My character background, in story form. Sorry for it being so long. Might possibly be some minor changes (only if there are continuity issues with TimeyWimey!'s background), but this should be it.
Height: 5’ 6”
Weight: 180 lbs
At-a-glance: Common, if not a bit ugly, Tunny’s face is easily overlooked in a crowd. He wears plain clothes and a simple hat. Hunches a bit as he stands or walks. He rarely speaks, even when spoken to, and when he does it’s in quiet, calm tones, with a voice that would pass as ordinary.
The Murdoch’s and the di Alkanov’s have long been partners. The di Alkanov’s skill in business, legitimate or otherwise, has earned them powerful reputations among the merchants of Coran. People who associate with the di Alkanov’s believe the Murdoch’s to be advisors, or business partners, but in truth they are guardians. Along with powerful reputations come powerful enemies. The Murdoch’s have protected di Alkanov’s for generations. Trained from childhood to be killers, spies, and even assassins, the Murdoch’s skill in combat is equal to the di Alkanov’s skill in business. This is a secret that has been kept for generations.
28 years ago…
Tamerra Murdoch was brave, and she bore through the last moments of her pregnancy in a manner befitting a Murdoch. Hamel Murdoch was so proud of the strong woman she was. He had done well finding her. Certainly she would give him a strong boy or girl that would keep well with the Murdoch tradition. A scream split through the quiet of the birth room. A boy was born, yelling and kicking. Strong indeed. Those in the room quietly congratulated Hamel and Tamerra. A knock at the door and second later it opened. Arcturin and Anton di Alkanov entered. Hamel proudly showed off his strong, bellowing baby boy. “I will name him Lyndon,” announced Hamel.
The nurse squealed. Everyone turned to look. Tamerra and her nurse both stared in surprise at the second baby boy, lying quietly on the floor. “Twins,” started the nurse, “but I did not deliver this one. He must have come out on his own.” The baby remained quiet, moving only slightly as the nurse prepared it. Hamel took the second baby into his other arm, struggling to maintain control over the wiggling and crying Lyndon with only one arm. “And this one I will name Tunny.”
23 years ago…
Tamerra searched through her draw for the third time. Where had those earrings gone? A scream from the bedroom. Tamerra entered the room, expecting to see Tunny in a headlock. She kept expecting it, but it seemed as though, bully that he was, Lyndon had never been caught picking on Tunny. She’d catch him, though, sooner or later. She was certain Tunny was just too shy to admit to the bullying. Lyndon lay on the floor, holding his arm, tears touching his eyes behind obvious attempts to stop them. Tunny was standing calmly nearby, untouched. “I fell off the bed and landed on my arm funny,” came Lyndon’s strained response. His broken arm was set, and in time it healed. But it wasn’t the last time such an accident happened. Two more times screams that Tamerra expected to lead to a bruised Tunny lead instead to a broken Lyndon.
18 years ago…
“He’s holding back still.” It was said with the same calm tones that Hamel always spoke in, but Anton di Alkanov could feel heat in them. He was upset. An upset Murdoch was a dangerous thing. Now was probably not the time to ask about his missing ring. “He loves his brother too much. He refuses to dishonor him.” Anton didn’t understand. But his expertise was in other things. They stood watching Lyndon and Tunny duel. “Explain to me, Hamel. Lyndon always wins. Are you saying he draws out the duel to humor Tunny, make him feel better about his losses?” From the corner of his eye he caught the slight upturning of Hamel’s mouth. Was that almost a smile? “These boys are to be your protectors, Anton. I would not show you this otherwise. Watch the left hand. Tunny’s.” For two more duels he watched, but saw nothing different. “I don’t see it.” Hamel sighed. “Tunny lets Lyndon win. Every time. At the end, he has a chance to strike, but does not take it. I’ve seen him fight the other boys. I’ve seen him fight the trainers. He never wins. Not once. Not ever. He purposely holds back. He should be winning every one of those duels.”
