About Kari of the Wylds
AC 17 (+2 Armor, +1 Shield, +4 Dex), touch 14, flat foot 13
Str 12 Dex 18 Con 16 Int 17 Wis 11 Cha 20
Carrying Capacity Light: 43 lbs, Medium: 86 lbs, Heavy: 130lbs
Leather Armor – 10 gp, 15 lbs
Equipment on person
Cold Weather outfit, Xgp, 8 lbs
Total Encumbrance – 42 lbs, light load
Equipment to haul
Arrows, including blunt and cold iron (40), 6 lbs
6 pp, 8 gp, 1 sp, 8 cp
Bardic Knowledge (Ex)
A bard adds half his class level (minimum 1) to all Knowledge skill checks and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained.
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.
Starting a bardic performance is a standard action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action. Changing a bardic performance from one effect to another requires the bard to stop the previous performance and start a new one as a standard action. A bardic performance cannot be disrupted, but it ends immediately if the bard is killed, paralyzed, stunned, knocked unconscious, or otherwise prevented from taking a free action to maintain it each round. A bard cannot have more than one bardic performance in effect at one time.
At 7th level, a bard can start a bardic performance as a move action instead of a standard action. At 13th level, a bard can start a bardic performance as a swift action.
Each bardic performance has audible components, visual components, or both.
If a bardic performance has audible components, the targets must be able to hear the bard for the performance to have any effect, and such performances are language dependent. A deaf bard has a 20% change to fail when attempting to use a bardic performance with an audible component. If he fails this check, the attempt still counts against his daily limit. Deaf creatures are immune to bardic performances with audible components.
If a bardic performance has a visual component, the targets must have line of sight to the bard for the performance to have any effect. A blind bard has a 50% chance to fail when attempting to use a bardic performance with a visual component. If he fails this check, the attempt still counts against his daily limit. Blind creatures are immune to bardic performances with visual components.
Bard's learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Bard Spells Known under "Spells Known." These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.
At 1st level, a bard learns to counter magic effects that depend on sound (but not spells that have verbal components.) Each round of the countersong he makes a Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing) skill check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard himself) that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack may use the bard's Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the countersong is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous sonic or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use the bard's Perform skill check result for the save. Countersong does not work on effects that don't allow saves. Countersong relies on audible components.
At 1st level, a bard can use his performance to counter magic effects that depend on sight. Each round of the distraction, he makes a Perform (act, comedy, dance, or oratory) skill check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard himself) that is affected by an illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack may use the bard’s Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the distraction is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it sees the distraction, but it must use the bard’s Perform check result for the save. Distraction does not work on effects that don’t allow saves. Distraction relies on visual components.
At 1st level, a bard can use his performance to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the bard, and capable of paying attention to him. The bard must also be able to see the creatures affected. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a bard has attained beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with this ability.
Each creature within range receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bard’s level + the bard’s Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and observes the performance for as long as the bard continues to maintain it. While fascinated, a target takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat to the target allows the target to make a new saving throw against the effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect.
Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability. Fascinate relies on audible and visual components in order to function.
A 1st level bard can use his performance to inspire courage in his allies (including himself), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to perceive the bard’s performance. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 competence bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 5th level, and every six bard levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +4 at 17th level. Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability. Inspire courage can use audible or visual components. The bard must choose which component to use when starting his performance.
1st (2/day) Feather Step, Vanish
Age: 19, Height: 5'3" Weight: 105 lbs Hair: White Eyes: Amber
Kari is, compared to many in the north, as diminutive as her connection with the fey in the area would suggest. Standing only inches above five feet, Kari's physical presence is easily exceeded by her complete confidence and sense of self. She wears her white blonde hair in a complex chignon of braids and knots, save for a fit at the left side of her face that have been worked into several spirals worked with a tendril of red hair, fangs on a leather throng, and finally, closest to her ear, a modest collection of colorful feathers that always hang free.
Kari does not recall a great deal of her childhood, and more curiously, neither do her parents enjoy ruminating on the memories of their only child. This general prohibition is scarcely shared by the citizens of the small village in the Gronzi where Kari was raised. Several tales exist of the young Kari simply following her father home from weeks long ranging as a girl of some four to six years grown. More disturbing, though, are numerous mentions of her disappearing several times during her adolescence for weeks at a time, periods for which Kari herself has no recollection save an ethereal tune by pipes she cannot recreate with her imperfect technique.
And try as they might to raise their daughter to be a productive citizen, Kari never felt in her heart that the village was her home. She did her chores about her foster’s house with the usual display of belly aching expected of a child with no sense of responsibility, but she did not possess the capacity to see the village as an extension of her home. To her, the elders were oppressive authorities bent on subverting artistic and individual expression. As Kari’s rebellious streak continued beyond the age where her contemporaries were marrying, settling and creating their own families, Kari found herself ostracized. This came to a head one spring eve at a festival, when the disdain and derision was made so plain, Kari became incensed and in a drunken fit simply snarled and ran from the confines of the village like an animal freed from a trap.
In hindsight, it was the least wise decision she might have made to abandon the security of the village to wander the forest with no real sense of direction. The local Medvyed officers fought an unending war with the fey denizens of the wood, and Kari’s presence seemed only to aggravate the natural side of the conflict. Hungry, dehydrated and physically exhausted, Kari stumbled toward the sound of water for a drink, and clumsily fell into the swell. When she surfaced, she found herself upon an alien shore, surrounded by colorful creatures.
