Nobility in Western Pansaer (3.5e NPC)

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What follows is a list of noblemen and -women in the western kingdoms of Pansaer: important and less-important NPCs in the Years of Gold setting. The nobles are listed in alphabetical order. Unless otherwise mentioned, each noble has at least minor influence in all the metropolitan areas of the west, although most have a certain city where their interests are strongest or where they have their base of operations.

Von Arnberg[edit]

Carl von Arnberg

CR 7

Male human bee swarmnester fighter 6
LE Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +3/Listen +1, Spot +1
Languages Maridian
AC 20, touch 13, flat-footed 17; +1 dodge from Dodge
(+3 Dex, +1 natural, +6 armor)
hp 51 (6 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +8/+5/+5
Speed 20 ft. in breastplate (4 squares), base speed 30 ft.
Melee frost glaive +11/+6 (1d10+6 plus 1d6 cold plus 1d6 plus poison/×3)
Ranged masterwork light crossbow +10 (1d8/19-20)
Base Atk/Grp +6/+9
Atk Options swarm damage +1d6
Special Actions poison
Abilities Str 17, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 14
SQ pest features
Feats Cleave, Dodge, Iron Will, Power Attack, Short Haft, Weapon Focus (glaive), Weapon Specialization (glaive)
Skills Handle Animal +11, Intimidate +11, Jump +12 (+9 with armor)
Possessions frost glaive, +1 breastplate
Swarm Damage (Ex) Carl gains a 1d6 swarm damage bonus to attacks. All of Carl's melee attacks, whether natural or with manufactured weapons, deal this special swarm damage as the tiny insects dwelling within him bite, sting and bash the foe. If Carl misses with a melee attack, if the attack roll nonetheless equaled or exceeded the target's touch AC, swarm damage (and poison) is dealt anyway. Carl can suppress or resume this ability as a free action by calling or expunging the pests from his body.
Poison (Ex) Injury, Fortitude DC 16, initial and secondary damage 1d3 Str. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Pest Features (Ex) Carl takes a −­8 penalty to Move Silently checks and enemies damaged by his swarm damage that fail on a DC 16 Fortitude check are nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Jonathan Drake

CR 6

Male human bee swarmnester fighter 2 and rogue 3
NE Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +1/Listen +9, Spot +9
Languages Maridian, Luskan
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 21
(+1 Dex, +1 natural, +8 armor, +2 shield)
hp 46 (5 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +9/+4/+4
Speed 20 ft. in full plate (4 squares), base speed 30 ft.
Melee masterwork longsword +9 (1d8+3 plus 1d6 plus poison/19-20)
Ranged longbow +5 (1d8/×3)
Base Atk/Grp +4/+7
Atk Options sneak attack +2d6, swarm damage +1d6
Special Actions poison
Abilities Str 16, Dex 13, Con 20, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 8
SQ trapfinding, evasion, trap sense +1, pest features
Feats Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Iron Will, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Climb +9 (+1 with armor and shield), Escape Artist +7, Intimidate +5, Jump +9 (+1 with armor and shield), Knowledge (local) +6, Listen +9, Sense Motive +9, Spot +9, Use Rope +7
Possessions masterwork longsword, longbow, full plate, heavy steel shield
Sneak Attack (Ex) Jonathan can make a sneak attack, dealing an extra 2d6 points of damage, whenever a foe is denied his or her Dexterity bonus, or when he is flanking.
Evasion (Ex) Jonathan can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. He does not gain the benefit of evasion if he is helpless.
Trap Sense +1 (Ex) Jonathan gains an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, giving him a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps.
Swarm Damage (Ex) Jonathan gains a 1d6 swarm damage bonus to attacks. All of Jonathan's melee attacks, whether natural or with manufactured weapons, deal this special swarm damage as the tiny insects dwelling within him bite, sting and bash the foe. If Carl misses with a melee attack, if the attack roll nonetheless equaled or exceeded the target's touch AC, swarm damage (and poison) is dealt anyway. Jonathan can suppress or resume this ability as a free action by calling or expunging the pests from his body.
Poison (Ex) Injury, Fortitude DC 17, initial and secondary damage 1d3 Str. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Pest Features (Ex) Jonathan takes a −­8 penalty to Move Silently checks and enemies damaged by his swarm damage that fail on a DC 17 Fortitude check are nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Grimbold

CR 6

Male goblin bee swarmnester rogue 5
NE Small goblinoid
Init/Senses +4/darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +0, Spot +0
Languages Maridian
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 19; +1 dodge from Dodge
(+4 Dex, +1 natural, +4 armor)
hp 32 (5 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +4/+8/+3
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
Melee dagger +2 (1d4-1 plus 1d4 plus poison/19-20)
Ranged masterwork longbow +8 (1d6 plus 1d4 plus poison//×3)
Base Atk/Grp +3/-2
Atk Options sneak attack +3d6, swarm damage +1d4
Special Actions poison, coat with bees
Abilities Str 8, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 15, Wis 11, Cha 12
SQ darkvision 60 ft., trapfinding, evasion, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge, pest features
Feats Dodge, Endurance, Iron Will
Skills Bluff +9, Decipher Script +10, Disable Device +14, Disguise +9, Escape Artist +12, Forgery +10, Gather Information +9, Hide +16, Move Silently +12, Open Lock +14
Possessions dagger, masterwork longbow, masterwork chain shirt
Sneak Attack (Ex) Grimbold can make a sneak attack, dealing an extra 3d6 points of damage, whenever a foe is denied his or her Dexterity bonus, or when he is flanking.
Evasion (Ex) Grimbold can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. He does not gain the benefit of evasion if he is helpless.
Trap Sense +1 (Ex) Grimbold gains an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, giving him a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Grimbold can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
Swarm Damage (Ex) Grimbold gains a 1d4 swarm damage bonus to attacks. All of Grimbold's melee attacks, whether natural or with manufactured weapons, deal this special swarm damage as the tiny insects dwelling within him bite, sting and bash the foe. If Grimbold misses with a melee attack, if the attack roll nonetheless equaled or exceeded the target's touch AC, swarm damage (and poison) is dealt anyway. Grimbold can suppress or resume this ability as a free action by calling or expunging the pests from his body.
Poison (Ex) Injury, Fortitude DC 15, initial and secondary damage 1d3 Str. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Coat with Bees (Ex) Grimbold can cover the arrows he fires with his bow with the bees that dwell within him, making his swarm damage and poison apply to his ranged attacks as well.
Pest Features (Ex) Enemies damaged by Grimbold's swarm damage that fail on a DC 15 Fortitude check are nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based. Grimbold's bees are of a quiet variety, so he doesn't take a -8 penalty to Move Silently checks like Carl and Jonathan.

History[edit]

bee_happy_by_dirty_pup-d3llxcy.jpg
Who knows what's cooking in Von Arnberg estate?

Specialization is the word when talking about Carl, one of the most influential people in current Redford political atmosphere. Carl is not a native Redfordian; his family moved to the city when the future entrepreneur was still cradle-bound, and lived in relative inadvertence for his early years. Little is known about the father and mother of Carl: the city records on the matter have been either stolen or destroyed, and the few who might know something wisely shut their mouths. The early years of "the Sweet Slaughterer" are thus unknown, which naturally suits him just fine.

Carl first started to raise attention when he, after weeks upon weeks of research in the city library, declared himself a long-lost descendant of the Von Arnberg lineage. The city council was suspicious at first, but after careful consideration (and the assassination of an important nobleman) chose to bend to Carl's will. With his newfound nobility, Carl immediately set out to claim a spot in the council itself, and began a process of purchasing all of the ill-yielding farms on the east side of the city. Through ingenious business proposals, fast wits and unmatchable ruthlessness, Carl gained hold of nearly all eastern fields. His answer to the bad profits? Bees.

The only true love of Carl's life is bees. Ever since he was a young man, he kept a few nests in the safety of his home, and grew to adore the insects - perhaps a little too much. The love seems to be mutual: bees never stung Carl, and eventually flocked around him, even before his questionable transformation. His love of bees was also the answer to his business problems. Carl set up thousands of bee-nests in the eastern farms, where the favorable climate and large fields of flowers made for a perfect breeding ground. Honey became a substantial export product in Redford, and the bee-fields employed hundreds of unemployed farmers. It was at this time that Carl gained his nickname from his enemies; "the Sweet Slaughterer of Basket", a play on his product, and the ways he used to support it.

Even though many profited from him, Carl was not a good man. He made a habit of mercilessly assassinating those who stood in his way, and through force rose to be one of the top three people in Redford, surpassed in wealth and power only by Harold von Leaven and Wilhelm von Morr. Yet Carl was not pleased, and desired to be special, like his adversaries: Harold the Hill-Prince, the conservationist, the mine-master; and Wilhelm, the Black Knight, law-abiding and handsome. Carl had no specialization, asides from his bees, and thus felt inadequate. This would change soon.

