About Iacobus Gildenpalm
Current Status -5 hp, -5 charges from wand of CLW, cast 1 second level spell (heroism on soven)
About Iacobus Gildenpalm
Male human bard 4
Before Combat Iacobus prefers negotiating his way out of conflict, but if he finds himself in a situation where it appears inevitable, he will cast heroism on the most competent-seeming melee combatant among his allies. He will ready his rapier and shield, and attempt to position himself in the second row, avoiding front-line action.
During Combat He will attempt to support front-line allies with some combination of rousing oratory, Aid Other actions and / or grease and cure light wounds spells. If pressed into the front lines, he is likely to attempt to fight defensively while Aiding Other to increase a nearby allies accuracy or defense. He thinks of his scare spell somewhat like a fireball, as a big gun to be saved for groups of foes, if possible, and prefers to use hypnotism out of combat to entrance and dupe adversaries.
Morale A true fanatic, Iacobus is unlikely to retreat, unless he feels that a retreat would better serve the needs of his mission. He has far more fear of failing this task Razmir has set before him than of a gruesome death... So long as he feels that there is a chance of success, he will stand by his allies.
Feats Weapon Finesse (B), Toughness, Improved Initiative
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 18
[0 + 10 + 5 + 5 + 0 + 7 = 27, +2 Cha (human bonus), +1 Cha at 4th]
HP: 37 (4d8+8, +4 hp as Human FC bonus, +4 from Toughness), AC: 20 (+5 armor, +2 shield, +3 Dex), Spd 30 ft. or 20 ft., Init +7, Saves: Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +1, BAB +3, Grapple: +3, Atk: +6 rapier (1d6 P), +6 whip (1d3 S, nonlethal), +7 shortbow (1d6 P)
+1 hp or +1 skill point per level while single classed Bard, bonus feat, +1 skill point per level, +2 to one ability score
Versatile Performance (oratory skill check replaces diplomacy and sense motive checks), +1/2 level (minimum 1) to all Knowledge skill checks and can make them untrained, 14 rounds of Bardic Music / day, Countersong (grant save vs. sonic or language-dependent effect equal to Perform (sing) check), Distraction (grant save vs. illusion (pattern) or (figment) equal to Perform (oratory) check), Fascinate (DC 16, oratory), Inspire Courage (+1, oratory), Inspire Competence (+2, oratory), +4 saves vs. bardic performance, sonic and language-dependent effects, proficiency in light armor and shields (not tower shields), all simple weapons and the longsword, rapier, sap, short sword, shortbow and whip.
Weapon Finesse (human bonus), Toughness, Improved Initiative
Some combination of Rich Parents (+900 gp), Child of the Temple (+1 knowledge (religion) and (nobility)), Indomitable Faith (+1 Will saves), Fools for Friends (+1 saves vs. charm / compulsion when an ally is within 30 ft. and +3 bonus when using Aid Other on an ally) and some Regional Trait TBA
Languages and Skills
Languages: Common (Taldane), Varisian, Kelish, Osirioni
Skills (6 + 2 (Int) +1 (racial bonus) x3 = 36):
Acrobatics 1 (Dex, +6),
Appraise 1 (Int, +6),
Bluff 4 (Cha, +11),
Climb 0 (Str, +0),
Craft (alchemy) 2 (Int, +7),
Diplomacy 1 (Cha, +11, from Versatile Performance),
Disguise 2 (Cha, +9),
Escape Artist 1 (Dex, +6),
Knowledge (arcane) 1 (Int, +8),
Knowledge (dungeoneering) 0 (Int, +4),
Knowledge (engineering) 0 (Int, +4),
Knowledge (geography) 0 (Int, +4),
Knowledge (history) 1 (Int, +8),
Knowledge (local) 1 (Int, +8),
Knowledge (nature) 0 (Int, +4),
Knowledge (nobility) 1 (Int, +8),
Knowledge (planes) 0 (Int, +4),
Knowledge (religion) 1 (Int, +8),
Linguistics 1 (Int, +6),
Perception 1 (Wis, +4),
Perform (inspirational scriptures / oratory) 4 (Cha, +11),
Perform (act) 4 (Cha, +11),
Profession 0 (Wis, -),
Sense Motive 1 (Wis, +11, from Versatile Performance),
Sleight of Hand 1 (Dex, +6),
Spellcraft 2 (Int, +7),
Stealth 4 (Dex, +9),
Use Magic Device 1 (Cha, +8)
Spells Known (as 4th level caster):
(6) Cantrips (at will) – Daze (DC 14), Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Prestidigitation
(4) 1st level (3 +1/day) – Charm Person (DC 15), Cure Light Wounds (DC 15, 1d8+4 hp), Grease (DC 15), Hypnotism (DC 15, 2d4 creatures)
(2) 2nd level (1 +1/day) – Heroism, Scare (DC 16)
Worn on the street;
+1 Mithral Chain Shirt, worn under clerical vestments (+5 armor, +6 Max Dex, 0 ACP, 2100 gp, 10 lbs),
Rapier (20 gp, 2 lbs),
Whip (1 gp, 2 lbs),
Dagger (2 gp, 1 lb),
Spell Component Pouch (5 gp, 2 lbs),
