Writing Backstories

I’ve been using a variety of writing prompts to flesh out some of my characters. Because I spent the most time with her, the Trickster Cleric I play in our weekly tabletop game gets the most attention. Skrie Tripfoot is a young halfling who was orphaned in childhood. She is a survivor who refuses to give up. Here is another excerpt from Skrie’s backstory. It takes place not long after mercenaries have burned down her parent’s inn.


“It’s not werkin’!” said Tiny in a harsh whisper.

Skrie almost giggled. He ran the first two words together, and it sounded like the big half-orc said, “it snot.”

“Here,” said Skrie, looking at the lock. “Let me give it a try.” She pulled a miniature set of lockpicks from her jerkin and set to work. Well, miniature to Tiny, that is. In her halfling hands, they were perfect.

Tiny had found Skrie on the streets a few days after mercenaries set fire to her parent’s inn. The young halfling was dirty, thin, and listless. The half-orc took her to his hovel, where he cleaned her up, coaxed her to eat some thin soup, and nursed her back to health. She was forever in his debt.

A moment later, she heard a faint ~snick~ and the handle turned without a sound. She felt Tiny’s huge hand touch her shoulder and give a slight squeeze—well, his pinky finger anyway.

The pair crept through the door and halted long enough for Skrie’s eyes to adjust to the darkness. Tiny could see fine, but she didn’t have his dark vision. The half-orc went first, leading them through the chamber. He found and disarmed at least two traps, Skrie managed to find and disable one. Hugging the walls, Tiny blended into his surroundings, and Skrie could hide behind almost nothing and still not be seen. She marveled at the big half-orc’s ability to disappear; she made a note to ask him to show her how he did that.

Half a candlemark later, the two reached the end of the gauntlet. They had passed one of the first tests to join the Blackford Thieves Guild.

One down, Skrie thought, six to go.

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