Pillars of Eternity Wiki

In response to patch v1. to Pillars of Eternity (June 6, 2024), the random loot tables shown on the wiki have been updated. These changes may take time to propegate.

As a result, random loot data is no longer accurate to old versions of the game, including all console ports. We'll be working to provide a mechanism to switch between pre-patch and post-patch loot for console players.


Pillars of Eternity Wiki

Culture and background are two essential parts of a characters biography in Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. The player character, all companions, and many characters in the world have their own culture and background, which defines who they are and where they come from. During character creation, there are a number of options available to customize the Watcher's origin and backstory, each of which has a unique effect on the interactions you have with characters encountered throughout the game, serving as a starting point for your story. [1]

In Pillars of Eternity, during your first quest you will be accompanied by Calisca. She will ask you about your past, about what you did before you fell in with the group. Your answers are taken and inscribed into your character's biography for the rest of the game.[2] You can also choose to not to tell more about your background.[3][4][5].

Culture[ | ]

Culture is where the character is from. A character's culture greatly influences their social profile, general behaviour, and their way of living. As a trait, it is introduced by living in (or being born to) a particular region or ethnic group, and adapting to their societal norms and standards.

Culture affects almost every part of a character's being, including the clothing they wear, the food they eat, holidays and traditions they uphold, the language they use, how they speak to others, and much more.

As a game mechanic, a character's culture gives them an attribute bonus. The player character's culture is chosen during character creation, and determines what backgrounds are available to them. During gameplay, a character's culture can result in many unique social interactions and dialogue options. For example, bringing favour from another NPC with the same culture, or knowing of a particular custom or cultural idiosyncrasy.

In Pillars of Eternity, together with your class, the culture directly affects the equipment you receive at the start of the game (however Deadfire has no such effect.)

Only about half of the classes are available during character creation, with the remaining being reserved for NPCs and companions.

Culture Attribute bonus Companions Description
+1 Resolve Attribute Resolve
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Pillars of Eternity
The Aedyr Empire is currently the largest and most powerful force in this part of the world. It is centered around the Equator and has a tropical climate. Though the empire has colonies in numerous areas of the world, Greater Aedyr is at its heart and houses the majority of its human and elven nations.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The Aedyr Empire is one of the most prominent Old Empires of the west. It is centered around the Equator and has a tropical climate. The nation of Aedyr is at its heart and houses the majority of its human and elven populace. Aedyr was once a powerful colonial force, but the loss of Readceras and the Dyrwood reduced its stature. Aedyrans are common in the Eastern Reach, but rare in the Deadfire Archipelago.

Deadfire Archipelago
+1 Dexterity Attribute Dexterity
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Pillars of Eternity
Consisting of the nation of Naasitaq, dozens of aumaua settlements, and hundreds of lawless, pirate-infested islands that stretch along the southern sea, Deadfire is home to boreal dwarves, aumaua, and a mixed variety of other races. Deadfire Archipelago is the "last stop" for anyone headed east - a multitude of monstrous sea creatures infest the ocean beyond, making travel virtually impossible.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The Deadfire Archipelago marks the eastern edge of the "Known World." Dominantly populated by island aumaua who make up the tribes of the Huana, the chain of hundreds of islands spans thousands of miles. The Deadfire contains myriad climates and biomes that are home to a bewildering array of creatures. The last century has brought ambitious colonial traders, explorers, and pirates to the Deadfire, but travel east of the archipelago is blocked by the destructive storms of Ondra's Mortar.

Legends among the Huana speak of an ancient cataclysm that devastated their people thousands of years ago. Details of this event have been lost to time, but Huana storytellers claim that it destroyed everything they had built, sinking even the greatest of their cities beneath the waves.

Ixamitl Plains
+1 Resolve Attribute Resolve
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Pillars of Eternity
Located to the northeast of Eir Glanfath, the Ixamitl Plains are a large expanse of fertile savannas that are extensively farmed by human and orlan residents. The Ixamitl culture is one of the oldest in the world, though one of the least imperialistic, having spread out little over the past several thousand years.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Located north of Readceras in the Eastern Reach, the Ixamitl Plains are a large expanse of fertile savannas that are extensively farmed by its savanna folk and orlan residents. The Ixamitl culture is one of the oldest in the world, though one of the least imperialistic, having spread out little over the past several thousand years. Ixamitl society places a strong emphasis on learning and scholarship and honors their philosophers and literati.

Old Vailia
+1 Intellect Attribute Intellect


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Pillars of Eternity
Once the crown jewel of the southern seas, Old Vailia is now the crumbled remnants of an empire of warring merchant nations. Counting many humans and dwarves among their ranks, the Old Vailian countries are still forces to be reckoned with and are proud of their rich cultural heritage.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Once the crown jewel of the southern seas, Old Vailia is now the crumbled remnants of an empire of warring merchant nations. Counting many humans and dwarves among their ranks, the Old Vailian countries are still forces to be reckoned with and are proud of their rich cultural heritage. The southernmost of the Old Empires, Old Vailia suffered a similar fate to their northern neighbors, the Aedyrans, in losing their most prosperous colonial territories, the Vailian Republics. Many Old Vailians in the Deadfire Archipelago are associated with the Príncipi sen Patrena, a vast coalition of pirates.

+1 Constitution Attribute Constitution
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Pillars of Eternity
Dominated by the aumaua nation of Rauatai, the gulf itself is host to a number of nations, most of them aumaua, orlan, and dwarven. Though these countries are relatively young, they are some of the most advanced colonial settlements in the east. The gulf is a land of riches and resources for those who can take them, though the entire coast is often pummeled by violent storms.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The powerful naval kingdom of Rauatai is dominated by coastal aumaua and ruled by a ranga nui. Currently the most prosperous of the Old Empires, Rauatai has expanded aggressively into the Deadfire Archipelago to secure natural resources that are scarce in their native, storm-torn land. Though folk, dwarves, and orlans can be found in Rauatai, most are merchants or remnants of the old kingdoms Rauatai conquered when they seized power centuries ago.

Legends say that the Rauataians came to their lands from the Deadfire Archipelago in the wake of a terrible cataclysm, but the details of that event have been lost to time and the imagination of storytellers.

The Living Lands
+1 Might Attribute Might


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The Living Lands is the mountainous region of a large northern island renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life. Its weather is unpredictable and its ecosystems vary dramatically from valley to valley. The Living Lands are home to an assortment of races in a variety of colonial and independent settlements.

The White that Wends
+1 Perception Attribute Perception
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A large, cracked southern expanse of polar ice, the White that Wends is home to pale elves and small colonies of daring explorers, outcasts, and adventurers. While virtually no plant life grows in the White, it is home to many hardy species of dangerous animals that forage from the sea or prey upon each other to survive.

NPC or companion-only cultures
The Dyrwood +1 Resolve Attribute Resolve
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A colonial nation founded by settlers from the Aedyr Empire. Following a series of conflicts with Aedyr, the territory became independent in 2672 AI, and is now ruled by a duc, who is elected by seven erls that oversee its erldoms.

Eir Glanfath +1 Constitution Attribute Constitution
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A territory comprised of the forest southeast of the Bael River, populated indigenously by a group of loosely affiliated tribes collectively known as Glanfathans, and governed by a council of its six most powerful tribes. Eir Glanfath is home to a large number of ruined Engwithan sites, which Glanfathans hold sacred. The ruins have been at the center of a number of large-scale conflicts with Dyrwoodan colonists, whose settlements often encroach on Glanfathan territory and who frequently seek to plunder the ruins for their relics.

