About Kat Brewer
Ardis (Age 0-19)
Born in Ardis to a working class family, Katarina “Kat” Brewer always had to work for everything she had. Her prominent orcish traits—which she to this day cannot account for—certainly didn’t help, especially in a country like Ustalav that tends to demonize the different. Her parents—her father a brewer and her mother a waitress—were able to keep food on the table and clothes on Kat. Her biggest worry for her early years was dealing with the children of well-off families making her an object of ridicule and racist aggressions. Then, when she was twelve, her father was mysteriously murdered, leaving Kat and her mother forced to take up in the Ardis tenements. Kat was forced to grow up very quickly as she took odd jobs to help bring in more money and her mother took a second job as a seamstress. While her natural cleverness gave her an edge, it was her growing involvement in the city’s labor movement—brought on by her mother joining the seamstress union—that gave her and her mother the support they needed so that more shady money-making avenues stayed untouched. When Kat was 18, just as the movement was starting to gain steam and live was starting to stabilize for Kat and her mother, a contagion broke out in the tenements. It wrecked absolute havoc, filling the streets with the dead as the city’s noble leaders dragged their feet to respond, the contagion having little to no affect on their sheltered lifestyles. When Kat’s own mother got sick, the young woman took it upon herself to investigate what was causing the outbreak, using her connections in the labor movement to help her get enough leads to start asking the right questions to the right people. To her horror and rage, she discovered that the contagion was intentionally stoked and allowed to fester by the nobility, who wanted to “cull” the burgeoning poor population from the city and hamstring the labor movement in its early stages. Kat went to the authorities, but they waved her off, being either too scared to start something or too in the pocket of the rich and powerful. Seeing this, Kat saw that she needed to change the system so that things like this don’t happen. After she buried her mother, Kat took the opportunity to follow an advertisement she saw for a detective agency in Thrushmoor. She would learn the skills she needed to fix things there, or so she hoped.
One of her first cases involved the disappearance of a chef at Count Lowls’s estate. While conducting interviews, Kat immediately hit it off with one of the kitchen girls around her own age, a dark-skinned Varisian woman named Marianna Navarro who had long black curls and a smile that made Kat shiver. While Kat never found the chef, a failure that haunts her even now, she did find her first serious girlfriend. Kat and Marianna were young, overworked, and happy to take things slow. They became sources of stability for each other, emotionally and financially. They liked to lie in bed talking for hours and had a regular date night each week where they went out for a nice dinner. They talked about getting married and having kids and made plans.
Both during Kat’s time behind-the-scenes and as a field detective, she began to notice how often Count Lowls came up in connection with shady dealings in town. Marianna would also bring back strange stories that only furthered Kat’s growing interest in the Count’s agenda. She had never liked him from the moment she first saw him, both for his nobility and because she thought his beard and glasses looked stupid, and she quietly began putting together a file on him. She kept waiting for the day she would get a job to go after him, but despite his name coming up more-and-more, that job never came, and that tension nagged and Kat and turned into resentment towards the agency itself. While the Sleepless Detectives often did good work, the organization was still a business at the end of the day, and she found her sense of justice clashing with her coworkers and boss more-and-more. When people around town began disappearing, leaving behind nothing but blood spray, she had a sense that Lowls was somehow involved. She became absolutely certain when Marianna got added to the list of missing people. Rather than let her take the lead as the person with the most dirt on Lowls, Cesadia sent Kat on minor, safe cases and desk duty, decisions that were probably motivated by a desire to protect, but that only infuriated Kat even more. There was too much at stake for Kat in this investigation for her to be sitting at the sidelines. The presence of Lowls’s former fixers, now apparently repentant and desiring to bring him down, only made it more clear that Kat needed to make a drastic change. She began drafting her resignation letter.
Katarina has a thoroughly working-class background, which she has often used in combination with her half-orc ancestry to lead people into underestimating her. She automatically distrusts nobles and the rich, but she has enough sense to keep her opinions close to her chest. Knowing the stereotypes about half-orcs, Kat prefers to avoid confrontation and keep her emotions in reserve unless her sense of morality is threatened, and even then she’d rather talk it out. The stereotypes of half-orc violence are pervasive enough that she has internalized them—despite her conscious efforts to mitigate them—and wants to prove to herself that they are wrong. When she is in a fight, she prefers to harry her opponents and frustrate them with her ability to pick apart their moves, often doing so out-loud to work them up. Every time she is the most calm person in a fight, she considers it a small victory.
While she hides behind a wry sense of humor at times, Kat is an overwhelmingly serious person who feels things very deeply and intensely. She got into detective work because she truly cares about people and wants to be a force for justice in the world—which has often gotten her written off as naive—but she has to work very hard to keep herself motivated, work that has become exponentially harder in the wake of Marianna’s disappearance. While her previous belief in the established order has been shaken—perhaps irrevocably—she still firmly believes in the importance of justice and doing the right thing.
