Information


James has a minion!

Sesame the Floofsum




James


The Angelic Yaherra
Owner: Possum

Age: 8 months, 4 days

Born: December 11th, 2021

Adopted: 8 months, 4 days ago

Adopted: December 12th, 2021

Statistics


  • Level: 1
     
  • Strength: 10
     
  • Defense: 10
     
  • Speed: 10
     
  • Health: 10
     
  • HP: 10/10
     
  • Intelligence: 37
     
  • Books Read: 37
  • Food Eaten: 0
  • Job: Unemployed


Touched by an angel? Sort of.


(The following story contains some spoilers for the D&D 5e adventure campaign, 'Hoard of the Dragon Queen'. Read at your own risk)

My name is James Shoehorn, and I'm a reformed cultist. It's... a long story.

See, I was born into the cult. My parents were part of it, their parents were part of it, and theirs... and so on. A cult dedicated to a dark goddess. A very dark goddess, by the name of Shar. It was understood that eventually, I would be a full-fledged member of the cult, and even marry within it. To do otherwise, would be a grave mistake.

And that's where I messed up. I met Molly.

She was beautiful. Dark hair, dark brown eyes. A smile that always managed to make me melt. I kept my family's subject of worship out of the conversations we had. She didn't need to know. She couldn't know. We had a marriage ceremony in secret, but somehow, someone in the cult found out. On a moonless night, she was abducted and brought to the cult as a human sacrifice.

Such was my punishment. She was killed in front of me, and I was helpless to stop them. they did things to her body that I care not to mention here — gruesome things.

It was that night that I left the cult. As they slept, I packed my things, few that they were. I went out into the streets of Waterdeep, determined to make my path in this world.

And that's when the angel appeared. He spoke to me. He commended me for following my heart and declared that the evils the cult - my own family - had committed needed to be put to an end. Still bitter and heartbroken, I agreed. We returned to the headquarters and slew every last one of the cult I had once considered my family. The angel then gave me an offer: 'Slay the wicked with power that I shall bequeath unto you, and your own transgressions will be forgiven when your life comes to an end.'

I would have been a fool to turn down this offer. The angel - a Solar, the strongest of celestial beings aside from the gods themselves - laid his hand on me. I wouldn't know it then, but my left eye changed to match his own, a pearly shade of white. I became what adventurers call a Celestial Warlock. Once again, and with no family left to try to stop me, I struck out on the streets of Waterdeep to make a name for myself.

My travels would put me in contact with a half-elf by the name of Leosin. We chatted a bit, and he felt that my particular knowledge of cults could come in handy. He told me of a group calling themselves the Cult of the Dragon and told me to meet up with him in a little village called Greenest. By the time I had reached Greenest, however, it had largely been burnt to ash, a victim of the cult in question. I continued my journey without him, eventually finding myself in Baldur's Gate. Leosin, it turns out, had been captured by the members of the cult responsible for the attack on Greenest (or, as he put it, 'allowed himself to be captured'), and a group of adventurers had rescued him, losing one of their own in the process. Leosin suggested I join the group, and they reluctantly took me on as another member.

The Solar, it would turn out, was ever-present, mostly as a disembodied voice in the back of my mind. Nobody else could hear him speak, but there he was, occasionally chiming in to approve or disapprove of whatever I or anyone else in the group was doing. That's why we eventually staged a trial-by-camel: the idea of it amused the angel. Additionally, I had myself a little celestial sidekick. A small creature that called itself an "opossum", and claimed its name was Sesame. She was a sweet little thing, riding in a coat pocket of mine. Sesame would also only talk to me, in a mix of vocabulary that reminded me of a toddler, and little pictures.

When it came to the others in this group of adventurers, I didn't really have much of an opinion. I felt like I was needing to prove myself to them - they'd lost their friend, a young gold dragonborn by the name of Gevron - to his own desire to protect his friends. There was a human noble, Bran. He was your basic knight, a tank of a fighter. Something of a self-declared leader, too, if one truly existed in the group. Knocks, the sharpshooting tabaxi, with an eye for gems and other riches. There was something off about her, but I never did figure it out. Shrike, a halfling with a love of making maps and a good head on his shoulders. A respectable man, with an occasional urge to sleep in ditches, for some reason. And then there was Luneus.

