Leaf is a character I made for an online campaign I started playing in early 2018. The campaign takes place entirely in one city, and our party acts as a special crimes investigative unit.

The basic idea here was to be a summoner bard. I did a lot of work on this character, and the end result is a pretty careful mechanical balancing of interests. Try him out and let me know what you think!
RollsOur DM Let us roll with pretty generous rolling rules. I rolled: 18, 12, 13, 17, 14, 15
Books AllowedAll official sources, no dragon magazine
Starting Gold27000
Starting Level8
Role Playing - About
My DM asked me to provide three contacts along with a character history
Vemo, Proprietor of the Dancing Mule
The owner and proprietor of the Dancing Mule. He gave Leaf a home for many years, and thinks of the half-elf as a sort of son. As the operator of a large and popular tavern, he sees much of what is going on in the city and over the years has collected a large number of secrets, which he keeps well for his patrons. he is well liked and jovial. He is content in life, and intends to die behind his bar, serving spiced potatoes and cool ale.
Rafiq, Captain of Pelor's Sons
The captain of the mercenary crew "Pelor's Sons". An ex-soldier in the King's army, he still has many contacts from his old life, and has developed many more in his new life. He is well respected and well known, albeit not famous. He can be gruff and hard at times, but he is a good man trying to make a better world. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, and he believes Leaf is too undisciplined (something he is glad to remind Leaf of every chance he gets). Rafiq attributes this to Leaf's urchin background and elven blood, though, so he is more forgiving of this flaw in Leaf than he would be in others. Daveon Worthington is familiar with his name, as Rafiq served as one of his captains for many years. He did not get along well with Mathias Hunt, but they have a mutual respect. He is friends with Captain Montgomery and they served together for many seasons.
Torlei, the Fey Nymph
A fey nymph that lives in the forest near the city in secret. She is Leaf's intermittent companion and close friend. She is also an orphan and wishes Leaf would leave the city and live in the forest with her. She has a strong relationship with the forest and with nature, and can sense disturbances to the balance of nature. She is able to travel to the city in disguise, but prefers to stay hidden and away.
Gnimish Tinkerschmidt the Gnomish Engineer
A gnomish inventor and collector that lives in the city. He provides unique and strange equipment to Pelor's Sons. Leaf, in particular, took to the gnome, and visits him often for additions to his bag of tricks. Gnimish lives in the Merchant District and, due to his contacts with the guards and soldiers, tends to know more about local politics than most citizens. He has close ties with the Fireforged clan.
ApperanceLeaf's mix of elven and human blood serves his appearances well. His good looks stand out in a crowd. He is used to being the center of attention in any room he walks into, but, due in part to his to his urchin-background and natural humility, he is somewhat unaware that he is so handsome. He cares for himself reasonably well, but tends to have a mildly disheveled look.

Being homeless for many years of his life, he has a habit of carrying all of his belongings with him, so he will often be wearing two belts and tends to wear layers of clothes.
PersonalityLeaf is gregarious and open. He is laid back and easy to get along with. He likes all sorts of people and has a strong sense of good and evil.

He mistrusts faceless authority, as he was an street urchin and was often mistreated by those in power. He has a strong sense of independence and self-sufficiency. However, his time with Vemo and Rafiq taugt him the value of friends and patrons, so he is comfortable working for Captain Montgomery, assuming the man lives up to his reputation.

Leaf learned to read when he worked in the Dancing Mule, but he never put much stock in the written word. He is literate now, but he still struggles to read quickly and proficiently.
BackgroundLeaf was abandoned at an orphanage at the age of two by his elven mother. The orphanage burned down a year later, and in the ensuing chaos, Leaf was left in the street with no one to protect him. Barely able to walk or talk, he cared for himself for many years. He lived on his wits, begging, stealing, and bartering to sustain himself. He ate many nights by digging through the garbage left outside of temples and taverns. He slept in the sewers in a small hiding hole he found, and made that his home for many years.

Unbeknownst to Leaf at the time, while he was a young child, he caught the attention of a young fey named Torlei. When she was an adolescent exploring the city, she saw Leaf carrying rotten food back to his hiding hole. Although young herself, she wanted to help the child. However, her fear of exposure kept her from approaching Leaf then. A month or two later, shamed by her fear, she snuck back into the city and was able to find Leaf again. She watched him from afar and secretly followed him back to his hiding hole. She waited until he fell asleep and then kissed him gently on his forehead, giving him her blessing, hoping it would offer the lost child some protection in the terrible city. She then returned to her forest and didn't see Leaf again until for many years.

As a young child, Leaf stole sometimes to try to sustain himself. He was throw in a holding cell and then turned over to a foster system, which tried to place him into a home. Wild from his years on the street, he was not interested in living a civilized life. He escaped, and was careful to avoid being caught again. He was very young when he discovered that he had a knack for magic, able to manifest small changes to the world according to his desires. His natural distrust for authority kept him from joining the local mage guilds, and his magic developed more naturally and in conjunction with his musical studies.

