Meet the Iconics: Estra

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Today, as part of our ongoing Meet the Iconics series, we introduce the next of the six new iconic characters featured in Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures. This week we meet Estra, the iconic spirtualist!


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Estra never wanted to commune with spirits: she only wished for others to believe she did, and profit from that belief.

Born the daughter of a poor miner in the nation of Isger, Estra dreamed of the theaters of far-off cities, and more than once nearly ran away with a traveling acting troupe that stopped in her small town. Fortunately, her family moved to the capital city of Isger, Elidir, during her teenage years, and she swiftly became enthralled with her new, cosmopolitan home. Her dreams of joining the theater were even somewhat fulfilled when she fell in with a small gang of faux-spiritualists who needed a convincing actress to play the role of their spirit-channeling medium. The group engaged in fraudulent séances targeting grieving mourners, who paid dearly for confirmation of the smooth passing of their loved ones into the hereafter.

Within darkened chambers and ramshackle theaters, Estra and her confederates spent nearly ten years bilking grief-stricken with the promise of communion with their dead relatives. Estra proved a talented actress, falling into convincing trances to channel the dead and dispense the carefully gathered information her associates had gleaned on their targets. Sessions typically culminated with the full-form “manifestation” of a bereaved subject's lost relative: actually a confederate dressed in luminous robes and clumsy disguises approximating the dead person's appearance.

The arrival of a handsome knight named Honaire changed all that. Stationed in Elidir, Honaire had left behind an ailing mother, and in his absence she had passed. Honaire sought some comfort in his loss, and turned toward the séances of Estra's troupe for assurance that his mother rested in peace. Relieved of his grief by the assurances of the spirit-seer, the young knight became smitten with Estra's quick wit and streetwise charm. Estra, for her part, found the knight's combination of physical strength and gentle courtesy enchanting, even as his strict code of honor made her regret her own life of lies. When at last she confessed the truth—that she'd never contacted Honaire's mother at all—she expected him to fly into a rage. Instead, he thanked her for her courage, and promptly proposed marriage. Accepting his proposal, Estra left behind the life of a charlatan, and the two spent several happy decades together, with Estra enjoying the social status that came from being the wife of an up-and-coming military commander.

Yet this life, too, came to an abrupt end when rumors of a rising alliance of goblin tribes reached the capital. Seeing her husband's frustration at the government's slow response, Estra urged him to volunteer to investigate, with no way of knowing that the goblin assemblies were in fact the precursor to the deadly Goblinblood Wars. There in the dark expanse of the Chitterwood, Honaire and his unit were unexpectedly ambushed by a horde of maniacal goblins and their green dragon ally. Though he fought bravely and saved the lives of many comrades in their retreat, Honaire was bathed in the dragon's toxic breath, his armor and body rent by the beast's deadly claws.

Wracked by guilt and loss, set adrift in a devastated nation that suddenly had more to worry about than the plight of military widows, Estra turned back to her old means of supporting herself, training several new associates in the tricks of the faux-spiritualist trade. Yet during the group's first performance, while her confederates secretly lifted spirit trumpets with thin threads and caused tambourines to shake as if by unseen forces, Estra's fake trance became something more. A wispy, greenish vapor coalesced from her mouth, eyes, and nostrils. To the wonderment of those assembled, a spectral figure emerged through the curtain of ectoplasmic mists. The ghostly apparition was not the luminous confederate Estra expected to emerge from the spirit cabinet, but rather the very real specter of her fallen husband. Both comforted and shamed, the burgeoning spiritualist pledged once again to never allow deceit to rule her life.

Though her body is increasingly stooped by age, Estra has learned to strengthen her spiritual bond with Honaire so that his ectoplasmic form might walk the world again. She tries to emulate her lost lover's selfless drive to aid the helpless wherever they might be afflicted—though her impatience and sharp tongue sometimes get the better of her. Wandering far from Isger, she uses her strange powers to provide comfort and consolation—for real this time—to those who've lost loved ones to the ceaseless violence of the world. Yet all the while, she remains plagued by doubt, wondering if her phantom husband's presence is the result of the depth of their love, some god's attempt to shepherd her toward righteousness, or a manifestation of her own guilty conscience.

