Languages: Feyloise (speak/literate), Gladnorian (Speak/Literate – learn the language of your enemies), Fiend (Speak/Literate), Orrish (speak/literate), Celestial (Literate)
Skills: Perception, Deception, Stealth, History, Nature, Arcana
> Knowledge > +2 Rhyl (surface), +2 Drow/Fey Born, +1 Correl [place], +2 Monster Lore
Ability Proficiency: Charisma, Wisdom, Intelligence
Kit Proficiency: Herbalist, Forgery, Disguise (x2 proficiency bonus for ‘usual’ done so often)
Weapon Proficiency: Simple, Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows; drow: rapiers, short swords, and hand crossbows.
Armor Proficiency: Light
Cantrips: Shillelagh, Eldritch Blast, Mage Hand / Minor Illusion, Chill Touch, Prestidigitation, Message, Dancing Lights (Drow)
Spell Book: [prepared = INT mod + Wiz level: 4]
Typical = Sleep (5D8 hp, 90′ lowest HP first, 20′ cube), Unseen Servant (1 hour), Color Spray (6D10 hp, 15′ cone, lowest hp first; blinded 1r), Magic Missile (3 D4+1 force darts, req. attack)
> Improved Minor Illusion > When you cast minor illusion, you can create both a sound and an image with a single casting of the spell.
Dark Patron: Morrigan – daughter of Mizras, crow of the battlefield, feaster on the dead
Known 1st: Hex, Hellish Rebuke, Armor of Agathys (5hp temp/5 cold damage)
Slots: 2 / Level: 1
Eldritch Invocations:  False Life (1 hour, D4+4 temp HP) at will, Repelling Blast (Eldritch Blast forces target 10’ back)
Dark One’s Blessing (“Blood and Souls”)
> Starting at 1st level, when you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier + your warlock level (min of 1) .
Blessings: 17 (can be used as a bless or as advantage)
Channel Divinity: 1
> You know the dancing lights cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the faerie fire spell once per day. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the darkness spell once per day. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Her tactics shift as the situation arises, but when working with a group, prefers to be at the front lines, using her false life and death blow healing as best as she can with stronger colleagues. She has perfected the art of using Unseen Servant(s) [move 15’] to control decoys that draw opponents away from her and force them to change their facing to give her the benefit of a Help action.
armor: Leather (AC 11+1 Dex = 12)
Nurth Seeresses Quarterstaff +1 (petrified wood – 1 resilience); identifiable by Nurth who will want it back and know how it was come by. Sacred to the evil Nurth mother goddess; when it kills a target it wraps the wielder in the grave chill for a round (resistant to cold, even magical) and adds 5 HP to the temporary HP Armor of Agathys provides [if the wielder has it active].
Drow male short sword (stolen – fine workmanship, very light +1 initiative and carvings 1000sp)
Decoy: [2 lbs.] Sticks, twine, and hay. Has a leather face guard (looks like helmet/mask), a strip of leather for torso armor look, over a robe that hangs down. Paper mache hand axe. DC 9 (DC 13 if magically prepared using cantrips to further give it details) Perception check in heat of battle to know its not real.
> Sometimes using dancing lights to make them seem magical as well = more likely to be attacked.
MayBug has a good riding horse, obviously of fine stock. The saddlebags are dyed and embroidered one a sun, the other a moon, both with a strange ladybug type creature on it. And it says “MayBug Detection”. Embroidered on the saddlebags and saddle. A pack and small tent is slung over the back. A short sword is strapped under one saddle bag. Three decoys are strapped on the horse as well.
> Maybug has a tent that that has her logo and bright pennons. At least 1 decoy is set up in text at night as guard.
Cards: “MayBug Detection Specialist”
Are you feeling like someone might be watching you? Think the old woman has put a hex on you?. We can look into any problem, discreetly, no matter how big or small.
MayBug wears a plain robe with a hood, with red and gold trim. Low, new boots show good care and long velvet gloves of dark red. Slung over one shoulder is what appears to a very light satchel, and a pouch is opposite – clearly with a heavy load. Carries a walking stick that looks ancient, about 4.5 feet tall and gnarled, but also has a knife at the hip. MayBug wears thick glasses that gives off a ‘geeky’ look – like a crazy librarian. Also present is a nose piercing and a piercing in each eyebrow – obviously having been there for a long while.
1/Long Rest the character may use Channel Divinity (Mizras) to perform the Riposte Maneuver. The superiority dice used is a 2D4; if it is in darkness or near-darkness it’s 2D6 (+ INT bonus)
Can use the Prestidigitation cantrip as a Reaction, but only when the target is self, and only to change the color of the skin. Can continue the effect subsequent rounds simply by brushing the charm bracelet given by the party he betrayed.
Eye of Revealing
Only usable by Warlocks and Nurth characters. The possessor must attune it.
1/short rest it can be active for 1 hour; Base effect is Arcane Eye (4th), but its sight range is 120’. The eye may, for 3 rounds as a Bonus Action use one of the following special sights: darkvision, detect magic, detect invisibility. Any or none of the special sights may be active at the same time. The possessor can cast detect evil/good which lasts for 3 rounds but after the effect ends, they themselves are struck blind for 10 rounds. If the possessor has a use of Channel Divinity and is a Nurth or pledged to a god or arch power with a portfolio of deception or war/combat it can be expended to reveal hidden opponents using the eye’s vision, or to negate a single instance of being surprised as a Reaction.
> This is kept on a necklace, a leather thong, and pinned between her breasts when they are wrapped tight.
[This is her Arcane Focus, she appears to grasp her heart when she casts, its obvious its something under her clothes unless her hands are inside her robes as well to hide the casting.]
Taken as either presents or from the auction of the adventuring band:
> 2 Scrolls with 1 illusionist spell each (short hand/needs cipher) Mage Armor, Silent Image
> 1 Cipher/Key for written works
> Apprentice Spell Book Autographed by the magus Kormarils; “For your journey into mystery!” In the back is a shorthand cipher for the illusory script. There are 4 more pages empty ready for new spells. [Gaevana has scratched out “mystery” and written “misery” above it.] 1st) Detect Magic, Shield, Fog Cloud, Disguise Self, Illusory Script, Sleep
> Apprentice spell Book in addition to my own: Autographed “to Xen from Master Kormaril – Holder of the reigns of dream and mystery. To my first apprentice – this will provide plenty of room for you to add in your journey as apprentice and trusted companion. Always make sure to cover the basics, a magus can always find a place as a scribe of other roles – you will never be without if you are a true man of the profession. Many great adventures await! [dated 4 years ago]. It is a locking spellbook (DC 12) with an Alarm spell on it. The back page is some poetry – it is permanent Illusory Script; the cipher key is a DC 17.
1st) Detect Magic, Comprehend Languages, Illusory Script, Find Familiar, Disguise Self, Protection from Good/Evil, Magic Missile, Color Spray
2nd) Alter Self, Invisibility, Misty Step, Phantasmal Force
3rd) Water Breathing
4th) Hallucinatory Terrain
+ There are 14 more pages empty, ready for new spells.
A Potion of Healing
10 trinkets hidden in books from masters mundane collection of books and book collection on crystals and sound gardens.
