About Coral of Lastwall
Coral was born in Three Pines Ford, to a family of halfling traders. Her best friend in childhood was Salcas, a young human boy with rumored celestial ancestry. As with many children in Lastwall, they heard stories of the great heroes of the Shining Crusade and longed to become heroes themselves. They ventured into the woods with Nirmathi friends and acted the part of heroic adventurers.
Salcas grew up tall and strong, with an incredible magnetism and immense compassion. Not once did he ever discourage Coral from whatever role she wished to play. Was she a fairy princess he was to rescue? Was she the cunning and clever scout by his side? Was she the fearsome Order of the Paw cavalier charging in to save him? The young man encouraged his halfling friend in all of these. He had a particular knack for storytelling, creating inventive plot twists and exciting drama.
Yet, it was clear that he was Chosen. Salcas traveled to Vigil for years of training in the Church of Iomedae. Coral knew that his destiny was to be a great hero, and hers was… to be a shopkeeper? Still, on visits home, Salcas promised he would return and bring her along on his quests.
“Coral,” he said, ”not all heroes need to be paladins. There is a need for somebody with, let’s say, a broad range of skills. The Knights of Ozem who tried to rescue Arazni might have met a different fate had they some halfling scouts amongst their group. I would be proud to have you by my side.”
It was not to be.
Salcas came back to Three Pines Ford as an undead monstrosity, screaming and desperate for human flesh. The villagers rallied together, as Lastfolk do. Coral put aside her shock and grief long enough to use herself as bait. The villagers trapped him with nets, and locked him in a vault under a hill. After that, only the young man’s parents and Coral would ever venture close enough to hear his screams.
Weeks later, Coral sat on the hill, weeping and raging at the gods. Iomedae most of all. “How could you let this happen? He was Good! He was special! He was devoted to you! And he was just a boy!”
She wept and thought of the tale of Arazni. How Iomedae had summoned her Order’s angelic patron and sent Her to Her death. “If even your own goddess is just a pawn on a board to you, an expendable piece, what would you care for a boy?”
But in that mourning she recalled how Salcas had explained the story. “Even the wisest do not know all ends. Not even the gods. Iomedae and Arazni made a tactical error. None are perfect, and so we must do the best we can. Why could Aroden not save Arazni? There are workings of the universe beyond our understanding. Rules even the gods must obey.”
It was an unsatisfying explanation, but the only one she had. Why do bad things happen to good people? The answer is… you don’t get an answer.
So, the halfling decided that she would become the hero that Salcas was meant to be, whether she was Chosen or not. Coral made her peace with Iomedae, took up a sword, and set out to cure her friend. Rumor was that there was a priest of Pharasma who had been seen in Roslar’s Coffer who might know something about restoring the undead to life. Well, actually the Varisian seer said "There is a Priest of Pharasma in Roslar's Coffer. If you go to find him, you will learn much about life, death, and the paths between." Seemed clear enough...
Coral knows she isn’t Chosen. She isn’t special, she isn’t unnaturally strong, and she can’t do magic. She’s just a halfling trying to get by on her wits and her reflexes – but she wants to be a hero. Coral aspires to live up to the heroic ideals of Lastwall, and the faith and compassion of her lost friend Salcas.
While Coral follows Iomedae, and has faith, she has constant doubts. Does Iomedae mourn for those lost in her service? Does She care about the mortals who fight in her name? How much of the future can even the gods see? She tries to put these doubts aside when talking to others, but still seeks answers.
Coral is cautious and slow to trust; she tries to avoid unnecessary risks. She doesn’t know how Salcas became undead, but he was never as careful as she was so he probably did something brave and foolish. Despite this caution, Coral is brave when called upon to be so. She has great compassion for underdogs and for the common people.
