Meet the Iconics: Shardra Geltl

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Today we introduce the next of the new iconic characters from the Advanced Class Guide: Shardra the shaman. Shardra will also be a playable character in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous set due for release in February 2015.


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

It's a sorry lot for a proud dwarven daughter to be raised a miserable dwarven son, but everyone receives one lot in life, and Shardra Geltl never knew to expect better. Childhood was kind, her sisters loved her, her brother protected her, and always she had the whispers of tools and books to keep her company. Adolescence, though, came bearing heavy burdens. Her siblings moved on with their own lives, replaced by harsh teachers and taskmasters. She weathered a staggeringly awkward first kiss as her childhood best friend grew into a handsome lad, followed by a painful arranged engagement to a lovely girl from the neighboring Dechl clan. But the mines and refinery of Xolgrit fed the war machine of Rolgrimmdur far above, and militant efficiency demanded all citizen-soldiers accept and excel in their roles, no matter how miserable.

But Shardra still had the whispers to keep her company on lonely nights.

Books quipped bits and pieces of their tales, bowls jabbered gossip shared over breakfast, and picks stammered the poems of the rocks they clove. And while the odds and ends of Xolgrit kept her company, the stones of the Old Road, carved long ago by dwarves still hunting for the sky, sang legends. More and more often, the shy dwarf slipped away to wander the crumbling paths, learning the deeds of her ancestors away from the clamor of duty and expectation. She assumed the whispers were her friends, there to keep her safe and offer respite from the dull ache of life. Then one "trustworthy" stone crumbled beneath her feet, dropping her into darkness.

The fall was short. Her arm met stone with a wet crunch, but the ache from the shattered bone faded away as the whispers rose in deafening song. All around stretched an ancient cavern. Hot springs bubbled across its floor, while mosaics and beaten gold masks decorated the walls. Mundane beasts and fantastic creatures wandered past, unperturbed by her presence.

A single tuatara waddled forward as she cradled her limb. It borrowed a tongue from the whispers and spoke. "What are you?"

"I—" She opened her mouth to speak, borrowing too from those old, quiet chants. And although the whispers had a word for all things in creation, they had no words for the expectations of others. "I don't know."

From that day on, the whispers poured themselves through Shardra's reptilian friend, speaking louder and more clearly with a mouth to form the words. She soon named the creature Kolo—an old dwarven word for the beauty in everyday things—and told Kolo of Xolgrit and Rolgrimmdur, and of the beauty of the stars in the night sky, and how to tell past and present and future apart. And Kolo taught her how to speak to spirits and borrow their favor to mend her broken bones, and of dwarven faith from long before they mingled their worship with the deities of the surface world. It taught her how to glean deeper secrets from the artifacts of the dead, and how to greet the Ladies of Crag and Ember—powerful elementals who laid claim to the hot springs and the surrounding tunnels. Most precious of all, Kolo taught her of the rivethun—dwarves who drew great power by embracing the disjunction between their bodies and souls—and she learned to brew the alchemical tinctures her past sisters used to quiet the rages of adolescence and bring their minds and bodies into harmony.

As Shardra's mystical skills and budding femininity began to show, her parents lamented their loss of a son and the addition of yet another dowry. Their irritation changed to joy as their daughter's dealings with the spirit world guided Xolgrit's miners to rich new veins of ore and long-lost treasure troves. The Geltl clan's fortunes reversed as Shardra's confidence, skills, and womanhood blossomed, and eventually clans from Xolgrit and beyond offered handsome brideprices.

Shardra's gifts attracted more than suitors, however. Lonely spirits and treasure hunters alike came to Xolgrit hoping to profit by the young shaman's insight. Neither settled peacefully into the community's rigid order. The string of lootings, possessions, drunken brawls, hauntings, and soured beer drew the attention of Rolgrimmdur, and the city-state dispatched a squad of soldiers—under the command of Captain Itcel Dechl—to put down the ragtag mercenary gangs squatting in town. Shardra herself turned her magic on its source, driving the spirit invaders back to the hot spring and demanding the Ladies of Crag and Ember keep their subjects under control.

Unsatisfied by her easy victory over a band of drunken thugs and grave robbers, Captain Dechl and her soldiers traced Shardra's path through the Old Roads, and eventually claimed the sacred shrine (and the wealth covering its walls) as a cultural treasure for Rolgrimmdur. The elemental Ladies raged at the presumption, swearing in turn to reduce Xolgrit to rubble. Both sides declared the dwarf maiden a traitor and cast her aside as they charged into battle. Shardra lashed out, seizing control of an earth elemental and using its might to collapse the ancient shrine.

