Just Another Uninteresting Fighter
I’m steadily making spare characters for D&D 5e, partly to help me gain insight into game mechanics while I work on my Musketeers-inspired campaign, but mostly because it’s a fun exercise. I don’t usually do fighters so I thought it was time to give it a try. I’l say this: D&D 5e has finally done a good job making fighters into more than just dumb muscle.
Here’s his Level 3 character sheet.
Jauf is the third child of a minor noble. With the eldest daughter trained as the successor to the title, and the second son consecrated to the church, Jauf had no well-defined role for his life. His intellect carried him through studies, but his inability to focus prevented him from achieving true scholarly success. His only passion was the blade, to which he dedicated great time and effort. When his studies concluded, he drifted. As a favor to his mother, the legendary diplomat Hons auf Mellin took Jauf on as an attaché on a minor diplomatic mission to mediate an insignificant point of contention between the venerable Elvish Potentancy and the adjacent Dwarfish Sovereignty. Through a chain of unforeseeable events, the situation careened toward catastrophe. Jauf, by sharp thinking and quick action, contributed to auf Mellin’s brilliant and ultimately successful salvaging of the peace. Seeing the great negotiator at work, Jauf found at last his calling.
For the next decade, Jauf traversed the continent on missions to nations great and small. At first serving as auf Mellin’s aide and later on his own, he spent time in the major capitals and most cities of note, earning a reputation as an effective negotiator and a fair mediator. He also earned a reputation as an accomplished but somewhat reckless swordsman, engaging in numerous duels and affairs of honor. Although his government always managed to hush up his indiscretions (because he repeatedly proved himself useful), Jauf has accumulated an unusual number of bitter enemies from all the lands, including his own – men and women he challenged, bested, or humiliated. It is far from rare for him to be accosted on city streets.
Growing in confidence (some would say, arrogance), Jauf took on missions of ever-increasing daring and import. Staying away from the grand and ponderous interplay at the highest levels of diplomacy, Jauf prided himself on finding the smaller situations that could be used to shape great events. Once castigated in a local paper as The Great Pivoter – you never know which side he’ll come down on – he adopted the sobriquet with pride and liked to style himself the Fulcrum Mundi.
This escalation of ambition and pride ended as, perhaps, it was fated to. As tensions flared between the Potentancy and the Sovereignty, Jauf found himself dispatched to the site of his first triumph, to investigate and find an equitable solution. Despite his best efforts, provocations multiplied and escalation ensued, leading to the retaliatory razing of a border Elvish village and the slaughter of two dozen Elvish families. Populations in both lands began to clamor for war. Jauf’s credibility as an even-handed mediator was invoked to lay blame, in the eyes of the wider public, squarely on the Dwarves. Rather than fight a war they had not seen coming, the Dwarves offered extensive reparations in terms of ore and craft.
To his horror, Jauf soon learned that, unknown to him, the military unit that had accompanied him had had its own orders to execute a false-flag operation. The destruction of the Elvish village had been the entire point of the exercise, so that Hons auf Mellin could step in and negotiate the armistice – while in secret also securing a generous slice of the reparations for his (and Jauf’s) homeland. Far from being a neutral arbiter, auf Mellin and, by extension, Jauf had pulled strings and instigated bloodshed and nearly war – for profit, not principle. Disgusted and disillusioned, Jauf quit the field of diplomacy and sought a mode of living that leaves him beholden to no higher power. This is what has led him to adventuring.