3 potions of There/Not There (makes you invisible until you move or do anything; max
10 minutes) sewn into fancy robe (100 silver for robe)
1 Illusionist “bug-out bag” – this was the masters grab bag when all else failed and he needed to preserve his life.
Permanent illusion of a empty satchel with a few dirty clothes and broken sandals; inside is Nozls Pigments (3 uses), book w/3 spells (1×2/2×1), 1 ocular lens from defeated transmuter that has 1 use each of Enlarge and Shrink when looked through – for creating guards to slow down pursuit, and getting small to hide!
Spells: Invisibility, Hallucinatory Terrain, Phantom Steed
Ashlens Hoop: The rope is 100′ cord and can support #400 lb weight at a time. [Gaevana was inked magical glyphs on it.] The end can be used to form the opening for the spell Rope Trick, is tied in a loop and thrown into the air where the caster wants the portal to be.. The spell is cast at 14th level (if the spell is known by the possessor, add the casters level) and there are 19 uses left of it.
Kormoril’s Medic x3: A crystal figurine that when broken casts Unseen Servant. The servant can perform only 1 of 2 tasks – to help support the weight of a walking wounded or to deliver the scroll in the satchel which explains that the unseen presence is to bring help from and it must search out the nearest medical like facility.
> Gaevana is researching how he did this.
1 Illusionist charm sewn into a ridiculous looking hat: 1/Long Rest the small charm of a dog can be connected to the bone charm when an illusion spell is cast and that spell is considered to have concentration for the next 10 rounds while the caster is able to use another spell that requires concentration. At the end of the 10 rounds, the caster can choose which spell persists and get their continued concentration.
Treatise penned by Gaevana herself:
“On the Permanence of Illusory Script”
This details her attempts to find an ink, when combined with blood of a freshly vanquished enemy (within 3 rounds of death – killed by the illusionist themselves) that would not degrade after 10 days. The flaw seems to be anyone possessing the eyes of the person who them blood is from can read the writing. It requires the eye of a creature that can see into other realms to make permanent.
Gaevana was a member of House Despana of the Drow culture, and grew up on the edges of of the twilight realm of Haerzovina. Bordering the Feywild, The Deeping, and and the forbidding Rhyl Forest of the Steel Realms it is a place of deep shadows, long nights, and verdant and lush canopy. The southern branch is the river Gallu, and the region south of it named Meargensdale – after Meargan Hothwillow the Ranger who killed the Cloud Giant Krael Bolga in the river’s headwaters. It is somewhat remote, and like of all Rhyl its people follow most of the Freelander culture – they are independent, self-sufficient and distrustful. They adhere more to the Wyld Faith than any organized church and venerate the Druids over other divine types. Each year there are games and challenges and from the region is sent the best to be trained as a High King’s ranger; a source of great pride in the region. The Duke of Rhyl’s family is seen as mostly positive, having always supported the freelander way, and interceded and gotten help from the High King when it’s been needed. The Deeping is weak in the region, but the Feywild boundaries are thin in many places. The underdark realms normally find no purchase, but the Drow have spent the last 300 years excavating an ancient Ducateon fortress that was washed out – attacked by elemental magics of water, ice, mist and fog (over a thousand years ago – strange dark trolls thought to have been some sort of allies of the Lich Lords)… there are still frozen trolls that come alive once more when unfrozen. It is a dangerous thing, but it is a multi-generational task for the two hundred or so Drow represented by three houses.
– What the ultimate goal is unknown, but the drow are using goblin slaves to excavate, and are trying not to alert the forces of darkness – normally their allies – only the senior members of the Drow enclave know its purpose and details.
She was what the surface dwellers call Fey-Born, a member of the midnight race of the Drow. All her family and ancestors for three thousand years has taken on the mantle of the priesthood of Lolth (also called Lolithnia), and she was groomed from an early age to continue the tradition. Her early years were normal by her culture’s standard – slavery, torture, drugs, sex, and the many tests to make one hard, and inured to the culture of violence, death, and tyranny that are its trademarks. Certainly she developed the moral flexibility to be able to withstand all manner of depravity. But from the time of pre-adolescence, there was something “wrong” with her. Even then, she grew bored. She poured through copies of the annals and archives she had available, wondering if this were all to life – endless scheming, competition, the strong survive, like so many animals? The history and legends were rife with epic tales of struggle against the surface dwellers and their foul cousins of the forest. Of great and strange beasts and monsters… she became a walking encyclopedia of such knowledge. The legends came alive in her mind and she imagined herself many of the heroes and champions, changing the way her kind related to the cosmos, paving the way for change and domination by the Drow. Unlike most Drow she spent countless hours in the libraries of her house and that of the temple of Lolth. She developed many a false cover to justify her longing of tales and myth over the daily brow beating of slaves and domination over the weaker males. She was caught in the lies she wove time and again, and punished time and again with flogging.
However the twilight realm had many secret warrens and tunnels… places where the young can easily get lost – which she often did. Her mother often said the warrens were much like her head and thoughts – riddled with holes, incoherent and mostly empty. Even for one of her kind she was a loner – reinforced by the “strongest survive” and “trust no one” principles in her culture. She has extremely sensitive hearing, not something one wants to possess when entire careers and grades are made or broke over the mutterings behind ones back. This drew her to the endless echoes of these places. Whispers from the far deep places – voices in elven tongues, the tongue of goblins and orks, even fiends from the outer reaches did she recognize. It drew her to languages, which fascinated her. She was very smart, and made it a habit to always be literate in any language she was fluent speaking. Some languages she studied as an academic exercise, and only learned their written form. She became certain there was three main whisperings, in multiple languages. “Who are you?”, “What do you want?”, “How can you get it?” The last one one was odd, in that it was a question more to ask herself, rather than answer. She began to answer, forming a new self identity. She would talk in whispers, learning to control it and make her answer echoed down ancient passages, black as the void. Her own kind began to avoid her, so strange did she seem.
When she would go to vespers, and recite the rites of initiation and the prayers for victory, it was not her family, her house and her people that she was seeing victorious. It was her and her alone. The “Glory of Lolth” meant to cause fear and hesitation in their foes became something much more violent. For hours she would fantasize about the blackened beams of energy that would spring to her hands and torture her opponents. When it came time to demonstrate the Glory she had envisioned, she would use Mage Hand to add streamers and manipulate physical things she had built and it would not compare to the greater glory her peers were able to demonstrate through thaumaturgy. She was ridiculed by a younger female of her house, and she lost her temper. On her family steps she drew upon the the dark shadow of raven’s wings, envisioned the crows feasting on the eyes of her enemy and struck down the younger one who mocked her. Killed her, though the girl tried to defend herself. For her penalty, she was pierced and hung by her skin for days at a time. Maggots were grown in her flesh to feed the spider temples denizens and she nearly died of infection several times. After that she was forced to spend a year with the younger females, a year backwards. She almost killed a member of another House again suffering the humiliation. She learned to terrorize them with her powers, and this was deemed as progress of a sort. Never again would she evince her full powers deemed “unclean” by her reverend mother – she found ways to fake the thaumaturgy they expected. Never again would she give in to a momentary lapse of control for some small victory. She became rigid and lawful. The struggle with one inner demon had ended, she has mastered her Drow and elven chaotic nature.
