I found this character development meme and thought I'll try it with one of my babies, Nawen.
I . Basics and cosmetic:
1. Age? 120 years old. Due to her being an elf she looks like she's in her 20'ies.
2. Date of Birth? 1249 DR (Year of Wilted Flowers), 9th of Deepwinter. The month she was born is equivalent to real life's January.
3. Hair color? White.
4. Eye color? Dark green. It is a very unusual eye color for a Drow, she inherited the eye color from her great-grandfather who is a High elf.
5. Skin color/nationality? Her skin color is of grey color and much lighter than the skin tone of her parents because of surface elven blood in her bloodline.
Nawen is a Dark elf but not a citizen of Underdark as she was raised on the surface world. She spent all her life traveling and never stayed in one place for long. She considers herself a citizen of the Realms. Regionally, she's from Sword Coast.
6. Accent (if any)? She doesn't have an accent, though, she can mimic Luskan accent quite well. Many people in the past had mistakenly assumed that Nawen was a Luskanite because Nawen frequented Luskan and nearby settlements during the war with Neverwinter and the war with the King of Shadows.
7. Height? 163cm.
8. Weight? 59kg.
9. Tattoos? Nawen doesn't have any tattoos. For her own safety as well as the safety of those around her, she hides her skin color under layers of clothing; there is simply no reason for her to have one since no one could see it.
10. Piercings? None. It's too impractical to have any piercings in her line of work and lifestyle.
11. Birthmarks? Again, none.
12. Disfigurements? None at the moment.
13. Scars? Letter F carved with a knife below the left shoulder-blade.
She received it after a village she stayed in was attacked by the Drow. Nawen helped the villagers to fight off her evil kin but the grieving locals did not believe her and after catching and beating her up, one man tried to carve the word "Filth" on her back but they were scared off by the priests of Ilmater who came to help after seeing the burning buildings.
14. Do they have any nicknames? Where did they come from? The only nickname she has is "Dark Pointy-Ear" which was given to her by the Thri-kreen, Tak’we. (Big thanks to GrueMaster25 who reminded me this.)
15. How do they usually dress? What do they wear to sleep? Do they wear jewelry? Light leather armors of dark green and brown colors which she wears most of the time. It is comfortable and not very restricting as well as it helps her to blend in the wilderness. Her casual clothing is the most simple shirts and breeches, for sleep she wears a linen shirt that reaches her knees.
Nawen doesn't wear a lot of jewelry. While it is pretty, it is also impractical. Her jewelry is restricted solely to the holy amulet of her patron deity.
16. Is there anything about their appearance they wish they could change? Nawen hates being a Drow but there are no permanent solutions for her to change it. When she was little she tried to scratch her skin off with a whetstone after one very unpleasant event, hoping that there's "normal" skin underneath the grey one.
17. What do they smell like? Why (do they wear the scent or does it occur naturally)? She smells like leather and wilderness. She bathes as often as she possibly can, so she shouldn't smell too bad. She also keeps dried flowers in her pack and inside the folded clothing.
18. Do they have an accurate mental picture of their appearance (how they see themselves versus how the world sees them)? Nawen doesn't concern herself with her looks. She doesn't see herself as unattractive nor she sees herself as beautiful, even though she was told once that she was beautiful. While she is very self-conscious about her race, Nawen's habit of constantly hiding her skin color, often helps her to avoid unwanted and negative attention.
19. Choose a different time period and describe what your character would have been like in that time period. If Nawen lived in today's world she'd most likely be a tomboy and a nature, animal rights activist. She'd love to spend time outside, bring injured animals home and stuff like that. Because Nawen is really shy and socially awkward she'd probably be video game, movies, TV series, books, etc. junkie to pass the time as she wouldn't be out socializing or partying.
II. Favorites and habits:
1. What are some of your character’s hobbies? What do they do with their time? She loves to travel and see new places. Because she's a scout and an adventurer her lifestyle and a hobby are compatible.
2. Favorite color? Silver and green.
3. Favorite flower? Sunflower, white tulips and snowdrop.
4. Political stance? Are they active in politics or do they not care? Nawen couldn't care less about politics.
5. What are some of their pet peeves? People who judge others because of their appearance and race, she's been a victim of this most of her life and she knows how upsetting and unfair it is. Nawen also hates when people do and say things that makes others feel bad about themselves.
