"My anger is inside you. I'll need it back. Snickity snack. Hands of red. Blade to bled."
User: Jim
Race: Changling
Gender: Male
Role: Leader
Class/Level: Ardent/7
Character Appearance:
Although he is not aware of this fact, Payne was incompletely trained as a sleeper agent. His program would have awakened him to an Eladrin mark and take their place is society. What was so insidious about the program is, had Payne completed the brain washing, he would have literally thought of himself as the mark and the person he killed a doppelganger who was trying to take over his life! He would have truly believed himself that person in every way. Luckily, he escaped before this programming could be completed, but that training gave him deep skills in how he presents his form and when it is wise to be noticed and when it is not. Payne will oscillate between intelligent choices for his appearance, going from rich noble at a state affair to a drab peasant following the party looking for scraps. He has no compunction about changing into women, men, children or creatures and will follow through on every detail of the disguise. If Payne disguises himself as a prostitute, he would not think twice about sleeping with a mark of either sex to gain what the party needs to know, nor would he feel any personal shame or disgust in doing so. It simply would be the right path for the right end.

One of the more noticeable markers of Payne in disguise would be his weaponry. He carries a large sword and a unique crossbow. The greatsword is clearly of exotic make. It was a sword kept in his Mistress's chamber for torture. The crossbow is repeating so might also draw attention. For this reason, Payne often leaves his weapons behind when in disguise. It is also a sure fire way for the party to keep track of him when he changes into a hobgoblin in the middle of fighting hobgoblins!

Social Skills:
Payne is a savant of social graces. Some might say an idiot savant as he is often broken and unreliable due to the emotional stresses he cannot navigate. When he is a role, however, he is completely changed. His training at the hand of his mistress taught him to become the mark and when he does this, he is acutely reliable and attuned to the right thing to do. His training in etiquette and formalities of many cultures in vast although he cannot recall from where he learned it. He is best skilled at being a silver tongued liar but he is equally at ease telling the truth with just the right amount of flare. Of course, it is all a pressure pot waiting to boil over and eventually the disguise fades, leaving poor Payne to cry and rock himself in the corner. Payne always becomes Payne once more.
Payne’s Beginning:
The world began with The Nine Exquisite Torments. That is what his mistress called them. They awoke Payne to his earliest surviving memories. The ninth would make him scream and wish to die. It was the least of the tortures. Some were physical. Some were mental. And some were beyond either, into a realm Payne did not know existed. All were designed to get a response from Payne and when he could master the proper responses, it would be time to “graduate” to the next phase of his education.

In essence, Payne was held by his Mistress in of House Myzzryn, the fifth drow house of Menzoberranzan. He has no memories or clues as to his identity before that. His existence was one of torture and brain washing until he escaped. The Nine Exquisite tortures opened up latent psionic abilities in Payne that allowed him to escape and flee far from The Mistress.

Payne’s primary motivation is to never, ever return to his mistress’s presence. In his head, she is The Voice but even this is too finite a concept to verbalize. If asked, he would say his mistress is the one who ends all lives, laughs at all cruelty, takes glee in misery. To him she is a dark god and avoiding her is his ultimate goal.

Beyond that, Payne seeks to find some connection to what he is and therein hopes to find a reason to his life. He has wandered for two years and always finds comfort in thick urban sprawls. Lately, Payne has been able to hold it together enough to be hired on with a party from Baldur's Gate. His last expedition sent him down to Waterdeep with his party to seek their fortunes there. Anything to flee His Mistress.
Character Introduction:
Payne is a troubled soul tortured by a painful past and an inability to fit into a world he finds as alien as it finds him. He is a character who truly wishes to be happy, and often is, with his dear friends, but without a strong moral imprint to guide him, his notions of right and wrong can seem as mutable as his changeling form. And Payne is a changeling at his core and will use his abilities often and to great benefit to his party. When in town, we will appear the burly fighter in a tavern and then slip out the back as a young urchin to gather information about possible adventures. To say that Payne is insane, as many easily do, would be a grave misunderstanding of his character. As an Ardent, his emotions roil constantly and although he is often irrational, he just as often knows the best course of action and is extremely clever in its execution. He has had to be to survive.

Interactions With the Other Characters:
Payne has been changed through his early indoctrination into The Nine Exquisite Tortures. He no longer feels shame, pride or self pity. His emotions are very much tuned into what is needed to help him and his trusted friends survive. His strong emotional tie with the party will be seen powerfully and often as he has not known love or friendship before this group. He would murder in cold blood for anyone of them and hide it from them, if that was necessary to keep that person from turning away from him. Payne has a pathological need to be liked by those he trusts and calls friends. He is very willing to do most anything for the party and there has not been a time when he has felt abused for ingratiating himself to their every whim. To the contrary, their calling upon him deepens his feelings of belonging and contentment among them.

Solving Problems:
Payne has a sharp mind when he puts his focus on something. His tortured past has broken a few things in Payne such as his ability to process the physical nuances of the world. Payne sees everything through an emotional fog that he constantly translates into his reality. As such, his abilities to read other people or see important details of places or things is damaged. With this emotional veil over him, Payne will say and do things out of context but these things tend to help the situation in unusual ways.

Payne's Combat Style:
Payne has little mercy for those on the other end of his sword. If the party wants someone left alive, they better explicitly say as much. Payne will say or do anything to win a fight. Honor in combat is a foreign concept to him. He will taunt, scare, lie and confuse his opponents using his telepathy and changling abilities. Payne fights to survive and then he fights to win.

Likewise, Payne becomes very anxious if his friends are being beaten. His powers as an ardent infuse the minds of his companions with fire and anima. Rage is usually a key element to get them to rise up as Payne feels deep rage and hatred toward those who wish to harm him or his. Without the shame and self conscience of a normal person, Payne has been known to start screaming or crying in the midst of battle, fueling his powers with rage, hatred or pity and sending those powerful emanations toward his allies to use to beat the life out of their opponents.

Payne's Peculiarities:
Payne's ability to manipulate the physical world would be well known by his companions, from his telekinetic “hands” that he uses as a matter of course even if he can use his hands, to his ability to send his eyes and ears elsewhere, to his ability to translocate himself and a companion simply by taking on the appearance of the companion. Although Payne has confessed this last bit is extremely difficult and he has no idea why it works.

Payne's Goals and Motivations:
For all the mystery and complication that Payne might appear, his goals in life are simple. Avoid returning to the dark Mistress that tortured him for an eternity. Find some happiness as often as life allows. And finally, protect his friends as they are the dearest things he has ever known. Beyond that, Payne is content to explore as wandering offers the best and simplest solution to his goals.