She was drawn to the gates and borders of the Feywild realm – less from the books than from the hints the shadows in the darkness whispered. Unlike other of her kind, she was interested in the allure and Drow of the land where her ancient kin live in a state of bliss – they control what happens and the humans who come to it must bow down to the elven rulers. Time and again she sought out a whispering that would lead her to the faerie realm. She even attempted self-cutting, some sort of blood sacrifice that would open the pathway up. Starvation was added to the list and one day she felt as if the bottom had dropped out of the world, but all was the same around her. She walked in the darkness and the dark of nothing overhead became the sky of night time in the realms above. Her frame of mind was demented – lack of food, blood, and water completely disconnected her from reality. She became feral. For years she wandered the lands taking in everything and avoiding everyone. She grew to become good at hiding herself, but her survival skills never improved much – she are frogs, tubers, and all manner of things unsavory to barely live. Then she started interacting with the denizens when she saw her first town – trying to lose her Drow accent was tough at first but became easy as she just thought of it as a part to play. She became to look like a wild denizen – covered in dirt, leaves, flowers at times, a moss cap, leaf shoes… mostly naked. After a year, she began to look less gaunt, and finally had her nutrition back having learned the hard way which plants were poisonous. Fortunately for her, nearby was some sort of talking rock that knew of many a moss treatment of its collected brethren to heal wounds and leach poisons and diseases out of a system. Her newfound discipline paid off grandly, for the rock “talked” extremely slow, but she had the patience. She did not run when it first exclaimed its presence with a long drawn out hello. She figured out that its speech was just deep and slow, and spent over a year alone traveling with the thing, called a Galleb Duhr. She decorated it with geometric lines and colors, and it helped her to learn some better skills in dealing with the denizens. Finally it told her that it had collected, albeit slowly, all of the minerals it needed for its trip and must be returning from when it came. She bid it a teary farewell and she was left alone – though better equipped to deal with the world she found herself in now.
She made the mistake of approaching a figure she felt would be open to her plight, one of the Seelie Fey, who outright surprised her and she was too quick to react. She was forced for years to serve as a game drover – flushing out game on wild hunts. Several times she was wounded by an arrow – never once did she believe it to be an accident. The resentment and anger begin to well up deep inside her again. She would have her revenge, and the time for the first chance came on the night of a new moon. She was resigned herself to watch she must do. Her actions were almost all foreseen with the unsettling thought detection the hunt masters had. This time everything seems to work in her favor… even the wound she took in raising her hands to cover her eyes – an arrow through the palm. All she could think of was to get the arrow out – she broadcast it as powerfully as she could and it was no lie. When the huntress came up to perform her usual gloating and help pull the arrow, she held it aloft. Before the huntress could say anything more, she raised her pierced hand to her hunters face, and drove the arrow through her own hand, into her enemies left eye. All the animals collected that day burst their bonds and all the slaves ran for their freedom. In the confusion, she fled her captors and into the deep and forbidding loaming of the Yellow Moon Hollow.
She hatched a plan to catch one of the fey folk with her new-found knowledge and she did. Using her meagre hunting skills, she managed to trap a slightly drunken faerie. On pain of death, she forced the sprite-like creature to teach her the cantrip to turn ordinary stick into a weapon – a form of the ‘living weapons’ that her surface relatives were so famous for. She executed horrible agony on the poor creature – for all the misdeeds done to her, she made the little creature pay them back. The torture of the creature brought unwanted attention and she was hunted down by an elven rider, chased for miles and terrified. She could not goad him to face her hand to hand to use her new magic skill. A scratch here, a bruise there, and after a while she was a mess of minor wounds. He anger grew until she felt she would explode. The next pass he made, she released her pent up anger with words and images in her mind. She was able to replicate the “unclean” powers that her mother had punished her for. She could now do that at will! It hardly stopped the rider, he seemed more than capable at dealing with her weak magics with more skilled ones of their own. Closer and closer the rider came, laughing maniacally, no saddle at all he just seemed to be a master rider vanquishing her without much effort. Just as she thought he was going to ride her down, tiara glinting in the sun, her sword brandished above her head (it was quite clear with the flowing hair, bosom and tiara that it was a ‘she’), the stars seemed to fall out of the sky… “Just remember what it felt like being on the receiving end little fool!” And with that, she collapsed onto wet fungus – and woke up with no time having passed in the second rate fungus fields used to feed the males and slaves of her Drow family. Naked. The humiliation of her and to her family lasted years.
At a formative place in her life she was branded as lazy, mindless, and derelict in her duties and a fallen adherent of her faith. All the time he mind was on deciphering the echoes and whispers, it caused he to suffer in her studies and be picked on by her peers. She developed skills in forging notes from her reverend mother to excuse her from duties, and to disguise herself as others to get out of the township proper and travel the vast distances in the Underdark. She had the learn skills none of her peers would even think about – skulking and quick thinking to talk her way out of situations. She got very good at impersonating males even, put together (stole) her early disguise kit, and her forgery kit… it forced her to learn to not just be literate in all languages she learned but she was compelled to study how they developed and the history of regions, nations, boundaries, and borders. She became several years ‘behind’ her peers in her studies. Repeatedly she was flogged. Fear grew in her, for failure would mean death. The voices finally began to speak. And she grew rapt on what she was on the verge of discovering, she believed it would all be worthwhile and that she could escape her dismal kin. She was discovered, and the punishment worse than ever… sodomy… by the low-born males… for weeks. And through her screams a silence could be heard, and a single word rang out in the dark: REVENGE. The fear and pain was replaced by zeal. She had found the source of one whisper. Revenge was what she wanted.
She picker her studies back up with zeal and religious fervor that her superiors were looking for. She narrowly avoided death. She began her “contemplation’s in darkness” – long walks in the dark after which she would return and spout everything the religious elders and reverend mothers wanted to hear – she would play their game. Once on a sojourn by herself, she was vexed by whispers in the darkness she could not uncover. Strong and single-minded, she returned each week for a full dozen cycles, seeking the source of the whispers, following them through the warrens that skirted The Deeping – even her kind knew not to meddle with its power idly. She was thwarted time and time again… finally, exhausted one night, she stopped and listened to them. And they spoke to her of the faerie realm, and its lures. The teachings of Lolth forbid her followers to seek solace in the Feywild, and when she asked her mother superior, she had her mouth sewn shut and was scourged for a week. This infuriated her more, and when she was free she sought out the darkest places on the edge of her realm and sought to call forth the whispers. She went back and started at the beginning… she sought one word: revenge. After years of tirelessly hearing them, she was finally able to converse with them. By then, she was considered an outcast of her society. She did just enough to keep them from banishing her, or killing her, but became a loner, and was often beaten and ridiculed by others – even lowly males. Great was the malice that she harbored. No one was exempt. Every house, every caste, everyone knew she was weak – even the slaves dared to stare at her and meet her gaze. The Reverend Mothers considered killing her many times, but marveled at her will – they hoped the crucible would forge a weapon they could use.