17 years ago…
Anton di Alkanov stood outside in the gardens. He couldn’t bear to watch the suffering. He briefly recalled seeing another woman in labor once, she had not seemed to suffer at all. “You wanted to speak with me, sir?” Anton barely contained himself from showing surprise. Tunny stood not five paces from him. How had the boy gotten so close without notice? Had he ever heard the boy speak so many words before? He must have. “Yes, Tunny, thank you for seeing me. I wanted to speak with you about your future. Your family has provided great service to mine for generations, and we in turn have provided great wealth and comfort for your families. The time will soon come for you and your brother to take your places as my protectors.” The boy didn’t even fidget. Not a sound, not a blink. “I, however, am in a rather unique position. I have decided that I will not have both you and your brother for guardians, but only one of you.” Not even an inch. Yes, he was making the right decision. “I have chosen your brother to stand by my side, as my partner. What do you say to that?” The boy nodded. “Is that all, sir?” Anton smiled. “Oh no, Tunny. I have far more important things for you to do. You see, Tunny, you seem a fool to those who watch you, but you do not fool me.” Another nod. “I want to give you a task, one that will allow you to maintain the concealment you desire, but still grant you ample opportunity to be of use to the di Alkanov’s, and maintain the honor of the Murdoch’s. What do you say to that?” Nod. “Very well. Then I am placing my child in your charge. You will protect them, watch over them. The world grows increasingly dangerous, and I will appreciate the extra protection over my family during the troubling times to come.” Nod. “And, also, it will give me opportunity to make use of your more discreet abilities.” Nod. A cry from the upper window. The nurse poked her head out. “You have a son!”
8 years ago…
To any observer he would have appeared to be sleeping, but he was counting down. Five… four… three… two… one… The sound of paper sliding over wood. Tunny rose from his bed and retrieved the envelope from the floor. An address, a description and a note to leave behind. The letters had started coming the seventh day of every month since he had been given his charge. Minutes later he was in the street. The Veraa Estate was a large one. A guard was always posted at the gate, and others patrolled the property. None of them saw Tunny. He walked freely through the rooms, past sleeping figures in beds. None woke. Then he found it. The silver heron statue had emeralds for eyes, and golden highlights. The locked glass case was open in seconds, the metal bird tucked away in his sack, along with a few pieces of jewelry. Minutes later he was back on the street. One more stop to make. Adenni was asleep. Beautiful Adenni. She would wake to find a new golden chain and two silver rings on her dresser. He couldn’t wait to see her. A gentle kiss and Tunny was away again. Not two hours after he had rose from bed Tunny was back in it, asleep.
Several Days ago…
Aurelion di Alkanov was an intrepid young man. He always had been. Tunny had taught the boy how to use a blade, in secret. He couldn’t help it. The boy had pleaded, and he had given in. But the boy was good, a natural. Brash, loud, but a natural with a blade. Like Lyndon, he thought. How much trouble had Aurelion and his friend Tavor gotten themselves into over the years? Not half as much as he had gotten them out of before they knew it. Tunny sighed. And now this. “He plans to run away.” Anton di Alkanov nodded. “I knew it would come to this.” Their eyes met. Tunny held. “You plan to stop him, certainly,” Lyndon commented. Anton sighed. “No.” He looked at Tunny again. Nod. That was that. Tunny would follow Aurelion, wherever he decided to go. The charge was still in place. That night in his room there was a knock. Lyndon entered. Had he been crying? “Brother.” They embraced. “Take care of yourself, Tunny. And that foolhardy boy.” Nod. “I had something made for you. I was waiting for the right moment. I guess this is it then.” Tunny remained silent as Lyndon stepped from the room to retrieve a box in the hall. He didn’t tell Lyndon that he already knew. “I have something for you as well.” Lyndon failed to hide his surprise. They both opened their packages. Tunny retrieved the shinning blades from the box. “What’s this?” Lyndon held aloft the amulet. “Extra protection. For the strike you never see.” Once more an embrace, then Lyndon left. That night there was the sound of paper sliding over wood. One last mission. He quietly left the estate to see Adenni one last time, not knowing when or if she would ever see him again. Certainly he would keep watch over her.
For clarity, here are my npc connections and Tunny's relationships with them:
A wealthy family of business (legitimate and otherwise) in Coran, tied with the Merchants Guild. A powerful family, but other than Aurelion they are not warriors and are not capable of defending themselves. Tunny would sacrifice his life to save any di Alkinov.
Anton di Alkanov: Aurelion's father. Tunny would sacrifice his life to save any di Alkanov; however, he considers Anton's safety to be the charge of his brother, Lyndon. So long as Lyndon lives and is capable, Tunny would not leave Aurelion's side to rescue Anton.
