5e SRD >Backgrounds >

Sea Serpent

You were one of the Sea Serpents, the feared raiders from the Illyrian coast. You’ve pillaged towns from Albion to Judea and crossed blades with every culture across the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Despite any misgivings you may (or may not) have about your history, you cannot escape it. The Sea Serpent’s mark, a black serpent crushing a trireme, is tattooed across your back. This symbol is recognizable to all who live in the coastal settlements of the Mediterranean and they will react poorly should your past be discovered. The mark is less known the further inland you go, and the eastern powers in China and India will likely have no recognition of the marking, allowing easier travel.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Intimidation

Tool Proficiencies: One musical instrument or gaming set of your choice.

Languages: One of your choice.

Equipment: A wrist band with the symbol of your former ship, a set of dark common clothes, a letter bearing your captain’s final orders, and a bag containing 10 gold coins.

Feature: Serpent’s Own

Your former status among the Sea Serpents gives you sway with other Illyrian raiders you may come across. Any Sea Serpents or sympathetic Illyrians you encounter will provide you aid and shelter should you show them your Serpent’s mark.

Feature: Decent Places

The Sea Devils are not welcome in the settlements outside of Illyria (at least not the decent ones) and should your history, or Devil’s mark, be discovered, the local authorities will move to have you imprisoned or killed, unless you have an incredibly compelling reason to be in their settlement.

d6 Personality Trait
1 I don’t like killing, but I love a good brawl.
2 I want to retire from this life, but there’s nothing else for me.
3 I love sailing into new horizons.
4 I always have to prove myself, especially in front of the crew.
5 I love to listen and rarely speak up myself.
6 I love the small comforts of good food and drink.
d6 Ideal
1 Power: The sea can grant you many things if you know how to use it.
2 Revenge: Those who betray their comrades can never be forgiven.
3 Reliability: A crew must be able to rely on one another.
4 Skill: Being the best requires both talent and practice.
5 Glory: Nothing is more noble than victorious combat.
6 Plunder: The greatest bounty requires the most risk.
d6 Bond
1 My crew who are like family to me.
2 Illyria, which represents freedom from the Empire.
3 My ship, my true home.
4 I have someone back at port that I would give it all up for.
5 I would never betray my captain.
6 I do what I do for my family in need.
d6 Flaw
1 I speak my mind too often before those I shouldn’t.
2 I am illiterate.
3 I am too timid and rarely assert myself.
4 I have an addiction to gambling.
5 I get sea sick.
6 I boast about my history even where and when I shouldn’t.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E: Age of Antiquity Adventure and Intrigue in the Ancient World © 2019 Aruzian Publishing, Stephen Delucchi, Marcus Lundin

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page