Articles By Author - Robert Fairbanks

Wastelander: A Background

Wastelander From the Pillars of Uxloon to the fields of Verrayne, from Flensing Gulch to the Silk Thicket, you have wandered countless leagues of the Western Wastes. You know its seasons, its savagery, and even some of its secrets all too well. Warped, decaying energies and dark memories of the trials of survival in that alien desolation linger, sometimes still displaying their influence on mind, body, and soul. The term “wastelander” refers to...

Triolan Highwayman: A Background

Triolan Highwayman The Triolan corsairs are renowned throughout Midgard for their flamboyant ferocity and near monopoly on organized shipping and piracy throughout the (northern) Middle Sea. But the sea lanes and merchant armadas are not the only means to move goods and services to and from the rich trade centers of the great peninsula. Eager merchants still foolishly brave back roads and “shortcuts” to hurry their goods to Tolmezo, Melana, and...

Pilgrim of Mavros: A Background

He is master of storms, blood, and strife. But he is also god of honor, protection, and rebirth. Mavros, the God of Valera and the Seven Cities—his masks and various incarnations are revered and worshiped throughout Midgard. You are his word. Epiphany and spiritual fervor compel you to attempt one of the greatest tests of devotion available to your faith. You have made the pilgrimage to the Seat of Mavros, deep in the Wasted West. Few would...

Mharoti Master Chef: A Background

Food, an essential—and delicious—component of life. Those that can work its magic are highly valued in any culture. Fine victuals are cherished in politics, business, and religion throughout Midgard, and you aspired to no less than the exceptional and the exotic. You were destined for more than lording over a three-star Trioloan restaurant or cooking aboard a luxury Siwali sandship. Draconic fine dining was your calling, nothing less would...

Ghatazi Runaway: A Background

Ghatazi: a word synonymous with misery in every spoken language of the Southlands. The Ghatazi salt pits lie sizzling in the bleached wastelands of the Crescent Desert’s northern rim. Enclosed on all sides by thousands of miles of blistering rock and searing white sand, it is a hostile, unforgiving place plagued by swarms of biting flies, bone-scouring salt storms, and a diabolic malevolence that seems to permeate the region. At...

Makurian Caravan Guard: A Background

Like many that hail from the desert city-states, you learned to read the language of the Lotus and Tamasheq Trails before you could even read the simplest Nurian scroll. Before you knew how to lace your own sandals, you knew the flicker of a camel’s ear that told of approaching riders and which of the desert falcon’s cries warned of impending sandstorms and which meant water or game was nearby. To this day, you can spot gnoll sign,...

Bourgundian Parfumier: A Background

Not all (dramatic) changes to one’s lifestyle, calling, or ambitions are a result of social or financial decline. Some are simply decided upon. Regardless of your motivation or incentive for change, you have accepted that a comfortable life of research, science and business is—at least for now—a part of your past. As befits a native of Shining Bourgund, you are educated and ambitious. You spent your youth apprenticed among the...

Gambler: A Background

Blackleg or handicapper, punter, card-sharp or dicer, all far from flattering titles to be sure. Titles said to be born of avarice or desperation, addiction or recklessness. Many of those saddled with such colorful, yet shady depictions, might call them unfair or inaccurate. But to make one’s living by speculation, confidences, or games of chance is rarely considered an “honorable profession” in any culture. Even the astronomically few who do...

Smuggler: A Fifth Edition Background

Knife blades and harness buckles smeared with black soot; muffled oar-locks and a moonless, midnight-rendezvous, torchlights on the moors and signal lights beyond the breakers . . . Throughout the ages and across civilizations, there has and will always arise the inevitable desire, demand, even desperate need, for those things regulated or forbidden. These desires and demands, in turn, frequently spell opportunity to an entrepreneurial few....

Gravedigger: A Fifth Edition Background

Yours was the dark cart that creaked down the predawn lanes with hooves, wheels, and driver shrouded in black cloth. Criminal or courtesan, rich man or rat-catcher; they all veered aside, seeking doorways and side streets at your approach. You served as the gallows-man, the night-wagon, and, at times, the plague-wagon. You may have been a shrouded nightly gatherer of the cities fallen, or a suspicious caretaker and historian of graveyard and...

Astronomer’s Assistant (Apprentice): A Fifth Edition Background

Yours was to be the limitless heavens. As your master before you, you set your course to become a great navigator and cartographer of the stars and astral bodies. Later you would evolve into a revered soothsayer, advisor to kings and historians, or a renowned researcher and academician for the great churches, colleges, and wizards’ guilds. You would wisely dispense your scientific and mathematical formulae, predictions, and calculations to the...

Headsman: A Fifth Edition Background

What is missing or present that allows—or drives—an individual to ascend the scaffold and stretch taught the creaking rope? Or to flourish dramatically for the crowd before sending ringing steel through bone and wood? Is it greed, tradition, civic duty, or bloodlust? At best the secret lies within, whether known or buried deep. Who can truly say what flaw or virtue destines a person to wear the black hood. In many cultures, the calling is...

Rat Catcher: A Fifth Edition Background

Born into poverty and squalor, you spent your younger years unsupervised — hustling and haunting the shadier low districts and the crooked backstreets of the urban sprawl. Whether arrested (falsely accused?) for a string of petty infractions or answering the call of a city plagued with vermin, the city magistrates put to good use your streetwise nature and uncanny instinct for the alleys, alcoves, sewers, and cellars of the city....

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