This the story of Tugrin my first character and how I got into D&D.
Our DM Jim was a veteran 1e player and DM. The version we would be playing is a mesh of 2e & 3e rules we were allowed 3e race's.
Jim was a bit of a homebrewer and Roleplaying our Pc's in his world often granted us the rule of cool, within reason.
Now I am not too sure about all the rules and thing's on making a character this being my first time. So Jim crafted my character for me based on a few questions.
I came out with a petite male tiefling fighter with no back story.
Jim: what do you want to be called
Me: My name is Tugrin.
Jim: what would be 1 flaw that your Pc should have.
Tugrin: I don't like to be touched
Jim: do you believe in gods.
Tugrin: the gods have done nothing for me, they simply bring misery and pain to all they touch.
Jim has a sly look in his eyes as he already has cooked up a truly terrifying backstory for my character that would forever endear me to D&D forever.
The Pc's of our party was Breantha female dragonborn ( or at least a dragon half breed we will just say dragonborn for ease of storytelling ) cleric a follower of Aphrodite goddess of passion. silverstep a male halfling rogue Thonk a male gnome barbarian and Gilwhip a male dragonborn wizard. (Breantha and Gilwhip were brothers & sisters) the Pc's where all level 5 while I would be starting at level 3.
As i didn't know how to really play Jim told me to simply role play and he would let me know what dice to roll and what to add.
Jim told me the basics of my backstory. I had been a slave to a cultist group that worshiped an evil deity.
That Tugrin was a pit fighter made to fight to the death and my small fame hid how strong I really was. The last bit of this was the sole reason Tugrin didn't like to be touched.
The cultist did every unimaginable evil to him during a ceremony to their evil god in preparation to make Tugrin a vessel worthy of housing their god.
On the night of the final ritual. Tugrin escaped thanks to the adventures Cleaver plan that tricked the cultist group into believing the lord of the region had sent an army to wipe them out.
Tugrin was a beaten bloody mess left chained to the altar stone. Breantha used cure light wounds and carried Tugrin to the nearby town. While the rest of the party searched the ritual site for the quest item "the command stone" which could be used on anything with a physical body. The affected person or monster had to follow the commands of the wielder.
Forward to Tugrin waking up in a comfy bed in a strange place. He confused and scared he rummages through the backpacks left in the room while the party is in the next room debating whether or not they should torture the information out of me about the command stone.
Tugrin finds the spare gear the party has been keeping to sell later. Gilwhip didn't like how the conversation was going. A piece of paper is slid to the DM and one returned to Gilwhips player.
Gilwhip had heard something and left to check on it. He finds a dressed Tugrin bent over his backpack. He grabs Tugrin angry at the small Tiefling.
Jim : you are grappled what do you want to do.
I the player acts out pulling the dragonborns arm in front of me and mimics biting him.
Jim: roll attack d20
Tugrin: its a 20 is that good?
Jim and Gilwhip player jaw drops with the rest of the player's Jim recovers first and tells me its a critical hit and as Tugrins sharp teeth bite into scaly skin he nicks a vain spraying me with blood.
Jim: roll damage
Damage of 12 Gilwhip slumps to the floor and starts throwing death saves. The thump of his body hitting the floor alerts the rest of the party that comes rushing in.
The scene has the cleric ready to smite my devil looking character. But lucky for me, Silverstep asked in a loud voice.
"What did Gil do this time" in an attempt to defuse the situation.
To which Tugrin responded with an accusing disgusted tone
"He grabbed me from behind as all the cultists do, I won't let anyone do that to me again"
Thonk pushed Breantha over " heal your brother, he should know better than to make advances on someone who just woke up. "
A few preseason rolls and Silverstep with Thonks help persuade Tugrin to join the party. Tugrin knew nothing of the magic item.
Fast forward to session 27 a rumor had driven the party from the town. Which was ok since the breadcrumb trail leads us to the city of Evinmoore.
Evinmoore was the city of outcasts. Comprised mostly of half-elves and mix breed races but even here Tugrin was met with suspicion and unkindly disdain. This was due to the sheer fact that tieflings were rare and seen as a bad omen. That and the rumor that got the party ran out of the last town had beaten us to Evinmoore.
Evinmoore had a spiraling sewer system that meshed with dry catacombs for mummified remains of the city's dead. This is where the breadcrumbs of clues lead the party right into an ambush shortly after entering the catacombs.
Tugrin was trapped under a weighted net with two cultists dragging him away as 3 other cultists kept the party at bay while Tugrin is being gleefully shouted at by the cultist.
Cultist 1 : "Do not worry Orcus soon you will be out of the influence of that clerics binding spell."
Cultist 2 : "Yes Lord we have a full crypt for you to raise to deal with her "
At this point, I just want to point out the rumor that had spread was kept from Tugrin and me as a player. But I rolled with it as I stopped struggling.
Tugrin : " how did you find me? "
Cultist 1 : " we heard a rumor that the ritual worked but while you were in a weakened state the body you possessed was bound to the will of the dragonborn cleric"
That is when all the pieces fell into place for me as a player and my character. The ear to ear grin from Jim told the rest of the party the gig was up and they were about to deal with the consequences.
Tugrin : " release me the farther away I am the stronger I will become "
Oddly enough, Jim didn't have me even roll as the cultist obeyed i turned to face the party pointed my sword at her.
