Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. -Paulo Freire
Silence is the ultimate weapon of power. -Charles de Gaulle
Total Downtime: 41 days Downtime Used: 40 days Downtime Remaining: 1 day
- Pit Fighting: 10 days. 3 successes for 200gp. Complication? No
- Pit Fighting: 10 days. 3 successes for 200gp. Complication? No
- Build Harper Cell Security: 10 days. 3 successes for 200gp.
- Success by 5+: Gain 2 Security Investment
- Carousing: 10 days. Complication? No
- One Lower Class Contact Gained: Criminals, laborers, mercenaries, town guard, and other folk who frequent the cheapest taverns in town.
- Ability Score Increase +2 Strength, +1 Dexterity
- Languages Common, Goblin, Dwarven (DM allowed)
- Darkvision See in dim light within 60 feet as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light
- Long-Limbed When you make a melee attack on your turn, your reach for it is 5 feet greater than normal
- Powerful Build You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift
- Sneaky You are proficient in the Stealth skill
- Surprise Attack If you surprise a creature and hit it with an attack on your first turn in combat, the attack deals an extra 2d6 damage to it. You can use this trait only once per combat.
- Fighting Style: Dueling When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
- Second Wind You can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + your fighter level. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.
- Expertise Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either Acrobatics or Stealth
- Sneak Attack Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon. You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll. The amount of the extra damage increases as you gain levels in this class.
- Thieves' Cant You learned thieves’ cant, a secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows you to hide messages in seemingly normal conversation. Only another creature that knows thieves’ cant understands such messages. It takes four times longer to convey such a message than it does to speak the same idea plainly. In addition, you understand a set of secret signs and symbols used to convey short, simple messages, such as whether an area is dangerous or the territory of a thieves’ guild, whether loot is nearby, or whether the people in an area are easy marks or will provide a safe house for thieves on the run.
- Cunning Action You can take a bonus action on each of your turns to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.
Will gain at Rogue Level 3
- Skill Proficiencies: Performance and Stealth
- Tools: Thieves' Tools, Dice Set
- By Popular Demand:
- You can usually find a place to perform in any place that features combat for entertainment — perhaps street fighting or secret pit fighting club. At such a place, you receive free lodging and food of a modest standard (depending on the quality of the establishment), as long as you perform each night. In addition, your performance makes you something of a local figure. When strangers recognize you in a town where you have performed, they typically take a liking to you. This feature does not automatically grant access to perform in gladiatorial arenas or establishments that are considered comfortable or above. While you can always find a place to perform in establishments that are considered Modest or below, there is only a 50% chance for places that are Comfortable or above.
- Sponsor: You have a senior Harper who has not only brought you into the Harpers, but helps to train you. The time it takes to learn one of the mentor's proficiencies by the Training downtime activity is reduced in half. Any given mentor usually knows 1d6 languages and 1d6 tool proficiencies. They can also arrange training with other Harpers for proficiencies outside of their own baliwick.
- Signs at Twilight: All Harpers learn the methods for contacting and getting information to the Harpers. The use of certain songs, signs to look for, identifying phrases - all the techniques that Harpers use to find one another in a cold and dangerous world. Harpers also learn the meaning, placement, and discovery of the specific Harper sigils.
- Song Training: By the time a Harper has spent some time as part of the organization, training in music is an inevitability. Harpers use music for a great many things - to subtly identify themselves to one another, to pass coded messages back and forth, and even the use of musical metaphor in their interactions. A proficient Harper may play music that communicates something to other Harpers who hear it in a coded fashion, as well. Proficiency - Drum
- Magic Access: Rank 2+. Harpers can get access to Common potions and scrolls at the cost it takes to create those items, and have them within 1d4 days.
- Song Training: Rank 2+. By the time a Harper has spent some time as part of the organization, training in music is an inevitability. Harpers use music for a great many things - to subtly identify themselves to one another, to pass coded messages back and forth, and even the use of musical metaphor in their interactions. The Harper of this Rank may choose proficiency in a musical instrument or the Performance Skill for singing. A proficient Harper may play music that communicates something to other Harpers who hear it in a coded fashion, as well.
- Harper's Pin: Rank 3+. Fully acknowledged agents of the Harpers receive a Harpers pin magic item (see sidebar).
- Harper Cell: Rank 3+. Harper agents are frequently put into a cell structure, giving them the support of allies without endangering the entire organization should they be compromised.
