’t seen much and Hilde thought it was a good opportunity for Šanaa to make her own way.
Aina and Šanaa travelled together and during their journey Aina found out that Šanaa had the ability of a skyseer. Excited by this opportunity Aina decided to teach her about her ability and the stars. They found that Šanaa had an affinity for this task which made them bond during their journey. As they arrived in Flint Aina asked if Šanaa wanted to stay in her house so she could continue to teach her about how to be a skyseer. Šanaa agreed after getting Hilde’s permission to stay. Aina often sought her way out into the wood and Šanaa found herself picking up strays, like homeless people and begging children, giving them a warm bed to sleep on and a meal for the day. While Aina wasn’t happy about the people in her space in the beginning she came to the conclusion that she is barely there anyways when she isn’t teaching Šanaa got permission to treat it as her own home. As her studies continued she found herself falling in love with the nettles and the people in it. She saw how hardworking and kind the people are and that they live under difficult circumstances. She managed to earn their trust and found a sense of belonging and purpose in Flint that she had been missing when she was in Ursalina. While the distrust was great she found that she felt at home in her neighbourhood. She was always offering a helping hand if someone found him/herself in trouble with the law and worked on finding them a new way of living. She decided to join Flint’s police force since she felt like she had a lot to offer since her goal was never to lock someone up for the rest of time but rather help them get on a different track in life. While she will still deal out punishments if someone has been mistreating others she always takes their motive into consideration. If someone is stealing because they are starving, the city has failed them, they haven’t failed their city.
The RHC saw that she was doing hard work and trying to solve bigger issues than individual robberies. They therefore decided that while she isn’t from Flint she is dedicating herself to their people and her affection for them shines from in their rigorous research about their potential candidates. Since she is a tiefling she also offers a different perspective than many others in Flint have which will be useful for their future efforts.

With which of the major faiths/philosophies do you most strongly identify?
Heid Eschatol.
Developed in Drakr, popular in Risur. It is important to plan for
good endings, whether that’s for a business venture, a story, a love
affair, or your own life.

Šanaa wants to create a good ending for her people and country and is working hard to help create a society where everyone is being taken care of.

Were you born in Risur, or did you come from elsewhere?
No, see background.

Why is your character loyal to Risur?
Šanaa learned how to love the people in the city and found she had a lot to give them. You could say that she is not loyal to Risur, but it’s people and she firmly believes that she can create a better society for them.

How did you get in to the Royal Homeland Constabulary?
Šanaa proved herself as a police officer. thR RHC got impressed by her strong moral code and the effort she spent not only to bring people to justice but also that she tried to find ways to prevent the same incidents in the future. They found that she wasn’t afraid to investigate nobility that often was given a pass and she didn’t shy back from conflict, but avoided starting them.
They brought her in for interviews and while they found that she had an interesting past to say the least she was also dedicated, loyal and sincere. They therefore decided to let her in even though she isn’t from Risur originally.

What did you do during the last Yerasol War? Who was influential in your character's life thus far? Mentors? Parents? Lovers? Rivals?
Šanaa was in Ursalina training to become a executore and then travelled with a druid to Risur. She never participated in the war and was mainly under the mentorship of Hilde and Aina during this and are the biggest influences in her life. They taught her to fight, to see into the sky and that she should stand up for people and fight for their rights.

While she was in Risur at the end of the war she mainly saw the suffering the war had brought to the People and did not participate in any fighting!

Describe a contact in Flint?
I have a lot under NPC.

As a constable in the RHC, you are granted great leeway in the manner in which you perform your duties. What boundaries do impose on yourself?
Šanaa doesn’t hurt people who don't deserve it and usually want evidence before prosecuting a criminal. She will defend herself if she is attacked or innocents/comrades are attacked. She believes no one is above the law and is not scared to investigate more influential figures if deemed necessary, She does know that the law doesn’t protect everyone though. For example, fi she sees a child steal some food she would rather just pay for it and then look into the child's home situation rather than arresting it. There are situations where crimes are understandable. If a child doesn’t have food the country has failed the child, not the child it’s country.

