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Black Jack
"Now jus' imagine a couple dozen crossbows strapped to 'n angry owlbear- that's Amusa."
Relatives Unknown
Languages Common, Sylvan, Celestial
Affiliations Inexorable (Member, formerly), The Tempest Brothers Expeditionary Company (Associate)
Aliases That Damned Hare
Just Jack
Jack of Spades
Mr. Jack A. Lope
Marital Status Single
Place of Birth Somewhere on Amusa
Species Harengon
Gender Male
Height 5' 2" (w/o ears), 6' (w/ ears)
Weight 94 lbs.
Eye Color Yellow


Black Jack, or simply just "Jack", is a Prehistoric hero once celebrated for liberating the old world of the The Cindering Winter King. Having since been stranded on a desert island with his indebted kobold homunculus, Skulky, Jack has gone insane and forgotten his past life and expertise. After escaping the island, Jack now works with the Tempest Brothers Expeditionary Company to do various jobs on Amusa. He is a Harengon level 5 Battle Smith Artificer.

Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]

Describe your appearance. Eye color, height, weight, hair color, particular clothing items, scars, tattoos, etc.

Personality[edit | edit source]

"Well, I can't imagine you'd wanna stay here. C'mon buddy, let's get out'a this dump."

Mentally speaking, Black Jack is a shell of his former self. From what Skulky can remember, he used to be far more refined and "put together" when they had first met, before the island. Current day, Jack is constantly teetering on the edge of complete psychological collapse, as he struggles to keep his sanity. Despite this, he was always eccentric- insane or not- as well as mechanically brilliant. Even now, hints of his unconventional genius shine through while in the field as he creates wondrous devices from literal scraps and solves problems flawlessly with utterly insane method. So far, Jack hasn't recalled what exactly keeps his memories hostage.

Rumored to have been a former hero, Jack embodies such behavior even in the midst of insanity. During a manic episode, he still will always recognize and seek to assist those in need, potentially risking his life to do so. Beyond the standard heroics, he also offers empathy and comfort to those in pain- real or invisible- which might explain how he came to be friends with Skulky.

Within the prison of his madness, Jack's true self claws at the walls, slowly but surely resurfacing as he protects his friends and strangers. With every adventure, the old self grows stronger, the madness falls away, and memories are uncovered.

History[edit | edit source]

Not much is known about Black Jack's early life, but from what Skulky has gathered from his ramblings, he was born somewhere deep in prehistoric Amusa. Sometime in his adolescent years, his ingenious talent for magical invention and metalworking bought him a way off of Amusa and to an ancient Isonhound. Physical prowess must have led to him growing into a powerful adventurer, eventually joining the party Inexorable. Long-buried stories mention a northern kingdom that was toppled by the group, supposedly including Jack. He has mentioned passing statements of a snowy capital and monstrous dictator, undoubtedly related to these rumors. Skulky presumes that once the capital was taken, something must have occurred that prevented Black Jack from aging as there would be no other explanation for his impossible lifespan thus far.

According to Jack himself, as well as Skulky, he had eventually traveled to the southern edge of Isonhound where he encountered Skulky's dying body in some forgotten cave. Out of a protective instinct, Black Jack gathered the gravely mutilated kobold and took him to a nearby village. In a hastily erected tent, Jack toiled for several days and nights desperately trying to find a way to heal such grievous, unnatural injuries. Without finding a conventional method that wouldn't risk killing Skulky, Jack had to resort to alchemy and magic, resulting in Skulky becoming a clay homunculus that could retain his soul. After half a week of near-constant work and nursing, Jack had succeeded in saving the former-kobold's life. Since the two were now magically bound together, Jack was forced to wait for Skulky to awaken for fear of his form becoming inert and soul being released. Once the kobold reawakened from an exhaustion-fueled coma, he frantically thanked the harengon for his kindness, hugging him with teary eyes. Jack offered a partnership with Skulky, allowing them to safely stay together. Skulky happily accepted and began doing chores for Black Jack out of gratitude.

For several years, the pair did some jobs with what was left of Inexorable, before the group officially disbanded. Because prehistoric Isonhound was left relatively peaceful, Jack sought to move back home to Amusa in order to see how things were going there. On the way, however, a flash of silver light struck the boat they were using. Neither Jack nor Skulky are able to remember what occurred next, but the kobold is able to recall that he felt unparalleled aberrant energy at the time. When they awoke, they found themselves without a boat, stranded on a desert island of black ash. Black Jack noticed a few trees but little else and, because of the overwhelming, unnatural darkness of the land, dubbed it Isla Noctis. Over the course of about 5,000 years, Black Jack just barely managed to survive off the penumbric wastes with Skulky. After only two years, though, the genius harengon was insane and had forgotten most of his life. Skulky found it overwhelmingly difficult to watch the descent but did his best to make it a soft landing.