With nothing left to fight over, the opposing armies fled.

Lacking any evidence of Shardra's actions but burning with frustration, Dechl used what remained of her authority to accuse the spirit-talker of heresy. Although friends and family staunchly defended her innocence, Shardra took the allegations as a chance to act on plans that had grown increasingly tempting. She left Xolgrit and her tutors, childhood friends, and family by paths only the stones remembered. Shardra reached the surface a guarded but curious woman, more interested in stories of the long dead than the bickering of the living. With Kolo the crag tuatara at her shoulder, Shardra now wanders the world, uncovering lost treasure and listening to the tales it has to tell. Permanent ties still chafe, even ones as shallow as a favor owed or an unpaid tavern bill, but her heart softens toward any who wander. Despite her love of the world's vast mysteries, a small part of the shaman yearns for the joy and companionship she once felt with her sisters, and Shardra corresponds with her family often, ever watchful for any discovery that might provide an excuse to write or visit her distant, glittering home.

Crystal Frasier
Contributor

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Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Rhatahema wrote:
Robert Jordan wrote:
Yeah it took me reading the comments to understand she was a trans character. It just seemed her parents were living in denial in having another daughter and just shunted her into "son" territory to try and not deal with the issue until she finally hit maturity and they couldn't avoid it anymore. I approve of the character, just did not get that it was a trans character until it was talked about in the comments.

I had the same read. The first paragraph is written so that you need to identify gender primarily as a psychological identification rather than a physical one in order for it to read as the author intended. My opinions about that are neither here nor there, but I imagine the ambiguity of it may have been intentional.

Rules question: How does she handle the -2 penalty on disguise checks to be "Disguised as different gender"? Can I powergame my character's gender identity to optimize disguise? (mostly joking here, though it might come up at some tables)

Mulibrous Tincture

** spoiler omitted **...

Excellent fluff and crunch what a treat. I am very happy about the new iconics and this one absolutely breaks the mold^^, very well done.

Incidentally this might be the first character transgendered character players will come into contact with (well if they read the Paizo blog). And while I really liked Anevia in Wotr, unless the pcs are really interested in the NPCs,(I dropped some hints but..) Anevia and Irabeth are just a normal lesbian couple . One of my temporary players made a stupid remark, but some people are just stupid.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
KSF wrote:
Crystal also provided details about the tincture that Shardra used. It's very similar to real world hormone replacement therapy.

Ah, so she used a mix of the tinctures and magic for a full physical transformation? Or is she a "male" with a very feminine figure?

Also, apologies if my question or their wording offend anyone. I know pretty much nothing about transgender community, so I don't know what'd be the correct nouns to use and all that...

I'm just asking stuff out of curiosity and ignorance (as in: lack of knowledge) because Shardra seems like an interesting character. Also, after taking a closer look into the class, I think I really like Shamans.


Neutral on this one (Quinn and Zadim are still my favourites of the new crop). How does one pronounce "Geltl" though? Is it "Gel-tel" or "Gel-tool" (minimising the long 'o' as much as possible), or something else again?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
One of my temporary players made a stupid remark, but some people are just stupid.

Well, let's be fair: there's stupidity, but there's also ignorance.

I recommend carrying heavy reference books for either occasion.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Necromancer wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
One of my temporary players made a stupid remark, but some people are just stupid.

Well, let's be fair: there's stupidity, but there's also ignorance.

I recommend carrying heavy reference books for either occasion.

Books huh? To educate the ignorant and thwack the stupid? 'Cause you can only fix one of the two.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Necromancer wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
One of my temporary players made a stupid remark, but some people are just stupid.

Well, let's be fair: there's stupidity, but there's also ignorance.

I recommend carrying heavy reference books for either occasion.

There's some truth to this, but also a chance for growth.

I know that personally, thinking back on things I and those around me said regularly when we were adolescents and teenagers, I still shake my head at the breadth of ignorance we showed. At the same time, I like to think I'm not that person anymore (nor do I any longer choose to keep people who still use those words around me), so hopefully I've taken those lessons and tried to apply them in my life instead of staying ignorant. And I certainly hope I've passed that down to my stepchildren so that they don't use those words either


Lemmy wrote:
KSF wrote:
Crystal also provided details about the tincture that Shardra used. It's very similar to real world hormone replacement therapy.

Ah, so she used a mix of the tinctures and magic for a full physical transformation? Or is she a "male" with a very feminine figure?