Role and Development:
This is a reinvention of my first 3.X character from nearly 20 years ago. I think “unlikely hero/everyman” is a really good fit for “survival horror.” Coral is somewhat in the vein of characters like Meriadoc Brandybuck. She will be a scout and secondary combatant, although should evolve into a competent primary combatant while still being able to handle traps as appropriate for her level. Ultimately, I’d like her to be able to take levels in the Knight of Ozem Prestige Class. She might take Bodyguard and/or Blundering Defense, to help boost allies’ AC. If this AP goes to level 16, I would envision her ending as Rog2/Ftr4/Knight10, with Weapon Master allowing two Advanced Weapon Training Options (one from retraining the Ftr2 bonus feat upon hitting Ftr4). She would have great saves (through Teamwork feats), Evasion, and some potent anti-undead abilities. She might come into conflict with the actual order of the Knights of Ozem but perhaps could find a sympathetic ally within the order who recognizes the value of having someone with her skills in their ranks.
Likely feat progression: Rog2/Ftr1) Combat Reflexes and Bodyguard; Rog2/Ftr2) Dodge; Rog2/Ftr3) Weapon Focus (Short Sword); Rog2/Ftr4) retrain Dodge into Advanced Weapon Training (Fighter's Tactics) and take Advanced Weapon Training (Warrior Spirit)
Coral is fairly tall and strong for a halfling. Although only 3'1" and 32 lbs herself, she is capable of lifting a fully-grown human off the ground (up to 225 lbs). She has lightly tanned skin, dark brown eyes that flick around the room rapidly, and wavy brown hair. She often paces or at least shifts her balance from foot to foot, giving an air of restlessness. Coral wears a holy symbol of Iomedae around her neck, and fidgets with it when she suspects danger is afoot. She wears a tunic over a chain shirt and carries an assortment of tools and weapons, trying to be prepared for any eventuality. Coral prefers to wear boots when on a mission, rather than going barefoot as some halflings do. She is reasonably attractive, but puts more attention into looking clean than looking pretty. Coral has a rather charming and wholesome smile when relaxed and at ease, but it takes some time before new acquaintances see that.
Halfling Rogue 2/Ftr1
LG Small Humanoid
Init +3; Perception +9 (+10 vs traps); Trap Spotter
AC 18, touch 14, flatfooted 15 (+4 armor, +1 size, +3 Dex)
HP 22 (2d8+1d10+3)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +2; +4 vs fear (+2 racial, +2 Story feat)
Melee Rapier +6 (1d4+1/18-20), Sap +6 (1d4+1 NL), Light Mace +6 (1d4+1), or Dagger +6 (1d3+1/19-20)
Ranged Shortbow +6 (1d4/x3)
Str 13, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 10
BAB +2; CMB +2; CMD 15 (16 vs Trip, Grapple)
Alternate Racial Abilities: Fleet of Foot
Feats: Weapon Finesse (B), Auspicious Birth (Conjunction), Shake it Off (Bonus), Glimpse Beyond (Bonus), Power Attack (Bonus), Combat Expertise (Bonus), Deadly Aim (Bonus), Combat Reflexes, Bodyguard
Traits: The Word, Helpful
FCB: Fighter +1 CMD vs Trip/Grapple
Skills (9 per level Rogue, 3 per level Fighter)
Acrobatics 2 +8 (+6 with ACP)
Climb 2 +6 (+4 with ACP)
Disable Device 3 +10
Escape Artist 2 +8 (+6 with ACP)
Knowledge (Religion) 3 +4 (+6 to ID undead)
Perception 2 +9 (+10 vs traps)
Sense Motive 2 +6
Stealth 2 +12 (+10 with ACP)
Swim 2 +6 (+4 with ACP)
Background Skills: Linguistics +7, Appraise +7
Bonus Skills: Perform (Oratory) +5, Profession (Merchant) +5
Languages: Common, Halfling, Elven, Orc, Celestial, Sylvan
Equipment: Chain Shirt (100), Rapier (20), Short Bow (30), 20 arrows (1), Thieves’ Tools (30), Sap (1), Light Mace (5), Dagger (2), Backpack (2), Flint and Steel (1), Waterskin (1), Acid (10), Alchemists’ Fire (20), Bedroll (0.1), Trail Rations (4 days; 2), Wooden Holy Symbol (1)
13.9 GP remaining (starting at 240)
Special: Trapfinding +1, Evasion, Rogue Talent (Trap Spotter), Sneak Attack +1d6, Lay on Hands 1/day (1d6)