When it comes to working with others, she is happy to cooperate and coordinate with allies. She would have never got through her childhood if it hadn’t been for people in her community looking after each other, and she’s never forgotten that fact. She’s still a quiet person who prefers to work from behind-the-scenes, though, and she’ll never take the lead unless forced to. She’d rather quietly talk to people individually after they’ve calmed down than try to take command of an ongoing quarrel.
Kat has always been on the smaller, stockier side, only reaching about 5’ 9”. Her skin is a rich brown and her short, side-shaved hair is pure black. Her pale blue eyes droop down on the outside edges and left eye is slightly lower on her face from her right, giving her resting face this contemplative, melancholic expression.
Kat dresses in sturdy, practical clothes, usually a drab suit jacket with breeches. She always wears a custom-made gray-green tweed flat cap and matching vest that Marianna had special made for her birthday after months of saving. Compounding with that obvious sentimental value, they are the most expensive pieces of clothing Kat has ever owned, so she is especially protective of them. Unless she’s expecting a fight or investigating a dangerous location, she keeps her weapons tucked away in her haversack, preferring people to think her defenseless. She picked up the basics of fist-fighting from her years in the Ardis tenements, so she can manage well enough without blades.
Letter of Resignation:
You know what this is.
We both knew this letter was coming. Probably known it since I moved here from Ardis to work with you a decade ago. I really do appreciate all that you taught me. I even appreciate all of our arguments. I’m better at what I do for it. I like to think we both are.
I’m not angry at you. I know you are trying to do what you can. It’s just not enough for me anymore. Truth be told, I don’t know if it ever has been enough. I’ve seen enough on this job to know that the system doesn’t work, even if I’ve tried for years to convince myself that it could be fixed. This whole business with the Count just gave me that final push. Cleaning up messes is fine and good, but when it’s the same people making them every time and they keep getting away with it, it’s time to deal with the problem at the source. You’re a businesswoman, so you have other things to worry about, and I understand that. You don’t spend fifteen years in the Ardis tenements living through disease and degredation without understanding the desire for security and stability. It’s just enough for me.
I was already investigating the disappearances, you know, before Marianna got added to the list. You told me not to, told me to work on fulfilling my contract assignments, but I did it anyways. You were probably trying to protect me. I was on to something. Maybe that’s why he took her, to make me back off. Maybe I’m just deluding myself into thinking I am anything more than a meaningless fly in this whole mess. I am sure she’s still alive, though. She has to be. Or maybe I’m deluding myself about that, too.
It’s harder to tell nowadays. I haven’t been sleeping well. You were really on-the nose with the company name. I’m often afraid I’m going to miss some sign from her if I sleep. The other times, I’m afraid I’ll miss some sign from her if I don’t sleep. I know it’s stupid and irrational, but with all the magic in this world, it’s hard not to be. I know enough to know that anything is possible in this world, and it’s g$++**n terrifying.
I try to follow my instincts, and my instincts are telling me that those former fixers for Lowls are the best bet for finding out what happened to Marianna. To finding her. I’m sure you feel the same way, or else you wouldn’t have trusted them. Probably why you tried to keep away from the case, as you knew something like this would happen. I have to make sure that justice is done. I want to live in a world where that’s still possible. I’ve watched the rich and powerful take what they want and leave the rest of us to rot my whole life, and I need to know that they can’t get away with it.
I don’t know what I’ll do when I find the Count. Maybe I’ll beat him within an inch of death and arrest him at the last second. Maybe I’ll be overcome by a sense of order and restraint and do it by the book. Maybe I’ll kill him. I really don’t know, and if I did, I probably shouldn’t tell you. You’ve been too good to me to deserve being an accessory to murder. All I know right now is that I hate this town and this country and probably this whole planet. Maybe I’ll find Marianna and we can go to Akiton. She always liked red. I wonder if rings are cheaper there? Would make me feel better about never getting around to buying one here.
So this is goodbye. I am resigning, effective immediately. There it is direct so you won’t have to worry about someone suing down the line. I wish everyone here all the best. Except Geoffrey. Tell him I said to go f*$% himself. Been wanting to say that to his face for years. Tell Meg I’ll miss her s$@*ty coffee. Also, she looks better as a dwarf. And thank you, Cesadia, for giving a too-smart-for-her-own-good orphan from Ardis a place to stay for a while. You’re a better person than you think you are, and I hope you realize that someday.
