About Hryvnas Raszamy
Aasimar (Plumekith) Warpriest (Cult Leader) of Desna 2
Long Form Background:
The guards ushered the well-dressed man into the well-appointed office. The man struggled and shouted. "How dare you lay your hands on me! You are supposed to be my guards! And how can I be summoned to my own office! By what right-"
The well dressed man stopped short when he saw the man sitting behind the desk. His desk.
"Who in the Nine Hells are you supposed to be? That's my desk!"
The man sitting behind the desk raised his eyebrows. He wore fine robes of black trimmed with red. He pulled a pendant from under his shirt. The penadant was that of a black star with a red fist portrayed on it. The well dressed man's protests stuttered to a stop.
"Do you know what this is?" said the man in black.
The well-dressed man paled. "It's the... the R-red Fist," the well dressed man managed to blurt out.
"That's right," said the man in black. "And who am I then?" he asked, smiling. Nervously, the well-dressed man looked back at his guards. "Don't look to them for help!" the man in black shouted. "Who am I?"
"A... a companion o-of the Red Fist... an agent of H-house Thrune." The well dressed man stuttered.
"Good," said the man in black, completely calm once again. "And you understand that all government men must render me full co-operation?" The well-dressed man nodded mutely. "How wonderful! Then we may proceed. Now sit." The sheriff meekly sat in one of the chairs in front of the desk.
The man in black settled into the chair. "So... firstly, I am Oronas Castello. You may address me as 'Commander,' or simply 'my Lord,' if you prefer. And you are Lord Sheriff Montalvont, in charge of the security of this town. Yes?" The well dressed man nodded mutely again. "I am here in search of one Hryvnas Raszamy."
Sheriff Montalvony exhaled a sigh of relief. Castello smiled. "You thought I was here for you? No, no. Why would you think that? What could you have done?" Castello grinned at the sheriff for a moment. "No, no. Don't answer that. There's no time. I'm sure we can discuss it later if time permits."
"Mind you, if it turns out that this Raszamy escapes through your incompetence, then I may take you in Raszamy's place. Understand?"
The sheriff nodded soberly. "Yes, my Lord. But who is this Razamy?"
"Raszamy," Castello corrected. "A Varisian. He is a terrorist and a thief. Part of a conspiracy to overthrow House Thrune itself. And he is here, in your town."
"I know of no such man, my lord. Why would you think he is here?"
"Because I followed him, that's why. I had hoped your incompetent guards would have clapped him in irons already, but they seem just as ignorant as you. I know all about this Raszamy."
Castello pulled a sheave of papers from a small satchel on the floor beside him, and dropped them on the desk.
The sheriff looked at the stack of papers with dismay. "But my Lord, the Hellknights gave us no indication-"
Hellknights! Hah!" shouted Castello. "Everyone thinks the Hellknights are the ones that maintain order in this country. They get all the glory, kicking down doors and chopping off heads." Castello shook his head. "They are merely a blunt instrument, useless without direction. Knowledge is power, and it is us, the Red Fist, that gathers the information that we need to keep this country alive."
Castello opened the sheaf and began looking through it.
"So... let's see. Hryvnas Raszamy, age, likely mid-twenties. Born in Belde. Apparently a 'special' child. A 'little angel.' His 'tears were like stars.' Bah! Part of the Sitanse incident. Are you familiar with that?"
The sheriff shook his head.
"It would have been about sixteen years ago now. Some insurgents committed some expensive acts of sabotage in Belde. They set fire to the tax assessor's offices and the import/export house. Quite expensive. The rebels were hiding in the Sitanse district - it's a slum, residence to laborers and beggars and foreigners. Anyway, the rebels used the district as a base, and the locals wouldn't give up the rebels. So the governor imposed a fine - a big fine - against the whole neighborhood for collaborating with traitors."
"But my Lord... How could they pay that?" the Sheriff asked.
"They couldn't," said Castello. "But Armante Pazzolo offered to pay the fine. You've heard of Pazzolo, surely?"
"The merchant prince. Of course. But why would he pay their fine? The man is no philanthropist."
Castello chuckled. "Oh, it was no act of charity. Oh no," Castello shook his head. "He paid it in exchange for licence to harvest slaves from the district. In essence, when the locals failed to pay their fine, they were in default and could be sold into slavery for payment of their debts. Pazzolo's men went in and pulled out most of the people living there, leaving only the elderly, infirm, or those too young to manage without constant supervision. I understand that when the news of this was heard in the district, many parents murdered their own children rather than let them be taken as slaves. Raszamy was lucky he survived! Ha! In any case, Raszamy and the rest of his family became slaves and property of Pazzolo. Technically he still is, since he escaped unlawfully."
"My Lord, How did he escape" asked the sheriff.