Brandon Hodge (Contributing Author) & the Paizo Staff

P.S.: The psychic preview and Meet the Iconics installment we promised last Thursday has been pushed out just a bit, but never fear, you will learn more about Rivani soon!

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Estra Iconics Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Spiritualists Wayne Reynolds
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I knew the phantom was her hubby! Great story!

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Awesome. Redemption stories are my favorite.


Fantastic story! I love the hook that her Phantom is her deceased husband :)


This is my favourite iconic story yet. I'm a sucker for redemption stories.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

So Whoopi Goldberg from Ghost.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I love that she was a charlatan before she got her real powers.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love it. A flavorful story, an unconventional and interesting character, and a great way to bring the spritualist's mechanical side to life (coincidentally, pretty close to the spiritualist I drafted up during the OA playtest).


The Spiritualist was one of the classes in the playtest I really wanted to like from the flavor but was just not good enough to function. This iconic background only makes me want to like the class more... Hope the final iteration lives up to Estra's quality.


Nice!

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

Really good story, even somewhat romantic. Good job!

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I hope she has a few ranks in craft pottery


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Finally another old iconic. Ezren's been lonely.


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

I like the redemption angle. Very cool.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Interesting that the first two iconics for this book are redemption stories. I wonder if there is a pattern forming here;)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
Interesting that the first two iconics for this book are redemption stories. I wonder if there is a pattern forming here;)

They're just trying to throw us off so nobody expects the Kineticist, the first Neutral Evil iconic.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I doubt the kineticist is NE, maybe CE or CN though;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Interesting that the first two iconics for this book are redemption stories. I wonder if there is a pattern forming here;)
They're just trying to throw us off so nobody expects the Kineticist, the first Neutral Evil iconic.

I want that.

BURN BABY BURN!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rynjin wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Interesting that the first two iconics for this book are redemption stories. I wonder if there is a pattern forming here;)
They're just trying to throw us off so nobody expects the Kineticist, the first Neutral Evil iconic.

I want that.

BURN BABY BURN!

So do we already have a Chaotic Evil Iconic?

Because if not, I'd like an Azula expy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Finally another old iconic. Ezren's been lonely.

she looks even older than Ezren by at least a decade or 2


12 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I would love to see an image of Estra hitting one of the other Iconics on the head with her cane. :)

"Behave yourself young man!"


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
zergtitan wrote:

I would love to see an image of Estra hitting one of the other Iconics on the head with her cane. :)

"Behave yourself young man!"

That would be Alain. C'mon, it would Have to be!


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Interesting that the first two iconics for this book are redemption stories. I wonder if there is a pattern forming here;)
They're just trying to throw us off so nobody expects the Kineticist, the first Neutral Evil iconic.

I want that.

BURN BABY BURN!

So do we already have a Chaotic Evil Iconic?

Because if not, I'd like an Azula expy.

I think the Magus is Chaotic Evil.

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rynjin wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Interesting that the first two iconics for this book are redemption stories. I wonder if there is a pattern forming here;)
They're just trying to throw us off so nobody expects the Kineticist, the first Neutral Evil iconic.

I want that.

BURN BABY BURN!

So do we already have a Chaotic Evil Iconic?

Because if not, I'd like an Azula expy.

I think the Magus is Chaotic Evil.

Fairly sure he's LE and worships Asmodeus.


Ah. I was half right at least.

So yeah, Chaotic Evil Kineticist is a go!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
zergtitan wrote:

I would love to see an image of Estra hitting one of the other Iconics on the head with her cane. :)

"Behave yourself young man!"

I could totally see her doing that to almost all of the iconics

Silver Crusade

Great, heartwarming story. I am looking forward to reading up on the spiritualist and the other classes.


Rynjin wrote:

Ah. I was half right at least.

So yeah, Chaotic Evil Kineticist is a go!

Does the pig kicking antipaladin count as an iconic?

Silver Crusade

Love it! One of my new favorite iconics.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Ah. I was half right at least.

So yeah, Chaotic Evil Kineticist is a go!

Does the pig kicking antipaladin count as an iconic?

i don't believe so because he didn't even get his own page like all the others


1 person marked this as a favorite.
zergtitan wrote:

I would love to see an image of Estra hitting one of the other Iconics on the head with her cane. :)

"Behave yourself young man!"

