Griffin Tornheim

Tenser was a punk ass bitch


12/28 update – physical details, personal values, character relationships, added to end of bio

Level: 19
Age: 28
Height: 5’8’’
Race: Genasi (part elemental)
Class: Wizard (Magician)
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Lean; shaggy brown hair begging for a cut. Wears loose (but fine) robes. Fiery veins glow with varying intensity under the skin, concentrating at the corners of the eyes, hands, and heart, their subsurface scattering silhouetting bones and fine viscera. A dark sclera erupts to fiery eyes, irises reenacting primordial combustion, ancient nebulae creating and uncreating themselves in universal facsimile. Or maybe it’s just the light.

Alignment: Chaotic Good with Lawful Good tendencies (the “greater good” of the people does not necessarily align with the Law, but to a similar effect)

Personal Values:
These are tenants specific to this character’s ideology, irrespective of alignment. (I am continuing to build this and to try to be more firm about these tenants in-game)

  • -Magic isn’t a toy – I don’t cast unnecessarily or superfluously.
  • Losing people is too painful, and I have lost too many. I will give my all to fight for others, but attempt not to become attached in the process. Caring doesn’t save people, action does, and becoming emotional hinders action. I will attempt to convince myself to fight without caring, to protect myself from ever becoming so devastated again. This is a psychically damaging task.
  • Magic is the most dangerous tool of all and magic users should be treated with commensurate critique and suspicion, especially the more powerful they are.
  • Society necessitates I socialize with other wizards/magic users, but they are all extremely dangerous to society. I will not hesitate to strike one down if they should become a threat.
  • The Gods will not save you. Only you can save yourself.
  • Nothingness in death is preferable to an eternity of torture or an eternity of servitude to a capricious god.
  • Magic should be used for the benefit of mankind/the common man. Knowledge should be democratized/made accessible. Magic should be practical and beneficial. (Enchantment is pivotal to this end, for accessibility)
  • (subconscious) I have always been afraid of myself, and the limits of my power, and it seems the only way to combat this fear is to keep learning more, and growing more powerful. Knowledge declaws the terrors, but keeps pushing the definition of the terrors further away. I fear my capability to slip down a path of dark knowledge and insanity. I want to use magic for good, to prove that I am good, as I have always feared that I am not.
  • (subconscious) I subconsciously crave validation for my actions and existence. Flattery is extremely effective, and I tend to side with those who have shown faith in me, often at the risk of not clearly critiquing their character/overlooking red flags.*

Specific Character Relationships:

Rorak: Griffin has always viewed Rorak through the lens of paternal masculinity, serving as a role model for everything a “man” should be. Strong, ruthless, cold. Griffin disapproves of much of Rorak’s ruthlessness, despite at times trying to (unsuccessfully) emulate it, and further disapproves of Rorak’s lackadaisical outlook on life, hot and cold emotions, and capricious nature, but nevertheless still subconsciously seeks his approval as a surrogate father figure.

Kronos: Wracked with guilt for his past transgressions and failures towards Kronos, Griffin is considerably more passive and unwilling to argue or critique him, choosing instead to blindly trust Kronos, as though to make up for his previous failures. That Kronos clearly harbors no resentment for any of this only serves to make him feel more wretchedly unworthy of such kindness, and summarily more guilty. Kronos’ death was surprisingly unbearable and revealed a tremendous weakness in himself he didn’t know was there. While he would go to nearly any lengths to prevent such a thing from happening again, he is also trying to mentally prepare for the reality that a more permanent end may one day come.

Spinner: When Griffin first met Spinner, he seemed exotic, mysterious, and capable, but Griffin has aged into adulthood while Spinner has barely changed, and over time Griffin increasingly viewed him as more of a child, disparaging his moodiness, emotional volatility, sullen secrecy, and unwillingness to take command. In short, all traits he too, has shown at one point or another. At one point, Griffin reveled in Spinner’s adulation, but the secrecy bred from The Coyote created a vast emotional gulf he’s never known how to bridge. He sees a teen suffering the way he suffered, and can’t say the things he wished he could’ve heard back then.