Also, apologies if my question or their wording offend anyone. I know pretty much nothing about transgender community, so I don't know what'd be the correct nouns to use and all that...

I'm just asking stuff out of curiosity and ignorance (as in: lack of knowledge) because Shardra seems like an interesting character. Also, after taking a closer look into the class, I think I really like Shamans.

Shardra was born a boy (sex); she identifies as female (gender). Use the gender to determine pronouns. As to the degree of her transition (or transformation), that's for the author to answer. With that in mind, magic and alchemy likely make the transition easier (and probably much faster) than our science can accomplish.

This seems like a lot of etiquette, but it's often a sensitive issue (from what I've been told and seen) and it feels like no one understands when others refer to gender and sex as the same thing.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

36 people marked this as a favorite.
Lemmy wrote:
KSF wrote:
Crystal also provided details about the tincture that Shardra used. It's very similar to real world hormone replacement therapy.

Ah, so she used a mix of the tinctures and magic for a full physical transformation? Or is she a "male" with a very feminine figure?

Also, apologies if my question or their wording offend anyone. I know pretty much nothing about transgender community, so I don't know what'd be the correct nouns to use and all that...

I'm just asking stuff out of curiosity and ignorance (as in: lack of knowledge) because Shardra seems like an interesting character. Also, after taking a closer look into the class, I think I really like Shamans.

Shardra's appearance and figure are 100% home-grown, with no magic required. Any more specific information about her body is reserved for her, Kolo, and whoever she may spend a night with. And Valeros. Because one way or another, Valeros knows what's going on in everyone's pants.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Necromancer wrote:

Shardra was born a boy (sex); she identifies as female (gender). Use the gender to determine pronouns. As to the degree of her transition (or transformation), that's for the author to answer. With that in mind, magic and alchemy likely make the transition easier (and probably much faster) than our science can accomplish.

This seems like a lot of etiquette, but it's often a sensitive issue (from what I've been told and seen) and it feels like no one understands when others refer to gender and sex as the same thing.

Yeah, I always assumed I should refer to people by their gender identity rather than biological condition.

Still, I thought it' be safer to ask.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

F YEAH VALEROS


3 people marked this as a favorite.

It's so weird seeing Valeros' name, since in Florida, that's a name of a gas station.


Lemmy wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

Shardra was born a boy (sex); she identifies as female (gender). Use the gender to determine pronouns. As to the degree of her transition (or transformation), that's for the author to answer. With that in mind, magic and alchemy likely make the transition easier (and probably much faster) than our science can accomplish.

This seems like a lot of etiquette, but it's often a sensitive issue (from what I've been told and seen) and it feels like no one understands when others refer to gender and sex as the same thing.

Yeah, I always assumed I should refer to people by their gender identity rather than biological condition.

Still, I thought it'd be safer to ask.

It should be. Just be prepared for the rare irrational anger/fear cocktail from people who have trouble discussing it in a non-confrontational scenario. Learned behavior and all that.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Lemmy wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

Shardra was born a boy (sex); she identifies as female (gender). Use the gender to determine pronouns. As to the degree of her transition (or transformation), that's for the author to answer. With that in mind, magic and alchemy likely make the transition easier (and probably much faster) than our science can accomplish.

This seems like a lot of etiquette, but it's often a sensitive issue (from what I've been told and seen) and it feels like no one understands when others refer to gender and sex as the same thing.

Yeah, I always assumed I should refer to people by their gender identity rather than biological condition.

Still, I thought it' be safer to ask.

It's best to refer to someone based on how they present; IE: Someone wearing a skirt and makeup probably wants to be called "she" even if you don't find her particularly attractive. And if you're unsure, and they're not a complete stranger, it's generally okay to ask politely (although this can sometimes lead to a bruised ego or some safety concerns, so be discrete, polite, and deferential).

The general concept of "biological" sex gets weird with trans people. Once a trans person begins transition (if they're using hormones at least) their body begins to mimic their preferred sex fairly closely. Trans women on hormones for a while--for example--tend to suffer the same health problems a cis women with a hysterectomy ("cis" meaning "not trans" and derives from the old Latin prefixes, where trans and cis essentially mean "across from" and "same side as"), increasing their risk of breast cancer and decreasing their risk of heart problems. Most sex-related appearance touchstones and health issues not related to the gonads themselves (testes or ovaries) actually come from hormones. A man looks like a man mostly because of testosterone, and a woman looks like a woman because of estrogen. If you block out one hormone and add the other, they end result is basically a member of the other sex.

