Benjamin Name: Benjamin
Last Name: Lewis
(Formerly Justinian Benjamin Longfellow.)
Nicknames: Bluejay, Jaybird.
Birthday: 3 Tarsakh 1329 DR, Year of the Lost Helm. An arean son of the thaw, born to an Ilmateri priestess.
Weight: 172 lbs. Just broad enough to avoid looking lean or wiry; musculature upon a small bone structure. A man shorter and thinner than his warrior ilk. He has nice abs and lots of ink, so he gets away it.
Eyes: Glowing red, black sclera. Just one eye. The left is covered by a patch.
Hair: Light grey.
Skin: Alabaster. Slightly ashen.
Facial Hair Style: A hobo beard, currently.
-On the left side of his neck, a red heart impaled through the center by a closed, downwards-facing umbrella.
-On the back of his left hand, an upright white knight chesspiece outlined in black. On the back of right, a fallen black pawn.
-A cerberus rattlesnake coiled around the entire length of his left arm. The serpent's spade-like head is at the inside of his wrist, nose nudging the heel of his palm. The rattler extends across his shoulder blade. This is one of his better pieces, each scale done in painstaking detail.
-On his left pectoral, the black silhouette of a dog with pointed ears. Beneath that, in blockhead calligraphy: SIR SNIFFALOT.
-Below his navel, across his lower abdomen, a cartoonish fighting rooster with talons replaced by blades and face contorted in rage.
-A few lewd, simplistic pinup girls are juxtaposed beside more meaningful pieces that are rife with religious iconography.
(There would be a lot more, but these are all that I have thought of thus far. His body is a canvas covered in tattoos ranging from trashy and not very well done to beautiful works of art inked upon pale flesh.)
At a glance: Jay bears the accoutrements of a bounty hunter, or trafficker. Probably the former. Traps and manacles are affixed to his belt, and a chain is slung diagonally across his torso. However, he favors not the dark, dreary colors typically worn by his ilk. During a trip to his homeland, he recovered the armor set he donned in his more noble youth. Clad now in silver-grey and blue, with minor accents of dark purple, he bears the colors of Tyr. Several pieces have been removed or modified from the ensemble to allow for the maneuverability he desires nowadays. The battered panels that remain, while polished to a sheen, have seen their fair share of combat; the local blacksmith restored and altered its function, but could not erase its scars from the past. The bracer on his left and dominant hand has three small holy symbols, vertically, from top to bottom along the back of it: Tyr, The Red Knight, Ilmater.
On uniforms: Jay always took little care of them, and this attitude earned him several demerits during his prior military service. Even still, he's oft unkemp, armor merely functional; utilitarian like the man it adorns.
A dog of war :
-Jay prefers a straight-bladed backsword with a two-handed hilt. This variant of claymore is less common than it's double-edged cousin; those with a honed knowledge of weaponry might recognize it as the tool used by disposable shock troops rather than heroes and knights. The hilt extends above the cross-guard, and ends in a another smaller cross-guard. It is a true two-handed greatsword, wielded more like a halberd than a traditional sword. He has been known to throw it like a javelin.
-He also has a battleaxe and round shield with runes of Uthgardt origin upon the axehilt and the shield's surface. The shield features an etching of a stylized horse, or pony. Those closely familiar with the nuances of the Uthgardt tribes would know this as Sky Pony. These items were gifted to him by his stepfather (see Family below), though it can be easily assumed that Jay may have scavenged them.
-His longbow is unimpressive and he can't hit the broad side of a barn due to poor marksmanship skills (he does try sometimes, bless his heart), but he occasionally uses it in melee because bowstrings make for hilarious weapons.
General Health: Good. Battle scars aplenty.
Deity: Tyr (primary), The Red Knight (secondary), Ilmater (tertiary), Torm, Shaundakul, Tempus, Waukeen, Hoar, Helm, Garagos.
Initial Alignment: True Neutral, not to be confused with apathetic.
Profession: Soldier. Veteran. War criminal. Mercenary. Bounty hunter. Fallen paladin. Failure. Woodsman. Tracker.
Base Class & Proposed Development: 30 Barbarian.
Habits/Hobbies: Chain-smoking. Killing his liver by attrition with whiskey. Succumbing to fits of internalized desolation. Interjecting gallows humor into anything and everything. Not comprehending figurative language. Compartmentalizing. Trying to uphold some sort of an oath. Losing gold in gambling dens. Losing bar brawls. Not knowing or caring how to speak nicely to anyone. Infuriating members of the fairer sex. Doing things his way, even if his way is stupid. Making everything worse.
Languages: Common, Abyssal, Illuskan.
Weapon of Choice: Greatsword, see above.
Current residence: Sometimes a rented room at the Elfsong Tavern. Sometimes at the Northern Lights in Nashkel. Sometimes wherever he pitches a tent. Settle down, it's a camping tent.
