A Character Background

Here is a quick write up I did for a character in a homebrew game a friend is running.  The character is an Aasimar warlock with The Celestial patron. I was trying to decide between playing another cleric or trying a warlock for the first time when I found The Celestial in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. It’s basically a “heavenly” take on warlocks, the inverse of a class that’s considered “dark” and frequently evil. It’s a path that let’s a warlock heal his or her allies between bouts of Eldritch Blast. I wanted to attach a typical dark side to my character for the sake of providing inner conflict so the character has the “Haunted One” background, leaving him stuck with an dark apparition that plagues him. Anyways – enough with the D&D preamble. Here’s my Celestial ‘lock Jamison.


Early Life

I’ve lived most of my life around Routil. I grew up just to the southeast of the city, working with my family in our small farming community. I was born there thirty years ago to John and Emily. A few years later my kid sister, Sara, was born. We were happy and life was simple for a time. I’ve since left behind our family name. It was one of many steps I’ve taken to protect them. I am a guardian and they were my first and most important wards.

The visions began when I was seven. My parents initially thought it was a reaction to Sara coming along. A simple case of a jealous sibling, assuming I was making things up for attention. The voices started at eleven. Neither the visions or voices stopped. They prepared me for what I am — an Aasimar, chosen by Gods to guard this world and given gifts from the divine residents of Mount Celestia to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

A Guiding Light

I would come to realize my dreams were an education and my teacher, an astral deva or angel, was known as Valandras. Practical and lighthearted, Val was in many ways what I strived to be and in many more what I could never become. He taught me how to make my way in this world and to seek glory in the astral plane. He strengthened my bond with Helm in ways I’d never understand until I was older. Valandras became my patron. Our celestial pact gave me the power to heal and defend my allies.

I would not realize until later that I had a darker being with me.

An Annoying Shadow

Celestial warlocks are rare. I knew I was special but I hadn’t yet learned why I excelled at an art that many considered dark. Was I not a being of light, after all? I can’t blame Val. Angelic guides see the best in the Aasimar they teach. There are some lessons that you have to learn on your own.

Valandras had spoken to me for years of hidden knowledge I would eventually have to seek out to the north. The famed Sanctuary of Cass would call to me and I would answer. So it was that shortly after I turned seventeen I began making my way to the north-most Sanctuary of the Shield that protected our region. My trip had been mostly uneventful between home and the capital of Cass. It was on the journey from the capital to the Sanctuary itself that I’d meet an old family friend I had never been told about. I’d made camp, yet a few days out from the church I was making my way to.

I was staring into my small campfire when I heard a voice I didn’t recognize. By now I was used to most of my celestial messengers and this voice alarmed me.

“You need to put that out. Be quick about it.”

I looked up to see a tattered, cloaked figure beside me. “Hello stranger. Where did you come from?” I asked.

He pulled back his hood, revealing a decayed, translucent face. There was no flesh on a good portion of it and I could see his teeth through his left cheek as he spoke again, “Fool! Do as I say.” He had glowing ruby eyes that grew fiery with his agitation. I stumbled backwards to the ground, picking up my quarterstaff. I swung at the figure but hit nothing. He disappeared.

“Do it, now!” his voice rang out from where he’d previously stood.

I rose to my feet and started kicking the loose ground onto my fire.

“What’s this then?” said another voice I didn’t recognize, “Over here boys!”

The bandits beat me within an inch of my life, mostly upset that I didn’t have any valuables worth their trouble. I awoke late the next afternoon and could barely move.

“You listen to that god awful angel all the time. Where was he last night, boy? Huh? Hrmph!”

I could barely open one eye for a look at the apparition. He was hooded again. Who are you? What are-,” I mumbled before he interrupted, “I am Frederick, young Jamison, and I think it’s time for us to have a chat.”

The Present

Now I find myself in the center of our realm looking for more answers than ever. More than a decade after meeting Frederick, every day is a struggle between the gifts of light and this apparition that has plagued my family for generations. The ghost that my own parents failed to tell me about. I assume they thought my celestial blessings prevented him from haunting me too. I can only guess. I have been back home in years.

Goals

  • Protect those unable to protect themselves. (Aasimar/Celestial goal.)
  • Learn why I seem to be so skilled at what most consider a dark art. Frederick can help me learn about my ties to the path of the warlock. (Haunted One/Warlock class goal.)
  • Reconnect with my family. I have a small locked box that quietly hums a lovely melody at night but I always forget the tune when I wake up. I believe it’s related to Frederick’s ties to my family. (Haunted One)

Appearance

Jamison Smith is a tall, tan human Aasimar. He has thick, shoulder-length black hair. Although broad, he appears to be nothing more than a large human man at 6’4″. Approach him for a better look under his hooded cloak and you’ll see dark amber eyes looking back. Jamison says little and sees much. He can often be seen scanning his surroundings, looking for those in need of help.

Character Sheet

Download (PDF, 529KB)

 

Into the Woods

Lamps flickered above the road as shoes pattered against the cool gravel. People were silent. They maintained a fevered pace toward the edge of town.

The small community of Dalhurst had been experiencing more and more unexplained sightings for the last two weeks. A fog so thick that the sun struggled to break through it had settled into the area. No one thought anything of it for the first few days.

Marie had been on her way home from the general store with her young daughter when they spotted the first face peeking out from behind a tree. Sharp features and a youthful expression played upon it’s face. Marie initially thought it was a young boy but she did not recognize him. Dalhurst was too far away from any other settlement for a child to have wandered here alone.  Suddenly the face contorted into an unnatural, sharp-toothed grin and faded away as giggles echoed into the air. Marie dropped her groceries, picked up her child, and ran for home.