Sereti di Alkanov: Aurelion's sister. Tunny would sacrifice his life to save any di Alkanov. Aurelion's care for his sister makes her that much more important to Tunny as well.
A family of born killers, trained from birth to be protectors of the di Alkanov family. Although Tunny cares deeply for every member of his family, he would expect them capable of taking care of themselves, and would only leave Aurelion's side to rescue a Murdoch if he felt he were their only chance for survival. Any Murdoch family member should be considered dangerous.
Lyndon Murdoch: Tunny's brother. Should be considered a Barbarian of equal (or slightly lower) level than Tunny.
Other NPC's whom Tunny knows or cares about.
Adenni: A woman of the lower class living in Coran. Tunny is romantically involved with Adenni, but no one within his family or the di Alkanovs know of her. Although Tunny truly loves Adenni, he feels that he has nothing to offer her in life, and expects that she will one day find another man. Even so, he is willing to do anything for her, even if it meant sacrificing his life and charge.
Black Market/Thieves Guild: Because of his life-long career as spy and thief for an illegal merchant, Tunny has many connections with the darker side of Coran. These connections are varied and the GM may feel free to bring them up. Although Tunny would not care for the safety of such people, there are undoubtedly members of these groups who Tunny may owe favors (or that may owe him one), whom he would have interest in keeping positive relations with if possible.
This is the backstory for the character I'm submitting for the Mageocracy.
Name: Aurelion di Alkanov
Alignment: Lawful Good
Weight: 175 lbs
Hair: Blond, shoulder-length
Aurelion di Alkanov is the 17-year-old son of Anton and Sofellia di Alkanov - two very wealthy minor nobles who sit on the merchant council. The di Alkanov family is well respected and controls a variety of businesses, and has for several generations. What Aurelion did not know while growing up was that his parents' businesses were dirty. His family secretly leads a mafia organization known as The Circle. Apart from secrets, extortion, blackmail and murder, The Circle also deals in the acquisition and sale of black market items banned by the Mageocracy.
Aurelion grew up wanting for nothing. For as long as he could remember there were always three constants in his life: Tunny Murdoch his teacher/bodyguard, his best friend Tavor, and his little sister Sereti. Recently, however, his happy world was shattered with Tavor's death. Tavor and his family had been murdered by The Circle.
In seeking the killers Aurelion uncovered the truth about the The Circle and his family's connection. He confronted his parents, forsook his family, and joined the Mageocracy (which gladly welcomed the young lord). In an action of true friendship and loyalty, his longtime friend and teacher Tunny left his position with the di Alkanov family to join Aurelion.
Aurelion now lives to right the wrongs his family has caused, stop The Circle, uphold justice and save his 11-year-old sister from growing up to join the family business.
Unbeknownst to Aurelion, his parents still intend for him to one day take his place as leader of The Circle and will achieve it by any means necessary.
Samuel is a human Gunslinger with maybe a couple of levels in Rogue.
Samuel was raised on stories of his Leetin's heroism and was taught form an early age that true justice required courage, sacrifice, and a perfect aim. Any doubt Samuel had about his father exploits were laid to rest the first time he laid eyes upon Leetin's famous pistol "Amaranth". From that moment on, Samuel knew he had to follow in his father's footsteps.
It took Samuel months to prepare his body and mind before Leestin would allow Amaranth to be fired, but by 19 years of age his father gave him his first mission: Travel to Coran and kill Steward Pengrath, the Butcher of Lianna Field.
For years, this father had told Samuel of Pengrath, of how he'd ordered the massacre an entire village if Lianna Field because the village elder refused to allow Pengrath to lie with his daughter. Because of Steward Pengrath's position in the military, his crime went unpunished. Until now.
For three weeks Samuel watched Pengrath's moments as his father taught him. Looking for the pattern, the moment when he'd be the most off his guard. The perfect moment to strike.
The moment, poetically enough Samuel decided, would come in a graveyard. Never would two full days pass without his target visiting the estate's cemetery. Always the same grave, and always Pengrath wept, oblivious to his surroundings.
Late one night, Samuel reconned the graveyard, trying to locate the best hiding places and the quickest methods of ingress and egress. Though he told himself he didn't care who a beast of a man like Pengrath would shed tears over, curiosity got the better of him. He looked at the tombstone, expecting to see a mother or a brother.
Instead he saw a son.
A son named Samuel Pengrath.