I hope that wasn't too much medical lecturing. I have the basic outline for an hour-long lecture memorized at this point, and can slip into it without warning.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Odraude wrote:
It's so weird seeing Valeros' name, since in Florida, that's a name of a gas station.

valero

Liberty's Edge Contributor

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Necromancer wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

Shardra was born a boy (sex); she identifies as female (gender). Use the gender to determine pronouns. As to the degree of her transition (or transformation), that's for the author to answer. With that in mind, magic and alchemy likely make the transition easier (and probably much faster) than our science can accomplish.

This seems like a lot of etiquette, but it's often a sensitive issue (from what I've been told and seen) and it feels like no one understands when others refer to gender and sex as the same thing.

Yeah, I always assumed I should refer to people by their gender identity rather than biological condition.

Still, I thought it'd be safer to ask.

It should be. Just be prepared for the rare irrational anger/fear cocktail from people who have trouble discussing it in a non-confrontational scenario. Learned behavior and all that.

It tends to be a very rational anger/fear cocktail. Bear in mind that for a lot of trans people, being read as transgender in public is more than just an ego issue. It can led to public humiliation and violence. Many of us develop a knee-jerk fear response to strangers telling us they recognize that we're transgender.


Lamontius wrote:
Odraude wrote:
It's so weird seeing Valeros' name, since in Florida, that's a name of a gas station.
valero

Plural then.

Everyone's a critic. :p

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alleran wrote:
Neutral on this one (Quinn and Zadim are still my favourites of the new crop). How does one pronounce "Geltl" though? Is it "Gel-tel" or "Gel-tool" (minimising the long 'o' as much as possible), or something else again?

I imagine it's pronounced like a Yiddish word, with a glottal emphasis on the LTL.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

Shardra was born a boy (sex); she identifies as female (gender). Use the gender to determine pronouns. As to the degree of her transition (or transformation), that's for the author to answer. With that in mind, magic and alchemy likely make the transition easier (and probably much faster) than our science can accomplish.

This seems like a lot of etiquette, but it's often a sensitive issue (from what I've been told and seen) and it feels like no one understands when others refer to gender and sex as the same thing.

Yeah, I always assumed I should refer to people by their gender identity rather than biological condition.

Still, I thought it'd be safer to ask.

It should be. Just be prepared for the rare irrational anger/fear cocktail from people who have trouble discussing it in a non-confrontational scenario. Learned behavior and all that.
It tends to be a very rational anger/fear cocktail. Bear in mind that for a lot of trans people, being read as transgender in public is more than just an ego issue. It can led to public humiliation and violence. Many of us develop a knee-jerk fear response to strangers telling us they recognize that we're transgender.

Yeah, I know...But it comes off as irrational to people that have never been in such situations. I tailor my words based on how they might be interpreted by the person I'm speaking with. (And, Lemmy, I mean no disrespect by any of this) I've had to explain things in odd ways when I've had new members joining games with transplayers--I always expect the worst. Every time I end up feeling like a hypocrite, because it's like translating from one culture to another. Communicating over text is even worse thanks to the absence of facial expessions and whatnot.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Shardra's appearance and figure are 100% home-grown, with no magic required. Any more specific information about her body is reserved for her, Kolo, and whoever she may spend a night with. And Valeros. Because one way or another, Valeros knows what's going on in everyone's pants.

HA I can just picture Valeros taking out a little notepad to keep track of it all


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Odraude wrote:
Lamontius wrote:
Odraude wrote:
It's so weird seeing Valeros' name, since in Florida, that's a name of a gas station.
valero

Plural then.

Everyone's a critic. :p

there are gas stations

then there is a rad dude in golarion


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
KSF wrote:
Crystal also provided details about the tincture that Shardra used. It's very similar to real world hormone replacement therapy.

Ah, so she used a mix of the tinctures and magic for a full physical transformation? Or is she a "male" with a very feminine figure?

Also, apologies if my question or their wording offend anyone. I know pretty much nothing about transgender community, so I don't know what'd be the correct nouns to use and all that...

I'm just asking stuff out of curiosity and ignorance (as in: lack of knowledge) because Shardra seems like an interesting character. Also, after taking a closer look into the class, I think I really like Shamans.

Shardra's appearance and figure are 100% home-grown, with no magic required. Any more specific information about her body is reserved for her, Kolo, and whoever she may spend a night with. And Valeros. Because one way or another, Valeros knows what's going on in everyone's pants.

I would love it if it was revealed that Valeros is gay or bisexual.

BTW, I hope that when we get some more Iconics we get some more men with beards or Moustaches and one male gay Iconic and one or two Hispanic looking Iconics.

