Friday, January 29, 2010

Brian & Bronze

I've been coming up with characters and sets of characters in my head for a while now. I thought it might help if I started writing them down. At least this way they'll be available if our gaming group ever needs a couple spur of the moment PCs or NPCs. Enjoy!

Many decades ago:

"...out of some wood, rocks, and bronz- Tit of Vecna! It's moving!".

"I told you it would. Now sit up. That's good. Look left. Good range of motion. Now stand. Perfect."


Two men walked down a hall arguing, one pulling a child along behind them. The carpets swallowed their footsteps and the wall hangings softened their words. They left a trail in fragments of grease pencil, several sticky pieces of wax paper, and a ball of twine that unwound its way across the floor as it was drug by the end still trailing from the child's pocket.

The man yanking the child along hissed at the other one. "The kid's too good of a distraction, that's what I've been trying to tell you. We can't push an agenda through if the old man's not paying attention!"

"I'd forgotten he'd gotten so big. Look, last time I saw him, we could just perch him on the old man's knee and he would just nod through whatever we proposed." The other one kept looking back as they stalked down the hall. No one else was there, and the child was staring absently at the ceiling as he stumbled along.

"Infants grow up, Lars. That's why they're such a pain in the ass. We don't have time for this." The speaker threw open a door. Inside, light crowded through dusty windows, throwing a sepia cast on the old workshop.

In the corner, a humanoid figure stood stiffly, the dust covering it an even coat. The man with the child pointed to him. "You, warforged! Watch the kid. Make sure he doesn't get hurt." He then wrenched the kid around him into the room and left, closing the door behind him.

The mannequin looked down at the child, a slight slough of dust pouring off the top of his head. The child smiled and tottered over, smiling at his new companion.

"Tin Man!"

"No," said the figure. "Bronze."


Brian Cannith is a thirteen year old runaway. An extremely promising artificer, he left after the death of his grandfather, who had been the local patriarch of House Cannith. His family is extensive, but his grandfather had been the only one he'd felt close to. He left home to explore the world beyond his family's mansion.

Bronze is Brian's companion. An extremely ancient warforged hand crafted by one of Brian's ancestors, he spent the last several decades abandoned and forgotten in one of the mansion's workshops, until one of Brian's uncles chanced to find him, and charged him with watching over his nephew. Though the arrangement was meant to be temporary, Brian took a true liking to Bronze, and spent much of his childhood reviving and restoring the workshop Bronze had been in. Brian is the only person Bronze cares about, and when Brian told Bronze of his plans to leave, Bronze agreed to come without hesitation. Bronze has few memories of his time before the workshop - he remembers his first awakening, and being shown around, having his creator show him to others, often at first, then less and less often as his creator moved onto other projects, til Bronze was ultimately forgotten by his creator's children's children. Bronze is curious of the world, but somewhat mistrusting.

Plot Hooks

Both Brian and Bronze can be tempted by new experiences, though Brian's young recklessness and Bronze's protective personality are often at odds. Brian has quickly figured out that in order to continue his studies and practice of crafting new and
interesting magical items, he needs a good deal of money, so he can be tempted by monetary rewards as well, though he's only interested in the money insofar as it will let him buy the components he needs.

Between his dragonmark of making and his obvious natural talents for crafting, great things are expected of Brian, and his uncles plan to capitalize on his achievements for the advancement of House Cannith (and to a greater degree, themselves - if they can figure out how to cut out each other). His disappearance put a hink in their plans, so they are actively searching for him. They haven't let the House at large know that it's a problem, so as to maintain the appearance of control, but they would very much like to get him back. To this end, Brian and Bronze may at some points be pursued by various mercenaries working for his uncles. Normally, it's a non-lethal game of cat and mouse. Brian bears them no ill will, he just has no interest in going home. Brian's uncles are beginning to get annoyed with him (which is a change from previously just ignoring him), but dead, he would be worse than worthless, he'd be lost profit.

Bronze has had few dealings with other warforged. Though a few others were stationed around the mansion (mainly as guards), they were definitely not regarded as full status members of the household. Outside of the mansion, he's discovering the breadth and personality of warforged culture. Bronze has some identity issues, as standing for most of a century in a closet did little for his personal growth, and even after that he defined himself mostly in relation to Brian. Now on the outside, he's beginning to wonder who he is, and how he wants to define himself. He's not going to let Brian set the order of business all the time, and may occasionally drag Brian behind him on his journey of self discovery.

Bronze may (or may not) be the first warforged. It's up to the DM to decide. He might just be Brian's great great great grandfather's journeyman project. However, he's definitely much older (and old fashioned looking) than most of the models around these days, and this may itself lead to some plot hooks, with other artificers wondering what they can learn from this prototype, as well as other warforged wondering about their roots (despite the paucity of information Bronze himself can provide).

Other notes

I don't know much about the canon of Eberron. I've read the 4Ed Player's Guide and Campaign setting (though not necessarily as carefully as I should), so some of what I've written above may contradict canon. If that matters to you, do some research and fix it.

There's definitely a slavery/American south angle you can play with here if you want to. I would avoid making the common population too disrespectful of warforged - they're bigger, stronger, and equal under the law. Such attitudes seem unhealthy in the short term. Bronze and Brian, in particular, should treat each other with respect. However, Brian's uncles should be complete jackasses about it. After all, the only reason they can't own warforged outright, and can't manufacture and sell them anymore is by treaty. The lack of respect they have for most warforged (and the distaste the warforged have for them in return) should be evident, though they are capable of restraining themselves when necessary (although if an uncle or two should die of stupidity, I wouldn't worry too much about it).

If the DM rules that Mark of Making and Master Crafter don't stack (though, by my reading, they do; and money is always a limiting resource for making magic items anyway), then you might want to monkey with those feat choices for Brian a bit. Potent Restorables is another great early level Artificer feat, especially if he's going to be doing solo healing (though his crafting of healing potions and woundpatches can go a long way with sufficient funding).

A note about gender. There's nothing male-specific about either of these characters (even less about Bronze), so there's nothing that says it couldn't be Breane and Bronze.