Naasitaq +1 Perception Attribute Perception
Príncipi sen Patrena
(Deadfire only)
+1 Resolve Attribute Resolve
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Responding to the collapse of Grand Vailia (2720 - 2760 AI ), noble families packed up their households and sailed abroad seeking opportunities away from the shadow of their homeland. Over time their old world traditions evolved into a new identity as the Príncipi sen Patrena - the Princes without a Homeland, a loosely-connected and regulated organization of pirates.

The Príncipi sen Patrena, or simply Príncipi, are a large band of loosely-affiliated pirates operating in the Deadfire Archipelago. Though they have their foundations in the fall of Old Vailia, the Príncipi have developed their own unique cultural mélange over the past few decades as their ranks have grown with outlaws from across the known world.

Readceras +1 Resolve Attribute Resolve
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Dyrwood's neighbor to the north. Readceras is a nation firmly rooted in its Eothasian faith - a fervor that took hold during the events of the Saint's War and remains even after the apparent death of Eothas.

The Vailian Republics +1 Intellect Attribute Intellect
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A mercantile power and former colony of a larger, more ancient nation, Old Vailia. The Republics lie to the south of Dyrwood and Eir Glanfath, and are ruled by a duc elected by the "consuagli asegia," a council of 14 ducs, including its five most prominent, the "ducs bels."

(Deadfire only)
+1 Constitution Attribute Constitution
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Almost nothing is known about Rekke's homeland, Yezuha. It is either too small or too remote for any information about it to have become well-known in the Deadfire Archipelago.

Background[ | ]

A background is what the character did (or is currently doing) as a job or profession. A character's background relates strongly to the skills that would required and associated with the background. Generally someone who has a profession in a particular field would develop a natural skill or "knack" for it, so naturally a merchant would be a better negotiator, or an explorer may be more well versed with surviving the wilderness, to give some examples.

After selecting a culture, players may select a background for their character. Backgrounds give an initial skill bonus, and as with culture, they have a similar role-playing impact. Some backgrounds are only available to specific cultures, and some are exclusive to companions.

In Pillars of Eternity, the description is different between the character creation and the journal, but in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, only the latter journal entry is used.

Background Availability Skill Description
Pillars of Eternity Deadfire
Background apprentice
Arcane Apprentice
Fassina only - While many wizards learn their magic from private teachers or even universities, it is far superior to earn an apprenticeship with an established wizard or archmage. Relationships between apprentices and their mistresses or masters are commonly tough and occasionally abusive. This is due both to the eccentricities of powerful wizards as well as their desire to discourage timid students from seeking them out.
Background aristocrat
All except The Living Lands You've lived your life amongst the nobility. Your days have been marked by lavish meals and extravagant parties, your conversations peppered with talk of pedigree and bloodlines.

Your family belongs to the upper crust of society, and your upbringing provided you with many advantages over the lower born. You have had access to a first-rate education, and are no stranger to extravagant parties, dances, hunting for sport, and the political concerns of the landed nobility.

Background artist
Old Vailia You've always felt driven to express yourself creatively. The structure and rigid control of other pursuits has never satisfied in the same way.

You were born with a natural grasp of aesthetics, and you have since cultivated it by endeavoring with your work to capture life in all its facets.

Background clergy
Clergy or Clergyman
Aedyr (poe1)

Aedyr or Deadfire Archipelago (poe2)
Piety and prayer are the cornerstones of your public life, and you encourage the same in others.

You answered a higher calling, giving up the freedom of secular life for the spiritual rewards of devotion to the divine - a life of vestments and the study of holy texts and the spreading of the truths they hold.

Background colonist

Old Vailia

The Living Lands
You were part of a group that founded a fledgling colony in a distant land.

You left your homeland some time ago, surrendering the familiarity of home for the great unknowns of the unconquered frontier.

Background dissident

Ixamitl Plains

Old Vailia

You've made a name for yourself as a troublemaker. Disrespect for authority and a lack of care regarding the rules are recurring themes in your life.

You've never taken well to people telling you what to do. What began as a rebellious streak has developed into full-blown indignation for authority figures and power structures, and you've taken every opportunity along the way to express your dissenting opinions.

Background drifter
All You never quite fit in no matter where you go. Each new town is just a place to rest briefly before moving on to the next. You are more comfortable on the road, traveling the world.

It's a rare thing for you to stay anywhere for any length of time. You've passed from town to town, moving on when it suits you, the open road the closest thing you've had to a home.

Background explorer
Deadfire Archipelago

The Living Lands

The White that Wends
You find the siren call of the horizon irresistible. You cannot help but wonder what lies beyond the next hill or wave, and you've built your life around finding out.

Your whole life you've lived for the thrill of discovery and exploration, finding irresistible the siren call of the far reaches and unknown places of the world. Many live their lives perfectly content within the confines of one small town, but to you such a fate would've been a death sentence.

Background farmer
Edér and Xoti only Farmers can be found across the Old Empires, Eastern Reach, and even in the Deadfire Archipelago. They are responsible for the bulk of food their societies rely on for day-to-day sustenance.
Background gentry
Aloth only A distinct social class in Aedyr, Old Vailia, and parts of the Dyrwood, gentry are minor nobles, often landowners, who sit below the aristocracy and above wealthy commoners.
Background hunter
All You live for the thrill of the chase. Whether for glory or for sustenance, you have made your living taking the lives of wild creatures.

You've made your living in the wilds, dedicating your hours to perfecting the cadence of the hunt - the long intervals of stillness and waiting, the frantic exertions of the chase, the sudden punctuation of the kill.

Background laborer
All Your life has been spent in the study of your craft. You trained and prepared, hoping to hone your skills and ply your trade.

Like many commoners of able body and apt mind before you, you learned a complex skill and then struck out on your own to ply your trade.

Background marksman
Maia only - Marksmen are soldiers who specialize in attacking from a distance with firearms. Less common than infantry soldiers, marksmen are often specialized elite units found in private armies or in the employ of powerful merchant companies.
Background mercenary
All except The White that Wends Blade and battle is your way of life. You solve your problems by pulling out your weapon and applying force.

Combat ability of any kind is a skill in high demand in a world where much of the wilderness is untamed and many borders are contested. Battle is your trade, and you have thus far been fortunate enough to survive its perils.

Background merchant
All You've traded goods from all over the world, pairing items with buyers of all kinds.

Whether it was a silver tongue, a head for numbers, an ability to appraise others, or simply happenstance, until recently you made your living as a merchant, parting person from coin in trade for your wares.

Background missionary
Grieving Mother only -
Background missionary
Rekke only - Missionaries are responsible for spreading the message of their faith to new lands and their people. As the people of the Old Empires, Eastern Reach, and Deadfire Archipelago largely worship the same gods, missionaries are seldom encountered.
Background mystic
The White that Wends You've never been able to explain how the universe guides your path. Behind every task you undertake is a feeling of cosmic direction.

There are those who find inspiration in books and houses of worship, and there are those for whom it is more personal - perhaps not even a choice at all. The spark of divine inspiration revealed a path to you, and since then you've traveled it in search of fulfillment.

Background philosopher
Ixamitl Plains You are most at home inside your own head, analyzing the nature of the world and its inhabitants.

Abstract thinking, the clash of ideals, notions of good and evil, right and wrong, and the pursuit of ultimate truth - these are the things that have always made your blood flow and your mind race, so much so that you've arranged your life such that you can while away your hours contemplating elusive answers and challenging accepted beliefs.

