Where do you start in the world of the Dark Return? Who is your SagaBorn hero? You can roll the dice using the charts below or use them as a guide to build the Sagaborn character you wish to play. These are not the only options, but they are a great starting point for characters who live in Atheles in the lands around the city state of Kowal.
These charts give brief explanations, which are further defined later in the book. For more information, please refer to the index for a listing of references and page numbers.
If you decide to choose for yourself rather than rolling the dice, note that the chart below represents the rarity of each species and heritage in Atheles.
Choose your species or let fate decide:
|Terian: Species born and evolved in Atheles. Proceed to Table LT1.
|Fey: Species originating from other worlds. Proceed to Table F1.
|Elven: A specific species originating from another place, though conflicting origin myths abound. Proceed to Table E1.
Choose your terian biology or let fate decide:
|Teran: The most common biology in Atheles, they are resilient and skilled. Proceed to Table LT2.
|Dworven: The oldest people of Atheles, the dworves are stout, strong, and ingenious crafters. Proceed to Table LT3.
Choose your Cultural background or let fate decide*:
|Tiren: The Kingdom of the Rising Sun. Tirians are an open-minded but militaristic culture. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Uthgard: The Dragon Kingdom. Uthgard is a center of learning and engineering, but has a long history of nationalism and invasion. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Free Lands: The Free Lands are not a country, but are pockets of city-states or nomad tribes left on their own during the hard times since the Great War. This could be the independent city-state of Kowal or the Free Lands around Ferryport. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Wastelands: The magic blasted lands of the old Aradan Kingdom are home to vicious beasts and nomad tribes. Life is brutal here, and its inhabitants are forged by its difficulties. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Endamas: The kingdom of the Westlands. Once a large kingdom that stretched from mountains to sea, Endamas is still powerful, though smaller. Ruled by the fortress city of Bordon, its elected king and parliament are a rare democracy. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Ish: The Great Empire of Ish has stood for millenia. Ish is prosperous and its people enjoy a renaissance of culture and education, but the government holds an iron fist over those who practice magic. Religion holds great power in this region. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Mideon: The grasslands of Mideon are home to many smaller kingdoms which have struggled with one another for years. This is also home to the border keeps, ancient fortresses holding the beasts of the North at bay. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Norhan: A kingdom ruled by the Council in the grand city of Seahaven. Norhan offers its people a stable life in a land of abundance. Due to the size of the kingdom, many smaller cultures vie for influence and control. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Vanad: The Island kingdom of Vanad is known for its fierce people and seafaring. It is ruled by families that constantly struggle for power, both in their own lands and over the lands they raid. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Nomad: There are many empty lands in Atheles, perfect for traveling tribes seeking food and other resources. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Zhou: The Eastern continent over the Inner Sea, the people of Zhou have traded with and migrated to Atheles for hundreds of years. Proceed to Table LT4.
|A non-teran culture: Even though you are biologically teran, you grew up among another species. Roll or choose Table L1 to determine which. (If you roll Terian, you grew up in a Dworven culture). Then proceed to roll on that species’ culture chart to see where you grew up. Proceed to Table LT4.
* Your cultural background and your current location may be different. You may choose or roll twice to determine where your ancestors came from and where you currently reside. This book mainly focuses on the Eastern lands of Atheles in the Kowal region, but your campaign can take place anywhere!
Choose your dworven culture or let fate decide:
|Free dworv: Free dworves reject the religious structure of Greyhelm society. They often live in teran settlements or nomadic families. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Greyhelm dworv: The religious dworves of the mountains in the kingdom of Greyhelm. Greyhelm was isolated from Atheles for hundreds of years, until recently. Proceed to Table LT4.
|Dragon dworv: The hairless dworves of the far South. They are called Dragon Dwarves due to their constant struggle against the dragon-like creatures of their homeland. Recently, Easterners have seen dragon dworves on pilgrimage from that faraway kingdom. Proceed to Table LT4.
Terian Heritage Bonus
Choose your Terian heritage bonus or let fate decide:
|Craftsman: Gain +1 to Endurance (Misc. Mod.), +2 Expertise to knowledge checks on one of the following: stonework, woodwork, or metalwork. Proceed to Class Lifepath.
|Skilled: Gain +1 to a single skill (Misc. Mod.). Proceed to Class Lifepath.
|Wanderer: Gain +1 to Survival (Misc. Mod.). Once per day, you may reroll a failed Knowledge check. Proceed to Class Lifepath.
Choose your fey biology or let fate decide:
|Elfling: Proceed to Table F2.
|Feral elfling: Proceed to Table F3.
|Faun: Proceed to Table F4.
Choose your elfling background or let fate decide:
|Tallgarden: You grew up in the elfling community of Tallgarden, a strong, peaceful community with close ties to the terans in nearby Kowal. Proceed to Table F5.
|The Vale: You are from the rolling hills and mound homes of Vale. The idyllic Western lands surrounding the Vale are a sharp contrast from the brutal lands of the East. Proceed to Table F5.
|Nomad: Some elfling families have no roots and instead allow their wanderlust to carry the tribe across all the lands. Proceed to Table F5.