Cleric’s Vestments (white robes with brownish-gold trim, 5 gp, 6 lbs),
Continual Flame cast on a 5 gp clasp locket on a chain around his neck (115 gp, -),
‘Holy Symbol’ (thin iron mask in the Razmiran style, 5 gp, ½ lb),
Handy Haversack (2000 gp, 5 lbs, carry up to 2 cubic feet or 20 lbs in each of 2 side pouches, and 8 cubic feet or 80 lbs in central pack, any item stored can be retrieved as a move action without provoking an AoO)
If expecting trouble, he will also carry (and his movement drops to 20 ft. as he becomes encumbered);
Inside the Haversack, he has;
Encumbrance (Light 33 lbs, Med 34-66 lbs, 67-100 lbs)
Iacobus is a compulsive liar, and he’s pretty sure that’s what got him into trouble in the first place. Exactly what sort of trouble, he’s not sure, as he has only spotty and contradictory memories of his past. His name, or, at least, the name he thinks is his own, is Taldan. His features could be Taldan, or Varisian, or even darker-than-average Chelaxian, or some blend of them all, and he knows the Varisian language, although he has no idea where he learned it. Every now and again, he learns something new about himself, and only recently learned that he appears to be skilled in the scimitar, a weapon of the lands south of Absalom, that he was not aware of any association with, until he found that the languages of traders from Qadira and Osirion were also known to him…
One thing that is as sure as iron to Iacobus is that he is a priest of Razmir, the Living God, and that he has been tasked to bring enlightenment to those of Absalom who have not heard of the latest mortal to pass the Test of the Starstone. The locals seem to scoff at the very notion, and he has grown accustomed to being summarily dismissed by most, but he is quite the persuasive speaker, and has proven capable of backing up the sincerity of his words with curative magic generally thought limited to the servants of the gods.
Thoughts of returning to Razmiran are accompanied with headaches, and sometimes nightmares of a strange forest, and a cave, or perhaps a fortress… It’s never clear, only that there is much screaming, and the sensation of his skull being torn open. In the worst of the dreams, his skull is being wetly split open like an overripe melon by something *burrowing out from within.*
Shuddersome really, and so he dismisses completely any thoughts of returning to a land that a part of him thinks of as home, and another part of him wonders why he can never remember any real detail of, except in his nightmares. Strong drink seems to keep the nightmares away, and after a day of spreading the good word, he often turns to familiar taverns, where the masked ‘crazy preacher-man’ has become a familiar sight, delicately sipping his ale through the mouth-parts of his iron mask.
From his interactions with the people of the streets, Iacobus has grown accustomed to, and perhaps even a bit protective of, the local folk. Even the ones who scoff at him every day as they pass him by are a familiar bit of this new home he has fashioned here, and he’s particularly fond of the children who run messages and guide lost visitors for small coin, encouraging them to find such honest work (and occasionally giving them such tasks when he needs an errand run or a message delivered), rather than trying to make a living through petty theft, and possibly coming to a hard end. He’s not entirely sure, but he has decided that perhaps he escaped a similar childhood… If anything, such invented notions help to fill the empty places within his mind, and allow him the pretense of having a past like the other people of Absalom.
While Iacobus has no direct connection with the clergy of Razmir, who have no real presence in the City at the Center of the World, Iacobus has a tattered tome, resembling a wizard’s spellbook, that has been filled with odd diagrams of a stepped pyramid and a selection of masks, as well as pages upon pages of religious doctrines, all invented whole-cloth and written down as feverish times of creativity come upon him (fits that he regards as divine inspiration). Iacobus can quote aphorisms and parables about the Thirty One Steps that Razmir took to reach divinity, and how each was a different challenge of wit, skill, power or character, each of which he passed, quite often in some surprising way, seeming to violate the intent of the test, but in doing so, fulfilling the requirements of that particular task without actually breaking whatever ephemeral rules may have existed.
