About Lila the Black
Name Lila the Black
Special Attacks bardic performance (7 rounds/day + Lingering Performance)
Bard Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +4):
* Background Skill
Languages Common, Elven, Orc
Gold 28.98 gp (starting gold)
Appearance Once a beaming up-and-coming celebrity entertainer, Lila’s beauty is now more subdued. She’s cut her once-long hair short, both as a disguise and a concession to Sasserine’s oppressive heat and humidity. She wears a bejeweled mesh caplet with an attached eyepatch atop her head and generally dresses all in black.
Personality Once a self-assured, vivacious, and even bratty child of privilege, Lila’s recent rough treatment has left her but a shadow of her former self. She’s suspicious, untrusting, and cautious these days. Having Mokai to support and protect her has been therapeutic for the abused teen, and she’s showing flashes of regaining some of her past confidence when singing for coin or performing in the arena with her new friend.
Backstory The spoiled child of rich parents, Lila ran away from home to avoid an arranged marriage. She got as far as the Hold of the Sea Princes before being taken by slavers and sold to a lustful pirate captain of the Crimson Fleet called Lucas "Devilfish" Carver. When Lila refused to obey his commands and resisted climbing into his bed (and did so in front of his crew), Captain Carver retaliated by cutting out her left eye and then made her life hell by forcing her to scrub the ship’s deck daily for hours on end.
Only one member of the pirate crew pitied her—a half-orc named Mokhai. The unlikely pair escaped the ship and eventually rowed south to Sasserine. There they co-exist, he by crewing on a fishing vessel, she by singing in taverns at night. Recently, the pair earned some extra coin and fame by competing as a team in a few events at the Sasserine Arena.
Novella Version ;):
Born to a rich merchant father and a now semi-retired celebrity entertainer, young Lila followed in her mom’s footsteps, singing and performing onstage at an early age. While the pretty young woman enjoyed being the center of attention, another part of her was already growing bored with life in one city, and she longed to see the world. When her older sister became a priestess of Zilchus, she was allowed to accompany some of Lila’s dad’s caravans. Seeing a possible way out into the wider world, young Lila learned the bardic arts and the basics of healing, feeling that certainly qualified her for a place in one of her father’s caravans.
Lord Randall, however, had other plans for his youngest daughter: She was to be married to the bookkeeping son of a retiring merchant rival. Lord Randall would gain that merchant’s assets while the son gained a pretty, vivacious wife and her dowry. Lila found her much older potential husband to be both ugly and boring, and utterly refused to marry the man. When she found out her opinion in the arranged marriage carried no weight and her father angrily threatened to ruin her blossoming singing and stage career, Lila ran away, heading south.
The craft and resourceful teen made it quite a ways before disaster struck and she was captured by a band of slavers. These men were amused by the girl’s imperious commands and dire (but empty) threats, seeing her spirit as entertaining, and it earned her the nickname of ‘Princess.’
Quite a sum of gold changed hands when Lila was sold to an up-and-coming pirate captain in the Crimson Fleet. Lucas “Devilfish” Carver was enchanted by the young bard’s nubile beauty and her potential as both a healer and inspirational figure on his crew. Her uppity attitude would diminish, he figured, even if he had to beat it out of her.
Lila took to the new man in her life even more poorly than she did to her arranged husband back home, scorning Lucas and refusing to do his bidding, even when he ordered her lightly whipped. Seeing his new crewwoman causing dissention and anger amongst his crew, Captain Carver finally decided to tame his slave once and for all by ordering her to the bed in his cabin. When Lila’s reply was that she’d rather crawl into the hammocks of every other crewman that spend a moment in the captain’s bed, the Devilfish’s patience with his pretty prize snapped. ”Then you leave your master no choice but to do something about your wandering eyes,” he said coldly. Ordering several member of his crew to hold the girl down on the deck, Carver drew his dagger and lived up to his name, carving out the defiant girl’s left eye with it. Soon after, Lila healed the bleeding with her magic, but one of her arresting blue eyes was forever gone.
Her humiliation was just beginning, however. Captain Carver informed the girl that her lone chore on his ship going forward was to clean the ship’s deck with a heavy holystone, ”down on all fours like the little b@$&@ you are, yer ruined face to the deck an’ yer fine arse to the sky, cuz that’s yer better-lookin’ side now, Princess!” In case she had other ideas, Devilfish informed the girl he’d have no problem ordering both her legs broken to force her compliance. Lila’s spirit was finally—and utterly—broken.
Resigning herself to a short and brutal life, Lila had all but given up when one member of Carver’s crew began doing small acts of kindness. The half-orc named Mokhai began slipping her extra water and stale rolls when he could. At first, Lila figured the crewman’s motives were lustful, but his few whispered words to her indicated he was more worried about himself…and what sort of monster he’d become if he remained a part of the Devilfish’s crew for much longer. Lila jumped at the tenebrous opportunity, saying she’d help Mokhai escape the ship if he’d take her with him. She added that she knew where the captain had stashed some jewels in his cabin and offered to steal them and give them to the half-orc to sweeten the pot.
A few days later, the pair got their chance when a tropical storm blew in. With all hands on deck—including the captain’s—Lila was able to slip into his cabin and execute her theft. And with the crew exhausted and in their hammocks that night after the storm had subsided, Mokhai and Lila had little difficulty slipping away in one of the ship’s small lifeboats. The next morning, Captain Carver guessed wrong, thinking the pair likely headed north, back toward the Hold of the Sea Princes. Instead, Mokhai and Lila had rowed their way further south, eventually reaching Sasserine.
There, Lila secretly expected Mokhai’s kindness to end and for the half-orc to make her his property…but that didn’t happen. There was something honorable about the quiet brute, and Lila realized that if she ran again she’d likely just get herself into more trouble, alone in a strange city. So she waited—quiet, resentful, and without much hope—for Mokhai to show his true colors.
In the end, Lila was pleasantly surprised: Mokhai (‘Mocha,’ as she now called the deeply tanned fellow) indeed seemed singularly intent upon improving himself, spiritually, physically…and martially. He sought a nebulous organization called the Church of the Whirling Fury, a cult (Mokhai always frowned when Lila labeled the organization with that term) dedicated to some fringe goddess named Gwynharwyf. The church—if it indeed existed—proved maddeningly elusive, the vaguest of whispered rumors leading the two escapees to the city’s Cudgel district. While not particularly devout, Lila figured that some weapon training (especially such that could make her a ‘whirling fury’) might enable her to better protect herself, should she somehow become separated from Mokhai.
The sale of the jewels she’d stolen from the pirate captain enable the odd couple to establish themselves in the city, but neither wanted to squander the entirety of their funds. One purchase that Lila did insist on was a bejeweled caplet of fine mesh with an attached eye patch that hid her ruined eye but added an air of mysterious allure to the pretty girl. To distance herself from her past, Lila eschewed the bright colors she’d been fond of as an entertainer and dressed mostly in black, a match to both her glossy hair and her black mood in her early days after escaping the pirates. This earned her the moniker Lila the Black. Lila cut her silky hair short as well, both to make herself less recognizable should her father or his agents still be searching for her and as a reluctant concession to the brutal humidity of the tropics.
While Mokhai worked on the crew of a fishing vessel, Lila spent her evenings singing at many of the local inns and taverns to earn a spot of coin. When she heard tales of the nearby Sasserine Arena, Lila suggested that perhaps she and Mokhai could perform there as a team: the small, singing knife-fighter and the large, more traditional half-orc battler. The venture has proven to be a modest success, with the unusual pair earning a bit of notoriety for their gladiatorial antics.