My first experience dungeon mastering an entire campaign is nearing its end. After more than a year of “Waterdeep: Dragon Heist”, I am ready to get back in the player’s seat for a bit. Thankfully, one of my players and a DM in two other campaigns I played is ready to take back his seat. And, as a huge Magic: The Gathering fan, he wants to take us to Innistrad.
To test the waters a bit, he actually ran us through a two-shot set in Innistrad several months ago. It gave me some time to prep for Dragon Heist and take a much needed break running things. It was an interesting setting. I do not generally go for gothic horror, but I have read “Frankenstein” and seen enough vampire movies to know a thing or too.
Given the overbearing nature of the Church in the Innistrad setting, I thought making my first Cleric would be perfect. I wanted to base him off concepts of guilt, sin, and early Christian theologians as the scientists and philosophers of their day. I also wanted an older character who has experienced the world more through books than direct experiences or social interaction (akin to common Wizard tropes).
The Knowledge Domain was a perfect fit. It gives me all the access to skill proficiencies and languages I could want. It also has plenty flavor to tie into my background. But rather than write out his background outside the game, I thought it might be fun to write it inside the game as something he keeps with him at all times.
On his person, as an admission of his sins, he has the following letter:
To whoever is owed my truth,
I admit without redaction: I have been lying for the last five years. I lied to the Church and to my peers. I used my position, my reputation, and my talent to selfishly get what I wanted most for myself.
May Avacyn look kindly on me for my sins.
It started when the Church denied my request for fieldwork. They claimed it was because they needed me in Thraben and would not risk losing my knowledge. They actually meant that a 39-year old scholar, who never left the library or the city, was not worth the resources.
They were right. I spent my whole life surrounded by books, living comfortably in ivory towers. My mother kept me here to protect me. She left me to explore the Great Library on my own while she worked as a researcher and archivist. But she told me to never leave or else I would die as my father did – ignobly and forgotten.
With her gone too, I remained and have spent my years in study and quiet repose … an old man’s life at a young man’s age.
The Church’s denial was the catalyst I needed. Risking my reputation and my life, I manufactured and planted evidence of one of the greatest discoveries of our age: the Chalice of Life. With an artifact this powerful, I knew the Church would let me out of my duties to the Great Library.
But the Chalice never existed and never will. This note is my recognition of what I have done. I weaved a tale using ancient texts which I translated myself from languages no longer spoken. I destroyed priceless tomes that would contradict my lies. I misled my peers. I attacked the reputations of scholars rightfully onto my deceits.
If you have found this, then I am already dead and judged. I accept Avacyn’s will. I hope you too will find mercy for my transgressions.
The “Chalice of Life” is an obvious McGuffin. I originally left it blank and suggested to the DM to fill it in however he likes. Whether it exists or not, whether I will find it, etc. are all questions I leave to him and hime alone.
I am excited to play him “sometime soon.”