About Laelia Korzha
Laelia possesses an uncommon/otherworldly beauty.
Laelia is sensitive to the feelings, moods and motives of other people. Even though she feels like an outcast at times, conflicted in her own self, she is rather social and enjoys the company of others (her manner gentle and engaging). She does not trust so readily, however those who have earned her trust have also earned her love and loyalty. As her confidence in her magic and talents grows, so does her self-pride. Yet, she keeps any arrogance in check.
The beginning of her life was something she had little recollection of. Too young to understand the circumstance of her conception or who her sire or mam were, it was a fateful day she was discovered by a Desnan Priestess, Alinza, during her month-long journey across Varisia.
A witch named Lucia Korzha had absconded with the child from a coven of Night Hags during a dark sacrament to Alazhra, The Dream Eater. Finding herself in the path of Alinza, the witch begged the Desnan priestess to take and protect the child for she feared what the Night Hags had in mind for her.
The girl child was merely two years old and was a pretty, yet strange scrap of a thing, and, Alinza could not turn her away. Cutting short her devout wandering, Alina returned to Magnimar and brought the child with her to Cynosure Tower, the temple dedicated to Desna. There the girl child was fostered by the priestesses; naming her Laelia for her pretty violet eye and Korzha after the witch who had risked her life to rescue her.
The fateful encounter had brought some security to Laelia, for the Desnan Priestesses were kind and patient (even though her strange heritage seemed to bring some uneasiness among the elder clergy). Laelia grew into a sensitive, yet social child; helping around the temple and learning what she could from the tomes and scrolls housed in the temple archives, when she wasn’t curiously asking the priestesses for more knowledge. Laelia’s education revolved around the arcane arts, healing arts, religious studies, bookkeeping/appraising artefacts and learning other and obscure languages. Yet, Laelia still felt like an outsider for her mismatched eyes and the two small lumps protruding proudly above her brows.
When Laelia was ten years old, Alinza disclosed to her the truth of her ancestry and what she was – Night-born Changeling. Hearing this, Laelia fretted and grew more sensitive – resolving to grow out her hair and leave a long fringe to cover the lumps on her forehead so she would appear more Human. Yet, the priestesses could not shelter Laelia from every barb or sideway glance cast by those who could not see past their ignorance.
Laelia was always happiest at night, under the open canopy of stars. Direct sunlight prickled her skin and made her feel grumpy and disquieted, so she would cover up her skin when she ventured out of the temple on errands or would only venture outdoors once the sun had set.
It was on her thirteenth birthday when the dreams and nightmares began. Laelia was plagued by a strange, yet pernicious woman, tormenting her each night, whispering dark things into her mind regarding the people she had come to love and respect. The solace she once found at night began to diminish until all she felt was a kind of desperation in regard to the night and sleep. Laelia’s pale skin grew paler still as she found little rest or comfort during the night hours. The priestesses grew concerned; for the girl had started scratching at the lumps on her forehead – scratching until the skin broke and bled. During particular vivid nightmares, Laelia would scream out as if suffering searing pain. Alinza wondered if the woman in Laelia’s nightmares was a Night Hag coming to claim the child she had once lost. The clergy of the temple rallied around Laelia and tried to take her mind off the troubling dreams. It was on the nights of a full Moon that the nightmares were at their worst, and Laelia clutched at the wooden holy symbol of Desna, praying for release and protection.
It was on her fifteenth birthday when Laelia attempted to cut off her horn-like lumps in sheer frustration and exhaustion. Alinza tended to the self-inflicted wounds and healed Laelia, yet she knew worse would befall the girl. Upon the girl's insistence, a Varisian artist was brought in to tattoo a set of sweeping runes on either side of Laelia's face and across the bridge of her nose - she hoped the inked adornments would draw people's eyes away from the lumps on her forehead.
Finding out that a caravan of Varisian gypsies would be leaving Magnimar in a day or two, Alinza organised passage for Laelia in return for the girl providing healing services on the road. Perhaps a change of clime would benefit Laelia and any growing connection between the Mother Hag and the child would be lessened with distance and time.
Life on the open road was not a true hardship for the travellers in the caravan who days were filled with adventure, music and grand tales/stories. Laelia befriended the caravan leader’s son, Vano, and he taught her how to load and shoot a light crossbow. The industrious young man, who was a year older than Laelia, even showed her how to make a sling and to find the best stones for it. He excelled in blades mostly, so she watched him wield them and throw them at wooden targets.
