The Story of Lavernius “The Ripped” Ribert, The Singing Sampson.
You are a dockworker in the town of Esten, a moderately sized lakeside town best known for fishing and festivities. On a typical day, you’re helping sailors and fishermen haul their catches onto dry land, and packing them into barrels to be sold, stored, or otherwise used. It’s hard labor, but you’re used to it, and you love the lakeside lifestyle.
You get to sleep in since the fishing ships come back late morning most days, you have the afternoon free, and then you work through dusk. Afterwards however, many of the dockworkers visit a tavern called “The Bora Breeze” (named for Lake Bora) to drink, and unwind. Sometimes The Breeze is full of gamblers, other times local women will dance, but you’ve been hearing some rumors today, that there is a bard in town, and that he may visit The Bora Breeze.
It’s evening, and while you and your friend Mark are finishing up work, Mark is going on and on about this bard. He says that he heard that he’s got a voice that would put any ladies voice to shame, and that’s why he’s called The Singing Sampson. “Where does he get the Sampson part?”, you ask. “Oh!” Mark answers excitedly, “I heard that he and a lady were on a horseback ride, and the horse bucked the lady off. They say that this guy walked up to the horse, and punched it in the face!” You have no more questions for Mark. You supposed that you would have to see him for yourself.
A few other workers came with you to The Breeze that night, and walking up the small hill from the docks you could see the tavern, full of light, and packed, with people standing outside looking in through open windows. The door was open and a few people were trying to keep it clear to allow some air into the stuffy establishment. When you walked through the door… well you didn’t know what you expected, but, not what you saw.
Standing in front of the bar was the most muscular man you’ve ever seen. He was over six feet tall, wasn’t wearing a shirt, had on these strange blue pants, and had medium-long curly blonde hair. He held both of his arms up, with elbows at 90 degree angles, and on his left arm sat a barmaid still holding her tray, and on the right another woman, giggling, squealing, and waving to her friends.
You glance over at Mike to roll your eyes, but he already found a drink and someone else to tell the horse punching story to. You find your way inside and observe the fellow.
(NOTE: His voice, is something between what you might think of as “a Chad” crossed with Johnny Bravo. Like a deep voice Bro who actually means well.)
“Greetings fellow Samaritans! I am none other than Lavernius Ribert, The Ripped, The Singing Sampson, The Muscle Man, and Warrior for the WOMMENNNNNNNN!” All the women in the place and outside cheered, many of the men clapped or had skeptic looks on their faces. You couldn’t deny he was charming. He had a presence that commanded the attention of the room. His booming voice and staccato method of speech were far different from how most people spoke around here, and you couldn’t help but hear what he was saying. You don’t think he had ever learned to whisper. The bulk of his body also seemed to make it so that no matter where you look, in the corner of your eye, you could see him.
He set the two women on his arms down, downed a tankard from the barmaids tray, and from the ground beside him, where you just now notice he had a pack, he picked up a lyre. Your first thought was, “how are those beef sausage fingers going to play that?” but you, and the room, were quickly silenced as he began to play.
“A seafarer’s tune, The Ocean, for these lakeside people!
Out upon the ocean blue I saw, truly you Ebb and flow upon the great waves Each and all are loves slaves
Within those eyes, a tempest storm The deepest blue, a heart so warm The surf the spray, assailed us all But we held fast, against the squall
Blue eyes, blue eyes, where can I find you? Fair skin, soft touch, ne’r bid you adieu See you soon and hold you close, the storm is at it’s height, But find me swift, and hold me true, I’ll shield you through the night!
Out upon the ocean green A life, a death, you and I in-between Rise and fall, like my(her) heaving chest The ocean’s (my) love is not a jest
I knew then, what I know now There is no lady, who I’d call a cow As with the ocean, it’s got a temper That’s why you’ve got to, be kind to her
Blue eyes, blue eyes, where can I find you? Fair skin, soft touch, ne’r bid you adieu See you soon and hold you close, the storm is at it’s height, But find me swift, and hold me true, I’ll shield you through the night!”