Choose your feral elfling background or let fate decide:
|Your people returned from the In-Between and found themselves in the North two decades ago. They are mostly reacclimated to Atheles but have trouble adjusting to civilization. Proceed to Table F5.
|Your people returned to Atheles in the Wastelands of the South. Their new home in Atheles is barely less dangerous than the In-Between. Proceed to Table F5.
|Your people recently returned from the In-Between and are unfamiliar with this strange land, though their people have legends of a home they left behind many generations past. Proceed to Table F5.
|You returned to Atheles from the In-Between very recently. You found yourself alone, hungry, and afraid of these strange new lands. Proceed to Table F5.
Choose your faun background or let fate decide:
|Sylvan: Your family was isolated deep in the mountain forests during the Disappearance and is unfamiliar with happenings of the world outside your village. Proceed to Table F5.
|Warband: Your family fought in the Great War before being trapped in the In-Between. To survive those centuries in the In-Between, your band’s fierce side emerged. Proceed to Table F5.
|Nomad: Your tribe spent the centuries lost, traveling the limbo of the In-Between, doing its best to avoid the harsher regions. After returning to Atheles, your family has continued its nomadic lifestyle. Proceed to Table F5.
Choose your views of other species or let fate decide:
|Isolationist: The other cultures bring trouble to themselves with war and violence. It’s best to be left alone. Proceed to Table F6.
|Hurt: You have been affected by the violence of others and hold a grudge. Proceed to Table F6.
|Optimist: Fauns and other cultures, especially terans, should work together. Proceed to Table F6.
|Mindful: You judge every other creature by its own merits. Proceed to Table F6.
Fey Heritage Bonus
Choose your fey heritage bonus or let fate decide:
|Ancient fey: Gain +2 to save versus charm. May use the spell Calm Animal as a Standard Action. Proceed to Class Lifepath.
|Chaos fey: You are fearless. Gain +10 against fear-based magic. Proceed to Class Lifepath.
|Wasteland fey: Gain +1 to Survival (Misc. Mod.). Proceed to Class Lifepath.
The elves share a common biology, though their culture and histories are all very different.
Choose your elven background or let fate decide:
|Losvari, the lost elves: The Losvari fought in the Great War on the side of Aradan. They were trapped in the In-Between after the war and have just recently returned. Proceed to Table E2.
|Anavari, the wilde elves: The Anavari are mainly found in the bushlands between Ish and Endamas, but some tribes have migrated to the Wastelands and further north. Proceed to Table E2.
|Kaelvari, the forest elves: The western wood elves. Their time during the Disappearance was more peaceful than most. Proceed to Table E2.
|Alostrovari, the sea elves: The elves of the sea. They are rare in the East, but some can be found along the Western coast of the Inner Sea. Proceed to Table E2.
|Evantari, the high elves: The Evantari believe themselves above the others. There are no settlements of Evantari in the East, but some may have come here to hunt the Orovari. Proceed to Table E2.
|Orovari, the dark elves: These pale skinned elves have been at odds against the other elven cultures as far back as their written history reveals. Since the Return, they have united the clans and begun to migrate south from the cold exiled lands in the far North. Proceed to Table E2.
Elven Heritage Bonus
Choose your elven heritage bonus or let fate decide*:
|Alostrovari: Seafaring (once per day, when on a boat, you may reroll a skill check). Proceed to Class Lifepath.
|Anarvari: Forager (once per day, when in the wilderness, you may reroll a skill check). Proceed to Class Lifepath.
|Evantari: Dazeless (+10 against daze, sleep, or stun-based mind magic). Proceed to Class Lifepath.
|Kaelvari: Fleet of Foot (in the forest, you move across difficult terrain at normal speed). Proceed to Class Lifepath.
|Losvari: Demon Sense (+2 Expertise to knowledge checks about the Navirim and its inhabitants). Proceed to Class Lifepath.
|Orovari: Gain +1 to Endurance (Misc. Mod.) and +2 Expertise to knowledge checks about nature. Proceed to Class Lifepath.
*Your heritage bonus does not have to match your background. For example, you could be a Losvari elf who was raised by the Orovari.
Choose your class or let fate decide:
|Warrior. Proceed to Table W1.
|Expert. Proceed to Table S1.
|Mage. Proceed to Table M1.
Choose your warrior path or let fate decide:
|Fighter. Proceed to Table W2.
|Berserker. Proceed to Table W3.
|Archeon. Proceed to Table W4.
Choose your fighter background or let fate decide:
|You come from a long generational line of soldiers and guards. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|Your tough life on the street led to jobs that honed your battle instincts. Proceed to History Lifepath.
Choose your berserker background or let fate decide:
|As a trained fighter, you have studied the ways of focusing your rage into fighting skills. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|You’ve always had difficulty containing your fury and have discovered that this benefits your fighting skills. Proceed to History Lifepath.