Flaws: Greedy; selfish; morose; uptight; preachy; moralistic; abrasive; standoffish; often rude; stubborn; moderately misogynistic; self-deceptive; self-medicating; resorts to barracks banter in everyday conversation with more refined company; lacks empathy for those he does not know well or feel invested in; possessing an absolutely terrifying temper (though thankfully a long fuse to reach this point).
Strengths: Fiercely loyal to those he holds close; moral compass, wobbly as it may be, will ultimately win out over coin or any self-serving agenda; monogamist (but he is romance: hard mode); punctual; a mind for tactics; a versatile sense of humor; not quick to anger; exhibits self-restraint and temperance; industrious; possessing true grit; aloofly altruistic.
Strength and weakness: Jay's ruthless pragmatism is a double-edged sword. He is not above allying himself with unsavory people for the greater good, or making judgement calls he deems the lesser of two evils. This attitude has caused some of the more goodly members of the Triadic faith to look upon him with suspicion; in turn, Jay believes them naive, or lacking the conviction to take action. The restless, impatient need to get the job done even if it comes with a hefty price may beget dangerous consequences, or a slippery slope. "I can live with a conscience torn asunder if it buys us a better tomorrow."
In a Nutshell: Triadic, with a mild dip into the Dark Triad.
-Emma Longfellow, mother. Albino. Thrown out of her house when she entered a relationship with a tiefling, who then abandoned her shortly after she became pregnant. Her family would not accept back the mother of a fiendspawn, telling her she was no daughter of theirs, so she sought refuge amongst Ilmater's faithful. Within a few years, she joined the priesthood. While Jay will let most insults roll off him, "bastard" seems to stir tremendous ire within.
-Romulus Kildare, mentor and stepfather. Paladin of Tyr. Decorated combat veteran. Married Emma Longfellow when Jay was six years old. Formerly Askold Liefsen of Sky Pony, prior to being exiled from his tribe at a young age.
-Following a misbegotten campaign in The Spine, he renounced his vows by choice. It was a maneuver he saw as taking back his agency and abandoning a hopeless battle against his own nature.
-He was the sole survivor of his unit. The loss of his platoon, as well as the loyal warhound he had raised from puppyhood, Sir Sniffalot, sent him into an existential crisis, a tailspin.
-He fell because his vows were shackles. He fell because they killed his dog. The destruction of Sir Sniffalot is a figurehead for the decimation of his platoon. Wrought with survivor's guilt and traumatic memory, he started down a dark path that eventually led to his fall from grace, and a tactical decision that resulted in the deaths of civilians, followed by his shameful expulsion from the Order which he served.
-He now believes that sometimes you must get your hands dirty for a cleaner outcome, or break the law to do the right thing. When the system fails, go rogue.
-Rarely was he willing to team up with another, preferring to work alone. The few times he partnered turned out to be deeply regrettable.
-Spent days, weeks, months on the chase across the frozen North.
-If push comes to shove, he will try to do the right thing. He may take a circuitous route to arrive at this conclusion. However, gold is his love language. These two intrinsic traits oft cause internal conflict.
-Traveled from the Spine to help with the war against the devils to the north of Baldur's Gate. As usual, he was late to the party, but there's coin to be made in the cleanup, and some part of him wants to pitch in.
Possible Plot-Hook Ideas and Misc Facts:
-Will deny that his drinking is a problem, or that he does it for anything other than enjoying the taste of whiskey. However, it's a problem.
-Racked up a lot of gambling and loan debt in Luskan and is vaguely fearful his that creditors might track him down around Baldur's Gate.
-Has Asperger Syndrome (undiagnosed, obviously).
-Knocked down Wisp's tent north of the Farmlands. Angered by the prank, she paid Maximilien Blackthorne to champion her in an arena brawl over the slight. Jay suffered a humiliating defeat upon the sands as a result. He maintained that the tent didn't break, it just flopped.
-A doppleganger, or some other insidious being, assumed Jay's form, seduced Wisp, stabbed her in the back, and abducted her by way of teleportation before his very eyes. This prompted a massive, disorganized manhunt to locate Wisp. Much to Jay's irritation, everyone assumed he was the leader of the search effort. Wisp was mysteriously returned to the Halls of Inner Light, bloodied and beaten, but still clinging to life.
-Marshal of The Golden Shield, the budding private army and mercenary company of The Golden Wheel. He is proving to be a gruff, ruthless commander but a lousy recruiter because he lacks the people skills for it.
-Wrote a smut novel called "Becoming" that contains almost no plot or character development. It is for sale at The Shelf of Many Books for 75gp, but he hands out signed copies all the time. He's quite proud of his literary achievement. The inspiration for his work came from a conversation he overheard in a sketchy tavern: a young Flaming Fist private bragged, in colorful detail, to his buddies about the massive amounts of strange he got while on leave. Jay suspects that the soldier fabricated most, if not all of it. Very few people know the true origins of "Becoming."
The hint of the century
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I've said too much
-R.E.M, "Losing my Religion"
Jay, Jastice Tarot by Wangxiuming
Sketch by CommanderKrieg