(NOTE: Words in parenthesis are for variations of the song, it’s either “my” or “her heaving chest”, or “the ocean’s love”, or “my love”.)
“Love the water everyone! And love your WOMENNNNN!”
(NOTE: As Lavernius speaks, he moves his arms, head, and body somewhat erratically. He does this because he has lots of energy, loves to show off his body, and believes that people pay more attention to people who use lots of body language.)
Everyone in the tavern erupted into applause and cheers, and amidst all the excitement, a lady standing in front of you faints, you notice a couple people step away from her as she falls, but before you know it, Lavernius caught her in his arms, scooped her up effortlessly, and laid her on a table.
“YOU!” He said, swinging his arm in a wild fashion to point at the man behind the bar who you know to be the owner, Richard. “Fetch me some water for this WOMANN!” Richard looked over to one of the barmaids and snapped his fingers. You glance over to Amelia the barmaid, and back to Richard in time to see Lavernius grab a tankard out of a nearby mans hand and hurl it at Richard with immense strength. Luckily Richard managed to duck just in time for the tankard to smash into the counter behind him, destroying a few bottles, taking out a chunk of the wooden back wall, and sending glass and liquor showering around the bar area.
Everyone, yourself included, stands stunned. Everyone except Lavernius, who takes two quick long strides, launches himself over the bar to stand in front of where Richard is crouched, grabs him by the shirt with one hand, and holds him with his feet at least a foot off the ground, so everyone can see him from behind the bar.
“YOU are not HERE for WOMENNNNNN to serve YOU!” He screamed, spittle flying visibly out of his mouth. “WE!…” He pauses to look around, seeming to make burning eye contact with every man present “… live to SERVE the WOMENNNN who make our lives so WONDERFUL! Now you!…” he looks back directly at Richard, who had stopped struggling, “…will go and get water for this BEAUTIFUL WOMANNNNN!” He points at the woman on the table, who is starting to come to, before he drops Richard, who, without a word, gets a tankard of water and brings it to the woman who had fainted.
Lavernius sits himself down in a chair at the table, and plucks at his Lyre, gazing and smiling at the woman on the table as she sips her water. Everyone looks around, seeming a little unsure, and starts to go back to their own conversations, but not more than a few seconds later, the bard begins to play his lyre loudly, and tells people to dance and be merry.
As people begin to dance and a few other folks join in playing instruments, everything seems to return to normal. You keep your eye on Lavernius that evening, even as you chat with friends. Shortly after the incident, he leans over the bar, says something to Richard which you can only not hear because of the other musicians, and gives him a small bag of gold. Otherwise, the muscle man bard sings, plays music, and flexes for all to see and enjoy, which he seems to believe people do, very much. Despite the commotion, you have a wonderful evening.
Lavernius does have a very nice voice, when singing, but somewhat annoying while he speaks, particularly about women; the very word women, he cannot seem to say without raising his voice. He spends the evening show-boating: lifting a bench with four ladies sitting on it, reading a poem about one time he wrested with a female Owlbear because he would not kill it, and spending any tips he gets on drinks for the women. You can’t help but feel like you’re missing out by not trying to get more of his attention, but either the weariness or the tankards are starting to get to you and you think better of it.
You leave about an hour after midnight. You don’t live far from the docks, and you can hear some of the noise and music in the distance even as you enter your home, and prepare for slumber.
You awake a little earlier than usual the next day, giving yourself time to swing by The Bora Breeze on your way to the docks to see what transpired during the remainder of yesterday evening. Richard, and the barmaids, were finishing cleaning up by the looks of it. You ask Richard about the incident last night and learn that Lavernius had paid him and apologized for the damage he caused, and insisted that Richard use the rest as a bonus to his barmaids, which he did.
Richard tells you that Lavernius played music and shared stories all night, fell asleep for about an hour and left at first light. Richard claims that Lavernius said something about meeting the Queen before he left, but Richard’s eyes are half-closed and he looks like he would fall asleep at any second. You help them finish cleaning and close up for the morning.