Does the end always justify the means, or are your actions tempered by some greater sense of morality?
Šanaa is mostly okay with doing what is necessary as long as no innocent people get hurt. It is important to her that people have the opportunity to grow and so she tries to leave the criminals alive to get their trial and often gives them advice on how to grow and become better.

What are your attitudes toward technology?
She is not anti technology, but she isn’t into the consequences technology has brought to the people in Risur. She generally appreciates the perks technology brings with it.

What are your attitudes toward magic?
She wouldn’t want to use it much herself but she doesn’t mind much if others are. She doesn’t consider skyseering to be magical.

NPC’s in Šanaa’s life
Name: Bosse
Age: 62
Race: Human
Gender: Man
Work/daily life: Used to work in one of the metallurgy factories but lost one of his legs in an accident. He is currently a beggar who has got a bed in ***’s home.
Relationship: * met him when he was trying to earn a living begging and she offered her home so that he would have somewhere to sleep and a place to get a good meal. He is a grumpy old man that * is very fond of and she has been trying to help him get in contact with someone who can help him demand compensation for his work related injury. He isn’t a fan of tieflings but * has managed to win him over and while he mutters about it he gets protect if someone makes comments about *.

Name: Fortune
Age: 22
Race: Halfling
Gender: Woman
Work/daily life: Fortune is an aspiring bard who right now struggles to make a living, but performs at smaller pubs at the moment.
Relationship: Fortune met Šanaa at a small rundown pub. After her performance they started talking and found they both had a love for music and when Fortune said she didn’t have a proper place to stay at Šanaa immediately offered up her home. While Fortune does not have a lot of money to offer up good vibes and is always ready to cheer everyone on and put on a show in their small collective.

Name: Gnarrg
Age: 37
Race: Gnoll
Gender: Man
Work/daily life: Gnarrg is a factory worker who spends most of his day at his job.
Relationship: Gnarrg’s life drastically changed when his wife died giving birth to their fifth child. Struggling to get by on his own he often worked 12 hours a day and rarely got to spend time with his kids. Gnarrg managed to get a sitter with 2 women living in Šanaa’s shelter and he and his family are often found there visiting and getting support. His kids are named Arric (boy, 8), Luhz (girl, 2), Zohr (girl, 4), Eik (boy, 6) and Zerr (unclear, 5).

Name: Riz
Age: 42
Race: Lizardfolk
Gender: Man
Work/daily life: Riz works at a small bar close to the water. He is trying to survive despite the raising rent and his landlord is trying to convince him to leave.
Relationship: Šanaa visited Riz pub once and they hit it off. Riz has a lot of contacts with workers and Šanaa sometimes uses his connections to help people on the street finding a job. Riz is easy to get along with but stands up for himself and what he believes is right. Šanaa and Riz has helped each other out multiple times and are together strong believers in workers rights.

Name: Acora
Age: 37
Race: Lizardfolk
Gender: Woman
Work/daily life:
Relationship: Married to Riz. She works as a constable and have had some shifts together with Šanaa. Šanaa likes her but they aren’t friends at this points, just acquaintances.

Name: Tinaza Strongleader
Age: 26
Race: Minotaur
Gender: Woman
Work/daily life: Tinaza is secretary to a factory owner. She is severely underpaid and is hoping that she can rise in the ranks to a more important position. She is currently in a secret relationship with her boss and he often pays for fancy rooms for her etc.
Relationship: Tinaza lives with Šanaa at the moment and is trying to save money to buy her own apartment. She comes and goes a lot due to her relationship but has a bed ready for her when she needs it.

Name: Jip
Age: 29
Race: Human
Gender: Man
Work/daily life: Jip is a city planner and is trying to find a way to better the nettles for the city, he often works with the higher ups in mind rather than the people living in this area and is known for thinking the nettles are an embarrassment for the city.
Relationship: Šanaa have met Jip a couple of times and have confronted him about how he wants to change this area. She considers him a rival.