When nearing his thirtieth birthday, Carl began a mysterious and terrible research, both magical and medical in nature. Studying the environs, habits and body structures of bees, he decided to close the gap between himself and his love - quite literally. At the age of 32 the research was complete and the process perfected, through inhuman experiments with several villagers who were "disposed of" after the experimentations. Carl went through the process, and even though in terrible agony, it was completed: Carl had successfully made himself into a bee swarmnester, a living nest of bees.

Carl now had total control over his beloved creatures, and as the critters worm and crawl their way through his body, his lungs, his muscles, he knows that he is finally truly unique. Two of his most trusted underlings have also undergone the process, and the experiments are unlikely to stop there: who knows what terrible creatures are bred in the secret room of Von Arnberg estate?

Jonathan Drake was born and raised within the battle-hardened walls and barricades of Remoras. Much too young to remember the sun and peace that lingered in Lindgalen of old, Jonathan grew up on blood-filled streets as a son of a soldier and a prostitute. His father died before he was even born, and her prostitute mother abandoned him when he was seven. Young Jonathan had to fight for his survival, and learned to fight, cheat, lie and hide at an early age. The moment a chance presented itself, Jonathan left Remoras for good, traveling long and hard to Redford. He was fifteen when he arrived at the door of the Von Arnberg estate.

Carl von Arnberg immediately saw potential in the rash, crude youngster. He trained the boy, both personally and through teachers, and as Jonathan proved his worth time and time again, Carl decided to grant him the title of Captain of the Guard. He now protects the Von Arnberg estate, commanding a guard troop. Carl put Jonathan through the process at a considerably young age (he was only 23), and his body was almost destroyed by pain . Yet he survived, and the ordeal strengthened both his body and his resolve. After the ordeal, he finally chose a new last name for himself: Drake, to represent his powerful form and mindset.

Grimbold is a shady character with roots going back to the usurping of power by Skarrnog in the lowlands of Hundon. His early years are a mystery, but somehow the sneaky goblin found his way into Carl von Arnberg's service. It would appear that he escaped the upheaval of the chieftains, and quickly after sought out Carl, to whom he must have had contacts even before these events. When Grimbold received the questionable blessings of the process is unknown.

A rumor, spreading mostly in the Den of Thieves but also on the shadiest parts of Ragtown, is that Grimbold is the son of Skarrnog, out on a diplomatic trip to Carl, who the goblin warlord holds as a possible ally in the coming war. There's not a drop of truth in these tales, but Grimbold keeps to himself and never corrects the gossipers, and thus the rumor continues to spread.

Appearance and beliefs[edit]

warrior_by_ameeeeba-d5xc828.jpg
Jonathan's a veritable
mountain of muscle.

The bee swarmnester transformation of Carl does not show on the outside, as long as Carl is wearing his usual attire: well-fitting, red-and-yellow clothes (with breastplate hidden under) and long white gloves. When the uniform is taken off, the mangled torso can be seen: thousands of hexagonal holes, lined with grayed, dark skin, puncture Carl's flesh. From these holes, millions of large bees fly in and out, making honey to feed their nester. The main bee-nests are situated in Carl's lungs, and when heavily coughing, he sometimes spits out several bees.

Otherwise, Carl is a rather nondescript man. At 6' 1'' he's not particularly tall, and weighs 160 lb. His hair is a dark blond, and his eyes, although formerly brown, now have a tint of yellow in them, like honey. He speaks in a gentle and calming voice that's hard to replicate, and has a small, understanding smile on his face, especially when around bees. The transformation binds him to his estate, as the buzz of the bees within him would give him away immediately.

Carl is an avid supporter of the rule of the strong, and ruthlessly pushes down and assassinates those that would hold him back. He hides the evil side of his nature quite adeptly, and is well-liked in some circles, especially with his own workers. The obsession with bees consumes Carl's life, and as of late, he has left administration of his farms for his adjutants. He himself prefers to stay home with his bees, continuing his studies in the secret room of the estate. Carl is devoted to no god in particular, although several clerics of Groke have aided him in mastering the swarmnester process.

Jonathan looks very much like an armoire made of muscle: at 5' 4'' but at 230 lb., he is one of the toughest people in Redford. Several scars mark the skin of his face and hands; marks of the dark times spent in Remoras. Jonathan cuts his dark-brown hair short, but has bushy eyebrows and a short, unkempt beard of the same color. His green eyes resemble swamp pools: shallow and hard to read.

Jonathan is bad-natured at best and destructive at worst. He spends his few free days drinking heavily in the Den of Thieves (risking exposure of his transformation), where he is well-liked by the more sinister characters, mostly for his attention-drawing nature. The role of a leader comes naturally to him, and his rough voice rises in volume as he orders people around. However, his thick head hides a good brain, and he is a lot less foolish than appears at first: in fact, the wisdom of his hidden thoughts is positively astounding. This rarely shows, as he prefers to prove his point with his fists, rather than through wits.

Grimbold is short (even for a goblin, that is) and skinny, which suits his nature well: no one is as sneaky as him, he proudly believes. At 3' 2'' and weighing a measly 35 lb., Grimbold is well-suited to the arts of spying and assassination. In appearance he doesn't differ much from an ordinary goblin, except of course for the bee-nests in his skin, and his slightly darker-than-average complexion.

The bees within Grimbold are of a smaller and darker variety than those of Carl and Jonathan. They are another creation of Carl's, suited well to Grimbold's line of work. Their poison is of a less potent variety, but this is a small loss compared to Grimbold's chance to leave the Von Arnberg estate premises - the bees make no droning noise if Grimbold so wishes.

Followers and allies[edit]

Jonathan Drake and Grimbold are some of the very few who share the secret of Carl von Arnberg, in every meaning of the word. Jonathan and Grimbold are the closest employees of Carl, the former working as a captain for the estate guard and the latter as a spy and assassin. Both are highly loyal to him, and it would take considerable effort and bribes to even make them consider changing their minds. Both hide their bee-infestation well.

Carl also employs several guards on his estate, as well as anywhere from hundred to hundred-and-fifty bee-farmers on his fields. The guards are mere merchants, but most of the farmers are loyal to the death to Carl, as he was the only one to hire new workers during a depression that lasted several years. The altered beasts created by Carl in his secret study are hidden in the depths of his mansion.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

After the trash-talking of Carl by Lucas and his family, "the Sweet Slaughterer" has retreated more and more to the safety of his estate, no longer leaving the premises at all. He has also distanced himself from Redford politics, and his farms are slowly but surely losing profit to the Von Leavens. Carl still tries to keep all the strings in his hand, and has for example begun buying mines as a direct challenge to Harold, but the situation seems lost.

As a desperate last effort, Carl has begun plotting a trio of assassinations: Lucas Hayworth, Harold von Leaven and Wilhelm von Morr. Since traditional methods have failed, Carl is devising ever fouler plans for their demise, but even this can be taken as a sign of his downfall: will he be able to control the fruits of his creation? Experimentations have begun on creating bees the size of dogs, brewing poisons of dark potency, and the usage of the process on other creatures, for example ogres.

Combat[edit]

goblin_sketch_by_davidrapozaart.jpg
You'll feel a sting,
and then you'll never feel
anything again.

In battle, Carl is fierce, yet calculative. He is a master warrior with his magical glaive, and cleverly moves around the battlefield to position himself in the best possible way. Carl also makes good use of the bees within his body, sending them to attack his enemies for him as often as he can. Carl is not foolhardy, and rather makes a quick getaway than gets slaughtered. His lackeys often swarm around him, protecting him to the last.

In battle, the grim determination of Jonathan pays off. His longsword slices enemies apart as he charges into fray, and he feels no fear. Jonathan often attempts to bull rush enemies, especially if fighting on the mansion's balcony. He flanks enemies as best he can, using his own guardsmen shamelessly as a living decoy.

Grimbold avoids fair fights at all costs - he understands the limitations his size and puny form bring. Grimbold attacks from the shadows with his longbow, coating the arrows with a carpet of living bees to poison his enemies. Unfortunately, the dark variation of bees within Grimbold make a poison less dangerous than that of the others. Grimbold is not a coward, and when forced into melee fights to the grim end, attempting to feint his enemies to allow him to use his roguish accuracy and sneak attacks.

