In my last Worldbuilding Wednesday - Myths and Legends post I had mentioned how I enjoy interlacing character backstories with myths and legends in the world. I had given a brief example of one of them, and promised to provide all of them here today.
When I presented these visions to the players, I had printed out the related images to give to them to bring the text to life. They all seemed to really enjoy it. What follows is exactly what each player heard, and if applicable, some notes meant for me as the Dungeon Master. Due to schedule conflicts, the birth of my boy, and fun life stuff like that, we never got to see these through to their conclusion, so for some of the players who read this, it'll give a glimpse of where we would have ended up.
These visions were a result of a psychic blast originating from the Book of Vile Darkness when it was touched by a player, and when the visions were over the book was gone.
My wife was playing a Goliath Bard named Mavieth, and I handed her this image:
Our Grasp of Heaven by Noah Bradley
And read her the following:
You see ten humanoids; their eyes glow softly and bright orange tattoos cover each of them. No two tattoos are alike. One looks up into the sky, and you follow his gaze. The sky is a patchwork of swirling colours, like an aurora which covers the sky. The scene pans out, showing a mountainous area. A tide of churning magic rolls away from the group, impossibly large in scope. Fresh vegetation - grasses, trees, and flowers - sprout from the scarred earth in its wake. Your vision fades.
[Unread information: These figures are the ancestor-gods of the Goliath. The first of their kind, created near the end of the war between Dragons and Giants. These first Goliath took it upon themselves to heal the scarred earth through the magic of their songs. This power has faded over time, and as their connection to their creators dimmed, so too did their tattoos - until modern Goliath are now born with black markings, instead of vibrant orange.]
My cousin, @lacking, was playing a Human Fighter in his mid 40's named Finn. I handed him this image:
Unable to source - no valid source through tinyeye or google image search. Found on Wallhaven.cc.
You see a beautiful valley sprawls before you; a mountain range rises far in the distance beyond the valley. A slow-moving river crosses the valley from the east, and in the peaceful meadow beside it rests a massive white dragon. Nearby, a knight in resplendent armor sets up a tent. The armor is strange and foreign to you, though at the same time it feels strangely familiar. The scene shifts, and you are suddenly among the makeshift camp and you notice now that the dragon's head and neck are also armored in a style similar to the knight... who turns from the now roaring campfire to rest his hand on the dragon's neck. You feel a momentary disorientation as you see his face. It's a near perfect copy of your own, though easily twenty years younger. Your vision fades.
[Unread information: Before the founding of the Empire 5300 years previous, there was a group of knights that had formed bonds with some of the remaining dragons. They were lost before the founding of the Empire when they valiantly sacrificed themselves to beat back a demonic prince and close a portal to the chaotic demon wastes. This vision was of things that were, and things that could be - In the next quest they'd have run into a young white dragon, with a very good chance of Finn befriending it. Eventually, an option to find one of the last hidden sets of armor for the dragon and the knight would have also been presented.]
Another friend of ours was playing a Tabaxi Monk, named Moss. He received this image:
Dragon Turtle by MaRoC68
And was read the following:
A rippling ocean surges below you. In the distance you spot an island. You race over the waves, but you seem to barely be catching up to it - as though it's also moving... Suddenly there is a flash on the horizon, and in moments you find yourself able to clearly see the island - which as you get closer, is no island at all. Atop the back of a giant turtle perches an ornate pagoda. A bald human monk sits meditating on one of the balconies. As he opens his eyes, your vision fades.
[Unread information: This was a vision of a probable future. Moss would have eventually crossed paths with this turtle and the reclusive monks that live on it. With their help, he would have learned the secrets to unlocking the Emperor's Palace, and put into motion the last arc of the game - a quest to use the Emperor's Throne and install a new Emperor(Empress), or to destroy it.]
And, the final character to talk about - the one that was hinted at in my last post - is Tia. A Tiefling Sorceress, played by @arcticgypsy. She was provided this image:
Reaper of Souls - Wizard by TeaInK
And I read the following:
You see a woman, standing atop a cliff overlooking an unfamiliar city. The figures face is obscured, but you feel as though you somehow know this person. Magic blossoms in the air around her as she raises her arms above her head, and you feel a belly-churning lurch as the scene shifts. The city below - beautiful and resplendent - now lies in ruin. Fires burn here and there, and the rubble of shattered buildings fills the streets. The woman lowers her arms, makes a 'hand wash' gesture, and turns to leave the clifftop. Your vision fades.
[Unread information: This was a vision of the past - of the ancestor who cursed her family line, and the city that she destroyed. It remains a corrupted ruin hundreds of years later. This ancestor is still alive, due both to her powerful magic and the pact she'd made with the devil. Finding her and dealing with her (violently, if necessary), would have unlocked the full potential of the powerful heirloom and artifact Tia carried as a necklace - which in turn would have unlocked the ability to travel safely to and from Mach'Lithe at their will.]
I hope you've enjoyed this special supplemental Trothguard / Worldbuilding post today. I meant to have it out much earlier, but my toddler was up all night and I'm catching a cold - so it's been a fight to even have the energy to finish this today, haha.
Thanks for reading!