Magical Origins: Faerie-Themed Backgrounds

 

Good mornings, viewers, and Happy Easter (if you celebrate the holiday)! Today’s post goes hand-in-hand with Doctor Necrotic’s post on faerie backgrounds for 5th Edition. I apologize for the delay in this post also, good friend, but real life gets hectic and more chaotic then summoning Tiamat.

Regardless of life circumstances, here’s some backgrounds themed after faerie and faerie tale characters to inspire your characters!


 

Court-Affiliated

faecourt

 

Through one way or another, you have become entangled with the world of the faerie courts, either Unseelie or Seelie: factions whom are at eternal conflict with the other. You are not a nobleman or women, yet you serve your court to the best of your abilities. Perhaps you were taken in by one of them, or earned service through the trust and good word of another higher then you in their ranks.

Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, History

Tool Proficiencies: None

Languages: Sylvan

Additional Starting Gear:  An emblem showing allegiance to your court, a small ring with inscribed runes, a roll of parchment, an inkwell and quill pen and 15 gp

Court Role: In any society, each person plays a part. Choose from the given options below or roll a d8 to decide at random.

1) Chef

2) Entertainer

3) Gardener

4) Master of falcons

5) Maid/butler

6) Seamstress/tailor

7) Archivest/historian

8) Messenger

Background Feature: Both Sides of the Coin

Even though you are welcome by the noble or not-so-noble courts, you came from common stock with those not within their ranks and can walk between these worlds with ease. You do not invoke fear as many of the more well-known fae courtsman and ladies do, and some even come to you asking for information about either mortals or the magical beings of the Feywilds. What you do with the information that you know, however, is up to you.

Suggested Characteristics:

Personality Traits (d8)

1) The Courts’ fashion sense and mindsets can be rather eclectic. And I adapt that with pleasure and glee.

2) I am rather secretive about my role in the Courts to others who are not part of it.

3) Some think my blood is made up of primarily pilfered wine.

4) I aim to answer every question I am asked, even if I don’t know the answer.

5) There is something about playing with the occult that appeals to me. Tarot cards, runes, you name it.

6) Playing pranks on some of the higher ranking officials fills me with happiness.

7) No gossip is out of my reach. The juicier, the better!

8) Some call me a dragon in disguise, with how I seem to hoard everything.

 

Ideals (d6)

1) Through actions, I can teach the Courts to understand the common folk better. (Good)

2) I am the only one who I need to trust. Everyone else is deserving of my wrath or suspicion. (Evil)

3) Every rule has a place in life, and good reason to be enforced.  (Lawful)

4) Changing the minds of the most powerful is the first step in permanent change. (Neutral)

5) You can’t ever trust anyone, even if they say they’re your friend. (Chaotic)

6) Not all fae are cruel, and not every mortal is unwise. There is knowledge within all. (Any)

 

Bonds (d6)

1) My King/Queen is the most noble of beings! Long live their reign!

2) I find that knowing the kitchen staff can get you out of many situations, and gain an additional slice of pie.

3) Only one man/woman claims my heart, and I will do anything for them.

4) My fellow workers in my field are the folks who deserve my trust.

5) There is no one I trust more than myself.

6) The unseen forces of the world are by far the most trusting of things. Mortals cannot compare.

 

Flaws (d6)

1) Brothels and booze seem to be my “best friends”.

2) I may or may not be hatching a scheme against the very forces I work for. Who needs to know for sure?

3) People are quite boring, so adding a little something “special” to their food and drink makes things interesting.

4) The nobles have too much gold for their own good, so I aim to lighten their loads one by one.

5) I spend too much time interacting with mortals who some of the courts do not generally like.

6) My heart has fallen for a person who I can never be with, even though they admit their feelings for me as well.


 

troll_hunter_by_kerembeyit
Art-kerembeyit of DeviantArt

Faerie Hunter

A life riff with dangers of a magical kind, you have become adept and downright frightening in hunting the fae and other such creatures. While the prospect of hunting the fae does not sound dangerous, you know the ugly truth. They are tricky beings, and with exposure to them you have learned their ways and how to befuddle and track them down as well. They become your prey, and you are more than happy to give them chase.

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: Poisoner’s Kit

Additional Starting Gear: A hunting dagger, a faerie trinket taken from captured or killed prey, a compass, a map of a familiar location and 5 gp.

Background Feature: Chaser of Prey

With being as talented at hunting faerie creatures as you are, you still require the tools in order to do so. You have an easier time getting such things from those who also have a need for them: searching these providers out, gaining new prey to seek (and possibly a nice penny in your pocket) as well as potential allies. You might be able to haggle a price down on a new set of swords, or even convince a mage of a cold iron enchantment. Talk to your DM about what your Background Trait entails.

 

Suggested Characteristics: 

Personality Traits (d8)

1) At times, I get too carried away with the hunting, and do not know when to give up on my quarry.

2) There is a serene calm of the uninhabited wilds that no mortal establishment can create. The woods is where I succeed.