At least, after years of searching she could ask and the dark whispers would answer. At first it was meaningless conversation, but slowly it took shape. The dark whispers goaded her to violence, against the many that had wronged her. It told her what to do and what to say, and soon she was following the precepts of her mother’s demon goddess Lolth as if she was born to it… but the litany of deceit was always in the back of her mind, and the ultimate betrayal and revenge was her goal. She learned the secrets of mycology and botany from the voices – secrets the reverend mother did not want younglings to know… for much of Drow ‘politics’ was accomplished through poison. The tenets of her ex-faith became a reflection of the dark loyalty she was developing… and the priests of Lolth did not seem to notice that her benedictions and oaths of fealty were false… her new patron, the teacher of revenge was more powerful than the old fools who fawned over the spider-altars. She had them well deceived, and had no name for her patron but ‘master’. And upon her special day, when she was to become a priestess herself, she prepared the bitter drink of revenge. The dark whispers had for years told here were to find a special fungus… cave mana that was toxic, but looked normal. The whispers told her how to prepare it, and little by little, she became resistant to its effects. She was sick from it, and teased by her peers again and again because she was so sickly, beaten when she was weak. Each leer, each blow, each harsh word was marked in her brain and gave her the focus to continue her plan.
On the day of ordination, she prepared the sacred offering that all of her fellow novices would eat and drink from. She sprinkled the poison she had been preparing for years liberally on the sacrament. For hours they went through the motions of the ritual, prayer, and swearing of fealty to the traditional demon goddess of Lolth. Finally, the time to consume the sacrament was nigh. She, along with all of her peers, consumed and shared in the libations together. A sacrifice of a human male, and elven male were made as they drank…. the Drow women mixed the blood of their racial enemies and chanted their prayers to the demon goddess. The women began their orgy of death, with Nurth servants made to run gauntlets as the drinking continued and the chains of sanity were slipped. That’s when the drug began to take hold. The screams of pain and rage mingled with those of ecstasy and orgasm. From beyond the chapel, it sounded as if it were a normal night of excess in the generation’s indoctrination to the spider queen’s faith. She marked each moan, each scream, every tortured spasm from her peers as the drug took hold. She reveled in her own cunning, and orgasmed as each one of her hated enemies died in agony. She has consumed so much herself that she even lay on the verge of death… but even lying on the floor, wracked with agony as the drug coursed through her, she locked the eyes of those next to her and whispered the terrible truth as they died ever so slowly… that she was the instrument of their demise. For many years these women were her “sisters”, now they were nothing more than corpses in her wake of revenge.
At the cycle end, the doors to the temple were opened and the carnage revealed. She alone was alive, in agony, but alive. They took her to be a victim and rushed her to the infirmary. They believed that she would die too. She kept up the act, and in the course of the reverend mothers discussing next to her, heard once again their disregard for her… “why could not one of the other, more promising ones have survived?”, “of all to live, why her?”, she was stupid, a vapid wench, and all that she lacked in their opinion was revealed. She marked every word. The full force of her House and the realm was brought to bear, and they sought out the source of this death. An entire generation of priestesses had been wiped out, and they would learn the truth eventually. She had to make alternate plans… she originally had planned to slip away long before now, but the drug had affected her too much. It was clear of her system quickly though, and they assumed she was just going to die eventually… she kept up the appearances they expected. As the House and enclave were called to the central altar to pray to their patron and reveal the cause of this destruction, she slipped out the unguarded passages. The empty halls were daunting to slip through, she kept expecting to get caught but all were at worship. Passing the kitchens, she took some fare to survive on the run. Her plan had not dealt farther than her revenge… living and running was an afterthought. Through the barracks she crept, gathered her meager belongings, and stopped when she saw yet another opportunity. When she saw the barracks, all of priestesses had already had their holy symbols made for them by the high priestess and they lay waiting for them, on each of their beds. Consecrated holy symbols to the demon goddess… Her hate and anger boiled over and she saw red. She collected them up and in a fit of deepest hate she emptied all the barracks chamber pots on them, and lit the entire set on fire.
Now she had to run, for the smoke would soon set off alarms. Instead of running to the nearest gate , she sought the most dangerous route to the surface to throw her pursuers off – beyond The Deeping, going down and inward. The Glass Eyed Gate literally lived up to its name. The eyes of those who sought entry from deep under the earth were all encased in glass and and enchanted to watch those coming from down the Ferring Tunnel – the tunnel leading to Cryetia’s Den (a Nurth priestess) and the Ragnatva of Melatar (a goblin shrine and last place before the tunnels lead up into a river cave and the lands of The Blood of Saemon. The only thing barring her path was a single male fighter… Aduvar was his name, and he was in this place because she had shamed him with her wit and duped him into repeating a heresy to Lolth. Aduvar never spoke to her, but he could tell she was running, and hear the far off alarms. He drew his short sword and came in for the blow to kill her. It was a merry dance, for long minutes she could not afford… but dance they did. She fought defensively, and he was hyper aggressive. A few times she was wounded, but the dark whispers had taught her well… and she bided for her opportunity. Silently she prayed, and swore that she would hold the darkness close if she could but see as he saw. Suddenly, the luminescent glow of the fungus faded into black. And she was able to see as if out of all the eyes posted to ward off enemies of the Drow. In pure darkness, she taunted him – whispering his name and his family’s in the darkness. She could “see” what he was planning and she prepared the perfect counter. Ragged of breath he lunged, trying for a killing blow. Her many eyes of perspective allowed the time a riposte perfectly. He never knew what hit him as the dagger pierced his left eye and went into his brain – where she left it embedded. At the drop of the body, the light returned and she could hear the whispers leading her away. A strange energy passed through her, and she felt part of the life force she had just taken infusing her and regained a portion of her vitality that she had lost to small wounds in combat. An angry mob sounded opposite the whispers. Desperately she took all she could from the fighter’s body and smashed the dozens of eyes in glass – freeing the last trapped remnants of the creatures. She took one though, for some reason, and placed in a black sack and climbed the walls, slipping silently out and down the ancient passage.
Realizing now that she could see in absolute darkness, she followed the whispers. She ran until she was weak, and she knew she would have to deal with the Nurth guards when she came to them. She had the manic endurance of the hunted, and came to Creyetias Den. It was an outpost of Nurth guarding the passage to the Drow enclave; fodder to buy time for her people. When she arrived, she knew she had only an hour or so before her pursuers would arrive. She demanded to see the Seeress, and her brashness and race got her what she wanted. Immediately the Seeress knew there was danger and the stench of death hung about her. There were no small words, and well-wishings. She hoped to play on the Nurth’s hatred of her people, and told her what she had done. The Seeress was not moved visibly, but silent. When asked what she wanted from the Nurth, “only a chance to live” was her reply. The Seeress took her before the primitive Nurth mother’s shrine and chanted for several minutes.