Choose your archeon background or let fate decide:
|Trained archeon: You have joined a group of archeons and learned the ways of repelling and disabling magic. You could be part of the Watchers of Eredar, who work with the Mage Council to protect Atheles from ravaging magic. Or you could be a Roe of the Protectorate, a knightly order seeking balance in magic. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|Born archeon: Since you were a child, you have sensed things others have not. As you grew older, you found you had the power to control or negate magic. Just as some are born with the power of magic, you were born with the power to stop it. Proceed to History Lifepath.
Choose your Expert path or let fate decide:
|Rogue: A thief in the night, a swashbuckling pirate, or a hidden observer. A rogue may be many things, but all of them require stealth and agility. Proceed to Table S2.
|Ranger: A watcher of the wilds, a hunter and tracker, or a guide through the Wastes. A ranger feels most at home in the wilds. Proceed to Table S3.
|Factor: A deal maker and negotiator. A factor knows people, places, and how to get things done. Proceed to Table S4.
Choose your rogue background or let fate decide:
|You spent your young years as a pickpocket on the streets. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|Always a quiet youth, you excelled at sneaking and spying on others. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|A mix of stealth and combat, your swashbuckling style could be used for many means. Proceed to History Lifepath.
Choose your ranger background or let fate decide:
|A loner at birth, you have always felt more connected to nature than to the city. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|Your family were hunters, and you learned much from their mentorship. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|Trained by an organized group of rangers, your skills were sharpened while defending the lands. Proceed to History Lifepath.
Choose your factor background or let fate decide:
|Born to a family with connections, you were educated and placed in a job that had many connections. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|Born to the streets, you learned quickly how to make friends and make things happen. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|Noble born, but not firstborn, you still found ways to make the aristocracy benefit you. Proceed to History Lifepath.
Choose your mage path or let fate decide:
|Wylder: An untrained magic user. Your spells are part of your being. Proceed to Table M2.
|Luminar: Educated in the ways of mana and magic, a luminar is a scholarly mage who has no limits to their spell knowledge. Proceed to Table M3.
|Bard: Songs and sounds can be very powerful, and bards use music to bend magic to their will. Proceed to Table M4.
Choose your wylder background or let fate decide:
|Born with magic, you have secretly studied and honed your magic skills. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|While your magic is innate, you have studied under another wylder. Proceed to History Lifepath.
Choose your luminar background or let fate decide:
|You were recruited by Eredar, and the Council of Mages has taught you the secrets of the Art. The Council is strict and scientific in their use of magic. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|The Druids have trained you and focused your magical talents. The Druids have long been counselors and sages for anyone seeking their wisdom. They follow an inner path of magic that requires balance with nature. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|You have or had a personal mentor for your magical learning, but owe no allegiance to a larger organization. Proceed to History Lifepath.
Choose your bard background or let fate decide:
|Your musical talents have always put a coin in your pocket. You’ve been mostly self-taught. Hard work and practice have honed your skills. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|A teacher took you under their wing and taught you how to use your musical talents for bending minds and summoning magic. Proceed to History Lifepath.
|You were recruited by the Consortium, a bardic college in Seahaven. The master troubadours there have molded you into a vessel for music and magic. Proceed to History Lifepath.
Follow along and roll for each table to help create a backstory that fits in the Dark Return setting.
Friends and Enemies
Who is the most important person in your early life?
Where is your family now?
|They are wealthy and powerful.
|They have a bountiful life and security.
|They have lost everything and search for ways to survive.
|They make enough to scrape by, but are happy and supportive.
|They are no longer of this world.
|I do not know my family.
In the SagaBorn system, no powers or benefits come directly from the gods, so this is a roleplaying choice. There are many different churches and beliefs, so each of the options below can be viewed from many angles. A monotheistic church may believe that the Creator is the only god and the others are angels. Another church may believe the Creator is more a force of nature than a personal god and that Arias is the only true god. The beliefs of the people of Atheles are many and varied.
Choose your religious belief or let fate decide:
The deities of Atheles are based on the ancient beliefs of the elves. Even if your character does not believe in the deities as gods, or you are monotheistic, you might still have a patron god that you pray to. Each culture has a different take on each god, but they all share common themes.
Choose your patron deity or let fate decide:
|The Creator: maker of the universe
|Tanthias: god of order and light
|Arias: goddess of love
|Lunare: goddess of nature
|Sartas: god of travelers
|Rindlebok: the trickster
|Rom: god of war
|Volinus: The god of weather
|Moorukk: god of Death
|Trund: god of the earth and forge
|Claravis: goddess of magic
|Arcist: god of magic
|Kala: goddess of fate
|Orum: god of time
How does your character feel about magic and its return to Atheles? Elves, fauns, and elflings do not roll on this chart, as their cultures celebrate magic. Dworvs add +4 to their roll.
|You are afraid of magic. The thought seems alien and chills you to your core.
|You are opposed to magic and its use. You believe magic is an abomination and should be weeded out and destroyed.
|Magic makes you uncomfortable.
|Magic has not been part of your life, so you have little opinion about it.
|You are open-minded about magic and those who use it.