About Cassian Merro
Cassian Merro managed to be a disappointment to his parents before he was entirely out of the womb. It was that damn penis. Had he been a girl, he could be married off to a noble family. Granted a poor and minor one, since that was the sort who would marry a commoner for a generous dowry. And then, the jewelry merchant Merros would get what they always wanted: noble title. Cassian was mostly left alone, and when his sister Tarvi was born two years later, he became more an annoyance than a son.
And what an annoyance. Climber, eavesdropper, troublemaker, burglar. He had two possible destines: the gallows or gainful employment to a noble house as a spy. One would result in embarrassment for the Merro family and further hurt Tarvi's chances of a good match. (Why would you do that to your sister!?! Cecca Merro would plead, while Tarvi rolled her eyes theatrically)
The problem with training someone like Cassian, someone whose rebellious streak was so wide it became more accurate to say he had a loyal streak, was that there was no guarantee he'd use his skills as requested. And teach a boy who was already half shadow how to sneak up on a halfling, well, now you've given him a way to avoid punishment for his actions.
Cassian managed to last for longer than his parents dared hope. They thought he was finally turning things around. Finally tired of heaping shame on his poor parents. Turned out he was just waiting until he was unsupervised. Tasked with listening in on a meeting of several rival aristocrats, Cassian instead sold the secrets to a third party and disappeared into Westcrown as a freelance spy. Disowned by his parents, he remains close with his sister.
He claims to be motivated entirely by money, but that's a naked lie. Sitting on his shoulder is living proof: Rygel, a monkey destined to be the donor of several of Cheliax's more stomach-turning delicacies. Cassian stole or rescued him (thus costing him the price of the job he was on), and the two are now inseparable.
Cassian is a contradiction. A man who prides himself on his abilities in stealth and subterfuge, he nonetheless seems to want to be known for this skill. ("How are they supposed to know you're any good if they don't even know you were there?" he said to Rygel, who responded with a squawk and resumed playing with himself.) When on a job, he likes to leave a single playing card, the Suicide King, someplace the owner will find it. He hopes that in some small way, he can make men dread that card.
Cassian is handsome certainly, with his black hair and deep blue eyes and is either rakishly charming or an arrogant twit, depending on one's proclivities. He never seems happier than when in over his head, though lately he has been prone to bouts of melancholy. Without knowing why, it seems as though the long Chelish night has begun to change him. Into something not quite human.
Cassian's involvement in the plot against the ruling class of Westcrown and the Council of Thieves in six eventful months of 4712 only happened because they already had his conscience. His conscience, of course, goes by the name Tarvi Merro and is his little sister. He was nothing but a violent, amoral thug, as he would be the first to admit. He had no interest in revolution. His sister, however, was good enough to want more.
But working with those who did have loftier goals than the next easy thrill had a good effect on the young rogue. His attitude softened. Slowly, he was able to find a small group to trust that stretched beyond his sister and his monkey. He began to change from a mere thief and cutthroat to a brutal man who solved problems for those who had nowhere else to turn. One of these tasks led to his taking in of five children who had been abused by their father. Acting as a surrogate parent to these five has forced him to grow and change.
Cassian also seized the Walcourt, a former asylum, from the Council of Thieves and turned it into his headquarters. He has refurbished it, repaired the traps, and added a few new wrinkles, the most obvious being a pair of dire apes who act as security. This unassuming and overgrown manor house is the true capital of Westcrown, though few know it.
He founded the organization known as the Golden Monkey Syndicate in opposition to the Council of Thieves. While the Council inflicted misery on the weak and poor, the Syndicate focused its energy on the wealthy and corrupt. He recruited many powerful individuals into the organization, including his sister Tarvi, the bodyguard and mercenary Janiven Covi, the mistress of disguise Crosael Simiin Rasdovain, the erinyes Khazrae Kuelata, and the thief Thekla Bristow. The children Cassian adopted are a part of the organization as well. The eldest, Marzia, is Crosael's appprentice and Cassian's majordomo. The second-eldest of these, Mina, has become Cassian's apprentice. Nicky, the middle child, is Tarvi's student. The second-youngest has taken an interest in the dire apes.
For those who know him, the largest change to his character is apparent in his relationship with the tiefling Crosael. He never intended to commit to anyone, and was something of a cad. The more he spoke with the tiefling, however, the deeper connection he found. Soon, he was helplessly in love, and has never looked back. They were married soon after, and five years after the events surrounding the Council of Thieves, she is pregnant with their first child.
His greatest coup involved his love. After he and his companions killed Chammady Drovenge and stopped her attempted takeover of Westcrown, they installed Crosael, cunningly disguised as Chammady Drovenge, as the new lord mayor of Westcrown. In later days, he and Crosael have selected and groomed a number of doubles for Chammady, strengthening their rule. Westcrown is Cassian's city, though it belongs to a better Cassian, a man perhaps even worthy of the responsibility.