Nothing moved, and all was silent. “I have glimpsed your future – the mother has told me. You will go to the lands of light, hidden amidst the old blood of the surface dwellers is the only place where you will find safety. Even now, the evil spirit of Lolth seeks you out, a messenger of those you betrayed with words that will brand you traitor. This you cannot escape without leaving behind everything. Your soul will not know peace. You were reborn in death and violence and this will follow you. Do you accept this exile?” Her only answer was a low whispered affirmative. The old woman said that her own penalty would be death for helping her… but her time had come and she was ready – vengeance of her own she seemed to mutter. The Seeress asked for a token to anchor the enchantments that would aid her to escape, and all she had was the eye in glass – which seemed to be perfect for the ritual The Seeress had in mind. “Follow the whispers in the darkness, and they will lead you to your destiny, but behold! You must face the agent of your past!” With that a presence stole into the religious chapel. The air grew cold. She could not see it, but could sense it. It circled around and around, edging closer each time. Finally the aged Seeress spoke words in her native tongue, invoking her strange mother-goddess. In the meantime the Seeress has enacted a ritual, cutting her hands that dripped on the floor and smearing the blood with her staff of power, etching a symbol in blood around the eye encased in glass lying on the floor. “Watcher of the depths, aid your mother now! It comes, those that would seek to destroy your altar. Take my life to make them see the error of their ways and turn them back. Let them see not that which their agent has found, and let its prey see the agent of her enemy. Eye of the watcher, be forever vigilant to she who freed you and for her now cast your revealing gaze!” Upon uttering the last syllable, the eye rose, spinning into the air. The Seeress screamed in pain, and clutched her left eye, falling to her knees. The attendants all ran for the shadows, and the eyes began to spin around the altar. She could feel the presence in the room halt, and focus all its attention on the magical eye. Around and around, weaving a strange pattern it went. Her eye happened to be drawn to it and glanced at the altar pieces laid out where she was hidden behind. On one of them was a sacrificial dagger. She grabbed up the weapon and once again felt the darkness about her. Looking around she knew the area had been covered in magical darkness. She could see the cube, bobbing in the air and felt the movement of the evil presence. Gathering her strength she pushed away, stood up and ran across the altar, leaping to snatch the eye from its position. A dreadful hissing sound followed her as she sailed through the air and she felt a terrible rending across her gut. Crying out in pain, she grasped the cube of the eye and the creature she could not see before was made visible! The creature lunged for her, but was distracted by a crackling bolt of energy. The Seeress had joined the battle. Together they fought the creature, invisible as it was to the Nurth attendants, they tried to attack it at their Seeress commanded. After a minute of solid fighter, several Nurth lay dead and she and the Seeress huddled behind the altar. The creature was bloodied and beaten, but not dead. A hissing sound grew in crescendo as the beast was, in its own way, releasing some sort of magic upon its enemies. A shadow formed not more than an arms distance from them – a terrible shadow with eyes like empty pits to the void. The Seeress last light, upon which everyone’s sight was lessened, and the shadow creature was blasted into near nothingness for a moment. The Seeress leaned to her… “My magics are spent… you must kill me. Do not let either of these creatures take me. I know the master you serve, and what you are even if you know not yourself, and like our mother she is the Shepard of souls from the fields of the dead. Strike now, while you can.” With a blood covered hand, she grasped the hand holding the cube and her hand holding the sacrificial dagger from the altar. Guiding it to her heart and holding Gaevana’s hand steady, it was thrust into her and Gaevana felt the rush of vitality again, filling her reserves. Briefly, she registered that the eye in the cube was no longer a withered, putrid thing but an eye full of vitality. She felt the divine power of the cave dwelling Nurth mother-goddess flow from her follower into the sacred dagger. The blood that pumped from the Seeress’s heart ran down her arm, dripping onto the eye. The wizened old woman croaked out a final curse or blessing – who knows… but the creature of shadow seemed stunned by it, and the candles on the altar sprang to life with red flame, the red of blood. The serpent entity which had snuck up on them while the exchange was happening hissed defiantly and reared back – burned by the newly alight candles. In a last sacrifice, it lunged at the pair and grabbed the dying Seeress (who flung herself in its way) in it maw. Seeing it perfectly through the power of the eye, she performed the same maneuver against the beast as the male Drow, sending the sacrificial dagger into the serpent assassin’s left eye. It pierced the eye, and Gaevana bore down for all she was worth, driving it in so that her hand, up to her wrist was embedded in its eye. The serpent shuddered in place, vibrating and shaking, making her teeth rattle and one of them break. She left the dagger in the beast, taking everything she could of any value and throwing it into her pack, sack, and she took the priestess’s robes and shoes.
The Nurth had scattered, their warrens going off in all directions into inky black depths. With her sandals, and her small size, she blended in and would be difficult to track. Not far away she could hear commands in her Drow tongue. She made her way by following a few Nurth who she heard mutter the name of the place to the Ragnatva of Melatar. She prayed for the cover of darkness and the luck of her patron. Counting steps, counting bodies, counting the cost of everything of the butchery done. There was one last test the her dark patron had in store… or was it only one? This time it was not her own kind, but the Nurth. Backed into a warren dead end, she faced three of the servile, wretched, disease caked beasts. She invoker a prayer that seemed appropriate… and the dark vigor of false life filled her. Along with a burning need to cast low her foes. She drew the short sword of the Drow warrior she killed and smoothly entered combat. She had watched the warrior from every eye at the gate, seen every move, and found every nuance… it was easy to take down such low creatures. Though her inexperience and overconfidence cause her to take a terrible blow on her leg. As she drew ragged breath down to 2 on 1, shew drew upon the reserves of energy from deep within her, taking the first one with a second thrust, driving through its abdomen and she could feel the life-power flowing through her and grew angry and arrogant that such paltry opponents were hers -longing for a foe of power to test her mettle on. The last Nurth screeched and drove its filthy dagger toward her. She stopped the blow by catching the dagger with her hand, literally piercing her own upraised palm, keeping the arm of her enemy raised she drove the point of the short sword into its armpit and ripped it free in a shower of blood. Kicking the dying victim aside she held her hand up to see the wound slowly heal – infused with the life of the dead creature. She finally had a taste… she could see why the males fought in the pits of the Drow, the feeling of being alive and so close to death was intoxicating.
By stealth and the sheer number of warrens to search she managed to elude her Drow pursuers. She kept hearing distant whispers and followed them down dark tunnels until she knew she was close. What she landed in was beyond her wildest dreams. Just as the Drow were arriving, angry and exhausted, an adventuring party from the surface had attacked the Ragnatva shrine! Probably seeking its riches for treasure, there was a battle of epic proportions. A priest of the hated god Ikribu had called forth burning light. The elder Drow priestesses brought down curses of darkness, and near their homeland, it took great power to withstand them, but withstand them he did – strong this priest was and a conduit of True Light he had become… this group had prepared for the dangers they would face. Like molten lava he burned away the darkness as his companions tore into the goblins. It would have been slaughter, were it now for the Drow. The priestesses were winded and exhausted from pursuit, but powerful and angered. Many an enchantment was called forth, against the raw power of the near-agent of the Lords of Light. When all had grown sufficiently tense and chaotic, explosions rocked the air! The invader’s Dwarven commander – seemingly the leader of the adventurers – cast ceramic jugs that caused stone and body parts to go flying. In the shadows she watched each side try and destroy each other, with no idea the cause or her location; a pair of thieves pried the myriad of rubies from the goblin shrine, only to be swarmed and have one of their number stabbed to death, and the other make it away with the loot and his life – but barely. Two strong warriors with axes fended waves of goblins, and one was taken down by the unexpected Drow before the wizard of the group was able to neutralize the male fighters and their poison by using summoned creatures – later she would learn it was all illusion. After 30 minutes, and many deaths, the priest of light was finally laid waste to by the curse of darkness and the Drow. In the confusion and violence, a voice came out of the shadows, clear and crisp: “Gaevana thou art cursed. Outcast, betrayer, liar, and murderer you are branded. While her power still holds sway far from the light I mark you forever more. All of the Fey Born are obliged to kill you upon sight. Whatever happens, you will never have a home with your own kind!” The world went white with an agonizing fury. She felt held down by some invisible force, and as if a brand were thrust upon her head and knew she had been marked by the spider queen demon goddess of her people. The surge of divine power left the entire area ringing. She recovered as fast as everyone else, faster even with the aid of her dark patron and it gave her a moment to assess the area. She saw this as an opportunity and in a lull approach them, pretending to be nothing more than a wounded Drow “servant”. She managed the deception well enough and offered to lead them out of the dark, in exchange for protection on the surface world. She briefly told a story that portrayed her as a sacrifice that was going to happen and the party interrupted. It explained the presence of Drow, their hatred of her and on the surface seemed plausible. Hastily, the party agreed. She could see in total darkness, even the magical on the curse had brought down and guided the party back along the path they had come in on. Strangely, no one seemed to question this… the strange ways of her dark patron had manifested themselves again! It was very easy – she just followed the trail of bodies. The Drow were greatly wounded and had little left to give chase with.
