Scruffily dressed in blue and green Gaius presents a less that impressive first glance. Anyone who looks beyond that though sees a young man, battered perhaps but unbroken, and very very angry.
Haunted by the chaos of Besmara and the unyielding law of Abadar and Asmodeus Gaius has found a odd stillness in between. Finding strength in the unchanging yet ever-changing nature of the sea and in the paradox of the ship as a constant home blown about by the random wind. Oh, and he hates Cheliax with a fire exceeded only by his hatred of pirates. Though to be honest he does not understand quite where the hatred of pirates comes from...
Gaius is living proof that gods maintain a sense of humor.
Years ago Giaus's sea-elf great grandmother was a terror on the water. Beloved of Besmara, she raided from the Eye through the Inner Sea to the shores of the Obari Ocean. Even on to stranger seas if the rumors are believed. No ship could outrun her and no city in sight of water was safe. She had the world in her red stained hand.
That was the problem some say. Some say she grew bored. Bored with the fear she inspired. Bored with being trapped on a wooded island with a crew you could never quite trust. Whatever the reason she decided to retire, and she decided to do it in grand Pirate style.
Calling in favors and gathering up the scum from every dive from Manaket to Kalabuto she built a fleet few have ever bettered. It is said that Old Vengance itself swam under the flagships keel. Naming herself the Reaver Queen she led the fleet in a great raid along the southern inner sea. Cities burned all the way to Katapesh. Nor was the northern shore spared as the fleet swept towards home in a great circle of fresh blood, fat sharks in its wake. At long last they came to Cheliax and the end.
The prey-nations of the inner sea had not been idle. With no one nation able to stand against the Reaver Queen the rabble navies gathered at the Arch of Aroden. The brave sailors sought nothing more than to prevent the Reaver Queen from ever returning home to the shackles.
And she never did. On her last day, the last day of the great raid the fleet turned away from the arch and sailed directly into Gemcrown bay. Directly towards the rich heart of Cheliax. With her navy and most of her knights waiting at the arch there were few defenders left in the city of Westcrown. The pirates raped the harbor district for an entire day. A few may have noticed some new stone warehouses with no windows and stout doors that resisted attempts to open them, But only a few noticed, there were other more accessible houses. Perhaps even a few of the senior captains noticed that the Sea Queen seemed not quite herself. It is a fact that some ships were running for the open sea when the Harbor chain rose from the seabed and sealed all their fates.
When the chain rose the doors of the stone warehouses opened Hellknights and bound devils poured out. It is an academic point which force, the devil-men or the Pirates, did more damage to the city bt when the sun rose there were no pirates and far fewer enemies of House Thrune in the city.
Many horrors were witnessed that night. One of the most bizarre tales tells of an emergency meeting of the Pirate captains. Panicked voices filled the flagship's main cabin as wild, futile plans for escape were concocted and abandoned. Through it all the Reaver Queen smiled. Something was about to happen. In that great-cabin Gaius's direct ancestor stood, raised a glass and shouted loud enough to silence the room. "I keep my bargains. The devils take you all!" with those words she cracked. Limbs falling free torso splitting, she was nothing but a broken mass of snow, stained red by the wine. It is said Cheliax still pulls the occasional mound of gold or silver coin out of that harbor.
The Reaver Queen was never seen again. Though a new minor house, much in the favor of the ruling Thrune arose in the City of Thorns soon after. This family, rumored to be led by an Elven matriarch, was distinguished by its religions devotion. Fully staffed temples to Asmodeus and Abadar were maintained at family expense.
So things went for a generation and Gaius's father took the helm of the family. He turned wealth into land and that into more wealth. He was conservative and quiet in his politics, happy under the cloak of Thurne. Strangely enough it was said he never boarded a ship and avoided even bridges if he could. For in water was Besmara's revenge.
The Reaver Queen sold out the young goddess. She bargained with Thurne and their Devilish masters for a quiet, debauched, retirement in return for breaking the Pirates power for a generation and delivering the greatest haul of plunder in history. She kept her bargain and the gods of Law kept theirs. Asmodeus most carefully of all. Stay away from the sea and the family is protected. Go to it or willingly bring it to you and the protection ends.
Three generations kept the bargain. It ended, apparently, through a simple accident. Gaius's father, a deeply, deeply corpulent man. Was fond of eels. Black river eels to be exact, eaten alive. Each year he insisted on then for his birthday feast and each year they arrived. in his last year however unseasonable rain disrupted the eels mating season and they were rare and expensive. A new, rather badly treated, cook balked at the expense and substituted black sea eels for the later courses. The cook figured correctly that by sing the real eels on the first few courses everyone would be too drunk to notice the substitution. At least that is what the cook said later, under interrogation.
The cook was correct though no mortal being noted the switch. But Asmodeus is not mortal, and neither is Besmara. Stories tell that a full grown Gar-Pike ripped itself free of Gaius's father once the old man had invited the sea-eel into his body. Less well attested stories speak of ghostly pirates storming the fortress-like manor.
Gaius could have died that night but that would have been boring. Instead, with the family now free from protection every last trace was stamped out. Other Noble Houses, many with strong maritime interests absorbed the surviving lands and businesses. Gaius, his name strangely erased from the family records, was given to the Hellknights to raise.
But Besmara was not done with the Reaver Queen's spawn. She cursed him, drew him to water and to the sea where she is strong. He tried to fight it, and with the lingering protections surrounding his family he had some success.
But enough is enough. Unaware of his history, knowing only tortured dreams of the deep sea. Gaius traveled to Port Peril hoping to find an answer and end his torment. When he was coshed in the Maid his last thought was "So it begins"
Traits, Feats and Special abilities.:
Campaign: Ancient Explorer. +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (history) and Knowledge (local)(now a class skill). In addition, you gain Cyclops or Polyglot as a bonus language.
Social: Seeker. Perception is class skill
~Elf Blood, both elf and human for any effect related to race.
~Elven immunities, immune to magic sleep effects +2 racial vs. enchantment spells and effects.
~Keen Senses, +2 racial on Perception.
~Water Child, +4 racial bonus on Swim. Can always take 10 while swimming. May choose Aquan as a bonus language.
~Break your word (either purposefully or unintentionally), and become sickened for 24 hours or until you meet your obligation.
~Vow. Once /day, +4 morale on any one roll you make while trying to fulfill a promise made to another individual.
~5th level, +3 competence bonus on Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks while talking to an individual one-on-one.
~10th level make a new saving throw each minute to resist mind-affecting effects as your subconscious searches for loopholes.
~At 15th level, any creature that violates its freely given word to you takes a penalty to AC, to spell resistance, and on saving throws against your attacks and abilities equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1) for 24 hours.