Look, I'm not one to make assumptions about people, but Luneus... something was definitely suspicious about that elf wizard. First of all, they wore purple robes. Nothing unusual about that, except that the Cult of the Dragon - their higher-up members wear purple. They're even called that. The Wearers of Purple. Second, Luneus seemed to go out of their way to avoid putting themselves in danger. We were fighting in the caves beneath a castle, when - and I'm not joking when I say this - Luneus uses Thunderstep to take themselves out of the fight and hide. Hide. Was that the move of a coward, or someone who didn't want their allegiances discovered? That action of theirs would haunt me to the grave.

And I meant that. It was during that fight in particular, that I nearly died. Surrounded by bullywugs, I was taken down. I'm a distance fighter and a healer. I can cast two spells before having to resort to blasting with beams of light. I heal people... I do not do well in close-quarters combat. And in those moments, I saw Heaven. Molly. The Solar. And, surprisingly, Gevron. The Solar told me that although I had done well, my work wasn't done - I needed to get back down there and finish what we'd started. Gevron agreed, giving me a slap on the shoulder. "My friends need you more than we do. Get down there and kick some ass."

And so there I was, my soul pushed back into my body. A boon from Gevron, as of yet undiscovered, blasted the bullywugs to pieces. Small golden scales dotted the right side of my face and neck... I'd become not only a celestial warlock, but a Draconic Sorcerer as well. Thanks, pal. Shame we couldn't have met while you were alive. We ran from that battle, our tails between our legs. Once in a safe place, I nearly blew up at Luneus, but I was still worn out from dying and coming back that it didn't matter. What mattered was that we were alive.

Eventually, it all came to a head. We had tracked down one of the Wearers of Purple to a flying fortress. How we got there is a bit of a blur, but what happened when we got there had to have been the stupidest thing we could have done. Emboldened by some of our more recent successes, Bran announced that we were sent by another member of the Cult... only, that member was now a known traitor.

The ensuing fight was one that ultimately cost most of us our lives - mine included. Having previously been blessed by the Solar, I could see into the magical darkness created by the Wearer of Purple's black dragon mask, but nobody else could. So I kept blasting, with little regard to my own safety. The others, besieged by the other inhabitants of the castle and trying to at least take potshots at the enemy in her room, were being easily overwhelmed.

I myself got bludgeoned by a large boulder, thrown by a stone giant. At least my death was a quick one.

James Shoehorn was my second character for my group's 5e run of Hoard of the Dragon Queen. My dragonborn paladin, Gevron, died attempting to keep Bran alive in a nighttime attack, and I found myself scrambling to make a new character halfway through the night's session. Bran's player (or maybe it was someone else?) suggested I make James as a PC; James had originated as an NPC in my own homebrew campaign. The James Shoehorn of that world died facing off against his former friend and cult leader, so it made sense that this incarnation of James would also be a former cultist. Some quick rolling for stats, and he was given new life.
James never really fit in with the group, and especially never trusted Luneus after that fight with the bullywugs under the swamp castle. We had a mechanic in place where "Everybody Gets One" - my husband, feeling bad that nearly the entire group died in the very first session of Hoard, implemented a system where we were allowed one 'free' death - something would happen, be it an NPC to rush in and save us from death, or... something cool, like James essentially going "Super Saiyan" and blasting apart his enemies. As James had used his "one", our fight in the flying fortress resulted in his "true" death. We began to joke that James was a Red Shirt, as he had technically died twice in his NPC form, and now, another two times. James was never meant to live to see old age.

credits:

profile template by piers.
Story and character by Possum.
Background Image: Crepuscular rays, Encyclopaedia Britannica

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Sealed Scroll of White Magic

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Simple Silver Wedding Band

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