6. What sort of gifts do they like? She values practical gifts the most or the ones who hold sentimental value. She doesn't like ornamental gifts, she has no home and these kind of gifts, while pretty are completely useless to her.
7. What is their favorite time of day? Favorite weather? Season? Nawen's favorite time of the day is sunrise, especially when the morning is foggy. She loves to watch how the world wakes up with the rising sun. She also enjoys clear nighttime. Her favorite weather is mild. In the snowy regions, Nawen loves when it lightly snows. She also enjoys rain and especially the smell after the rain. Nawen loves all seasons of the year as they're all beautiful in their own ways.
8. Where do they like to spend their time? She's been traveling all of her life and she's been in so many places but that one place she was always fond of is Icewind Dale. There's just something about snow and aurora borealis that fascinates her. Nawen also enjoys taking walks in forests.
9. Favorite food? Favorite drink? Hot drinks, soft drinks, or alcohol? Roasted meat with potatoes, steaks, fresh vegetables and fruit, various soups. When it comes to drinks, she enjoys ale, wine and for non alcoholic drinks; tea and water.
10. Favorite animal? Nawen loves all animals, there's no favorite.
11. Do they have any pets? Do they want any? She sees her pets as friends but yes, she has two. A wolf pup named Rhegar (named after Rhaegar Targaryen) and a dapple grey mare named Kiira. Her name means gems in elven.
12. What relaxes them? Because of how she was raised and how her guardian taught her to never completely let her guard down, Nawen is rarely relaxed. Sometimes it might seem that she's relaxed but she's always watching and listening.
13. Do they have any bad habits? Does sleeping with a knife under a pillow counts a bad habit?
Nawen focuses too much on her race and the overall reputation the Drow have on the surface. She always expects the worst to happen when people see her without her cloak, so she often hides under the cloak and avoid interactions with others unless she deems it necessary to talk to someone and by doing so she missed out on a lot of things.
III. Resources and abilities:
1. Where did they learn their abilities? Her guardian Valendil taught her pretty much everything she knows about the wilds and animals. Other things she learned on her own during her travels and through lots of practice.
2. If they have an income, where does it come from? She earns money by doing some scouting work; she scouted for enemies from Luskan during the Neverwinter war with Luskan as well as the war with the King of Shadows. Occasionally, Nawen also sells herbs, furs and other useful things she finds while out in the wilds.
3. Do they have a job? Do they like it? How do they feel about their co-workers? She's a scout and she loves her job. She prefers to work alone because of the past experiences she knows that the scouting job between two scouts might turn into a competition and a showoff of skills.
4. Why do they have their resources? How long have they had them, and how have they served the character over time? (Ex. Contacts, money, political power, fame, etc.) Nawen doesn't have any of these things.
5. Where does your character live? Why did they choose it, and how did they acquire it? How do they handle intruders (graciously? violently?)? Describe the space. She doesn't have a home, though, Nawen often dreams about someday having a small wooden house with a warm stables for her horse in a tiny village in Icewind Dale.
6. What are some of your character’s more notable merits and flaws (including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.)? How did they develop? How has this helped or hindered them in the past?
Merits: kindhearted nature, loyalty and trustworthiness.
Flaws: trust issues, low self-esteem, at times she can be indecisive, Nawen can also get quite jealous and possessive.
7. How are they with technology? Bad. Very bad. Don't let her anywhere near it.
8. Are they specially qualified in any particular field? Would they be considered at the top of the field? She's a scout and she's really good at it but definitely not enough to be considered best scout in Faerun.
9. Have they ever been publicly acknowledged for anything? No, nothing like that. She wishes to remain a simple ranger, unknown to many.
10. Is there anything they’ve deliberately sought to improve at? She's trying to improve her archery skills. She's good with the blade but archery is also useful in her line of work but at the moment she's only decent at it. There's plenty of space for improvement.
11. Do they speak more than one language? Common, Drow and some Shanatan, she can also read a bit of Dethek. She'd love to learn elven language and Drow sign language, something that would be useful if she ever decided to spend more time in the Underdark.
IV. Relationships and history:
1. What is their family history like? How does it affect them? How do they feel about their family? How does their family feel about them? Evil and bloody but thankfully Nawen knows very little about her family history. If she knew she'd feel awful by how much evil her family caused. She wishes to learn more but at the same time she fears that the truth is nothing like she hopes.