You walk down the hill to the docks and start whistling to yourself. Mark finds you at the docks and sings, “Out upon the ocean blue… guess you liked him too?” You realize you were whistling The Ocean, the first song Lavernius had sung, and realized that he wasn’t a bad guy after all, and hoped that he might again visit Esten to share his tales, and bring everyone together for a fantastic party.
Lavernius “The Ripped” Ribert (Pronounced REE-bear) was born in the village of Strawford, whose father, Leslie, was a laborer, and whose mother, Anita, was a singer.
When Lavernius was a child, no more than six years old, his mother would sing him to sleep every night. She also sung during the day, to his father, and to anyone who asked or who would listen. His mother often sat outside their home, singing to those who would gather, and giving bread or soup to those who were hungry. His mother was saintly, and he loved and respected her very much.
Before he was old enough, at age 13, his father brought him to work, because they needed more money and food to support his mother’s charitable nature. The foreman at the site also often offered extra rations to whoever could do the most work during a part of the shift, which Lavernius aspired to earn, and was able to the first time before he turned 14, and nearly each time the year after. For a young boy, he was growing large and strong.
After he turned 16, his fellow laborers invited him to visit the tavern with them, to share a drink, talk about work, and to womanize. His father refused to go with him, saying that he’d rather be at home with his mother, and reminded Lavernius who gave him this life he was going out to enjoy. Lavernius never failed to express his appreciation to her.
He did however learn that not all men are as courteous to women as he and his father were. At the tavern, he noticed his co-workers slapping barmaids on the behind, and calling out at them. He could see that the maids were visibly distressed, and asked the men why they did that. The men told him that because they were men they could do what they wanted. Lavernius asked if they would treat their mother that way, and one of them replied “Nah, but I’d treat your mum that way!” To which Lavernius, at age 16, replied with a fist in the mans face.
Ever since, Lavernius Ribert has worked hard to hone his strength, to be able to protect woman from men like those, who don’t even respect their mothers. He quit the labor work, and began singing in town with his mother, and would fight any man who insulted her or any other woman in front of him. He earned the title “the ripped” since he was so much stronger than the other men in town. Women admired him for his ability to sing, and for his strength, and when he spoke, it was hard to not see things his way, and even harder for those who failed to do so. He decided to strike out into the world to bring his message everywhere. Love women.
Lavernius “the Ripped” Ribert, is a Human Bard who uses his voice, his Lyre, and his muscles to inspire those around him to action.
I imagine him standing at least 6’4″ (193cm) if not a few inches taller, and being the bulkiest, muscle-guy you know. He’s got medium length, curly blonde hair in something like a mullet, and often changes his facial hair, from clean shaven, to full beard, to stubble, to full mustachioed muscle man.
His charisma and strength are his highest stats, and he isn’t particularly intelligent or wise. He loves being the center of attention and will often try to get everyone looking at him, which is when he can “shed tarp”(take off his shirt) and show off his muscles.
He loves women, and everything they do and are. He will attack or at least grapple anyone who attacks or insults a woman unprovoked, and he will not attack a woman unless she attacks him or another woman first. He cannot say the word “woman” or “women” without raising his voice and stressing the “n” at the end.
I imagine him being Lawful Good, or Lawful Neutral, as he tends to follow the rules, doesn’t really like killing, doesn’t really like conflict at all, and would much rather everyone just stay at home and love their woman. Despite all the attention paid towards women and the time he spends in taverns, he is NOT a womanizer and does not visit brothels or bars with the intent of sleeping with anyone. He also will drink, but prefers to be the least drunk person in a room, so that he can fight anyone else. For himself, he’s a hopeless romantic, looking for the one woman he can turn into a mother, and teach his own kids the right way to be, just as his father and mother did for him.
He will fight to protect women, or his friends, and will do almost anything to defend his mother’s honor. In addition to his Lyre, and bardic abilities, he fights with a mace and prefers blunt weapons to bladed, although he could also have a level in Fighter, or Barbarian to make him a little more melee oriented.
When he grants bardic inspiration, if he must, he sings, but when possible (and if allowed in your group) he flexes to inspire his allies. Bodybuilding is his bardic art, and he wants to be strong, both to serve and impress.