3) People only slow me down, and so I am solitary. A ‘lone wolf’, if you will, even in civilization.

4) Yes, this is raw meat for dinner. You learn to survive off of what you can find: sometimes it’s not cooked.

5) No target is too large, so long as the payout matches such.

6) At moments, my quarries are sold upon the Black Market. I can’t reveal to you the vendors.

7) There are days that I wish I could just settle down and pursue a normal life and not have to worry for my life always.

8) I have started to hear my name whispered amongst the fae out of fear. Let them fear.

 

Ideals (d6)

1) For the safety of the people, I go about my job with some semblance of peace. (Good)

2) I relish the killing and taking-down of the enemy, filling me with glee. (Evil)

3) I hunt only what needs to be tracked down. An innocent sylvan life is blood not meant to be shed. (Lawful)

4) If others don’t care for this life I lead, that’s their problem. I am content with it.  (Neutral)

5) Everything has a right to live, but sometimes they need to be culled for survival sake. (Chaotic)

6)  If you give me a reason to listen to you, my ears will be open to your words. (Any)

 

Bonds (d6)

1) My whims come first before anyone else.

2) The wilds provide me all I need, and I provide what it needs in kind.

3) My “friends” are few and far between, but I will always watch over them.

4) I rely on a particular benefactor for the mainstay of my pay. He/she comes first and foremost.

5) Druids are my best allies, for they understand where my heart lies.

6)  Anyone with a reason against the fae are my kind of crowd.

 

Flaws (d6)

1) Insult my way of life and I will cut you down with your own knife.

2) I become flustered and tongue-tied at the first sign of kindness or flirtation.

3)  I often do not know when to stop talking, and many times this gets me in trouble.

4) Even if I do not have the money on me, I will always want to buy the most expensive gear.

5) Twenty gold that I can beat that ogre in a wrestling match. I make bets that I can’t always keep up to.

6) I constantly brag about what I call my greatest kill, much to the annoyance of all around me.


 

COVEN-RAISED

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As a child, you thought that your upbringing was normal, until your eyes were opened to the world that it was anything but. You were raised amidst a hag coven, as one of their own. Perhaps you were stolen from a human family in order to play a trick on your blood relatives, or the leader of a coven wanted someone to pass their ways down through. Regardless, your life has been full of sorcery, hexes and charms amidst a circle that some would deem downright monstrous.

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Nature

Tool Proficiencies: Alchemist’s tools

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: A small ritual knife, a piece of bone jewelry, the symbol of your coven, and a pouch containing 5 gp

 

Coven Role:   In each coven, every person has a dictated role ranging from the mundane to the head of their arcane circle. Roll a d6 at random or choose from the table below

1) Head of the coven

2) Herbalist/ expert of plant life

3) Oracle to the gods/spirits

4) Animal handler

5) Blood-letter

6)  Keeper of lore

 

Feature: Circle Connections

Other hags or those in wicked covens and/or cults can pick up on your ties to their mysterious way of life, and you find it easy to converse with its members. A hag will treat you as a friend, or at least someone who can be trusted easier than others who do not understand coven-life, and will provide shelter and food of a reasonable accommodation that they can provide. Hags also find comfort in speaking to you, and are much more likely to reveal secrets and information to a fellow hag associate.

Suggested Characteristics

 

Personality Trait (d8)

1) The rules of the coven are absolute.

2) If anything is shiny or looks vaguely interesting, it belongs in my pocket.

3) Nothing comes between the success of my family.

4) I am the most beautiful creature in the land. If someone disagrees with this, I pity them.

5) The more wealthy you are, the less of a friend I see you as.

6) Sometimes I wish that some would see us beyond our skin appearances.

7) Wearing the guise of another fills me with glee.

8) Who can resist a little blood sacrifice?

 

Ideal (d6)

1)  If one is above you in the coven, then their word is law. No questions asked. (Lawful)

2) You are one of us. That is reason enough for me to trust you. (Good)

3) Vanity is like a virus that needs to be purged completely. (Chaotic)

4) Through any means necessary, I shall rule the coven and hag-kind possibly. (Chaotic)

5) You scratch my back, I’ll return the favor. (Neutral)

6) Whoever said I can’t raise hell clearly hasn’t seen my past times! (Evil)

 

 Bond (d6)

1) It is my obligation to see my fellow coven-members are safe.

2) My life is a mystery surrounded by enigmas. I must see that they are deciphered.

3) I once had a familiar who I treated like family. I wish I knew where he/she went.

4) My lover is a man who I can never be with, or else the child would be a monster.

5) Isolation brings me peace and insight.

6) My revenge for a person will be as fiery as an inferno.

 

Flaw (d6)

1) I will do just about anything for knowledge. Anything.

2) That which is more beautiful then me will feel my wrath in full.

3) I fear that I will never be a contributor to my coven, and will falter.

4) I hold a deep-seated hatred for another coven member. I feel they overshadow me.

5) The meager amount of money I have is spent on alcohol.

6) The potions I make I exchange for… other such goods on the black market.

 

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