Name: Aelita
Age: 34
Race: Human
Gender: Woman
Work/daily life: Aelita is a coach-driver and works around 12 hours a day. She makes below minimum wage and dreams of one day owning her own salon.
Relationship: Aelita is one of the people that have taken refuge in Šanaa home.

Name: Rafiq
Age: 23
Race: Human
Gender: Man
Work/daily life: Worked with Šanaa as a police officer.
Relationship: They started around the same time and quickly became friends. If Šanaa needs help, Rafiq is one of the people she would trust to have her back.

Name: Cari
Age: 72
Race: Human
Gender: Woman
Work/daily life: Cari can’t work anymore but she takes care of Gnarrg’s kids during the days.
Relationship: Cari lives with Šanaa and has taken the role of grandmother to everyone who comes through the door. Everyone calls her MeMa.

Name: Iman
Age: 54
Race: Human
Gender: Man
Work/daily life: Iman is a police officer.
Relationship: Iman has a lot of rivalry with Šanaa and does not trust her. He believes that she is an enemy of the country. He does not like tieflings.

Name: Ila
Age: 36
Race: Kobolds
Gender: Woman
Work/daily life: Ila doesn’t work and has faced much prejudice in the workplace. She is currently looking after Gnarrg’s kids together with MeMa and lives with Šanaa for free room and food. Gnarrg tries to pay her as much as he can but it doesn’t amount to much.
Relationship: One of the people living at Šanaa’s. They have become good friends over time and Šanaa relies on her a lot to make sure everything is handled well at home.

Name: Cerrat ‘Boarbait’
Age: 39
Race: Goblin
Gender: Man
Work/daily life: Cerrat is not working at the moment. He has severe mental health problems ever since someone tried to use him as bait during a hunt and he never recovered.
Relationship: Šanaa met him on the street and felt a need to help this man. After months of getting his trust she managed to convince him to move in with her. He is unreliable and closed doors and any restriction terrifies him. The kids seem to bring him comfort and they have slowly tested how trusted he can be with them and he is not allowed to be alone with them at this time, though he never hurt them.

Name: Narine
Age: 28
Race: Dragonborn
Gender: Woman
Work/daily life: Narine is a scholar and wants to discover the secrets in history.
Relationship: Šanaa and Narine have a complicated relationship. There are clear feelings between the two of them but Narine is secretive and Šanaa struggles to fully trust her to the extent that they could have a relationship. Despite that they often seek each other out and few people bring Šanaa as much comfort and love as she gets from Narine.

Name: Arilin Silverbraid
Age: 36
Race: Gnome
Gender: Woman
Work/daily life: Arilin is leader of one of the bigger gangs in the nettles. They take any means to empower themselves and does not care much for anyone who gets in the way since they believe this is the only thing they can do to live comfortably. They don’t believe in the politicians around them.
Relationship: Šanaa and Arilin have met a couple of times. When Šanaa first started living in the nettles she was approached and Arilin wanted her to join her gang. Šanaa said no but they found some respect for each other. Šanaa has tried multiple times to convince Arilin and her people to change their ways without success and Šanaa is one of the few people that could talk to her like that without getting into real trouble. They stopped communicating after Šanaa became a cop.

Name: Nidon
Age: 52
Race: Gnome
Gender: man
Work/daily life: he is an apothecary in the nettles. His wares are not the best but he tries to keep the prize down for the citizens there.
Relationship: Šanaa gets most of her medicinal products from here since it is cheap, she gets to support a local business. She often pays well and he puts a bit more care into her products.

Name: Brog
Age: 32
Race: Orc
Gender: Man
Work/daily life: He works as hired muscles. Currently you can find him at the bank as security but he often moves around.
Relationship: Šanaa saw Brog sparring at one point and asked to join him and since then they find themselves often training together. They don’t speak much outside of training but have developed a lot of trust between each other.
This player obviously has given me heaps of links (as well as fleshing out half of the Nettles) with ties to Danor, skyseers, the Executores of Ber. Currently I think the most immediate tie will be to Nevard for an emotional connection in adventure 2.