It had to be coincidence, but the birth date marked on the stone was the same as his and he felt a sickening certainty in the pit of his stomach.
That very night he left for Cag's Rock, but when he arrived it was abandoned. Empty except for a envelope left his family's shack.
In the letter Leestin reveal it all. How, years ago, he was a high ranking officer serving under Steward Pengrath. One day though, Pengrath discovered Leestin had been selling information about troop moments and other sensitive information to the enemy. Leestin escaped before he could be tried and was left fuming and bitter over the loss of his station
It was in this state that an organization (which he left conspicuously unnamed), offered to help him take his revenge. Leestin gloated about how faked the death of Pengrath's two year old son and how he was raised to be the instrument of his own father's death.
The letter made it clear that Leestin thought he had succeeded, and he very nearly had.
Samuel was nothing more than a bullet to discarded after it'd had served its purpose. Now though, that bullet was pointing directly hat Leestin's head, and nothing was going to prevent it from exploding out the other side.
Recruitment is now closed. I'm hoping to have things narrowed down late Monday night. At latest Tuesday night I will post the selected characters. Thank you everyone for your interest and creative character concepts - choosing between them is always one of the hardest parts - this PbP doesn't look like it is going to be any different.
After trying to sort out characters for all the groups I decided to up the group size from 5 to 6 for each faction. Doing so helped alleviate some of the difficulties I was having in narrowing down the selections.
For the rebellion group it will consist of the following characters:
Aurelion di Alkanov
Please post in the discussion thread to indicate you are working on your character stat block.
I encourage you to also work with the other members of your faction to create some ties in your back stories.
Holy s+#$, a 5-year-running game? I am in! I'll do some reading about where the game's at right now and stuff.
Anything you're looking for? What party members are still active? Which one left? What opportunities to introduce a party member are coming up?
How long will recruitment last?
I'd like to repeat what was listed above.
I presume Jules and her characters are not in-game (Aliases last posted 2014)
I presume Lord Grey left years ago, as Leo Spellworthy hasn't posted since June 2016? LurkingTyranny seems to have never been much of a part, so I presume he never got to play much.
Patrick McDade's character hasn't posted since 2017, so I presume he's out?
That leaves about 3 players that have been posting frequently, and I'm not sure who is leaving.
There's Rinvalak, with Ian (Hasn't posted since Tuesday this week), a Half-Elf fighter
There's Second Sight, with Solei (Posted Yesterday), an Alchemist/Assassin/Rogue
Finally, there's Tenro, with Edmond, a Soul Weaver (Dual Channeler).
Seems to me they just need a straight wizard or summoner, or a wizard equivilent.
Holy s~~$, a 5-year-running game? I am in! I'll do some reading about where the game's at right now and stuff.
Anything you're looking for? What party members are still active? Which one left? What opportunities to introduce a party member are coming up?
How long will recruitment last?
Vagabond has correctly noted the current 3 active players.
Ian, half-elf fighter.
Soliel, tiefling, alchemist, assassin, rogue.
Edmond, hafling soul weaver.
Recruitment will close on Monday.
Party is looking for an arcane caster. Wizard/sorcerer/arcanist/summoner or any of the other arcane variants are all good options. Serelina was the party wizard for several years but had to depart. They've been running as 3 players several months, but its been largely social stuff during that time so there wasn't any particular urgency to fill the spot.
Occult characters or ultimate intrigue would both be fine - though I'm not particularly versed in the rules for either.
What is the party doing right now?
They are just about to return to the sewers of Coran to deal with a Hydrodaemon they fought there earlier but had to retreat due to its control water ability. They are better prepared for an underwater encounter this time around. They eliminated several lesser daemons the first time around before needing to fall back.
They suspect they may also find a priest of Ghlaunder by the name of Bannali. They've been hunting this rather elusive priest for some time as they come across tips or clues. It is believed he is one of more than a dozen criminals from the past that were banished to the outer planes (Abyss and Abaddon) quite a few years back (pre-game). Several have recently returned to Coran bearing powers they did not previously have.
After that they will be following up on some leads from an informant (name of Kylie) they recently spoke with. Party suspects said informant is actually another high priority target they are after (in diguise) - Mistress Diguri, drow head of the thieve's guild in Coran. Planning to use her information for some other targets before returning to her to take her down.
