About Ferrucio de Angelis
Hit Points: 9/9
Wealth: 41 gp, 7 sp, 6 cp
Cantrips (3, at will): daze, open/close, ray of frost
Pages left: 82½ / 100
Background & Personality:
Born into House Charthagnion in Egorian, Ferrucio had a relatively staid upbringing for a noble scion of that particular house; he was introduced to his first devil at the age of five, and has been steeped in the arts of diabolism ever since.
As he grew, Ferrucio was groomed to assume a place of power in his noble house. Trained as a diplomat--and, if need be, spy--his tutors instructed him in the ways of gaining confidences as well as leaning on contacts for information .
One afternoon, as the teenage Ferrucio lounged indolently in his family's orangery, his idle contemplation was shattered by yells and screams from the main residence. By the time Ferrucio had run the hundred and fifty yards back to the manor, he could only watch in shock as a bone devil impaled Gerrick, the Master at Arms, on its wicked tail. The devil looked all but spent--but Gerrick appeared to have been the last line of defence between it and Ferrucio's father, who stood quavering on the stairs as the devil tossed Gerrick's body aside and advanced once more.
The scene inside the manor was chaotic: there were bodies and parts of bodies everywhere, and when Ferrucio stepped backward away from the horrific sight that confronted him, he slipped on the bloody floor and landed on his backside. Ferrucio was further startled when Elba, the family's resident arcanist--hired to protect against precisely these sorts of incidents--suddenly became visible beside him. Elba laid his hands on Ferrucio's head, spoke a few words of arcane power, and even as searing pain raced through Ferrucio's body, he saw the bone devil turn around abruptly before it winked out of existence. Then, he slept.
When he finally awoke, Ferrucio felt frail. He later discovered that Elba had, through some forgotten necromantic rite, tapped into Ferrucio's life force and used it to power his final spell, a banishment. Elba had saved Lord Charthagnion's life--but at the cost of Ferrucio's health. Further, Ferrucio's brush with the arcanist's forgotten magics had permanently changed him: he was now able to see lines of magical force binding all things, and his family--troubled--eventually agreed to send him to the Egorian Academy for tuition .
Elba, as it turned out, had been offered as a sacrifice to a summoned devil who had been tasked with uncovering the source of the plot to kill Lord Charthagnion.
Ferrucio--previously apathetic about most academic instruction--took to his lessons quickly and completely. He mastered conjuration magic easiest of all, but found divinations and illusions harder to comprehend.
Some years later, after his graduation from the academy, his mother took him aside, sat him down, and told him that House Thrune had been responsible for the attack on them, all those years ago.
Ferrucio, confused, thought that his mother was dissembling, but she explained that the divinations conducted by the family and their diabolic servants had revealed this truth shortly after the incident--but that Ferrucio's father had failed to act in fear of retribution.
But now, his mother told him, was the time for decisive action. She wanted him to go to Westcrown, the old capital, where House Thrune's hold is weakest, and spend time there seeking allies. Grimly, Ferrucio agreed.
Having made his way to Westcrown, Ferrucio adopts the name 'de Angelis' (mostly out of irony) and uses his social skills to inveigle his way inside a number of different groups of disaffected citizens, and quickly learns that something is afoot--something big.
Carefully hiding his spellcasting ability for now, Ferrucio seeks a rebel group he thinks might make a difference, and take him on the first step toward an overthrow of the government of the city.
If there was one word you could use to describe Ferrucio, it would be 'driven'. He sees devils as tools--like many in Cheliax--and it's his intention to bend his magical aptitude toward becoming an effective summoner of them. (In other words, angling toward the diabolist prestige class.)
He recognises that it's highly likely his soul is destined for Hell and he can be a cold, calculating bastard, but he believes that one or all of three things justify his actions: (1) the ends justify the means, (2) summoning evil creatures to do his bidding does not make him personally evil--as by unleashing these vile creatures he is actually working toward a greater good, and (3) if he pushes his capabilities to the limit, he might just find a loophole--some sort of salvation for his soul that will divert it from its present inevitable course.
I am looking to play Ferrucio with pathos rather than as a scheming, nasty, petulant spoiled nobleman. And he is Lawful Neutral, and intends to stay that way (rather than sliding into Lawful Evil, for instance). Despite his tendencies toward Good, Ferrucio does not at present believe he can transcend his upbringing and his basic nature.