2. What were they like as a child? What was their favorite toy? Favorite game? Playmates? What did they want to be when they grew up? She was just as shy as she is now, though, little Nawen was more naive and optimistic. She had no favorite toy, game or a playmate. At best she'd play with her guardian's animal companion, a big brown bear named Noral or dream about having normal childhood. She wanted to be a dragon when she grew up. Big and scary dragon.
3. Describe their best and worst memories from childhood. Her best memory is seeing snow for the very first time when she first visited Icewind Dale. Her guardian was visiting old friends and they stayed at their home for a couple of weeks and Nawen had plenty of time to play in the snow; build castles, snowmen and make snow angels.
Her worst memory is how children threw rocks at her and insulted her after they found out that she's a Drow. She was four years old at that time and visited a small village with her guardian for their monthly replenishing of supplies. Little Nawen played with other children while her guardian bought supplies. She got in a fight with another child over a wooden toy knight and her cloak fell off. The other children started insulting her and throwing rocks at her while most of the adults simply watched, some meaner adults cheered. She was saved by her guardian and they've avoided that village until the incident where she received a F shaped scar.
4. Where (and when) did they grow up? How did they view it as a child, and did that change as they matured? How do they feel about the place now? She never had a home, even as a child so she grew up, everywhere. At that time she was amazed by how many wonderful things she saw and that hasn't changed a bit.
5. Do they, or have they in the past, had a mentor? What was their relationship with this person, and how has it changed since then? Her druid guardian, Valendil was her mentor. He was cold and distant but there was mutual respect between them.
6. What sort of education have they had? Do they want more? Valendil taught her a lot; how to read and write, amongst other things. She'd love to learn some new languages and archery techniques.
7. Who was their idol growing up? Who was the first person they fantasized about? No idols, really.
8. Who is their closest friend, and why? What do they like to do with this person? Her closest friend was a human sorcerer, Illius. He accepted her and liked her for who she was, he never judged her and he was a good and honorable man. They often traveled together.
9. Do they have any rivals? Who and why? No rivals at the moment.
10. Have they ever been betrayed? By who, and how did it affect them? No one betrayed her, yet.
V. Sex and Romance:
1. What is their sexual orientation? Do they ever question it? Heterosexual and she never questioned it.
2. When did they lose their virginity? Who to? Where? What was it like? Nawen is a virgin, and she's saving it for someone special.
3. What is their favorite sexual fantasy? Sex is in the very end of the list of things she concerns herself with.
4. Do they have any particular fetishes or kinks? Again, none, nothing.
5. What’s the strangest thing they’ve ever done in bed? I don't suppose counting arrows in her quiver counts as strange?
6. Is there anything in particular that they won’t do? Kill or injure her partner like some Drow do.
7. What are they attracted to in a partner? Everything. From their personality; honesty, kind-heart, intelligence to their eyes, lips and smiles.
8. If applicable: who is their current partner, and what attracted the character to them? How did they meet? How long have they been together? What kind of a relationship is it? Do they have any plans for the future? No current partner.
9. What would be their perfect date? In some remote but beautiful location where no one could disturb them.
10. Describe one of the character’s past relationships and what was significant about it. Nawen's never been in a relationship.
11. Have they ever hurt someone they loved? Yes and she felt horrible about it. It probably hurt her more than it hurt him.
12. Do they fall in love easily? No. She fell in love only once in her life and it ended badly.
1. What are their dreams? What do they want to do someday? She dreams to have a normal and peaceful life someday. No adventures, no saving the world from cults worshiping undead dragons. Just a simple, boring life.
2. Are there places they want to go? Where and why? Nawen would love to visit Evermeet but people of her race are not allowed there.
3. If these don’t apply already: do they want to get married? Have kids? She'd love to get married if she ever found the right person but not so sure about kids. She knows how hard it is for a Drow on a surface and she'd hate to see her own children go through the same thing she has.
4. Would they ever consider adopting a child? Why or why not? Maybe. If she wanted but couldn't have her own children and if she was sure she wanted a child.
5. Do they have any prominent sensory associations? (Ex. the smell of their mother’s perfume, the sound of ice cracking under their feet as a child, etc.) The sound of someone throwing rocks brings back bad memories, while the smell of an apple pie brings back good memories of a time she and her guardian used to stop at the inn near Scornubel. The innkeeper and his wife were good friends of her guardian and the innkeeper's wife always had a slice of delicious apple pie for Nawen.
