Barnaby Hardcastle the Third
Archeologist, ladies man, adventurer, gnome...
Race - Rock Gnome - Player Handbook
Background - Archaeologist
Unique Magic Item - Lucky Hat
Other Magic Items
Boots of Elvenkind
Return to Shard Academy and explore ruins
Spread reading and learning throughout isles
Utilizing the Relic Hunter of the Seeker homebrew Class, Barnaby is an exceptional archaeologist while maintaining a very solid melee presence in the event of Nazis, er, i mean orcs and goblins.
Whip and Fedora included.
Sorry, not Sorry
4 True & 1 False, you decide which is which…
Barnaby is a very generous lover.
Barnaby’s students died due to a cave in.
Barnaby lead his first expedition before he even applied to the academy, and discovered a priceless artifact
Barnaby only received his professorship because of his parents influence. This his students deaths were inevitable.
Barnaby can bite off more than he can chew and it may lead to others suffering because of it.
As a youth, Barnaby always drew a fine line between the intellectual and the physical. When prompted by his professors to dedicate his focus towards a specific method of training, Barnaby pondered, “Why not be strong in both body and mind?” To this, his father & mentor, Barnaby Hardcastle the Second advised that he focus on Archeology. A field where he could employ both physical and intellectual pursuits.
Barnaby accepted this prompt and dove head first (in some cases literally) into the field. Using his athletic prowess and ingenuity to navigate treacherous terrain and unstable ruins to discover and retrieve priceless artifacts for the museum where his mother served as prime curator.
A rising star in the archeological world, Barnaby could not be happier. He was offered a teaching position at the University and he could not have been happier… until tragedy struck.
While leading a dig site in the ruins of (ASK BOB FOR A GOOD LOCATION), Barnaby’s team of students failed to heed his warning and delved much deeper into the darkened tomb, most likely to prove their worth to him, but they had not the skills nor resolve to face the arduous path they had set upon.
While scribbling notes into his journal about his students and their progress or lack thereof, Barnaby’s worst fear was realized. He heard the screams first, then the thunderous crash of an unstable column crashing down onto the main platform. He was out the front flap of his tent before the journal even touched the floor, but he was too late to rescue his curious pupils, save for one.
As Barnaby arrived at the scene, dust and debris filled the enormous hall. Barnaby had to skid to a halt, his toes precariously dangling over the broken granite floor that until recently stood “firm” lest he veer over the edge and join his unfortunate students. Then he heard a voice. “Professor? Is that you?”
Barnaby recognized the voice. It was Chloe Cogsworth, his top student and aide.
As Barnaby’s eyes adjusted to the darkness, he wiped a sleeve over his brow to clear the soggy sweat-dust that had adhered to him during his approach. “I see you!” Barnaby said calmly, doing his best to help her maintain her own composure. He knew that even the slightest twitch could spell disaster for Chloe, and he wasn’t about to lose another student.
Chloe looked up to him slightly, keeping a firm hold on the jagged stone, but feeling her grip loosen with every second. “I told them not to press forward… I told them you said”
Barnaby cut her off, again maintaining a calm and almost charming tone and he surveyed the area and devise a plan to rescue his dangling apprentice. “Of course you did dear. Hold tight for now. We will discuss the impetuous nature of your colleagues once you are on solid ground.”
Barnaby had already sifted thru his pack and produced 50 feet of rope, secured it to a stump that had once been a mighty column and tossed the rope down towards Chloe, a glimmer of hope within him that quickly faded soon after.
Chloe reached for the rope, but by shifting her weight she slid further down the outcropping, losing her left hand hold and now hung precariously from her right hand. “Professor! I can’t hold much longer!”
“No time to waste.” Barnaby thought to himself as he frantically pulled the rope back to him and rapidly securing the loose end just above the bicep. “Hold tight dear, I’ll be there in a jiff.” He said as he stepped to the side creating tension of the rope and leapt over the edge into the void below.
Though swinging at a rate of speed much faster than he had expected, Barnaby maintained his deflection, and with his pendulum like approach he reached out with his right hand to grasp at Chloe, but his reach was not great enough.
Chloe’s outstretched arm waved towards Barnaby, the motion causing her handhold to loosen again. She slid another foot down the craggy rock, barely catching herself once more. But this was it. She was at the bottom of the shard, her feet dangling deep into the blackness that had swallowed her classmates.
Tear running down her cheek, she mumbled, “I’m sorry professor. I’m so sorry…” and as her bloodied fingers lost their grip, Chloe once again saw Professor Hardcastle swinging into view. This time, his right hand held a whip, a whip that was now streaking towards her arm.
