I jump at any chance where I don't have to DM, that being said I have a bad habit of Mix/Maxing and I suck at roleplaying(as far as not metagaming goes) but I try my damnnest to not spoil everybody elses fun. An old friend of mine wanted to run Hoard of the Dragon Queen and he offered me a place at his table.
The party was thus, Amos the gnomish wizard/fighter multiclass, Thundar the goliath totem barbarian, Drizza drow rogue assassin, lucky the halfing college of lore bard, and my character Keyarra the tiefling fiend pact of tome warlock.
now our DM loved story telling, integrating backstories and tends to use modules as more guidlines than actual plot. when I showed up with no backstory past the charlatan backround and the random ideals I'd rolled out of the players hand book the DM took it upon himself to correct what he saw as a massive oversight.
despite my pleadings we the group devoted the entire first 2 hours of game to just my character and roleplaying my backstory, the bard leaves the table to play fallout(this will be important later).
Keyarra the tiefling grew up on the streets of Candlekeep on the Sword Coast, watching with great jealousy the comings and goings of the mage's guild members. She wanted nothing more than to be a wielder of the Arcane arts, and one day she saw her chance at fullfilling it. In an unamed Inn a young sorcerer picked a fight she couldn't win and wound up unconcious in a back ally. Keyarra found her, stole all her stuff and left her for dead (please don't hate me). Among those possession was a letter of admitance to the mages guild, Keyarra could finaly find a teacher and become caster. Some in-game months pass and Keyarra is learning very quickly she has no talent for the arcane arts, struggling to cast even the simplest of spells. At risk of being expelled from the guild Keyarra gets desperate frantically searchhing her masters study late into the night for anything that can help her achieve her dream. Endless scrolls, countless tomes, concoctions and curealls till she made herself sick.
crying alone in her room after puking up more colors than she new existed she spoke the words that changed her life forever. "Please, anyone who can hear me I would trade anything. I just want to cast "
the candles extinguish, her room is bathed in darkness and a chill fills the air. "Anything?"
Keyarra looks around the darkened room seeing nothing "Anything!" she answers the voice
"Even your soul?"
"A-an-anything, e-everything!" her voice shaking "my soul, master's, anyone's, everyone's.. just…please, can you give me magic?"
The voice began to laugh "such ambitions, very well cousin I accept"
Keyarra's head erupted in searing pain like she had never felt before, her skull eye felt as if it was made of fire burning her from the inside out. A blood curdleing scream tore from her throat as she clutching her face.
"we have an accord" the voice faded into nothing
Master Sombra burst into the room "Keyarra! What is it? What's wrong?" he kneeled beside his seizing aprentice "let me see, let me help" and forced her hands away from her face. A deep sadness washed over Sombra as he saw what had caused his aprentice such agony. "Oh child, what have you done?"
Keyarra looked to the mirror on her desk, in the darkness of her room all she could see was the blazing pentacle that shone like a tiny candle, as if painted directly onto the flesh of her eye.
and thus Keyarra got her wish, she had magic. But at a cost, one she was more than happy to pay, for now.
The basics of my character's pact became an in game mechanic I had to keep track of. Not as much work as it sounded, it was very similar to the deal jack sparrow got from Davy Johnes. Keyarra was given 99 days to gather 99 souls or her own would be claimed to settle the debt. To gather them all she had to do was have her victem sign their name into her tome (it was granted early to my character minus its class functionality until I hit the apropriate level).
her backstory settled the campeign proper can begin, I apologise to the table but they are exstatic that their DM is such a wonderful story teller and cant wait to see what shenaniganary will come about becasue of their own backstorys, some in-game weeks pass and I'm allowed to roll to see how many names I've gotten, 18, I'm ahead of the curve. The party gather's together and Hoard of the Dragon Queen begins, a dragon is attacking Greenest.
Some sessions, and in-game months pass. We are level 7, Keyarra is way behind quota and getting anxious. She hatches a plan that's more than a little sneaky. Now from a meta standpoint the other players know what I'm doing and are a little putoff, but in character they don't know what I'm up to so there's no reason for their characters to interfear, Keyarra just likes collecting signatures. The party is resting at an inn in Parnast, having just killed a bunch of cultists and conquered their champion and rescued some NPCs, everyone was celebrating. Keyarra offers to cover everyones bar tab for the night, if they would only sign her book "so that I can keep track of who I'm paying for" the Bard hears this and gladly joins the line. The rest of the party panics a little, nearly everyone at the table is trying to stay in character and keep him from signing the my book.
Keyarra who has grown to care for her newfownd familey "no no my velvet voiced freind I know your name you don't need to sign" Lucky's player shrugs and seemingly drops the matter, we all let out a collective sigh of relief. the rest of the session goes by wrapping up at the inn, the DM asks us to write down what we want our characters to do as there's going to be some downtime between the next sessions. We're all pakcing up and the DM's reading our notes, and he lets out a loud groan. "okay Lucky, roll me stealth real fast your at disadvantage cuz you're drunk." 19. the DM shakes his head, you succeed Lucky. the rest of us just shrug we were used to Lucky's player doing silly things that, while usually funny would bring consequences down upon us.
we came back to what would be that last session of the module before starting Rise of Tiamat, fully expecting to have to rescue our bard from jail…Again. But no, nothing happend and we carried on to the final episode. Keyarra only needs one more name, and has a week left to get it. Skyreach Castle is a Long and Bloody affair, it nearly kills us all. Low health and lower spell slots the party faces Glazhael an adult white dragon and the last boss of the module. we crack our knuckles, grab our dice, and do what adventurers do. We Fight! and Win. but three characters have died. Amos and Keyarra don't have much time to mourn or celebrate the entire castle is on alert and headed towards us. We take everything that isn't nailed down, pry up the things that are and stuff all of it, along with the corpses of our friends into our bags of holding and GTFO with a scroll of teleport we'd kept for emergencies .
Safe, sound, and level eight we are using most of the ill gotten gains from the dragons hoard to resurect our friends. Barbarian, no problem. Assassin no problem. Bard, spell fails. Party pressures the caster try agin. resurection, Fail. AGAIN! the wizard crys. Fail. "his soul does not wish to return, I'm sorry" the caster says
"Bullshit" Luckys player says "I most certainly do want to come back"
"Lucky" the DM says "you feel your spirit, your soul being called back but as you can hear your friends, feel the pull of divine magics and grip crushes you, a voice booms in your head 'No little halfling you are mine'"
The DM looks directly at me. "Keyarra, something bugs you, you pull out your tome and it falls open to your list of names. At the very bottom is this, "with love, your velvet voiced friend Lucky"
"ohh Hell," the table groans.
"Precisly " the DM says with a grin.
so rather than continue on to fight cultists and stop the return of Tiamut we have to slog through Hell, fight devels, betray my patron, and rescue our friend. all before we can finish the campeign.