Background raider
Deadfire Archipelago You've spent your life on the wrong side of the law. What you want, you take, and what was theirs has a tendency to become yours.

You've always taken what you wanted - didn't matter what it was or who it belonged to. By most laws this is theft, but you've never had much use for any laws besides your own.

Background scholar
Ixamitl Plains

For you, knowledge is a relentless pursuit. You hoard each kernel of information as though it were precious metal, and time you don't spend learning is time wasted.

You have always been dazzled by letters and numbers, facts and figures, problems and stratagems. In academics you found a way to surround yourself with what interested you, and since then you've largely spent your time trying to better yourself through the acquisition of knowledge.

Background scientist
The Living Lands The rules that govern the world are a set of alchemical formulae to you, waiting to be discovered and manipulated.

The laws of the natural world are pieces of a puzzle to you, and you dedicated yourself to putting it together - unraveling its mysteries, revealing small truths to bring larger ones into focus.

Background slave

Deadfire Archipelago

Old Vailia

You have never known freedom. Shackles and chains have bound your existence, and someone has told you what to do your entire life.

Few people truly understand what it feels like to be forced into the service of another, stripped of freedom and dignity alike, but until recently, this had been your lot in life - hard labor, chains, and the ceaseless gaze of a master.

Background soldier
Pallegina only Professional soldiers work throughout the Old Empires, Eastern Reach, and even in the Deadfire. The difference between a mercenary and a soldier is the nature of their employment. Soldiers are always full-time professionals associated with standing armies, often as a part of an elite military order.
Background hunter
Devil of Caroc only You were a trapper, making your life through snares and legholds, catching small animals for their meat, pelts, and even bones.

Background specialization[ | ]

In Pillars of Eternity, you can further "specialize" your background in a dialog with Calisca after you have found the springberry. First she will ask you about your specific background and then if you didn't say that it isn't her business, she will ask why you left. Calisca will also ask you why you travel with the caravan and what you want to do. This detailed background specialization, also sometimes called personality or simply specific background, carries over to Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, and is occasionally used in dialogue.

If you say "That isn't your business", Calisca will say "Suit yourself. Can't very well force you to have a personality, can I?"

For each specific background, the player may give a reason for leaving. Although this value is saved, it is not used at all in Pillars of Eternity or in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, and simply adds an entry to the biography in the journal.

Companion only backgrounds do not have specializations.

