DND 5E (beginning date 12/6/2015)
Roguish medic from the Ten Towns
- messily shorn hair, of a brown so deep it’s almost black
- grey-blue eyes, speckled with flecks of copper
- smooth, narrow face
- slender frame of corded muscle
“A good person is someone who offers aid freely without requiring proof that aid is needed, but resorts to harm only when the need is certain.”
- “It’s a dangerous world, and someone like me only survives by being an opportunist. I try to take advantage of every situation, and carry a tool for every job.”
- “It’s better to avoid a fight than win one. If I see a situation escalating, I should jump in and try to diffuse it before it comes to blows.”
- “Inaction gets more people killed than choosing poorly. If my companions are waffling over a decision, I should take charge and do something, even if it seems reckless.”
“Oh, Bryn Shander? Still know those streets like the back of my hand.”
Jake spent most of his early life in the tight knit communities of Icewind Dale. Though he had a comfortable upbringing as the son of a modest clothier, part of the boy always felt more at home playing with street urchins — jumping from roof to roof, hiding in the rafters of old buildings, or palming the occasional snack from a street vendor. A few close brushes with constable taught Jake to be an exceptionally slippery individual, able to dodge just out of grasp before ducking away into an some hidden alcove.
“Well let’s see. I worked in my family shop, then I was a stablehand, then a traveling healer, then a provisioner… Wait, I patched roofs for awhile too, that was kinda fun!”
Over the years, Jake has done scores of odd jobs to make ends meet, so many that even he often forgets the professions he’s held. The path that led him to his most recent occupation started when his friend Bryn fell through the roof of a baker. Jake dove in to protect his friend from the irate shopkeep, eventually placating the man by offering to patch the roof. Finding he had a knack for high places, Jake began offering his services to other businesses around town, eventually laying down new thatch over the stable at the edge of Bryn Shander.
While pulling up the rotted straw, he was fascinated by the work the groom was doing tending to an injured horse. In lieu of payment, Jake asked if he could get a more permanent position learning to care for the creatures. Over the next few years, he spent his days feeding horses and cleaning their stables, and his nights collecting wisdom from animal medics. Soon, he was also collecting the herbs for their poultices, and eventually even applying them himself.
One day when the daughter of a local prominent family fell off her horse, he realized that his skills could be used to heal people as well. The story of how he saved the girl’s life spread, and he soon found other residents of the Ten Towns coming to him for aid. He began making day trips to Targos, then week trips to Easthaven…. and then a request came from a prominent mine owner in Mirabar, a place so far away it was no longer even called ‘Icewind Dale’. Jake knew responding to the call was a decision that would change him. He gathered his healer kit and meager belongings, and set off to the distant city.
“You know, priests have it easy…”
One particularly sour memory of Jake comes from a contract he received in Triboar. A fevered Lord Protector had called on Jake, who spent an entire night scouring the forest for the proper herbs to reduce the lord’s temperature, then a full day without sleep monitoring the tincture as it was prepared. When he finally arrived at the manor of the Lord Protector he was turned away, for a passing cleric of Lathander had arrived in town mere hours before, and the lord had enlisted the healer to soothe his pain with prayer. In mere seconds of speech, the cleric waved away an entire day of Jake’s painstaking work, a fact which has always filled Jake with mild envy.
Not particularly pious or quite ready to take the oaths of a cleric, Jake has instead taken to experimenting with all on the borders between nature and magic. Following wizard logbooks and accounts of druish rites, Jake has expanded his alchemical stocks to include substances which blur the boundary between medicine and the arcane, and he has taken to tinkering with wondrous items in an attempt to discern the means by which they affect the world.
[Background feature: Rustic Hospitality]
“Yeah, people are always going out of their way to help… I guess I’m just a people person?”
In the years since he uprooted himself from Bryn Shander, Jake has become profoundly well traveled. Almost every town he visits, someone he helped, or someone who knows them, manages to seek him out and offer their hospitality. When he’s in danger, there are people willing to go to at least moderate lengths to cover for him. Even in the most unfamiliar settings, he often finds ways to leverage a bit of care for a favor.