Whether or not Iacobus has truly ever been to Razmiran, or has been rendered mad by some other force, is unspecified. Perhaps he did once impersonate a priest of Razmir, and was dragged off to make that deception a horrible reality. Perhaps he simply offended the wrong powerful person, and was given false memories of serving a false god. He may never know exactly how or why the lies and deceptions of his past have resulted in his being wrapped up in a life of delusion…
As a result of his twisted memories, Iacobus thinks of himself as a priest of a god of Law, and a law-abiding man. But his constant deceptions, both of self and others, combined with a mercenary nature, serve to make this yet another lie. A man of law, he is not.
A Day in the Life
Iacobus woke to the first rays of sun shining through the patchwork boards nailed up over the long-broken eastern window. Using seawater from a metal bucket, he washed the sleep from his eyes in front of a sundered brass shield that served as an impromptu mirror. Rinsing his black hair, he gazed intently at his face, wondering if he would ever recognize any part of it, with its mongrel features and curious eyes. He reached for the enchanted haversack that was his most prized possession (and which he slept clinging onto like a lover), and closed his eyes, feeling the cool shimmering heft of his mithral shirt appear within his grasp. Sliding the chain over his sleep shirt, he then similarly produced his gray vestments, carefully arranging the folds and pleats, and using a minor word of magic to help remove a crease that had formed in the robe, and to wipe away a grease stain from the previous evening’s meal. Finally, taking one last look at his human face, he reached again into the magical backpack and felt the cool iron of his mask appear in his hand. He brushed the soft leather of the inner surface with oil, to keep it supple against his skin, and, taking a breath in front of the ‘mirror,’ placed the mask over his face, fastening the leather straps behind his neck and arranging his hair over the restraints. Finishing by pulling on worn brown leather boots, Iacobus’ transformation was complete, and he hefted his backpack and carefully traversed the rickety stairs from his ‘apartment’ to the street, emerging from an alleyway above a long-abandoned smithy (from which even the anvil, amazingly enough, had been looted).
Once this place had been named Beldrin’s Bluff, and Iacobus could still see suggestions that the homes and businesses here had once been of better quality. Now the aftereffects of some long-past earth tremor, and exposure to the sea air, had left the local buildings in shambles, from natural wear, and the vandalism of restless locals. Now known as ‘the Precipice Quarter,’ a grim reminder that even those buildings still safe to inhabit could perhaps tumble into the sea at any time, the area had become a haven for those who had little concern for the future, or, such as himself, those who lacked the resources to secure lodgings in safer districts…
A pack of Hotspur bullies swaggered past, as if somehow proud to be the big men in this small, decaying slice of insignificance, returning only a rude gesture in response as Iacobus raised a hand to bless their passing.
It was a gentle walk, indeed, one had to make an effort not to stumble down the steeper slopes, down winding streets to the Merchant’s Quarter, and, as always, Iacobus saw unfamiliar faces peering from familiar places, so quickly did people come and go here, in the center of the world. Passing as quickly as possible through the Merchant’s Quarter, already bustling with merchants and factors and teamsters, bringing goods out of storage or transporting them to the Docks or Coins districts for sale, Iacobus arrived in the Coins district, following a cart full of onions, pulled by a mismatched team consisting of a donkey and a camel, both of whom seemed displeased at their working arrangements.
Glad to be out from behind the reeking cart, Iacobus turned towards Ascendent Court, where lay the Cathedral of the Starstone. In the central court, he could spend his day preaching the good word, with minimal heckling from the locals, who had grown accustomed to his presence (assisted by strategic contributions of curative magics or other priestly services to those who seemed most pliable). He found selling his priestly arts to be somewhat mercenary, but while he had managed to avoid paying any sort of ‘rent’ to whomever owned the place he lay his head, the local Hotspur ruffians still demanded ‘protection’ money to dwell in their territory, and meals hardly came free.
