About Lucky Nick
Name: Nicodemus Wanderhoff, known as "Lucky Nick"
Nick appears at first glance to be a particularly scrawny halfling, small and with very narrow birdlike bones. He usually wears shiny chain armor and a brightly-colored cloak, which doesn't quite distract from his bright yellow hair. He carries a starknife at his belt, that distinctive weapon that looks like four daggers on a disc, and he wears an amulet painted with Desna's holy butterfly symbol around his neck. Like most halflings, his feet are unshod and as twice as large as his hands, and all of them are covered with the same radiantly blond locks as on his head.
Looking at him more carefully, there is an unmistakable otherworldliness about him, especially in his eyes. His irises are deep purple flecked with gold, and particularly striking against his fair skin even though he often squints. His face is usually a bit grizzled, as if he hasn't shaved in a couple of days. And when Nick speaks, his voice is surprisingly husky and gruff, but still somehow gentle, like the purr of a cat.
Nick can be a bit uncouth, and his lowly upbringing is often apparent, but he is very devoted to his goddess and the celestial powers of Good. Having experienced evil up close and personal, he knows what the Crusaders are up against, and he wants to do his part. He has never had much of a family before, and though he may not show it very often, he will come to dearly love his fellow aasimars as brothers and sisters.
Nick grew up in Kenabres with his father, also called Nick, a former slip from Cheliax who escaped his indentured servitude by accompanying his master on the Mendevian Crusade. When his master fell in battle, Nick the Elder was freed. Believing he had no useful skills, he turned to petty theft to survive, and spent much of Young Nick's childhood in and out of prison.
He would not speak of Nick's mother, and asking about her always enraged him. There were very few halflings in Mendev for comparison, but Nick had the impression that there was something different about him, that his mother was somehow very special. One of his father's only friends from service, a young Varisian human named Farod, once told Nick that his mother must have been a goddess. Fortunately his father was asleep at the time, or he might have attacked poor Farod and Young Nick both.
Farod sometimes entertained Nick as a youth with stories about the glorious Crusade, the knights who risked all to fight for their righteous cause. His father of course always kept up a contrary perspective, describing them as "fools drunk on glory," and warning Nick not to be seduced by their "glamour and banners and songs." But Farod always looked at Nick like he saw something magical in him, and spoke to him like he was important.
One time Farod brought Young Nick to the Crusaders' barracks, and told everyone that he was his friend Nick. "Lucky Nick," he called him, and he thought he heard someone whisper "Blessed by the Lady." He asked Farod about that, and he said "You mean Desna? She's called The Lady sometimes. Lady Luck. Don't you know about her?" He seemed surprised Nick hadn't heard any stories about the goddess, but didn't elaborate.
When he came home and told his father about all the Crusaders' shining armaments and prayers and how strong they all looked, Old Nick scoffed. "Caught up in legends, you trip yourself," he spat. "How could someone as small and weak as you ever stand among them? All you're fit for is washing their clothes and mucking out their commodes. Don't you forget it, lad!"
Farod stopped coming by after that, even after Nick's father got caught stealing from the temple and went back to prison. Young Nick began hanging around with a gang of local street toughs, and while they occasionally beat him he could make them laugh, and he thought it felt good to have people that would listen to him. He served as lookout for their various criminal activities (though he always felt a bit guilty about it) and at least he didn't starve.
The leader of the gang was a very menacing woman with lots of markings on her skin, and Nick became aware that she was meeting often with several strangers, who wore dark cloaks and stayed hidden, and he occasionally caught her looking at him speculatively. She was always oddly nice to him, like she was talking down to a cute child, but he didn't mind and he didn't think anything of it. Then one day she told him that he was joining a different gang, and that he had to go with them. They took him easily, bound and gagged, and they dragged him off for several days' travel.
Nick can only barely remember the horrors that befell him then. At the end of the journey, they removed the hood and he found himself in a stone room with flames everywhere and evil markings, and there was a... a creature, an enormous demon with a huge bloody blade. Ugly voices chanted, and Nick could feel a dark power in the air, a thrumming eldritch energy that unsettled his stomach and made his entire body tremble. He shut his eyes in terror as they carried him to the monster, and he heard it speak awful words in a deep, gutteral voice as all the while he struggled and screamed in fright.
Then, just as the demonic thing touched Nick's skin with its blade, there was a sudden roar of sound, like a thousand whisperings at once, and everything became still. It was as if time had stopped. He waited, panting and crying to himself, and then slowly opened his eyes. Everything around him was misty and insubstantial, blurred like a bad memory. He felt strong, like he was filled up with a potent liquor, and his head buzzed with clarity and purpose.
Standing before him and extending a hand, he saw a halfling woman. She wore a gauzy white dress and her head was surrounded by tiny butterflies. (Nick often wondered after if the butterflies were incredibly small, or if he and the woman were somehow larger.) She beckoned to Nick, and he found that he could easily slip out of his bonds, like they were just shadows. He felt like he could do anything, and yet all he wanted to do was stare at her. She was the most beautiful vision he had ever seen.
After forever had passed, or perhaps it was only a few seconds, Nick stepped toward the woman, and suddenly his surroundings shifted, and he now thought he was in a forest. Everything was still dark, but it felt real again. He could smell the earthy scent of dirt and trees, feel the cold ground on his feet, and he took a deep breath. He became aware of a weight at his side, and looking down he realized he was carrying a strange bladed weapon. Its dark metal glimmered in the starlight, and for a moment he thought he could see the woman his savior reflected in its surface.
