5E Background: Skald

Background: Skald
As a skald you occupy a unique position in their societies, existing somewhere between an Acolyte and an Entertainer and having the characteristics of both in many ways. You travel from place to place bring news, sharing gossip, and acting as the travelling repository of history and lore. You provide both entertainment for all stations in life and also act as informal (and sometimes formal) judges of what is traditional and proper. What is less known is that skalds often act as spies for various power groups, and are often involved in a variety of intrigues given their ability to move across land and social boundaries. They are also commonly used as diplomats across clan, kingdom, and racial lines and many cultures have laws in place to protect skalds from attack or retribution.

Skill Proficiencies: History and Performance
Languages: One Language of cultural, religious, or historical significance.
Tool Proficiencies: One musical instruments
Equipment: A musical instrument, a set of travelers clothes, a favor from an admirer (trinket, lock of hair, letter, etc), and a beltpounch of 15sp.

Feature: Always Welcome
As a skald, you are welcome in the houses and institutions of your people. You brings news, can recite history, and explain laws, and are otherwise part of the glue that holds society together. As such you are always receive free food and lodging from your people at a standard equivalent to the people in that place themselves , and can also depend up their help and assistance with various matters as long as you remain in good standing and have not offended the local authorities.

Suggested Characteristics:
Skalds are known for their ability to both be as polite and respectful under the most trying of circumstances as they are for their cutting wits and wagging tongues. Their role is deeply interwoven into their culture as any priest or noble and their arrival is looked on with anticipation a fact that they often depend upon. They are often the center of attention as performers and news-bearers and some grow to love this more than is seemly. Oftentimes skalds can get into a great deal of trouble for “speaking truth to power” or getting themselves involved in some intrigue that goes wrong and must flee quickly or face dire consequences.

Personality Traits:
1- I know a story relevant to almost very situation
2- Whenever I come to a new place, I collect local rumors and spread gossip.
3- I see omens in every event and action. The gods try to speak to us, we just need to listen to them
4- I can find common ground between the fiercest of enemies, empathizing with them and always working towards peace.
5- I’ve enjoyed fine food, drink, and high society as a skald and rough living grates on me.
6- Sarcasm and insults are my weapon of choice.
7- Nobody stays angry at me or around me for long, since I can defuse any amount of tension.
8- I am tolerant (or intolerant) of other cultures and respect (or condemn) their customs and beliefs.

1- Tradition: The stories, legends, and songs of the past must never be forgotten, for they teach us who we are (Lawful)
2- Hospitality: People need to be treat each other with dignity and compassion. (Good)
3- Independence: I am free spirit – nobody tells me what to do. (Chaotic)
4- Aspiration: I work to be the best that I can be at my craft (Any)
5- Honor: If I dishonor myself, I dishonor my whole culture. (Lawful)
6- Respect: Respect is due to me because of my position, but all people regardless of station deserve my respect in turn (Good).

1- My family, clan, or tribe is the most important thing to me in my life, even when they are far from me.
2- My instrument is my most treasured possession and it reminds of someone or something that I love.
3- I am the last of my tribe or clan and it is up to me to insure that their names enter into legend.
4- I suffer awful visions of a coming disaster and will do anything to prevent it.
5- I know an ancient lay that holds terrible secrets that must not fall into the wrong hands.
6- I seek to preserve an ancient lay that my enemies wish forgotten and seek to erase from memory

1- I judge others harshly, and myself even more severely.
2- A scandal prevents me from ever going home again, that sort of trouble seems to follow me around.
3- I once satirized a noble who still wants my head. It was a mistake I will likely repeat.
4- I have trouble keeping my true feelings hidden. My sharp tongue lands me in trouble.
5- I’ll do anything to win fame and renown.
6- I remember every insult I’ve received and nurse a silent resentment toward anyone who’s ever wronged me.

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