Background Calisca dialogue Specific background
Reason for leaving
Background aristocrat
"You're the one who's supposed to be from some bigshot noble family, that true?"
(1) "That's right. Royal blood runs through my veins."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you were born to a royal family.
  • (1) "Someone tried to poison me."
    But your royal blood made you the object of jealousy and intrigue, and an attempt on your life would ultimately force you to leave your home behind.
  • (2) "Certain jealous family members whispered into my father's ear, and I was disinherited."
    You fell out of favor, however, and were disinherited by your own kin. With nothing left for you there, you gathered a few belongings and left.
  • (3) "My family was ousted from power. Some are still held captive."
    But even royalty can be fleeting without sufficient power to maintain hold on the throne. Your family was overthrown, its claim denied.
  • (4) "I don't want to rule."
    But being royal was something you never asked for, and you fled the responsibilities you had inherited by blood.
(2) "Only to some. Our titles were purchased, not inherited."
You hail from [Player Culture], where your family used its wealth to buy its nobility.
  • (5) "We hid the truth of our lineage, but it was eventually uncovered."
    But your family’s secret would not remain so forever, and when the source of your family’s title came to light, you were disgraced, never again to be considered an equal among the other nobles.
  • (6) "No matter how much status my family gains, it will never be accepted among the nobility."
    But it is one thing to have a title and another for people to recognize it. Your family was never able to convince others of its legitimacy in noble society, leaving little promise in continuing to pretend.
  • (7) "My family was disgraced by the lies of a rival. Our reputation is ruined."
    But your family was not without enemies, and ultimately your rivals would besmirch your family name with vicious lies.
(3) "My family has some clout among the elite, it's true."
You hail from [Player Culture], where your family is well established among the elite.
  • (8) "Our family fortune is secretly squandered. I must rebuild it where I would not be recognized."
    But it is established in name only, for its fortune is squandered, and its decline now seems assured.
  • (9) "My family considers me an embarrassment and wants nothing to do with me."
    But you are not in your family’s good graces, and they would deny your existence if they could.
  • (10) "I am ashamed of my family and would rather be anywhere else."
    But while society may look highly upon them, you share no such affections, and would prefer not to associate with them at all.
Background artist
"Word is, you're some kind of artist. That so?"
(4) "More of a performer, really."
You are a performer hailing from [Player Culture].
  • (11) "My troupe disbanded. It got ugly. Things were said that can never be taken back."
    But the troupe you performed with disbanded, and you were forced to strike out on your own.
  • (12) "I was terrible. I'll never be able to perform for my home crowd again."
    But performing is only profitable when the performance is good, and unfortunately for you, your passion was not matched by your talent.
  • (13) "There was an accident. A tragedy. I'm no longer welcome."
    But performing is not without its dangers, and a terrible accident left you to reevaluate your course in life.
(5) "I made my living as an artisan."
You hail from [Player Culture], an artisan by trade.
  • (14) "The lord there lined his own pockets with outrageous taxes. I could no longer make a living."
    There you did your best to scrape together a living, but the greed of local lords made for tax rates that rendered subsistence impossible for you.
  • (15) "My master was petty. I lost my apprenticeship, and I was blackballed from pursuing the trade elsewhere."
    But what began as a promising career was cut short early when you lost the apprenticeship in which you had invested years of your life.
  • (16) "I was sabotaged by a rival and my business was ruined."
    But your gifts drew resentment, and a cruel act of sabotage brought your burgeoning career to an abrupt end.
(6) "Yes, in the traditional sense. I try to capture life as I see it, create something new."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you were an artist, seeking to portray the world as you saw it.
  • (17) "No one understood my work."
    But it turned out that the way you saw the world was frightening and confusing to everyone else, and your hopes of making a living with your art were short-lived.
  • (18) "I lived in a slum and my work was stolen by thieves. I used the last of my money to escape that place."
    Everything changed one day when you returned to your workshop to find years’ worth of your work stolen out from under you, leaving you without a copper to your name.
  • (19) "I no longer feel inspired. I don't know why, but somehow I've lost it."'
    But art is only successful when it is moving, and it only moves when it is inspired. Your sources of inspiration would dry up in time, and finding nothing to replace them with, your career foundered.
Background colonist
"Odema said you were some kind of colonist before coming here. If that's the case, you'll fit right in - whole country's a bunch of colonists. You like frontier life, or what?"
(7) "There was a fortune to be made where I was."'
While you came originally from [Player Culture], you eventually uprooted in search of fortune.
  • (20) "There was no fortune to be found there. Just a lot of work for nothing."
    But no amount of searching would lead you to the fortune you sought, and ultimately there was little point in remaining.
  • (21) "The well of riches had dried up. I knew only hardship there."'
    You followed stories of other people’s good fortunes to find that you had arrived too late, and the land was stripped bare, all its resources exhausted.
  • (22) "I thought it was what I wanted. Turns out, I was wrong."
    But the lifestyle wasn’t satisfying to you, and the time came when you realized it was time to move on.
(8) "It wasn't by choice. I was fleeing persecution."'
While you came originally from [Player Culture], you chose to settle elsewhere to flee persecution.
  • (23) "The people I was running from finally caught up. I got out, but not everyone was so lucky."
    The flight was not enough, for your persecutors would catch up with you, forcing you to uproot once more.
  • (24) "The place I ended up was just as bad as the place I left. Another dead end."'
    But the place you arrived at proved no better than the place you left, and it was soon apparent that you were not welcome there.
  • (25) "I was always looking over my shoulder there. I needed someplace new, farther away."
    But the place you chose was not far enough away from those who would do you harm, and fears of waking one day to find them at your door proved too much to bear.
(9) "I was there to pacify the land. And the people who were native to it."
While you came originally from [Player Culture], you eventually departed when the promise of subduing new lands called to you.
  • (26) "Some of the natives didn't take so kindly to our efforts. They burnt down our settlement."
    But the land would not be subdued. Your village was torched by indigenous peoples who knew a threat when they saw one, leaving you with nothing.
  • (27) "I did some things there, things I'm having trouble living with."
    The appeal would dwindle, however, as cruel deeds you had done in the name of conquering the land came to weigh heavily on your conscience. In the end, you felt you had to leave it behind.
  • (28) "Turned out, the land pacified us. Some awful disease. Wiped out most of us. I was lucky to get out."
    But the land would put up a greater fight than you had anticipated, as your colony had no defense against the new diseases it encountered there. The population was decimated, and you were lucky to escape with your life.
Background dissident
"I got it on good authority you're some kind of troublemaker. Or at least you were in your old life."
(10) "For some I was. I fought for a rebellion."
Coming from [Player Culture], you joined the ranks of a rebel cause there.
  • (29) "We lost. I am exiled from my own homeland."
    But few rebellions are fated to succeed, and your cause was crushed under the heel of your oppressor’s boot, leaving you with little to fight for.
  • (30) "We won the war, but the new government, the one we bled for, ended up being much worse."
    The cause seemed noble at first, but once it had seized power, it became all too clear that this regime was no better than the one it had overthrown.
  • (31) "I've had my fill of war and bloodshed."
    The realities of war soon made themselves known to you, however, and you lost your appetite for battle.
(11) "You might say that. I was a spy for a time."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you found yourself operating as a spy.
  • (32) "I was caught, but I managed to escape and some old friends got me passage out."
    But the perils of your job caught up to you, and you were discovered while on a mission. You escaped capture, but with your identity exposed, your home was no longer safe for you.
  • (33) "I double-crossed my employer, and my employer is as powerful as they come."
    A tempting offer convinced you to double-cross your employer, a move that made it too dangerous to remain in your homeland.
  • (34) "They gave me a job I couldn't bring myself to carry out. That's not something they were agreeable to."
    But the demands of your job required one too many moral compromises, and your inability to bring yourself to complete your last mission earned you a contract on your life.
(12) "That's why they put me in jail."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you were accused of crimes and held prisoner.
  • (35) "I served my time. I didn't want to be reminded of that place another minute."
    In time, you completed your sentence, and were released back into the world in search of your place in it.
  • (36) "I got loose. Far as I know they're still looking for me."
    There, you decided that your sentence was far too long, and took it upon yourself to shorten it substantially by escaping your prison, preferring a life on the run to one in chains.
  • (37) "I was released. Was supposed to report back every few days or they'd haul me in again. That's just another kind of jail."
    You were eventually released on parole, but the temptations of freedom were too strong for you to abide the rules of your release, and you opted instead to become a fugitive from justice.
Background drifter
"You're kind of a mystery to the rest of the caravan. Just some kind of wanderer, the way I hear it."
(13) "That sort of thing tends to happen with orphans."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you were orphaned at a young age.
  • (38) "I burned down the orphanage and got out of there while I could."
    But the orphanage was no place for you, and you chose one day to burn it to the ground, fleeing before anyone might discover your actions.
  • (39) "I've never had a place to call home. Still looking."
    Without parents to care for you, you never truly found a home or reason to settle down, and so day by day you continue to distance yourself from your place of birth to fill some craving you do not fully understand.
  • (40) "I'm a self-made orphan. My parents got what they deserved, and now I'm leaving all that behind."
    While the world is filled with orphans, you are that rare orphan who is parentless by choice, with both of them meeting their deaths by your hand.
(14) "Sure. I wander into the lives of fools, talk them out of their money, and wander back out."
Though originally from [Player Culture], the lifestyle of a swindler has prevented you from being able to stay in one place.
  • (41) "Eventually they caught wise and chased me out of town."
    Indeed, you left your last town in a great hurry, pursued by those who had fallen victim to your deceit.
  • (42) "I think I just got tired of cheating people."