Thanks for everything,
Katarina “Kat” Brewer
Half-orc (varisian) Investigator (empiricist)/8
NG Medium humanoid (half-orc)(varisian)
Init +1 Senses: Perception+16 (+20 vs traps), Trap Spotter, Smog Sight
AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+5 armor, +1 dex, +1 deflection, +1 natural)
Fort +6, Ref +9 (trap sense+2), Will +7
Conditional Save Modifiers: +4 insight vs Will saving throws against illusion spells or spell-like abilities that allow a save to disbelieve, spend inspiration as immediate to use int for such will saves
Speed 30 ft
Melee Merciful Adamantine Longspear +11/+6 (1d8+6+1d6/x3), Cold Iron Longspear +10/+5 (1d8+6/x3), Cold Iron Shortsword +10/+5 (1d6+4/19-20), or Unarmed Strike +10/+5 (1d3+4/x2)
Ranged Cold Iron Javelin +7/+2 (1d6+4/x2)
Special Attacks Studied Combat (+4, 5 rounds), Studied Strike +3d6, Inspiration (1d6, 9/day, free use on knowledge, lore, linguistics, spellcraft, diplomacy, heal, perception, profession, sense motive)
Investigator Extracts Prepared (CL 8th):
3rd--Bloodhound, Fly, Heroism
2nd--Barkskin, Cure Moderate Wounds, Perceive Cues, Resist Energy, See Invisibility
1st--Comprehend Languages, Heightened Awareness(2), Monkey Fish, Shield, Enlarge Person
Str 18, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 20, Wis 8, Cha10
Base Atk +6/+1; CMB +10; CMD 22
Improved Unarmed Strike, Power Attack, Combat Reflexes, Snake Style
Alternate Racial Traits
Skills (armor check penalty 0) (11+2/level)
Craft (alchemy) +16 (background skill)
Diplomacy +6 or +11 to gather info
Disable Device +22
Escape Artist +5
Knowledge (arcana) +10
Knowledge (dungeoneering) +9
Knowledge (engineering) +9
Knowledge (geography) +9
Knowledge (history) +10
Knowledge (local) +16
Knowledge (nature) +9
Knowledge (nobility) +16
Knowledge (planes) +16
Knowledge (religion) +9
Lore (forensic criminology) +16 (background skill)
Perception +16 (+20 to find traps)
Sense Motive +20
Use Magic Device +16
Conditional Skill Modifiers +2 bluff, diplomacy, and sense motive vs other humanoids, +2 bluff to feign ignorance and +2 sense motive to intercept secret messages
Languages Taldane (common), Varisian, Orc, Aklo, Skald, Shoanti, Hallit, Kelesh, Osiriani, Elven, Dwarven, Celestial, Necril, Vudrani, Ancient Osiriani
SQ: Trapfinding (+4), Trap Sense (+2), Ceaseless Observation, Unfailing Logic, Investigator Talents (Expanded Inspiration, Perceptive Tracking, Trap Spotter)
Merciful Adamatine Longspear w/Weapon Cord, Masterwork Chain Shirt, Handy Haversack, Boots of Speed, Masterwork Thieves Tools, Disguise Kit, Portable Alchemist’s Lab, Cold Iron Longspear, Cold Iron Short Sword, Cold Iron Javelin x20, Spring-loaded Wrist Sheath x2. Formula Book (see below for contents), Vest, Hat, Hot Weather Outfit, Cold Weather Outfit, Traveler’s Any-tool, Masterwork Manacles, Ioun Torch, Ink x2, Inkpen, Journal with Notes on the Count, Hip Flask, Grooming Kit, Earplugs, Smoked Goggles, Crowbar, Waterskin, Signal Whistle, 87 gp, 9 sp, 7, cp (see below for rest)
Alkali Flask x4
Tangelfoot Bag x3
Calistria’s Kindness x12
Smelling Salts x3
Twitch Tonic x3
Holy Weapon Balm x1
Enlarge Person x1
Oil Bless Weapon x1
Oil Daylight x1
5005 Merciful Adamantine Longspear
400 Masterwork Chain Shirt
2000 Handy Haversack
100 Masterwork Thieves Tools
50 Disguise Kit
75 Portable Alchemist’s Lab
10 Cold Iron Longspear
20 Cold Iron Short Sword
10 Spring-loaded Wrist Sheath x2
300 Potion Darkvision
50 Potion Enlarge Person
50 Oil Bless Weapon
750 Oil Daylight
20 Cold Iron Javelin x20
(crafted with take 10 craft[alchemy for 25)
87 gp, 9 sp, 7 cp
Special Ability Descriptions (under construction:
Ceaseless Observation (Ex): An empiricist’s ability to notice the minutiae of almost everything that happens around her allows her to make shrewd and insightful calculations about people and even inanimate objects. At 2nd level, an empiricist uses her Intelligence modifier instead of the skill’s typical ability for all Disable Device, Perception, Sense Motive, and Use Magic Device checks. She can also use her Intelligence modifier instead of Charisma on any Diplomacy checks made to gather information. This ability replaces poison lore and poison resistance.
Unfailing Logic (Ex): An empiricist’s grasp of facts and data teaches her to anchor herself in reality, granting resistance to even the most potent illusions. At 4th level, an empiricist gains a +2 insight bonus on all Will saving throws against illusion spells or spell-like abilities that allow a save to disbelieve their effects. In addition she can spend one point from her inspiration pool as an immediate action to use her Intelligence bonus instead of her Wisdom bonus on all such saves for one round.