Massive thanks to everyone who posts their stories, questions and ideas on here, it is a truly inspiring resource and I cannot wait to start this campaign. I will do my best to post progress updates along the way. I look forward to jumping into this journey and sharing back with this community!

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Welcome to the AP. Backstory ties can be rewarding, but treacherous. Make sure not to give a player ties that give them much more spotlight than the rest, or more spotlight than they want. Kasvarina is a very pivotal character.

  • Could be fun to have Rosamund be a benign worshipper of the Voice of Rot. In contrast to the many malign servants who enable the Voice's doomsday plan.
  • Could swap out Emon for Kasvarina, or her Book 7 subordinate Cula Ravajahani. You will need to have a think about the contrast between the Risuri Vekeshi (heavily Risuri Fey-tied) and the Elfaivaran Vekeshi (doing assassinations for the Ob). If you feel like it, you could swap out Emon for Gale, and have your Gale have more of a connection to her homeland and the Vekeshi. It would fit well with her ties with the fey.
  • Swap out the police officer for Delft? Timeline could fit, what with his mimic-caused leg injury.
  • The premium handouts have a list of prominent vekeshi in Flint, like the Old Stag who ties into the Book 3 vekeshi side-mission.
  • The Vekeshi Mystics, particularly the ones who go through the trials, are geared towards being urban superheroes/avengers. Consider getting Honey to describe the missions she has done in the time since arriving in Flint.
  • An obvious tie is for one of Honey's previous lives to have been spent in service to the Ob/Kasvarina. Noting that Nic/Stanfield have the ability to preserve memories from previous lives and manifest past lives, it would be easy to do something fun there.
  • Seedism; do have a think about the Elfaivaran gods. Are they real? Were they real? In my first game, I had them be Gidim hiveminds, in my second I'm leaning towards having them be orcish heroes from the time of the Ancients.
  • Honey is a good character for exploring the changing Elfaivaran perception of Srasama. There's a strong subtext that prior to the Great Malice she was but one goddess among many with a limited portfolio, but in the time since she has become viewed as the all-encompassing god of women and war.
  • Do have a think about the source of the fey tech sickness. Is it spinning wheels?
  • Her being Kasvarina's daughter is possible. Maybe she is Launga, and she somehow survived the Betrayl of Rilego, wandering the world. But then why wouldn't Kasvarina recognise her upon seeing her; if it is because her face has changed, that creates yet further questions. I'd suggest not going for the Kasvarina-daughter tie, just settle for a close subordinate/supporter. Then again, a backstory where Honey turns against Kasvarina and was killed, leading up to her Risur reincarnation, almost writes itself.
  • As a rough-raised street orphan, John definitely needs a tie to Lorcan Kell. Could be he was a junior member of one of Kell's gangs, or even friends with the man himself.
  • Also, ties to the Dockers, since they are associated with Flint's worker conflicts.
  • Could give him a tie to Mayor Macbannin, who rules over a slum district.
  • Unknown creature being an Ob experiment makes a goodly bit of sense. Remember the jaguars.
  • John should have gone into the common police force first, working his way up to the RHC.
  • Could give him a tie to an incognito Amielle Latimer.
  • As a Risuri, John should probably have a perspective on the fey, and the fey-v-tech question. The fey are very tied into Risuri life. Even him not having an opinion could be a statement- as a child of Flint, the Great Blight, he is the first of a new generation of citizens who think the fey don't matter.
  • Service during the Yerasol War is good stuff, for joining the RHC and for setting him up as a potential king. Consider whether he me, say, Lya Jierre on the battlefield.
  • He would be the right age to have mentored Rock Rackus.
  • Could be interesting if he and Stover were partners. For a reason, Stover got promoted to assistant chief inspector, and John is still a plodding investigator. Maybe John did something or made a decision and the brass blocked promotion. Nice source of drama.