    But the act of cheating people eventually lost its appeal for you, and the desire for a fresh start has pushed you in a new direction.
  • (43) "One of the fools turned out to be very dangerous and influential."
    But there are people in the world who will pursue a cheater to their dying day, and you so happened to victimize such a person. Flight to a faraway land seemed the wisest course of action.
(15) "You have to be when people are looking for you."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you have moved from place to place in an effort to evade the people looking for you.
  • (44) "They think I have something that belongs to them. Something they're pretty intent on getting back."
    They would seem to be under the impression that you have something of value to them, and they are determined to take it from you. Your only option is to keep moving.
  • (45) "I crossed dangerous people. I couldn't stick around."
    You made enemies of the kind that will do everything in their power to harm you, and they continue to try to do so. Your only option is to keep moving.
  • (46) "I don't know why they're looking for me, and I don't care to find out."
    But as to why they’re looking for you, you have no idea. All you know is that you have to keep moving.
Background explorer
"Odema says you've had some interesting travels."
(16) "In the watery parts of the world. I was a mariner."
Though you come from [Player Culture], you have spent more recent times at sea.
  • (47) "We were attacked by pirates at sea. Our ship was destroyed."
    Your seafaring days were ended quickly, however, when your ship was set upon by pirates and destroyed.
  • (48) "I didn't find what I was looking for."
    Whatever it was you hoped to find there, however, you never did, and now you find yourself in search of a new direction.
  • (49) "The sea is a lonely place to live your life."
    But the seas are a lonely place, and you found that you needed to be in the company of civilization to be at peace with the world.
(17) "I lived out on a frontier for a time."
Hailing from [Player Culture], you chose to live along the frontier.
  • (50) "It was a harsh place to live. I was surrounded by death out there."
    But the conditions there were brutal, killing many where you lived and forcing you to reevaluate your surroundings.
  • (51) "It was too quiet a life. I was looking for something more."
    But frontier life is lived in solitude, and the quiet emptiness proved overwhelming for you.
  • (52) "Raiders destroyed my home, took everything from me."
    Living so far from civilization, however, made you and others in the vicinity vulnerable to attack, and a day of violent pillaging by raiders left you mangled and without a home.
(18) "Interesting might not be the word. I sailed with cold-blooded conquerors."
Though you come from [Player Culture], you've spent your days at sea among those who would subjugate others.
  • (53) "All we did was pillage and destroy. It accomplished nothing."
    For a time you joined them in their pillaging and destruction, but in the end you found it accomplished nothing and it was time for you to move on.
  • (54) "You conquer enough places, it isn't long before it's your homeland they go after."
    For a time you joined them in their pillaging and destruction, but it was only a matter of time before your home became the object of their desires. Finding this intolerable, you left them without a second thought.
  • (55) "No amount of plundering has been able to quench my bloodlust. I wonder if anything will."
    For a time you joined them in their pillaging and destruction, but you came to realize that none of it was enough to satisfy you, and you hungered for greater things.
Background hunter
"I hear you're a pretty good hunter. Don't tell Sparfel, or he'll run his mouth clear to Gilded Vale, trying to convince you how much better he is."
(19) "I spent a lot of time living on my own in the wilderness."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you had lived a solitary life in the wilderness.
  • (56) "Civilization came and spoiled the land."
    In time, civilization settled on the lands you called home, and spoiled them, and you were uprooted.
  • (57) "A great fire destroyed everything."
    But it all came to an abrupt end when fire swept through and destroyed everything.
  • (58) "I wore out my welcome, and they ran me off my land."
    But you wore out the patience of the locals, and eventually they chased you from your own lands.
(20) "I used to hunt monsters for a living."
You come from [Player Culture], and there you found your calling as a hunter of monsters.
  • (59) "We attempted a dangerous hunt. I was too ambitious, and we weren't ready. Most of the others are dead now."
    Eager to prove yourself, you set your sights on a beast like no other, only to find yourself overwhelmed. Most of your hunting party was killed, leaving you to set out alone.
  • (60) "I risked my life and kept a lot of people safe in their beds, and no one ever so much as thanked me."
    But despite the great risks you faced, you received little gratitude from those whose lives you saved. Over time, this began to wear at you, and you no longer felt that your efforts were worthwhile.
  • (61) "We tracked a monster for ages. Killing it would have made us famous. We found it long-dead of natural causes. After that there was no reason to stay."
    You set your sights on a famed beast, eager to prove yourself, only to find that death had already claimed your prize. Robbed of your ambitions, you decided to leave your homeland behind.
(21) "I was responsible for hunting and gathering for my village."
You come from [Player Culture], where you hunted and gathered to sustain your home.
  • (62) "We had a bad season, many of us starved. I don't want to face that again."
    But you were faced with a lean season, forced to venture ever further afield for game. Many around you starved, and the memory of it lingers in your thoughts. You struck out in hopes of never facing such hardships again.
  • (63) "We had an accident, and I was blamed for another hunter's death."
    During one hunting expedition, an accident claimed the life of a fellow hunter. You were blamed for the incident, and soon found yourself unwelcome in your community.
  • (64) "I hoped to accomplish more with my life. My village was ashamed of my choice to abandon them."
    But you held ambitions beyond the life of a hunter. Your village condemned you for your choice, and your departure was the subject of great shame.
(22) "I was a fisherman, actually."
Hailing from [Player Culture], you made your living catching fish.
  • (65) "Larger vessels took all the fish there were to catch. It was leave or starve."
    But your fishing boat was outpaced by far larger vessels, and over time the fish stocks grew scarce. Faced with starvation, you were forced to pick up and leave.
  • (66) "My ship went down in a great storm. It was all I had. I have to start all over."
    But a massive storm rolled in without warning, and your ship was lost beneath the waves. Having lost all you worked for, you were forced to make a fresh start.
  • (67) "I had a family at home. All depending on me, and all I wanted was to be free of them. So one day I just left."
    But the pressures of feeding a family began to weigh heavily on you. You decided to leave, leaving your responsibilities behind.
Background laborer
"Odema says you're a working man/woman."
(23) "Hard work, at that. I was a blacksmith."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you were trained as a blacksmith.
  • (68) "My master was a jealous person. He saw to it that as soon as I finished my apprenticeship I would never be able to compete against him."
    But despite his tutelage, your Master had no intention of allowing you to become a competitor. Without the means of establishing a trade, you were forced to look abroad for opportunities.
  • (69) "My master died in the middle of my training. There was nothing left for me there."
    But your training was interrupted when your Master died unexpectedly. Without hope of finishing your apprenticeship, you were forced to move on.
  • (70) "My skills were wasted on that place."
    Your talent was unmatched, but went unacknowledged by those around you. Frustrated, you set out to find a place where your skills might be better appreciated.
(24) "That's right. Made my living as a builder."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you worked as a builder for a time.
  • (71) "I made an error in my planning. One of my buildings collapsed. That was the end of my short career."
    But a small error in planning resulted in one of your buildings collapsing, leading to several deaths. It brought a swift and sudden end to your career, and you left, seeking out new lands where your name wouldn't be recognized.
  • (72) "I learned my trade when times were good. Now that they're hard, no one has need of me."
    For a time you enjoyed great demand, and made good money raising buildings. But the market soon dried up, and you were forced to leave your home in search of other opportunities.
  • (73) "My business partner ran off with my money and went into business for himself. All the people I thought were loyal had different ideas."
    You took up with a business partner, certain that, together, you could make a good living. But he turned on you, taking your money and going into business for himself. Abandoned by those you believed to be your friends, you were forced to strike out on your own.
(25) "Of a sort. I was a cook."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you were paid to prepare meals for others as a cook.
  • (74) "I worked for an insufferable shit."
    You found your employer intolerable, and decided you could no longer stand another moment in that household.
  • (75) "I spat in a noble's food and he responded by ruining my life."
    One day you decided to show up a nobleman by spitting in his food. It proved a costly decision. He responded by making your life unbearable, and you found yourself fleeing your home before matters escalated further.
  • (76) "I had an affair with a rich man's wife and he put a bounty on my head."
    Access to noble households placed you within arms' reach of numerous treasures, a gallant husband among them. Once his wife discovered the affair, she placed a bounty on your head, and you were forced to flee for your life.
  • (77) "I had an affair with a rich woman's husband and she put a bounty on my head."
    Access to noble households placed you within arms' reach of numerous treasures, an elegant wife among them. Once her husband discovered the affair, he placed a bounty on your head, and you were forced to flee for your life.
  • (78) "My skills languished in that kitchen for far too long."
    But your culinary masterpieces went unappreciated by your employers, and in time you grew to resent their unrefined tastes. You decided that your efforts were better spent elsewhere.
Background mercenary
"You look like you've seen your share of action. What'd you do before you came out here?"
(26) "I'm a war veteran."
Hailing from [Player Culture], you eventually joined an army and took part in a war.
  • (79) "I fought for the wrong side. Didn't need the reminder."
    As the fighting wore on, you grew increasingly certain that you made a mistake in your choice of allegiances. Once the war was over, you left, leaving your regrets behind you.
  • (80) "I fought beside people far better than me, but somehow I'm the one who made it out. I can't reconcile that."
    The war claimed many good soldiers, and the deaths you witnessed lingered in your thoughts well after the fighting was done. You ventured out from your homeland, hoping to leave the memories in your wake.
  • (81) "All I know is war. Maybe this is my way out, maybe this is just the way to the next one."
    You have always been a soldier, and your skills are those suited for the battlefield. Faced with the uncertainty of peace, you set out from your homeland, unsure where your path might lead next.
(27) "I was a blade for hire."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you were a sword for hire.
