This Tiefling Bard Backstory works well for a quirky game if your DM doesn’t mind using the nine hells. Feel free to use it and adapt it for your own character.
Have you ever been to the Nine Hells? It’s not fun, let me tell you. I spent one school break there while I searched for the true meaning of who I am. I discovered that I did not belong there. I don’t really belong here either, though. Being a Tiefling means that folks mistrust you and think you are a devil. They forget that I have human ancestry too.
I guess, if you really want to examine it then that’s probably why I learned to perform. I wanted people to like seeing me. I wanted people to celebrate me, not run from me.
You wouldn’t say so now. I mean, look at me. But when I was a child I didn’t speak much. I had a terrible stutter and it was made worse by the teasing and jeering of my classmates. And then one day there was a Bard in town. He was really old and ugly but people clapped and sang with to his songs and wanted to talk to him.
I knew right then that I had to learn to be a Bard too. I gathered all of my courage and haltingly told the man that I wanted him to teach me to be a performer. He laughed at first, tousled my hair and tried to step past me.
I remember being so angry at the nerve and I kicked him in the chin. When he buckled over I grabbed his face and told him again that he needed to teach me. Taken aback, she looked at me, really looked at me for the first time. He must have seen the determination in my young face because he nodded after a moment and told me to meet him at the stables at sunrise. “Be ready to leave everything behind,” he warned in a gruff voice. “You won’t be going home.”
That night I was both excited and terrified. I had told my parents that I was leaving and they understood but were sad to see me go. My mother’s tears fell freely and for the first time I saw my father crying too.
The next morning I packed my meagre belongings into a tattered bag and left the life I knew in search of greater things.
It took me years to master the art of telling a tale and even longer to learn all the instruments but master Hammond was patient and listened to my endless practices, never tiring of the false starts, boring tales or incorrect notes. I don’t think I could have found a better mentor.
But master Hammond was old and the trials of caring for a child took its toll and one drink turned into two drinks until it was drinking every night until he passed out. I took on odd jobs around the towns we travelled through to earn enough coin to feed us and keep a roof over our heads, more or less.
One day Hammond became purposeful in the directions of travel. Before that day we wandered around seeking larger towns that could pay for entertainment. But now he was directing us somewhere and the closer we got the more eager he became to get there. I knew not to ask questions like where we were going or when we were likely to arrive so I was surprised to see that it was just a small village. But when we arrived in the town centre we were greeted by old friends of Hammond’s and they took him to Klyrice, his daughter. He met his grandchildren and they all seemed to be happy.
They were nice enough to me but as I stood there looking at them all I realised that Hammond had become old and frail. He was no longer able to take the trips that used to. He was finally home and he was retiring.
I stayed for a few days, met the family and performed some at the local tavern. But our time to part ways had come. Hammond was a good man and hopefully he is enjoying bouncing his grandkids on his knees.
In the meantime I am travelling around looking for the next way to make an interesting discovery or some coin. I get letters every now and then from Klyrice and my parents telling me of their lives and I write back when I can and tell them where to send their next letters.
Oh you want to know about The Nine Hells? Let’s see, I was not very old and we had an assignment due about where our family came from. So I went home and asked my parents. As it turns out we are part devil blood, did you know that? Anyway, when there was a school break I sought out a group of cultists who were opening a portal to the nine hells and I went down for a day to see what was going on down there. Let’s say that it was certainly an experience that I never wish to do again and leave it at that.
My parents were surprised when I told them about my trip and grateful that I had made it safely back and the cultists, you know I never did see them again. I wonder what happened to them?