Oz: Oz was the first wizard Griffin ever met, (and the first elf) and as such was always viewed with a mix of awe and uneasiness. Oz’s sacrifice seemed to prove he was inherently good at heart, yet his return signaled a bevvy of extremely risky, chaotic actions constantly pushing the party to the very brink of danger. His thirst for dangerous, highly self-beneficial knowledge to be twisted to his will with no regard to consequences constantly has Griffin flinching for the moment he finally “loses it” and goes down a dark path of insanity he fears lies at the end of the road for all wizards. Oz’s thirst is so unquenchable he eventually collapses entire timelines on a whim… it may not be outright evil, but it can’t be good either, can it?

Leo: Leo has always been somewhat alien to Griffin, somehow above the rest of the party. Secretly, Griffin wonders if Leo views the rest of them as lesser, or heathens needing to be “saved,” or if he laments at all that his friends will likely burn in Hell upon their deaths while he claims his earned place with Mar. And yet, he envies how Leo seems to calmly walk away from tragedy, to seemingly do good by nature rather than emotion. Looking at Rorak, he is effortlessly human – he’s falling apart – sloppy, crude, repressed. Griffin has seen him choke back sobs. Drown his sorrows in alcohol the way Griffin does with drugs and study and Spinner does with sulky sojourns. He’s never seen Leo shed a tear. There’s something scary about that.

Yimmelnoki: Yimmelnoki made the tragic mistake of being reasonably accommodating to Griffin, choosing to trust him with certain incidents, and earned what can only be described as a puppy trailing after her. Griffin considers Yimmelnoki incredibly powerful and wise, honored to have such a person even look his way! Certainly, thanks to the trust Yimmelnoki chose to place on Griffin (somewhat of a compliment), had she commanded he jump, he would have quoth “how high.” Yimmelnoki’s misuse of magic causing the incredible devastation by way of the Demogorgon has caused considerable conflict in his view of her character – at times he still tries to excuse her actions, rather than accept that she too fell down the dark path all mages seem doomed to follow.

Rotherin (warforged): With Rotherin, Griffin completed the first mission he ever felt competent in, and treasures both the memory and Rotherin himself, who also serves as Griffin’s last connection to Rotherin the Wizard, who showed Griffin great kindness in gifting him with a few items, and also made possible the party’s lives by securing their escape from the dying Ablecto. Griffin always viewed Rotherin as good, pure, and simple, an incredible testament to the power of magic – to create life – which somehow felt simultaneously to be the greatest sin and the greatest good. Rotherin’s return felt akin to finding an old beloved childhood stuffed animal, the fond nostalgia and sense of security…. Until meeting Moe, of course. It’s difficult to look at Rotherin without the tiniest tinge of questioning after that experience. What could cause fabricated life to become so chaotic? What IS magically induced life? Is Rotherin really even alive??


Naturally, as a wizard, Griffin spends most of his time researching various trains of arcane thought or executing small magical experiments. His particular domain of interest could be summed as Creation/Destruction. More specifically, the destruction of death and the afterlife – researching the nature of the soul; the creation of practical magic in the form of constructs and useful artifacts, and the ever-flowing cycle of life and death as represented by elemental magic.
Currently he’s interested in architectural, transmutation, and warforge magic for its multitude of potential practical applications, including creating living buildings.

Griffin smokes a pipe and, when available, partakes in recreational and stimulant drugs, including a 7% solution of cocaine (formulated himself) to increase productivity when researching.

He has a soft spot for rodents.


Hometown: Taranis, a verdant port kingdom

Family Tree

Mother: Cerys, (Sair- iss) elemental magician
Currently: ????

Father: Milo, King of Griffin’s home kingdom. Has the purple-eye-trait, bears the Tornheim name. Youngest of a large family.

Siblings: Younger sister by 3 years (Lynneve, cold, bossy, revels in undermining others), younger brother by 5 years (Therrin, normal, sociable, good-natured, naturally athletic), youngest sister by 8 years (Saryn, scattered, dreamy, gullible). Griffin loves them all but feels a slight disconnect due to them having a different mother after his father remarried.

Lynneve and Therrin are enjoying standard lives, while Saryn, having attempted to dethrone their father, has been exiled to the city in the Hurricane, and replaced with a coat rack given life and transformed into her. No one has noticed.