Von Gutherberg[edit]

Thomas von Gutherberg

CR 3

Male human fighter 3
CE Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses -1/Listen -1, Spot -1
Languages Maridian
AC 18, touch 9, flat-footed 18
(-1 Dex, +8 armor, +1 shield)
hp 37 (3 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +9/+0/+0
Speed 20 ft. in full plate (6 squares), base speed 30 ft.
Melee masterwork battleaxe +6 (1d8+3/×3)
Ranged masterwork heavy crossbow +3 (1d10/19-20)
Base Atk/Grp +3/+5
Abilities Str 15, Dex 8, Con 22, Int 7, Wis 9, Cha 8
Feats Cleave, Diehard, Endurance, Power Attack, Toughness
Skills Intimidate +5, Ride +5
Possessions masterwork battleaxe, masterwork heavy crossbow, full plate, buckler

Alberto and Malaric von Gutherberg

CR 4

Male human monk 4
CE Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +3/Listen +3, Spot +3
Languages Maridian
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 13; +1 dodge from Dodge
(+3 Dex, +3 Wis)
hp 30 (4 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +6/+7/+7; +2 against enchantment spells and effects
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares)
Melee unarmed +7 (1d8+3)
Base Atk/Grp +3/+6
Atk Options flurry of blows (+5/+5), stunning fist 4/day (DC 14)
Special Actions unarmed strike
Abilities Str 16, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 11
SQ evasion, still mind, fast movement, ki strike (magic), slow fall 20 ft.
Feats Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Toughness, Weapon Focus (unarmed)
Skills Balance +10, Climb +10, Escape Artist +10, Jump +10, Tumble +10
Evasion (Ex) Alberto and Malaric can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If one of them makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. They do not gain the benefit of evasion if they are helpless.
Slow Fall (Ex) When Alberto or Malaric is within arm’s reach of a wall, he can use it to slow his descent. When first using this ability, he takes damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is.

Yvonne Bethediel

CR 3

Female human cleric 3
LN Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +0/Listen +4, Spot +4
Languages Maridian
AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10
hp 10 (3 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +4/+3/+7
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee unarmed +1 (1d3-1 nonlethal)
Base Atk/Grp +2/+1
Special Actions spells
Spells Prepared (CL 3rd):
2nd—cure moderate wounds, hold person ×2 (all DC 16)
1st—bless, cause fear (DC 15), shield of faith, cure light wounds (all DC 15)
0—create water, guidance, light, virtue (all DC 14)
Abilities Str 8, Dex 10, Con 9, Int 15, Wis 19, Cha 12
SQ domains (Healing)
Feats Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (heal)
Skills Concentration +5, Craft (alchemy) +8, Heal +13, Knowledge (history) +8, Profession (wet nurse) +10
Patron Deity Lun

Alexander von Gutherberg

CR 5

Male human duelist 5
NE Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +5/Listen +9, Spot +9
Languages Maridian
AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 14
(+3 Dex, +3 Int, +1 deflection)
hp 32 (5 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +2/+9/+4
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 rapier +10 (1d6+2 plus 1d6 precise strike/18-20)
Base Atk/Grp +5/+6
Special Actions precise strike +1d6
Abilities Str 13, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 15
SQ canny defense, improved reaction +2, enhanced mobility, grace
Feats Iron Will, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (rapier)
Skills Balance +11, Bluff +10, Escape Artist +11, Jump +9, Listen +9, Sense Motive +9, Spot +9, Tumble +11
Possessions +1 rapier, ring of protection +1
Canny Defense (Ex) When not wearing armor or using a shield, Alexander adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus per duelist class level to his Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If Alexander is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus.
Enhanced Mobility (Ex) When wearing no armor and not using a shield, Alexander gains an additional +4 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity caused when he moves out of a threatened square.
Precise Strike (Ex) Alexander has the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, gaining an extra 1d6 damage added to his normal damage roll. When making a precise strike, Alexander cannot attack with a weapon in his other hand or use a shield. Alexander's precise strike only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to a precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from a precise strike.

NOTE: Alexander's class levels in duelist are illegal going by the prerequisites of the prestige class. The class fits him well, so the prerequisites were ignored, but if you want to make him a legal character, replace the levels with rogue and come up with a way to increase his AC.

History[edit]

Fatty_by_JayAxer.jpg
Thomas has a habit
of sampling the goods
of his bordellos.

Everyone in the West knows the Von Gutherberg line, even if only for the widespread healing services they have run since time immemorial. Von Gutherbergs are also infamous for having run the prostitution services, which have always been considered a necessary evil in the rural atmosphere, and run with respect for both customers and prostitutes. It was only when Thomas became the head of the family that things went sour, both with the law enforcement and other nobles.

Not even Thomas himself knows the reason for the way his mind works: a malignant tumor slowly devours his mind, making his behavior and decisions more and more irrational and despicable. The healing services of Von Gutherberg, once a cheap but effective way to seek medical attention, became involved in drug trafficking and torture. The prostitution rings turned horrid as well, now catering to even the foulest desires, child prostitution and bestiality among them.

The actions of Thomas quickly dragged the status of the family to the mud. Those who were not drawn into the foul enterprises or assassinated escaped Brimhaven or changed names, wanting nothing to do with Thomas. His first wife died under unclear conditions (Thomas is strongly suspected to have something to do with it) and his second perished in a carriage "accident" (see Von Morr), leaving the foul noble with a young daughter (born 3220). It is best left undescribed what horrible things Thomas has done to the poor soul.

Alberto and Malaric (the Terror Twins, as they are nowadays known) were born on consecutive days. The birth was too much for their mother (Thomas' distant half-sister) to bear and she perished, torn in two by her infant sons. Thomas adopted the pair with little kindness in his heart, grooming them to be bodyguards and allies for days to come. The two took after their uncle, torturing small animals and fighting in underground fighting rings. They became known as far as Calimport as amazing hand-to-hand combatants.

As the mental health of the elder Von Gutherberg passes, Alberto and Malaric know that the time for him to step aside is approaching fast. Alberto will take the seat of the family elder as he is a few short hours older than his brother, but they plan to rule in unison. Their aim is to improve the grim fame of the Von Gutherberg name, all the while still practicing the disturbing methods undertaken by their uncle.

Yvonne was the first to gaze Thomas in the eyes, as she was his wet nurse. She watched with horror as he grow to be the man he is today, always healing him without questions as to the strange wounds and disgusting diseases. The long years of tending to the monster Thomas is and was played tricks on Yvonne's mind, making him think the nobleman's actions much less severe.

As a gifted healer Yvonne instantly recognized Thomas's brain tumor, but in a strange turn of events has informed no one, and doesn't tend to the illness. Were she asked about it she probably wouldn't know what to say, but deep down it appears she has decided it is Thomas's time to go. She brought him into this world, and through decided neglect, she'll be the one to lead him out as well.

Alexander von Gutherberg joined the Von Gutherberg family through marriage. Even before he gained the noble name, he was a master duelist, gaining honor and recognition in swordsplay competitions. He married a lesser Von Gutherberg and was happy to join the family enterprise. Then the naive noble discovered exactly what it is the Von Gutherbergs do. This hurt him deeply, and he turned to alcohol for comfort. The death of his wife from a beating he himself drunkenly delivered was the final straw, and he was forcibly moved out of the way from Brimhaven to Redford, to serve as a nominal captain of the Gateguard.

Appearance and beliefs[edit]

A grotesquely ugly and morbidly obese man, Thomas is not a pleasant sight. He stands at 5' 10'' and weighs an outstanding 365 lb. Various pores and cuts line his face, but they're not the signs of a violent life: rather, they display the various sexual diseases he's suffered from and subsequently recovered from. He tends to wear extravagant clothes that clash horribly with each other, as he has no sense of style.

It may sound strange to describe two people in the same exact way, but Alberto and Malaric truly are like mirror images of one another. They are both exactly 5' 9'' and weigh 125 lb. (how they maintain the same weight is unknown), and are both fairly handsome in a savage kind of way: raven hair, stark eyes and pale lips that are quick to smirk. However, they are rotten to the core, likely from the unpleasant experience of being fathered by a man like Thomas. Both have sociopathic tendencies and value no life other than that of himself and his brother.

Yvonne is one of the few people Thomas shows any respect towards, and he's never laid even a finger upon her. He even came up with the half-mocking, half-endearing term Cough-Crone, after Yvonne's terrible coughing (born from heavy tobacco use). Yvonne is a tiny old lady (4' 11'' and 100 lb.) with milky-white eyes and wrinkles all around. She has a permanent look of confused sadness on her face.

Alexander is a broken man in soiled clothes. He long ago stopped caring about grooming or hygiene, and thus smells of bitter sweat and even urine. He used to be tall and handsome once (6' 1'' and 150 lb.), but the weight of worry and alcoholism have bent and thinned him. The only times any sort of emotion other than dull dread seems to enter Alexander is when he gets violent, in which case a murderous fire lights in his alcohol-drowsed eyes and his movements once again become those of a master duelist.

Followers and allies[edit]

old_woman_by_mounachan-d3biwm9.jpg
The Cough-Crone,
without her usual cigarette.

Very few are willing to work with Thomas anymore, or any other Von Gutherberg for that matter. Only a few despicable cousins and hired arms still work with the noble. Most of those working in his healing services and prostitution rings are practically slaves, imprisoned by debts and even magical binds.

Thomas is served by his nephews - or more precisely, the two manipulate the degrading noble to use what little influence he has to the twin's benefit. Yvonne dislikes the two, but since Thomas trusts them, doesn't bat an eyelid to their grotesque habits. After all, she's seen much, much worse in the years she's tended to Thomas.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

If there ever was one thing one could complement about Thomas, it was his cutting mind: a wily businessman and a sharp thinker, there were few who could guess his plans. Now all that is gone, his mind ravaged by countless diseases and the tumor slowly pulsating in his rotten brain. Incapable of proper planning, the entire Von Gutherberg family has gone to ruins, and is on the verge of collapse. The only fear is that Thomas will pull others down with him when he goes.

Combat[edit]

Thomas has some training in the combative arts, but never quite mastered any style. His fighting resembles himself: rash, forceful and unpleasant. Thomas is rarely met in battle without his customized full plate, adorned with etches of wild boars. He is the only one who doesn't get the irony.

Alberto and Malaric invariably fight together, suppressing enemies with flanking maneuvers and strong offensive. They always attack the same opponent from two sides if at all possible, and are quick to use - and even waste - their strongest attacks to do this. Years of fisticuffs have made the two amazing hand-to-hand fighters, and they love using underhanded tricks (poking eyes, biting etc.) to their benefit. The two turn tail and run the instant the going gets too rough.

Yvonne never engages combat as such, but supports Thomas, Alberto and Malaric as best she can. She casts protective spells and heals effectively (always starting with Thomas). Don't award full experience for a fight with Yvonne: he is not really a combat-oriented character, and the healing effect she has on the other Gutherbergs is fairly minor. Killing her is a dark act to anyone who's interacted with her in any way, since she so clearly means no harm.

Alexander is a suicidal wreck. A long life of alcoholism, despise from pretty much everyone (due to marrying into a hated family) and eventually the death of his wife by his own drunken hand has made him a deathseeker. He has a terrifying habit in battle: he focuses his bloodshot eyes on a given foe, declares "You" in a hoarse voice, then rushes straight for them, fighting them viciously until one of the two is dead. Neither Alexander's intoxication nor his suicidal actions mean he is a bad combatant, or that he won't fight to his best abilities. Quite the contrary: he used to be a master swordsman, trained by the best.

Von Horinz[edit]

Admiral Taselhaf von Horinz

CR 4

Male dunner ranger 4
CG Small humanoid (dunner)
Init/Senses +3/Listen +8, Spot +8
Languages Maridian, Vulici
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 15
(+1 size, +3 Dex, +4 armor)
hp 22 (4 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +5/+7/+2
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
Melee masterwork rapier +6 (1d4/18-20)
Ranged +1 longbow +9 (+7/+7 with Rapid Shot) (1d6+1/×3)
Base Atk/Grp +4/+0
Atk Options +2 damage against humans
Abilities Str 11, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 16
SQ favored enemy (human), wild empathy, animal companion
Feats Endurance, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Track
Skills Climb +15, Handle Animal +10, Heal +8, Knowledge (geography) +9, Listen +8, Spot +8, Swim +7, Use Rope +10
Possessions +1 longbow, masterwork rapier, dwarvenwork chain shirt
Favored Enemy (Ex) Admiral Taselhaf gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against humans. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against animals.
Wild Empathy (Ex) Admiral Taselhaf can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. Admiral Taselhaf rolls 1d20+7 to determine the wild empathy check result. Admiral Taselhaf can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a -4 penalty on the check.
Animal Companion (Ex) Admiral Taselhaf has an animal companion, Fluffles (honorary Von Horinz), a fluffy little dog than nonetheless packs a mean bite.
Woodland Stride (Ex) Admiral Taselhaf may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.
Fluffles von Horinz (dog animal companion)
Size/Type: Small Animal
Hit Dice: 3d8+6 (19 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 18 (+1 size, +4 Dex, +3 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+1
Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d4+2)
Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d4+2)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent, link, evasion
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +2
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 18, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Jump +8, Spot +7, Listen +7, Survival +1
Feats: Alertness, Track, Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Any
Organization: Any
Challenge Rating:
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement:
Level Adjustment:


Evasion (Ex): With a successful Reflex save against an attack that allows a Reflex save for half damage, Fluffles takes no damage.

Link (Ex): Admiral Taselhaf can handle his animal companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if he doesn’t have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill. Admiral Taselhaf gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding an animal companion.

Skills: Dogs have a +4 racial bonus on Jump checks. Dogs have a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.

First Mate Gelhar

CR 3

Male dunner wizard 3
CG Small humanoid (dunner)
Init/Senses +2/Listen +2, Spot +2
Languages Maridian, Khabarat, Vulici
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10
(+2 Dex)
hp 13 (3 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +2/+3/+5
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
Ranged crossbow +4 (1d6/19-20)
Base Atk/Grp +1/-4
Spells Prepared (CL 3rd):
2nd—fog cloud, flaming sphere (DC 14)
1st—shield, magic missile (DC 14), ray of enfeeblement (DC 14)
0—acid splash (DC 14), daze (DC 14), ghost sound ×2 (DC 14)
Abilities Str 8, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 15, Cha 11
Feats Combat Casting, Toughness
Skills Concentration +7, Craft (maps) +10, Decipher Script +10, Knowledge (geography) +10, Knowledge (history) +10, Spellcraft +10

History[edit]

While humans dominate the nobility of the west, dunners and dwarves have long since become integrated to the noble atmosphere. Von Horinz is one such family: in the distant past, Von Horinz was a human family, but due to a strange mess of adoptions, illegal interracial marriages and lack of bookkeeping, the lineage became a dunner one. This messiness set the general tone for the Von Horinz family for the times to come: anything can be expected of a Von Horinz.

And the latest offspring is no exception to this rule: Taselhaf von Horinz was born in the family's home city of Fort Brunid, but turned out to be a wanderer by nature. He traveled, throwing money at problems when he could get away with it and devising insidious plans when he couldn't. A gambler, a robber, a spy and a sage, Taselhaf eventually ended up with a bum deal: he "won" a decrepit, old, indebted barge from a wily card shark. Taselhaf couldn't have been happier.

He adopted the title of Admiral (when asked for the paperwork, he always seems to have a different story for how he lost it), fixed the barge with the winnings from a lucky streak of gambling, and took to the high seas. The barge immediately sunk, as it is not fit for sea travel. He managed to get it towed, partly in pieces, to Calimport, where it was fixed under the counsel of Gelhar, whom Admiral Taselhaf took a liking took. When the restoration of the barge was finished, Admiral Taselhaf christened it Maid Mary after his late grandmother ("both have gone down more than once") and hired Gelhar as his First Mate for life.

Gelhar comes from the deeps of Ghaer in the easternmost reaches of Pansaer. He was born in a dunner village that still stuck to the old ways, venerating the Eight Winds and living in the trees without the comforts of the modern world. Gelhar was never happy with this, and ran away when the time would have come for his harsh puberty rites. As a hardy dunner he made his way to the outskirts of Eros, and from there to a life of seafaring.

Repeated visits to Calimport introduced him to Admiral Taselhaf, who had just then had his little accident with his newfound barge. Gelhar taught the naive noble about seafaring and the use of such barges, and masterminded the repairs. The two soon came to like each other, and decided to spend the rest of their days together on the barge.

Appearance and beliefs[edit]

a67a788d40011b113dae78945b9657f8.jpg
Few can resist the smile
or the freckles.

Admiral Taselhaf is the very image of a pompous noble. He doesn't let his tiny stature (4' 1'' and 115 lb.) slow him down in the least: thanks to his extravagant, brightly-colored clothes (invariably blues of different shades) and high hats (feathers aplenty) make him appear twice as big. Admiral Taselhaf has a big mouth and a habit of putting his foot in it, but he is extremely kindly and empathetic of other people's plight, which seems to go against basic dunner nature. Admiral Taselhaf has a cutely freckled face, a short-cropped blond hair and a constant, endearing smile.

Admiral Taselhaf has a nasty habit of trusting people who are clearly untrustworthy, and of going along with the worst of ideas. He's also much more insecure than he lets show, considering himself something of a stain on his family name, and hides his homosexuality, which in his native Fort Brunid is illegal (although in Calimport, few would even raise an eyebrow). He's got a massive crush on Gelhar, which he hides to his best ability - which isn't much, and pretty much everyone aboard Maid Mary knows.

First Mate Gelhar is a much more imposing figure than Admiral Taselhaf: he's tall (for a dunner: 4' 9'') but thin (120 lb.), giving him a frightening, famished look. He speaks in a gravely voice, after the manner of the ancient dunners, making him hard to understand even for those used to dunner inflection. Gelhar dresses simply in practical, drab clothes, so it'd be hard to guess that he holds such an important position on Maid Mary: indeed, he sometimes "forgets" to inform visitors of his position to better assess them. Gelhar's interest in the animist religion of the Eight Winds, and the associated studies into astrology, divination and the occult, are what kickstarted his wizardly career.

Followers and allies[edit]

Admiral Taselhaf is the captain of Maid Mary, the barge that wouldn't stay sunk, and commands its crew both through his position and through the force of his personality. The crew consists of a coxswain (currently a dwarf called Brutus), twelve dunner deckhands, four deck-apes, twenty scullers and a scrag affectionately named Rotplank Hank.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

Admiral Taselhaf is not one to plan ahead: he takes on lucrative work when he finds it and settles for transporting agricultural goods and stingy folk when the times are tough. What he'd secretly like is to get in touch with his family in Fort Brunid, but his insecurities make this an unlikely event. He'd also like to reveal his feelings to Gelhar: his First Mate wouldn't mind his captain coming clean about the matter, although he doesn't share the Admiral's sexuality.

Combat[edit]

While Admiral Taselhaf and Gelhar are close-knit outside the world of combat, they have no preference to fighting alongside each other. It's likely that they do, since they spend most of their time together, but not automatically true. Admiral Taselhaf is a skilled combatant, owing to years of poaching in the wild (more for the thrill than the money): he fights from a distance using his longbow, letting his crew hold the front while he hurls high-pitched commands and insults from the back. In fights he is assisted by his beloved dog Fluffles, who according to Admiral Taselhaf is an honorary Von Horinz. The dog looks like a spoiled poodle but fights surprisingly viciously, and shares a close link with the Admiral - just like the first three Fluffles before him.

Gelhar sticks to the arcane arts in combat, although he isn't above firing with his crossbow when the spells just aren't cutting it. Gelhar starts fights by casting shield on a frontline fighter (often a deck-ape), then follows it with a ray of enfeeblement on a warrior-type. He then barrages foes with a series of damaging spells, often supported by one or more of the barge's deck-apes, who are loyal to the First Mate who brought them from Ghaer to the Maid Mary.

Von Leaven[edit]

Harold von Leaven

CR 7

Male human ranger 7
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +4/Listen +12, Spot +12
Languages Maridian, Khabarat
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14; +1 dodge with Dodge, +1 shield with two weapons
(+4 Dex, +4 armor)
hp 45 (7 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +7/+9/+6
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 scimitar +8/+3 (1d6+3/18-20) and +1 short sword +8/+3 (1d6+3/19-20)
Ranged masterwork composite longbow (+2 Str) +12/+7 (1d8+2/×3)
Base Atk/Grp +7/+9
Atk Options +4 damage against animals, +2 damage against magical beasts
Abilities Str 15, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 12
SQ favored enemy (animal and magical beast), wild empathy, animal companion, woodland stride
Feats Dodge, Endurance, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Iron Will, Track, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Pounce
Skills Handle Animal +11, Hide +14 (+13 with armor), Jump +12 (+11 with armor), Knowledge (dungeoneering] +11, Knowledge (nature) +11, Listen +12, Move Silently +14 (+13 with armor), Spot +12
Possessions +1 scimitar, +1 short sword, masterwork composite longbow (+2 Str), masterwork chain shirt
Favored Enemy (Ex) Harold gains a +4 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against animals. Likewise, he gets a +4 bonus on weapon damage rolls against animals.

Harold gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against magical beasts. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against magical beasts.

Wild Empathy (Ex) Harold can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. Harold rolls 1d20+8 to determine the wild empathy check result. Harold can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a -4 penalty on the check.
Animal Companion (Ex) Harold has an animal companion, Rakesh, a massive tiger that he captured and eventually befriended on one of his hunting trips to the outskirts of the Red Wastes.
Woodland Stride (Ex) Harold may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.
Rakesh (tiger animal companion)
Size/Type: Large Animal
Hit Dice: 6d8+18 (45 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+14
Attack: Claw +9 melee (1d8+6)
Full Attack: 2 claws +9 melee (1d8+6) and bite +4 melee (2d6+3)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, pounce, rake 1d8+3
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent, link
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +3
Abilities: Str 25, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Balance +6, Hide +3, Listen +3, Move Silently +9, Spot +3, Swim +11
Feats: Alertness, Improved Natural Attack (bite), and Improved Natural Attack (claw)
Environment: Any
Organization: Any
Challenge Rating:
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement:
Level Adjustment:


tygerr_by_ailah-d71mn3x.jpg
A beast of the east.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a tiger must hit with a claw or bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can rake.

Pounce (Ex): If a tiger charges a foe, it can make a full attack, including two rake attacks.

Rake (Ex): Attack bonus +9 melee, damage 1d8+3.

Link (Ex): Harold can handle his animal companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if he doesn’t have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill. Harold gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding an animal companion.

Skills: Tigers have a +4 racial bonus on Balance, Hide, and Move Silently checks. In areas of tall grass or heavy undergrowth, the Hide bonus improves to +8.

Selena von Leaven

CR 5

Female human rogue 5
CG Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +5/Listen +3, Spot +3
Languages Maridian
AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 19
(+5 Dex, +4 armor)
hp 26 (5 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +4/+9/+4
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee masterwork longspear +5 (1d8+1 plus poison/×3)
Ranged masterwork longbow +9 (1d8 plus poison/×3)
Base Atk/Grp +3/+4
Atk Options sneak attack +3d6
Abilities Str 12, Dex 20, Con 13, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 19
SQ trapfinding, evasion, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge
Feats Combat Expertise, Great Fortitude, Improved Feint
Skills Appraise +9, Bluff +12, Disguise +12, Escape Artist +13, Forgery +9, Gather Information +12, Hide +13, Move Silently +13, Open Lock +13, Sleight of Hand +13
Possessions +1 studded leather armor
Sneak Attack (Ex) Selena can make a sneak attack, dealing an extra 3d6 points of damage, whenever a foe is denied his or her Dexterity bonus, or when she is flanking.
Evasion (Ex) Selena can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. She does not gain the benefit of evasion if she is helpless.
Trap Sense +1 (Ex) Selena gains an intuitive sense that alerts her to danger from traps, giving her a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Selena retains her Dex bonus to AC regardless of being caught flat-footed or attacked by an invisible opponent.
Poison (Ex) Injury, Fortitude DC 15, initial and secondary damage 1d6 Con. Selena poisons both her spear and her arrows with poison she milks from her pet snake Belle, although she distills the poison to be more potent.
Belle (viper snake)
Size/Type: Medium Animal
Hit Dice: 2d8 (9 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Armor Class: 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+0
Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d4-1 plus poison)
Full Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d4-1 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Poison
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +1
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 17, Con 11, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2
Skills: Balance +11, Climb +11, Hide +12, Listen +5, Spot +5, Swim +7
Feats: Weapon Finesse
Environment: Any
Organization: Any
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement:
Level Adjustment:


Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 11, initial and secondary damage 1d6 Con.

Michael von Leaven

CR 4

Male human sorcerer 4
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +2/Listen +2, Spot +2
Languages None (see appearance and beliefs below)
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10
(+2 Dex)
hp 18 (4 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +2/+3/+6
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee unarmed +1 (1d3-1 nonlethal)
Base Atk/Grp +2/+1
Spells Known (CL 7th):
2nd (4/day)—ghoul touch (all DC 15)
1st (7/day)—grease, charm person, color spray (all DC 14)
Abilities Str 9, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 17
Feats Skill Focus (profession), Spell Penetration, Toughness
Skills Concentration +8, Profession (cooking) +12, Spellcraft +7

History[edit]

Merchant_by_Stefana_Tserk.jpg
Harold prefers clothing reminiscent
of his days in the east.

A descendant of what he and his family claim to be the oldest line of nobles in Redford, Harold von Leaven of the ancient line of Von Leavens is the much-disputed but as-of-yet unconquered master of Redford politics. He has lived an interesting life, adventuring in the east in his youth before returning to his city of birth to rule the Von Leaven fortune. At first the nobility was doubtful, believing his (at the time) young age and eccentric life up to that point a hindrance, but he immediately showed his competence in politics by outwitting a young noble of a smaller line, sending him packing for Brimhaven. Harold also invested in silver, the trademark of his lineage, and accumulated an even greater fortune than he had inherited. The nickname "Silverking" began spreading like wildfire.

With grotesquely massive wealth (and an ego to match), Harold is the biggest political player in the west both economically and influence-wise. Easily one-tenth of all laborers in most cities answer to Harold, and another one-tenth wish they did: Von Leavens are known for their generosity and kindness towards those considered friends, and Harold has wisely upheld this image. Some of the more ironic types have claimed that it's easy being good when you're rich beyond belief, but handfuls of gold have shut a lot of mouths - and those that gold can't silence, economical strong-arming and political aggression certainly will. Harold isn't above a little dirt-slinging.

Harold married at an early age. His wife, Mathilda, was a thing for the history books: a beautiful noblewoman from Fort Brunid, with hair like fire, and a fiery personality as well. Unfortunately she suffered from a weak frame and a sickly composure, and died bearing the second Von Leaven child, Michael. Before him Mathilda had given birth to Selena, a child so like her mother that Harold can barely look upon her without tears. He never remarried, and as Michael died as an infant, the grief grew too much to bear. Many thought he was out of the political atmosphere of Redford for good. But Harold was to rise again: he secretly adopted a beggar child that looked very much like Michael had, and grew him in his Old Town estate.

Born shortly after the swift, yet passionate marriage of Harold and Mathilda (indeed, she was sired on their wedding night), Selena is the first child of Harold, and his only biological one. As she grew, she seemed to gain none of the features of her father, instead becoming almost a mirror image of her mother. Since women are a minority in the political games of Redford she could operate undetected, and found out her passion: that of stealing from the other nobles.

Fate was kind to the poor, nameless beggar boy that would come to be the adopted son of Harold von Leaven. The head of the Von Leaven lineage fell into a grim depression after his own son died. Yet on a cold October morning Harold was arriving to his Old Town estate and happened upon a young boy in torn clothes. His small, serious face woke something in the old noble's heart, and he took the child to his estate and fed him. Very soon he had settled into the manor, hid from the prying eyes of Harold's enemies. Although the existence of a "replacement son" is technically a secret, it is hardly that: many know of the adopted son of the Von Leaven's, but gold keeps those lips (mostly) sealed.

Appearance and beliefs[edit]

red_hair_by_satelliteghost-d55f6po.jpg
Men everywhere fall for Selena's looks.

Harold is the very image of a self-made man: he looks up to no one, and considers few his equal. His 5' 7'' frame and 185 lb. bulk he's hardly an imposing figure, but his ego and fame more than make up for it. He holds no allegiance to the gods, or as he'd put it: "As long as they do their job and I do mine, everyone's just dandy".

Harold has aged in a way that could perhaps be described as firm: he has lost almost all of his hair and lines crack his face, but the only strengthen the image of him as an unbending member of the "old blood" nobles. His eyes, a shade of gray that's almost silver, seem to playfully add to his fame as the "Silverprince".

At 6' 0'' and 150 lb. Selena is the polar opposite of her father, and the two look hilariously different the few times they stand side by side. She takes after her father's stern demeanor and habit of never chaning minds, though. Her hair is a strong shade of red like her mother's, and a few freckles do nothing to tarnish her beauty.

Selena is incredibly selfish, powerfully egoistic and fiercely independent, but even with all her failures of character she is at heart a good person. Sure, she thinks herself ahead of anyone else, but sees no need to hurt or hinder those that have done nothing to her. She is swift in anger, but also quick to laugh, and makes friends for a lifetime when she makes them. Enemies too, so those who would slight her need to beware.

Little escapes the sharp eyes of Michael von Leaven, but he is quick to turn his gaze when someone stares back, and he is entirely mute. Only his family members and the household staff can communicate with him in a type of sign language. The 5' 8'', 152 lb. young man has very few close friends, preferring to associate himself only with his father, his sister (who loves him with a vigor) and the elderly chefs of the Von Leaven estate.

Michael's shy nature hides a mind untarnished by the dark world, and if he were to set out to the world, he'd certainly become a great man. This is further outlined by his natural arcane talents: he has been capable of strange feats of sorcery. Unfortunately, the conservative atmosphere of Redford means he has to hide these talents. For now, Michael prefers the warmth of the household oven and the kindly chatter of maids and washer-ladies to a life of adventure.

Followers and allies[edit]

As already mentioned, the Von Leaven family controls an outlandish number of the various businesses and enterprises around the west, as well as numerous crews of mine workers. Some hundred shopkeepers - and indirectly those who work for them - answer to the Von Leaven line, with anywhere around two hundred miners working for him as well. Many of those who work of Harold are dwarves; they hold him in high esteem, thanks to his hardy and life-worn appearance and way of thinking.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

Harold has always been slow to act, preferring to react. So even as Carl von Arnberg seeks to buy him out of the mining game, the old noble has done little. He knows full well of the poor situation Carl is in, and is certain he will outlast the merciless newcomer. He does not know, however, of Carl's dark secret, or his insane plan to regain control - by assassinating three of the most important people in all of Redford.

Combat[edit]

Danan_by_Thaldir.jpg
The timid son of the Silverking.

Harold is a master hunter and tracker, thanks to his adventurous days, and quick on his feet: a dangerous combination to those who few who would seek to physically harm him. He avoids combat at all costs, however: it's bad for the image, and a lucky sword strike in the dark is a poor end for a good life and career. The many bodyguards of the Von Leavens safeguard Harold wherever he goes, and if blows come to blows, Harold quickly pulls out his trusty blades and lets them sing.

Selena is a wily tactician and a fighter of renown. She always seeks to sneak attack enemies, either with her longspear or (preferably) her longbow. If possible, she lets the poison in her weapons do the work, although she doesn't seek to kill foes. The poison in her weapons is a more potent version of the one her pet snake, Belle, possesses.

Michael spends his time in the Von Leaven estate kitchen. He keeps to himself, rarely speaks, and enjoys helping the cooks. He also maintains the magical fire in the stove. When discovering burglars or attacked, he unleashes a flurry of disabling spells, usually casting color spray first and following it with repeated use of ghoul touch. When enemies are disabled or escaping, he contacts the estate guard. Don't award full experience for a fight with Michael: he is not really a combat-oriented character.

Harold's animal companion Rakesh is an important combatant who mauls those who would attack its master. It approaches foes at Harold's command, attempting to use its improved grab to devastate single foes. Selena's pet snake Belle is not so much a fighter: usually the snake takes a bite at a foe, then attempts to hide. This is often enough, however, especially if Selena is there to finish the job.

The three Leavens rarely work together: not only are they rarely in the same place at the same time (Harold travels to maintain his businesses, Selena spends time in Brimhaven and Calimport and Michael rarely leaves the estate), they have different world views and have little strategical training. Still, if blows come to blows, the three can operate as an effective team. The Von Leaven family members are nearly invariably supported by guards hired by Harold, although Selena operates alone on her thieving ventures.

Von Masallah[edit]

Mallan von Masallah

CR 5

Male dwarf monk 5
NG Medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init/Senses +0/darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +12, Spot +12
Languages Maridian, Khabarat
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 16
(+4 Wis, +1 deflection, +1 bonus)
hp 37 (5 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +7/+6/+8; +2 against enchantments, poisons, spells and spell-like effects
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 quarterstaff +8 (1d8+5)
Base Atk/Grp +3/+6
Special Actions flurry of blows (+7/+7, damage 1d8+3)
Abilities Str 16, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 12
SQ darkvision 60 ft., stability, evasion, ki strike (magic), slow fall 20 ft., purity of body
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Unarmed Strike, Lightning Reflexes, Stunning Fist, Weapon Focus (quarterstaff)
Skills Diplomacy +9, Listen +12, Profession (merchant) +12, Spot +12
Possessions masterwork quarterstaff, ring of protection +1
Evasion (Ex) Mallan can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. He does not gain the benefit of evasion if he is helpless.
Still Mind (Ex) Mallan gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the school of enchantment.
Purity of Body (Ex) Mallan is immune to all diseases except for supernatural and magical diseases.

Mailin von Masallah

CR 5

Female dwarf cleric 5
NE Medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init/Senses +1/Listen +4, Spot +4
Languages Maridian, Khabarat
AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 18
(+1 Dex, +8 armor)
hp 37 (5 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +6/+3/+9; +2 against poisons, spells and spell-like effects
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
Melee masterwork dagger +5 (1d4+1)
Ranged +1 light crossbow +5 (1d8/19-20)
Base Atk/Grp +3/+4
Special Actions spells
Spells Prepared (CL 5th):
3rd—bestow curse, contagion, dispel magic (all DC 18)
2nd—hold person ×2, owl's wisdom, shatter (all DC 17)
Abilities Str 13, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 11, Wis 20, Cha 15
SQ darkvision 60 ft., stability, domain (Destruction)
Feats Lightning Reflexes, Toughness
Skills Concentration +10, Knowledge (history) +8
Possessions masterwork dagger, +1 light crossbow, full plate, periapt of wisdom +2

History[edit]

Many westerners travel to the far reaches of the east and make themselves a living in those lands, but much fewer are the easterners who'd succeed in life in the western kingdoms. Perhaps the westerner's inherent distrust of strangers makes life hard, or the vastly different weather and atmosphere, but it's uncommon. Mallan and Mailin are a shining example that sometimes easterners can not only succeed in the west, but thrive.

Son and daughter of Masallah bin Mizera, Mallan and Mailin are descendants of a long lineage of dunedelver dwarves from the Red Wastes. The family made its fortune through trade and safe transportation of water and slaves, and it was this life and its hardships that made both of the dwarves tough and unrelenting. However, some unseen difference made the two siblings entirely different of mindset: where Mallan is kind, generous and pious, Mailin is cruel, foul-mouthed and vicious.