By the current era, a strange occurrence took Jack and Skulky by surprise: a gap in the darkness. The various rafts that they had constructed over the centuries were no longer blocked by the isle's overwhelming presence. Hurriedly guiding Black Jack to their biggest raft, Skulky sailed it out of the accursed land's reach and into open sea. After only a day, they reached the shores of modern Amusa, as if they had never really left their original course. Upon landing, Black Jack and Skulky were quick to scout out the nearest civilization, looking for work to sustain themselves. After a few weeks of inconsistent hires, the duo finally settled on working for the freshly arrived expedition headed by the Tempest Brothers Expeditionary Company.

Languages[edit | edit source]

Firstly, Black Jack is fluent in Common, as the language hasn't changed much over the centuries he's lived. Being a harengon, he is also well-versed in Sylvan, allowing him to communicate with other feyborn. Lastly, Jack can speak Celestial, although he doesn't quite remember why just yet.

Skulky[edit | edit source]

Jack has a small, unassuming kobold who tails him wherever he goes. Skulky is a highly unorthodox homunculus that acts as Jack's steel defender and indebted servant. He has been with Jack throughout the entire island ordeal, and now faithfully assists him with his adventures.

Skulky
"Maybe it's not so bad after all."
Relatives Unknown
Languages Common, Sylvan, Celestial
Affiliations The Silentfoot Tribe (Prince), The Tempest Brothers Expeditionary Company (Associate)
Aliases Ace of Spades
Prince Cinderclaw
Marital Status Single
Place of Birth Abandoned kobold den on Isonhound
Species Homunculus/Kobold
Gender Male
Height 3' 1"
Weight 34 lbs.
Eye Color Light blue


Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]

Despite being a clay homunculus now, Skulky is still molded in the form of a three-foot-tall kobold. Like all members of his original species, he possesses stubby horns, a draconic snout, and a muscular tail. Unlike normal kobolds, though, Skulky has longer, retractable claws on his fingertips which crackle with the latent, psychic magic within him. As a homunculus, he no longer bleeds when cut and doesn't require food, despite Jack's constant insistence he feed himself.

Individually, the kobold has dulled, clay-orange scales across his toned body. Some of these scales fade into a darker, burnt orange pattern of subtle stripes over his spine, forearms, thighs, and calves. Additionally, a lighter streak of orange covers his inner neck and chest down to his belly. Skulky also has larger horns than most other kobolds; curving and breaking into a dark gray, lightning bolt style, which might reflect a closer lineage to true dragons. He also has small, gray spikes that start at his snout and trail up down his head, following his spine and ending at the tip of his tail. Under his large pair of bright blue, draconic eyes, his mouth contains short, sharp teeth and a strong jaw. Skulky's left ear of a large, torn pair also holds a simple ear-piercing that reminds him of his family and legacy. Lastly, his entire body is littered with surgical scars, the most grievous of which are concentrated around his abdomen and neck.

For clothing, the homunculus sports an old, but tidy, set of leather armor with a simple undershirt underneath; the folded collar and neat straps/buckles of the armor give him an illusion of formality, despite his line of work. His and many of Black Jack's supplies are stored in a large hiking pack strapped over his armor, straining both considerably. A pair of tattered trousers support a large, fabric belt covered by various pouches and bags at his waist. An insubstantial blanket is also tied underneath the belt, hanging from the back and draping halfway over Skulky's tail. Besides this crude 'coattail', nothing else protects his tail. Lastly, the kobold's feet are supported by a pair of leather sandals.

Personality[edit | edit source]

x

History[edit | edit source]

x (worries about family at times)

Languages[edit | edit source]

Previously knowing Common and Draconic, Skulky has been "reprogrammed" in a way and now only knows the languages Jack is fluent in. These languages include Common, Sylvan, and Celestial. Should his friend learn more languages, they will be added to Skulky's repertoire.

Attacks and Abilities[edit | edit source]

Once a small-time folk hero using the power of modified psionics and aberrant magic, Skulky now acts as a protective battle medic using imbued energy as his weapon.

Divorced from his original kobold traits, Skulky now possesses the biology of a construct. Not needing to sleep, and having been enchanted to always be on alert, he can't be surprised by those who would do harm to him or Jack (Vigilant).

Skulky also possesses rapid reflexes and can nullify nearby attacks with his raw magic (Deflect Attack). Additionally, he can produce a magical balm on his claws that acts as an effective repairing agent for damaged materials (Repair).

Weapon Description Available Attacks
Claws Expertly sculpted by Black Jack while he was still sane, using the original claws as a base. Skulky's new claws as a semi-clay homunculus were designed to incorporate his old magic into their attacks. Jack also designed them to retract into the fingertips at will to better allow Skulky to live a normal life. Force-Empowered Rend (1d8 force)

Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]

Black Jack was a powerful and revolutionary battle smith in prehistoric times, now reduced to a fraction of his original power. These days he works as a support medic who fights at a range with his boomerang and Skulky.

As a harengon, Jack is regularly aware of his surroundings (Leporine Senses) and growing threats (Hare-Trigger). He also possesses fast reflexes (Lucky Footwork) and excellent maneuverability on the battlefield (Rabbit Hop).

Regarding his learned skills, Black Jack can quickly fabricate small, magical contraptions on the fly (Magical Tinkering) and an array of different tools he needs for his jobs (The Right Tool for the Job). He can also create more advanced magical creations with time, resulting in powerful armor and an enhanced boomerang at the moment (Infuse Item). Having a logical mind grants Jack the ability to prepare powerful strikes with his boomerang without needing much physical prowess (Battle Ready). The harengon also took the time to make Skulky combat capable when he saved his life, giving rise to a useful ally (Steel Defender). Jack's physical prowess has also revealed itself once again, allowing him to perform impressive feats of agility while in the field (Athlete Feat) and of speed while in a tussle (Extra Attack).

Being a spellcaster, Black Jack can cast a small collection of support spells to both heal his allies and protect them from surprises. Using magical clay from his herbalist's kit, Jack can patch up both living (Cure Wounds) and artificial (Mending) tissue, or provide a sense of renewed vigor (Heroism). He can also use alchemist's tools- when he makes them- to consistently create concoctions he uses for ice attacks (Ray of Frost), ooze-like barriers (Shield), red perimeters around camp (Alarm), leg-transmuting potions (Jump), and clouds of slow-fall gas (Feather Fall). Jack can also use a higher degree of magic in order to quickly imbue a rudimentary weapon with greater power (Magic Weapon) or with burning vindication (Branding Smite). Lastly, Jack can utilize a repurposed gadget of his own design to blast enemies with magical acid (Tasha's Caustic Brew).

Attacks and Weapons[edit | edit source]

Weapon Description Available Attacks
Prehistoric

Boomerang

A special boomerang fashioned from the timber of an ancient tree. Masterfully wrought with electrum accents, the projectile is the only weapon from Jack's original hoard to have survived his unwise "solution" to a firewood shortage while he was still on Isla Noctis. Magical Thrown, Magical Melee (1d6 slashing)
Dagger A gnarled, old dagger hastily crafted on Isla Noctis when Jack needed a suitable tool in the moment. It consists of curved shards from one of Jack's old swords welded back together to form a jagged blade affixed to a thick, wooden handle. Melee, Thrown (1d4 piercing)
Light Crossbow An intricately-designed crossbow conceived on a particularly hungry night. Jack and Skulky ended up carving and strapping together the crossbow once they realized throwing rocks at passing seabirds was a dumb idea. Ranged (1d8 piercing)
Cryo- Concoction One of Jack's more permanent installations. A magically self-filling pair of vials attached to his right gauntlet can be used to fire a long-range blast of icy energy at any time. Magical Ranged (2d8 cold)
Acidic Launcher A medium-range firearm using the base of one of Jack's older inventions. This stout weapon packs a large punch as it can expel a ray of acid across the battlefield, allowing its wielder to snipe targets without the boomerang. Magical Ranged (2d4 acid)

Adventures[edit | edit source]

May 1st, 2023 - Curious Company[edit | edit source]

x

September 2nd, 2023 - Doing Hard Time in Thinwhistle[edit | edit source]

x

October 28th, 2023 - Pumpkin Picking[edit | edit source]

x

Miscellaneous Stuff[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Skulky and Black Jack both love coconut milk and likely have a secret stash somewhere in basecamp.
  • Black Jack's favorite color is white, whilst Skulky's is red.
  • It seems Jack has luck when the number 1 is involved, whereas Skulky has better chances with 4.

Meta[edit | edit source]

  • I'm planning on making Skulky my de facto character if something untoward ever happens to my rabbit inventor.
  • Skulky is based off of an old character I played with a separate group who died too early for that world, so why not have my current one save him and make him his henchman?
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