who knows the pressures of ruling and the expectations of a people
You rule over others, by virtue of birth or conquest. You have never been granted peace, as the demands of your people have grown greater, their suffering more acute. Mortal efforts cannot silence their cries, and so Fate has given you the power beyond mortalkind. Whatever you wish for them, be it the end of war or blight, or a bright new age of conquest and glory, you will take it from the gods themselves.
What quality of your people do you most embody?
What did you promise your people?
What do you owe them?
_______________ most reminds me of the plight of my people.
_______________ shows me what true nobility is.
_______________ reminds me of what I must rise above.
_______________ shows me how my people could be stronger.
who has suffered unimaginable cruelties and is forever hardened
Your story is most tragic. After your innocence was sundered, you threw yourself into battle with all a child’s capacity for passion and abandon, but with no sense of wisdom or restraint. Fate has reached out to touch you with more than simple tragedy—you have seen the true, horrific cruelty that lies at the heart of man, of nature, of the Mythic World. Now, no one will ever hurt you again.
What cruelties have you endured?
What further fuels your limitless rage?
What will, for the briefest moment, recall your innocence?
_______________ is the closest thing I have to family.
_______________ teaches me fascinating things.
_______________ makes me smile.
_______________ makes everything fun.
who has brought loss upon himself and bears a heavy cross
You have lost someone dear, and that has crushed your very soul. You know you could have stopped it. But you weren’t strong enough, or fast enough, or brave enough, and now you are bereft and alone. Your Mythic Heart torments you constantly with the memory, aching with every beat. The only small hope left to you is that your newfound power can help make it so that no one else will know suffering as you have.
Who did you lose?
What should you have done to prevent this loss?
How has losing this maimed your soul?
_______________ gives me reason to continue.
_______________ reminds me of what I’ve lost.
_______________ gives me solace.
_______________ joins me in suffering.
who once served the Mythic world’s gods before seeing them for what they are
You once served the gods and greater Myths (perhaps Norden’s own Odin, Thor, Loki, Freyja, Jörmungandr, Fenrir, or another). Raised to believe in these so-called gods, you worshiped without question. But your god pushed the bonds of your loyalty too far. You fled your life and became branded apostate. That is when you discovered the power to strike back, to teach the Mythic World the true meaning of justice…and vengeance.
What Myth did you devote yourself to, and what form did that devotion take?
What was done to make you flee your oaths and bonds?
What did you give that can never be replaced?
_______________ reminds me of what I was.
_______________ shows me a new way.
_______________ gives me absolution.
_______________ reminds me why I rebelled.
who had been apart from mortals long before becoming a Mythender
You were cast out of your mortal life long ago, and no one has since taken you in. You are a stranger to all, and living apart from others has shown you the truth of mankind’s tragic flaws. You took the power Fate offered you almost as if born to it, to reshape and perfect the world. You may not even remember your life before communing with your Mythic Heart, and it no longer matters. This is your destiny. This is your time.
Why were you cast out?
What skill has best served you in surviving all these years?
What about mortal nature is wrong?
_______________ accepts me.
_______________ eases my work.
_______________ shows me the worth of mortals.
_______________ understands my loneliness.
who struggles with both his mortal and Mythic parentage
You are the child of mortal and Myth, of a vile and questionable union. Your Mythic parent rejected you, and the mortal world could not contain you…but now, you have a third path, of power and revenge. The part of you born from Myth calls constantly, and because of that you fight with untold ferocity. With your last free breaths, you rally against the Mythic World and the callous hand its fickle gods have dealt you.
What Myth are you born from?
Why did your Mythic parent reject you?
What did you gain from your mortal parent?
_______________ sees my humanity.
_______________ stands with me.
_______________ keeps me humble.
_______________ accepts all of me.
First off, much of the advice on Making New Hearts applies in various ways to Pasts. However, Pasts ultimately answer the question of why a Mythender is going to stab gods in their fucking faces.
As with Hearts, the differences can be small or large. You might create a variant of the Abomination called the Once-Myth, who was once the Mythic World’s creation but became mortal. Or you might create something vast in scope that adds to your canon, such as the aforementioned Time Traveler, who fled from a future where the Mythenders failed.
When coming up with a Past, you can’t just say “So you’re a Time Traveler, now what?” Each Past has more focus than that. The Noble isn’t just a ruler, but a ruler who feels she owes something to her people. The Child isn’t just a kid, but one who had his childhood destroyed and can’t keep his anger in check. That’s where the Past’s questions come in—you need to create compelling questions that immediately focus the idea.
The first question should be obvious, in order to set a platform for the character concept. The Noble’s “What quality of your people do you most embody?” starts by assuming that the character is a noble with people, and jumps into asking you about those people. However, it does do without shifting the focus from the character. Asking “What quality is totally awesome about your people?” would often get the same answer, but doesn’t force you to write about your Mythender.
From there, dive into hard and interesting questions—which might stem right from that first one, or might be a separate part of the character concept that makes the Past more than just one-dimensional. The last question for the Child and Abomination both work to give a character depth, and not just be a ball of youthful rage or mini-Myth.
The advice for Weapon ideas is the same as with Hearts. As with Weapon ideas, you should have a couple strong ideas on the Past’s Bonds. If you’re altering an existing Past, look at those Bonds and consider how that alteration changes them, subtly or dramatically. If you don’t see any that change, then your Past isn’t different enough.
Finally, look at how your Pasts pair with the various Hearts. Combining the two is how players will begin to have richer character concepts. Looking at the main six Hearts and Pasts, here are some concepts found in history and media:
These examples don’t all quite match up with the questions those Hearts and Pasts ask, and some people will argue that some of these ideas can fit with other combinations, but you can see how the Hearts and Pasts can inspire awesome Mythenders. More importantly, you can probably see cool character concepts that don’t fit with the current Hearts and Pasts.