Adrian Baker is the very picture of the painter that sees things very differently. He sees the world with his heart, not his eyes.
Maintains a journal for self-reflection, which can be read here: Journal of Adrian Baker
Age: 27 (Born 1329 DR)
Height: 181 cm | 5'9"
Weight: 76kg | 167lbs
Hair: Coppery red
Skin: Healthy, fair, and unblemished
General Health: Healthy, lean, and well kempt
This human looks a little awkward in any situation that does not involve an easel or a book. Adrian isn’t very good at social things. Social cues are difficult to read, intentions are kinda nebulous, and lies ... those are whole other levels of complicated.
He is very honest though. To a fault. Adrian will speak his mind before weighing the consequences. After all, the truth is the truth, doesn’t everyone see that? The worst thing is that people just don’t seem to understand what is so crystal clear. Adrian tries very hard to be understood, but spoken words are so … messy, not like colours and writing — everyone agrees on what red is, but try to explain it? Impossible. So he tries to speak carefully, which others see as hesitation. People are so troublesome sometimes. And that makes Adrian nervous, and that makes him fidget. A lot.
Innocent in the ways of the world, he is uncomfortable with innuendo. Jokes made at his own or other's expense are verbal attacks, aren’t they? What is the difference?
Because Adrian sees the world with his heart, not his eyes, he is an artist, more so than his skill at using the brush and pen.
Initial Alignment: Chaotic Good
Profession: Painter and author
Base Class & Proposed Development: Fighter 12 / Swashbuckler 11 / Duelist 4 / Tempest 3
Hobbies: Reading, writing, drawing, researching, scholarly discussions
Languages: Common, Dwarven, Elven, Damarran
Weapon of Choice: Dual-wielded kukris, Longbow
Adrian was born and raised in the mining city of Mirabar to human ore merchants. Displaying a keen and sharp intellect, Adrian’s mind developed at a pace well ahead of most other children.
However, he severely lacks understanding of social cues, norms and behaviours. Together with an accident that makes him forgetful, Adrian never made any lasting friendships.
Only painting, books and languages consistently stick in his memory. For this reason, Adrian’s father employed him as a personal aide and scribe in the family business.
During his teenage years, Adrian exhibited magical prowess, but was unable to develop any magic beyond a spell to create darkness. Adrian also learned how to defend himself using twin kukris, and a longbow.
After his training, Adrian and his parents moved to distant Damara, where they negotiated trade deals for the rare Bloodstone Ore. The boy collected tales of the war against Zhengyi the Witch King. These heroic tales inspired him to help others.
Two years later the family returned to Mirabar, where things seemed to go back to normal. But it wasn’t long until Adrian wished to explore the outside world again. His parents didn’t like that and they argued heatedly.
Two years later Adrian arrived via caravan in Baldur’s Gate in the early spring of 1356 DR.
1329 to 1341 DR
Adrian was born in 1329 DR, and raised by human parents in the mining city of Mirabar, where they plied the trade of ore merchants from even before he was born. While not wealthy by any means, his family still managed respectably and was able to provide better for Adrian than most in the city. From a young age, Adrian exhibited a flair for reading and writing, possessing a sharper intellect than most of similar age. However, his natural intelligence did not translate to understanding social cues, norms and behaviours. Which made it exceedingly difficult for him to form friendships among the other children in Mirabar. He was “That weird kid”, “The Bookwurm”.
Shortly after reaching the age of six, Adrian slipped and banged his head on the edge of a table. Almost anyone would walk away from that with no trouble … But Adrians memory got a knock too. He would oftentimes forget details, both minor and important. Of course, he has forgotten about this accident. He does have a small scar at his left temple; and has been told of the accident by his parents.
Being forgetful, unable to understand social clues and being altogether too smart, Adrian didn’t have many lasting friendships. Books have always been much more interesting than people anyway. So he became more and more reclusive, to the point where he barely ever went outside. His father repeatedly forbade him from leaving their home too, for reasons he never saw fit to share.
During this time Adrian's penchant for reading and writing increased, encouraged by his father, who employed Adrian as his personal aide and scribe in the family ore trading business; and by his mother, who shared Adrian's passion for collecting and reading books.
1341 to 1347 DR
As the years had passed on, Adrian was rarely seen outside, save for when the family was required to attend something outside. Mostly this was meeting with some of their business partners and associates. By now Adrian had become a vital part of the family business, as his father's scribe and aide. Responsible for writing every formal business letter, transcribing every meeting his father had with business partners, and also as a translator. Adrian taught himself Elvish and Dwarvish. From books of course, where else would you learn a language?
In the year 1343 DR, at the age of fourteen, Adrian began to display yet another hidden talent. That of magic. One bright sunny afternoon when he was reading by one of the outside windows, the glaring sun made it difficult to see the letters on the pale page. Annoyed with the glare, Adrian wished for it to be dark outside. And manifested a globe of darkness at the window. A few days later, a tutor arrived at the family home, and Adrian's father explained his desire for his son to develop his magical talents. However, after nearly a year Adrian showed no aptitude for any magic. Save for increased control over the darkness he had previously conjured — much to the disappointment of his father, who grew bitter at the time and money wasted.
Also during this time Adrian gained an interest for painting. His mother spurred him on to develop his artistry. She had withdrawn largely from the family business, because she wanted to be there for her son. She saw her son was growing increasingly restless, being cooped up inside their family home for so long, never experiencing the world he had read so much about. Sharing a second hobby with her son was the best she could do, given the controlling nature of her husband. The bond the two had formed through their shared passion for books only grew stronger as they embraced this new side of Adrian's talent.