Edit:

@Crystal: Resistance through charisma:

Speaking of Valeros. Have you read anything by Richard Dyer?
Check out E. Ann Kaplan's book “Women in film Noir”. A lot of excellent stuff in that book, but Richard Dyer’s piece: “Resistance through charisma: Rita Hayworth and Gilda” is excellent.

It looks at the “Am I straight enough” Heroes that Noir movies displays, but it can be equally applied to any type of cultural expression that focus on male heroes.


Zark wrote:

I would love it if it was revealed that Valeros is gay or bisexual.

BTW, I hope that when we get some more Iconics we get some more men with beards or Moustaches and one male gay Iconic and one or two Hispanic looking Iconics.

Judging by the comics and various arts, Valeros is at least in to women. Still, that just leaves an excellent place to have a bi male.


Zark wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
KSF wrote:
Crystal also provided details about the tincture that Shardra used. It's very similar to real world hormone replacement therapy.

Ah, so she used a mix of the tinctures and magic for a full physical transformation? Or is she a "male" with a very feminine figure?

Also, apologies if my question or their wording offend anyone. I know pretty much nothing about transgender community, so I don't know what'd be the correct nouns to use and all that...

I'm just asking stuff out of curiosity and ignorance (as in: lack of knowledge) because Shardra seems like an interesting character. Also, after taking a closer look into the class, I think I really like Shamans.

Shardra's appearance and figure are 100% home-grown, with no magic required. Any more specific information about her body is reserved for her, Kolo, and whoever she may spend a night with. And Valeros. Because one way or another, Valeros knows what's going on in everyone's pants.

I would love it if it was revealed that Valeros is gay or bisexual.

BTW, I hope that when we get some more Iconics we get some more men with beards or Moustaches and one male gay Iconic and one or two Hispanic looking Iconics.

Well, Hakon's still an option... Hakon alongside a tsundere Harsk would be fifteen types of amazing.


I'm not well versed in these matters, so I apologize if this question is offensive, but if she can change her body to fit her mind, could she have chosen to change her mind to fit her body?

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Necromancer wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
It tends to be a very rational anger/fear cocktail. Bear in mind that for a lot of trans people, being read as transgender in public is more than just an ego issue. It can led to public humiliation and violence. Many of us develop a knee-jerk fear response to strangers telling us they recognize that we're transgender.
Yeah, I know...But it comes off as irrational to people that have never been in such situations. I tailor my words based on how they might be interpreted by the person I'm speaking with. (And, Lemmy, I mean no disrespect by any of this) I've had to explain things in odd ways when I've had new members joining games with transplayers--I always expect the worst. Every time I end up feeling like a hypocrite, because it's like translating from one culture to another. Communicating over text is even worse thanks to the absence of facial expessions and whatnot.

I see what you were getting at!

Editor-in-Chief

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Necromancer wrote:
Well, Hakon's still an option... Hakon alongside a tsundere Harsk would be fifteen types of amazing.

I'm glad I checked in on the slash-fiction* part of the discussion before bed. Glad to see everything's in order here.

*:
(Seltyiel/Seltyiel gets my vote)

Liberty's Edge Contributor

22 people marked this as a favorite.
Ipslore the Red wrote:
I'm not well versed in these matters, so I apologize if this question is offensive, but if she can change her body to fit her mind, could she have chosen to change her mind to fit her body?

Changing a body is easy. Almost anyone can do it.

Changing a soul is a lot harder. Sometimes even Pharasma doesn't manage to wipe them completely clean before sending them along to the outer planes.

Editor-in-Chief

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Ipslore the Red wrote:
I'm not well versed in these matters, so I apologize if this question is offensive, but if she can change her body to fit her mind, could she have chosen to change her mind to fit her body?

Changing a body is easy. Almost anyone can do it.

Changing a soul is a lot harder. Sometimes even Pharasma doesn't manage to wipe them completely clean before sending them along to the outer planes.

Nicely put.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ipslore the Red wrote:
I'm not well versed in these matters, so I apologize if this question is offensive, but if she can change her body to fit her mind, could she have chosen to change her mind to fit her body?

This begs the question: why should she have to? Are the body's requirements more important than the mind's? Does the mind not dictate to the body its desires? If she was unhappy as a boy, and had the ability to alter external anatomy at the very least, why shouldn't she change her shell rather than its contents?