Cassian's fears have come true: the shadows of Westcrown have irrevocably altered him into something not quite human. Yet instead of becoming one of the subhuman monsters he encountered, he has been raised up. His shadow itself has gained a form of awareness, moving independently of him and whispering magical secrets in the dark. Perhaps the city has recognized its shadow lord and changed Cassian Merro to its liking.
CG Male Human (Chelish) Rogue 15 (Favored Class)/Shadowcaster 1
Initiative +8 (+4 in urban environments); Darkvision 60'; Perception +33 (+6 with Rygel, +4 in urban environments, +7 to find traps)
HP: 174 (15d8+1d6+48)
Saves: Fort +15, Ref +24, Will +16
Special Defenses: Evasion, +5 Dodge bonus to AC vs. traps, Improved Uncanny Dodge
Melee: Requiem +26/+21/+16 (1d6+13, 17-20/x2), Ruin +26/+21/+16 (1d6+13, 17-20/x2), Shadow Dagger +21/+16/+11 (1d4, 19-20/x2)
Ranged: Masterwork Shortbow +21/+16/+11 (1d6, x3, 60'), Shadow Dagger +21/+16/+11 (1d4, 19-20/x2, 10')
Special Attacks: Requiem +25/+20/+15 (1d6+13, 17-20/x2)/Ruin +24/+19 (1d6+13, 17-20/x2), Shadowstrike +20/+15/+10 (1d4+7, dazzle, melee touch, nonlethal), Binding Shadows +20 (ranged touch, 30', entangle for 1 round)
BAB: +11/+6/+1; CMB: +11; CMD: 32, Modifiers: +3 from ring of protection +3 (factored in)
Feats: Skill Focus (Knowledge: Local), Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Finesse, Eldritch Heritage (Arcane), Two-Weapon Fighting, Fast Learner, Weapon Focus (Short Sword), Eldritch Heritage (Shadow), Skill Focus (Bluff), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Eldritch Heritage (Shadow), Improved Eldritch Heritage (Shadow), Leadership, Double Slice, Skill Focus (Perception), Scribe Scroll
Talents: Finesse Rogue, Combat Trick, Terrain Mastery (Urban), Weapon Training, Fast Stealth, Crippling Strike, Feat, Hide in Plain Sight, Slippery Mind
Traits: Dirty Fighter, Serpent Runner
Skills: Acrobatics +28 (+31), Appraise +12, Bluff +30, Climb +20 (+22), Craft: Traps +23 (+25), Disable Device +33 (+35), Diplomacy +10, Disguise +10 (+12), Escape Artist +38 (+40), Intimidate +15, Knowledge: Arcana +11, Knowledge: Dungeoneering +25 (+27), Knowledge: Engineering +13, Knowledge: Local +31 (+33), Perception +33 (+43), Profession: Gambler +7, Sense Motive +22 (+28), Sleight of Hand +28, Stealth +44 (+48), Swim +9, Use Magic Device +24
Languages: Taldane, Infernal, Halfling, Shadowtongue, Abyssal
Abilities from Feats
Abilities from Talents
Abilities from Traits
Weapons: +5 Agile Keen Mithral Short Sword of Subtlety ("Requiem"), +5 Agile Keen Cold Iron Short Sword of Subtlety ("Ruin")
Mundane Gear: Pickpocket's outfit, scarf, masterwork shortbow, 20 arrows, Rygel the monkey, belt pouch, pair of bone dice, small pin of enameled platinum: a sword with a crown at the hilt the blade covered in shadows
In the handy haversack: Deck of cards (all suicide kings, defaced to look like monkeys), climber's kit, masterwork thieves' tools, masterwork artisan's tools, grappling arrow, lead-lined box, master key to the doors in the Walcourt, compact spellbook
Encumbrance (in lbs.): 17.5 (light load)
In the handy haversack: 14.5
Gear: Shaving kit (12 uses left), soap (12 uses left), disguise kit (9 uses left) spare pickpocket's outfit, bedroll, practice rapier, practice dagger, 2 practice short swords
Security: Good lock on front door (DC 30 to pick), bear trap by the door. And so much more. It's insane.
Special Denizens: Two clockwork monkeys, two dire apes
Money: 3871.23 GP
(Cassian habitually carries assorted denominations in the value of 100 GP on his person. The rest is in his vault.)
Claimed Loot Value: 114908 GP
Claimed Loot: Pair of bone dice, +1 rapier, +1 agile short sword, +1 studded leather, rope of climbing, ring of jumping, Khazrae Kuelata's head, lens of detection, hand of the Pharaoh of Nagas, +1 keen mithral dagger, belt of incredible dexterity +6, ring of protection +1, ring of protection +3, master key to the doors in Walcourt, small pin of enameled platinum: a sword with a crown at the hilt the blade covered in shadows, amulet of natural armor +1, amulet of proof against detection and location, ring of chameleon power, belt of physical perfection +4, cape of the mountebank