  • The player definitely doesn't have any information on Ber and Drakr. Would be good to pass him some excerpts. My Age of Enlightenment wiki has a lot.
  • Could give him Captain Rutger Smith as his army contact.
  • Seems strange for the army/RHC to 'scout' a fifteen year old to serve as an investigator. Unless your player is thinking that lizardfolk become adults at like 12?
  • This player is tricky. I get competing vibes of 'I need to know more about the setting' and 'I don't want a complex backstory.' You'll have to sort that.
  • Get him to provide a second draft.
  • The Malice Lands are an interesting place to grow up. Make sure she knows about Malice Beasts, consider having her know Oliviert Boone, or to Angus and the Fists of Pala (they are a one-note Millerite group) or have ties to the Great Avery Coast Railroad.
  • I imagine Sanaa would have a very different perspective on the history of the Demonocracy. Also note that the Demonocracy were demons, devils have not showed up in force on Lanjyr ever, though they can be summoned. Of course, a weird cult can believe whatever it wants to believe, especially in the wacky malice lands.
  • Glaucia Evora is the most prominent Executore, she'd make a fine candidate for Sanaa's saviour.
  • 'Second chances and giving resources to grow and improve' doesn't sound much like Executore ideology to me, but so be it.
  • Give her the city info on Ursalina from Book 11, maybe she has a tie with the bardic college.
  • Definitely give her a tie with Reed Macbannin. the man would be sympathetic, and keen to raise his political profile, but his patriotic duty of helping 'aodhan's' bleak gate project comes first.
  • Could be fun if she has a tie with a Crisillyiri Clericist priest who was also helping the poor in the Nettles.
  • Could be good to get her to clarify why she couldn't develop 'a sense of belonging and purpose' in Ursalina.
  • With her role as an executore/skyseer/community leader, it's fairly possible she could get recruited straight into the RHC and given a crash-course in investigation. Worth considering.
  • As a tiefling, she is descended from the Clericist priests of Danor at the time of the Great Malice. perhaps her family told stories about their clerical riches, perhaps she is descended from the hierarch who captured Kasvarina and Miller, or maybe even a long-lost Jierre scion.
  • Given Risur's centuries of war with Danor, I'd think she'd have a hard time fitting in.
  • Could be nice if she met Heid. Maybe he was doing a speaking tour through Ber.
  • She could have a tie with Gale, who is also sympathetic to the plight of Flint's workers.
  • Perhaps during her time in Flint she met Beran journalist Melissa Amarie as she was writing an article about the city. Or even Brakken.
  • Sanaa has had quite the zigzag. Malice lands to Danor to Ber to Risur. Consider seeing if the player wants to simplify that, maybe she was a tiefling born to Beran expatriates.
  • Given her time in Ber, Sanaa might have a very different perspective on tech. Ber doesn't have Fey in the same way as Risur, so technology has fewer downsides. Railroads connecting the nation is an even bigger deal, part of unlocking the now-civilised nation's potential.
  • Fortune could be swapped for Rock Rackus.
  • Consider giving her a list of Flint NPCs to have a tie to. The Waryeyes, Thames Grimsley, Nevard Sechim.
  • Maybe in Ber she had run-ins with the Valando brothers, and even arrested them.
  • Could be good for her to have a perspective on political corruption/the ruler of Risur, since in Ber she would be living under a decadent populist, Shantus.
  • Could also just swap out Danisca Waryeye for Nidon.
  • Consider finding ways to give her backstory-NPCs their own backstory-NPCs. Perhaps Brog is a budding Docker, perhaps Arilin is competing with Lorcan Kell.
  • Also, note the Book 2 cloudwood bandits, that's a whole thing.

There are some good character ideas here. But I think a significant issue is that your players clearly have very different levels of understanding about the world. Also, it may be better to encourage them to tie to existing NPCs, rather than having them come up with their own NPCs and then giving those NPCs importance. Zeit is a complicated web, working out how many new NPCs fit in could get messy.

Do have a look through my Zeitvice and Age of Enlightenment resources.

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