My friends and I had been talking about playing Dungeons and Dragons for years until finally we took the leap and formed an adventuring party. A few of us were experienced, having played in previous editions, but none of us had played 5e.
I chose to play a Half-Orc Paladin devoted to the Goddess of Peace in the homebrew campaign. He had been raised in a cult-like convent devoted to this goddess after being abandoned as a baby and had not really interacted much with the outside world. He was incredibly naive, believing everyone a friend he has yet to meet, very happy go lucky, and preached the word of his goddess in all things. Fanatic cult member didn't begin to describe him. Anything that was not natural to the material plane or was undead was the enemy and must be eradicated post-haste. I took everything lawful good about a Paladin and ramped it up to 11. His name was Brother Damon.
We played for a few months before I got a new job and was unable to make it to sessions anymore so Damon "felt uncomfortable with the evil" in a city devoted to the Lord of Hate and went on his merry way. About 8 months later, my schedule changed and I was able to rejoin the party. My DM asked me to write a "what have you been doing" backstory to explain the absence, since it was about a year and half in game due to planes hopping and ship travel.
I chose to go 110% into learning the hardway that Damon was not in Kansas anymore. Due to his trusting nature, he was robbed, beaten, scammed, and overall fell on hard times. Others of his faith rejected him as a Half-Orc, believing he could not serve the Goddess of Peace. He was conned into "collecting tolls for the realm" from refugees fleeing the coup that befell another city resulting in non-humans being banished. A "postmaster" had collected letters he had tried to send to the party, which had included small gifts "as were customary," which eventually bankrupted him. Because of his misdeeds, his connection to his Goddess waned, resulting in Damon being unable to access his Divine powers when he tried to aid a family whose child had been kidnapped by goblins. He was, in turn, captured, tortured, and broken by the goblins until he was rescued by a group of NPC adventurers, who nursed him back to health and gave him new purpose. With that group, Damon was eventually sent to the region where the PC party was travelling to investigate reports of a powerful Necromancer. He became separated from his NPC party and was found unconscious in a research tent by the PC party, having been taken in by a group of magical arcaeologists studying ruins in the area.
A much grittier Damon rejoins the party, now level 7, in an attempt to find his NPC friends in these ruins, where they became separated (surprise, he was the sole survivor and it was more of an attempt to collect their belongings). Both Dungeons and Dragons occur at this point, as we entered a Dungeon that happened to be inhabited by Dragons. Multiple Dragons. Some of which doing timey-wimey things, others being extraplanar. The party explores, tensions grow as I'm trying to lead things in one direction, not having clued each other in on the other's motivations (I didn't say I was searching for the remains of my former party, they didn't say they were searching for a McGuffin), which eventually leads to a wonderful bit of RP between me and one of my friends. Beautiful RP born from him still being an edgelord after all this time, RP fighting with other party members, and me, seeing that he still can't play nice with everyone and being secretive about what really transpired when the NPC group was separated. We collaborated between sessions on a resolution, which resulted in a Zone of Truth where we both put all of our cards on the table the next time we played. My favorite experience from the campaign.
We reach the final boss of the place, the one guarding the McGuffin the rest of the party needed, a Void Dragon. The encounter started incredibly poorly. The party waited just outside of the chamber while the Draconic Sorcerer went in to speak to the dragon (since it worked with a previous dragon, why not give it a try). The conversation was going long, the Wizard was getting bored, so she Dimension Door'd behind the dragon to try to steal the McGuffin. And that's when combat began. It was deemed that the first round of combat for everyone but the Sorcerer and Wizard would be spent using full movement and actions to get into the room, so that first round was anxiety-inducing. Fast forwarding a bit, the edgelord Rogue, who had an artifact bow, critically failed on an attack which caused the curse to trigger on the bow. This curse enraged the Dragon, causing them to hone in on the bow-wielder, the Rogue, until one or the other is dead (similar to the Sword of Vengeance from the DMG). This was very early in combat, so, needless to say, the Rogue was smashed into putty quickly. The battle was not going in our favor as the melee PCs, Damon, a Monk, and another Paladin, spent most of our turns chasing the thing as it flew around the giant chamber breathing it's breath weapon at every opportunity.
The Monk goes down in front of the dragon, I count it out that I had enough movement to get to him with an additional 10 ft of movement afterward. Damon runs over then uses all of the Lay on Hands he had left (I think it was 5 HP, very little) to get the Monk back on his feet. My DM allows me to verbally taunt the dragon as a free action, which resulted in an Intimidation roll (success/fail was not revealed), and use the remaining movement to have Damon move into a position away from the rest of the party. The Dragon unleashes their breath weapon directly on Damon, and Damon alone, having been turned so it could not get anyone else in it's cone, then proceeds to use the rest of its actions/legendary actions pummeling him into the dirt, effectively granting the rest of the group one turn to unleash on it, killing it in the next turn. Damon was able to save the PC party with his ultimate sacrifice, something he couldn't do for the NPC party, and finally found Peace with his Goddess.
The party chose to resurrect the edgelord Rogue.