I would like to play a NE gnome unchained summoner. Such a character would worship Nyarlathotep, the Outer God, in hopes of discovering forbidden rites, hidden magic, or other sources of power. They call an aberrant-subtype eidolon, and are known for their willingness to pursue leads in the field, their arcane power, and are rumored to be mentally unstable... However, for a research environment like that inside the Tower, they're invaluable because of their zeal.
They would be capable at transmutation and crowd-control magic, and their eidolon will be an intimidating and tentacled horror. I'll work on backstory and crunch tonight, if such a concept interests you.
Here is my character. I hope that he will mesh with the party. Let me know if you have any questions and concerns.
He has just over 400 gold remaining. If selected, I plan to buy a handful of scrolls that he can use with his ring of spell knowledge.
- - - - -
Appearance and Personality: Romunomulon is relatively un-remarkable appearance-wise, but he has such a piercing gaze and a sense of purpose about him that he draws attention. Dark circles mar the underside of his eyes, and his skin is pale from months in a dark library basement, reading long-forgotten tomes. He has an intense personality and a somewhat unsettling sense of humor. He venerates Nyarlathotep, who he believes to be the patron of all forbidden and dangerous knowledge, which he seeks with a single-minded fervor.
Romunomulon's eidolon, the Lurker from Beyond, is a 10-foot-long horror of tentacles, teeth and stubby legs which drag its bloated body across the ground. It has the ability to spontaneously grow tentacles, and when immersed in water it sprouts a bouquet of appendages which propel it swiftly. The Lurker's primary motivation is continuing to encourage Romunomulon to seek ever greater knowledge and power in service to Nyarlathotep, in hopes that he will once have the power to summon the Outer God itself.
When Romunomulon was about twenty years old, a savage group of monsters came out of the western forests and savaged Gumlat, prompting a full military response from the militias and mages of Coran. Unfortunately, the military response was much too late to save Romunomulon's family, who died in one of the initial attacks on the axe of a bugbear. Coran's military response was also insufficient in several areas, and they arrogantly ignored the advice of the farmers that had witnessed the attacks. This let to them marching into several ambushes and battles without being prepared, losing many men and mages in the process.
Seeing the devastation wrought upon the apparently-well-prepared men of the Guard and the Tower of the Heavens, Romunomulon left his childhood home. He traveled to Coran and began to research forbidden magic in the city's libraries, seeking power where traditional and standard methods failed. After a successful calling of one of the creatures who resides beyond the borders of reality, Romunomulon returned to Gumlat and joined the still-ongoing campaign against the monster incursion, earning a name for himself from his otherworldly servants and unorthodox magic. After delving deep into the forest to exterminate the leaders of the monster incursion, Romunomulon returned to Coran and petitioned to join the Tower of the Heavens. His experience exercising his newfound power had given him only a hunger for ever more, something that was encouraged by his new companion, the Lurker from Beyond. He knew that the resources of the Tower and the Mages' Guild were key to his new goals.
Male gnome summoner (unchained) 8
NE Small humanoid (gnome)
Init +2; Senses Perception -2, low-light vision
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+3 armor, +2 Dex, +1 size)
hp 104 (8d8+40)
Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +6 (+2 vs. illusions)
Defensive Abilities life link, shield ally, illusion resistance
Melee +1 quarterstaff +7/+2 (1d6/x2)
Special Attacks summon monster IV (8/day), maker's call 1/day
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th)
1/day - mage hand, open/close, prestidigitation, unseen servant
Summoner Spells Known (CL 8th, concentration +13)
3rd (3/day) - displacement, slow, evolution surge
2nd (5/day) - spider climb, twisted space, create pit, summon eidolon
1st (6/day) - lesser rejuvenate eidolon, feather fall, enlarge person, unfetter, ant haul
0 (at will) - arcane mark, detect magic, light, mending, message, read magic
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 7, Cha 20
Base Atk +6; CMB +4; CMD 16
Feats Extra Evolution, Spell Focus (conjuration), Augment Summoning, Versatile Summoning (primordial, aerial)
Traits Unpredictable, Linked Surge
Skills Bluff  +17, Knowledge (dungeoneering)  +11, Knowledge (planes)  +13, Linguistics  +7, Spellcraft  +13
Languages Common, Gnome, Aklo, Abyssal, Infernal, Ignan, Aquan, Terran
SQ bond senses, utilitarian magic, gift of tongues, inquisitive
Combat Gear ; Other Gear 471gp, mwk studded leather armor, lesser metamagic rod of extend spell, plague rat belt, ring of spell knowledge II, cloak of resistance +2, handy haversack, quarterstaff of entwined serpents, headband of alluring charisma +2, jaunt boots, 2 scroll cases, dagger, scholar's robes
Genderless aberrant eidolon 8
NE Large outsider (aberration)
Init +2; Senses Perception +9, darkvision 60ft.
AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+10 natural, +2 Dex, -1 size)
hp 90 (6d10+30)
Fort +9, Ref +4, Will +5 (+4 vs. enchantment)
Immune mind-affecting abilities Defensive Abilities evasion, devotion
Spd 20ft., swim 20ft.
Melee tentacles +6 (1d8+5), bite +10 (1d8+5), tentacle mass +11 (2d6+5 plus grab)
Str 20, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +6; CMB +12 (+16 to grapple); CMD 26
Feats Weapon Focus (tentacles), Toughness, Combat Vigor
Skills Climb +14, Intimidate +9, Perception +9, Swim +14
SQ evolution pool (8 points), evolutions (Large, gills, tentacle mass, grab), link, share spells
I am trying to create a character for this but I just don't think I have quite enough time to get it done by tomorrow :(
Would it at all be possible to ask for a 1-day extention? Pretty please? :D
Meanwhile I will try my hardest to get him ready by tomorrow anyways.
(Since SoP seem to be allowed) He will be a level 7 Incanter with a 1 level Armorist (Whitesmith) dip. The 2 main Spheres he will be focusing on will be the Alteration and Enhancement Spheres. He is a man of intense focus and willpower, and an exacting Perfectionist to boot. His choice of focus in his studies has allows him to shape both himself and the world around him into his percieved ideal form. The Whitesmith level even lets him maintain some of them permenantly. So would the Permenant Transformation Advanced Talent if he ever gets that high.
I do have a game mechanic that I would like to use if you would allow it. It goes like this:
Whitesmith allows me to maintain personal equipment Enhancements indefinatly.
One Enhancement is Animate Objects/Graft.
Together they allow me to attach a fake arm to myself and have it act like a normal one indefinatly.
Then I can customize the fake arm with all sorts of cool options >:)
So I am wondering if it is ok for me to only have one arm and have a replacement arm for the other using the above method.
He would then go around and if he saw someghing magestic like a dragon claw, he could tear it off and attach it to himself, making him that much closer to "perfection."
However, getting hit with a dispel magic might pose him a significant problem >:)
It is also a hidden irony that the road to his own self perfection leads him to such mutilation :(
I am also still working on the balance of how Casty or Nat-Attacker he will be using the claw.
I've had an extremely busy day (only just got home 11 at night my time). So extending till tomorrow so I have time to look over submissions more fully.
Vagabond, background/personality is all I really need for the submission. Stat block only needed if your selected.
I will be pretty busy tomorrow as well, so don't expect to get to selecting till late evening.
Quick build stub:
Wizard 8 [Pact Mage][Exploiter].
Eliza was alone now.
That was the only real thought in her head. The sun was overhead, so even her Shadow sulked away from her.
Her friends were dead. She knew this, on a contious level, but she couldn't really conceive of it. She knew they were old when the took her in 50 years ago, and she knew she was young for a gnome. But all of them were dead.
She was 55. She was aware that, compared to humans, this was a big number. But she still felt young and carefree. But she simply couldn't imagine the world without the five young wizards she's lived with for the last dozen years.
There was one left, but she was growing older, a Half-Elf named Phyllis. Her memory was going, but she was still the kind, compassionate woman who raised her. And she knew that Phyllis wanted to go home.
The trip to the Tower was long and arduous. But eventually, they reached there. Phyllis was taken in by the mages and cared for, but to keep her there, Eliza knew she needed to work.
A decade ago, she made a deal with the Shadows. The shadows would bring color to her family's life, and she would work for them. The Shadows had helped her grow, and taught her as much as the Wizards. Now, all that was left was Phyllis and the Shadows.
Alright, that's the first draft or so of her backstory. She's basically a very friendship focused gnome illusionist, who lost most of her family and has joined The Mageocracy on her "mother's" demand.
In terms of personality, she's somewhat fearful and somewhat reactionary, as the Mages tricks has led to some unfortunate accidents in the past. However, should someone initiate a proposal for friendship, she's grab onto it like a crazed bard.