"He had been a slave for several years, and by this time he was in his late teens. Then he was a part of a slave caravan that was raided by a group called the Bellflower Network. Have you heard of them?"
"The slave liberators?" the sheriff asked.
"Not liberators, hardly. No, they are thieves and bandits. Slaves are property and they steal that property. The fact that this property often 'welcomes' being stolen is irrelevant. Once 'freed' you are still in debt to the Network, and they make them fight for the Network. So their 'freedom' is merely an illusion. They exchange one master for another, that's all."
The sheriff looked bewildered, but Castello pressed on.
"In any case, Raszamy joined one of the Bellflower Network's bands of brigands under a halfling woman we believe is named Dare Shillinghouse. He learned about weapons and armor from her. Shillinghouse's group continued to make periodic attacks against slave barracks and markets in the region. Needless to say these criminals have earned the ire of a number of merchants in that region, who have lost considerable profits there."
The sheriff looked confused. "But my Lord, why say he is trying to overthrow House Thrune? Surely it would take more than a few robberies to do that."
Castello scowled. "Don't mistake those acts for anything less than treason. Slavery is an important part of our economy, and if the economy falls, so does the country. But that is not why I said that."
"After a few years Raszamy disappears from Shillinghouse's band. Turns out he was recruited by some priests of Desna."
"Desna?" asked the sheriff, surprised.
"Indeed. The halflings and tha Varisians love her. Despite being a useless has-been of a goddess. They want to be 'free to flit around like a butterfly.' Well, the thing about butterflies is that they are pretty, and they are useless. Only good as food for birds and bats. Desna... a dusty old goddess best relegated to the past. She has no place in the future of our great nation."
"No, the Desnans are not all gone, though we've run them out of the cities. But it would take centuries for us to find and smash all the backwoods shrines out there, and they'd just build more. And though everyone says that Desna is peaceful and couldn't hurt a caterpillar, she still sponsors terrorists to undermine our nation."
"I'm told they gather at night in muddy open air temples out on moors and such. Made from uncut stones. Very primitive. Typical for your ignorant backwoods hick. But they've been taking bandits like this Raszamy, and training them as clerics. So now you have a brigand who is trained in priestly magic. And this brigand is sent to join other agitators and stir up trouble. You see the problem."
The sheriff nodded gravely. "My Lord, Can't you just search for Desnan holy symbols? Make all the travelers empty their packs and such?"
"A holy symbol is easy to hide. No, we've done that of course, but it's not enough. No, you need to watch for secret gatherings and such. You need informants and spies watching. You need to root out suspicious behavior."
"We rounded up a bunch of them recently in Macini. I was undercover and saw that Raszamy has a tattoo of a symbol of Desna on his right palm. He was trying to take ship somewhere. When people are trying to take a ship out of a town at night, that's a dead giveaway. We laid a trap and got a bunch of these Desnans, but Razsamy managed to slip through our fingers."
"So..." the sheriff said cautiously. "He got away from you then? -My Lord?" he quickly added.
Castello's eyes narrowed. "Don't get smart. At the time we didn't know who he was. Once we had rounded up a bunch of them though we found out he was the ringleader, and began to piece all this together."
"I don't know how to explain it; the man is surly and ugly. But troublemakers seem to flock to him. Maybe it's because he looks like trouble, so those who are in that frame of mind gravitate to him."
"But to our problem right now. I'm certain he is here. He has gotten a lot more careful after our near-miss nearly nabbed him, but we established that he was headed this way. He likely has a cover identity, and a disguise. But here is a sketch of him as he looked back in Macini."
Castello pulled out a sheet of parchment and handed it to the sheriff. The sheriff examined it, and frowned.
"I think... My Lord, I... think I know this man," said the sheriff.
"What!? How? Where is he?" shouted Castello.
"Ah..." hesitated the sheriff. "This looks like one of a troupe of travelling players, my lord. They arrived recently. The Lord-Mayor had them do a command performance at his mansion."
"A travelling player..." mused Castello. "That is a good cover. Are you sure?"
"As sure as I can be; I didn't get a close look. I was in the audience. He was juggling. Not the worst juggler I've ever seen, but he was hardly a genius."
Castello nodded. "Juggling. Makes sense; by all accounts he has quick hands. So... where is he now?"
The sheriff looked at the guards, and then back. "Ah... yes. That's the thing. My understanding is that they are on tour. They... they should have left town by now."
Castello jumped to his feet. "WHAT!?!? Where did they go?" Castello shouted, his face turning red.
"I believe they were sailing around the cape, my lord. Corentyn, Pezzack, Kintargo, points beyond. Their ship should have left on the tide this morning."
Castello's face purpled. For a moment he stood silently, shaking with rage. Then with a shout he drew a mace from his belt and smashed it down on the desk.