6. Who do they want to meet? Even if she already have met some, Nawen would like to meet more other good Drow and learn about their lives on the surface and if they at some point lived in the Underdark to learn about what it's like to live down there.
7. What would the character be like in their old age? It's quite possible that she'll die before growing old. Her lifestyle isn't exactly safe.
8. Describe one (or more) plots you would like to do.
a) I want her to reclaim house Relve'fer and do some serious changes. I want her to at least try and make a difference in the Underdark like free the slaves. I can see Eilistraee's worshipers as her allies.
b) I want Nawen to start doubting whether it's truly worth to be good when no one appreciates things she does, attack her for no reason. Maybe even make her evil for a bit and then seek redemption afterwards.
1. What is one thing in their past they’re ashamed of? One thing they’re proud of? Her first scouting job was to lead a wizard and his students from the academy to an ancient elven ruins. The area where the ruin stood was hunting ground of evil werewolves. Nawen knew that even the best rangers avoid the area but she was overconfident of her skills. She hadn't even tried to convince the wizard to cancel the trip and in the end everyone except for her died. To this day she's ashamed of her actions.
She led a group of mercenaries through a mountain pass during a snowstorm and most of them survived. She later found out that those mercenaries were in fact slavers and the covered cages they had with them were with people. She released the slaves near the Luskan border and killed the slavers. She lost the fight once their leader, Aedan Fallenheart showed up and he injured her arm permanently but she killed the slavers and freed the slaves.
2. Describe one fight they’ve had in the past (physical or otherwise). Nawen fell in love with Illius but was too insecure to tell him about it. During their time apart which lasted for two years she built the courage to tell him how she felt. When they finally met Nawen saw that Illius was in a relationship with another woman. She said a lot of hurtful things to him as well as herself.
3. What is one thing they feel strongly about? Always doing the right thing. She'd break the law in a heartbeat if it meant doing something for the greater good. Nawen is the type of person who'd steal food to feed starving children and not regret it afterwards.
4. One trait they admire? Just one? Honesty.
5. What disturbs them? Cruel behavior no matter if it's expressed in words or actions. Both are equally disturbing.
6. Do the ends justify the means in their eyes? Not always but sometimes, yes.
7. Are they a leader or a follower? Why? She can be both but prefers to follow. She has enough of being responsible for other people's well being when scouting she'd hate to deal with it outside her occupation.
8. What do they feel responsible for? (Ex. I owe it to the world to do this.) She feels responsible for her own actions and the lives of people who hire her to lead them safely from one destination to other.
9. Do they believe that a person can redeem themselves from mistakes of the past? Yes. Absolutely.
10. What scares them? Nawen fears to become useless. She likes to feel needed or that things she does matter to someone and aren't completely pointless.
11. How do they feel about death? Have they been significantly affected by it? She doesn't fear death as much as she fears the afterlife. She chose the deity that Drow don't usually worship and she knows that even good Dark elves are not permitted to enter Fenmarel Masterine's realm, thus Nawen is uncertain about her fate after death and this uncertainty terrifies her.
12. Do they value faith over reason or vice versa? She values reason over faith, though, in the Realms reason over faith situation is so very different compared to the real world. The existence of Gods, magic, etc. isn't a matter of faith, it is very real and everyone knows it.
13. Do they believe in an afterlife? Yes, because it's real and she saw one aspect of it - the Wall of Faithless through Rhaine Alcinea's dream.
14. Do they have any habits that reflect their beliefs? (Ex. regular prayer, vegetarianism, etc.) She prays often but when no one sees her. She finds prayers intimate and prefers to do it with no one else around. Nawen also tries uphold her deity's dogma.
15. Do they respect the beliefs of others? Yes, she is a respectful person.
16. Would they be more likely to act for the good of one or the good of many? For the good of many, though at times she was tempted to act for the good of one. She would only do something for the good of one if that particular person was very important and dear to her.
17. Are they manipulative? No, she's not good at manipulating people.
18. Choose a holiday and come up with a potential scenario involving your character and that holiday. Nawen isn't a celebratory kind of person.
19. Is the character religious? What are their views, and why or why not? She is religious, yes.
20. How would they like to die? In a battle. Fighting for something good.