Blake's Story

Backstory by Steve

Blake "The Rake" Jobberts is a Bugbear gladiator who was born in the city of Zaltara. His parents were semi-retired smugglers, and although they loved their son and tried to provide him with a comfortable life, the "semi" part would eventually prove to be their undoing. After failing to find honest work in Bliss and Heloyra, they took on a job that would be their last. Orphaned at a young age, Blake made his way to Shoalbank, where he did odd jobs for the dockmasters to support himself. Loading and unloading ships became his life. It was dull work, but honest, which was important to a young bugbear who lost his family to a life of crime.


Race: Bugbear
Class: Fighter

Since bugbears were a rarity within city limits, young Blake was often the target of bullies on both sides of the law. The City Watch pestered him because they assumed he was a criminal, and the street gangs hated him because he refused to become one. Blake got into more than his fair share of dust-ups, but there was a silver lining to his persecution: he discovered he was really, really good at taking a beating.

This skill did not go unnoticed in Shoalbank, a port city that saw a lot of entrepreneurs pass through. After a particularly nasty pummeling by multiple watchmen, Blake was helped to his feet by an unexpected benefactor: Farraday Lawson, CEO of the Gladiatorial Grand Slam (GGS).

Although gladiatorial combat was seen as a very real and very deadly sport by most of the public, Gladiatorial Grand Slam was unique in that it was developed to be pure entertainment. The competitors were larger-than-life characters, blending the skills of fighting, acting, and stunt work. The outcomes were pre-determined, and the violence was exaggerated, but no less visceral. It was a novelty show, but one that was having difficulty competing with the real thing. In order to make ends meet, Farraday would often hire out his gladiators as "supplemental talent" to the coliseums running more legitimate tournaments. These gladiators would be paid by the venue to lose to whichever team was becoming a "crowd favorite" in the early rounds. This would ensure that the more marketable teams would survive long enough to see serious combat in the semi-finals and finals. This was a good arrangement for all involved. Farraday wanted his gladiators to make a name for themselves to attract attention to GGS, and the coliseums wanted only popular, marketable teams in their championship fights.

Heroes sold tickets. And the best way to create heroes out of the usual knuckle-dragging thugs who jumped into the tournaments was with credible villains. Villains who could inspire the kind of hatred that kept audiences glued to their seats... desperate to see someone --anyone-- put them in their place. But for these villains to sate that kind of bloodlust, they had to be able to take quite a beating and keep coming back for more.

Seeing what Blake could endure offer that day in Shoalbank, Farraday brushed the dust off of the bugbear's broad shoulders and offered him a job with GGS.