The sheriff cowered as splinters flew around the room. The sheriff was wise enough to remain silent. Castello stared at nothing, his jaws clenched tight.
"He doubled back. Back west. I could have sworn he was going on to Westcrown after this," Castello muttered to himself.
After another moment, Castello came out from behind the desk and stalked quickly towards the door. But before he got to the door, he turned on the sheriff with a stare cold as ice.
"Remember what I said. If Raszamy escapes, I'll have you in his place."
"B-but no, my lord!" stuttered the sheriff. "It wasn't my fault! The Lord-Mayor was pleased with their show, so they asked him for help booking passage on a reputable ship! They mayor said he'd be happy to!"
"Giving up your boss to save your own skin, eh? Loyal, aren't you? Well, we'll see. Maybe I'll take him instead. Maybe I'll take you. Or maybe," Castello said through clenched teeth, "Maybe you'll both burn." Castello turned and stormed out. From the hallway beyond, the sheriff could still hear Castello shouting.
"Get me the harbormaster! NOW!!"
I will be asking that each submission be accompanied by a background containing:
Five things I should know about your character currently. This is not about their aspirations, nor about their past. I want to know what they can do, who they are, personality, appearance, reason for being in Kintargo, etc.
* Hryvnas is in Kintargo working as an agent provocateur on behalf of the Church of Desna. Though most of their work against House Thrune occurs in rural areas, Hryvnas' urban background made it seem reasonable that he could be the one to help foment unrest in Kintargo, an area the Desnans already knew was on the brink of revolt.
* Hryvnas has dark hair and dusky skin typical of his Varisian background. He is tall and slim. He looks very weatherbeaten and has lots of scars, most notably one across the right side of his face, from an injury that nearly took his eye. Most of these scars are from his time as a slave, including a brand on the back of his right shoulder indicating that he is property of the Pazzolo merchant house. He also has a holy symbol tattooed on the palm of his right hand. He conceals this with gloves normally, but has a custom glove that is held together with a strap and can be quickly opened to reveal the tattoo.
* Hryvnas is very quick, and his friends sometimes call him "Hryvnas the Sudden." He is adept at street fighting, where speed is often more important than brawn. But without using his magic he is generally not able to stand up to the armored heavy guards employed by House Thrune and its lackeys.
* Hryvnas has a deep-seated grudge against Chelaxian authorities in general and slavers in particular. He is inclined to to provoke people involved with either institution in the hopes that they will attack him and he will be "forced" to defend himself.
* Hryvnas' sullen bitterness makes him not very much fun to be around. But those inclined to fight against the establishment seem drawn to him, as they can sense that Hryvnas' grudges make him a motivated fighter in the same cause that they support, and that their own goals could be fulfilled by hanging on to his coattails. Thus he has ended up becoming an unlikely leader in the agitator community.
* Hryvnas looks human, but he is actually a Garuda-Blooded Aasimar (or "Plumekith"). This is not obvious, but is given away by a number of subtle cues. Hryvnas' hairstyle always ends up looking "feathered" no matter how he cuts it, and unlike most Varisians he cannot grow a decent beard or mustache. When under starlight, his eyes seem to catch the light and sparkle brilliantly, and if he cries, so do his tears. His toes look rather birdlike and curl into talons (which are too stunted to use in combat or for anything else practical). And birds seem to take special notice of him. He does not have any ability to communicate with or train birds, but when he is around and at peace, birds seem to cluster in the area and they chirp more loudly and pleasantly than normal.
Four people in their lives. These could be friends, parents, lovers, enemies, rivals - let your imagination go wild.
* Armante Pazzolo: The Merchant Prince who deals in slaves and "bought" Hryvnas' entire neighborhood when he was growing up. Though Hryvnas opposes all slavers, he has sworn to avenge himself against Pazzolo personally.
* Dare Shillinghouse: The halfling from the Bellflower Network who released him from bondage. She was a fighter and a follower of Cayden Cailean, and Dare tried to teach the ways of arms and armor. For a time Hryvnas ran with Dare's troupe of slave liberators, until Hryvnas decided to train under the priests of Desna.
* Oronas Castello: A Thrune agent and spy who nearly caught up with Hryvnas in the town of Macini. Oronas originally approached Hryvnas in the guise of a longshoreman who might be able to smuggle Hryvnas aboard a ship as a stowaway. But Oronas was a government agent and had spotted Hryvnas' Desnan tattoo. Knowing what it meant, Oronas laid a trap for Hryvnas which he narrowly escaped. Hryvnas now knows that Thrune spies are everywhere and that he cannot trust strangers until he sees their bona fides.
