Crimes of the Forsaken

Each character chooses one heinous crime that has earned them a place in Branderscar Prison. Each crime grants a different benefit, similar to a trait. You may have committed many crimes during your lifetime, but this is the crime that finally got you branded and condemned.

Besides simply choosing a crime, you should also consider how the crime was done. Was this a well planned criminal enterprise or a crime of passion? Did you do it alone or did you have accomplices? Was this the first time you did this crime or are you a repeat offender? Answering these questions will help flesh out your character’s background.

This has been said before, but it bears repeating. Your character actually perpetrated this crime. You may have done it for what seemed like noble reasons. You may have gotten entangled in this criminal enterprise unwillingly. But there is no doubt that you are guilty. You have not been sentenced to the worse prison in Talingarde unjustly.

You are here because you deserve to be.

Arson

You have willfully started a fire that destroyed property. To be sent to Branderscar, you didn’t start just a minor little trash fire. Your act of arson threatened a major town, city, church or castle and likely cost someone their life. You’ll be punished for your crime by facing the fire yourself.

Punishment: Death by burning

Benefit: Whenever you score a critical hit with an attack that deals fire damage, you receive a +2 fire damage bonus to your damage roll.

Attempted Murder

You tried to kill someone and botched the job. To be sent to Branderscar Prison, you did not try to kill just anyone. You likely assaulted someone of great importance and prominence.

Punishment: Death by beheading

Benefit: You gain a permanent +1 bonus to Intimidation

Blasphemy

Either you have defamed the great god Mitra or you have been found guilty of worshiping one of the forbidden deities (who preeminent among them is Asmodeus).

Punishment: Death by burning

Benefit: You gain a permanent +1 bonus to Religion

Consorting with the Dark Powers (Witchcraft)

You have been found guilty of summoning an evil outsider. Likely you were captured by the famed witch hunter Sir Balin of Karfeld. The last thing he said to you was, “May Mitra have mercy upon your wretched, damned soul.” If only you could get a chance at revenge!

Punishment: Death by burning

Benefit: You gain a permanent +1 bonus to Arcana

Desecration

You have violated one of the churches, cathedrals or holy shrines of the great god Mitra. To be sent to Branderscar this was no minor act of vandalism. Instead you have done something flagrant and spectacular to dishonor the Shining Lord.

Punishment: Death by burning

Benefit: You receive +1 bonus on all saving throws against spells cast by Clerics of a god/dess other than your own.

Desertion

You have deserted from the Talirean military and been recaptured. To get sent to Branderscar this was not some minor or routine dereliction of duty. Instead, you abandoned your post during a time of crisis — perhaps battle or while defending the Watch Wall. Regardless of the exact circumstances, your laziness and cowardliness must have caused loss of life.

Punishment: Death by hanging

Benefit: You gain a permanent +1 bonus to Deception

Dueling unto Death

You have engaged in a duel to the death and mortally wounded an opponent. The opponent was honorable enough to say nothing before he expired. Alas that his family or companions was nowhere near so honorable. Dueling was once common in Talingarde before the House of Darius came to power. The House of Barca all but encouraged duels of honor. Now, dueling of any sort is punished severely. Dueling to the death is a sure way to be sent to Branderscar Prison.

Punishment: Death by beheading

Benefit: You gain a permanent +1 bonus to death saves

Extortion

You have defrauded money from someone by holding information of their wrongdoing over their heads. To end up in Branderscar, this was no minor act of merely threatening to expose someone. Instead you ave attempted extortion against someone of great prominence and for exorbitant stakes.

Punishment: Life at hard labor in the salt mines

Benefit: You receive a permanent +1 bonus to Persuasion

Forgery

You have forged documents issued either by the crown or by the Church of Mitra . Alas, that your forgery while competent was not entirely undetectable. To be sent to Branderscar, this was no minor finagling of paperwork. This forged document could have cost lives, undermined the reputation of the Church or endangered the security of the realm.

Punishment: Life at hard labor in the salt mines

Benefit: You gain a +3 bonus to Insight and Investigation when attempting to detect a forgery or fake document.

Fraud

You tried to bilk someone out of their cash. To end up in Brandescar Prison, this was no petty con job or penny ante racket. Instead, you brazenly tried to defraud someone important of a huge sum of money. And it almost worked too!