Lots and lots o' questions.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Necromancer wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

Shardra was born a boy (sex); she identifies as female (gender). Use the gender to determine pronouns. As to the degree of her transition (or transformation), that's for the author to answer. With that in mind, magic and alchemy likely make the transition easier (and probably much faster) than our science can accomplish.

This seems like a lot of etiquette, but it's often a sensitive issue (from what I've been told and seen) and it feels like no one understands when others refer to gender and sex as the same thing.

Yeah, I always assumed I should refer to people by their gender identity rather than biological condition.

Still, I thought it'd be safer to ask.

It should be. Just be prepared for the rare irrational anger/fear cocktail from people who have trouble discussing it in a non-confrontational scenario. Learned behavior and all that.
It tends to be a very rational anger/fear cocktail. Bear in mind that for a lot of trans people, being read as transgender in public is more than just an ego issue. It can led to public humiliation and violence. Many of us develop a knee-jerk fear response to strangers telling us they recognize that we're transgender.
Yeah, I know...But it comes off as irrational to people that have never been in such situations. I tailor my words based on how they might be interpreted by the person I'm speaking with. (And, Lemmy, I mean no disrespect by any of this) I've had to explain things in odd ways when I've had new members joining games with transplayers--I always expect the worst. Every time I end up feeling like a hypocrite, because it's like translating from one culture to another. Communicating over text is even worse thanks to the absence of facial expessions and whatnot.

Haha, tis okay. I know this is something I'm ignorant about. I'm okay admitting my own lack of knowledge.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
Well, Hakon's still an option... Hakon alongside a tsundere Harsk would be fifteen types of amazing.

I'm glad I checked in on the slash-fiction* part of the discussion before bed. Glad to see everything's in order here.

** spoiler omitted **

will secretly vote for both ideas to increase likelihood of sucess.


Necromancer wrote:
Ipslore the Red wrote:
I'm not well versed in these matters, so I apologize if this question is offensive, but if she can change her body to fit her mind, could she have chosen to change her mind to fit her body?
This begs the question: why should she have to?

She doesn't. I wanted to know if she had the option, and Crystal answered. I very much appreciate her doing that, by the way.

Quote:
Are the body's requirements more important than the mind's? Does the mind not dictate to the body its desires?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean, but if you try and decide that you want to go without food for two months and live, you will find that yes, in some cases at least the body will override the mind.

Quote:
If she was unhappy as a boy, and had the ability to alter external anatomy at the very least, why shouldn't she change her shell rather than its contents?

A good point, and I certainly wasn't trying to imply as much. If I did, I apologize.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

oh cool rad let's just do whatever with valeros
let's make merisiel and kyra straight, then, too


I suppose some really offensive uses of mind enchantments could force someone to take actions to change their gender. I seem to remember some 3.5 stuff for psionics chirurgery or mind sculpting to implant desires and beliefs but there is probably a remove X spell or will save to recover.

I additionally suppose we should chalk up magic to responding to desires when used to restore or regenerate physical bodies, it seems to me that if outside factors were used to initiate changes than magic wouldn't know to duplicate those effects when repairing a body without taking the soul's will into account. Or golarion might not use genetics and all physicality of a person's body could be manifested by the will of its spirit? (sort of like an AT field?) So she keeps the hormone balance she currently has when healing. This is assuming spells like remove disease and restoration would adjust all the bodies little chemical feeds to a genetic baseline rather than just restore a condition to its last back up from right before that ghoul got you. Eh, late and can't sleep, hope the thought train came across clearly and no one takes offence.


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what


Ipslore the Red wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
Ipslore the Red wrote:
I'm not well versed in these matters, so I apologize if this question is offensive, but if she can change her body to fit her mind, could she have chosen to change her mind to fit her body?
This begs the question: why should she have to?

She doesn't. I wanted to know if she had the option, and Crystal answered. I very much appreciate her doing that, by the way.

Quote:
Are the body's requirements more important than the mind's? Does the mind not dictate to the body its desires?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean, but if you try and decide that you want to go without food for two months and live, you will find that yes, in some cases at least the body will override the mind.

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If she was unhappy as a boy, and had the ability to alter external anatomy at the very least, why shouldn't she change her shell rather than its contents?
A good point, and I certainly wasn't trying to imply as much. If I did, I apologize.

No need to apologize, my brain just itches around philisophical discussions and I always bring up more questions than I've got answers for.


Lamontius wrote:
what

Um, my thought train as going off how the character used alchemical potions akin to hormone therapy to alter how her body was expressing gender so if someone used a restoration spell on her would that restore her body to what it would have been before she took the treatments or would the magic somehow identify the will of the recipient and know to keep hormone levels and any other associated changes set to her corrected state. Oddly enough I just started watching Orange is the new black and the episode I left off on has a character starting to grow a beard because they won't let her continue hormone treatments, this thread started me wondering about how magic affects situations like that.