Leading the party out had to let the goblin attack first to get it within range, then let her rage and hate rip power from her core and blast it will a hellish rebuke.
The goblins were terrified and the party managed to stagger back into the lands of light. It burned. Beyond all belief it burned and rendered her nearly immobile. The warriors called her a wretched thing, the remaining thief even maligned her. Perhaps they were only coping with death – the priest, 2 men at arms, a thief, and a holy warrior (the priest’s best friend) had all died, along with a shield man and some servants… they all made fun of her. Only the wizard said nothing. After buying her a “grand meal” and dressing her, they cast her out into the back alley of some crowded urban area, and began their bragging and mourning of the dead. As the sun fell, and the party raged on, the events of past 2 days finally caught up. She sobbed uncontrollably, and loudly, and that was how the wizard Kormaril found her. She was covered in blood and filth, and the wizard referred to her has a “he”, and she knew that males had a more dominant position on the surface so she never corrected him. He took pity on her, and offered ‘him’ a job – an arrangement until he could get on his feet to clean and tend to his place for room and board. This was a weakness to be exploited!
The money that the group had amassed from the shrine’s treasure was enough to nearly retire – a king’s ransom, but while a victory was celebrated no one was dumb enough to advertise the scale of it. Kormaril was sought out, wined, dined, and played the fool when needed and powerful mage when moments called for it – Gaevana noted his shifting personality and that he was more cunning than he let on. Soon the truth of her gender was revealed, but Kormaril said nothing. He continued to refer to her as a “him” in all other company. They exchanged training in languages and Kormaril asker her if she would apprentice with him. She agreed. She had had plenty of exposure to magic in observing the males of her House, but the priesthood was what she was destined for (or so she was told). She proved to be a very quick study. It turned out that Kormaril’s last apprentice had died on the attack on the shrine, so she inherited all of his gear, marked with an “K” and Kormarils sigil. Diligently she worked, 16 hours a day, for an entire sun-cycle of the surface world throwing herself in the training. As an apprentice she served as his barrier to entry, she had access to several minor magic items that were used to assess the intent of visitors, and she was taught to disguise herself. The surface dwellers were not kind to the dark ones; “Fey-Tainted” the wizard called her. On the surface, her kind often went stark raving mad (she had heard this as well). He had never seen anyone so focused though, so immersed… and he attributed that to keep her focused on contemplating the horrible searing orb in the sky that caused such a distraction. She was there at many a feasting, joined by his friends who were amused at the “Pet Fey” he had taken. Many lewd comments about her status as “pool boy”, being house broken or potty trained and such things were made. He never joined them, but he never defended her either. After a year she began to wonder how he supported himself. There were visitors from other practitioners of magic, and politicians, and local celebrities seeking his advice and counsel. Finally, a year and a half later she had learned enough of the laws, language, customs, and society of the surface dwellers to put it together. All the loot from the shrine had never been taxed. All the proceeds they kept for themselves and would sometimes laugh at having “hoodwinked” the tax agents. In the meantime too she had discovered her master’s proclivity for young men (not boys) and realized he had a relationship with this apprentice that died. Compared to the world of depravity she had come from, this was tame, and he soon felt safe with her, in talking about romance and sexuality. She did once overhear the rogue (“Tommy”) refer to him as a “poof” – the rest of the party obviously though that her master and she (still a “he” for all they knew) were in a relationship. Really, she began to dread the constant parties – aside from her master she was learning wizardry from, they were all crude, crass, and base. No denying though, they were good at their jobs. This familiarity however, soon caused Kormaril to drop his guard. She would prepare personal things for him, get his desk ready, ensure supplies were kept up and had the run of most of the place.
She saw an opportunity in this. Masking herself with magics, she began to go offer to venture out for minor errands for Kormaril. He thought it excellent to get used to the light, and would send her to fetch parcels and drop off letters and groceries, etc. Then she began to go with Kaupt and Eirman (the Dwarf and human warriors of the band) when they needed to run errands. They understood she was Drow and needed to learn from the culture to fit in. However, they mercilessly teased “him” about his size, lack of muscle, lack of any capability and anything else they could find to make her feel incompetent. Many times they would excuse themselves to make time for offering snap prayers… at the temple of Mizras. She sensed an opportunity her and asked if she too could be a member. All laughing stopped and talk became serious at that point. They assured he she might not even survive the test for new members – so painful and arduous was it. She then asked if she could learn from them. Again, there was no laughing matter. They are not authorized to train in the fighting ways of Mizras. After a few drinks and much talk, she managed to convince them that it would not to “training: if they were to just run her through the exercises – they we only exercise, not training. And so a few times a month she would go to “work out”. After which she asked that they take silvers for their times, and they replied they could not. Again, she convinced them it was time taken away from their temple duties, so she was just paying the god back for their time in staying healthy. It was here that she formally, yet deceptively, began her veneration of the Lord of Battles… get taught by the 2 of her “masters” group, pretend to be not as good, but watch and make promises to claim victory on those who denigrate her ability and race and gender; “send me an angel of your cohort lord of battle” was her prayer; puny and weak were the things they would always see… Until it was too late.
As a “servant” he learned where many teamsters and laborers usually gathered together after hours. She would dally in these places learning the vernacular and customs of the folk. Using her keen powers of observation she singled out one person in this group who as mostly at the fringes, and seemed to play close attention to everything being said while contributing very little (except buying rounds and small talk). She began to lay hints of the lavish lifestyle her “master” lived and how unfair it was for “we” folk. She spent a month gaining the trust of this individual and then using her illusory powers made it look like she had been beaten and was trying to hide it. She claimed she knew a terrible secret of men who had cheated the law, and ran riot on servants and prostitutes all the time, bragging about how they had “stiffed” the magistrate and king out of taxes from some massive “score” they had gotten. She kept a close watch and one night she knew she was being followed. She was able to lose them in a place she had designed for just such a thing, but it was then she knew she had the informants attention. She packed things as unobtrusively as she could at her manse with the wizard and kept up the charade. A week later she was leaving the place when she was stopped by militia guards and taken in for questioning. She made a good show and told told the excise agent of the adventuring group and how they had plundered an ancient shrine, fought the Fey Born to stand still, and even fleeced the priesthood out of borrowed money – claiming the party used cheap imitation goods for the funeral instead of gold and precious stones on the sarcophagus. Behind closed doors the debauchery was constant, they were all rich beyond their dreams. She tried to paint a picture of rampant evasion of taxes, disregard for the law, and insults to the local lords and ladies. Playing the hurt servant, she agreed to leave a door unlocked for a raid by the Lords taxman and men at arms.