* Marco Sarabaldi: A Corrupt Guard who in exchange for a bribe allowed Hryvnas to enter the city after dark when the gates were closed. Since then Hryvnas has paid Marco fairly regular bribes in exchange for information and favors. Marco thinks he is getting the better end of the deal, and Hryvnas goes out of his way to make Marco think this, but in fact either party could cause serious problems for the other by reporting them to the authorities.
* Bluno & Marta Ramini: - a baker family in Kintargo who are secretly worshipers of Desna and provide Hryvnas with a room in the back of their bakery. Bluno and Marta do so out of a sense of religious duty, but Hryvnas pays them a hefty rent anyway, mainly to keep the Raminis happy and ensure that they does not come to resent Hryvnas' presence.
Three of their most prominent memories - specific moments that changed them, impacted them, or stick with them to this day.
* As a child, waking up to find his father standing over his bed with a drawn dagger, trying to decide if he had the will to kill his own child to keep him from being taken into slavery. In his home town of Belde, an act of rebellion prompted Paraduke Marcellus Thurivan to levy a fine against the lower-class neighborhood of Sitanse where the rebels were thought to live. The neighborhood was unable to produce the money (and many refused to pay), so the slave merchant Armante Pazzolo offered to pay the fine on behalf of the neighborhood in exchange for the right to take the residents into slavery.
* The raid on the slave barracks where he lived as a slave, conducted by the Bellflower Network. The halflings that freed the slaves there became Hryvnas' ideal of selfless heroism. The idea that these men and women risked their lives to help those they had never even met fired Hryvnas' imagination, and he decided that he had to join their cause, striking at slave compounds whenever possible. Finally he had found a cause worth living for, rather than just surviving.
* The ceremony of devotion he took in the Church of Desna, in an old stone circle on a hilltop under starlight. He and his fellow eleven initiates pledged their eternal loyalty to the Goddess and the absolute struggle against the Tyranny of House Thrune. Hryvnas cut his hand and spread his blood on one of the old stones. And in that moment it seemed that his mind was opened, and he could see how the corruption of Asmodeus and his devils was eating away at Chelaxian society, and that none of the other evils in the nation could truly be conquered before Asmodeus' hold on the nation was broken. He and his fellow initiates went their separate ways after that, but each carried within him the greater vision of what the rebellion was really about.
Two goals - these are specific, action-oriented goals with a purpose.
* Overthrow House Thrune. Hryvnas wishes to see the abolition of slavery in Cheliax and knows that this will not happen as long as House Thrune remains in power with their devilish pact. Likewise all those who committed evil acts against him would no longer be protected by Thrune law and he could take revenge on all those who had a part in his enslavement.
* Find and free his family. Hryvnas' family was taken into slavery at the same time as him and after a brief period in the slave pen they were separated. Hryvnas never saw them again, and has no idea where they are or even if they are alive or dead. When Hryvnas joined the Bellflower Network to help free slaves, he had hoped that one day he would stumble upon his family and free them too.
One thing that gets your character out of bed in the morning. This is different from a long-term goal. This is a purpose, or a motivator, or a short-term ambition, and it can change as time goes on.
* Today I strike a blow for freedom. Hryvnas knows that Cheliax wasn't built in a day, and it will take a lot of work to overthrow it. And what Hryvnas does today will probably only amount to a tiny chip out of the stone of the foundations of House Thrune. But if he makes enough of those chips, and others all over the country make theirs, sooner or later the structure will be undermined to the point that it cannot remain standing.
HP: 17 (2d8 +4 CON)
Melee: (+1 BAB, +4 DEX)
Ranged: (+1 BAB, +4 DEX)
Combat Gear: (1000 gp starting cash, carrying capacity 33 lbs light load)
Total 44.1 gp, 31 lbs
Acrobatics +10 (1 ranks, +4 DEX, +3 Class, +2 Race)
Lore (revolutionary tactics) +5 (1 rank, +1 INT, +3 class)
Total 150 gp, 8 lbs.
112 gp remaining.
+2 Wisdom, +2 Dexterity
Scion of Humanity
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
Some aasimars’ heavenly ancestry is extremely distant. An aasimar with this racial trait counts as an outsider (native) and a humanoid (human) for any effect related to race, including feat prerequisites and spells that affect humanoids. She can pass for human without using the Disguise skill. This racial trait replaces the Celestial language and alters the native subtype.
Medium: Aasimars are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Aasimars have a base speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: Aasimars can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Skilled: Plumekith Aasimars have a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Fly checks.
Spell-Like Ability: Plumekith Aasimars can use see invisibility once per day as a spell-like ability (caster level equal to the aasimar's class level).
Celestial Resistance: Aasimars have acid resistance 5, cold resistance 5, and electricity resistance 5.
Languages: Aasimars begin play speaking Common and