About Niksi Drugova
Niksi’s Philosophy, In Her Own Words:
We live in a truly strange world. A queen from another world rules a land of faeries and winter. The dead rise by millions and carve out empires. Veiled creatures below the waves enslaved all of humanity with mental control. A stone fell to Golarion and caused untold destruction then made gods to cause more. A man gets drunk and wakes up a god.
And what of the inhabitants of this strange world? Each of us carries a unique infinity of difference and possibility. We are terrible and we are glorious. We are pathetic and we are humble. We are sharp and we are soft. We are scale models of all the world given life and mind. Strange people in a strange world.
And yet we hate those unlike us, those who are not strange the exact way that we are. Born behind the wrong line. Regurgitate different noises from your throat. Flesh with alternative arrangements of pigments. Arbitrary and ephemeral demarkations that only serve the people that placed them. But you already know these facts, don’t you? You’ve spent your life knowing them. You keep moving, gorging yourself upon knowings. And with every knowing you unbecome yourself a little more, your strangeness bound by all those lines you drew until you’ve slowly choked yourself to death. How many children never allow themselves to become? How many have known too much too soon?
Thus, we come to my purpose. I exist for unknowing. I exist for becoming. I turn the world on its side so you can hear the clinking of loose screws and see the towers crumble. I ask you, hearken to the twist and the tilt, the jarring and the uncanny, the steel smile and silk frown, your unknowing and becoming.
Be still, for there is strange music.
I am a strange person. I am the last to deny this. I have spent far longer in the circus than is considered healthy or sane, but I pay little attention to what is considered. I don’t think I could live anywhere else.
I was always different from everyone around me. I was born into Drugoy Tsirk—Another Circus in Undercommon—183 years ago. They traveled the underground bringing color and light to the sunless world. I studied elves, wanting to learn more about myself, but I saw little of myself in them. No, I was the child of the circus, raised by many parents. They gave me so much, including my last name, Drugova, “of the Other.” The twin strongmen taught me how to find heaviness in the light and lightness in the heavy. The ringleader taught me how to fill up a tent with only my body and my voice. The puppeteer taught me how to move a marionette and how to move like one. I loved the puppets most of all. I could act without being seen, project myself through these uncanny creatures of wood and string. I did not like being seen. When people saw me, they saw a boy. But I always felt myself more of a Judy than a Punch. I dreamed of dancing, seen only as myself, but everyone wanted something else from me, and every time I moved, I crashed into one of the walls they built around me. Even in the circus, and even in one dedicated to the strange, people can live with closed minds.
The puppeteer was a crumpled red woman named Sasha. I studied with her most of all. I learned the calliope and waterphone so I could score her shows. She understood me before anyone else. She taught me to unknow all the walls people put around me. Detach, defamiliarize, and self-alienate from even the most basic rules of reality until all that was left was me. She helped me craft my costume. My act is the expression of myself at the purest level, and she made it happen.
When she died—the weakened heart of old age—I left Tsirk Drugoy. I needed a fresh start in a new circus, someplace where nobody knew me. We are born into families, and we must find new families if we wish to be reborn.
I believe that the greatest artists dedicate their entire existences, on and off the stage, to their art. For writers, they soak every page in their purest selves. For musicians, they press their passions into every note. Such artists places themselves in the art. They can live in the quiet mundane, enriching themselves with life and fantasy as they build their next marvel. But for magicians, those of us that use wonderment and mystery as our tools, we must do the opposite. We must drape our lives in awe and illusion. And thus, I left.
My first attempt, the Celestial Menagerie, did not go particularly well. Mistress Dusklight, like many, never understood my work and assumed some kind of hidden malevolence behind it, a malevolence she tried to push me into incorporating. I don’t do all of this to hurt people. I take no enjoyment out of scaring the innocent. When the Mistress began escalating her beatings in response to me even suggesting that we form a union, I knew that the Menagerie was a lost cause.
The Circus of Wayward Wonders is far more to my liking. There is so much unknowing, so much becoming when a group of people form a new venture.