When the two dwarves were twenty-two and nineteen, respectively, they escaped to a tradeship when the family was trading in Eros. The two had unusually adventurous and open minds for dwarves, and wished to see the world and make a living for themselves, away from the cruel son of the desert. They arrived in Brimhaven and, to better fit into the crowd, changed their surname from bin Masallah ("kin of Masallah") to just Masallah.

Both followers of Auri (since praying for release from the sun is common in the east), they nonetheless took to very different paths: Mallan became a trader in the city, and through ingenious skill he quickly became a notable merchant. His sister became a priest in one of the fanatical Aurite churches of the city, and rose in status just as quickly. She eventually became a Minister, and systematically began to abuse her power. It was through these successes that the two were made nobles, becoming Von Masallahs.

Appearance and beliefs[edit]

03922cbff27f44564a31d3b2b666d037.jpg
Mallan in a rare
fighting stance.

Mallan is a stout dwarf, neither tall (at 4' 5'') nor thick (at 135 lb.), but he is well-built, thanks to years spent defending the family caravan. His dark skin is complemented by the expensive clothes and myriad pieces of jewelery he wears, especially gold necklaces with precious stones. While his face looks hard thanks to years of toil, he smiles a lot, softening his looks tremendously, and his brown eyes are full of kindness and care.

The key feature of Mallan's personality is his generosity: Mallan is only happy if everyone around him is happy, and will not take no for an answer when paying for food, drinks, even jewelery for those around him. Many think him a soft person because of this feature, but when he takes on the role of a merchant, he becomes hard and unbending; a master barterer.

Mailin is taller and somewhat thinner than her brother (at 4' 7'' and 125 lb., respectively), and her features are equally harsh, but their choice of attire is very different. Mailin only ever wears the garb of an Aurite priest, that is a tunic of purest white with yellow bands as decor, and the small golden necklace that marks her as a Minister of her faith. She shares her brothers brown eyes, but they are filled with nothing but despise for those around her.

Unlike her brother, Mailin is tyrannical and petty, and she enjoys throwing her weight around - which is ironically one of the features that makes her a superb Minister. She is massively egoistic and quite unable to hide her nasty nature. She also has a very nasty tongue: she doesn't hold back when talking down to people (and she talks down to everyone), and she enjoys swearing, especially calling people names.

Followers and allies[edit]

Mallan controls a minor trade monopoly in Brimhaven, especially the marine trade from the east. Thus, dozens of dockworkers and lesser merchants answer to him. While Mallan is good-natured, he is not stupid, and also hires a number of bodyguard to defend him from the dangers of the chaotic naval city.

Of the two, Mailin has the greater number of people in her service. Since she's the Minister of a temple of Auri in the city, all lesser priests and clerics of the church answer to her in some extent. Her bossy, dominating nature means her orders are followed to the letter, and she further hires a number of unpleasant characters from the city's underworld when her Aurite pawns will not or cannot accomplish her purposes.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

The two dwarves are both fairly happy with their place in Brimhaven politics and atmosphere, and have no great plans of growth or conquest. Mailin is the more active of the two, and her plans gravitate around making sure her position doesn't falter. She dreams of one day becoming the Archbishop of Auri in Pansaer, but to do that she'd first have to become a High Minister, a massive ordeal in and of itself.

Combat[edit]

Female_Dwarf_by_JoeSlucher.jpg
Ever a coward, Mailin
wears a heavy plate armor
under her robes.

Mallan has little formal training in combat, but is a gifted hand-to-hand fighter nonetheless, thanks to long years spent defending the trade caravan of his family. While he doesn't enjoy fighting, and rarely has to nowadays thanks to his bodyguard, he is quite able to defend himself. He wields a quarterstaff two-handed in a spear-like fashion, and the blows of his weapon can strike his enemies out cold.

Mailin has little desire for close combat, and it shows: she wears heavy armor to protect herself, but stays back, unleashing crossbow bolts and effective spells (such as hold person) to incapacitate foes. She enjoys unfair fights where she's automatically the victor, but any other sort of scarp she seeks to escape as soon as possible. Thanks to her terrified servants, she rarely has to fight alone.

The siblings never fight together: they have little to no contact, dislike each other's company and avoid treading on each other's territory. The few occasions they're forced to be in the same place at the same time (in formal nobility events, for example) they can put on an act, but it fools few: the nasty glares they throw at each other escape no one's eyes.

Von Morr[edit]

Wilhelm von Morr

CR 3

Male human fighter 2 and rogue 1
LN Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +3/Listen +3, Spot +3
Languages Maridian
AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 15
(+3 Dex, +5 armor)
hp 17 (3 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +4/+5/+3
Speed 20 ft. in chainmail (4 squares), base speed 30 ft.
Melee masterwork rapier +7 (1d6+4/18-20)
Ranged dart +5 (1d4+3)
Base Atk/Grp +2/+5
Atk Options sneak attack +1d6
Abilities Str 16, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 13
SQ trapfinding
Feats Combat Expertise, Dodge, Improved Disarm, Weapon Focus (rapier)
Skills Appraise +7, Balance +7 (+3 with armor), Diplomacy +6, Disguise +6, Gather Information +6, Jump +7 (+3 with armor), Knowledge (local) +8, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +7 (+3 with armor), Tumble +7 (+3 with armor), Use Rope +7
Possessions masterwork rapier, masterwork chainmail, 20 darts
Sneak Attack (Ex) Wilhelm can make a sneak attack, dealing an extra 1d6 points of damage, whenever a foe is denied his or her Dexterity bonus, or when he is flanking.

History[edit]

Von Morr is one of the younger noble lineages in the west (if any of the lineages can be called young), and its currently ruling member, Wilhelm von Morr, is the brightest member in many ages. The grandparents of Wilhelm were kindhearted and generous, a terrible combination in the cruel politics of the town. They wasted away most of the family fortune, leaving Wilhelm's parents and the young noble himself almost broke. Wilhelm's parents had to associate themselves with the criminal element, regaining their wealth through drug trafficking and gambling rings.

Open criminal activity of nobles was (and is) far from respected in Redford, and Thomas von Gutherberg took a dislike to another lineage edging on his enterprises. Thus, in 3198, he ordered the assassination of the entire Von Morr line. The assassinations were only partly successful: Wilhelm's parents, his younger sister and quite a few cousins were successfully murdered, but Wilhelm survived, and took control of the family at the incredibly young age of 12. He showed brilliant ability in ruling the family business, and carved out a position for himself. He wisely moved to Calimport to run his operations: friends in Redford were getting scarce.

Eventually Wilhelm decided the time was right for payback. Thomas von Gutherberg's second wife (his first had died in a suspicious accident years back) was killed in a carriage accident, his enterprises terrorized and even outright destroyed, and his illegal activities suddenly became known, down to the last detail, to Lucas Hayworth, who proceeded to crack down on all fronts. The Von Gutherberg family was suddenly poor, influenceless and miserable. Yet to this day Wilhelm claims no part in these activities (except for the ones that he legally ordered), and maintains that sometimes, accidents happen.

Appearance and beliefs[edit]

lord_balen_by_nemanja_s-d6y3w1g.jpg
Wilhelm von Morr - or is it?

Wilhelm is a stout believer in the rule of law, and furthermore that law should be decreed by those who claim it:­ after all, aren't strength and willpower great signs of leadership? He takes part in no illegal activities, clearly distancing himself from the depths his parents had fallen to before their demise. This doesn't mean he is kind, however: in ruling the family business, he is absolutely brutal, using any way - be it cruel, merciless or uncalled for - within the boundaries of law. Wilhelm is a just man, but his justice is of the harshest kind.

Wilhelm is 6' 2'' tall and weighs 187 lb. His hair is black in an unclean fashion that looks like it was gray before it was darkened with ash and soot. It is this raven hair, his penchant for dark clothing (blackened armor and dark-­red tunics being a favorite) and his absolute stance on the side of law that has earned him the nickname "the Black Knight" ­- in no way a taunt, and even his enemies use it only in respect.

Followers and allies[edit]

The most important aides of Wilhelm are his doppelgangers: a group of fantastic shapechanger actors that look and behave just like him. At any given time three to four such actors hired from the east work for him, and attend meetings and celebrations in his stead ­- he never visits any of the noblemen's pastimes, much rather spending his time carefully operating his businesses. He also employs spies and guards, although not in the same sort of numbers Harold or Carl do. Harold is one of the few people Wilhelm truly likes, and they have a glass at the Von Leaven estate from time to time. Lucas Hayworth is also a friend, but the unclear activities regarding the Von Gutherbergs drive a wedge between the two.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

Wilhelm is always on the crest of information regarding all of the Basket area: nothing escapes his spying eyes, and no one knows his plans for sure. He's definitely edging on Von Arnberg turf, but not in the same amounts Harold is. Recently there's been rumor of the noble seeking a wife: the handsome man has no lack of suitors, but he's looking for something special, as word of mouth knows to say. And who can be sure?

