Ben Bones

writing & worldbuilding


"Across the tavern you see a woman wearing a light, loose-fitting cotton toga, and greecian sandals. She has a rapier strapped to the center of her back. It looks delicate - the handle is bronze, with leather strapping. Across her chest is an empty dagger sheath. But all of this is secondary to the veil she wears, which flutters as she pushes it back from her face - and you see beneath that her eyes are liquid and scarred white. That in fact, she is completely blind."

"You don't understand at first, but then you see her hair seem to move. And as she pulls her veil away entirely, you see the nest of writhing, decapitated snakes that are tied up in a practical hairstyle. You realise she's a medusa."

Medusa - or 'Emma Düsar' - is my most recent DnD character. The concept is an actual medusa who gouged out her own eyes, and gave herself a haircut :)

She did this for a couple of reasons: first so that she would never fall victim to her own gaze. Second, so that she could never turn anybody to stone. She wants to be a part of human society, and thus needed to become less monstrous. She is very kind, and always tries to do best by those around her. She tries very hard to stay nonthreatening.

She is also completely blind. Mechanically, here's how it works: level 1 fighter, blindsight fighting style. Yuan-ti pureblood. She's searching for her stolen knife (dagger of blindsight) but given that it's rare, it'll be a while before she finds it. In the meantime, we're picking up the Alert feat as soon as possible (enemies don't gain advantage by being unseen by you) and possibly also Keen Mind if we get a jerk DM.

So far so good though. We're playing her in Adventurer's League, only one adventure so far. It means we can pick up a free Magic Initiate at character creation though, which we're doing with wizard for 'Find Familiar', so we have a way to get a sense of a whole battlefield without having our fellow players explain it. Owl or bat, usually. Owl also lets us read shit.

Beyond that, I haven't decided how I want to really continue Emma. Capping level 10, so at this stage I'm thinking 6 (some kind of fighter) / 4 (other). Lets us maximise our feats. Spell-wise, a lot require sight - and the ones that don't are usually touch. If a god of pain likes our vibe, maybe we go divine soul sorcerer (distant spell) to give us some versatility, maybe some AOE? Or maybe we go Arcane Trickster, maybe Eldritch Knght.

I don't want to do things I've already played though. Tbh leaning some kind of warlock. In a moment of mortal terror, she cries out for help - and something answers...

"I did this - to myself."

Cool Moments

  • Got hit with Tasha's Hideous Laughter in a very tense moment. Party's in a library, trying to return a book. Evil librarian - who's a brain in a jar - stuns half the party, and starts taking us out. Emma crits the save, gets the book, and she's running to return it when she gets hit with Hideous Laughter. Prone. Incapacitated. Half the party, still stunlocked. Next round, she succeeds the save at the end of her turn - but keeps laughing, to trick the librarian into thinking he's still got her down. He rolls a 15 insight. She rolls a 17 Deception :)

Baseline Interaction:

Fisherman: Arr, you think you're adventurers? You can't call yourself adventurers until you've battled a giant salmon on the banks of an icy river. Pulling for all your worth, while the beast tries to drag you down to the depths - now that's adventure! There was one time - you see that fishing rod up on the wall?

Emma: No?

Fisherman: Well, I once - oh, I'm so sorry.

Emma: You're fine.

Fisherman: No, I might be rude, but I try to be inclusive-

Emma: Really! There's nothing to be sorry about - tell me the rest of the fish story!


  • Likes listening to gladitorial combat, even though she can't watch it.
  • Likes dancing, surfing, good food, and anything that lets her have fun, more or less. All the joys that human civilisation has to offer. Summer vibes.
  • Snakes have a decentralised nervous system, so they'll keep moving after they're decapitated. That is, her hair moves slightly, and jerkily, especially when touched. You know the scene where Davy Jones dies, and his beard writhes in those sudden lurches, jerky and painful... It's like that whenever she puts her hair up. It looks as if it's still twitching from the amputation, even though it's all healed over.
  • A Gemini - two-faced as hell. The kindness is absolutely genuine, mostly. But she flips really quickly between extreme emotions. For thirty seconds she'll be explosively violent out of nowhere, and then it's out of her system and she's completely chill and relaxed again.
  • Very sporty. Enjoys fighting. Loves mimosas.
  • Her mother was the medusa, and she raised Emma apart from her father, preparing her for the life of a monster. Emma rebelled against it. Because of this monstrous upbringing, the relationship between her and her mother isn't very affectionate or compassionate - her mother is too much of a threat for her to kill, though, so they're just estranged people. Her mother thinks she's an idiot to blind herself, and is irritated that Emma doesn't want to learn from her. She doesn't care about her wellbeing at all though, and would like it best if Emma was her minion. Emma wants let her mother do her own thing, so long as she leaves Emma alone. She thinks her mother's obsession with managing their home lair is meaningless, but doesn't actually care. They both would say they love the other, but mostly think each other is stupid, and both know the best thing is to just ignore each other completely.
  • Father was a noble swordsman, he's the one who trained her after she blinded herself - he was blind from birth, hence why her mother was able to fall in love with him. Emma geniunely loves her father, and wants to be more human, like him.
  • Songlist: Tightrope (Janelle Monae), Downtown (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis), Survive (Mad Max), Ocean Blue (Moniker), Cult of Dionysus (The Orion Experience), On the Rocks (Thomas Bang alter), Agitations Tropicales (L'Impératrice), Snakes (Miyavi & PVRIS), Like a Girl (LIZZO), Come on Eilleen (Dexy's Midnight Runners), Human (The Killers).
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