Tugrin : "kill her"
The party had downed 2 two of the 3 they started with as the two that were carrying my character away now joined the fray.
Tugrin had tears in his eyes knowing Breantha was the one that started the rumors. At this point, Tugrin had come to trust and like all the party members.
Before Tugrin goes to search for the BBEG he removes the case of healing potions Breantha had given him as an apology for never healing him. Setting the case down where the party could find it easily in the archway where Tugrin had been standing.
Notes passed back and forth between Jim and me. As the party was not having an easy time with the cultist focused on killing the cleric.
By the time they had gotten done. Tugrin and what I assumed was the BBEG were face to face.
Meanwhile, Silverstep found the healing potions as Breantha was avidly cursing Tugrin and telling Thonk we shouldn't even bother to save him. Silverstep was quick to temper and interject
Silverstep : " how easy it is for you to forget the many blades he was stabbed with protecting you or Gil. But the last blade that hit him was of your own making and still he did not forsake you"
The halfling shoved the box of healing potions into her hands with a glare. Thonk may have not been smart but he always sided with his best friend even Gilwhip moved with the smaller party members to chase after Tugrin.
Now I want to point out this is a heavy role playgroup and this was the first time Breantha's player had ever not gotten her way she was stunned speechless as it dawned on her the weight of the box given to her.
Tugrin was willing to die by giving up the potions to spare her spell slots. Tugrin was buying time and possibly going to strike a critical blow to the BBEG. To give the party a better chance, it was an emotionally touching moment for both player and character.
With that out of the way the party gave chase as dice started to roll between myself and Jim. the sense of urgency grew in the party as notes passed between Jim and me increased with the dice rolls.
Finely after clearing two rooms of cultist the party Barges into the main Crypt with seven dead cultists around the Alter with the head cultist held firm by his robes and my short sword pressed to his chest ready to kill him.
Having played out being possed by Orcus and having the cult willingly give up their lives to become undead minions had worked but now I was done with the deceit and reviled I was not possessed at all.
Tugrin: “ I have waited years, Dreamed of this very day for countless hours as you and your Cult raped me of everything Innocent in this world “
The party is to enthralled and stun to stop me but a single female Voice spoke up from somewhere behind me and my character is unable to move as a magical force takes hold.
BBEG: “STOP! I can't allow you to kill your father just yet I need him to complete the ritual for Orcus. “
The woman stands behind Tugrin a smug smile on her lips with the Commanding stone is worn around her neck glowing faintly. Tears are streaming down Tugrin’s face as party spring into action they get only within striking range before they all fail their saving throws to the stone’s influence.
Jim: "you hear the voice of the one who gave you away to the cult the one that you longed to hear again, your heart sinks hearing it now in this place means she was a member all along. "
Tugrin: “ Why, Mother “
BBEG: “ It is what I created you for, Now then Kill the one that has caused you the most pain for a reward “
All eyes turned to Breantha’s player as I failed the save to resist the command. They feared her scheming was about to be the death of her. But Jim slid me a note detailing the magical effect of the stone. Which read and I Quote “ the person under the effect of a command can not resist the command if they fail the save. But the command is up for interpretation of the individual.”
This was Jim’s way of letting Tugrin decide who was the one that hurt him most. Tugrin Let goes of his father and pointed his sword at Breantha as he began to monolog.
Tugrin: “ I trusted you, I hoped we could mend the bridges burned between us but then you betrayed me used me for your own selfish passion and search for glory and power “
Thonk: ” Don't Do it mat. blame me I was behind the idea, It was my fault I suggested it ” the Gnome begged
Silverstep: “ No blame me, I considered you a friend and bribed you with sweets all the while never telling you what was going on “ the halfling pleaded
Gilwhip: “ Forgive my sister for it was me that spread the rumors to start with, she just stayed by your side to protect you from the angry and scared people that might come after you “
The tension was high as the BBEG laughed smugly stepping right behind Tugrin bending low to speak in his ear.
BBEG: “See my son they were never your friends or companions, they betrayed your trust it does not matter which one you pick I will kill them all the ones you don't kill in the ritual “
Tears were streaking my face as well as my Pc’s as the party thought they were about to have a TPK. but then the BBEG placed her hands on Tugrins shoulders and he drove the blade into her belly.
Tugrin: “Get your filthy hands off me, you gave me over the cult My own MOTHER you are the betrayer I spoke of what my friends have done is nothing compared to the pain you put me through “
Everyone was stunned, well except for Jim. the power holding the party wavered and died as the BBEG was mortally wounded and lost their focus. And the cult leaders were quickly slain by Breantha who rolled a Nat 20 to smite the BBEG with the full force of her goddess Aphrodite.
The Commanding stone was given to Tugrin for safekeeping as the party felt he would be the least likely to use its power. Breantha Finally started healing Tugrin whenever his health dropped really low. Silverstep started being more honest or at least as honest as a thief can get. Thonk started sharing his ideas which always lead to some of the best horror moments.
Over the next 5 years the party members would die out and new ones would join till it was just Turgin and Gilwhip.
Jim was such a wonderful DM storyteller that even to this day He inspires me as I now DM for my own group as every member of the party experienced their own special Pc moments.