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I just scanned. did it even say which class she is?


Shaman, kind of an awesome back story about all the spirits she met and how her familiar is cooler than most other iconics. I thought that part was very cut and dry from a quick scan. Plus, you know, Tuesday was the introduction to the shaman class and the only options left were Shaman and Hunter... I expect the Hunter to have a more robust and maybe violent animal companion.


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This iconic is going right up there with Seltyiel on the top of the shelf as my top favorite Iconics. Excellent back story.

Also. As a person who's gender identity fluctuates (my "heart/soul" seems to be unable to decide with any finality), seeing an iconic as an open Trans from the get-go. Makes me quite happy.

Makes me even happier the fact that it fits in with a lot of shamanistic/spiritual lore of various cultures. The occult-nerd in me had a squee moment at that...

Though, the fact that it's a female dwarf for an Iconic made the dwarf-lover in me squee even more.

Warm fuzzy happy all around!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is nothing about this that is not utterly awesome. Brilliant work, Crystal. Take a bow.

Alignment wise, I would go for NG. She could well worship Shelyn, though I would more readily see Arshea. We already have an iconic who worships someone outside the Big 20, so it would be cool to have another. Plus, Arshea is one of the more constantly referenced Empyreal Lords if memory serves.

Also, I too can see Valeros knowing about what's going on in everyone's pants. Probably because my headcanon is that he keeps trying to woo the other iconics* and keeps failing miserably. See the bathhouse illustration for an example.

*-- well, except Alain. He has standards, our Val does.

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Evan Tarlton wrote:

She could well worship Shelyn, though I would more readily see Arshea. We already have an iconic who worships someone outside the Big 20, so it would be cool to have another. Plus, Arshea is one of the more constantly referenced Empyreal Lords if memory serves.

Not saying that couldn't be possible, but the background made it sound like she has an outlook closer to Animism.


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Tuatara!!!

Ahem. Now that's out of the way, I have to say, that's a great damned backstory, an intriguing character, and a convincing depiction of dwarven family-clan relations.

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This sexuality discussion could be resolved if the Iconics get together and Feiya spams Misfortune > Evil Eye > Cackle > Unnatural Lust on everyone and sees who makes their saving throw.

Then records the zany fun on some crystal ball or whatever.

Anyway, here we go on Iconic sexuality.

Valeros - Het male, but he does drink a lot and is an adventurer. Has been seen to towel whip people like a jock so has almost certainly 'experimented'.

Seoni - super sexy lady but utterly insane and oddly LN. Meriseil doesn't think she puts out to anyone. Possibly an odd kind of pricktease chastity.

Merisiel - openly bi, in a gay relationship with Kyra.

Kyra - unhappily gay, in relationship with Merisiel.

Ezren - unknown, but he is the only Wizard ever known who works out at the gym. Could be a bear, could just be expressing typical wizardly vanity.

Harsk - maybe straight, but it probably isn't a thing. He's a buttoned-down dwarf and straight-edge to boot. Not a sexual person.

Seelah - terrible old romantic. Het. One day her prince will come. Vanishingly unlikely for a commoner, but luckily she is a high level Paladin so she actually might meet her beatific Aasimar noble.

Lem - he's had to duck and dive, fit in where he can, adapt. He's a charming Bard, things happen. Cheliax aristo ladies, dodgy slavers, life's rich pageant.

Sajan - hasn't met 'the one' yet. Probably straight if he thinks about it at all.

Amiri - maneater. Doesn't like boys, she likes men. Up your game.

Lini - genuinely insane person, it's hard to tell what she likes. I suspect it involves Wildshaping.

Seltyiel - gay as the day is long. His backstory is all about rejection from his point of view, none of it mentioning his own effete behavior. Gay gay gay, and defensive about it. Luckily he's a mass-murdering Magus for when the pressure gets too much!

Alahazra - a very nice girl who only wants the simple things, a sweet house, a decent husband, polite kids. Her Oracle curse is that none of these things will ever happen.

Alain - bisexual and doesn't care. Stablehands, housemaids, gentry - it doesn't matter. What Alain wants, he takes.

Damiel - probably has sex with himself, and not something as simple as masturbating. A very odd fish indeed. Whether gay or straight, he's not vanilla.

Hayato - conservative without the kinks. Will find a wife and forge a dynasty. Any suggestions otherwise will not be tolerated.

