About Esteriande d'Litran
"You 'ave been a varry naughty boy, and you must be, 'ow you say, shastised ..."
A tall elven woman with strawberry blond hair she often dresses in fine violet and purple clothing, with a brooch formed into the holy symbol (bird with elongated tail feathers curling around) of Shelyn her patron. She speaks with a rich Galt accent, and beneath her cloak a mithral shirt gleams while thigh-high black riding boots cover her legs. On her back are slung a longbow and an elven curveblade.
*Acrobatics 14 (6+3 ranks +5 Dex)
Favoured Class: Paladin (+1 hp per level).
Feats: Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise, Leadership, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (elven curveblade).
50' silk rope (coloured); Bedroll; Backpack; map case; candles, 3; flint & steel; torches, 3; grappling hook; book (journal); iron pot; 3 days trail rations; sealing wax; ink; waterskin; sunrods, 5 + belt holder; saddlebags; military saddle; manacles; exotic manacles; leg spreaders; masterwork chastity belt (male); masterwork chastity belt (female); strap-on prosthetic; slave collar, fancy, x2; various carved & polished wooden implements; whip; riding crop; holy symbol, silver; nobles outfit; exotic lingerie. Masterwork Healer's Kit.
Mount: Greyfog: Heavy warhorse, combat trained.
Esteriande was born in Galt, one of the Forlorn elves of that region, long before the nation's endless cycle of revolution and terror began. She witnessed it's descent from philosophy and intellectualism into madness and revolution. She became convinced that the humanoid races of the world held the keys to both their salvation and their damnation, and sought out an answer that came in the form of a play about love redeeming one's soul. She chose therefore to dedicate her life to love and justice, to the redemption of the fallen and the protection of the innocent. Taking up her father's nimble blade she has moved slowly through Varisia, seeking the answers to the present in the clues from the past. Recently the depradations of the Skinsaw Killer have attracted her ire: she suspects there is more to this serial killer than first appears, something ancient and evil has awoken ...
Swift Justice Archetype:
Lose proficiency with medium and heavy armour, gain Acrobatics, Bluff, Intimidate, Perception and Stealth as class skills. Lose Mercy class feature and gain:
Truth's Razor: at 3rd level the paladin gains a +1 bonus to damage with finesse weapons, and a +1 dodge bonus to AC while wielding a finesse weapon. This bonus increases by a further +1 at ever three levels, to the limit of the paladin's intelligence modifier (but always a minimum of +1).
Sect of the Shackled Heart:
While the origins of this sect are disputed, with some claiming they were originally apostates from Calistria, it is widely agreed that the cult is definitely on the carnel and kinky side, with some of Shelyn's 'purer' devotees decrying their 'perversions' as unfitting for inclusion within the mainstream church. In actual fact, the sect is more lawful than chaotic; they hold that love is not limited to being held to a single person, but that to commit love to someone (or to a group) without reservation is one of the greatest commitments a person can make. Indeed, while member of the sect are extremely promiscuous, they may also practice long term (and even enforced) celibacy.
The sect tends to attract prostitutes and other sex-workers because of their acceptance that not everyone has the opportunity, or has the nature, to commit to a single person. Love for many is as valid as love for one, they argue, if the love is selfless and freely given.
Likewise, the sects use of certain methods of chastisement is likewise linked to their devotion to love rather than lust. Without pain one cannot experience pleasure. If one rewards with love, one must likewise punish with love. "Water purifies the body," a priestesses claim, "and the scourge purifies the soul."
I am peaceful. I come first with a rose. I act to prevent conflict before it blossoms.
I never strike first, unless it is the only way to protect the innocent.
I accept surrender if my opponent can be redeemed—and I never assume that they cannot be. All things that live love beauty, and I will show beauty's answer to them.
I will never destroy a work of art, nor allow one to come to harm unless greater art arises from its loss. I will only sacrifice art if doing so allows me to save a life, for untold beauty can arise from an awakened soul.
I see beauty in others. As a rough stone hides a diamond, a drab face may hide the heart of a saint.
I lead by example, not with my blade. Where my blade passes, a life is cut short, and the world's potential for beauty is lessened.
I live my life as art. I will choose an art and perfect it. When I have mastered it, I will choose another. The works I leave behind make life richer for those who follow
“I was passing zrough ze old coast road when I came upon the remains of two loverrs I 'ad blessed eerlierr zat day. Zey 'ad been torn limb frrom limb, zeir bodies ravaged and 'alf consumed by monstrous beasts zat left a foul stench. I was only able to rrecognize zem from ze furry 'andcuffs I gave zem earlier – you know, for when zings get a leettle dull. Of course, I swore justice upon zere slayers, and pursued ze trail to Foxglove Manorr.
“I tezerred my faithful steed in ze ruined outbeelding and zere I deescoverred a well from which ze smell of a carnel 'ouse was emerging – a smell I reeconized from ze slain loverrs. I 'ad silken rope with me (for when zings get a leettle dull) so I descended into ze depths, after a leettle spell or two to get an advantage or two. At ze base of ze well I found ze entraance to a caverrn, where a mighty undead bat assailed me. It was swift and deadlee, yet I called upon my divine alliance and with ze servants of Shelyn and with luck and judgment I prevailed. Alas, ze bat 'ad called it's allies, before I could find a defonsible position, they 'ad me surrounded and seized me fast, though I wounded several in ze process.
“Zat was when I was brought before ze Skinsaw Man. 'E was a piece of work, I can tell you! 'E seemed unaware zat the ze ghoul fever would not effect one blessed by ze gods, and 'e was detirmined I should join 'is filthee pack. As you saw, 'e had me chained with my own manacles – but of course, I know ze trick of getting out of zem – it 'as come in 'andy a few times! My plan was to slip free and seize my sword ze moment 'is back was turned an make 'im into sushi, but 'e just would not shut up! Fortunately you arrived before 'e finally bored me to death. Still, I 'ave learned much from 'is ranteeng. It seems I must investigate furzer in ze city of Magnimar to find out 'oo is be'ind zis foul plot an what zey intend.”
The Broken Rose
When your compassion and mercy are rejected in favour of the desire to do evil, then can your wrath be raised.
Pre-requisite: Paladin class, worshipper of Shelyn and adoption of that Paladin's code.
Benefit: Whenever you offer mercy and compassion to those you confront, and they reject the flower and beauty of your offer for the opportunity to do more evil, then they have 'broken the rose'. When in combat with such beings you gain a +1 bonus to hit and damage them, and a +1 bonus to all saving throws against them and a +1 AC bonus against them. This is in addition to any other bonuses, such as from smite evil. 'breaking the rose' operates under the same condition as smite evil once it occurs: it lasts until the end of the day, or until the creature is slain. It cannot re-occur unless the individual again rejects love for evil.
Special: This ability does not apply if the person either cannot understand your offer (for example, they do not speak your language), or they are unable to comply due to following a greater cause (as a rule of thumb any action they are undertaking that would be in accordance to Shelyn's code and could not be followed if they yielded would count as such a cause), or otherwise through no fault of their own. For example, it could not be used on a person you call on to surrender who rejects your call in order to destroy a priceless work of art, which unbeknown to you is a lich's phylactery they have only moments to destroy before the lich reforms.