The pain was excruciating. Between the whip’s razor sharp tip that dug into her forearm and the massive jolt to her shoulder, she could not decide what was worse, but she was thankful for that pain as it assured her she was still alive.
“Hold tight dear. Climb to me when you are ready.” Barnaby said, without a hint of strain in his voice.
Chloe slowly made her ascent to Barnaby and hugged his frame as best she could while he climbed the rope to safety. As they crawled over the ledge, both of them collapsed among the dusty floor, Chloe continued to cling to him as if she were still suspended amidst the darkness.
The pair rested for moments before they heard the crackling sound of stone breaking apart. The remaining portion of the ledge was about to give way.
“One more surge of strength is required. Do you have it in you?” Barnaby asked as he rolled to his feet, dropping his whip and drawing a dagger in one fluid motion, using it to cut himself free from the rope.
Chloe nodded, as she matched his roll and showed a surprising amount of fortitude in her response. “Race ya!”
The two gnomes sprinted towards the dimly lit entrance, hand in hand, leaping over cracks and jutting rock piles, making their way to the light and safety of solid ground where they again collapsed into each others arms.
Barnaby, though surged by adrenaline, maintained his professional etiquette and resisted the urge to brush her matted brown hair aside and kiss her fully on the lips.
Chloe however, did not.
One Month Later
A hearing was set to determine Barnaby’s future with the Academy.
During the hearing, the Headmaster of the Academy specifically cited, “As if it weren’t atrocious enough for you to have lost students to an avoidable tragedy, you then begin a relationship with the one student who survived?”
The murmurs from the quorum matched the glares now affixed to Barnaby. His own father one of them.
From the back of the room, a soft yet strong voice chimed in, “In his defense, I kissed him first.” Chloe stood smiling at Barnaby as he glanced over his shoulder and returned the smile. “Besides, I’m not a student anymore.” she said as she winked at the Headmaster.
The Headmaster, quite obviously displeased with the entire situation carried the motion for Barnaby’s dismissal.
Though disagreeing and disappointed at the Academy’s decision, Barnaby and Chloe moved forward and continued their love of archeology choosing to continue their quest to discover relics and submit them to museums for all to enjoy.
The pair are currently engaged. Barnaby actually proposed to Chloe while the two were trapped in a tomb awaiting rescue. He figured it was the perfect time, and she agreed.
Two Years Later
Chloe has hung up here adventuring pack, and traded it in for the curators position at the museum (shortly after Barnaby’s mother retired from the position after a long and accomplished career).
Barnaby is still seen as a rogue member of the archeological circle, but none can argue his knowledge, instinct, and charm. His former colleagues often recruit Barnaby (however reluctantly) to lead digs and research camps.
Two Weeks Ago
Barnaby has been on assignment in the Mullach Ravine for months now. The wedding date rapidly approaching and Chloe left all alone to manage all the plans and arrangements. She settles in each night reading the dust covered letters he sends her weekly and reminds herself that she told him to go, but that doesn’t make the time alone any less lonely.
Barnaby also, thousands of miles away spends each night on his dusty cot weighing the pressure his absence puts on her as he drifts to sleep clutching her scarf that has long since lost the scent of her perfume.
Present Day - 14th of Planting year 347 p.s
Barnaby has finally returned to Port City, his dig a massive success. He speeds towards the Museum to see Chloe when he spots her standing at the end of the dock, holding a small box wrapped in elegant paper.
Barnaby rushes to her but slows his approach as he see her trembling, a single tear running down her cheek. He already knows what is about to happen and he understands why. A lump forms in the back of his throat as he closes the distance between him and his soon to be ex-fiance.
The conversation is short but polite. Both of them agreed that they are now on two very separate paths and to ask either to deviate would be unfair. Neither is angry yet both are disappointed and unhappy, but not willing to force their wishes on each other.
As the break up comes to an end, Chloe hands Barnaby the box. “This was to be your wedding present… I still want you to have it. I hope it brings you luck on your journeys.”
With that, she kisses him on the cheek, then turns to walk away. As she turns, Barnaby slips the scarf he’d kept with him into her coat pocket and watches her disappear into the crowd of dock workers and crates.
Barnaby opened the gift and found inside a brown leather fedora with a dark brown rim. Upon the interior band, an embroidered message read, “May luck follow you where I cannot”.
Barnaby donned the hat, tilted it downward and turned to face the now setting sun. “I may need it kid. I may need it.”
