Tribute - D&D 4E Campaign
Scarred human fighter
Not massively tall but thickset and hardy, Fourteen has a shock of red-brown hair and a beard. His hands are calloused and strong, and his back is scarred by the lash. There is a long scar on his left calf from a boar and a branded mark of a bull’s head on his right buttock. On his right forearm the number “14” is tattooed in Dwarven script.
He can hardly read at all, but speaks Common as well as some Dwarven (mostly swearing, insults and a vocabulary limited to stonework), and a smattering of Orcish – he knows the names of herbs in that tongue only.
Fourteen owns an orcish longsword, pulled from the body of the Whip, his clothes, an oilskin, a small shield and an ill-fitting set of scale mail he bought from a drunk in a bar.
Method is (8, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10) plus 22 points on PHB scale plus racial modifier (Method 2 page 17).
Base 10, plus 9 points to get to 16, plus 2 racial modifier
Fourteen has been lifting heavy things for as long as he can remember, and he’s good at it. Carrying tools, water, and later large rocks, both cut and not. Loading carts, stacking. Same story with Varag, just different things to carry. Fourteen is hugely strong.
Base 10, plus 5 points to get to 14
Fourteen can work all day, lift all day or run all day, he’s not bothered which. Other people seem to tire out more easily than he does. When he was a kid the food wasn’t great, and he’s breathed in an awful lot of rock dust in his short life, but he can still outlast almost anyone.
Base 10, plus 5 points to get to 14
Called “Little Goat” as a child for nimbly hopping across the rubble around the quarry, Fourteen has always has a great sense of balance. He’s also pretty good at throwing stones at rats and dodging whips.
Fourteen has never had much call for learning. He can hardly read, and speaks one language well enough to get by, and bits of two others. Logic and reasoning are not skills you stretch when all you care about is lumping rocks about so you don’t get hit.
Base 10, plus 3 points to get to 13
Living in fear of being thrashed for a decade has given Fourteen a sound grasp on common sense and a clear survival instinct. He has self-taught self-discipline, particularly in enduring hardship and coming out the other side. Time at the quarry and in the wilds also gave him a keen sense of danger and the knack of keeping his eye out for sudden movement.
Fourteen is a shade over six feet tall with hair like a brush and a face weathered by whips and the elements. His hands are big and ugly, his entire body is scarred, and in some places tattooed and branded. In his life to date he is aware of having had one friend, and has spent a decade starved of any social interaction to the point that he barely sees the point in talking. If someone can’t see his point of view, his strength is more persuasive than his words and he’s not interested in telling other people what to do because, most of the time, he just doesn’t care.
Nature (Class Skill from Northern Refugee back story)
Human Perseverance (Level 1)
Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade) (Level 1)
Improved Initiative (Level 2)
Combat Challenge (Level 1)
Combat Superiority (Level 1)
Weapon talent (One-Handed) (Level 1)
Reaping Strike (Level 1)
Tide of Iron (Level 1)
Cleave (Level 1)
Spinning Sweep (Level 1)
Comeback Strike (Level 1)
Shileded Sides (Level 2)
Fourteen remembers the day he got his name very well, because that was the day Thirteen died. Before then he had had no name, but the quarry gang and the Dwarf called him “Little Goat” because he could run across the rocks without falling down and climb cliffs like one. For as long as he could remember Fourteen had been carrying water and tools for the gang, and then Thirteen fell to his knees and couldn’t get up. The Whip shouted, then the Dwarf shouted and Thirteen didn’t get up. The Dwarf kept yelling “On your feet”. Thirteen didn’t get up and the Dwarf smashed his head with his stone hammer. While he was burying Thirteen, Fourteen reflected that he should try as hard as he could to always stay on his feet. Later that same day, he learned what goat’s cheese tasted like, and what the number fourteen looked like to the Dwarf because he tattooed it on Fourteen’s arm.
From then on Fourteen was carrying stone all day instead of water and kit. This did not bother him in the least, stone was more interesting and get got better food. He grew.
