About Tolus the Serpent Servant
Male Vishkanya Rogue (Poisoner) 3/Monk 1
Init +5 ; Senses: Perception +9(+2 vs traps), Low-Light Vision
STATS (10,14,13,10,12,12 pre-race)
Rogue Talent: Combat Trick: Adder Strike
Earning your Freedom (+1 Fort/Campaign)
Reactionary (+2 Init.)
Trained Skills :
(Skill bonus (w/shield)=rank+ability+class+misc)
Craft (alchemy).. 7=4+0+3
Escape Artist ....10(8)=2+3+3+2(race)
Know (nobility) ..5=2+0+3
Know (local) .....5=2+0+3
Perform (Oratory) 6=1+2+3
Slight of Hand....10(8)=4+3+3
(+2 rank from favored class)
Consumables (potions, poisons, etc.):
Poison Use: Vishkanyas are skilled in the use of poison and never accidentally poison themselves when using or applying poison.
Toxic: A number of times per day equal to his Constitution modifier (minimum 1/day), a vishkanya can envenom a weapon that he wields with his toxic saliva or blood (using blood requires the vishkanya to be injured when he uses this ability). Applying venom in this way
Vishkanya Venom: Injury; save Fort DC 10 + 1/2 the vishkanya’s Hit Dice + the vishkanya’s Constitution modifier; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Dex; cure 1 save.
Weapon Familiarity: Vishkanyas are always proficient with blowguns, kukri, and shuriken
Carrying Capacity: 38/76/115
Hot Weather Outfit
Shield (heavy wooden)
The Exotic. Everyone chases it in the upper levels of any society. This is especially true for the elite of Kataphesh. Nothing is denied them. In a land were commerce is law, these people ride the crests of the golden tide of trade. For them, what is normally Exotic is just barely acceptable.
Then there are the people who make the Extoic and extravagant lifestyles possible. Tolus has always been one of those slaves who observed luxury so closely, and yet from a distance.
It started when he was young. He and his family were captured and sold into slavery by unknown people. Raiders or monsters most likely. His origin is almost laughably stereotypical in that regard. He was sold as a different lot from his parents presumably to raise the price. He was "malleable". He was also Exotic. Not many Vishkanya have the multi-colored scales and the extreme serpentine eyes possessed by this Vishkanya. He was special.
The bidding was a mad house. His price, egged on by the master auctioneer, soon soared over the normal 50 gp price for a household slave. When the gavel sounded he had nearly tripled that price.
His new master was a Guild Master of slave traders named Riyar al Bohoor who instantly recognized Tolus's potential. Terrified, hungry, and scrawny, Tolus was given a place as an apprentice to the head of servers and entertainers for the Guild Master's personal troupes and harems named simply Ashshram. Tolus's earliest memories are of following Ashshram up and down the servants stairs carrying small loads. Learning never to show his fangs. Learning to never look a Mistress in the eye unless asked. Learning never to speak, how to bow, how to speak without hissing when asked, when to bow, how to walk, what to wear, when to wear it, and all the other myriad rules and expectations of the Guild Masters. He also taught Tolus how to listen for rumors. How to read faces, and how to walk in a crowd unseen.
In all things, Tolus excelled. He rarely had to be told how to do or what to do twice. As he grew he became Ashshram's pride and joy, almost like a son.
Then he was sold. Sold for a record setting amount, he overheard. His new master's Book-Keeper had a habit of speaking under his breath and rarely recognized that the slaves had ears, too. Tolus learned a lot from him about the politics of the nobility. Mostly it was who was courting whom and the stir it was causing with such and such, but occasionally Tolus overheard little tips. Like how to hide a knife in your palm. How to drip poison in your foe's cup just so.
It may not be coincidence that his second master died shortly after Tolus overheard this remark. Myserious blood clotting, or so the whispering said.
Now began what Tolus later came to call the "Parade of Masters". He was bought and sold at a blistering speed, sometimes only spending a few minutes with his new master before a deal was struck and he was ushered the opposite way down a street. All this because he was Exotic. One of a kind. The perfect Serpent-Servant.
Finally, Tolus was deposited in the Menagerie of one of the greatest of Phesh Guild Masters. But here he was not a slave, he was a trophy. Apparently, the Master had out maneuvered several others in the quest to acquire Tolus. Tolus was little more than a head on the wall to him. He was marginally better because of the fact that he could walk and didn't have to be mounted somewhere, and was told this often. He was property. He was no longer Exotic. He was just another in a long line of chess moves amid mountains of gold and goods that moved every day.
And still, his master hung on to him. He was a trophy after all, and it would not do to sell one's trophies. Finally, the Master died, and his son came to power.
Tolus was no longer even a trophy. He was clutter. He was a relic of a game of commerce that had long moved on. He wasted space and (more importantly) food. So he was given none. He and several other of his friends who had also been Exotic in their time were suddenly not even worth the copper needed to feed them. Tolus alone survived the neglect that ensued. He leared to steal, to swoon, to sweet-talk and bribe. He had molted and become the perfect beguiling serpent. He survived at all costs. This is when he learned the power of his own personal poison, and how to manipulate it to produce not only paralysis, but also sleep.
Suddenly, the young Master died. Some say his heart gave out under the grief of loosing his father so young. There was much head shaking as he was in his prime and hearty. Tolus suspected it was a different heart condition: He didn't have one.
The young Master had no heirs, and had not appointed one, so Tolus and the rest of the Old Master's property were transferred to the Pactmaster's service. Tolus had taken enough. When the opportunity came to earn his freedom, he grabbed at the chance.
He does not blame his experiences on the institution of slavery. He blames the Young Master, not the system. He holds slavery as a viable and profitable business practice. He even aspires to purchase slaves of my own one day. In the houses of His childhood he wanted for nothing and had the security of food and shelter and constant affection from slaves and Masters alike. If he were not forgotten and neglected, he could be one of the most prized and sought after specimens of any collector of exotic Servant-Slaves, maybe even finding a place in a Pact Master's house one day. His early masters were well meaning and recognized him as valuable. He had value because of his rarity and Exotic nature as highly trained and skilled Vishyanka. He imagines that he would be a benevolent and worthy Master because he has experienced cruelty and brutality and neglect. He would never visit that on an obedient and well mannered slave.
Tolus is a striking figure. Arrayed in complex, well-fitted robes, he is ever and always composed and elegant. His behavior is always courtly and becoming his station. His serpentine skin is a wash of dark and light green scales that shine ever so slightly in the sunlight and seem to shift in color. After his skin, his golden serpentine eyes grab at you and seem to refuse to let your gaze wander. Those eyes invite you, but invite you to what exactly, you cannot say. His movements are always graceful, almost otherworldly.