Big Damn Heroes
Jin frequently appears to look like whoever he's dealing with.
Str 10 Con 11 Dex 10 Int 16 Wis 8 Cha 20
Race: Changeling, Gender: Naturally Male, Alignment: Good, Class: Bard
HP: 23, Init: 0, AC: 17, Fort: 10, Ref: 15, Will: 17
Background: Natural Chameleon (+2 bluff) Trained Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Insight, Streetwise
Feats: Ritual Caster, Advantage of Cunning
At will: Cutting Words, Vicious Mockery
Encounter: Focused Sound
Daily: Echoing Roar
Rituals: Glib Limerick, Tenser’s Floating Disk
Jin has lead an interesting life. At a young age, his family taught him that it was very important to lie low. Apparently, his mother’s father, Xel, had been a rather infamous adventurer and scoundrel who, later in years, decided that his new hobby was going to be seeking out the draconic prophecy. And defacing it. While Xel was quite adept at avoiding the draconic retribution which was now aimed at him, his children and grandchildren were vulnerable targets. So they learned to stay quiet and hide. Many dragons were capable of seeing past their disguises, so it wasn’t enough to just rely on their natural changeling powers to stay safe. They had to learn to blend in.
So when Jin was just three, his parents moved to Sharn. There, his mother and father ran a small tavern. Growing up there, Jin came to his understanding of the world. Local thugs would threaten to burn his parents’ livelihood down if they failed to pay protection. Upon some investigation, he found that the local thugs would have their legs broken if they failed to collect enough money so they could give some to more important thugs. These thugs would live higher up the tower, and in turn were working to pay off someone above them, who lived higher up, and so on and so forth. At the top, though, there had to be someone who no one threatened, Jin assumed, and he dreamed of someday being at the top of the towers of Sharn, living amongst the best off. He mixed this with stories of his grandfather, who had that sort of freedom, going out into the world and doing whatever he wanted. While Jin had no great desire to leave his family, the ability to take what he wanted and be beholden to no one appealed to him greatly.
But until then, he worked for his parents, waiting tables (he quickly found out that you got better tips as a cute bubbly girl with a large rack than as any of the other personas he tried).
Then one day, when he was fourteen, thugs came in and announced that the rates had gone up again. Jin’s father, Lon, refused to pay, as the new rates would take too much from the tavern to support his family and itself. As the thugs beat Lon, Jin’s mother Tal took him out the back of the tavern and explained to him the situtaion. He needed to run, hide, and prepare to support himself. She gave him a small amount of money, and told him of a place where he and his parent would meet up in a week, and then she went in to support Lon as Jin snuck off into the night.
Jin never saw his parents again.
Sharn was, at first, a hard place to be essentially without support. But Jin quickly realized that he was smarter than most of the people around him, and charming enough to use this to his advantage. So he started to scam people. He preferred to scam thugs if he thought it was a sufficiently safe scam, but he wasn’t so picky as to not scam regular people. He’d go door to door selling charms to protect against wererats. Or to collect funds for the starving warforged who needed scrap metal to keep going. The lies came easily after a while, and eventually he came to prefer lying to people rather than telling the truth.
Over time, he amassed enough money that he didn’t have to live at the lower levels. So he moved upwards.
The scams became more elaborate as he climbed the tower, but the rewards greater. He was a veteran soldier serving as a house guard for a merchant who was frequently out of town, protecting the man’s very lonely wife and teenage daughter. Or he was a visiting merchant himself, here to set up lucrative trade contracts and perhaps accept bribes. Or perhaps he was a diplomat from a distant land. And he amassed a fortune and climbed higher.
Then, one day, things went terribly wrong. Jin had a fairly good scheme in mind – a higher-up crime boss by the name of Hogran Grimwoft was noted as having some knowledge of Sharn’s defenses, so Jin set himself up as an agent from a nearby land looking to buy his secrets. At the same time, Jin also set himself up as a lover of the crime boss’s wife, using a second persona. He just had to get the crime boss to show up with the information at a certain time and location to sell this information… and then tip off the city guard. The crime boss would rot for life in jail or be executed, and Jin would live in comfort on his dime in the ample bosom of his wife for a few months… until he got bored.
How was he to know this crime boss was, in fact, going to try to sell him out to the city guard at the same time? And that when the guard failed to find the foreign agent they were looking for, that he’d go home? And seriously, that he’d come in through the front door, to see Jin and his wife perhaps a little less dressed than one would normally find proper?
Life can be so unfair.
Jin quickly found himself spending the fortune he’d amassed, using it to get down the towers as quickly as possible. At first, he planned to just lay low, but apparently Hogran was annoyed enough to actually hire skilled bounty hunters to look for him. Even at the lowest levels of the city, Jin realized he was being hunted.
Desperate and down to his last dime, Jin decided to stow away on a boat…
Jin has served on the ship for the last three years. He originally had stowed away, shifting appearances as needed to generally appear like one of the other crew who weren’t in the room. Being a skilled liar and mimicker of voices, he managed to keep the game going for about a week (during which time he sowed a fair amount of confusion by holding conversations that whoever he was currently mimicking would later be asked about and not remember at all), before one of the crew walked into a room just as Jin, who had taken his appearance, was leaving.
Brought before the Captain, Jin managed to talk out a solution where he’d actually work and in return he wouldn’t be pitched overboard. Since then, Jin has served mostly as the quartermaster, keeping track of the goods on board, helping to strike deals for the purchase and sale of cargo, and otherwise using his social skills for some good.
Jin is never seen in his natural form. He has a couple ‘favorite’ non-crew forms to mimic – a lithe drow woman and a burly crazed half-orc male – which he usually uses when off the ship, but while on the ship he generally swaps freely between the appearance of various crew members, mimicking their voices. The only shape he doesn’t take is the Captain’s, rumor being that part of the deal of his being hired was that this was the only form explicitly forbidden.
A sampling of The Rules
Rule #1: Jin is forbidden from defaming the Captain. Rule #89: Jin is forbidden from selling Dok as meat to a butcher. Rule #90: Jin is forbidden from selling Rowan as meat to the Sahaugin. Rule #91: Jin is forbidden from selling anyone as meat to anyone. Rule #276: Jin is forbidden from worshiping the Lord of Blades. Rule #277: Jin is forbidden from joining a Khyber Cult. Rule #354: Jin is forbidden from selling anyone into slavery. Rule #355: Jin is forbidden from selling Rowan into slavery.