Lirianne - good time girl. Annie Oakley here wants a good man like her daddy, but she'll try and try again to find that guy.

Reiko - who knows? She's aware she isn't long-term relationship material, but ninjas are adaptable people.

Feiya - rejected her evil cult upbringing of almost certainly lesbian Hags (Hags as in game race, not homosexual slur) and is a genuinely lovely person. She does wear those thigh-high stockings for a reason. Straight. A bit clingy.

Imrijka - Het woman, doesn't mess about. She is a woman, you are a man, this is what we do. Yes, she knows her hat is nice. Detect Undead!

Balazar - far, far too weird. He really, really likes his flying snake space chicken.

Jirelle - jaded. Someone clean who isn't a pirate would be nice.

Quinn - a decent wife would be a splendid thing, but Quinn is a busy man and he wouldn't wish his spouse to be exposed to danger. Better to have occasional FWBs.

Oloch - Oloch takes and Oloch gives his love and his seed. Oloch knows he blesses a woman with his favours.

Crowe - an endless series of one-night-stands with the madman. He's super sexy and the Cheliax girls love his northern manliness but at the moment of climax...

Enora - almost certainly want a decent family man to settle down with. She's far too busy with business to mess about. Possibly quite kinky in a loving relationship, there's no telling what Cantrips can do to spice things up.

Hakon - Hakon needs mead, music and wenches like ordinary people need fresh air. Look at his hair and beard, ladies! He'll also tell you a sexy tale. Then cast Charm Person, probably.

Kess - boys are weak. If you can overpower her, you can have her. It has to be consensual like how her bouts have rules.

Zadim - I do not know. He was brought up in an odd, monastic environment , and he gets his kicks from murdering suckers. A fellow Sarenrae worshipper might sooth him.

Shardra Geltl - she's a woman, dammit! And she has a lot of love to give, no matter that Kolo says she should save it for the rocks. There has to be a nice man out there, somewhere? Uses 9th level spellcasting to scry on someone


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I find it strange to focus so much on sexuality in this kind of roleplaying game. It seems to happen a lot with paizo though lol. Captain K's list was quite entertaining at least:)

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Captain K. wrote:
Imrijka - Het woman, doesn't mess about. She is a woman, you are a man, this is what we do. Yes, she knows her hat is nice. Detect Undead!

That one made me laugh.

She is so the person who would start off a date with Detect Undead!


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Odraude wrote:
It's so weird seeing Valeros' name, since in Florida, that's a name of a gas station.

Now I'm picturing Valeros, Lem, and Harsk, after a long day of adventuring, sitting around re-enacting the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles.


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I'm actually kinda surprised. Shardra has feet.

Lamontius wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Let's see...

She was born and raised male, but self-identified as female. As she aged, Shardra began behaving more femininely, to the point where others eventually accepted her as female. Then, her spirits/tinctures eventually made her physically female as well.

Did I get it right?

see page 1

WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL

AAAAAAAAAA

Oh wait it's just a picture of Bruce Willis.

Dude, don't DO that. You can't just spring random Tumblr links on people in a thread like this.


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This made me smile. Thank you Pazio, and thank you specifically Crystal Frasier.

Silver Crusade

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Alleran wrote:
Neutral on this one (Quinn and Zadim are still my favourites of the new crop). How does one pronounce "Geltl" though? Is it "Gel-tel" or "Gel-tool" (minimising the long 'o' as much as possible), or something else again?
I imagine it's pronounced like a Yiddish word, with a glottal emphasis on the LTL.

I'm from the Tolkien school on Dwarves.... they frequently sound like Billy Crystal in Princess Bride, have a foundness for Tradition! <-- Fiddler on the roof anyone?, and in my home games have had little stone tops with runes inscribed on them as children's holiday toys. It's just how I hear them in my head, and is the reason John Rhys-Davies will never sound like a true dwarf to me... the new dwarves in The Hobbit movies are closer, but not spot on.

I think Crystal has not only written a great backstory to an interesting and authentic character, but also given us a new fold to dwarven culture to help pull them out of real world tropes and help them breath thier own air. I will probably still always hear them with Yiddish accents, but the Meso-American influence will now color my future Dwarves, Thank you. And thank you for sharing, I am happy this is a safe happy place we can all come together and learn, a rarity on the web for sure.

P.S. - I already have a Shaman of Stone named Horgal(Dwarf obviously) with a Heavy Pick and a Turtle familiar named Eben, just waiting for the release of ACG!

EDITS: Oy the typos

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