The elder gypsies knew of the girl’s night-time malady, and did what they could, especially during the Full Moon and the Dark Moon. The gypsies had heard of such stories – of foul Hags poisoning the minds of their offspring through their dreams. They attempted to ward the child from the sight of the Mother, who was determined to corrupt her precious soul. Yet, the ward lasted only a night as their ancient methods/ways were no match for the strength of will and power of the seeking, robbing Night Hag.
Along the road, the caravan would collect wandering priestesses who would journey with them for a while. To keep herself occupied and to shut out the darkness, Laelia prayed to The Great Dreamer, Desna, every night before bed. Laelia threw herself into the pursuit of divine magic and she practiced and learned from each priestess who crossed paths with her – hoping the more her magic manifested in the divine, the lesser her Mother’s influence and power over her.
It was just before her seventeenth birthday that Laelia ran out in the middle of a field they were spending the night in and screamed unto the night sky, begging for recourse. The girl had tried everything to waylay the call from the woman in her dreams; Laelia had pleaded and bargained with Desna, yet the goddess had not answered her prayers. Was she being punished for the evil taint in her bloodline from a Mother she had never known? As Laelia railed against the night, an eclipse took place, obscuring half the moon. It was then she saw him, a man they had recently picked up along the road. She never heard him mention his name, yet he was standing by one of the caravans and staring intently at her. She felt an ancient breath, cold flowing around her head, first like a whisper and then an echo. //Accept me and this shall pass. Open yourself to me and this shall pass. This is our pact.// At wit’s end to find solace in the night once more, Laelia’s harrowed mind accepted the offered boon. She stood absolutely still in the field, unable to move, gazing at the open heavens above her and the darkening starlight. The man’s eyes bored into her, even though she was not looking at him, she felt his presence. Then Laelia sensed a cold wind in her mind steadily washing the terrible visions and voice. The burgeoning silence soothed her once invaded mind. She stayed in the field for almost an hour, watching as the moon returned to its normal visage, then Laelia turned to look at the man by the last caravan, but he was not there. She returned to her caravan – the one she shared with two of the gypsy children and immediately fell into a deep and undisturbed sleep. It had been four years since she felt such peace. Perhaps The Great Dreamer, Desna, had finally sent the man to heed her plea (or so she had convinced herself). In the morning, she found a scribbled parchment by her pillow. It read, A debt must be repaid. When you reach Ustalav, meet me in Iris Hill. She folded the note and hid it in her pack.
The gypsies were astonished upon hearing the news of Laelia’s first restful night with them. Some were sceptical and drew strange runes in the air before Laelia. She sought out the man who had watched her last night, yet he could not be found; having disappeared without a word to the gypsies. Laelia continued travelling with the caravan for the months that followed, writing and mailing letters to Alinza whenever it was practical to do so – and Laelia practiced her spells and healed any who sought help along the road. She was not plagued again by any vivid dreams or nightmares involving the strange woman and she was grateful. Yet, the man’s note and his words could not be forgotten. The gypsy caravan continued making its way across the lands to Ustalav.
Laelia’s Character Sheet:
Female Night-born (Moon May) Changeling Cleric of Desna 1
NG Medium Humanoid (Changeling)
Init +1 Senses Darkvision 60ft; Perception +4, Sense Motive +4
Special: Channel Positive Energy (DC 11) 1d6, 6 times/day
Spells Prepared (CL 1; concentration +5 (add +3 when grappled, pinned, in violent weather, or entangled):
Adventuring (4+1FC bonus):
Languages Common, Varisan (regional dialect), Aklo, Celestial, Infernal
Total Cost and Weight: 145 gp & 9 sp out of 150 gp (approx. 5 gp remaining). Weight: 44 lbs (Medium load) (STR 10: Light Load: 33 lbs or less, Medium Load: 34-66 lbs, Heavy Load: 67-100 lbs.)
• Gave 1 gp to Granny Willow (Pharasman priestess) to provide burial rites to Wulfer.
Remaining coin: 4gp.
1. Liberation Domain: You are a spirit of freedom and a staunch foe against all who would enslave and oppress.
Domain Spells: 1st—remove fear, 2nd—remove paralysis, 3rd—remove curse, 4th—freedom of movement, 5th—break enchantment, 6th—dispel magic (greater), 7th—refuge, 8th—mind blank, 9th—freedom.
2. Travel Domain: You are an explorer and find enlightenment in the simple joy of travel, be it by foot or conveyance or magic. Increase your base speed by 10 feet.
Domain Spells: 1st—longstrider, 2nd—locate object, 3rd—fly, 4th—dimension door, 5th—teleport, 6th—find the path, 7th—teleport (greater), 8th—phase door, 9th—astral projection.