14th of Planting 347
While leading a group of explorers into the ruins beneath Shard Academy on the Isle of Thalos, Barnaby discovered a previously unexplored section of tunnels somewhere in sub-level 4. After setting off a trap sealing himself off from the rest of his group, Barnaby made his way through the tunnels. There he encountered Duegar and many traps. Using his quick reactions and wit, Barnaby was able to thwart their efforts to end his life. He discovered many unique treasures which he mapped out in hopes of returning later. After finding a gate valve that opened the way for his companions to return to safety, Barnaby made his way towards the exit of the secret tunnel. There at the end, he discovered a strangely glowing rainbow stone of immense power. After removing this stone, the locked doors opened, and he escaped to safety. Upon meeting with his friends, he is told to head immediately to the Mages Guild so they can inspect the stone. He heads there quickly and is greatly rewarded for finding this stone.
Barnaby’s Map - Shard Academy levels 3 & 4
15th & 16th of Planting
As Barnaby and Klienestern are both members of the Mages Guild they met and a friendship was forged. They each had their own unique jobs that they do to make coin, but they also enjoy each others company. During one such encounter, they went to enjoy the festivities of the Seed Sowing Festive on the 16th of Planting and had quite the adventure. Barnaby met a Satyr who sold him Boots of Elvenkind for the small price of one of his true names… Klienenstern met with one Hell of a merchant who for 2 inconsequential favors sold him a Figurine of Wondrous Power. This Figurine took the form of what he desired most, an…. Armored Penguin… They also met up with a Time Traveler who really confused Barnaby, but with the help of Klien and his expert explanations, a disastrous brain explosion was averted. After completing these two favors that were not technically illegal, they returned to the Mage's Guild to prepare for their first group adventure on the 17th.
17th of Planting
After being grouped together, the 5 formed a pact to protect each other in the face of danger when they adventure together. Before setting for into the portal a man rode up on an exhausted horse looking for help from the Mage's Guild. Unable to resist the offered payment of 200gp each the group offered to help. They set off towards Longsaddle and upon arriving were greeted by a statue which was actually Tristan Harpell. Tristan told the group the town of Silverleaf, which he had just purchased, hadn't been heard from in weeks. He tasked them to figure out what happened with the help of C.A.R.T.E.R a sentient map. The map answered all their questions and guided them to the mysterious village of Silverleaf. Upon arriving, they camped outside the village perimeter and scouted around finding nothing. In the morning the silver leaves gleamed in the orchard but no people were around. They entered into the orchard and were shrunk down to 1/60th their height or 5ft to 1 inch. They battled their way to a picnic basket filled with the original inhabitants of the village. They warned the adventurers of the Raven that has been snatching them up as meals. Seeing some sparks flying from the table in the middle of the orchard, they set out to investigate. During the trek, they dealt with savage rain, avoided an angry rabbit, and crossed over a stream on a branch filled with spiders. Once they reached the table, they found Tristan's sometimes girlfriend, always rival, Freya. She admitted it was her spell that went wrong and shrunk everyone and that the only way to fix it was to climb the tree and break the Crystal Ball focus the Raven stole from her. Using potions and skill, they climbed the tree battling wasps midway up. Using her sharpshooting skills, Fim, was able to destroy the orb, turning them back to their original size and sending them crashing to the ground in a pile. After dusting themselves off, Freya told them that House Doomstaff was in their debt and disappeared giving them tokens to turn in for a favor. They were paid their 200 gp each and sent back to Port City after 2 days for some much-needed rest.
19th through the 22nd of Planting
After spending some time at the temples, Barnaby does his good deed for the day(s) and helps a traveling book salesman bring books to the children of the Abundance Farms region. Along the way, he meets children with a yearning for knowledge as well as a group that may be making some bad decisions... The children’s’ bad situation has led Barnaby to find a calling he can take part in. Spreading learning is something he is very passionate about. The bad decisions of the farmers are confirmed on the way back to Port City, but he is able to return to the escape and report the incident with the Mage's Guild.
23rd of Planting
The crew is called upon to help close the portal that was causing problems after Fimdeer and Hien'ir stepped through it. Klien, Barnaby, Fimdeer, Thorun, Dandy, and a new face, Aura has joined the crew. This brave group fought their way through the Rage Fire Chasm and dispatched the demon at the end. Along the way, Fimdeer disappeared completely with an amazing stealth check, and the brave Barbaby ran to her rescue, though he ended up being rescued in the end. They all also discovered that this world could be a fascinating place to visit again in the future.