New Background: Sea Veiled

You entered into this world still swaddled in the warm waters of your mother’s womb. A mermaid’s purse, they called it. Sea veiled, they called you. As you grew, you would hear whispers from those around you about what you considered to be no more than a quirk of your birth. They’re not of this world, the sea veiled. They’re prophets. They’re cursed. The murmurs and strange looks may have been easy to ignore, but the signs and omens that later began to reveal themselves to you were not. 

  Whether you’re considered sea veiled because you’re a literal tidal child—half-mortals with their lineage connected to sea fey—or because you were born en caul, you have been blessed with the ability to sense what the future may hold. Your gift can manifest itself in a myriad of ways, from seeing the coming of a great creature in the remains of your tea to smelling an oncoming pirate raid like ozone in the air before a storm. However the signs make themselves known, it’s up to you to trust your intuition and convey their message to the world around you. 

When you select this background, work with the GM to determine how the omens and signs that you see reveal themselves to you. What was the first omen that you ever saw? In general, how have those around you reacted to your small foretellings? 

Skill Proficiencies: Two of your choice

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: One set of traveler’s clothes, a leather sketchbook or journal, a small knife, three trinkets (each determined by rolling on a location appropriate trinkets table), and a belt pouch containing 5 gp and a pearl worth 10 gp

Feature: Omen Reading

The esoteric circumstances of your birth have gifted you with glimpses into the twisting eddies of fate. Over the course of a short rest, you may choose to meditate on a specific course of action that you or another humanoid plan to take within the next 24 hours. The GM chooses whether the omens tell you that the outcome will be good, bad, or are mixed. This feature doesn’t take into account any possible circumstances that differ from those at the time of using this feature. Once you have uses this feature you cannot use it again for 48 hours. 

Suggested Characteristics

Sea veiled can come from any culture or background, and how their society treats them as they reveal their gifts most often impacts the sort of person that they will become. Those that are accepted and celebrated for the messages that they bring bloom and prosper to their fullest potential, while those that are shunned and mistrusted must learn to navigate rougher waters to find a place and people where they can properly thrive. 

d8 Personality Trait
1 I believe that the gods have gifted me with my strange power. 
2 I think these signs and omens are nonsense and coincidence. 
3 I feel like I’m cursed and wish I didn’t see the things I see. 
4 I feel sorry for those who lack the gifts that I have because I know that they make me special. 
5 I hate that people distrust and avoid me because of circumstances beyond my control. 
6 The world is filled with fantastical things and I feel incredibly lucky to catch glimpses of them. 
7 I know that everything that I see is leading me to something or someplace greater. 
8 I feel the call of the sea in my blood and heed its whispers at all opportunities. 

 

d6 Ideal
1 Duty. Whether bad or good it is my duty to report the omens I read. 
2 Catharsis. The risks of an adventuring lifestyle provide me with a much-needed release.
3 Mysticism. Something in the universe is sending me messages and I want to become closer to it. 
4 Opportunity. Good. Bad. Anything that can give me an edge I’ll take. 
5 Fate. I was chosen for something greater than myself long before my birth. 
6 Intimidation. I love the unsettling effect that I have on people.

 

d6 Bond
1 My friends truly know and accept me for who I am. They’re my hearth and home. 
2 I ignored my gut once and something horrible happened. I’ll never let that happen again. 
3 The sea calls to me in ways I don’t fully understand, and I’ll spend my life traveling it. 
4 The elder took me in and raised me when I had nothing and one day I’ll properly repay their kindness. 
5 I won’t be able to rest until I find my true mother. 
6 I trust the omens and have dedicated myself to their interpretation and guidance. 

 

d6 Flaw
1 I am truly special. More special than anyone I’ve ever met, in fact.  
2 I like to lie about some of the omens I see in order to get the things I want. 
3 I think they’re right about me. I’m not seeing bad things before they happen, I’m causing them to happen.
4 There are no silver linings in life. Only threads waiting to be unraveled. 
5 I know that if I let myself trust anyone that I’ll be deeply hurt again and I won’t be foolish enough to let that happen. 
6 I know exactly when I will die and that’s a terrible burden to carry. 

 

Want to read more about the half-sea fey lineage mentioned above? Join us on Ko-fi or Patreon and receive The Book of High Seas Treasures when it drops this month! And you can grab more unconventional backgrounds in our previous supplement, Uncommon Origins: New Backgrounds For 5e here.


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