On the night of the ambush, it was a gathering of the adventuring band just as planned. There was to be much drinking and ironically it was to be this night that the group was to decide its future course. The food and wine was the best she had ever sampled… and she got the shock of her life when she was offered a place in their adventuring band! Even though they had hazed her greatly, Kormaril had convinced them that she would make a useful ally. The dwarf seemed to be the only one who was truly reluctant. The arrangement with authorities had been to send the signal when they were all good and drunk, so she ate and drank with them as the evening wore on. She was given a bracelet of much value, where each of their names were inscribed on unique silver tag – a charm bracelet of some worth. She was given 10 gold coins, presented with an Arcane Focus for her wizardly magics, a potion of healing (“hey – you’re gonna need it!” gag gift), and the cloak, hat, staff and goods of her master’s previous apprentice. She made the appropriate speech, drew out many causes for toasting (and therefore drinking) and dodged around the issue of becoming one of the party but made it seem as though she was saying yes… In reality she had no problem setting the group up for an ambush. The hazing always had an elements of truth in it. She knew her race was despised,. She knew that they would never go for the idea were it not for being an apprentice, and she knew she was really just grist for the mill – the second string sent in to soften up the enemy at the cost of their lives. She made her excuses to go to the garderobe. She had already planned things… and piled her recent presents with her day-to-day gear and let them drop out the back window to another confidant she had arranged things with (she used a different disguise with this person, and used her real gender to add allure with him – several quick sexual escapades and he was wrapped around her finger). She went and left a back servant’s entrance unlocked and came back to the party. A few more toasts and she could tell, even drunk, her master knew something was amiss – she was far too evasive. Just as he was about to pull her aide and ask what the deal was, the signal was made by waving a candle in the window. The raiders burst in and while there was a serious fight it was inevitable. Several wounded men at arms and they were all captured. She had used 2 of her masters potions to make locked doors appear barred from the inside earlier in the day. She, along with her “companions” were gathered up. The ruse had worked, and they followed along with the plan making it look like she was grabbed up with them. She was allowed to go free in exchange for the information and the setup. It was a simple matter to collect what was set aside. The guards had set off all the wards and alerts the wizard had. She did not take anything major, just enough to get a head start on her own career. Using illusion magics she worked her way out of the house leaving behind a perplexing escape puzzle with no solution. “He”, the apprentice, seemingly had gone through locked and barred doors and halls and vanished after being interrogated.
Meeting up with her dupe “lover” she cast an illusion to make her ugly and nasty. She showed up with a limp and a hideous countenance saying the wizard had cursed her – but they loved each other so it would be ok. He fumbled with his words as the strolled down the street, away from the street mansion under lock down, appearing to have a lovers quarrel while he carried a small chest. It looked the picture of a recent engagement and she played it up saying what was in the trunk was dishes, napkins, finery for their wedding. He tried to get out of the “running away together” plan, and she made him feel terrible. In the end, he walked her to a stable, helped pay for a horse and saddle, and used her excuse (“the stars spoke, we were meant to be together”) to weasel his way out of running away together (“gosh, do you think the stars said something different? I’m not a reader of fortunes or anything…”). She hits the road well equipped and well armed, with a bevy of accouterments and money. She goes to get canvas and paints and seals the tent and log herself, and has the leather worker embroider the work on the saddlebags. She buys some supplies, enough to a week on the road.
Before leaving the city, she stops by the auction of her former master’s house. She knows which books are actually illusory script and so what the book appears to be is that and so much more… she bids for journals that are in short hand (it can be used as fine scratch or drawing paper!), a few scrolls, spell books, journals, and a collection of maps of the local area that only have marked spots make sense if you have the map key – in one of the shorthand logs. Also are some finer robes and bags of “the wizardly sort” that seem mundane, but she know where her master stashed his important items.
Gaevana goes by the nickname her master gave her “maybug” (so named because he did notice how she was able to put the ‘bug’ in peoples ear and get them thinking how she wanted -‘he could make people think it’s May when it’s snowing out’). Without magic or makeup she looks as if she has gone to hell and back. There is a depth to her look that makes it unsettling.
Someone slipped up – overheard her being released when it was all getting wrapped up in the end. The band of adventurers – The Day Brigade (maybe not any longer with the priest of light dead) has it out for Gaevana… they know she is behind their 7 years in debtors prison and ejection from the region – they were escorted to Karolak. All of them conspire to get their revenge on her when they manage to finish their sentences and recover their fortunes.
She leaves the comfort of the city, with its confines and strange odors and even stranger people. Remembering the view of the eyes, she watched in her mind’s eye the battle replay itself. From so many perspectives she studied and studied, replaying the footwork, the subtle shifts in balance. In her mind she follows these patterns, seeing where they intersect, and adding 1, 2, and 3 opponents. Most turn out grisly… her strength is not what the male fighters of the Drow have at their disposal – she did not train her whole life. Frowning, she clears her mind and the mental battlefield. A deep ‘caw’ echoes across the empty mindscape… slowly you turn to stare in the eyes of a large raven 10 feet away. The eyes are deep and she loses her sense of time and space and a voice appears in her mind, a gruff, strong, feminine voice… “physical strength is not where a battle is lost or won small one. Many a might warrior has been felled by those much smaller who understood more about fighting.” She asks if it is the voice beyond the darkness. “Yes, i am voice of violence, i speak for the fallen on the battlefield. I see all battles, i claim the best warriors for the halls of my father – known by many but to you as Mizras. His is the way of the commander, the eternal champion, the knight and soldier alike. I can fly you to his favor on my dark wings. Together we can harvest blood and souls for the lord of battle. What say you little one? Cast aside your notions of strength, cast aside your understanding of power and let me show you the way of victory!” Yes, YES she shouts. I pledge myself to your service, to sew and reap the coin of death, of war, and of the pay of VICTORY! What must i give to prove myself? “I will take from you that which you feel you are lacking. So diminished you will be a symbol for the art of the finesse, of subterfuge and the unseen. Our enemies will underestimate us, and this shall be their undoing!” Yes! The raven flies toward her. Unprepared, she screams in horror as the raven’s talons slash at her, the arms she raises in defense are ripped and torn. When the raven is done, it sits atop her chest, and she lies upon the ground. “Now you now your first battlefield wound. A terrible wound it is, you will not lift heavy weapons. You have embraced the path, we are bonded now, the two of us, and my father. The father of war has many allies, among them are the Storm Queen, the mistress of change, of shifting tides of the sea and fortune. And the Man in Gray… the deceiver and breaker of oaths, the unseen hand and unexpected ally. Change is ever present in battle, as is deception and stealth… you will learn all these things.” (To which Gaevana whispers ‘I think I have already had the master course in these approaches.’) Welcome to ranks of the faithful!” With that the raven flaps its wings, kicking up dust and debris, she closes her eyes and it is gone. The pain in her torn arms is real and present. She knows she is weaker, but she feels stronger. She pulls clean torn strips off her apprentice robes and binds her wounds as best she can – there will be deep scarring. She takes stock of her goods, her horse, her situation. Blood and Souls indeed. She will need help. She must seek out people of power. Adventure awaits on the open road and she vows to collect only the best, to grab the fame and wealth from those not deserving. The surface dwellers ways are different. There is more loyalty here. This is fine, loyalty to her new family is good… she will build that family. We will attack targets that are socially acceptable to these surface dwellers. We will do it without mercy, and take all that is offered. To test her untested powers of illusion. And so it begins… Gaevana has small coin, and a set of sundry items to work with in her quest to build a powerful group who will facilitate her rise to power and wealth. She has now spent a decade in Correl – the capital city of Meargensdale Vale. She is known as an eccentric magus, and if anyone delves deep, a merciless one. Each month, at a different time, she makes a trip to the hall of the Brotherhood of Mizras. She is not one of them, but she knew the “sign of the raven” and was allowed entrance to the temple, but always watched. She prays in silence, leaves an offering to the brotherhood, and leaves. Despite the difference in days, she always goes during the day before feat time – when the clash of steel is most prevalent – it helps her relax. Over time she has involved herself with the criminal element, private business, the law, and hired out on several adventures seeking riches in the exploration of ruins. Many times she is one of the few to return, and is silent while her employers talk of dangers, traps, and magical effects that killed their numbers or drove them back. A few key things he is known for are:
The Giants Skull: She was hired to protect a seeker of antiquities and was attacked by both professional rivals and strange creatures that appeared when the skull was unearthed.