  • (82) "I've never been much good at anything else, but I need to go where there's work that pays."
    You make your living by the sword, and with work growing scarce in your homeland, you were forced to venture abroad in search of a living wage.
  • (83) "I've got a lot of debt to someone you don't want to be in debt to. I have to pay it off somehow."
    The life of a sellsword can be a surprisingly pricey one, and you soon found yourself in debt to a dangerous individual. You set off in search of work, hoping to pay off what you owe before someone puts a bounty on your head.
  • (84) "Let's just say I don't have the most sparkling of reputations at home. Here I'm anonymous."
    Your work as a mercenary earned you a dark reputation, as various foul deeds were laid at your feet regardless of the truth behind them. You decided to make a fresh start somewhere else, where your name and face would go unrecognized.
(28) "I used to go on adventures and expeditions, whatever paid."
You come from [Player Culture], where you sought adventures of all kinds, subsisting on the spoils.
  • (85) "Got into a barfight with someone with the spare time and resources to punish me for the rest of my life."
    But an evening's celebratory drink ended in a bar fight with a wealthy individual who didn't take kindly to getting trounced. You left town, trying to get out of range of your foe's influence.
  • (86) "Had a job go bad on me. Some deaths that didn't need to happen."
    But your last adventure ended in disaster, and several people were killed. You left, trying to put the incident behind you.
  • (87) "I took a job from the wrong person. Only after I finished it did I realize it would cause everyone to hate me."
    You accepted a well-paying job, but soon found that your choice of employers had cost you. Your connections renounced you, and you found your allies rapidly decreasing in number. There was little left for you at home.
  • (88) "I've just had my fill of it. Time to lead a quieter life."'
    In time, the rough and uncertain life of an adventurer began to lose its appeal. You decided to set out in search of something different.
(29) "I was a constable."
You come from [Player Culture], where you worked as a constable and keeper of the peace.
  • (89) "A group of brigands overwhelmed us and took the town. It's under their 'law' now."
    But you and your allies found yourselves overwhelmed by a large gang of brigands. They took the town, establishing their rule, and you were forced to flee before they strung you up.
  • (90) "There wasn't much copper in it."
    Despite the importance of your work, it paid little, and you found yourself scrounging to make ends meet. You decided to make your way elsewhere, in hopes of finding something more profitable.
  • (91) "No matter what I did, people still got hurt."'
    All your efforts couldn't prevent people getting hurt, and over time your mission began to seem futile. There wasn't much purpose in staying behind to try and stop the inevitable.
Background merchant
"Odema said something about you being in business for yourself."
(30) "I used to transport things people wanted kept secret. Goods, people."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you smuggled goods from port to port.
  • (92) "A competitor sold me out to the authorities, but I managed to escape capture."
    It was a profitable business, but a hazardous one. One competitor decided to sell you out to the authorities, and you narrowly evaded capture.
  • (93) "I was tricked into transporting something I never would've agreed to. I'm never going to be in that position again."
    You held to certain scruples regarding what kind of items you carried. But one client tricked you into transporting something you never would have agreed to, and you vowed that you'd never be placed in that position again.
  • (94) "I got double-crossed while doing a deal. They made off with everything."
    It was a profitable business, but it had its risks. You were double-crossed during a profitable deal, and lost everything.
(31) "I piloted cargo ships."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you piloted ships.
  • (95) "We were attacked by privateers. Our ship was taken, we were left to die at sea. I made it out, but I've lost my taste for that life."
    One day you were set upon by privateers, and left to die at sea. You survived, but the experience has soured you on the work. You have set out in search of new opportunities.
  • (96) "I was cast out in a mutiny."'
    But the crew rose against you in a mutiny. You survived, but the ship was lost, forcing you to make a new start elsewhere.
  • (97) "Had a big fight with my superiors about the way the ship was being run. They got rid of me."
    But you came to resent the conditions aboard the ship. When you complained about the manner in which the ship was run, your superiors cast you aside, forcing you to find work elsewhere.
(32) "I ran a shop."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], you tended your own shop, trading goods with locals.
  • (98) "My shop was attacked by bandits, and they took everything I've worked for. Wasn't much point in staying."
    But one day your shop was raided by bandits, who made off with the entirety of the stock. Robbed of your livelihood, you decided that there was nothing left for you in that place.
  • (99) "I was bad at business. I ran it into the ground, and the men who funded it have seen to it that I won't get another chance."
    But you didn't have much experience or skill at running a shop, and your business inevitably floundered. Angry at having lost their money, your investors vowed to ensure you'd never have another chance. You were forced to leave your hometown in search of a means to make a living.
  • (100) "The competition hired men to destroy my shop."
    But your success drew jealous ire from your competitors, and one in particular hired thugs to destroy your shop. Robbed of your livelihood, you decided that there was nothing left for you in that place.
Background mystic
"I heard you're kind of a spiritual sort."
(33) "I spend my days studying theology."
As a theologian living in [Player Culture], you devoted your time to studying religious doctrine.
  • (101) "I've come to believe that theology must be lived rather than studied."'
    In time, you came to feel that you had learned all that you could from mere texts. The real meaning behind those texts would be found out in the world, and you would have to seek them out.
  • (102) "I've become disillusioned with all the things we still don't know about the gods and the way the world works."
    Over the course of your studies, you came to realize that there were large gaps in the collected knowledge of your predecessors. Where some held that these mysteries were unknowable, you grew disillusioned with how much remained unexplained.
  • (103) "I found some provocative things, and they set my peers on edge. They discredited me."
    Within your texts, you found several interesting and provocative passages, and eagerly shared them with your peers. They were not nearly as receptive as you had hoped, and discredited you in hopes of obscuring the matter. With your reputation in tatters, there was little left for you in your homeland.
(34) "I get visions from time to time that guide my way."
You hail from [Player Culture], where your life was changed when you began experiencing spiritual visions.
  • (104) "I had a vision that sent me here."
    One vision showed you a land you'd never seen before. With time and research, you came to understand that this place was the Dyrwood, and your vision compelled you to travel there.
  • (105) "People tried to use me to their own ends. I need anonymity."
    Your visions drew great attention from all those around you, and in particular from factions convinced that you might make a useful ally. You were unwilling to be used like a prop, and slipped away one night, seeking anonymity.
  • (106) "I was accused of heresy."
    Your studies drew attention, and you found yourself accused of heresy. Harried by your accusers, you were forced to leave your home in search of safety.
(35) "Spirituality was my life. I was an ascetic."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], you chose the ascetic lifestyle of a monk.
  • (107) "I chose the wrong life. Gave up everything for the wrong pursuit."
    It was a hard life, and one that you quickly came to realize was nothing like what you wanted. You regretted your choice, and in time you left that world behind, determined to make a new start elsewhere.
  • (108) "I fell in love. It made me rethink everything. And then it didn't work out."
    Your training urged you to ignore worldly concerns, but you could not. You fell in love, and began to question the value of your training. Though the relationship did not last, your experience drove you to strike out on a new path.
  • (109) "I learned everything I could there. It was time to experience the world."
    Your training was rigorous, but you knew that it was only one step in your journey. Once you had completed your training, you decided to set out on your own, to learn what you could from the outside world.
Background philosopher
"People on the caravan say you've been getting into all kinds of deep conversations with them. What's your angle?"
(36) "I used to spend a lot of time reasoning about good and evil, right and wrong."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], your love of ethics and morality became the focus of your intellectual endeavors, as you sought to find the right path in life through reason alone.
  • (110) "I came to put my theories into practice."
    After years of study, you decided it was time to venture into the world and put your theories into practice.
  • (111) "I realized it was all just a tremendous waste of time."
    But the years you'd spent behind a desk began to feel meaningless, and you abandoned your studies.
  • (112) "I was frustrated that there seemed to be no way to be able to prove any of it."
    But as you found yourself drawn ever deeper into philosophical debates and academic conjectures, you realized that nothing you studied could actually be proved.
(37) "It's part of my nature. I was a teacher before I came here."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], you found your calling in teaching others.
  • (113) "I had an affair with a student. Then was jilted by both the student and my husband."
  • (114) "I had an affair with a student. Then was jilted by both the student and my wife."
    But you were caught up in an affair with one of your students. The relationship didn't last, and neither did your marriage once word got out.
  • (115) "I lived in a town of imbeciles that didn't care for the material I taught."
    But your teachings met with scorn and derision among your neighbors and would-be pupils.
  • (116) "I always thought I could be more."
    But you were nagged by the suspicion that you had more to offer and accomplish, and so you left your post.
(39) "I don't believe in anything, and I've spent a lot of time challenging other people's beliefs."
You come from [Player Culture], where over time you became skeptical of reality itself, coming to question whether anything is to be believed at all.
  • (117) "I was persecuted by the religious."
    But when religious elements learned of your convictions, you found yourself threatened and persecuted.
  • (118) "Not believing in anything turned out to be excessively boring."
    But you bored of your own nihilism, and you set out to get some distance and perspective.
  • (119) "Why do anything?"
    You saw little purpose behind any of your actions but set out from your homeland all the same.
Background clergy
Clergy or Clergyman
"So you're a holy man/woman."
(39) "I was. I left all that behind."
A one-time member of the clergy in your homeland, [Player Culture], you ultimately chose to leave it behind.
  • (120) "My god wasn't there for me when I was in need."'
    Your god was absent in your hour of need, and you became disillusioned with your faith.
  • (121) "I committed a terrible blasphemy for which there can be no forgiveness."'
