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Running this campaign and just about to hit the fight with Nualia. The party includes a gnome cleric of Sarenrae and his adopted half-orc daughter who is a paladin of Sarenrae.
The paladin expressed interest in leadership and has so far tried to redeem most of the villains met, so I'm excited to give them the opportunity to try and redeem Nualia. This isn't going to be without a hefty challenge and is going to take quite some time to be successful, but I am going to leave it open for the party if they so choose.
I wrote up this quick doc that uses Nualia's backstory and breaks it up into quick blurbs. Depending on their check, they'll be presented as is without any elaboration. I'd love some feedback!
Nualia’s Backstory Visions
Before the confrontation with Nualia, allow a religious-aligned PC (cleric,paladin,etc) to make a Wisdom check. Based on their check, they are presented the following visions by their deity.
o White-haired girl, sitting with arms around knees, surrounded by children with their backs towards her
o A young Varisian man reaching his hand out to the girl, much older now
o The woman being thrown into a bedroom by an older man, who produces a key and locks the door
o The girl, surrounded by adults, rubbing rashes and sores on her, plucking hairs from her head and tying them around their fingers
DC-15 Knowledge (Local) to identify this as a superstition that aasimar hair can be used as a ‘good luck’ charm
o The Varisian man and the woman embracing in the tunnels under the Glassworks
o The woman, pointing to her stomach, and the Varisian man looking furious and shoving her to the ground
o The older man looming over the woman and yelling as she kneels at an altar
o The woman, looking crazed and with a much larger stomach, shaking in a corner of a room
o The woman, no longer obviously pregnant, pounding on a wall in the tunnel; as she pauses and starts crying, bricks fall away from the wall
o The woman laying on a bed, surrounded by women in white, and one of the women pulls away a monstrously-deformed newborn wrapped in bloody cloths
o The monstrously-deformed newborn being thrown into a fire while the woman looks on with horror in her eyes
o The woman, sitting before the quasit, who presents her with a holy symbol of Lamashtu
DC-15 Knowledge (Religion) to identify each, unless previously encountered
o The woman, curled into the fetal position and crying, still dressed in the clothes from the miscarriage, while the runewell flares to life
o The woman, waking and looking starved and crazy, jamming the door to a bedroom and starting a fire
o The woman, touching an altar, a vision of a large goblin-wolf hybrid obscuring her face
This is good. In my campaign, my PCs were extremely stubborn in trying to redeem her, mostly because of the journal pages found (that someone had created in the Community Creations thread) and so I had to work on a way to "make it so"... so I had a Varisian cleric of Cayden who happened to have "found" in his travels, a ritual that was a secret of the church of Sarenrae.
I chose those two dieties because of Freedom (Cayden) and Redemption (Sarenrae)...
If they are successful, I have her in mind for a cohort for the Paladin eventually.
The way I have it tentatively thought out is that when it is apparent that Nualia is going to fail again Lamashtu will strip her of her powers. This will push her over the edge, culminating in Nualia being taken to the Sanitarium.
I have some interludes that will keep the party busy before book 2 starts, but about the time they go there and have to deal with things have her recovered enough to be looking for redemption now and finding it through Sarenrae. Thankfully that deity is more than willing to turn the tools of evil against themselves.
If this happens I'm also going to edit her backstory down a little so she isn't as involved with the Skinsaw Cult originally, otherwise she'd be probably able to point the party in that direction too soon. They already will have Tsuto, who "committed suicide" while in Ironbriar's care, to deal with again, so no reason to keep repeating every villain.
Aeshuura - Do you have a link to those pages? I couldn't find them in the latest updates to the Community Page. Thanks!
Nualia's Diary by James B. Cline
EDIT: Good luck! I might be running this again, but kind of as an alternate timeline, where things can change (and I can fix things that I had glossed over the first time.) I think it would have been better if she had a chance to fall again, but she kind of faded into the background last time...
Whelp... that went poorly. Party bungled Diplomacy rolls to talk her down at all, last hit was a crit that killed her outright.
On the bright side, they did reflect after her death and saw her as the victim of a life of ill-treatment. So, overall a success, especially when they learn more about what is going on.
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Yeah, that reflection is a hell of a lot more than you'd get out of some groups. Sorry about the dice working against you, but still, great group for this sort of thing! :)
And....it can still be salvaged to some degree. Depending on how they deal with her body, there's any number of undead options to choose from to draw out Nualia's tragedy and give them one more chance to make some measure of difference. There's also possible raisings from other interested parties; Nualia certainly has what it takes to become a very interesting recurring villain->something-more-complicated. (and she'll have had a possible peek at what's waiting for her on the other side, especially effective if Lamashtu was displeased with her for falling before her work was done).