Weapon Focus (knitting needles)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
They're just trying to throw us off so nobody expects the Kineticist, the first Neutral Evil iconic.
Sigh, a neutral evil iconic? Dammit.
Quote:

So do we already have a Chaotic Evil Iconic?

Because if not, I'd like an Azula expy.

Quote:

Ah. I was half right at least.

So yeah, Chaotic Evil Kineticist is a go!

Just when I thought it couldn't get ANY WORSE!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
zergtitan wrote:

I would love to see an image of Estra hitting one of the other Iconics on the head with her cane. :)

"Behave yourself young man!"

Weapon Focus (knitting needles)

i was thinking more on the lines of Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple so she can grab someones ear and twist/pull on it


That's a great background - very cool.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

this seems like the work of an enemy stand

Paizo Employee Developer

Arachnofiend wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Ah. I was half right at least.

So yeah, Chaotic Evil Kineticist is a go!

Does the pig kicking antipaladin count as an iconic?

No. He is not an iconic.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Just when I thought it couldn't get ANY WORSE!

Don't trust internet speculation. :)


A little sad that the phantom of her husband isn't able to communicate with her in some way, at least to let her know that he is genuine and provide some level of comfort. :(

Great story all the same, though!


Meh. More human iconics. The stories are cool, just disappointed that the most interesting races are neglected. Yes, I understand Golarion is predominantly human, but doesn't make them interesting.


Who says it can't be all three?


Aldiar wrote:
Meh. More human iconics. The stories are cool, just disappointed that the most interesting races are neglected. Yes, I understand Golarion is predominantly human, but doesn't make them interesting.

Why aren't humans interesting?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Love how I watched The Awakening yesterday, and this is the iconic shown (movie had a bit of occultism fraud that Estra was involved in).


Wow.

I hate new classes. But this woman and her story give me pause.


Normally I don't care for Iconics as they all seem the same a bit to me in the art, but this artwork is just too awesome! This is my personal favorite iconic character! I hope more like these follow!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Would anyone be so kind and sum up the general flair and shtick of the spiritualist for me?

I have to admit, I did not pay attention to the playtest and from reading this story (which is great, by the way!) I do get a lot of flavor but I have no idea what this class would feel like in an actual campaign.

Right now, it shapes up to a weird hybrid of oracle and summoner in terms of general flair. What does it, you know, do?


Freehold DM wrote:

Wow.

I hate new classes.

That must be fun.

Freehold DM wrote:
But this woman and her story give me pause.

Huh. We must be reverser twins. I love new classes and this story made me feel very little.

Silver Crusade

I like her and her backstory.


Nullpunkt wrote:

Would anyone be so kind and sum up the general flair and shtick of the spiritualist for me?

I have to admit, I did not pay attention to the playtest and from reading this story (which is great, by the way!) I do get a lot of flavor but I have no idea what this class would feel like in an actual campaign.

Right now, it shapes up to a weird hybrid of oracle and summoner in terms of general flair. What does it, you know, do?

The playtest Spiritualist had almost no niche of its own; with a weak spell list and weaker class features it was nothing more than an inferior Summoner (inferior to the Unchained Summoner now, too). The one exception was the ectoplasmic form for the spirit that basically turned it into a ridiculous super scout that could wander through an entire early-level dungeon undeterred.


Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

Wow.

I hate new classes.

That must be fun.

It is!

oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
But this woman and her story give me pause.
Huh. We must be reverser twins. I love new classes and this story made me feel very little.

What next, you love whedon and hate everything else?


[threadjack]
@Freehold DM - phew. We are not then. I have no especial consideration for Joss Whedon, though I was pleasantly diverted by Firefly. Have not liked anything else he has produced. As for hating everything else....naaaah. Not much fun in that. I am critical, and overly so at times. And grumpy.

But hating only lessens your lifespan. And I'm already well beyond young. Those years of hating, they availed me of very little, except more hate. And I do hate that. My most favourite Guild Wars avatar I ever saw? A Necromancer called "Bash the Hateful" Sublime.
[/threadjack]

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