    Your own act of blasphemy distanced you from your faith, leaving you with no hope of forgiveness.
  • (122) "There were certain oaths I couldn't live with."
    You learned that certain oaths were too much for even you to keep.
(40) "I led a congregation at one time."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you led a congregation of faithful worshipers.
  • (123) "No one at home seemed to listen to what I preached."
    But the people of your hometown paid no heed to your teachings, and so you decided to take your message elsewhere.
  • (124) "There were... trysts with adoring members of my flock. Then they started talking to each other."
    But the temptation of so many adoring disciples proved too great. You were shunned when your trusting followers discovered the extent of your dalliances.
  • (125) "The town I practiced my faith in was sacked."
    But the town in which you practiced and preached was sacked.
(41) "I was a missionary."
Coming from [Player Culture], your deep sense of faith inspired you to spread it to others, and you became a missionary.
  • (126) "I came to realize that faith wasn't the answer to the prayers of the people I was supposed to be helping."
    But you found that your faith had no answers and no solutions for the people you served.
  • (127) "I was let down by those who supposedly share my beliefs."
    But you grew disillusioned when you saw the hypocrisy and deception of those who claimed to share your faith.
  • (128) "I'm hoping to spread my faith abroad."
    So you traveled, hoping to spread your faith in the Dyrwood.
(42) "Not really. That's just a lie I tell people so I can manipulate them."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], you used faith as an instrument of manipulation, gaining the trust of others in order to exploit them.
  • (129) "They found out I had made everything up. I had no choice."
    When your deceptions finally came to light, you were forced to leave.
  • (130) "Too many people know my act. I need to be somewhere where no one knows me."
    You were so successful there that you had to leave for someplace new, where none knew your name or your act.
  • (131) "I'm not proud of what I've done. This is a fresh start."
    Eventually, you grew disgusted with your own deceit. You left, hoping to start afresh.
Background raider
"No offense, but I've known my share of dangerous people, and you remind me of them."
(43) "I've been known to liberate certain underappreciated valuables from their owners' homes."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], you made ends meet by acquiring the property of others - and not in trade.
  • (132) "I'm a wanted man/woman. If I'd been caught stealing again, they'd have hanged me."
    You were caught one too many times, and you had to leave or face the hangman's noose.
  • (133) "My partner double-crossed me on a job. She got the money, I got the blame."
    But your own partner double-crossed you, and when certain authorities took an interest in your whereabouts, you fled.
  • (134) "I stole from the kind of people who don't forgive or forget."
    But you eventually stole from the wrong people. Suddenly, fines and imprisonment began to look like a mercy, and you fled.
  • (135) "I fell in love with someone who could never be mine."
    But you fell hopelessly in love with someone you could never have.
(44) "You wouldn't have wanted to run into me at sea. We boarded and plundered ships."
You come originally from [Player Culture], where the promise of plunder on the high seas drew you into a life of piracy.
  • (136) "I crossed some of my shipmates. They forced me off the boat. I barely survived."
    It was a good life until trouble with your shipmates found you walking the plank. You were lucky to survive.
  • (137) "Eventually governments started sending their ships after us, and we went down."
    Your crew's success became your downfall, and you found yourselves hunted by the navies of several governments. Your ship went down, and the surviving crew scattered.
  • (138) "Let's just say I'm no longer in my captain's good graces."
    But you had a falling out with your captain, and you were lucky to leave the ship in one piece.
(45) "I was a highwayman in my old life."
Coming from [Player Culture], you terrorized travelers and small, vulnerable villages as a bandit.
  • (139) "That kind of work, there's a lot of killing, and most times, they don't deserve it."
    Eventually, the murder of innocents began to weigh heavily on your soul, and you left.
  • (140) "The people I banded with were small thinkers. I have larger goals in mind, need better people."
    But while your compatriots were satisfied with small successes, you were not. You left, dreaming of more.
  • (141) "We drew the attention of the army, and they came down on us hard. We disbanded."
    Eventually, your crimes drew the attention of the army, and you had to disband.
Background slave
"So what's a slave doing in the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood? Guessing those marks on your back didn't come from loving caresses."
(46) "I was on a galley at sea."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], you were sold into slavery aboard a galley ship.
  • (142) "Our ship was wrecked. Most of us were pulled to the bottom by our chains. I was lucky."
    But when foul weather and poor navigation wrecked your ship, you escaped your chains before the vessel sank. Most of your fellows were not so fortunate.
  • (143) "We conspired against our masters. When we found an opening, we took over the ship and sent them overboard."
    But you conspired with your fellow slaves. Together, you seized control of the ship and sent every last one of your masters overboard.
  • (144) "Someone bought me out of slavery. It's something I can never pay back."
    You likely would have spent the rest of your life in slavery but for an act of kindness - you were bought and freed.
(47) "I used to work on a large farming estate."
You hail from [Player Culture], where you toiled in the fields, a slave for life.
  • (145) "I ran away."
    But you ran away, successfully evading your master's attendants as well as local law enforcement.
  • (146) "Change in local law. We were freed."
    But laws eventually changed, and you and your fellows were freed by local decree.
  • (147) "I killed my master."
    But one day, you fought back and killed your master. You fled before the authorities could punish you.
(48) "I was an indentured servant."
You come from [Player Culture], where insurmountable debt pushed you into indentured servitude.
  • (148) "It took a long time, but my debt is paid."
    After years of toil, you finally paid your debt.
  • (149) "We were liberated by an invading army."
    But when an invading army passed through, you and your fellows were liberated.
  • (150) "I fled. Had to leave my family behind."
    But the terms of your servitude became too onerous. You fled, leaving your family behind.
Background scholar
"Word around camp is you've got a lot of knowledge tucked away. What kinds of things did you study before you came here?"
(49) "I was a historian."
As a scholar in your homeland, [Player Culture], you immersed yourself in the history of your culture and that of the world at large.
  • (151) "I wanted to see with my own eyes what I'd only seen described in text."
    But after years of seeing the world only in the pages of books, you wanted to experience it firsthand.
  • (152) "I decided it was better to be a part of history than to read about it."
    After years of study, you tired of reading about the exploits of others and decided to leave your own mark on the world.
  • (153) "I came to realize that all history is written with an angle. It's impossible to know what really happened."
    But the deeper you delved into the events of the past, the more you saw history tangled with the biases and perspectives of the people recounting it.
  • (154) "I made a poor choice and I was expelled for it."
    But your career was cut short when a poor decision on your part led to your expulsion.
(50) "I took an interest in all matters arcane."
You come from [Player Culture], a dedicated student of all things arcane.
  • (155) "They wouldn't give me the freedom to study what I wanted."
    But with your studies came limits, and you found yourself held back by your own instructors.
  • (156) "It was a waste of time. My teachers were hedge witches, their lessons were parlor tricks."
    But your instructors were merely hedge witches, and you soon realized that they had little of use to teach you.
  • (157) "I broke a few rules, and they expelled me for it."
    But your ambition made you reckless, and your disregard for the rules got you expelled.
(51) "I studied war and combat."
Hailing from [Player Culture], you schooled yourself in the art of combat, studying warfare as one would study language or mathematics.
  • (158) "I studied it enough to learn I didn't want anything to do with it."
    But as you learned about the tactics used to starve, slaughter, and enslave thousands, you realized that you wanted nothing to do with that world.
  • (159) "I killed another student."
    But an academic exercise got out of hand, and you left your studies with the blood of a fellow student on your hands.
  • (160) "I eclipsed my teachers. There was nothing more I could learn in a school."
    When it became clear that your aptitude surpassed that of your instructors, you left.
Background scientist
"You're some kind of scientist, the way I hear it."
(52) "I learned to harness it to solve crimes."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], you used your scientific knowledge to solve crimes and track down their perpetrators.
  • (161) "I made mistakes. Some of the people who got in trouble weren't the right people."
    However, you made mistakes along the way, and some of your errors saw innocent people punished for crimes they didn't commit.
  • (162) "I came across something I couldn't solve, and that troubled me more than I thought it would."
    However, when you finally found a case you couldn't solve, your uncertainty ate away at you.
  • (163) "I found out more than I wanted to about someone I cared for."
    However, your own investigations led you to some disturbing knowledge about someone you cared about.
(53) "There's a lot of demand for substances that alter the mind. A little science goes a long way in meeting that demand."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], your knowledge of nature allowed you to extract powerful substances from plants that could be used to alter the states of people’s minds and bodies, and you would supply these substances to others in exchange for favors and profit.
  • (164) "Over time I came to see the horrible things they did to people's lives."
    However, you began to see the damage these substances did to others, and guilt prevented you from continuing your work.
  • (165) "I was less than subtle with my transactions, and the authorities caught on."
    But your reckless business practices drew the attention of the authorities. You left before they could catch you.
  • (166) "I was forced out of the business by my competition."
    Competition was ruthless, however, and though you were squeezed out of the business, you survived.
(54) "I spent a long time pursuing the knowledge promised by alchemy."
In your homeland, [Player Culture], you developed an interest in nature’s most basic elements, and how one could be transformed into another, and it led you to become an alchemist.
  • (167) "Alchemy is dangerous. I was nearly killed in an accident."
    However, you came to see the dangers of your field when an accident nearly claimed your life. The memory lodged itself in your mind as a warning.
  • (168) "My teacher was a fraud who cheated people out of their hard-earned money."
    But you learned that your teacher, whose skills and ethics you trusted, was a fraud and a cheat.
  • (169) "I found it to be limited. Its secrets weren't the secrets I wanted answers to."
    But as you studied and reached the limits of your discipline, you realized that you still had not attained the answers you wanted.

