Reverb Gamers asks:
Describe your all-time favorite character to play. What was it about him/her/it that you enjoyed so much?
Wow – where can I begin? I have so many “favorite character(s)” that I can’t possibly choose one. In fact, I may have a follow-up post or six to this.
Let me focus this post on one character that sticks out in my mind: Turg-Hath. At the time, we were playing 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, using the Player’s Option: Spells & Magic book. Andy, our DM, allowed me to use The Complete Book of Humanoids for this character.
Turg-Hath was a goblin shaman who could see and speak with the spirits of the dead. His life began in a goblin tribe, of course. From his earliest childhood, he was always an outsider. The superstitious goblins feared his “visions of the dead,” and, in typical goblin fashion, chose to bully and ostracize him. The goblin chieftain, however, saw the value in Turg-Hath’s spirit-sight, and protected him just enough to keep him alive. Then, one vision so angered the chieftain that he banished Turg-Hath from the tribe’s lands. The fact that the goblin word for “banish” is the same as “narrowly escape death by the enraged chieftain’s spear” never came up in his future conversations.
He managed to avoid his kinsmen’s hunting party for the next two weeks until they finally lost interest and returned home. Starving and afraid for his life, Turg-Hath wandered for another month. The spirits around him changed. No longer did he see only menacing goblinoids, orcs, and giants. Now, he saw other races that had been mostly unfamiliar to him: humans, halflings, and elves. The strange humanoid spirits were no less disdainful toward the goblin, but they were not as threatening. Indeed, some directed him toward a human settlement.
Turg-Hath wandered onto the property of Prescott, a respected elder of the town. Moved with pity, Prescott took him in and nursed him back to health. Turg-Hath was confused by the old man’s kindness, for he had never known anyone to show compassion to him. Intrigued, and out of a sense of indebtedness, he accepted Prescott’s offer to remain with him as his servant. From Prescott Turg-Hath learned the common tongue, human customs, the ways of “civilized peoples,” and, eventually, the concept of friendship.
Prescott’s standing in the village earned Turg-Hath a modicum of respect, but not acceptance. Other than Prescott, the humans kept him at arm’s length. The mayor came to see Turg-Hath as a good soul, and began trusting his advice.
Prescott, unfortunately, fell ill. Turg-Hath remained at his friend’s side, and used the power of the spirits to ease his pain during his final days. However, as all mortals do, Prescott lost the battle, and died. In his grief, Turg-Hath noticed something odd: Prescott was still with him. Intuition had led Turg-Hath to bind Prescott as his very first spirit guide.
Days turned into weeks, which in turn became a couple of seasons. While Turg-Hath knew he had a place to live, he was aware that he did not have a home. The humans never welcomed him into their village, and with Prescott’s death, were becoming more cold toward him.
At the start of the campaign, he was a representative of the mayor of the small human village in which he lived. The rest of the party came to the village, and were hired by the mayor, who sent his representative with them. At first, they were not very accepting of him either, especially the female human ranger who just happened to have “goblinoids” as her favored enemy.
What fate will befall Turg-Hath? Will his new companions ever get past the suspicion that the mayor placed his burden on their backs? Will he ever find a place where he truly belongs?
And you, dear readers… do you wish to hear more of Turg-Hath’s story?