And yet, over the months he had spent in this great whirling city, he had found more coin to be had in sharing information with various local factors. Anyone who came to Absalom paid a visit to Ascendent Court, to gaze at the great bridges leading to the Cathedral, or to toss messages over the edge to flutter into the dark unknowable depths of the great chasm. He found that visitors often enjoyed hearing some of the history of the area, and he could ply them subtly for information on their purpose in town, and then relay that information later to merchants who might be interested in their wares, or be able to provide for their needs. The ‘finder’s fee’ for such things was meager, but he enjoyed any opportunity to form connections to the local merchants, in the event that he himself desired information from them.
And once, he made good coin indeed, when a veiled maiden threw a note surreptitiously into the chasm, close enough that he could snatch at it with his feeble magic, and cause it to drift upwards into his hand. Yes indeed, her father paid well to keep the contents of that message from reaching her husband-to-be. A pity he spent the coin, and more besides, buying off the services of the men sent to guarantee his silence…
The 31 Steps of Razmir (steps 1, 3 and 8 done)
In the first Test, which Razmir later called 'The First Step,' the Living God found himself alone on a featureless white plain. No art at his command functioned, and he stood alone. He could attempt to move forward, but saw no sign of progress, and could not be sure whether or not he had ever truly taken a step.
While a lesser man might have railed against the gods, calling the challenge unfair, or given in to despair, Razmir sat down and meditated upon the challenge before him. He came to the conclusion that if the challenge could not be beaten or fought or argued against, that it must be *accepted* as a lesson of some sort. And so he meditated upon the lesson. Was it a test of patience? It seemed not, for he felt his still-mortal body experiencing hunger and thirst and fatigue, lending the experience a sense of urgency. Was it a test of cleverness? Again, it seemed not, for none of his arcane arts or skills or feats of training availed him in this place. He came to accept it as a test of faith, and stood to genuflect to the various gods who had come before, those of ancient and uncertain origin, and those few who had passed the Test of the Starstone before him.
And he stepped forward, and the world was no longer white around him, for that was the First Step, to accept and respect the power and authority of the gods who had come before and to realize that no worldly power or accomplishment or station in life could earn him this opportunity to stand among them.
The 3rd step saw Razmir moving among the people of Absalom, but all was gray, and the people seemed like ghosts, unable to see or hear him. From this vantage point, he could not only see them, but also see the personal devil's that beset them, their fears and doubts and worldly troubles, and while he could not interact with the gray people, he could interact with the brightly colored spirits representing their mortal woes. Some ills he found that he could grapple with and dispell, overcoming illnesses or injuries with force, and leaving the people looking a little less gray than before, as if they could *almost* see him. Other ills proved more subtle, and he found himself moved to parley and negotiate with the representations of ills such as self-doubt and marital strife, to the same result, the brightening of the gray people around him. He came to recognize the many ills that beset man as signs of disorder, reflected in this place, and by restoring the flesh of the ill or injured, he reset the natural order of their limbs, while those who were beset by more social issues benefitted from guidance, discipline and structure. And so the 3rd Test was to understand the role of the priesthood, to minister to the ills of the many races of man, and prepared him for the day when, as a god, he would give of his own personal power to empower those who are called to his clergy, and who speak in his name.
The Eight Test of the Starstone found Razmir presented with a blank white parchment in his grasp. No magic at his command or clarity of vision would reveal any message on this parchment, but as he handled it, he felt areas where the parchment had known the touch of an inkpen, although the ink remained imperceptible to his sight. He spent a time handling the parchment under a variety of lighting conditions, conjuring forth magical illumination in an attempt to coax forth the concealed writings on the parchment, to no avail, although he did discover that the ink was also white in color, when some came off onto his fingers. Attempting to alter the color of the inks (or the paper itself) with minor magic proved ineffective, and Razmir again sat down to meditate.
After a time, he opened his eyes and drew forth flint and steel, striking a spark and setting the god's message aflame, watching dispassionately as the paper curled and blackened, and the white ink turned bright against the now-darkened page. Very delicately, he peered at the writings of the gods, careful not to touch the scorched papyrus, which would have fallen to ash at the slightest disturbance, destroying for all time the secret message of the gods.
The message was this, "We are watching. Be our Herald, and remind the world that we are watching."
It had been many years since the Test of the Starstone had been passed, and the path to the gods was obscured by many heresies, such as the Left-Hand Path of Diabolism, or the Green Faith of the animists, so that the Living God was tasked to remain on Golarion, to remind the many races of man that the true gods still watched over the world, as shepherds to a flock that was increasingly straying away from the true path.
12th - silver/blue, concealing a truth/masks