The Shadow on Fallcrest
Come back and look at this section from time to time. As your character progresses through adventures and interacts with the world, you should add to your character’s background. It’s a process that’s much more achievable if you do it bit by bit.
You can build ties between your character and the town of Fallcrest using the information below as a guide. If you don’t like the ideas offered here, no problem — you’re free to make up your own connections for your character.
From the Player’s Strategy Guide:
Share your character concept and background elements with your fellow players and encourage them to do the same. Look for places where your stories might link together, and take advantage of those opportunities to build connections before the campaign even begins.
Your links might have been forged in the past. Perhaps two characters hail from the same village, or studied under the same mentor, or were orphaned by the same war. If such coincidences seem too strained, find another way to connect yourself to a person, a place, or an event significant to another character. Maybe your character knows another character’s home town because you used to make delivery runs there as part ofa merchant caravan. The paladin in the party knows your mentor because the paladin’s father served with him in the war … the same war that orphaned the wizard.
On the other hand, the connections you build might involve plans for the future. You know that one ofthe characters likes to play practical jokes, so you decide that your dwarfwill become the unwitting straight man for your friend’s tricks. Two dragonborn characters in the same party might share a desire to see the glory ofArkhosia reborn in the world.
These links don’t just provide common points of reference for small talk between your characters, they begin to build a framework upon which the DM can later place adventure hooks, significant nonplayer characters, and storylines. A person known to two or three characters provides a more compelling contact than one who’s a stranger to everyone but you. A goal shared by two characters is twice as likely to become Significant in the campaign setting.
You don’t have to decide that every character knows everyone else before the first adventure starts. Instead, craft an interesting link between your character and two others in the party. Each of those characters. in turn, builds a link between two others, and so on, until you have a web of connections that bring you all together.
Feel free to also use the PHB pg23 and PHB2 pg178 to further flesh out your character. Of course any background is subject to alteration by the DM.
Dragonborn: No dragonborn are native to Fallcrest, but travelers occasionally pass through and take up work for a time, especially as bodyguards or caravan guards. The Halfmoon halflings, House Azaer, and the importer Naerumar have work available for a capable adventurer.
Dwarf: A fair number of dwarves live in Fallcrest, so a dwarf character could easily be a native of the city – perhaps a relative of Teldorthan Ironhews. If not, the nearest dwarven homeland is Hammerfast, a week’s travel distant. Merchants and crafters from Hammerfast travel to Fallcrest to trade or work, lodging in one of the local inns for a few weeks.
Eladrin: Eladrin are not often seen in Fallcrest. Some of the old manors in the Moon Hills and the nearby parts of the Vale were once the homes of well-off eladrin families; a player character eladrin might hold the title to an abandoned estate a mile or two out of town.
Elf: Elves are also scarce in Fallcrest, but a small number reside in and around the town. Ressilmae Starlight of the temple of Sehanine might be a relative or an old friend of an elf character. Elves from outside Fallcrest might belong to the Woodsinger clan from the Harken Forest.
Half-Elf: A small number of half-elves reside in Fallcrest or the vicinity. Most are well-off farmers or herders living in the Moon Hills near the town; the rest are expert artisans – jewelers, tailors, or woodworkers – in the town. A half-elf player character
can be the child or relative of a Fallcrest family.
Halfling: Halflings are the most numerous people in Fallcrest aside from humans, and they come from any walk of life. A Fallcrest native might be related to the [[Halfroom Tading House|Halfmoon] family, the Ostermans of the Silver Unicorn, or the Thistletons of Fallcrest Stables. Halflings descended from the traders who pass through Fallcrest can be members of the
Human: Most of Fallcrest’s people are human. Characters with rural backgrounds likely grew up on the farms in the nearby Moon Hills. Characters with an urban upbringing might be the children of well-off landowners such as the Kamroths, or ruffians and sell-swords who had a hard childhood in Lowtown.
Tiefling: Two tiefling families and a few individuals live and thrive in Fallcrest, including the Azaers and the Naerumars.
Cleric: Since there are temples of Erathis, Pelor, and Sehanine in town, a player character cleric devoted to one of these deities would naturally have allies and colleagues here.
Fighter: Fallcrest is a trading town, and merchants need bodyguards or caravan guards when they set out for distant towns. The Halfmoons or House Azaer might employ a fighter. Fighters from betteroff families might be retainers in the service of the Markelhays — young “court blades” who are a cut above the typical garrison guard.
Paladin: As with clerics, paladins devoted to Erathis, Pelor, or Sehanine have natural allies in the temples of Fallcrest. In addition, paladin characters might also be aspiring knights sworn to the service of the Markelhay family.
Ranger: Many of the countryside folk living around Fallcrest are foresters and hunters; a ranger character could easily belong to one of these families. Rangers who aren’t natives might hail from the Barony of Harkenwold or the remote village of Nenlast to the northeast.
Rogue: Members of groups such as the porters’ guild or the River Rats are natural associates of a player character rogue. Capable people are in high demand anywhere, and a rogue might also fit in as an agent of a merchant house such as the Halfmoons or the Azaers.
Warlock: The folk of Fallcrest regard warlocks as they do wizards – mysterious figures to be treated cautiously. Well-off merchants or nobles often retain a “house mage” to advise them in magical matters, so a warlock could easily work for the Markelhays, Amros Kamroth, or other wealthy individual.
Warlord: Like fighters or paladins, warlords might be attached to the Markelhay household. Those of lower stature can serve as sell-swords or agents of merchant companies such as House Azaer.
Wizard: A player character wizard might be an apprentice to Nimozaran, of the Septarch’s Tower.
Look to the Past
Consider how you want the history of the Nerath Empire to fit into your character’s story. It can be a background element that inspires you to undertake quests or pursue ideals related to the empire’s legacy. These characters are sometimes called the “Nerathi faithful,” and they look upon the fallen empire with reverence. Alternatively, you might choose to fight against the empire’s legacy; after all, in some eyes, Nerath succeeded only through conquest and dictatorship. You might resent ancient Nerath’s subjugation of your people and view its hallowed virtues as failed arrogance. Either way, the empire’s mark on your character’s past is inescapable. Will you live up to its shining example or step out of its shadow to something even greater?
Your character has grown up feeling the influence of Nerath in their homeland, though in most cases it is difficult to tell fact and legend apart.
The Inheritors of Nerath
Though the empire is gone, its influence can still be felt in your character by incorporating the following backgrounds into your history.
Many Nerathi faithful take up important quests on behalf of the empire’s legacy. These personnel quests provide long-term goals which can guide your character’s actions across a whole tier of play or even span the entire campaign. Fulfilling them will carry the light of Nerath into the future and bring you great rewards as well. Use what follows as a starting point, and work with your DM to incorporate your background and personal quests into the story.
Keeper of the Flame
People of the Gold Dragon
Scion of Patricians