Combat[edit]

Wilhelm has some training in traditional swordsplay (as most nobles do), and enjoys the occasional friendly one­-on-­one. In actual combat he seeks higher ground, uses his feats and abilities to defend himself and calls for help whenever he can. He has no qualms about running away: being dead is bad for business. The few times he knows he'll have to face someone, he'll be followed by guards, as well as at least two doppelgangers.

Wilhelm fights especially well with his doppelgangers, using flanking to rack up sneak attacks. As a gifted swordsman, he seeks to disarm foes (also partly because he doesn't enjoy killing people). The dopplegangers quickly take on the noble's looks, making targeting him in battle a hassle. Occasionally, Wilhelm and the dopplegangers employ a ruse where two of them run away from battle and the third stays and fights - but thanks to their identical looks, no one knows which one stays and which ones ran.

Von Striga[edit]

Allain von Striga

CR 6

Male vampire fighter 4
NG Medium undead
Init/Senses +4/Listen +5, Spot +5
Languages Maridian, Luskan
AC 25, touch 14, flat-footed 21; +1 dodge with Dodge
(+4 Dex, +6 natural, +5 breastplate)
hp 26 (4 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +6/+7/+6
Speed 20 ft. in breastplate (4 squares), base speed 30 ft.
Melee keen longsword +12 (1d8+11/17-20) and slam +6 (1d6+6 plus energy drain)
Base Atk/Grp +4/+10
Special Actions blood drain, dominate, create spawn, energy drain
Abilities Str 23, Dex 19, Con —, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 19
SQ children of the night, damage reduction 10/silver and magic, fast healing 5, gaseous form, resistance to cold and electricity 10, spider climb
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Weapon Focus (longsword), Weapon Specialization (longsword)
Skills Climb +13 (+10 with armor), Intimidate +11, Jump +13 (+10 with armor), Swim +13 (+7 with armor)
Possessions keen longsword, masterwork breastplate
Blood Drain (Ex) Allain can suck blood from a living victim with his fangs by making a successful grapple check. If he pins the foe, he drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution drain each round the pin is maintained. On each such successful attack, Allain gains 5 temporary hit points. Since Allain resists his vampiric urges, he never drains blood from anyone except his wife, unless completely out of control.
Children of the Night (Su) Allain commands the lesser creatures of the world and once per day can call forth 1d6+1 rat swarms, 1d4+1 bat swarms, or a pack of 3d6 wolves as a standard action. These creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds and serve Allain for up to 1 hour.
Dominate (Su) Allain can crush an opponent’s will just by looking into his or her eyes. This is similar to a gaze attack, except that Allain must use a standard action, and those merely looking at him are not affected. Anyone the vampire targets must succeed on a Will DC 15 save or fall instantly under Allain's influence as though by a dominate person spell (caster level 12th). The ability has a range of 30 feet.
Create Spawn (Su) A humanoid or monstrous humanoid slain by Allain's energy drain rises as a vampire spawn 1d4 days after burial.

If Allain instead drains the victim’s Constitution to 0 or lower, the victim returns as a spawn if it had 4 or less HD and as a vampire if it had 5 or more HD. In either case, the new vampire or spawn is under the command of Allain and remains enslaved until its master’s destruction. At any given time Allain may have enslaved spawn totaling no more than twice his own Hit Dice; any spawn he creates that would exceed this limit are created as free-willed vampires or vampire spawn. A vampire that is enslaved may create and enslave spawn of its own, so a master vampire can control a number of lesser vampires in this fashion. A vampire may voluntarily free an enslaved spawn in order to enslave a new spawn, but once freed, a vampire or vampire spawn cannot be enslaved again.

Energy Drain (Su) Living creatures hit by Allain's slam attack gain two negative levels. For each negative level bestowed, Allain gains 5 temporary hit points. Allain can use his energy drain ability once per round.
Alternate Form (Su) Allain can assume the shape of a bat, dire bat, wolf, or dire wolf as a standard action. While in its alternate form, Allain loses his natural slam attack and dominate ability, but gains the natural weapons and extraordinary special attacks of his new form. He can remain in that form until he assumes another or until the next sunrise.
Gaseous Form (Su) As a standard action, Allain can assume gaseous form at will as the spell (caster level 5th), but he can remain gaseous indefinitely and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability.
Spider Climb (Ex) Allain can climb sheer surfaces as though with a spider climb spell.

"Beau" Elisabeth von Striga

CR ½

Female human aristocrat 1
LG Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +1/Listen +5, Spot +5
Languages Maridian
AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10
(+1 Dex)
hp 4 (1 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +0/+1/+5
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Unarmed +0 (1d3 nonlethal)
Base Atk/Grp +0/+0
Abilities Str 11, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 18
Feats Alertness, Negotiator
Skills Appraise +6, Diplomacy +10, Gather Information +8, Handle Animal +8, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +6, Perform (flute) +8, Sense Motive +8

History[edit]

the_pale_lady_by_shin_himatomora-d412dc1.jpg
Looks ungodly but feels divine.

The young, handsome looks of Allain von Striga hide a history much longer than most of contemporary Fort Brunid. The young noble, born before even the Arn-Wars had been waged, had to inherit his fortune at the fairly young age of thirty, due to a ravaging plague that took his father. They were dark times in the history of Pansaer, and evil beings ran amok even in the better parts. Only two years after his father's death young Allain was bitten by a creature of the night: a vampire.

Allain was buried by his grieving mother, who took her life soon after the funeral. But the Von Striga line was not yet quenched: from the cold soil rose Allain, no longer human. In an amazing turn of events the count was not outed as an undead, but managed to wrest the control of the family fortune from the greedy hands of other nobles. He continued to lead the lineage to the year 1743, when he was at the impressive age of 102. He retired to travel abroad and (it was reported) perished on the journey. Soon, a "cousin" of dashing looks and charming eyes claimed the position of head of family, with indisputable proof of his heritage: Allain's ring, apparently given to him before the noble's demise.

Allain took the title-like name of his "uncle" to respect his memory, and life went on. This course of events repeated itself again and again with slight variations each time. The latest time Allain brought with him a wife: Elisabeth, a beautiful woman rumored to be from the mystical Isle of Man. But no one remains unblemished forever, and the woman's pale complexion and cold habits kickstarted the (in retrospect ironic) rumor of her vampiric nature.

Elisabeth was born and raised in the capital city of Fort Brunid, and it is a part of her character: she is as hard and as reliable as the walls of that old fortress are. Living the sheltered life of a castle-maid was not for Elisabeth, who set up an establishment tailoring and selling clothes. Allain von Striga quickly became a steady customer, and soon after that much more.

It was not long until Allain came out with his dark secret. Elisabeth, after her nature, was understanding but firm: there was to be no hunting for beggars and lowlifes anymore. All blood the noble would drink would come from the veins of his wife. At first Allain was horrified, but soon grew to marvel the strength of her wife's conviction. If anything, the repeated feedings have drawn the two closer to each other, as well as having gained a strong sexual undertone.

Appearance and beliefs[edit]

Time and time again has Allain been nominated the most handsome man in all of the west: brown, vibrant hair, eyes the color of topaz, lean disposition and unmatched style in clothing, he is the very image of a proud noble. Yet his kindness and outright saintliness have earned him the praise and adoration of the common man. At 5' 8'' and 145 lb. he's on the skinnier side.

Elisabeth is 5' 2'' and weighs 100 lb. Her nickname "Beau" is well-deserved, but often employed mockingly and with jealousy. The hard nature of the beautiful woman is not swayed by this petty spite: her love and life is sworn to Allain alone. She is deathly pale of skin, which is often used as evidence of her monstrous nature, but is actually due to both naturally ivory skin and the repeated feedings of Allain.

Followers and allies[edit]

The couple has purposefully distanced themselves from the everyday life of Fort Brunid, letting cousins and other family connections run the basics. This habit is frowned upon by other nobles, but since it puts them out of the political atmosphere, no one is complaining. Allain has no allies as such, and mostly spends his time with his wife Elisabeth.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

Allain and Elisabeth are happy with their lives as-is. Thirty or forty years along the road another change of generation might be required, but for now Allain does little but enjoys riding, reading, good wine, and many romantic moments with his gorgeous wife.

Allain has forsaken his vampiric heritage and has spawned no spawn, nor sired a single full-blood vampire. The couple have began contemplating turning Elisabeth into a vampire, but Allain fears that his wife is physically not strong enough to bear the process - even he only barely made it.

Combat[edit]

Despite the incredible power given to him by his vampiric nature, Allain is a rather conservative fighter. He'd rather disarm and incapacitate than maim or murder, and generally fights only with equal enemies, unless properly provoked (for example by threatening his wife). If need be Allain will use his powers to save himself or his wife, but after that it's anyone's guess what he'll do to witnesses.

Elisabeth is no fighter, but her fierce nature and natural courage lead to her being the likelier of the two to end into a scrap. A cooling word from Allain is occasionally required to calm the fierce noblewoman.


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