Who knows, over time he may change to the point where he no longer seeks to become a diabolist, but that's the only thing he knows at the moment.
FERRUCIO DE ANGELIS CR 1
Male Human (Chelaxian) Rogue (Spy) 1 / Wizard 1
LN Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +7
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10. . (+2 Dex)
hp 9 (1d8+1d6-2)
Fort -1 (+1 vs. drugs & poison), Ref +2, Will +3 (+1 vs. mind-affecting effects from devils; +1 vs. mind-affecting effects)
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Dagger +0 (1d4/19-20/×2)
. . Dagger +0 (1d4/19-20/×2)
. . Shanwen's mace +0 (1d8/20/×2)
. . Unarmed Strike +0 (1d3/20/×2)
Ranged Light Crossbow +2 (1d8/19-20/×2)
Special Attacks sneak attack +1d6
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 8, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Noble Scion of Magic (1/day), Rogue Weapon Proficiencies, Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus: Conjuration, Wizard Weapon Proficiencies
Traits Diabolist Raised, Secret Revolutionary (Cheliax)
Diplomacy +7 (+1 vs. Westcrown nobility)
Intimidate +7 (+1 vs. Westcrown nobility)
Knowledge (Arcana) +9
Knowledge (Local) +8
Knowledge (Nobility) +11
Knowledge (Planes) +12
Knowledge (Religion) +8
Sense Motive +3 (+1 vs. Westcrown nobility)
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Daemonic, Infernal, Protean
5 × iron vial
1 × oil flask
50' of twine
In scroll case
10 × parchment
In belt pouch
small steel mirror
2 × powder
2 × potions of cure light wounds
In spell component pouch
Ferrucio's career path:
I thought I might add something more specific about where I see Ferrucio going.
I am contemplating taking a single level of rogue, either vanilla or with the spy archetype. It would fit in with Ferrucio's background as a smooth-talker and his training in diplomacy and information-gathering, with the mechanical basis being to expand his list of class skills. Having the party wizard being able to aid another consistently on Diplomacy, Bluff and Intimidate rolls would be pretty handy.
After that, it would be wizard all the way until a prestige class called--if one did. I leave the door wide open for Ferrucio's future to be determined by events of the AP and interactions with the other PCs and NPCs.
I spent some time last night questioning my assertion that Ferrucio's alignment is Lawful Neutral, but in the end I can't work out a better option. Here's my rationale:
Born outside his noble house and the strictures of life in Cheliax, Ferrucio would likely have been Neutral Good. That's who he is at the core.
When you layer on the complexities of his upbringing and his family's position in the nobility, he slides toward Lawful Evil.
Throw in his opposition to the House of Thrune and the established order in Cheliax, and now he sounds like a Chaotic-leaning character.
But when you smush all that together, I think it makes for a complex, nuanced character who is neutral on the moral axis (using evil as a tool to do good--he walks a fine line), but who remains consistent to his own ethical code--making him Lawful.
Consider a situation where one of Ferrucio's companions was captured and he was the only one in a position to do something about it: he would likely summon the most powerful devil he could, and offer it his own soul/pain/torment as the sacrifice.
Is that Evil? Is it Good? Probably both. Is it Lawful? Absolutely. He believes in the covenant he strikes and will honour it to the letter.
When Ferrucio thinks of the brave new world he'd like to see in Westcrown after the overthrow of the government, it's all about order and civlity--but without the dogma of the current administration, and without the oppression of the Hellknights.
I hope that makes sense!
Fitting in with the rest of the party:
I see Ferrucio as a foil for the Shelyn-worshippers amongst the party. You know how in a group of people facing a horrible task, one of them is usually willing to step up and do it? That's Ferrucio. He would see himself as being capable of acting in ways and places that Illithia and Dracius can't or shouldn't. He is willing to shoulder the burden of consorting with evil if that is what is in the best interests of the party. With Bishop, he would likely find some common ground; both men seem somewhat nihilistic in their worldviews.
As time goes by I fully expect (and hope) that Ferrucio's own worldview might be affected by the other members of the party--especially Illithia, who Ferrucio is likely to develop a total attachment to--she represents everything that he feels he can never be. Whether that attachment remains platonic or becomes something else would be down to the way the campaign plays out.