The Heroes of Tolmurr
Note: You cannot take this background if you are Fey. A Divine Caster without this background is technically an illegal apostate in the Empire, and will have to be subtle with their magical ability if they want to avoid a witch hunt.
The Academy is a crown jewel of the empire, where divine casters and potential heroes alike
are taken at a young age and trained to become registered heroes of the Emperor. Tasked with protecting the Empire from all threats be them inside or out, your presence gives an adventuring party legitimacy in the Empire. If a registered hero is in good standing, they are trusted to work with their own judgement and pursue any quests that they feel are worthy of their attention.
Skill Proficiencies: Religion, plus one of your choice
Languages: Two of your choice
Feature: Registered Hero
Provided that you keep in good standing with the Empire, the Academy may send you quests from time to time.
If you get into trouble with local law enforcement, the Academy is a higher power, and a name drop can encourage the law to look the other way, or allow you to handle the issue.
Heroes in good standing may get a few nights free food and board in an inn or be allowed other small sundries if it is required in pursuit of their quest.
Abuse of this privilege will result in warnings from the Academy. The punishment for rogue heroes is often a fate far worse than death.
You are a Modron who has disabled their connection to Primus, gaining an identity of your own separate from the Modron collective.
You may have become Storyed by a quirk of the Author and wandered out of the Feywild eyes blinking and confused at your own self identity, been somehow removed from your original plane by a magical mishap, or broken by some happenstance, becoming defective and escaping the collective.
Skill Proficiencies: Stealth, Arcana
Mechanical body: Part of your body has been upgraded from its simplistic origins. You age at 1/2 the standard rate for your race.
Feature: Collective knowledge
Once per long rest you can attempt to exploit your connection to the Modron collective and ask one question of Primus, learning what the Modron know on the subject. When you do so, make a Wisdom (Stealth) check
DC?. On a failure, the Modron know that a rogue unit has taken knowledge from the collective and will start working towards neutralizing the threat. The more often you attempt to exploit your connection and are subsequently discovered, the more resources the Modron will put into disabling you.
(Inspired by Seven of Nine, the escaped Borg, from Star Trek: Voyager.)
Owlbears, basilisks, cockatrices, ents, direwolves, dragonturtles, lycanthropes, vampires. The world is a dangerous place. How is a villager expected to make a living when at any moment a horrible beast could appear from nowhere and kill you and your family? That is where you come in. You do a civil service: you hunt monsters. If you happen to make a little money on the side from it, all the better for you.
Skill Proficiencies: Survival, Nature
Languages: One of your choice
Tool Proficiency: One type of gaming set
Feature: I Know a Guy
You always know the location of someone who can get you a contract to kill a monster for payment.
Additionally, you always know the location of someone who buys rare parts of dead monsters. Raw Vis dug out of dragons, minotaur horns, ent hearts and even griffon gonads are all very valuable to the right customer.
Magic uses are an incredibly powerful force, cursed and divine casters alike. A force that, left unregulated, could cause the world to fall into chaos. This is where the Witch Hunters step in. You have spent your life hunting down and putting an end to rogue magic users. You may be working for The Order to track down apostates, operating in Micinia, Arcadia or The Void to help keep order in the highly magical lands, or possibly for the Fey chasing down bad druids and spirits.
Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Insight
Languages: Two of your choice
Feature: Torches and Pitchforks
Concerned townsfolk will alert the witch hunter to suspected witches in their presence.
The witch hunter can always find enough able bodied and gullible villagers to take on a witch hunt.