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Seriously? Yet another awesome writing thing that I’ve never heard of before? This is getting ridiculous.

For those of you who have played D&D (or other roleplaying games), the concept of character creation is nothing new. You decide on a race, a class, and some equipment, and off you go on your first adventure. Sometimes you don’t have a lot of stuff planned for that character. You never know if she or he will even survive the first encounter with goblins in the woods, but you try anyway. Poor Jor. He never saw that hydra coming.

Anyway, I digress. Sometimes the character you create is something more than just a one-shot hero. Sometimes you want to feel like you know them better than your best friend. That’s when this kind of thing comes into play. About three years ago, my girlfriend’s brother decided he was going to create a D&D world where we could have multiple characters living in different areas. Then, regardless of where in the game world a session would be taking place, we’d have a character who would, theoretically, be close enough to the action to participate. As we would all be creating multiple characters, we decided one of the best things to do would be to establish a character backstory for everyone. Each player was tasked with crafting his or her characters and their individual histories. What was it that brought each one of them to this exact moment? That was our goal. I greatly enjoyed each of them, and I decided that it was high time that I share a little more of my nerdiness with you. Tonight, I present you with the story of Jack, a wandering scholar a la Indiana Jones.


Forty years ago, there was a small group of adventurers who roamed the world of Taesos, combing dungeons and caverns and castles in far countries to gain the knowledge of ancient civilizations. A man named Dorn was one of their number, and upon his return to his home city of Arnes he married and founded a small private university in the large manor that he built with funds dicovered in his travels. It was here that he began to pore over the information that he and his friends had found. Dorn began to study alongside his students and found that with the right training, anyone could accomplish astounding deeds. His school quickly became known as a prestigious adventuring academy.

Not long after, Dorn and his wife welcomed the birth of twin sons, Jack and Alexi. In an unpleasant turn of events of which not even Dorn know’s the truth, Dorn’s wife fled Arnes with Dorn’s best friend, Georg, and with Alexi, the elder twin. Dorn was left to raise Jack alone.

Jack’s childhood was far from dull, however. Living in an academy that was made to train adventurers was an intense experience. Jack inherited his father’s brilliance and trained every day to increase his knowledge and his skills in all fields. When he reached the age of eighteen, he set forth with a group of friends to seek out his long-lost brother, Alexi. After searching for many months, Jack finally stumbled upon his brother’s trail, deep in the mountains on Nyord’Wrend. Georg, it seemed, was a powerful illusionist who had sensed a dormant power inside Alexi’s mind and convinced the boy’s mother to leave her husband and younger son and join him in a quest for power.

Georg and Alexi slaughtered all of Jack’s companions and in what may have been a brief moment of compassion for his brother, Alexi teleported Jack out of Georg’s hands and back to Nirruna, wiping his memories of Alexi’s hiding place in the process.

Jack returned home distraught that he has failed to rescue his twin. He set about studying furiously that he might find some way of overcoming Georg and freeing his brother, and someday reunite his broken family. Now he is ready. He has set forth from Arnes once more to right the wrongs and dispose of all in his way, regardless of the cost.


  1. That would be such a kickass player to play! I also had fun crafting back stories for many of my characters. I had a halfling rogue who was an outcast because of her red hair and green eyes (it was rumored in her village that she was part elf, but she wasn’t, just a genetic anomaly) and a really paranoid evil cleric (I think she was a half-elf) who was looking to raise an army of the undead but was completely freaked out about the idea of any of her party members finding out that she was evil, because her sect had been banned by the rulers of the realm. My kineticist Draku was a pirate who was in it for the gold…and for blowing stuff up. Not nearly so detailed as yours, not that I remember anymore anyway, but still fun to plan out. What finally happened to Jack? Did he succeed in tracking down Alexi and Georg again?

    • This is what happens when a writer is told to come up with something about their character. It was really an attempt to link multiple characters and establish motivation for everyone, as well as setting up potential plot lines to drag in groups of adventurers. It was great fun, while it lasted. Now we’re off to bigger and better D&D campaigns, but still some of these characters remain. As far as your last question goes, you’ll just have to wait and see.

  2. Dude, I was totally gonna ask on Wednesday if you were planning on doing NaNoWriMo. You totally, totally should. Thinking of doing the rough draft of Devotion myself (cause we all know there’s no way I could write a 50,000 word novel and have it be complete).

    • I’m totally okay with this plan. I want to do it. I may have heard of it sometime in the past, but I have no memory of it right now. It’s the weirdest thing ever. I need a couple of things if I’m going to make it work. 1.) A place to live, B.) Booze, and Finally.) Writing buddies.

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