As he grew into his teenager years, he learned it was easier and more profitable to entertain people than to steal from them, so he began performing at many local taverns and developed his ability as a musician. He had a natural talent for any instrument he picked up, but his real talent was in his singing. Soon, based on his considerable talents, he was able to arrange for permanent lodging at the Dancing Mule, a successful tavern in the Entertainment District in exchange for exclusive performances. He made that his home and the owner, Vemo, treated him like a son. He spent many years there in comfort and happiness, but slowly grew restless, feeling a call to do something more with his life.

He doesn't know his real name and didn't see any use for one until he started performing. At the orphanage they called him "Alfie", a play on his elven heritage, but he hates that name and hasn't heard it since he was three years old. He adopted the name "Leaf" for himself because he likes the way it sounds. He doesn't use a last name. He secretly hopes to find his mother and learn his real name.

"I dun know my real name, but my friends call me Leaf. Like a Leaf on the Wind I s'pose." - Leaf

As time went on, he became friends with a group of a good-aligned mercenary group named Pelor's Sons who often worked for the local temples, and began traveling with them. The group was led by Rafiq, an well-decorated captain who left the military honorably and was determined to work only for causes he believed to be just. Leaf developed his abilities in combat and dangerous situations with these men, although he continued to perform in the city between missions for enjoyment and extra money.

During this time, due to his smaller stature, Leaf discovered that he did not have a great talent for combat like some of the men he worked with, but that his songs and magic had a useful place on the battlefield. he grew accustomed to playing a supportive role in combat. It was also during this time that he grew close to Gnimish Tinkerschmidt, a gnomish engineer, and Leaf started collecting his "Bag of Tricks", which is a collection of tools, alchemical substances, and magical trinkets that he has come to depend on to bolster his small and weak frame. He enjoyed the challenge of the mercenary life, but he found himself restless again and left after six years of service and decided to leave. He still maintains a good relationship with the group. As a parting gift, Rafiq gave Leaf an enchanted whipdagger that he commissioned and designed himself, which he thought suited the half-elf's personality and strengths in combat.

After leaving the mercenaries, Leaf felt a strong desire to seclude himself. Perhaps his elven blood was feeling stifled by all of the humans he lived with, or perhaps he was suffering the after-effects of the violent mercenary life and needed to heal. In either case, he isolated himself in the forest to the northeast and began living a more elven life, living off the land and developing his music and arcane arts without distraction. While there, he came to be familiar with many of the creatures of the forest, and developed the ability to call them to himself magically as he needed.

It was in this forest that he first met Torlei, the nymph who blessed him as a child. He would swim in the lake every day to bathe, and she found him and watched him in secret. After a month or so of watching Leaf, she realized he was the young boy she blessed so many years ago. But she didn't know if she could trust him, so she did not reveal herself.

Leaf eventually became aware of her presence and one day was able to sneak up behind her while she was trying to spy on him. Like a startled doe, she she started to flee, but he spoke to her in the langauge of the forest is a calming way, and assured her he wasn't a threat. After that first encounter, they began to see each other daily and grow close.

Torlei is also an orphan of sorts, not knowing how she came to live in the forest or who her parents are (or whether she even has parents). She doesn't even know what race she is or where her people come from. She travels to the city from when she has a need, keeping to the sewers to avoid detection. But she prefers the forest.

The two grew closer and spent years together in her forest home, among the creatures and rivers and trees, in a blissful and simple happiness. Unfortunately, Leaf's human blood began to stir and he again found himself anxious to leave, determined to return to the city and use his skills to help those who were less fortunate than him. This decision was against the pleadings of Torlei and created a rift between them that is still unresolved. Leaf comes to visit her from time to time, and he has promised to keep her presence a secret, as she fears the city officials would try to hunt her or drive her from the forest if they knew she existed.

Upon his return, Leaf went back to performing in the Dancing Mule for a short period, growing re-acclimated to city life. Soon, he was approached by Captain Montgomery, who had been keeping an eye out for the half-elf and wanted to recruit him to work for the Special Investigator's Unit. He had learned of Leaf many years ago from Rafiq and thought Leaf's skills were a perfect fit for the SIU. Montgomery was disappointed that Leaf had seemed to have disappeared from the city after leaving Pelor's Sons. When word began to spread of Leaf's performances, Captain Montgomery soon went to the tavern to see Leaf perform. Montgomery approached Leaf afterwards to ask him to join the Special Investigator's Unit. Leaf knew of the SIU's good and honest reputation and their mission seemed to fit what he felt called to do, so Leaf agreed to join.

Leaf has only fleeting memories of his elven mother and no recollection of his human father. Leaf assumes he was either the product of illicit love or rape. Although it has been over 20 years since he last saw her, he still thinks of her often and hopes to find her. He can barely remember her face, but is certain he remembers how she smelled. He carries a rare magical scroll, which he traded from a traveling caravan, which is promised to be able to determine if two people are related. He keeps it on his person always, waiting to use it until he believes he has found his mother, hoping to be reunited with her.