1347 to 1353 DR
While he was still bitter about his son's failure at learning magic, Adrian's father kept Adrian as his personal aide and scribe. A task that the young man continued to to perform with apparent ease and expertise. Adrian, however, wished to see more of the world outside. Over the years he had read hundreds of books on seemingly any topic he could find and was eager to experience the wonders of the world he had read about.
To appease his son's curiosity, Adrian's father agreed to let him train with the Mirabar garrison, figuring that it couldn't hurt to have his son learn how to defend himself. Shortly after reaching the age of eighteen, in the year 1347 DR, Adrian was sent to the local garrison to learn how to handle a weapon.
For the next two years Adrian trained with the rough and tumble soldiers. At first he was mocked for his bookish ways and being a dreamy weird young man. But his determination in learning all things the sergeant threw at him won a sort of respect. He never developed the ease of the other guards with various weapons, instead he became really good at the use of dual-wielding kukris. It suited his natural agility and speed well. Adrian spent very little time with the family business during his training, even though he lived still at his family home.
After two years and several minor skirmishes against goblins breaching the lower mines of Mirabar, Adrian returned home in full in 1349 DR. He left the Mirabar military with as many friends as he entered it, but he had grown in confidence, largely due to the instructor praising him for his blade work. Adrian once again joined his father in the family business, working as his aide and scribe once more. While Adrian was not thrilled about it, he thought it at least better than doing nothing; and some part of him had missed the days spent reading, writing, and painting.
However it wasn't long before the family of three had to travel to distant Damara. While it would be a long and dangerous trip, the prospect of setting up trade deals for the rare mineral known as Bloodstone Ore, was too enticing an opportunity for Adrian's father to miss. Especially considering the recent shortage of Bloodstone Ore due to the troubles caused by Zhengyi the Witch-King.
The journey took a year, and in the late spring of 1350 DR they arrived in Valls. While the entire trip was for business reasons, this did not prevent Adrian from pursuing his own goals and desires. Inspired by the many books he had read previously, Adrian began collecting tales from taverns and travelers alike, doing his own private research on the war against Zhengyi. Because the local tongue was sufficiently different from common, forming a language of its own, Adrian taught himself Damarran, as you do.
His collection of heroic tales, tragic battles, and the ongoing fight for a greater good eventually resulted in his first book, written solely for himself. An epic adventure recounting (and exaggerating) the tales he had collected, forming a cohesive story. A story which he would oftentimes read to himself on lonely nights. The tales in his private book served to inspire him to want to do more for the world. To make the world a better place.
His father then had him translate Damaran too thereafter, firing his local translator, using his son’s knowledge of the local tongue to help establish better trading relations. In the two years they spent in Valls, they managed to secure sufficient trade deals to make the trip worthwhile, and even managed to invest in a small mine just south of the city of Valls.
1353 to 1356 DR
With their trade deals and investments secured, Adrian's family made the one year long journey back to Mirabar. Arriving back home in the spring of 1353 DR, their lives soon returned to normal. Much safer now than they had been during their stay in Damara, they could all rest easier. Except for Adrian. Having tasted adventure, and received a proper glimpse of the world outside, he wanted to do more than to work as his father's aide and scribe.
Father and son butted heads several times over the next year, until one fateful autumn evening in 1353 DR, when tempers rose too high. Adrian accused his father of being too controlling, never offering any explanation as to why Adrian was so rarely allowed outside. In his anger, Adrian's father screamed his disappointment that his son could never be more than his personal aide and scribe.
“Why couldn’t you learn magic, son? Then you’d have been somebody worthy.”
While no punches were thrown that evening, it left them both scarred on the inside. They gradually distanced themselves from the other, refusing to speak about it. Adrian's mother managed to smooth out most of their differences, mediating between the two whenever tempers started to rise.
But not all the differences.
And not the most important one.
In the end there was no stopping Adrian's wanderlust and desire for adventure. And while she did her best to mediate between her husband and son, Adrian's mother quietly supported her son's desire to travel and experience more of the world. Thus, one spring morning in 1354 DR, Adrian set out on his travels. As he stepped out of the door, knowing not when he’d return, he felt his heart ache. Part of him didn’t want to leave the home of his heart. Even though he was still angry at his father, Adrian still loved his parents and didn’t want to leave them alone.
It was his father that surprised him. “I suppose it really is time for you to go out in the world.” He grumbled. Adrian completely missed his mother subtly nudging his father to speak those words. Nor did he read the tone right.
“If you return, I’ll tell you why I never wanted you to leave Adrian. But… Euhm… I wish you the best…. My son.” He hugged Adrian tight and said softly “I always have…”
Adrian spent the next two years travelling with caravans, visiting cities both small and large. One full year was spent in Waterdeep, the City of Splendors, where his first lesson was that there were hundreds like him! Painters that is. So many painters. Here he was just one of the crowd. So he had to learn how to be better than most, and do so quickly, before money ran out! He honed his talents as a painter, learned how to mix his own paints, and craft his own canvas. Eventually he left Waterdeep behind, his wanderlust once again taking hold of him.
Thus, one late spring afternoon in 1356 DR, Adrian stepped off the caravan that had brought him to the city of Baldur's Gate.
Biography picture is based on a work by LAS-T on Deviant Art, modified to have the correct eye-color.