Future motivations[ | ]

Following your background specialization, Calisca asks what you plan on doing in the future, and the Watcher is prompted to give a reason for travelling to Gilded Vale. This adds an entry to the biography in the journal.

Calisca dialogue Reason + biography
Calisca response
  • Watcher: "It's a hard offer to pass up."
  • Calisca: "You won't find many offers like it in these parts, believe me. Got some big plan in store?"
(1) "I'm going to settle here and start a new life."
The journey to Gilded Vale presents for you an opportunity to settle down and begin a new life.
"Well, who knows. Raedric pays well enough, maybe we end up neighbors."'
(2) "I'm going to lay low here for a while. Try not to draw too much attention to myself."
You hope that in Gilded Vale you will be able keep a low profile, drawing little attention from unwanted sources.
"You picked the right place, then. Gilded Vale's days away from any real civilization."
(3) "Getting filthy rich."
When you arrive in Gilded Vale, you intend to begin making your fortune.
"Ah, a man/woman after my own heart. May your luck be better than mine."
  • Watcher: "No, I'm just passing through."
  • Calisca: "That's usually the case with the big city just a little ways further up the same road. Where you headed?"
(4) "Nowhere special. Just putting as much time and distance between me and my old life as I possibly can."
You have decided to travel to Gilded Vale in order to distance yourself from your old life, and it may not be long before you depart in order to further increase that distance.
"Seeing as how we're halfway between nowhere and nothing, I'd say you picked the right spot."
(5) "I'm going to continue on to the city, see where that takes me."
Gilded Vale is merely your first stop, and in time you hope to continue onward to the city to see what life has in store for you there.
"Closest one is Defiance Bay, the capital. Few days out. Got its nice places and its not-so-nice places, same as any city. But the duc is a good man, as I hear it."
(6) "I'll probably wander for a while."
For you, Gilded Vale is merely a stepping stone, and you expect that you will not remain there for long before wandering somewhere new.
"I couldn't judge you for that. Been half my life. Just watch yourself, you get too far off the beaten path. These lands are wild, in more ways than one."'
(7) "Somewhere I can make some money."
Gilded Vale is merely a gateway for you to a new life in which you build your fortune, and you expect that you may not stay there for the long term.
"Ah, a man/woman after my own heart. May your luck be better than mine."
  • Watcher: "I hadn't given it much thought."
  • Calisca: "No harm in that. Might as well see the place first. So you must have some other plan in mind for coming this way."
(8) "I hope to meet someone and fall in love."
Dreams of romance led you to venture into Dyrwood and take up residence in Gilded Vale.
"I don't want to scare you, but the way some of these rural types look, you might want to reconsider that. Lots of sideways teeth, and hair sprouting from unexpected places."
(9) "Probably the same things I did before."
Gilded Vale is a change of scenery for you, but you have no intention of changing the way you lived.
"Just the scenery'll be new, then. Sometimes that's all that's needed."
(10) "Just looking for some adventure, really."
You traveled to Gilded Vale in hopes of being swept up in grand adventures.
"You should hook up with an expedition. Some of the bigger towns send regular groups out to unexplored places. Long as you don't mind a little danger."
(11) "Getting into trouble, I expect."
When you get to Gilded Vale, you expect to waste no time getting into trouble there.
"Ha! You've come to the right country. This whole place is crawling with troublemakers. It's a point of pride for them."
(12) "I'm going to find some new friends."
The first thing you'd like to do upon reaching Gilded Vale is to find yourself some new friends.
"That may not be a bad idea. Surviving out here, sometimes it's less about what you know and more about who."
Available as the final option for all three of the above dialogue options (13) "I have no idea what I'm going to do next."
You went so far as to book passage to Gilded Vale, but you have planned no further than that, intending to see where life takes you.
"Completely spontaneous, huh? Interesting. Well, there's probably no hurry to make up your mind. They've got an inn in Gilded Vale that'll put you up as long as you need. Or so my sister tells me."