- Harper Lore: Rank 4+. Harpers gain access to repositories of arcane lore - spells known only to Harpers. These are taught by mentors or provided as spell-scrolls. These spells may be considered to be added to the spell-list of the character.
- City Lore: Rank 4+ A Harper gains familiarity with the backways and shortcuts of their main city of operation, or of any other city they spend at least a season (three months) in. These months do not have to be cumulative. You gain the "City Secrets" ability of the Urchin Background for those cities.
- City Secrets: You know the secret patterns and flow to cities and can find passages through the urban sprawl that others would miss. When you are not in combat, you (and companions you lead) can travel between any two locations in the city twice as fast as your speed would normally allow.
- Coins: x cp • x sp • x ep • 364 gp • x pp • Other coins: x
- Gems: x
- Cloak of Elvenkind While you wear this cloak with the hood up, Perception checks made to see you have disadvantage, and you have advantage on Stealth checks made to hide. Pulling the cloak up or down requires an action.
- In Hand: Rapier, dwarven shield, light crossbow, daggers (4)
- Worn: Cloak of Elvenkind, a Harper pin, Studded leather armor
- Belt: x
- Backpack: Ball bearings (bag of 1,000), bedroll, bell, candle, crowbar, hammer, hooded lantern, mess kit, oil flask, pitons (10), potion of healing (2), rations (15 days), rope - hempen (50ft), string, thieves tools, tinderbox, torch (10), waterskin, clothes - common, traveler's, fine
- Modest: (1 gp/day).
Heinrich doesn't know how to handle grief. He transitions it into anger, which isn't always healthy. And anger he channels into fighting. Outside of the fighting ring he has developed this dapper persona - something of a flirty lothario, willing to bed down with all manner of suitors but never dating anyone. In truth, this actually is an expression of his grief, whether he recognizes it or not.
Heinrich has had the idea since he was an adolescent that he wanted to be a gladiator, even going so far as training in one of the "youth leagues" where they teach youngsters fighting skills. (I'm picturing a Waterdeep version of modern martial arts and boxing schools that offer classes for youth as something of an athletics hobby). But when he came of age and went to sign up for participation in Waterdeep's gladiatorial games, they flatly refused to sign him up. The official policy is that the games are open to Bugbear participants, but individual racism blocked his attempt to sign up. He could have pursued the matter, but in his anger, he decided he didn't want to be a part of the establishment's organized games and instead found his way to the Griffin's non-sanctioned fighting matches. He started doing well, and the crowds there liked his style, calling him "The Dancing Beast". He also started to make friends. Sure, he knew that the Griffins were technically a gang, and that his new friends were involved in various illegal stuff, but they were his friends and he chose to ignore that. He also chose to ignore the cries of the guard to help stop who they were perusing as that person ran by him. That person being one of his new friends from the Griffins. Instead of trying to stop her, he stepped out of her way and let her past. It wasn't until several blocks later that he saw what had happened - as the pursuit continued, the Griffin had tried to hide behind some innocent bystanders, using their bodies as a shield. When that didn't work, the Griffin casually shot a crossbow into the neck of one of them, hoping to distract the guard long enough to escape. The distraction worked, but the bystander died. That bystander was Heinrich's Uncle Benjax, who had been coming to see Heinrich after a recent argument and to gift him with a family heirloom.
A pocket sized stone sundial with tiny gemstones at each hour. This was a Mountainflower family heirloom that Uncle Benjax had on him when he was killed by one of the Griffins who the City Watch had been pursuing. Uncle Benjax had been coming to find Heinrich and give the small sundial to him as a gift after the two of them had gotten in one of their larger arguments about Dwarf/Goblinoid conflicts and the plight of Goblinoids, who Heinrich feels have been discriminated against. Uncle Benjax hoped that by gifting Heinrich with something that had been passed down in the Mountainflower family, that he could somehow convey just how much he loves Heinrich and truly considers him to be a part of his family. Unfortunately, Benjax was killed before the sundial could be given to Heinrich. Heinrich's Aunt gave him the sundial instead and explained the significance.
