Captain Estian Orjas
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“I'm with you until the end of the line.” -Captain America
- Interception Fighting Style: When a creature you can see hits a target that is within 5 feet of you with an attack, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage the target takes by 1d10 + your proficiency bonus (to a minimum of 0 damage). You must be wielding a shield or a simple or martial weapon to use this reaction.
- Second Wind: As a bonus action, regain hit points equal to 1d10 + fighter level.
- Military Rank: x
- Tavern Brawler: Gain +1 Strength • Proficient with improvised weapons and unarmed strikes • Unarmed strike causes 1d4 damage • When hitting a creature with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon on my turn, may use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target.
- Coins: x cp • x sp • x ep • x gp • x pp • Other coins: x
- Gems: x
- In Hand: Shield
- Worn: Scale mail, explorer's pack
- Belt: x
- Backpack: x
- xxx: (x gp/day). x
- My father was a soldier with [FORCE], and was killed in action when I was very young. I don't even really remember him. Suddenly responsible for both herself and me, my young mother found work at [VINEYARD], owned by the Martikov family in [LOCATION].
- I grew up at [VINEYARD]. My mother worked at the winery, one of the workers responsible for pressing, bottling, and generally making the wine happen. Though not a vintner proper, the Martikovs took a liking to her and taught her much of the craft, allowing her to make a better than fair living as a foreman at the winery.
- I grew up among the Martikov children. We were all tutored together by the priest of the small shrine to Selûne on the winery grounds, and I played with them. Many of the local children considered the Martikov children a little strange, and they were to some degree. I knew the entire time that they had some kind of secret, although my mother told me not to think of it as such. "It's not a secret, Estian. It's private, and people are entitled to their privacy. Especially when they've been so good to us."
- My best friend was Stanislaus, who was around my age. He had raven dark hair and a brooding quality to him. "Night and day," his family used to call us, and we were inseparable. It was from Stanislaus that I learned about the family secret of the Martikovs – this did nothing to change how I felt about them, of course. In fact, knowing they were corvidanthropes simply drew me closer to them: I felt trusted with the family secret.
- Stanislaus was fascinated with my stories about my father's heroism. He was the boy who always wanted to play at war; I wasn't so enamored of violence, even the make-believe kind, but I adored Stanislaus, and wanted to make him happy. I also secretly loved how exciting a Martikov found my family – I was used to their family being the important ones, and mine being nobodies, so to have one of them beg me or my mother for war stories about my father was intoxicating.
- My mother's stories always emphasized my father's bravery and honor. He was a hero to her, and through her stories, to Stanislaus and I. We grew from boys into young men, and found we had less time for play at war as our chores around vineyard and winery grew along with us. Slaus was still enchanted with fighting folk, though, and he and I begged one of the mercenaries of House Tesper to teach us to use swords. (House Tesper, partial owners of [VINEYARD], always made sure that some of their fighting forces were on-site to help protect us.)
- I loved Slaus dearly, though he was the one to take our affection and make passion of it. He was like that: exploratory, inventive, inquisitive. I was always content to follow his lead, so devoted was I. It was a familiar dynamic to me: he was a Martikov, I the son of an employee. He led, I followed. But the truth is that I wouldn't have it any other way. As young lovers, we were even more inseparable, and the Martikovs used to joke with us, asking how they were going to explain how there was a single straw-colored raven in the nest once we were married?
- But we didn't stay in [LOCATION]. Once we were adults, we left for [OTHER LOCATION] to join [FORCE]. Play at war became vocation for us, much to the high consternation of our families. My mother was worried for my life; Slaus's family was worried for their secret. We were young and in love and hungry to prove our mettle, though, and we did what we would despite their fears and concerns.
- I was an infantryman, in heavy armor, with blade and shield. Slaus was a scout and skirmisher, dressed darkly and moving unseen. He had a reputation as the one capable of reconnoitering the fastest and most accurately, and that's not an accident – there's a lot of places he could go as a raven, though no one ever found that particular secret out.
- It was while we were in service to [FORCE] that we met [MARIANNE BARD]. Stanislaus was the one who pointed out the fact that the chronicler didn't seem to understand that flying arrows didn't care whether their targets were soldiers or scholars entirely, and it was Slaus who first "adopted" the little bookworm.
- He and I thought that we might serve for five years or so: to make names for ourselves, slather ourselves in a little glory and tuck some coin away before returning home with bulging purses to marry and make a home for ourselves.
- Unfortunately, that didn't happen. We were on a routine patrol in [BATTLEFIELD] when [FOE] hit us. The fighting was vicious and terrible, but Slaus and I stayed at one anothers' sides as always. I was a better fighter than Slaus, but he was quick and clever and almost impossible to injure. He danced through battles, and I fought to stay by his side.
- I don't really remember what happened next. Someone among our foes must have wielded magic weapons or spells or some ability that allowed them to deal injuries to Slaus, and he did not expect it. I can remember the horrible sight of him being cut down by [FOE], and all became red then. I fought until I was cut down as well.
- When I woke, I was being carried away from the battlefield. I can remember [MARIANNE BARD] at my side, hushing me when I asked for Slaus. I woke again a day later in a medical tent, back at base camp. We'd been all but wiped out, and Stanislaus was dead. For weeks I had dreams of him, the two of us sitting companionably side-by-side, as we always did; these dreams always made waking a heartbreak anew.
- So I left [FORCE]. I walked out of my commission. Though I did tell my commanding officers, they made it clear that I would forfeit half of my pay and would never work for them again. I didn't care. I couldn't be there any more. When I left, I left my blade behind as well – how could I look on it again when war was how I lost him I loved the most?
- Neither could I return to [VINEYARD]. How could I look the Martikovs in the face again? How could I face my mother? Broken and alone, I eventually came to Waterdeep.
The Night to my Day
- Starting Coin & Equipment: 160gp.
- Scale mail + shield (60gp)
- Explorer's pack (10gp)
- 2nd level: +1d10 +2 hp, Action Surge (1/lr)
- 3rd level: +1d10 +2 hp, Martial Archetype (Eldritch Knight), Spellcasting (DC 12, +4 to hit, 2 1st-level spell slots), Spells (booming blade, sword burst; absorb elements, protection from evil and good, shield), Weapon Bond
- 4th level: +1d10 +2 hp, Feat (Athletic, +1 Str), +1 1st-level spell slot, +thunderwave (1st)
- 5th level: +1d10 +2 hp, +3 proficiency bonus, Extra Attack
- 6th level: +1d10 +2 hp, Feat (Shield Master)
- 7th level: +1d10 +2 hp, War Magic, +magic missile (1st), +1 1st-level and +2 2nd-level spell slots
- 8th level: +1d10 +2 hp, Feat (Sentinel), +shatter (2nd)
- 9th level: +1d10 +2 hp, +4 proficiency bonus, Indomitable (1/lr)
- 10th level: +1d10 +2 hp, Eldritch Strike, +true strike (can), +earth tremor (1st), +1 2nd-level spell slot