Wonder of all wonders, Kari understood their strange language as more swirled about her. As several winged creatures passed her pan pipes between each other, others hopped upon her damp shoulders and demanded tribute. Kari, rising to the challenge, took the instrument and performed a tune she had been composed in her solitude, which the audience found pleasing. They weaved vines and flowers into her hair, her cloak and boots, then in a rush of wings, kisses and caresses pressed her forward.
“Your mate awaits! Your mate awaits!”
Kari scarcely had time to tug a boot on before she was hustled from the scene, and found herself at the mercy of a startled and armed ranger drawing down upon her with his bow. His piercing eyes searched her hastily dressed and gaudily adorned form, then he lowered the bow and threw back his head and laughed.
“This is your muse?” he said in the language the little ones had used, then tore a wreath of of dried twigs fashioned into antlers from his head. “Little cousin,” he said to her in the trading tongue, “It is clear you are far too young to mount,” he adjudicated after a quick glance at her slender frame. ”You will share my fire tonight but not else.”
Little did the participants in the fey fete realize that their will scarcely mattered when it came to the appetites of their audience. The creatures of the wood had brought them together and they would be satisfied. Theirs could scarcely be termed a romance, as when Duma’s sense was restored he woke beside a young girl with no appreciable skills. Kari was more than a little embarrassed when the very next day she was abandoned while Duma moved on to the next temporary camp after rumor of a large haul of dwarven spirits passing through the area, but he was neither cruel nor short sighted enough not to extend to her his personal invitation to his band.
Kari’s mortification lasted only hours, breaking with Duma’s lad’s wind near her. She was free, but among her companions, it was not unique. Duma’s invitation was not a promise of protection, and Kari had nothing but her pipes and her clothes. That very day she began to apply herself learning something of use, not even daring to insult the band she relied upon by utilizing her charms.
It was a slow and painful process, but everything that Kari learned of morale and the wood she learned from the revolving cast of irregulars. Within six months she no longer flinched when a man dropped trou and pissed near her on patrol, and after eighteen she did not think to when she did, either. Duma infrequently visited and showed some affection, but though Kari had grown and became a capable scout, their time had clearly expired.
Kari could not say that she had matured any, however, and no lesson was more painful than that she learned at the feet of a wandering minstrel who named himself Artyom. In the summer of her eighteenth year, he staggered into their temporary camp with wounds consistent with a troll attack. Having no dedicated healer, all Kari’s band could provide for him was comfort while he recovered, but it was enough. In the weeks that followed it was clear that the player’s enthusiasm to teach his captivated protégé rankled her band and incited fracture.
Captured and sentenced to hang from the gallows and, presumably, a painful death of starvation, Kari was blessed with a fair amount of time to reflect upon her mistakes, and Artyom’s aims, though not necessarily in that order. In hindsight, his seduction was clearly calculated to incite Duma’s response. Not having seen the man personally in months, Kari could see how stray rumor that they met frequently while Kari ranged could have inspired such a response from him. And whether or not Duma revealed himself to protect Kari’s honor, Artyom had succeeded in breaking a good deal of the band’s support. Broken and bitter men and women they were now, sniping at each other over coppers. Their behavior alone would sour relations between Duma’s loyal forces and the villages who were friendly to their cause.
Kari was utterly humiliated. And worse, the officers who had hung her were informed of her talents and had bound her hands and her ability to cast. She bitterly accepted every word and piece of filth slung at her in disdain as her hunger turned to fever. In her dreams she barely managed to keep her eyes open, and watched with morbid curiosity as a hooded figure exchanged a number of silver coin with a member of the militia she recalled stroking her calf before she was pulled from her cage and thrown to the ground. Her soiled clothes were cut from her and a rude smock was tossed at her and she was made to march, bound and delirious. Kari could not say whether the figure was male or female, only that its frustration swelled as it was forced to repeat its instructions time and time again before Kari’s voice joined in the refrain.
Unbeknownst to her, Kari’s savior was the very same Artyom, truly, a roving bastard. While he garnered some sadistic pleasure from watching his apprentice go mad while hanging from the gallows, it was his final lesson – never trust. Indeed it was Artyom’s aim to make Duma appear, but actually to offer support of a more complicated nature. Artyom is in fact in the employ of Pitax’s bard king, who personally profits by destabilizing his neighbors politically. Kari’s employment can be seen as an entry level position, as well, she cannot really be expected to survive, but until such a time that she can be considered useful, she is to observe and expect further contact.
In later levels, I can see her being tempted to mess about with the party, and perhaps shift over to Good in their defense, or just continue to act as a rogue agent, depending on how things develop.
Given her utter humiliation by Artyom, Kari obfuscates, and she obfuscates well. In public, she has adopted a cant she adapted from several personalities among her band into a horrific example of grammars not meant to be uttered. This character cares a great deal for morale, and will invest a great deal of energy in maintaining it among the band, but her interior monologue is a good deal different. While not exactly morose, she is unhappy that she is bound to this mysterious benefactor, and “observe and report” Is such a vague instruction that she fears that she cannot be so general.
Concept, Desired Kingdom Role:
Kari is a highly intelligent skulk. If none other in party were capable, she would volunteer to be the scout of the group on their travels, or one of several. She would not be a FACE, but concern herself primarily with maintaining morale. As the party progresses, she will become responsible for how they represent themselves by telling tales (lying) and creating that sort of relationship between the heroes and the small folk that is required for them to prosper.
Kari is capable of many roles in the kingdom, but as I see her at this moment, she would likely adopt either the spy master or Royal Assassin roles. I never like to state definitively though, but allow such to come out through role play.