Having been raised in Waterdeep by a Dwarven couple amid a multitude of other races, Heinrich always knew he was a different kind of bugbear. He also knows that many, if not the majority, of bugbears out in the world fall under an evil alignment. And he also knows, "Not all bugbears..." BUT he also has something of a disconnect between what he knows intellectually and his desire to connect with his blood ancestry. The result is that he has something of a romanticized view of bugbear culture. Maybe they are aggressive and violent because other races are oppressing them. Maybe the dwarves are the ones who are aggressive in they way they are so uptight and rigid about everything and make enemies of the goblinoid races when they don't have to. This was a major source of arguments and discord between Heinrich and his adoptive father, Uncle Benjax, prior to his passing. He certainly has a fondness for Dwarven culture also, having been raised in it, but he wants Bugbear culture to be a little more noble than it probably actually is. He even practices something of a personal devotion to the Bugbear deity Grankhul, but it's a romanticized, watered down version of Grankhul that his clerics would probably sneer at, and Grankhul himself would take issue with if Heinrich ever had a true encounter with him.
Heinrich has earned the moniker of "The Dancing Beast" in the fighting ring for his agile, quick, acrobatic fighting style. Despite his size, he manages a fluid, graceful movement. As a hobby, he has picked up quite a proficiency with a deck of cards, which he always has on him and is shuffling and reshuffling in a flashy, showy fashion. He's also learned several card tricks. His impressive stealth has saved his ass a number of times. Nobody expects the big guy to be able to hide in the way that he does.
Heinrich has always loved Midsummer and the variety of different holidays for the various gods and religious traditions that surround it. Since he was obviously discouraged from observing devotion to the bugbear deities he has done some cherry picking from the other festivals and part of the reason he likes Midsummer, and Midwinter to a lesser extent is that there are so many festivals to cherry pick from. In particular, he has very fond memories from his youth of The Grand Revel, which his parents focused on because of their connection to the Harpers, and also of the Dwarven festival of The Axe Held High.
Harper • Mentor
Zavelinda is a monk of some skill
Adopted Father (deceased) • Bard
Adoptive Mother • Baker
Agent of the Waterdeep Watch
The half-orc Luchezga is a pugilist and fighter of some talent. For many years, she was part of the cage-fighting circuit, and beat a good many folk in the ring with her unarmed fighting tactics. Eventually, though, it happened: the Watch raided one of the biggest Griffin Gathers during a big fight, and she was instrumental in seizing and arresting Valesta. As it turned out, Luchezga is a member of the Watch, and she'd been planted among the fight scene in order to identify and arrest the people involved. Luchezga escaped her apprehension on the way to gaol, though, which is a source of great frustration for the fighty half-orc. To this day, she still seeks to dismantle the gangs of Waterdeep. She is a student at the Monastery of the Sun, studying the Way of the Sun Soul with Abbot Alger.
Luchezga and Heinrich became friends as they were fighting in matches, sometimes pairing up and fighting as a duo against other pairs. They were always quite popular with the crowds when paired up this way. In fact, Luchezga was the more experienced fighter and took Heinrich under her wing when he first started fighting in the matches and trained with him, training him how to fight and please the crowds. Secretly, she was fond of him and hoped that he wouldn't really fall in with the Griffins and always encouraged him to seek something better. After Benjax died and Heinrich officially became a Harper and went back undercover with the Griffins, of course both Heinrich and Luchezga were unaware that the other was working undercover. When the inevitable raid by the watch happened, Heinrich would have been captured along with Valesta, but Luchezga let him go and warned him to straighten himself out or the next time he would get more than just a warning. Of course, Heinrich's mission keeps him with the Griffins, and he knows that he will at some point come back face to face with Luchezga.
The dwarven wizardess was one of the first apprentices of the renowned but reclusive Ahmadar of the Seven Runes, one of the earliest known dwarven wizards in the wake of the Thunder Blessing of the dwarven peoples. Whorbi is not merely a member of the noble dwarven Clan Worldthorne, and thus one of the most important members of the dwarven community in Waterdeep. She is also a Harper of some rank, and takes the responsibilities and traditions of the Harpers very seriously.
Whorbi comes across as a total hardass to Heinrich. She was close friends with Benjax and Mayliphia, especially Benjax. Ever since Benjax died she rides Heinrich HARD. She won't let up on him. Heinrich thinks she's a racist, cold hearted bitch who hates him because he's a bugbear and blames him for Benjax's death. The truth: She sees great potential in Heinrich and cares about him deeply, and despite the fact that he's a bugbear and Benjax was a dwarf, she sees Benjax's legacy living on in Heinrich and wants to push Heinrich to be the best he can be and honor the memory of his adopted father. Heinrich might be TOO much like his obstinate adopted guardian because he can't see the way Whorbi cares for him. Instead he fights against her, much as he did Benjax.