Niksara “Niksi” Drugova, The Living Mannequin
Female Cavern Elf, Circus Born, Bard/9
CG Medium elf
Senses Perception +13 (Wis 0 + Prof 4+9(E))
AC 25 Mage Armor (Dex +3 Item +1+Prof 2+9 (T))
Fort +16 (E), Ref +17(E), Will +16 (M)
Melee +14 Elven Curve Blade 1d8 S (Elf, Finesse, Forceful) or +14 Whip 1d4 S (Disarm, Finesse, Nonlethal, Reach, Trip)
Ranged +14 Dagger 1d4 P (Agile, Finesse, Thrown 10 ft., Versatile S)
5th (2)—Mirror Malefactors (sig), Telepathic Bond
4th (3)—Phantasmal Killer(sig), Suggestion, Nightmare
3rd (3)—Curse of Lost Time(sig), Haste, Sculpt Sound
2nd (3)--Illusory Creature, Mirror Image, Restoration (sig)
1st (3)--Mage Armor(sig), Fear, Illusory Disguise, Soothe(b)
Cantrips (5)--Prestidigitation, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Daze, Summon Instrument
Bard Spell Attack +17 (E)
Bard Spell DC 27 (E)
3rd (1)—Remove Disease
2nd (1)—Remove Fear
1st (2)—Heal (sig), Longstrider
Cantrips (3)--Stabilize, Read Aura, Produce Flame
Sorcerer Spell Attack +14 (T)
Sorcerer Spell DC 24 (T)
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 19
Speed 30 ft.
Ancestry Feats & Abilities Unwavering Mien, Elven Lore, Darkvision, Low-light Vision, Elven Weapon Familiarity, Elf Step
Skill Feats Experienced Professional, Recognize Spell, Alchemical Crafting, Virtuosic Performer (acting), Battle Cry
Class Features & Abilities Muse (Maestro), Composition Spells (Counter Performance, Inspire Courage, Inspire Competence, Inspire Defense, Inspire Heroics), Lingering Composition, Sorcerer Dedication, Harmonize, Basic Sorcerer Spellcasting, Bloodline Breadth, Basic Bloodline Spell (Faerie Dust), Great Fortitude, Resolve
General Feats Ancestral Paragon (unwavering mien), Fast Recovery
Acrobatics +14 (T)
Arcana +14 (T)
Athletics +11 (T)
Crafting +14 (T)
Deception +15 (T)
Diplomacy +15 (T)
Intimidation +19 (M)
Lore(Circus) +14 (T)
Lore(Elven) +14 (T)
Lore(Puppetry) +14 (T)
Medicine +11 (T)
Nature +11 (T)
Occultism +14 (T)
Performance +19 (M) (+20 acting)
Religion +10 (T)
Society +14 (T)
Stealth +14 (T)
Survival +0 (U)
Thievery +14 (T)
Languages Taldane (common), Elven, Sylvan, Undercommon, Draconic
Bulk (3.6/5/10) Waterphone, Whip, Thieves' Tools, Elven Curve Blade (low grade cold iron), Adventurer's Pack, Disguise Kit, Material Component Pouch, Dagger, Custom Costume, Dancing Scarf, Lesser Thunderstone, Reflection of Life, 24 gp 5 sp
Items (not carried) Calliope Organ, Basic Crafter's Book, Alchemist’s Formula Book, Artisan's Tools (woodworking), Winter Clothing, Explorer's Clothing x2, Alchemist's Lab (expanded) back at the circus
Starting Purchases Breakdown:
-8 handheld instrument
-1 basic crafter’s book
-30 thieves’ tools
-40 artisan’s tools (woodworking)
-20 disguise kit
-5 Material Component Pouch
-7 adventurer’s pack
-4 winter clothing
-2 explorer’s clothing x2
-10 custom costume
Sea Surge x1
Personal Rain Cloud x1
Sudden Bolt x1
Alchemy Formulas Known: