About Hu Xiang Lun
Hu Xiang Lun
Male human (Tian-Sha) bard (negotiator) 1/wizard 1/gestalt 1
LN humanoid (human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +4
Favored Class: Wizard
FCB: +1 Skill Points
AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+1 armor, +2 Dex)
HP 10 (1d8+2 Con)
Saves Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +2
Speed 30 ft.
Melee hanbo +0 (1d6)
Melee dagger +0 (1d4/19-20)
Ranged light crossbow +2 (1d8/19-20/80 ft)
Ranged dagger +2 (1d4/19-20/10 ft)
Special Attacks distraction, fascinate (DC 12), fast talk, splintered spear 7/day (+4, 1d6+4)
Bard Spells Known (CL 1st, Concentration +3)
0-level - prestidigitation, lullaby (DC 13), sift, unwitting ally (DC 13)
1st-level (2/day) - coin shot, saving finale
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 1st, Concentration +5)
0-level - daze (DC 15), detect magic, light
1st-level (3/day) - charm person (DC 16), color spray (DC 16), sleep (DC 16)
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 13 (14), Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 15
Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Armor Proficiency (light), Scribe Scroll, Shield Proficiency, Spell Focus (Enchantment, Illusion), Weapon Proficiency (simple, longsword, rapier, sap, shortbow, shortsword, whip)
Traits Bureaucracy Navigator, Child of Changdo
Skills Bluff +7, Craft (calligraphy)* +8, Diplomacy +7 (+9 vs bureaucrats), Intimidate +7, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (history) +8, Knowledge (local) +9 (+11 laws and law enforcement), Knowledge (nobility) +9, Linguistics +8, Perception +4, Perform (oratory)* +6, Sense Motive +5, Spellcraft +8, Use Magic Device +6
Languages Tien, Elven, Draconic, Taldane, Minkaian
SQ Arcane bond (bamboo amulet), arcane school (Wood – Opposition school: Metal), bardic performance (6 rounds/day), cantrips, hard bargainer, Flexible Enhancement (+1 Con)
Combat Gear scroll of mage armor Other Gear scroll of comprehend languages (2), scroll of animate rope, hanbo, dagger, light crossbow, haramaki, noble’s outfit, signet ring, 200 gp jewelry, wizard’s kit, 2 scroll cases, 5 pieces parchment, 29 gp
Bureacracy Navigator - Accustomed to wading through governmental bureaucracy, you gain a +2 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks against bureaucrats and on Knowledge (local) checks related to laws and their enforcers.
Child of Changdo - You belong to a noble family that matters in Po Li, though as the story begins you may or may not be on good terms with your relatives. Your upbringing among the city’s well-to-do gives you an upper hand when it comes to knowledge of high society, and you start the game with a modest inheritance. With Gongzhu Zeitan’s efforts to provide for Po Li’s common citizens and overturn years of tradition, new lines are being quietly drawn in the sand, and you have found yourself embroiled in these intrigues whether you intended to be or not.
Arcane School - Wood
Flexible Enhancement (Su): A master of the wood element is able to bend like bamboo when stressed and snap back into place. You gain a +1 enhancement bonus to your Dexterity, Constitution, or Wisdom ability score. This bonus increases by +1 for every five Wizard levels you possess to a maximum of +5 at 20th level. You can change this bonus to a new ability score when you prepare spells. At 20th level, this bonus applies to two of these ability scores of your choice.
Splintered Spear (Su): As a standard action, you can create a wooden shortspear appropriate to your size, which hurls itself as a ranged attack against one target within 100 feet (range penalties apply), using your Intelligence modifier as an attack bonus instead of your Strength or Dexterity modifier. The spear deals normal damage according to its size, plus your Intelligence modifier, then breaks into countless splinters; the target takes 1 point of bleed damage each round on its turn. At 6th-level and every 6 levels thereafter, the spear gains a +1 enhancement bonus and the bleed damage increases by +1. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.
Bardic Performance - A bard is trained to use the Perform skill to create magical effects on those around him, including himself if desired. He can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + his Charisma modifier. At each level after 1st a bard can use bardic performance for 2 additional rounds per day. Each round, the bard can produce any one of the types of bardic performance that he has mastered, as indicated by his level.
