There was a time when being a hero was easy. You walked off the farm with a rusty dagger you'd inherited from your parents, found bigger and shinier swords, learned to swing them, and killed a monster to save someone helpless but important. Crowds cheered, the local ruler got all teary-eyed while awarding you a medal, and you could retire rich and famous.
Those days are long gone. These days it's not enough to be a hero. To stand a chance you need to be a Hero. There's a difference. A true hero has that spark of greatness where you slay the monster, enjoy the celebrations, then move up to the next level of challenge. You saved the day, but now you save the whole kingdom from an invading army, cataclysmic force of nature, or [insert other potential destruction of your GM's choosing]. Then you save the entire realm. Then… the universe. Right?
If that's your instinct then you're in the right place. The universe knew it from the moment your soul was formed from raw Pulse and stuffed into your tiny, mewing body. You were gifted a jewel as you went through the formative years of your life. Maybe it's crystal bling encrusted on your heirloom saber, handed to you by a crazy old hermit who dug it out of a dusty chest while talking about your long-dead father. Maybe there's a pendant you found as a kid and can't seem to stop wearing. Whatever - you have a Telesma, and it's not by accident.
Yeah, a Telesma. Plural: Telesmae. The Greek gods named them, though lots of pantheons claim they invented the idea. A Telesma is a spirit of the Maelstrom, smushed into a gemstone and soul-bound to a young mortal. It's a helping hand behind the scenes, a calming voice in stressful times, or a guardian angel (depending on the divine beings who did the smushing). We mortals need the help of our Telesma to cross the Veil and get around the universe. Without one, you’re just a sword-swinger, destined to live a fat and boring life signing autographs in your home realm, living off your one moment of glory. With a Telesma, you're a true hero. Hopefully you're starting to get the idea that being a true hero is a big deal, especially with the Tempest around.