To which I replied, "Parents are like, 'Aw hell no I ain't potty-training no devil baby with a devil baby tail. Give 'em to the gods.' And the gods be like, 'Lolz we'll use this one to shake people up!'." And then I added, "You know that kind of makes me want to rewrite her as raised by loving parents.... hmmm."
And so I did. Sort of. Anyway this is what I sent my DM.
Okay look, I know I have too much backstory. But I’m not even sorry because it’s fun, and I know you’re as much of a diseased world-builder as I am. So I’m just going to give you all of it, and you can decide what’s relevant to our campaign.
Name: Severan (short for Perseverance)
Height: 5’9” (6’3” including horns)
Weight/Build: 175 lbs muscular
Skin: bright scarlet
Hair: wavy black
Eyes: completely white-silver
Distinguishing features: horns (tall, black, loosely spiraled); facial starburst scar; tail; fangs
In Brief: will sacrifice her life to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Terrified of turning out like her mother.
Name: Eurig Tenderheart
Class: Fighter (Mercenary)
Weight/Build: 195 lbs lean
Skin: dark tan
Hair: wavy, black
Eyes: elfin silver
Distinguishing features: full beard
In Brief: classic merc-with-a-heart-of-gold. World’s best dad.
Class: Rogue (Assassin)
Height: 5’8” (horns do not add to her height)
Weight/Build: 145 lbs slight
Hair: straight, dark purple
Distinguishing features: horns (small, russet, cow-like); tail; fangs
In Brief: damn good at her job and actually pretty infamous. Tried to go straight for love, but couldn’t make it stick.
Eurig and Nix meet when he rescues her from a situation she doesn’t actually need rescuing from- but she is fascinated that he would try to protect a Tiefling. They fall in love quickly, and she tries her damnedest to be the good he sees in her- the first time she has ever felt like she isn’t necessarily just evil-by-nature. Nix gives birth to their daughter, Perseverance, within the first year, and the child is deeply loved and much doted on. Eventually, however, Nix begins to sink once more into old habits. Rather than “pollute” the man and child she loves, she abandons them when Severan is 8.
Eurig raises Severan alone- well, not quite alone, as the rest of his merc company takes a hand in raising her, as well, so she grows up learning the arts of war. She is particularly drawn to the medics, who teach her battlefield medicine. When Severan is nine, she comes across a gang of older children torturing a halfling child- she jumps to protect the halfling by beating the other children with a stick, driving them away. Later, one of their older siblings retaliates, hitting her hard enough to split her face open. It leaves a scar that is vaguely shaped like a tailed-star, which just so happens to be the symbol of Sh’lan, her father’s patron goddess (a protection deity). Eurig tells Severan she has been marked by Sh’lan for her valour in protecting the halfling child, to show Sh’lan has chosen her to act as Her sword and shield on the material plane, defending those who cannot defend themselves. From this point onward, Severan is a devoted follower of Sh’lan, and believes that her goddess speaks to her through signs and portents- even if she doesn’t always understand them.
When she is 17, Severan realizes she cannot in good conscience be a mercenary- she must use her strength for the greater good, or else not at all, and so she leaves to search out her destiny, following Sh’lan’s will. Eurig is still alive, still with the merc company, and incredibly proud of his daughter. They have a loving relationship, and she even gets along tolerably well with his new (human) wife, whom he married after she left. She sends letters home when she can, and tries to see him at least once a year. Eurig never speaks of Nix if he can avoid it, but Severan has but it together that Nix her mother-who-left is the same person as Nix-the-renowned-assassin. Although her father has spent her entire life telling Severan that she can choose her own path, and that Tieflings are no more prone to evil than any other race, she is still absolutely terrified of turning out like her mother. This is why she is so strict with herself on matters of discipline and abiding by the letter of the law in addition to the spirit (ie her Lawful Good status).
Severan is very good at turning the other cheek- her father taught her to be aware of the fact that her visage frightens people (“unworldly people”), and that frightened people are rarely at their best. Moreover, she feels she is far more likely to hurt others than they are to hurt her if it comes to a physical altercation, so she avoids fights when she can. That being said, if she is in a fight, her goal is to end it as quickly and efficiently as possible. She does not hesitate to kill those who threaten others, but she generally tries not to kill people who are simply afraid of her. She does tend to be judgemental of those who are not using their gifts for good in the way she feels they should be using them (she would phrase it as being “disappointed in them”) but she judges herself more harshly still.
(The whole "signs and portents" thing is how I've solved the problem of getting my Hall Monitor character to hang out with a bunch of Shenanigan Masters, by the way. Useful, that.)