Amongst the nobles of Po Li, and indeed in the Lung Wa Empire before that, the Hu family were known as successful and wealthy merchants. Hu Xiang Lun’s family was one of those, with a family seat in the capital of Changdo. The family trade routes cross Tian Xian, including the cosmopolitan city of Goka, for them to bring in goods from as far away as Absalom. Xiang’s father, Huan, had studied at the prestigious Five Elements Academy, a school which taught the arts of wizardry and alchemy, and applied his magical schooling to the family business,using his magic to aid in business and the crafting of magical items for sale. It was his wish that his family further the business, and so he taught each of them the finer arts of negotiation and haggling, as well as having each of his children tested to determine their aptitude for the arcane arts. While Xiang’s brother, Han, was strong, he did not have the talent for the arcane, and he chose to serve in the military forces of Po Li. His sister, Chi, developed her abilities on her own, but ever the wild child, could not be taught the ways of wizardry, and so was not permitted to attend the academy. Xiang, however, was bright. He showed signs of potential very early on, and was accepted into the academy on his 16th name day. There, he quickly learned the fundamentals of magic, rising to the top of his class. In his studies, he learned ways to use magic with his already considerable talent for negotiations, and became quite well known as a mediator. To enhance his mediation abilities, he chose to specialize in the study of the element of Wood, to learn to bend as bamboo does in wind without breaking. He would often be called upon to mediate disputes of his fellow classmates, and his magical prowess was such that his teachers were quite pleased with his progress.
His skill in the mystic arts, coupled with his training in business and negotiation, allowed him to step into an active role in the family business as soon as he graduated. He found himself accompanying caravans to Amanador and Goka, mastering the Taldan tongue as he had his own. His greatest achievement was in helping the the Taldan nobles of House Talbot establish a trading post within Changdo itself, thanks to his ability to navigate the oracular bureaucracy and his understanding of the laws of Po Li. House Talbot agreed to pay a percentage of their profits for 10 years in exchange for that assistance. His father was proud of his son’s ability to broker such a deal, and the House received a boost to both its fortune and its reputation.
For all of Xiang’s public success and accolades, privately, he was growing increasingly disillusioned with the nature of Po Li. His travels to Goka and Amanador, plus his interactions with House Talbot, had shown him that things in Po Li might not be as good as he thought. Every year, the Oracles tested new children to see if one was the Eternal Emperor reborn, and every year, they failed to find him. Was it possible that by only testing male children, they had bypassed the Eternal Emperor’s rebirth? The Eternal Emperor had been an Empress before, and it could happen again. He also felt that nobles were being consumed by intrigue, and that the Oracles’ secrecy was a hindrance and distraction. Xiang kept his growing dissatisfaction to himself, for his family would hardly be pleased with him if they found out, but when the ruler of Wei province, Gongzhu Zeitan, began pushing for reform and a testing of female children, he found himself inclined to support her efforts, albeit subtly.
It was then he had a meeting with Lady Taishi. Her message seemed to indicate she wished to negotiate the sale of resources from her estates to the Taldane. Upon his arrival at the meeting, however, she revealed that she was there with a task for him on the Day of Exultation to help bring about reform to the nation of Po Li. Though initially hesitant, Xiang was convinced that his task would be of benefit to Po Li, and that he should take the risk to do so. So, on the Day of Exultation, Xiang sets out to the inner heart of Changdo - a part of his city he has never seen. He has dressed in his best, for in order to influence the Oracles, he must be at his best, his appearance immaculate. There is an old saying from Imperial Lung Wa that seemed especially relevant - “On the heights, the roads are paved with daggers.” He suspected he was about to find out how true that was.
Appearance and Personality:
Xiang is in his late 20s, and of average height and weight. He has shaved his head bald, and has grown a thin, long mustache and unattached goatee. His robes are of fine silk, and some of his jewelry is clearly not of Tian origin. The only thing out of place is the bamboo amulet around his neck, with the word “Wood” in Tien carved into it - a symbol of his rank and training. He carries a walking stick and dagger, but otherwise appears to have no other weaponry as he considers his magic and his skill with words weapon enough.