Punishment: Life at hard labor in the salt mines

Benefit: You receive a permanent +1 bonus to Deception

Grave Robbery

It is forbidden by sacred law to dishonor a corpse after it is been sealed in its tomb by a clergy of the Mitran faith. Some may not honor this ban: necromancers, golem-crafters, self-styled scientists, and alchemists delving into the forbidden secrets of life and death. These ghouls can expect no mercy from the Talirean Magistrates. And by sending you to Branderscar Prison, you have received none.

Punishment: Death by beheading

Benefit: If you get three successes when rolling death saves or roll a 20 on a death save, you may immediately spend up to three hit dice to heal instead of coming back at 1.

Heresy

You have denied the supremacy of Mitra and been condemned for it. For this to be a crime, you were not content to keep your heresy to yourself. You tried to sway others. Likely you were captured by the famed witch hunter Sir Balin of Karfeld. The last thing he said to you was: “Mitra may forgive you yet for your lies. Talingarde will not.” If only you could get a chance at revenge!

Punishment: Death by burning.

Benefit: You receive a +1 bonus on all saving throws against spells cast by followers of Mitra.

High Theft

You had a foolproof plan to steal some great treasure. Alas, the scheme had a fatal flaw and went horribly awry. To be sent to Branderscar prison, this was no ordinary robbery attempt. You tried to steal something of great value or religious significance.

Punishment: Life at hard labor in the salt mines

Benefit: You receive a permanent +1 bonus to Dexterity saving throws.

High Treason

You have willfully worked to bring down the current Monarch of Talingarde — the beloved King Markadian V called the Brave of House Darius. To be successfully tried for High Treason you have done more than merely dislike the king, you did something tangible to undermine his rule. Alas, that you failed at your plot and are now headed to Branderscar Prison. Treason is the only crime that is still punished by the gruesome ritual of being drawn and quartered. Your stay at Branderscar will be brief.

Punishment: Death by drawing and quartering

Benefit: You receive a permanent +1 bonus to Wisdom saving throws.

Kidnapping

You have abducted someone perhaps to ransom them or do unspeakable things to them. Unfortunately, you were caught and your victim was rescued (if they weren’t rescued — you would be guilty of murder instead). To be sent to Branderscar Prison, you must have abducted someone of great importance or in a particularly gruesome manner.

Punishment: Death by beheading

Benefit: You receive a permanent +1 bonus to all Trip and Grapple attempts.

Murder

You have killed without just cause and been condemned for it. To be sent to Branderscar Prison, this was no typical killing but a particularly savage and unforgiveable act. You may also have killed someone with powerful friends. Note: You are not allowed to have killed someone in the royal family of Talingarde. You may have tried (his would instead be High Treason — see above) but ultimately they are too well protected.

Punishment: Death by beheading

Benefit: You deal +1 bonus damage whenever you score a critical hit

Piracy

You have been caught in the act of piracy on the high seas. This is a rare crime these days since Markadian I called the Victorious burned the last major pirate fleet to threaten these isles. Still the crime is punished harshly. Likely you are the sole survivor of your ship.

Punishment: Death by hanging

Benefit: You receive a permanent +1 bonus to Sleight of Hand

Sedition

You have attempted to covertly stir up rebellion against your rightful sovereign. This differs from high treason in that you attempted to convince others to make war against Talingarde instead of taking direct action yourself. A subtle difference to be sure. But it is the difference between receiving the swift justice of the axe instead of the slow suffering upon the rack.

Punishment: Death by beheading

Benefit: You receive a permanent +1 bonus to Performance

Slave-Taking

Slavery is illegal in Talingarde and a very rare crime. Still, once in a great while, slavers from the mainland will foolishly make an incursion into Talirean protected territories. When they are captured alive they are always made an example of.

Punishment: Death by beheading

Benefit: You receive a permanent +1 bonus to Stealth

Slave Trading

Slavery is legal in other parts of the world and it can be tempting to the most decadent of Talingarde’s nobility to acquire a “souvenir” when traveling abroad or to purchase the object of their desire from a less reputable merchant. However you ended up trading slaves in Talingarde, you were caught red handed and now you will lose more than simply your freedom.

Punishment: Death by beheading

Benefit: You receive a permanent +1 bonus to History. You also add +1 to any skill check to discern an object’s true monetary value.

Crimes of the Forsaken

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