Paul’s Revenge: Paul Gilbere the merchant had some goods stolen and they were tracked to a new rival from out of the territory. Not only did MayBug help find the culprits, she supposedly called out the rivals champion and defeated them in single combat.
Skins of Arimskaard: Pine tribes young warriors went renegade and part of a war party of the Viscount that stopped them. Accepted no reward and avoided any interaction with nobles and law.
Duel in May: Challenge of another wizard – very public. Alay of Karolak had been traveling through Rhyl and for some reason took offense. It turned out that the poor sod was destitute and had next to nothing, and so gambled it all on the roll of the dice. Turns out he had not eaten in days, spent his last collateral threatening the Innkeep for drink, and by all rights should have won the duel, but was ill and not thinking right – and it cost him his life. She won in the last few rounds – hand to hand.
Lost Lilly: Traders daughter kidnapped, found, and the kidnappers corners – some were killed for their efforts in “unavoidable” violence in apprehending them.
+ Dozens of other escapades, that include finding buyers of goods, verifying the authenticity of things, detection of magical auras, verifying the mortal nature of visitors and business associates. He is known to pay a tribute to the Hall of the Brotherhood of Mizras in Correl… though a wizard, he seems to also be a advocate of swordplay.
The duel with Alay in the last year made her realize that she had better find some long term allies. Being a total independent, without a guild, brotherhood, patron or master made her vulnerable. She might be even more so when and if her former master and his friends regain their freedom and fortunes. She has been lucky so far. She has spent years distracted by the minor adventures she takes to pay the bills and just recently uncovered the ciphers for the illusionist items she gained from the auction of her former master. She is planning on summoning her first familiar (a raven of course!). She needs coin for spell ink, and to create a permanent place where she may study her arcane and dark patrons teachings. She has only managed to secure a secret hidey-hole for her equipment from Nathan – the proprietor of Three Jacks Inn where she frequently stays. He knows its magic and not to touch it, it’s in a special room he keeps most of his valuables in, beneath the cellar. Nathan and MayBug go way back, and trust is implicit. MayBug does the odd job for free for Nathan.
Recently she was approached by seemingly seasoned warrior. He tried to appear less experienced, but she can tell by now the idiots and schemers from the true believers. He was accompanied by a druid – one whom she had heard walked the northern roads protecting travelers, and watching to make sure the locals stuck to their oaths of resource management. He was rumored to have been exiled by his order for disobeying… but is still vested with his powers. This warrior and he spoke of forming a group to tackle local troubles that seem to invariably kill many of the locals before they end… an adventuring band in no uncertain terms. Such are not always welcome in stable areas. The druid seemed to think it was some sort of holy calling for him, and that the ‘innocent’ warrior had led him forth and that they shared a vision. Dangerous talk, fanaticism is just around the corner, but it could be the big break she needed. They were looking for a few more, and was hoping ‘one of MayBug’s caliber would know trustworthy souls’. Hah! Well, she bought time to do some research. Despite trying to keep a low profile, the warrior accompanying the druid had blew through Correl on their way north – they had stayed days doing what, no one knew. Suspicious. The druid was a known local element, and seemed to be on the up and up. The other one, well, he was hiding something, and it would come out soon enough. If her nature had been discovered, she was sure she would be dead already… so he was not hunting Drow. More research did not reveal anything. It seemed like the unknown warrior had kept a very low profile. But, it was all intriguing – nothing like it had come her way yet. She knew of a thief, and independent with a decent reputation for delivering the goods. If they could break into a place to steal for themselves, they could surely do it for a group. And breaking in meant they knew what to look for when delving or trying to get into AND out of a place. She approached Reynald the rogue at one of his favorite haunts – the Three Jacks Inn. She knew the signs to make and words to use – she needed a troubleshooter. It did not take him much time to make his decision – the druid, the professional candor, and a chance to make a name without joining one of the criminal gangs in the city was too much. Another fighter was needed though, to watch their backs. Shen next she went to the hall of the Brotherhood of Mizras, she introduced herself to one of the brothers in the gatehouse on her way out. IT was here that many posted notices for muscle needed.. It turns out that someone, one who was rejected years ago, was still worth keeping an eye on. He had risen in the ranks of the north watch guard of Correl. She needed someone to watch their backs – not the berserker types the brothers were, and the brothers, for a fine bottle of brandy, volunteered his name. She approached Chaz, who seemed to have literally prepared to leave the guards at a seconds notice. It took little convincing to have him join. To vouch for his ability (something she really appreciated) he showed her the sword the captain of the guard had given him… it was a gift by the Viscount and no small measure of vouchsafing his capability and character. He was in, and ready right then. Two days wait it was until everyone met.
Disadvantages from Back Story:
a) Has a party of enemies chasing after her
b) All Drow encountered must attempt to kill if they can see the Mystic Brand
c) Any Nurth encountered must try and get the eye back if they see it (free Seeress trapped) and regain the staff
d) Must keep the charm bracelet as a constant reminder of failure and as focus for changing skin color so he does not get lynched for being a Drow.
e) Begins play +13 years
f) -1 HP permanently from all the torture and ‘corrective behavior’ session
g) -1 Strength (puts her in penalty)
h) Code of Conduct required to get further Inspiration uses
Advantages form Back Story:
a) Extended years provides excuse for more knowledge
b) bonuses on skills from deep experience
c) special magic items from unique situations
d) special abilities to fit character (most long rest recharge)
e) Minor mundane items of better quality taken as loot
f) connection to a faith that explains warlock powers
g) 17 holy symbols of Lolth destroyed = 17 Piety (can be used as a bless or as advantage – 1 use each)
h) Entire “class” of priests of Lolth assassinated = Can use Channel Divinity (devout follower of The Morrigan/Mizras)
Campaign GM: Steven Grenier
Campaign Setting: South Duchy of Rhyl; Vale of Meargensdale