This is my current character in the Artifact Hunters: The Avatar of Torm campaign.
Talindra "Tal" Seryth
Tal was born to a tribe of forest-dwelling Razorclaw Shifters. Though the members of her tribe all had tan skin and brown hair, Tal's colorings were shades of gray and black. This might have simply been a natural genetic mutation, but the tribe believed it to be the mark of an evil god. Fearing a bad omen, they took the infant to a clearing on the other side of the forest, and left her there to die.
Whether by pure chance or divine intervention, the infant was found by a member of the Talons of Retribution, a reclusive order of religious assassins. A somewhat darker offshoot of the Harpers, the Talons are a multi-denominational cult, united by their common hatred of Bane.
The Talons also thought this strange baby was a sign from the gods, but unlike the Shifter tribe, they interpreted it as a good omen. And so they took her in and raised her, training her from infancy for one purpose - to seek out and destroy Bane worshipers.
Personality, Mannerisms, and Appearance:
Tal has a kind heart, but others often see her as rude and unapproachable. She is obsessed with her life's mission, and has little use for hobbies or small talk.
When she shows a sense of humor at all, it tends toward insults and sarcasm, mostly because she holds her teammates up to her standards of discipline. When she fails at something herself, she obsesses over it internally, and will spend days replaying the event in her head and analyzing where she went wrong. Despite her single-mindedness, she has a soft spot for art and beauty.
Tal has catlike facial features, which become more pronounced when she is angry. While most members of her species have brown or tan skin and hair, Tal's colors are more gray and black. She has bright green eyes, often her only visible feature when she's in the shadows. She is missing part of her left ear, and has scars all over her body. Most are the result of a childhood spent in training. She has a small tattoo on her inner left wrist, the symbol of her religious order. She usually wears dark clothing.
Creating this character:
When our last campaign ended, we were in a bit of a rush to decide what to do next. I wanted to try something new, and was open to anything. Someone suggested Avenger, a class which I knew nothing about. I've had the PHB2 since it was released, but for some reason I'd never read the pages on that class. I've got to say, it's interesting. Not as damaging as a normal striker, but it makes up for it by hitting more often.
Originally Tal was going to be an Elf. I even chose the name "Talindra" by searching the web for pages on Elf names. The only thing that bothered me was I was tired of elves. Okay, technically I've not played a full-blood elf in 4e. I played a few in NeverWinter Nights, and in 4e I've played Half-Elves, Drow, and Eladrin. But I still wanted to do something less Elven. At the last minute, less than an hour before I left the house for our first session, I decided to make her a Shifter. I've always liked cats, and I've always wanted to play something catlike. Plus, Shifters have the same stat synergy as Elves for the Avenger class. Our resident statcruncher thinks I've made a mistake, since Elves are faster and can shift through rough terrain. But I've always preferred fluff over crunch.
The next problem was choosing a miniature. I didn't have a mini that really looked like a female shifter, much less one with a greatsword. I finally went with the Catfolk Wilder:
The problem is, Shifters don't typically have black fur. I could have lived with that - a mini doesn't have to look a exactly like your character. But I like the way the mini looks. So I wrote Tal a background that gives her darker skin and hair. The weapons are still wrong, but it's not like she couldn't hold two swords. Maybe that's what she looked like in training. These days she carries a single large blade and wears black robes, but she might occasionally look like her mini when she's practicing.