One day he dropped a stone and it broke. The Dwarf had him stripped and flogged in front of the gang. On that day Fourteen learned that he could take more pain than he thought and stay on his feet. That was also the day that some of the gang started calling him “Bull” because they saw the bull’s head branded onto Fourteen’s right buttock, or so he guessed. Fourteen does not remember how or when he was branded, it had just always been there. He just has the memory of pain and then not wanting to sit down.
Sometimes Fourteen would go with Shaice, the dwarf that took the money, to Nenlast. Apparently people argued less when Fourteen went too. Fourteen liked these journeys because Shaice was old and needed to sleep a lot, so he could climb trees and go running by the lake. He even managed to slip away and steal a small knife so he could teach himself to carve wood like Wilt, the stone-shaper. He really wanted to cut stone.
That idea went to the wall pretty quickly when the orc fell into the quarry. Things went really fast from then. The Dwarf was shouting orders as more orcs appeared at the top of the rock face. He gave Fourteen a scrap of leather and a coin and told him to run as hard as he could to Nenlast to tell the mayor “They’re coming”. So Fourteen ran to Nenlast, and told the mayor. It seems that this, and a bunch of missing patrols, had gotten the mayor pretty upset. In the shouting that followed, Fourteen ran back to the quarry because he didn’t want to be whipped again.
Most of the quarry gang were dead. Full of arrows, cut up with axes. Some of them were just gone. No sign of the Dwarf or Shaice, but Wilt was there hacked up and missing an ear like all the others. Fourteen caught himself smiling when he found the Whip curled up like a baby in front of an empty box of gold. The sword still in his stomach had done what Fourteen had never dared to. Pulling the sword out of the Whip, Fourteen wrapped it in an oilskin and grabbing what food he could find headed back to Nenlast, for no better reason than he had nowhere else to go.
In Nenlast the population was in wholesale flight. Streams of people were pouring out of the town carrying whatever they could manage. Others were boarding up windows and doors. In the market place, the mayor was giving instructions to a hollow-eyed man in rusted armour whose face brightened very slightly at the sight of Fourteen.
Two hours later Fourteen found himself dressed in rusted chain mail stood on a wall, which he liked, staring North and “covering the retreat of the townspeople”, which he did not. The hollow-eyed man seemed already dead, and the young man next to him had lost control of his bladder. They waited as the people ran and when everyone that was going to go had gone they were still waiting.
After two days a cloud of dust appeared to the North, and then a noise. Fourteen had never heard a noise like it. On the third day the army appeared. Looking up and down the wall at the assembled militia it quickly became clear to Fourteen that he had been sent to die on the wall. But the Dwarf was gone, and the Whip was dead. Seizing the opportunity to think for himself, Fourteen carefully leant his spear against a wall, unbuckled his rusted chainmail, picked up his oilskin and rations and then he ran.
Most people were headed West along the banks of the Nen, maybe hoping to get on a boat. Many others were setting out for Fallcrest to the South-West. In Fourteen’s mind, the orcs would follow them, so he headed due South across the hills, away from everyone else.
After a week’s wandering vaguely southward, the folly of his decision was dawning on Fourteen. With no food or shelter and no real idea how to get any, even his legs were starting to fail him. Eventually, he found a tree in lee of the wind and curled up underneath it, half-expecting to die. He awoke to what he discovered to be the smell of cooking meat, never having had it before, and the sight of something called a half-orc.
Varag, a scout, found Fourteen and fed him. Not out of good-heartedness, but because he saw use in Fourteen. So now Fourteen carried and fetched for Varag, but not because he was whipped or starved. Varag taught him to hunt, and to be patient, to think and to survive. He showed him how to use the orc’s sword he taken from the quarry, and how to heal. Fourteen tried to learn, and made sure he remembered the look of the herbs that Varag used to fix the gash in his leg, left by a boar that was not quite dead.
Fourteen spent three years with Varag, hunting and trading pelts, and feeling like he had a friend. As time went by, signs of orcs began to appear and Varag became increasingly anxious. He told Fourteen to move South and flee the orcs and suggested that he head for Tribute.
Fourteen accepted, unhappily, and Varag got him a job escorting a caravan headed South along the King’s Road at Harkenwold. He has just arrived at Tribute and, having been paid, has bought himself armour and enough booze to render a weaker man unconscious. He is wondering what to do next…