Formerly of House Cannith, although possibly still a scion of the house. He will not have the House Dragonmark, which forever nominated him for a quiet life in the back rooms, designing toys and devices that may never be built and waiting for special projects to appear that he can attach his name too.
With both parents and potentially two siblings manifesting the Dragonmark, he is the unloved third child of a fairly prominent family. Each of the others would have the titles of lord and lady, which would have made him quite jealous.
While fundamentally a Guildsman, I play with the idea that not everyone teaches guild rhetoric absolutely. With no manifest dragonmark my education was put into the hands of a prominent, if dissenting tutor who shaped my worldview with a bias against the ancient War of the Mark, which is House Cannith’s finest hour! I may have developed a quiet desire to go to the Aberrant’s Last Stand in Sharn.
Alignment, and Consequently, Region
I can’t think what alignment I would want to play besides Lawful Good or Lawful Neutral. This choice is made because I have so little ability to commit to Evil, whether to push Religious Evil or my own interests at the expense of all others. I invent to make life easier for everybody who follows the law and serves the guild, and consequently my interests. This association with my interests and the good of the Guild is significant for what is coming up. By consequence, this biases me toward the Western Cannith faction.
It would have been my greatest dream come true to manifest the Dragonmark of Cannith late in life. When a Dragonmark appeared, jubilation turned to panic, and dreams to nightmare. It was an Aberrant Dragonmark. Let’s make the Dragonmark itself easily hidden. Its bestowed powers could be passive, but it is infinitely more intense if the Mark bestowed active powers, and then, could not be controlled easily or even at all. It is now imperative that this character flee the Guild as quickly and quietly as possible, lest he lose his place in it. What this story lacks is what I would need to ask the DM for assistance with.
The Adventure Seed
This character needs something to quest for. The greatest treasure possible would be a tool, magic item, or reflecting that he is an artificer, an infusion or spell that can be researched as an infusion. Spells already exist to change the shape and look of the Dragonmark, but he needs a spell to control his Aberrant Powers. This target does not need to be real, and certainly does not need to be easy to find, but should be somewhere dark and lonely – robbing the guild treasury is not such a great idea.
Whatever the powers of the Aberrant Mark, this character needs another cause to blame for those powers manifesting. And he is artificer! This works perfectly! He will travel with up to three do-nothing machines, such as spinner wheels or jack in the boxes. When he senses the Mark acting up, he will draw the do-nothing machine that first comes to hand and “trigger it,” then announce to all and sundry that “Sorry! Sorry, no it’s not supposed to do that. Sorry, experimental!” He’s an artificer, he is known to be playing around with dangerous infusions, and it is generally known that you cannot do Craft Wonderous Items safely until 3rd level. These do-nothing machines might leave the character with a fine for Recklessness, or Disturbing the Peace, but that is miles away from being Excoriated for being an Aberrant Dragonmark.
Player’s Request to the DM
Although the quest objective is to restrain and control the Dragonmark, I think I would have more fun in a campaign that keeps pushing the character to explore and harness the Dragonmark. The setting includes numerous foils that can serve admirably to bring that about, such as the heirs of House Tarkhana.
Possible Other Options
The House Cannith is a great placement for an artificer, but if the character class was different, other Houses could be used instead. For example, a warrior would come from House Deneith, and would have little besides his weapons and what the Mark gave him. This seems more limiting, though, so I am not sure I like it. It also loses the “Sorry, Experimental” excuse, which I thought was mighty clever!
This character would tend to see himself as a victim. Rather than dwelling on “Why is this happening to me?” though, he would focus on his abilities as an artificer to support his teammates and let them take center stage. He would be if anything more comfortable working on another party members problems rather than his own, all the while questing for hidden artifacts or spells that could enable him to return to his quiet workshop at home without fear of discovery. Most of those spells would come early, but can always be increased in power, duration, or effect with higher levels.
Most PC adventurers are a forgiving lot, but there are characters which are riskier than others. In general, fellow House Dragonmarks are likely to be familiar with what Dragonmarks can do, and more dangerously what they cannot do. Long term adventuring is likely to give them more opportunities to learn who and what you are, and they are unlikely to be any friendlier knowing than the family back home. This goes double for House Thurrani characters, which are likely to set his fears to panic. This is a character who desires very much to get out of the public sight, and fellow Dragonmark adventurers are likely to set him off.
Weapon and Combat Choices
Artificers have the ability to infuse scrolls at first level, potions at second, wondrous items at third, and weapons and armor only at fourth. Given the choices, any artificer is likely to seek tools that allow him to make best use of his scrolls early. I’m already picturing a character with a dozen scroll tubes in his backpack, a tool for every occasion. But that could impose long delays in finding the exact tool he needs in combat. Two scroll tubes on his belt could help a lot, one on the left and one on the right. That still doesn’t seem good enough.
Here we go. My artificer would carry a portable lectern, a clipboard with moldings formed like a crossbow. There can be three (or more) scrolls mounted to the lectern like window blinds; reloading could take minutes but each scroll could be deployed and cast within the round, and kept organized for the crunch time. The lectern itself could serve as an anchor for infusions, with a small hood that can be infused with light or a weak spell to repel water.
The only problem with this design is that it cannot include a crossbow – it cannot be loaded as a crossbow. But a blow gun can be loaded from the front! Suppose the mouldings housed a blow gun design with a mouthpiece to blow into. I like this a lot, as this weapon not only allows the use of scrolls for big attacks and a blow gun to deliver smaller, more efficient attacks on normal sized targets.