Ogden was on the back deck of the building that served as both his store and home when he saw two unfamiliar young teenagers step out of the woods that bordered his property. They made eye contact with the old man briefly before the girl on the left turned to the boy by her side, opened an oddly large mouth full of jagged teeth, and, with an unnatural speed, bit into his shoulder. The two fell to the ground where the boy struggled for a short time before falling still.

The old trade master moved to the stairs leading off the platform he’d been watching from. He reached for an ax leaning against the deck railing and proceeded to make his way across the damp ground between his home and the attack he had witnessed. The girl stopped, turning her head towards Ogden. Her face returned to it’s normal shape and she smiled. Ogden saw no blood. He looked down to the boy. He appeared unconscious but otherwise unharmed.

Laughter filled the air as the young girl stood up. She turned around and walked into the fog. Ogden was about to kneel beside the boy when he, too, arose, turned sharply and walked into the fog.

These were the types of visions that had plagued the citizens of Dalhurst . These were the nightmares that kept people inside their homes.  And tonight, after hours of deliberation at the small community center, the townspeople thought they had the answer to why these illusions had started.

So they gathered and marched to the edge of town.

(To be continued.)


I love reading. I used to read so much more often. Fantasy and horror and science fiction about robots. When I was in elementary school we spent a lot of our summers at our cabin on the Mississippi and I spent most of those days reading in the front of our boat while my parents were fishing. 

My love for reading transitioned into a love for writing at some point pretty early in my life. I’d get lost in the process of it. An evocation of the way a pen or pencil looked perfect when held to paper between fingers. Handwritten text is art. It’s personal and revealing.  It evolves with a person. And it’s not always beautiful. 

Of course there is even more distinction in the way a person writes beyond penmanship. My writing skill has atrophied with lack of use and I’m pretty annoyed about that. So I’m rectifying the situation. I’m going to start filling this place with creative writing and dive back into getting some personal thoughts out. It’s therapeutic. 

I mean, what the hell? I’ve always been a ‘shout it out to the void’ kind of guy.

Anyway, thanks for reading. And good luck if you decide to stick around. Shit’s gonna be weird and bad and… Oh man, why did I started this?

Eventually I started fishing, by the way. Right around the time I stopped sleeping and my hair got freakishly curly. I kind of miss that whole curly thing, actually. 

Racing Thoughts & Wasted Time

I’m sitting here at 8:30 in the evening. The room is dark, save for my monitor. Music is blaring in my headphones. I don’t want to hear the outside world. Normally I would find something resembling calm in this situation. I’m certainly trying to.

I can’t. My heart is racing for absolutely no reason. I can’t bear the thought of meeting up with anyone — I haven’t been able to all day. There are very few people in the world I’d even want to talk to. Even they don’t understand what’s going on in my head now.

I have generalized anxiety disorder and it has absolutely crushed my day. I didn’t feel this way yesterday or a week ago, I haven’t felt it this strongly in a while and it’s usually pretty well-managed with the SSRI Citalopram. I’ve taken it for a little over a year now.

But I screwed up. I ran out a couple of days ago and have been so busy with life that I kept forgetting to go in and get it refilled. I finally did that tonight but here I sit. Just waiting for the world to pick itself back up off my back.

This has affected my entire life for as long as I can remember but I hadn’t talked to a doctor about it until last spring. It changed everything. I am so glad I did it. And while I’m here in a dark room, just going over my day and tomorrow and the rest of the month in my mind, it does help recognizing that all of this pressure, the feeling that the walls are closing in, and the obsessing over every little detail to make sure I didn’t screw up — it’s all in my head. It sucks that I can’t flip a switch and just be okay with it, of course, but it does help just recognizing it for what it is. Knowing that there’s a decent chance I’ll wake up in the morning and everything will be fine. At the very least, I have my SSRI again. Even if it’s not bright and cheery, it’s manageable.

My anxiety isn’t based in or a result of depression. There are similarities between the two, for sure, but they’re not one in the same. Sometimes family and friends don’t realize this. I have extended family members that have dealt with major depression and so it’s a familiar topic. It is incredibly difficult to explain how my anxiety is different. That it has different triggers. That I’m not necessarily sad on a bad day. While I’m probably affected daily, the really bad days are few and far between. When they happen, though, they’re absolutely crushing and the thoughts that fuel them are completely irrational.

For instance, earlier today I had to take something into the post office drop box. There were 3 stop signs on the way through town and someone was following me. Any other day, I’m not even thinking about driving. Today? I’m worried at each stop. Did I stop abruptly in front of the person behind me? Why are they so close? Did I do something wrong? Are they on my ass because I pissed them off? Did I stop long enough at this stop sign? Did I take too long to move forward? I had the right of way there, right? I know I had right of way. Did that other person reach their sign at the 4-way before me?

I stopped at the gas station before I headed home. I said hi to the cashier. Did I smile? Was I frowning? I hope they didn’t think I was a dick. I hope they don’t remember me. I hope I don’t run into anyone I know today.

When I wasn’t freaking out in my head about the mundane day I was having, I worried about all the stupid things I have said to my family, friends and the people I care about in recent weeks. Do they all think I’m an idiot? Am I sure I’m not an idiot? Am I just a giant joke in the back of their minds. Do they even count me among the people they think about in the back of their minds, ever?

I suppose that’s where the depression similarities kick in. But I’m not so much sad about it. I just have to keep going over it again and again and again, even though I know everything is fine.

Then there’s the future. It’s a whole other beast. You get the idea. Fear and panic and obsession. Today was a shit day. I don’t mean to sound whiny — I’m just trying to get some thoughts out about how these days happen. I’m not alone. It’s fairly common. It’s just really difficult for people who don’t deal with it to understand.

Tomorrow’s gonna be better though. I’m feeling better now. My heart stopped racing. Hmm. Go figure.