Griffin’s childhood was fraught with frustrations. Hailing from a kingdom of humans that not only rejected, but actively feared and despised magic, the eventual revelation of his abilities in late childhood went as well as one would expect. Unbeknownst to all but Griffin’s father, his late mother was an exemplary magic-user and elementalist; the fact unfortunately did not save Griffin from a hasty ushering out of the kingdom’s proverbial spotlight, as well as the revocation of any and all rights to the throne.

A hostile home environment that surfaced after his magical powers were revealed, and doubly so after his father’s new marriage proved unconducive to Griffin’s education. Despite being preternaturally gifted academically, he was a poor student, preferring to use his limited powers and sharp intellect to patronize his teachers, embarrass wealthy guests, steal from the kitchens, sleep in the gardens, and meander about the libraries, absorbing massive texts. He was functionally trapped within the castle walls, a shameful stain on an otherwise pristine royal lineage.

Despite the terrible implications of magic and all it had cost him, the deed was done, and he felt unnaturally drawn to the small library of magical tomes he’d found hidden in a tower attic. He continued to sneak off and pour over them, completely unaware that this small collection were the last of his mother’s belongings that had failed to be burned and purged from the kingdom. Somewhere deep down, he knew the power hidden in these books had the potential to help the kingdom and its people, if only he could prove it to his father.

So Griffin’s life likely would have continued, simply existing until diplomatic relations had the sense and stealth to get around his father to assassinate him and tidy the “problem” once and for all. While his kingdom and lineage had many more intricacies than Griffin will ever know, what he experienced eventually boiled over through repeated arguments with his father, culminating in a successful runaway attempt. Griffin’s flight from his home kingdom, while executed in anger and desperation, was tinged with hope – the hope that one day, he could prove himself to his father.

Griffin’s grand plans of heroism were quickly shivved in the guts by a healthy dosage of Reality, as not a week later he’d been robbed of his belongings, dumped in the streets, and found himself utterly lost. Fortunately, the party happened to be in the area… perhaps it was Oz who sensed a magical energy, perhaps it was out of sympathy for a kid obviously in over his head… whatever the reason, Dovakin, Oz, and Rorak brought Griffin into the real world of adventuring, and as they say, the rest is history.

Generally speaking, Griffin is a somewhat obsessive, neurotic, nervous, bitter individual with an inferiority complex. Plagued with looping neurosis, he shifts between wanting to prove himself to his companions (and himself), to bitterly overthinking his own ideas, whichever happens to be least appropriate to the situation. He is particularly susceptible to other’s opinions, heavily catering those who speak fondly of him (should that ever happen) and extremely paranoid around those who do not. An internalized hatred of magic-users due to his upbringing has manifested into internalized self-hatred and wariness around other magic users.

After hell- in addition to the heightened sense of inferiority- came PTSD, constant nightmares, insomnia, and increased paranoia. Griffin tends to stay up late writing, reading, or staring blankly at the ceiling until exhaustion consumes him, as his own subconscious has become a source of constant torment.

Years of adventuring has brought more loss, death, destruction, pain, betrayal, heartbreak than one could possibly stand. Faced with the gaping maw of cold indifference in the world, the utter devastation and agony people inflict upon one another with seemingly no justice to alleviate any of it…. one has to ask, “why do I keep fighting? why do I keep waking up in the morning, keep moving? why am I still alive? why do I keep going on?”

For a long time, Griffin struggled with the answers to those questions and his own depression and nihilism, moving forward without knowing why, until, perhaps, Kronos’ death, at which point the answer became evident: you do it for them. Even if you’re worthless – no matter how worthless – if you can move, if you’re alive, you can bring some good to this world. You can alleviate some pain. If you have the strength, and the power, it is your duty to help curb the incredible suffering you see. It is your duty to protect your friends. What is your life worth without them? What is your existence without theirs?

And this realization makes you weak, because you have something to lose. This realization makes you strong, because you have something to fight for. It makes you feel more afraid than all the evils in the world.

It makes you feel more alive than you’ve felt in a long time.

Griffin Tornheim

Vinhawn GriffinTornheim