Nick eventually found his way back to Kenabres, but he was so changed that it almost didn't seem like the same city to him. He immediately sought out the tiny chapel to Desna in the common temple and swept it clean. Then he slept there, and he dreamed about the starknife his goddess had gifted him. She whispered to him, though he could not remember the words, but when he woke he remembered how she told him to hold it, to wield it from the center of the disc.
He stayed there for months, caring for the tiny room dedicated to his Lady, and training while he slept. She showed him how to use the strange forces that the evil ritual had awakened in him, and warned him about the cultists that had bought him to sacrifice. In her service he grew more confident, and more devoted to her, and soon the power of his presence began to rival that of the paladins and other great leaders of the Crusade. People began to talk about the halfling with the blood of an azata, the blessing of a goddess, and the ferocity of a fiend: "Lucky Nick."
Eventually the dream whispers informed Nick that a famous commander in the Crusades was gathering together all those in the city with aasimar blood, to form an elite troop of adventures ideally suited to oppose the forces of the Worldwound and perform special tasks for which the Queen required particular attention. His Lady said he would carry her favor with him when he went to the interview-- and though he thought it was silly, a small part of him still wished he could be a heroic knight like in the legends. With that in mind, he went to the place where his dreams directed him, and waited patiently for the invitation to join.
Note: I'm perfectly okay with you renaming or re-characterizing any of these NPCs that I've outlined here if you have a better idea or there are existing NPCs that you want to use. I figured you'd want story hooks that you can easily incorporate, so you can bring in Nick's father, his childhood mentor Farod, or the scary lady who sold him up the river when and if you want.
Abilities Str 7 (-2), Dex 12+4 (+3), Con 14 (+2), Int 12 (+1), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 17+2 (+4)
Size: Small (+1 attack/AC, -1 CMB/CMD)
AC 18* Touch 14*, Flat-footed 15* (+4 armor, +3 Dex, +1 size; +1 insight vs evil outsiders)
Base Attack Bonus +2 CMB -1 CMD 11* (+1 vs sunder/disarm starknife)
masterwork cold iron starknife +9* (1d3+4, 20' range, x3; +1 insight vs evil outsiders)
Aasimar (Musetouched Halfling): Celestial Crusader (+1 insight attack/+2 Knowledge: planes/+2 Spellcraft vs evil outsiders), Darkvision (60'), Scion of Humanity (count as both native outsider and halfling humanoid), Small, Spell-Like Ability (TBD); eyes glow when in the presence of good outsiders; favored class bonus: +2 skill points
Traits: Irrepressible, Reactionary, Tainted Spirit (Fort DC 10+rounds of combat or fatigued 10m/round), Touched by Divinity (Luck, true strike 1/day)
Feats: Divine Fighting Technique* (Desna's Shooting Star), Weapon Focus (starknife); Amateur Swashbuckler* (Dodging Panache)
Dodging Panache (Ex): When an opponent attempts a melee attack against the swashbuckler, the swashbuckler can as an immediate action spend 1 panache point to move 5 feet; doing so grants the swashbuckler a dodge bonus to AC equal to her Charisma modif ier (minimum 0) against the triggering attack. This movement doesn’t negate the attack, which is still resolved as if the swashbuckler had not moved from the original square. This movement is not a 5-foot step; it provokes attacks of opportunity from creatures other than the one who triggered this deed. The swashbuckler can only perform this deed while wearing light or no armor, and while carrying no heavier than a light load.
Skills: Acrobatics 0+3* (ACP -1), Climb 0-2* (ACP -1), Escape Artist 0+3* (ACP -1), Fly 0+5* (ACP -1), Heal 2+2, Knowledge (planes) 0+1* (+2 vs demons, can use untrained), Knowledge (religion) 1+1, Lore (demon cults) 2+4* (+2 vs demons), Lore (legends of the Crusade) 2+4, Perception 2+1, Ride 0+3* (ACP -1), Spellcraft 0+1* (+2 vs demon effects, can be used untrained), Stealth 2+7* (ACP -1), Swim 0-2* (ACP -1), Use Magic Device 1+4
Languages: Celestial, Common
Fighter (Weapon Master) class abilities: chosen weapon (starknife); weapon guard (+1)
Equipment: belt pouch (1 gp), masterwork backpack (50 gp), masterwork chain shirt (250 gp), masterwork cold iron starknife (348), oil of bless weapon (50 gp), potion of cure light wounds x2 (100 gp), potion of reduce person x4 (200 gp), silver holy symbol of Desna (free), traveler's clothes (free), waterskin (1 gp)
Nick should be an excellent martial character, particularly good as a rogue-ish striker beside (or behind) a paladin or other defensive tanker character. He starts out as a melee combatant, but at level 6 he will become a full-attack ranged fighter. While he excels in combat, his mastery of magic items also makes him a good secondary caster for wands and scrolls, and he is well-versed in useful lore that could also come in handy.
I've been running and playing Pathfinder 1st Edition since 2010, and I've participated in PbP games for almost three years. I'm a native English speaker, and I've written professionally for several roleplaying game supplements published in the United States. I live in the Pacific time zone, which seems to work well for the other groups I have played with, because I often stay up late and so can quickly respond to night and early morning posts. I have played through the first part of Wrath of the Righteous three different times, and I never made it out of the underground (so your plan to do something different is very exciting to me!) Once I was an arcanist, and once a cleric of Sarenrae, and in the last I was a Virtuous Bravo paladin. This character seems like a fun and unusual mixture of a paladin and a fighter, and I'm quite excited to see where he goes.